The newSpin newsletter
January 14, 2013
Published weekly, on Monday
• Montessori School in Allentown celebrates 20 years of diversity ... [The Morning Call, Libby House] Did you know Maria Montessori's first classroom, Casa del Bambini (House of Children), was founded in 1907 in a tenement in Rome? The first Italian woman to receive a medical degree, Montessori started her school with 50 poor children living in a slum and successfully taught them, using her method based on the belief that each child has within his or her own potential that can be developed fully when allowed to work independently, with great educational materials and help from highly trained teachers. News of her school quickly spread throughout the world, as did the highly respected Montessori Method. While most people think of Montessori schools as located in leafy suburban locales or cosmopolitan areas, did you know that a very successful Montessori School has been operating in inner-city Allentown for the past 20 years? A Montessori School in downtown, drawing families with children from all over the Lehigh Valley? Read on. Also here.
• 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.” Registration deadline is Jan. 21. 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/
• Same-sex weddings to begin at National Cathedral ... [WaPo, Michelle Boorstein, Jan. 8] Washington National Cathedral — the seat of the Episcopal Church, one of the world’s largest cathedrals and the host of the official prayer service for the presidential inauguration later this month — has decided to start hosting same-sex weddings. In some ways, the announcement that is expected Wednesday morning [Jan. 9] is unsurprising for a denomination and a diocese that long ago took up the cause of marriage equality. But the cathedral’s stature and the image of same-sex couples exchanging vows in the soaring Gothic structure visited by a half-million tourists each year is symbolically powerful. Read on. It's not big news anymore, says WaPo columnist, even though major and regional newspapers across the country carried the story. Here. University of the South: " only if the bishop in the place where the couple lives approves. Here.
• Spiritual but not religious ... [Episcopal Café, CNN Religion Blog] A study published in this month's British Journal of Psychiatry, says spiritual but not religious people are more likely to develop mental problems and dependence on drugs. Read on. Don't miss the comments.
• Widow of Medgar Evans to give opening prayer at Inaugural ... [Episopal Café] Myrlie Evers-Williams widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, will deliver the opening prayer at President Obama’s second inaugural, perhaps the first time that a women and non-clergy member will deliver this very public invocation. Read on.
• Faith, Activism and Martin Luther King's Legacy ... [Odyssey Networks] Here.
• Martin Luther King, Jr., Day ... Here.
• Scott Benhase: Stewards of God's Foolishness ... King's message comes straight from the church.
• Out of Control: Confronting gun violence ... [Commonweal Magazine editorial] Here.
• US preoccupation with guns in the enemy within ... [Joan Chittister, NCR] Right now we are the most violent developed country on the planet. Why is that? Why can't we get reasonable gun control laws through a supposedly civilized Congress? After all, we require the registration of cars, also a potentially lethal weapon, and the leashing of dogs that don't bite at all. Is the control of military weapons too much to ask? Or is it possible that car owners and dog owners don't buy as many members of Congress as gun owners do? More here.
• More to life than being happy ... [The Atlantic] The very pursuit of happiness thwarts happiness ... In September 1942, Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and neurologist in Vienna, was arrested and transported to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and parents. Three years later, when his camp was liberated, most of his family, including his pregnant wife, had perished -- but he, prisoner number 119104, had lived. In his bestselling 1946 book, Man's Search for Meaning, which he wrote in nine days about his experiences in the camps, Frankl concluded that the difference between those who had lived and those who had died came down to one thing: Meaning, an insight he came to early in life. When he was a high school student, one of his science teachers declared to the class, "Life is nothing more than a combustion process, a process of oxidation." Frankl jumped out of his chair and responded, "Sir, if this is so, then what can be the meaning of life?" As he saw in the camps, those who found meaning even in the most horrendous circumstances were far more resilient to suffering than those who did not. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing," Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning, "the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." Read on.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Jean Roth, wife of the Rev. Ralph Roth, Rector Emeritus, Trinity Church Mt. Pocono, died on Monday, Jan. 7. A Memorial Service was held at Trinity on Saturday, Jan. 12. May angels receive her and may she rest in eternal peace.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... January issue of Canon Kitch's newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources.
• Ash Wednesday ... February 13
• Renewal Assembly VII ... February 16 at multiple locations across the Diocese. Registration and more info here.
• Diocesan Training Day ... March 9 at St. Stephen's, Wilkes-Barre. Here. Registration will open online January 20.
