The newSpin Newsletter, October 1, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published weekly, on Monday
• Diocesan Convention ... [Oct. 5-6, Good Shepherd Scranton] Here for more info and to register. Here for info on the ECW Project. Pre-Convention meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Bethlehem, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. If your parish had a United Thank Offering (UTO) ingathering this past year, please bring an index card with the amount of the ingathering along to Diocesan Convention. One of your parishioners should be prepared to process during the Diocesan UTO ingathering. We are beyond early registration. Cost for Convention is now $95 ($60 for spouse). Registration will be open until Friday, Oct. 5.
• Disaster preparedness and response plans ... [John Major and Janine Ungvarsky] The next training for will be held on October 27 at St. George's Regional Disaster Recovery & Outreach Center in Nanticoke, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day includes Noon Prayer and lunch. Parishes are asked to send two representatives, who will be provided with instructions and resources to help the parish create its own customized preparedness plan. More here.
• Diocesan Life ... The September/October issue is online here.
• Voter ID ... Pennsylvania law now requires voters to show a form of photo identification at their polling place. The process to obtain a Department of State ID has been revised. One needs now only to provide his or her name, date of birth, Social Security number and address. No proof of address is required. PennDOT will then produce an ID card even if it cannot verify that a person is registered to vote. The ID card will be held by the Department of State to be issued when a voter registration application is processed. UPDATE: A judge Is expected to rule today (Monday) on whether a new Pennsylvania voter identification law gives voters liberal access to the documents needed to cast a ballot or should be blocked as restrictive five weeks before Election Day. More here.
• Food Banks need help ... Because their major suppliers are no longer able to assist filling the pantries of the New Bethany Ministries Food Bank and the Pennsylvania Avenue Interfaith Food Bank, both are in need of food. If you can help in any way, please contact either organization. New Bethany is located at 333 W. 4th Street in Bethlehem, 610-691-5602 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Pennsylvania Avenue Interfaith Food Bank is located at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1900 E. Pennsylvania Avenue in Allentown, 610-865-3603 or email@example.com).
• Rising above envy is liberation ... [Bishop Paul's Sept/Oct Diocesan Life Column] People driven by or suffering from envy on any level are seldom happy. They usually have nothing good to say about anybody, and live in a world of self-imposed misery. They are stuck, like an infant, in a place of powerless rage when it senses that all good and all nurture come from the outside. Infants are said to sense that they are powerless to produce anything except the contents of their diapers, and even that is taken away from them at regular intervals. People usually outgrow this. Perhaps the envious do not. Read it all on page two of Diocesan Life.
• Check out The Chalice, a publication of DioBeth's Lifelong Christian Formation Committee created by Joan DeAcetis for older adults and caretakers. Download issues here.
• Journey to Adulthood Mentor Training ... Friday evening, October 19, 7 to 9, and Saturday, October 20, 9 to 3. at Cathedral Church of the Nativity. For youth leaders, clergy, experienced or new J2A leaders, parents, Christian ed directors. Register online by Oct. 15. More here.
• Happening #21 ... [Ellyn Siftar, Missioner for Youth and Young Adult Ministries] Registration is open. Go to the youth and young adult blog where you will find more information on what "Happening" is and why you want your youth to go.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... [Anne Kitch] Here.
• DioBeth Website ... newSpin Blog ... Re:Create blog for youth and young adults ... Twitter.DioBeth ... Twitter.Kat Lehman ... Facebook.DioBeth ... Flickr, search under dio_beth
• Public news and info lists ... At the Diobeth website, enter your name and email in the "Get Connected" box. You are welcome to subscribe to any or all of these. "Bakery" is our diocesan interactive list.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• Bishop Beckwith's op-ed on behalf of marriage equality ... [Episcopal Café] Episcopalians are raising their voices on behalf of marriage equality in several states where that issue is on the ballot. In New Jersey, Bishop Mark Beckwith of Newark took direct issue with his Roman Catholic counterpart Archbishop John Myers in Sunday's Newark Star Ledger. Myers opposes marriage equality and believes that Catholics who differ with him should refrain from receiving Communion. Beckwith believes Myers is mistaken about what constitutes a "threat to the family." More here.
• Bishop Anthony Poggo, Diocese of Kajo Keji, Sudan, shares his thoughts on video (nine minutes) on the unique meeting of bishops from Canada, the U.S., and various African countries, June 2012 in Toronto.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Download inserts here.
• Episcopal Church Website ... ENS blog ... Episcopal Church on Facebook ... Episcopal Church on YouTube ... Anglican Communion website ... Anglican Communion News Service. ... Anglican Communion News Service on Facebook.
• The Science of Healing Places ... [On Being with Krista Tippett] The light and smells in places like hospitals can often depress us. And, our favorite room at home keeps us sane. But why? Immunologist Esther Sternberg explains the scientific research revealing how physical spaces can create stress and make us sick — and how good design can trigger our "brain's internal pharmacies" and help heal us. Here.
• Being a decent person ... [Tom Ehrich, RNS] Nothing will get better in our troubled and divided nation until we take to heart three lessons about what it means to be a decent person. First, give back to God. Second, help the unfortunate. Third, tell the truth. Read on.
• The Dignity of Difference ... [On Being with Krista Tippett] Krista sits down with Lord Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain. One of the world's great thinkers on the promise and perils of religion, they discuss how Jewish and other religious ideas can inform modern challenges. He says that the faithful can and must cultivate their own deepest truths — while finding God in the other. More here.
