The newSpin Newsletter, November 12, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published weekly, on Monday
• Hurricane Sandy and ER&D ... [John Major and Janine Ungvarsky] We’ve all been seeing the continuing news coverage of the struggles faced by those along the East Coast who were in the path of not one but two unusually powerful storms in just over a week. Areas still reeling from superstorm damage—some who haven’t even had power restored yet—are now facing record snowfalls. The sheer magnitude of what the people in these areas are facing is staggering.
Episcopal Relief & Development has already begun the long, hard work of helping those affected by nature’s wrath to recover from these storms and are coordinating with local Episcopal parishes and dioceses to bring aid to those affected.
The director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program, Katie Mears, has sent out a message sharing the best ways to help for those of us outside the tri-state area most affected by these storms. Katie, who visited this diocese just three weeks ago to assist with our ongoing disaster recovery and preparedness programs, is recommending that the best way we can help right now is through cash donations. These funds are used for immediate emergency relief to parishes running shelters and soup kitchens to support those affected now, and will be used in the months, weeks and years ahead to help in long term recovery, just as Episcopal Relief & Development funds are helping this diocese continue to respond to those affected by last year’s floods and prepare to help others in the future.
Recalling our own experience last year, we can attest to the great need for ready cash assistance in the earliest days after a disaster. We remember how the cash donations and gift cards provided so generously by so many of you enabled us to meet a wide variety of needs. We can tell you that seeing those donations come in let us know that we were not alone in our efforts, and those to whom we offered them were so grateful for even the smallest bit of help. It was truly touching—and humbling—to see someone who lost everything in their home’s basement and first floor cry tears of gratitude over $10 for gas to run their generator for another day.
Please read Katie’s message, and consider making a donation to the efforts of Episcopal Relief & Development. They are representing all of us to those in need in the aftermath of these storms, and they can use our help.
• Double the impact of your gift to ERD ... [John Major] Donors making end-of-year gifts to Episcopal Relief & Development will be able to double the impact of their contributions, thanks to a group of very generous supporters who have pledged $300,000 in matching funds toward the 2012 Matching Gift Challenge. Between November 1 and December 31, gifts of any size – online, via mail or by phone – will be matched dollar-for-dollar as long as matching funds are available.
• An interview with Bishop-elect Nick Knisely ... [Providence Journal] Excerpt: Once the rector of a church in Bethlehem, Pa., where he also taught astronomy and physics at nearby Lehigh University, Bishop-elect Knisely is finishing a book, “Entangled States,” due out in January. In it, he attempts to apply insights drawn from the discovery of quantum entanglement to theology. “Entanglement requires that there be a fuzziness to reality,” he says. “Absolutes may exist, but may not be measurable.” Likewise, he says, in the Episcopal Church, “we do have this sense of softness around our edges. Not that we don’t have positions, but we understand that on the edges there needs to be an ability to be gracious.” Read it all.
• Former oil executive appointed as archbishop of Canterbury ... NYTimes, London Telegraph, London Guardian, Episcopal Café It's Official, Reactions, Welby's observations about the Episcopal Church, Roundup of news around the world, Negotiated with rebels in Nigeria at gunpoint, and the Archbishop tweets. Want to suggest a twitter handle for the new ABC?
• Heaven and Earth ... Follow the blog of Father Paul Bresnahan, rector, St. Gabriel's Douglassville.
• Registration for Saturday's Renewal Assembly VI ... Here.
• Father Nicholas Albanese, RIP ... [Bishop Paul] I am sorry to report the death of The Rev. Nicholas Albanese, late Saturday night [Nov. 10]. As many of you know, Fr. Nick, born here in Bethlehem, served Wind Gap and West Bangor parishes after retirement in the Diocese of Delaware, where he remained canonically resident. He was 88. Please include him, his widow Angie, and their family in your prayers. May his heart and soul ring out in joy to God! Calling Hours: Thursday 3-8 p.m. Guerro & Ruggiero Funeral Home, 126 Pennsylvania Avenue, Pen Argyl. Funeral: Saturday, Nov. 17, 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary's, 340 N. Lehigh Ave, Wind Gap. Obituary here.
• Rosemary Nardone, RIP ... [Bishop Paul] Please hold the soul of Rosemary Nardone in prayer tomorrow as she receives Christian burial at Trinity Church in West Pittston. Rosemary is the sister of Deacon Marion Meiss. May light perpetual shine upon Rosemary and the love of Christ support all of her loved ones. Obituary 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.
• St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre ... Choral Evensong and Organ Recital by Mark Laubach on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 5:00 p.m. More info here.
• At North Parish and Trinity Pottsville ... [Bonnie Baker] Members of North Parish Episcopal churches (Saint Clair, Frackville and Ashland) and Trinity Episcopal Church, Pottsville will prepare a full Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day. Delivery to shut-ins 11:30 a.m.; pick up at Parish Hall between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. and sit down meal in Holy Apostles' Parish Hall, Nichols & Hancock Streets, Saint Clair at 1:00 p.m. Anyone who would like to come and share this wonderful day with us is more than welcome! Please RSVP by November 15th by calling Bonnie Baker at 570-429-2272 or North Parish Church office at 570-874-4532.