• Chrism Mass ... March 21 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, 11 a.m.
• Christophany ... April 19-21 at Pocono Plateau Retreat Center in Cresco. Online registration opens March 1.
• Diocesan Evangelism and Stewardship Conference ... May 18 at St. Stephen's W-B.
• 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.
• Watch the Super Bowl on the big screen at the Cathedral ... February 3, 6:00 p.m., Sayre Hall. Stay until halftime or later. Benefits our Journey to Adulthood 2014 Pilgrims. Tickets will be available for sale in the lobby of Sayre Hall on Sundays from 9:30-10:45. $10 for Adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. Includes big game, snacks, dinner and nonalcoholic beverages. More info? Call Karen Kitabwalla at 610-366-9898 or the church office at 610-865-0727.
• Join 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
• See 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 email@example.com.
• Bethlehem ... Social ministries at Trinity. Here.
• Forest City ... Social ministries at Christ Church. Here.
• Hellertown ... Social ministries at St. George's. Here.
• West Pittston ... Social ministries at Trinity. Here.
[Highlighting parish social ministries will be a continuing item.]
• 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 and PBS] 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. Premiering on PBS January 8, 15 & 22, 2013. Abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation. More here.
• 'Zero Dark Thirty' tortures the truth about interrogations ... [NCR, RNS, Commentary] Nothing was tortured more in the making of Kathryn Bigelow's film "Zero Dark Thirty" than the truth about torture. While it's just a movie, it runs the risk of becoming the basis for a false view of reality for millions of moviegoers who have largely ignored a decade of debate about the efficacy of the United States sanctioning torture. To dismiss the movie as simple entertainment ignores the impact seeing it has on our perception of reality, even when we understand we are watching actors in a -- mostly -- pretend setting. The fact that "Zero Dark Thirty" was nominated this week for an Academy Award for Best Picture only underscores the importance of understanding what it gets wrong about torture. Read on.
• Over 50 and under no delusions ... [NYTimes] It's a baby boomer’s nightmare. One moment you’re 40-ish and moving up, the next you’re 50-plus and suddenly, shockingly, moving out — jobless in a tough economy. Too young to retire, too old to start over. Or at least that’s the line. Comfortable jobs with comfortable salaries are scarce, after all. Almost overnight, skills honed over a lifetime seem tired, passé. Twenty- and thirty-somethings will gladly do the work you used to do, and probably for less money. Yes, businesses are hiring again, but not nearly fast enough. Many people are so disheartened that they’ve simply stopped looking for work. For millions of Americans over 50, this isn’t a bad dream — it’s grim reality. The recession and its aftermath have hit older workers especially hard. People 55 to 64 — an age range when many start to dream of kicking back — are having a particularly hard time finding new jobs. For a vast majority of this cohort, being thrown out of work means months of fruitless searching and soul-crushing rejection. Read on.
• Beware stubby glasses ... [NYTimes, David Brooks] We spend trillions of dollars putting policies and practices into place, but most of these efforts are based on the crudest possible psychological guesswork. Fortunately, people in the behavioral sciences are putting policies to the test. Read on.
• The world's largest religious festival ... [HuffPost] Once every 12 years, tens of millions of pilgrims stream to the small northern city of Allahabad from across India for the Maha Kumbh Mela, or Grand Pitcher Festival, at the point where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet with a third, mythical river. Officials believe that over the next two months as many as 100 million people will pass through the temporary city that covers an area larger than Athens on a wide sandy river bank. Read on.
• Worry does all sorts of harm ... Here.
• Twelve electrifying memoirs and biographies you might have missed ... [Christian Science Monitor] Here.
• John Winthrop ... [Writer's Almanac] Puritan governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the leader of The Winthrop Fleet of 1630, the largest fleet of Englishmen ever to depart for the New World. Winthrop was a deeply religious man, and he believed that the Anglican Church needed to rid itself of Catholic ceremonies. He and his followers decided to leave England because they thought that God would punish their country for this heresy, and they thought they would be safe in the New World. More here.
• In East Harlem, another Catholic funeral on the sidewalk ... [NCR] Gonzalez's sidewalk funeral prompted the New York Daily News to call the incident "the most disgraceful episode in the checkered reign of Edward Cardinal Egan." But the situation would be no different under Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Last month, Villegas herself succumbed to breast cancer just two weeks before Christmas, at the age of 58. It was her dying wish to have her body lie, for one last time, inside of the church she called her spiritual home for more 30 years. "What she so yearned for in life was denied her in death," wrote David Gonzalez in The New York Times last month. "Although friends, family and politicians asked the archdiocese -- in writing, even -- to open wide the doors for one final adios, it did not." More Here.