• Bob Dylan's 10 most Jewish songs ... [The Jewish Daily Forward] Throughout his career, his songs have been peppered with biblical allusions and paraphrases and informed by Jewish themes and concepts. How much of this is the result of a conscious effort on Dylan’s part to address these issues, and how much is simply the result of magpie tendencies that see him draw variously from Shakespeare, French symbolism, movie dialogue, blues clichés and even obscure Japanese yakuza novels? Well, only Dylan can answer that — and even then, probably not. Still, based on the evidence of the songs themselves, Dylan was actually paying attention in the Hebrew classes leading up to his bar mitzvah, and also in his adult life, which has at times reportedly included private studies with various rabbis, often from the Chabad movement. Read on.
• German Court: Catholics who don't pay religious tax must leave church ... [Catholic News Service] The German bishops' conference defended a controversial decree that said Catholics who stop paying a church membership tax cannot receive sacraments. "There must be consequences for people who distance themselves from the church by a public act," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, conference president, in defending the Sept. 20 decree. "Clearly, someone withdrawing from the church can no longer take advantage of the system like someone who remains a member," he said at a news conference Monday as the bishops began a four-day meeting in Fulda. "We are grateful Rome has given completely clear approval to our stance." Read on.
• 2012 Don't Re-Nig? ... [Miami Herald] Miami Herald's Leonard Pittpoints to a bumper sticker spotted in South Florida: 2012 Don’t Re-Nig. He comments: "When he was asked about that bumper sticker, Billy Smith of Ludowici, Ga., who manufactured it with his wife Paula told a reporter:'We didn’t mean it in a racist way.' The driver of that car would likely have said the same. But they do not lie for our benefit. They lie to conscience — and to self." Read on.
• First Moravian rector of an Episcopal parish ... [ENS, Episcopal Café] On Sept. 16, the Rev. Carl Southerland was installed as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Franklin, North Carolina, becoming the first Moravian pastor of an Episcopal parish since the two denominations inaugurated a full-communion relationship in 2011. Read on.
• Moravian Church in North America website. Moravian Church Northern Province website. Moravian Theological Seminary website.
• UMC website Here. News Service Here. Communication Resources Start here. Communication newsletter (tips and tools) Here. Eastern PA Conference website Here. Facebook Here. Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog Here.
• What they perceive to be ... “There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church,” Fulton Sheen once said, “but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.”
• Philadelphia Archdiocese and its parishes in serious financial trouble ... [Phila Inquirer] The fortunes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its more than 250 parishes are deeply and torturously entwined. The archdiocese, the central organizing force for 1.46 million Catholics in Southeastern Pennsylvania, depends on money from member parishes to pay for churchwide activities and to shift money to weaker parishes. But that formula is broken: Too many parishes have seen attendance fall and offerings shrivel, rendering them unable to support themselves. "More than two-thirds of the parishes have operating deficits," Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said in a June speech. "About 100 are in some form of financial distress." For years, the archdiocese's central administrative office, the Office of Financial Services, tapped generations of accumulated wealth to pay bills for parishes that could not afford them. That money is gone, Chaput has said. Read on
• Diocese of Allentown ... Here. Diocese of Scranton ... Here. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ... Here. Catholic News Service ... Here. Vatican website ... Here. Vatican Information Service blog ... Here. Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
Calendar of Events/The Episcopal Church ... Here.
• Holy Women, Holy Men ... Download Holy Women, Holy Men as a .pdf file.
• Congregational Resource Guide ... Here.
• ECF Vital Practices ... Here.
• Faith in Public Life ... Here.
• The Book of Common Prayer ... every edition from 1549 to 1979. Here.
• The Daily Office ... can be read online in Rite I, Rite II or the New Zealand Prayer Book versions. At Mission St. Clare.
• General Convention ... A report from the deputation of the Diocese of Bethlehem. Here.
Additional sources for news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• National Catholic Reporter ... here.
• Back issues of the newSpin newsletter ... here.
(1) The Episcopal Church
(2) Episcopal News Service
(3) Episcopal Café
(5) AnglicansOnline News Centre.
• Religion&Politics fit for polite company ... Religion & Politics is an online news journal, dedicated to the two topics thought unfit for polite company. It is a project of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. Here.
• Daily Office ... Lectionary Page ... Lectionary ... Oremus Bible Browser ... Revised Common Lectionary
You are reading the newSpin newsletter. The newSpin blog, which includes the newsletter and other items, is available here,
where you may comment on anything posted here. When the
newsletter is completed on Mondays
and occasionally on
Thursdays, it is
published immediately to the
blog and on Bakery and on a
ChurchPost list of some 1,000
recipients forward it to
many more. Bakery and the
blog are interactive. The
ChurchPost list is not. The
newsletter comes, of
course, with some spin
from the editor.
The views expressed,
implied or inferred in items
or links contained
in the newsletter
or the blog do not represent
the official view
of the Diocese of
expressed by or forwarded
from the Bishop or the
Archdeacon as an
official communication. If
you're wondering why you
haven't seen something related
to your parish or
agency here, it's probably
because no one has sent
relevant info. If you think something about
your parish or agency merits
inclusion here, send email to Bill.
Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
Communication Minister/Editor (1986-2010), Canon Theologian (1998)
Blog , Email (c)610-393-1833
Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]