• Note to parishes ... Post news summaries and links on Bakery or send them to Bill.
• Calendar of Events ... Here and Here.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• The latest from the Diocese of South Carolina ... [Episcopal Café] The Episcopal Church and former members of the Diocese of South Carolina now affiliated with a breakaway movement led by Mark Lawrence are each attempting to explain their views on the church's polity to the general Read on.
• Episcopal Church positions available ... Applications are now being accepted for four full-time positions: Africa Partnership Officer, Domestic Policy Analyst (based in the Washington DC office), Domestic Poverty Missioner, UTO Coordinator. Information available here. Previously posted positions still open are: Director of Development, Development Research Analyst, Digital Front-end Designer/Drupal Themer, Legal Counsel. For more information contact a member of the Episcopal Church Human Resources Team at HRM@episcopalchurch.org.
• 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.
• Robert Castle, outspoken Harlem priest and accidental actor, dies at 83 ... [NYTimes] The Rev. Robert W. Castle Jr., an outspoken Episcopal priest in Harlem who was the subject of Jonathan Demme’s acclaimed 1992 documentary, “Cousin Bobby” — and who went on to a film acting career as a result — died on Oct. 27 at his home in Holland, Vt. He was 83. NYTimes story here. Father Castle once spoke in Bethlehem at the Cathdral for an HIV/AIDS service. Our promotion of the event referred to him as a "downwardly mobile priest," a onetime tribute to Castle by Dan Berrigan.
• Has your cell phone gone off in church? ... [Bob House] This is from a fellow who visited this church in Burbank CA where they actually showed this video of how they handle cell phones in church. It's only 1.5 minutes long and a hoot! View it.
• 2012: A social sea change on gay marriage ... [Lauren Markoe, RNS at WaPo] Three times over, voters made history on Election Day, endorsing moves to allow gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington state. At the same time, Minnesota voters rejected a ballot measure that would have enshrined an anti-gay marriage law in their constitution, and neighboring Wisconsin elected Tammy Baldwin as the country’s first openly gay U.S. senator. Read on.
• 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.
• Is there a political plan B for the bishops? ... [NCR, Thomas Reese, SJ, Viewpoint] As the bishops gather in Baltimore this week for their annual meeting, they, like everyone else in the country, will be talking about last week's election. The U.S. Catholic bishops took a beating at the polls. Not only was President Barack Obama re-elected despite their attacks on him, the bishops also lost on state referendums on same-sex marriage. ... Many bishops, who stayed quiet during the election, are tired of the notoriety the political bishops invite. They prefer their parishes be free of partisan politics. But since the media have trouble covering silence, the political bishops get all the ink and airtime. This makes it look like these bishops are speaking for all bishops. Hopefully, behind closed doors, some bishops will acknowledge that the current strategy is not working and ask, "Is there a better way? Is there a plan B?" Here I am writing as a political scientist, not as a priest or theologian. I am not challenging church teaching; I am questioning political strategy. More.
• Chastened Catholic bishops told they have to reform themselves ... [Religion News Service] After sweeping setbacks to the hierarchy’s agenda on Election Day, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Monday (Nov. 12) told U.S. Catholic bishops that they must now examine their own failings, confess their sins and reform themselves if they hope to impact the wider culture. “That’s the way we become channels of a truly effective transformation of the world, through our own witness of a repentant heart,” Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the 250 bishops gathered here for their annual meeting. “The premier answer to the question ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ is not politics, the economy, secularism, sectarianism, globalization or global warming … none of these, as significant as they are,” Dolan said, citing many of the issues that have become favorite targets of the hierarchy. Instead, Dolan said, quoting English writer and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton, the answer is contained in two words: “I am.” 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.
• Physical activity in old age may protect brain ... [Medline Plus] Older people who exercise regularly may reduce their risk of dementia and help keep their minds sharp, a new study suggests. Physical activity may cut dementia risk by 40 percent and decline of thinking skills by as much as 60 percent, researches say. Read on. [h/t Diana Marshall]
• Medline Plus ... Here.
• WebMD ... Here.
• Alzheimers.gov ... For the people helping people with Alzheimers. Here.
Calendar of Events/The Episcopal Church ... Here.
• Speaking Faithfully ... [Episcopal Cafe] A new book on Communication as Evangelism in a Noisy World by Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson of Canticle Communications. An attempt to persuade the church to bring the techniques and insights of mass communications to bear on the challenge of evangelism. The acknowledgements mentions of those who have worked with the Episcopal Cafe since it's inception including Bishop-elect Nick Knisely and Canon Andrew Gerns.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... November issue of Canon Kitch's newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources.
• Forward Movement ... News and Notes, November.
• 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.
• The Chalice, a publication of DioBeth's Lifelong Christian Formation Committee created by Joan DeAcetis for older adults and caretakers. Download issues 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
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Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
Communication Minister/Editor (1986-2010), Canon Theologian (1998)
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Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]