The newSpin Newsletter, January 7, 2013
By Bill Lewellis
Published weekly, on Monday
• Finding ways out of a 'food desert' in Reading ... [Reading Eagle] For Reading resident Leonila Dominguez, grocery shopping is more like a grocery excursion. To get healthy food for her family of four, the 42-year-old walks for 30 to 40 minutes, then gets on a bus to reach a supermarket or farmers market. There is no full-service grocery store within walking distance of her home. ... Women with children and pregnant mothers are among regulars who seek free food at a food pantry at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, according to Robin Caccese, office administrator. The pantry shelves are stocked with cans of beans, sliced peaches and spaghetti sauce, among other things. "We are in a poor neighborhood," she said. "When the shelves get bare, I will take an inventory and put a note in the Sunday bulletin on what we need." A slim consolation for those living in Reading may be found in the fact that it is not alone. Read on.
• Also in South Bethlehem ... [Jane Williams, writing at Bakery] South Bethlehem is also known as a food desert with no large grocery store available within several miles in any direction. What is occurring here is a constellation of residents, young activists, "old fogeys" (i.e., folks from the 60's and 70's who remember the many food co-ops of those times), and foodies who are discussing plans, writing grants, and scouting out locations for a co-op grocery store in South Bethlehem. It will be a combination of membership (deeply discounted for low income folks), light-work-in-exchange-for-membership, and accessibility to non-members. Estimates are that it will be open in 2014 -- not a speedy answer, but one answer that involves buy-in from the community and access to good food. Seems like something that might be helpful for parishes in other areas to consider suggesting and offering some organizing expertise or space? Find more info about the Bethlehem Food Co-Op.
• Bishop's Nightwatch with Youth ... [Ellyn Siftar] Bishop Paul invites the youth in grades 6-12 to join him for an overnight on February 1-2, at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Scranton. These two days will be filled with games, food, music, worship, time with the bishop, and a special guest. The $25 cost includes transportation, food, memorabilia and priceless memories. Parishes are required to send one adult as a chaperone for every 4 youth. Feel free to send as many adults as would like to come – there’s plenty of room on the floor for one more. Please be aware that there will be a chartered bus traveling from Reading, Allentown and points north to this event. Please register early if you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity to have travel time with friends and give parents a break from driving. Doors open at 7pm Friday and the events comes to a close at 10am on Saturday. Further details such as packing list, schedule will be sent out once you have completed the registration process online. Registration can be found on the diocesan website at www.diobeth.org under “Learn more about diocesan events.” Peace, Ellyn Siftar, Missioner for Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Diocese of Bethlehem, 610.691.5655 x229 (office), 610.751.3931 (cell), 610.691.1682 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the blog for youth and young adults: http://diobeth.typepad.com/recreate/
• Unregulated capitalism, various forms of terrorism and criminality ... [B16, Reuters] The 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI rang in the new year with a mass for about 10,000 people in St Peter's Basilica on the day the Roman Catholic Church marks its World Day of Peace with initiatives around the world. He also spoke of peace after the mass, addressing tens of thousands of people who had followed the service from outside in St Peter's Square. "A new year is like a trip. With the light and the grace of God, may it be the start of a path to peace for every person, every family, every country and for the entire world," he said from his window overlooking the square. He thanked the world's peacemakers, saying they deserve praise for working, often behind the scenes, tirelessly, thanklessly and armed only "with the weapons of prayer and forgiveness." Peace marchers carrying rainbow banners released blue balloons in a sunny but cold St Peter's Square as the pope spoke. Earlier in his homily, the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics decried "hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor." He also denounced "the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism, various forms of terrorism and criminality". More here.
• Shelter provided by Bethlehem churches ... The emergency shelters for the homeless in Bethlehem churches need volunteers to sign in guests, prepare and serve dinner, stay overnight (two people required), and launder the linens. At the Cathedral Church of the Nativity ... If you have any questions or would like to sign up, please contact Jeremy Joiner at Avalonjj@ptd.net, 484-515-8380 or Rodney Conn at email@example.com, 610-865-0727. You can also sign up immediately using the Sign-Up Genius site. Go to www.SignUpGenius.com. Click on "Find a Sign Up" and enter the email address AvalonJJ@ptd.net. Click on the Emergency Shelter link and choose which date and activity you wish to help with. At St. Andrew's Church ... They too are in need of volunteers to cook and serve dinner and breakfast. They also need overnight volunteers. They do not, however, use signup genie. Email or call Cindy Bowlby (CindyBowlby@gmail.com, 610-760-2170.