• Is highlighting a waste of time? ... [Time Magazine] The best and worst learning techniques. Here.
• Israeli law aims to make ultrathin models obsolete ... [USA Today] Here.
• Please sign and return? You/ve got to be kidding ... [NCR] Roy Bourgeois, the longtime peace activist and Catholic priest dismissed by the Vatican because of his support for women's ordination, has received the official letter notifying him of the move three months after it was made. The letter, which comes from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is signed by the congregation's prefect on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI and states that the pope's decision in the matter is "a supreme decision, not open to any appeal, without right to any recourse." Written in Latin, the letter dismisses Bourgeois from the priesthood and restricts him from all priestly ministries. It asks Bourgeois to return a signed copy "as a proof of reception and at the same time of acceptance of the same dismissal and dispensation." The letter, dated Oct. 4, was made available Wednesday by Bourgeois, who said he received it last week from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the U.S. missionary society he served as a priest for 40 years. Bourgeois said he did not plan to return a signed copy. The congregation's letter does not make reference to specific charges against Bourgeois or mention his support for women's ordination, saying, "for the good of the Church, the dismissal from the said Society must be confirmed, and moreover, also the dismissal from the clerical state must be inflicted." "There's no mention of what I did," Bourgeois said. "There's no mention ... of women's ordination. What crime did I commit that brought about this serious sentence? There's no mention of that. What did I do? What am I being charged with?" Read on.
• The religious left needs strong moral issues ... [WaPo, Lisa Miller] “Why do reporters cover hateful and controversial religion stories but never the nice, good things that religious leaders do?” I’m inevitably asked this question by well-intentioned clergy members hoping to get more media coverage for their earnest interfaith work. There are two answers, and I always give both. Read on.
• How well do you know India? ... [Christian Science Monitor] India is the world's largest democracy, the birthplace of four world religions, and the crossroads of South Asia. The region was home to some of the world's earliest civilizations and its history includes ancient kingdoms, vast empires, European colonialism, and modern reinvention. How much do you know about India? Take the quiz.
• 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.
• German RC bishops sack head of independent sex abuse study ... [Reuters, Faith World] Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops sacked a criminologist studying sexual abuse of minors by their priests on Wednesday, prompting him to accuse them of trying to censor what was to be a major report on the scandals. The independent study, examining church files sometimes dating back to 1945, was meant to shed light on undiscovered cases of abuse after about 600 people filed claims against molesting priests in 2010 following a wave of revelations there. Read on.
• Congress by denomination ... [NCR, Catholic News Service] The 113th Congress includes a few more Catholics, the first Buddhist in the Senate and the first Hindu to serve in either chamber. It's a historic high for the number of Catholics in Congress, an increase of seven seats over the 156 Catholics had in the 112th Congress. Since at least the 1960s, Catholics have been the single largest denomination in Congress. Although when Protestant denominations are counted together, they still constitute the largest number of members, at 56 percent. Another analysis finds that alumni of Jesuit colleges and universities account for almost 10 percent of all members of Congress. More 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.
• Learn simple steps you can take to protect your health and safety ... [USA.gov] Some take less than a minute and could save your life or the life of a loved one. One minute or less: Wash your hands. Protect your skin. Buckle up. Check cruise ship inspection scores before you travel. Place infants back-to-sleep. Get info about these and 10 more steps that take one minute or less. Five minutes or less: Test smoke alarms. Do a skin and body check. Make an appointment (for medical exams, screenings, and immunizations). Know the signs and symptoms for heart attack and stroke. Take care of your teeth and gums. Get info about these and 15 more steps that take 5 minutes or less.
Calendar of Events/The Episcopal Church ... Here.
• How does the American Taxpayer Relief Act affect you? ... [USA.gov] President Obama signed the ATRA on January 2, 2013. This new law addresses many of the "fiscal cliff" policies that were debated by Congress at the end of 2012. Learn about the law and how it could affect you.
• Alban Institute's top ten articles of 2012 ... Here.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... January issue of Canon Kitch's newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources.
• Critical Java security risk ... [Techlicious] Please make sure you disable Java on your platform. Here's an article on how to do it easily.
• Forward Movement ... Here.
• 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]