• More about shelter in Bethlehem... [Scott Allen, writing on Bakery, Jan. 3] The Cathedral and St. Andrew's offered the first overnight shelter in this recent history and we are going on our 5th year I believe. It is definitely harder this year as we have had over 30 men each Friday night (last week 35) which greatly taxes our human and material resources. But no one has suggested we stop doing it! The partnerships with other Churches is helpful---this week Church of the Mediator is making the evening and morning meal.
• Warmth in the night ... [Ed Erb] The shelter at Grace Honesdale is open for its third season, 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Shelter from the cold, hot food, warm clothing, fellowship.
• Ten important ways religion infuenced politics in 2012 ... [CNN Belief Blog] Here.
• The Book of Common Prayer ... every edition from 1549 to 1979. Here.
• Prayers and Thanksgivings from the BCP. Here.
• The Daily Office ... can be read online in Rite I, Rite II or the New Zealand Prayer Book versions. At Mission St. Clare.
• Holy Women, Holy Men ... Download Holy Women, Holy Men as a .pdf file.
• Enough ... [From Sam Portaro's blog on CREDO] It’s a profoundly spiritual practice to acknowledge and affirm when enough truly is enough. Here.
• Daily Episcopalian ... An Episcopal Café blog. Commentary on our Church and Communion as well as feature articles on theology, peace and justice initiatives and poplular culture. Here.
• Speaking to the Soul ... An Episcopal Café blog. Sermons, reflections, multimedia meditations and excerpts from books on spirituality. Here.
• Pray-As-You-Go ... [Irish Jesuits] Beautifully-done, 10-13-minute daily reflections for your MP3 player. Here.
• Bishop's School, Spring Semester 2013 ... At St. Stephen's Whitehall, beginning Jan. 12. Here.
• ERD's Disaster Preparedness Training this Saturday ... [John Major and Janine Ungvarsky] Dear Friends, As we celebrated the arrival of 2013 and looked back on 2012, did you notice how many of the past year retrospectives included images of disasters? Sources list nearly 100 natural disasters in America in just the last quarter of 2012, including the devastating superstorm in October. Episcopal News Service recently published a story about how local churches in New York and New Jersey have responded to the devastation faced by their neighbors in the aftermath of the October superstorm. The tremendous effort gave people a new perspective on churches and prompted one rector to say, “This is the church at its best.” If a disaster hit your community, would you be able to say that about your parish? Would you be ready, knowing what resources you have available to help your neighbors weather the storm and cope with the challenges thrust upon them? Would your parish represent “the church at its best?” The best way to be sure the answer to that question is “yes”is to complete Episcopal Relief & Development’s preparedness plan, and we can help you get that process started. The next training session will be held on Saturday, January 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. George’s Regional Disaster Recovery & Outreach Center, 408 E. Main St. Nanticoke. Each parish is asked to send two representatives, but more are welcome. For questions or reservations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 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.
• Trinity Bethlehem tour of English Cathedrals ... [Mother Laura Howell] The tour will depart on Monday, June 17, and return on Saturday, June 29. Cathedrals visited will include Canterbury Cathedral, Chichester Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, Wells Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral, Hereford Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey. The tour will also include a visit to the mysterious Stonehenge and three days in London. All breakfasts are included in the price along with dinners with the exception of the three nights in London when you are on your own to enjoy the city and see tourist sights. This will be a small tour group and many friendships and great experiences will take place. For additional information about first class hotels, luxury coach, and prices please contact Ron Spier (email@example.com).
• Amahl at Trinity Bethlehem ... [Mother Laura Howell] Gian-Carlo Menotti’s classic Amahl and the Night Visitors will be presented by Trinity Episcopal Church of Bethlehem on Friday, January 18, and Sunday, January 20. The opera tells the story of Amahl, a young peasant shepherd boy who can only walk with the aid of a staff. He and his mother are surprised one night by three kings who are seeking shelter. The action which follows is a display of response to temptation as well as to generosity and sacrifice. This enchanting story is set during the liturgical season of Epiphany. Tickets available at the door. Suggested donation of $15 per person. Children 12 and under are free. For additional information please call the church office at (610) 867-4741 X304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 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)
• Episcopal Web Radio ... Here.
• Episcopal Church Website ... ENS blog ... Episcopal Church on Facebook ... on YouTube ... on Twitter ... on foursquare ... and on Linked-In...
• Anglican Communion Website ... News Service. ... and News Service on Facebook.
• PBS series depicts American abolitionists as fired by faith ... [RNS] As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, PBS premieres The Abolitionists, a three-part series, on Tuesday (Jan. 8). Documentarian Rob Rapley, the writer and director of the series, talked with Religion News Service about the role religion played in the lives of the abolitionists. Documentarian Rob Rapley, the writer and director of the series, talked with Religion News Service about the role religion played in the lives of the abolitionists. Read on.
• Houses of Worship seeking FEMA grants face constitutional barriers ... [NYTimes] Here.
• Fun facts about tonight's BCS game ... Before Monday night's national championship game, a University of Notre Dame football captain will lead the team through a prayer called Litany of the Blessed Virgin. "Mother of our Savior," a captain will say. "Pray for us," the team will respond. It's a ritual familiar to Catholics. But most players on the Notre Dame squad aren't Catholic. So participation in that ritual is voluntary. More in the Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, Alabama is the country's most Protestant state, according to Gallup.
• Church of England OKs (celibate) gay bishops ... [RNS] The Church of England on Friday (Jan. 4) confirmed that it has dropped its prohibition on gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops — but only if they agree to remain celibate. Read on.
• Lutheran 'comfort dogs' welcome children back to Newtown school ... [RNS] As the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School returned to class on Thursday (Jan. 3) for the first time since last month’s deadly shooting spree, they and their parents were greeted by police escorts, support counselors, teachers – and a team of four-legged pastors. Read on.
• NEPA Synod website ... Here. ELCA website ... Here. ELCA News Service ... Here. ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."
• Ministry with Our Elders (Senior Adults) ... [Moravian Continuing Ed] A course for clergy, parish nurses, secretaries of congregations, pastoral care visitors, and other caregivers. Luther Crest (800 Hausman Road, Allentown) will host a Moravian Theological Seminary course on Mondays, January 21 through February 25, 2013, 1:30-4:30 p.m. This six-week course is designed for clergy and laity who want to become more effective in ministry with the senior adults with whom they serve. Participants will have an opportunity to improve their skills of communication with older adults, as well as gain an understanding of the life issues that confront them. The course will cover the following topics: grief, dynamics and issues of dementia and aging, caring for the caregiver, life review, spirituality and faith, visitation and communication skills, effects of aging on family systems, and community resources. Cost for this 1.8 CEU course is $60 (payable to Moravian Theological Seminary, 1220 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018-6650); early bird registration is $50 (by January 7, 2013). For more information, please contact Luther Crest's Chaplain Dianne Kareha (610-391-8210) or go to http://moravianseminary.edu/continuing-ed.html.
• 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.
• Top five under-covered Vatican stories of 2012 ... [John Allen, NCR] Here.
• Küng still resists the 'Roman Inquisition' ... [NCR] This is the first in a series of articles, a joint reporting project by NCR and GlobalPost.com, examining the background and the principal players in the Vatican's investigations of U.S. women religious. Here.
• A New Inquisition: The Vatican targets Nuns ... [NCR] This is the second in a series of articles, a joint reporting project by NCR and GlobalPost.com, examining the background and the principal players in the Vatican's investigations of U.S. women religious. Here.
• 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.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... November and December issues of Canon Kitch's newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources.
• Forward Movement ... News and Notes, November.
• The Alban Institute ... Here.
• ECF Vital Practices ... Here.
• Faith in Public Life ... Here.
• The Chalice, a publication of DioBeth's Lifelong Christian Formation Committee created by Joan DeAcetis for older adults and caretakers. Download issues here.
• Weekly Bulletin Inserts from the Episcopal Church ... Here.
• Episcopal Web Radio ... 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.
• 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 addresses. Many 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 Bethlehem unless 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, 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]