newSpin, the newsletter
March 4, 2013
Published on Monday
Occasionally, abbreviated, also on Thursday
• Diocesan Training Day ... Saturday, March 9, at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. More info here. Deadline to register: today (Monday). Register online here.
• Five Wednesday evenings at the Cathedral with Bishop Paul ... [Began Feb. 20] Some days we barely survive; other days we thrive. Over five Wednesday evenings in Lent from 7-8, Bishop Paul invites us to look at some of the spiritual tools that make for a good day even in troubled circumstances. With help from scripture, poetry, and music we will look at five of our many tools: Faith, Wonder, Meaning, Sacrifice, and Self-examination. More here.
• Diocese seeks Missioner for Communication and Congregational Renewal ... Are
you a digital native, passionate about new ways of communicating
ancient traditions and furthering our diocesan mission to "Live God's
love. Tell what you have seen and heard"? Are you a superb volunteer
coordinator? Can you think strategically? Do you have excellent
communication skills? If so, we want you to become a part of our team.
The Diocese of Bethlehem is currently accepting applications for the
position of Missioner for Communication and Congregational Renewal. This
is a full-time, salaried position working out of Diocesan House.
Deadline for submission of letter of interest and resumes is March 5,
2013. Download job description and details on subission info here.
• Christophany ... [Ellyn Siftar, Missioner for Youth and Young Adult Ministries] A Christophany is an appearance, or non-physical manifestation, of Christ. The Christophany retreat weekend for youth in grades 6-12 will take place Friday to Sunday, April 19-21, and our mission is related to our theme, SPARKED! Over these three days we will learn about God's love for us and how to bring that love into the world as we spend time in nature in the lovely Pocono mountains and come to know each other better. Each year the youth council chooses a mission and this year's outreach project will be to collect items for the Middle School Mission Team this summer. Further details later. More info here. and here.
• The Vatican is stuck in a monarchical past
... [NCR, Tom Roberts] It is not merely the outward appearance of royalty that lashes the
church to unworkable governance. It is more the daily expectation that
royal privilege still applies. It is the presumption that somehow, in
the 21st century, with the skeletons of unyielding hierarchy all around
us, this monarchy will work where others have failed. The evidence,
abundant and continuing to pile up, is that in many respects it is
failing miserably. One wonders if the evidence will be part of the
discussion when the cardinals sequester themselves next month to perform
the most secret task in their secretive culture. More here.
• Honor Benedict's honesty with bolder initiatives ... [Editorial, NCR Staff] Our church is "200 years out of date" and in need of a "radical transformation," Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said in an interview two weeks before his death last August. "The church is tired," he said. "Our culture has grown old, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our religious rites and the vestments we wear are pompous." The statement was remarkable not because it was new but because it came from a cardinal. The people of God, including priests, women religious and laity, have been saying as much for decades. Benedict's resignation now frees and amplifies these voices. Benedict's example in departing may be the lesson itself, instructing us that bold reform is necessary for the future health of the church, for the effectiveness of our collective ability to preach the Gospels to the world. More here.
• A Vatican Spring? ... [NYTimes Op-Ed, Hans Küng] As the last active theologian to have participated in the Second Vatican
Council (along with Benedict), I wonder whether there might not be, at
the beginning of the conclave, as there was at the beginning of the
council, a group of brave cardinals who could tackle the Roman Catholic
hard-liners head-on and demand a candidate who is ready to venture in
new directions. Might this be brought about by a new reforming council
or, better yet, a representative assembly of bishops, priests and lay
people? If the next conclave were to elect a pope who goes down the same old
road, the church will never experience a new spring, but fall into a new
ice age and run the danger of shrinking into an increasingly irrelevant
sect. More here.
• The new pope's three key challenges ... [The (London) Guardian, Andrew Brown] An obstructionist Vatican, a chronic shortage of priests and a shrinking worldwide congregation. Here.
• Repeal the Second Amendment ... [America, Editorial] The Supreme Court has ruled that whatever the human costs involved, the Second Amendment “necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” The justices are right. But the human cost is intolerable. Repeal the Second Amendment. Here.
• Living into the practice of truthfulness ... [Christine D. Pohl] In this excerpt from "Living into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us," the theologian and ethicist explores what it means to live truthfully, one of the four practices at the heart of thriving Christian communities. Read on.
• For Lent ... See the February 14 newSpin newsletter, 130214. Here. Begin late. Better than not at all.
• 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.
• Speaking to the Soul ... An Episcopal Café blog. Sermons, reflections, multimedia meditations and excerpts from books on spirituality. Here.
• Beyond words ... [Bishop Paul served as conference preacher for the June 2012 Association of Anglican Musicians in Philadelphia. He preached four sermons. This is an excerpt from the first.] "Not all of us believe with words ... For the orthodox Christianity of Mahler's day, the creed was for the most part data, not a song. So perceived, it ultimately reduced God to an object, capable of study, dissection and definition, the fuel for debate and even persecution. Such talk of a domesticated and definable God does not invite the ecstasy of music ... To those for whom the idea of God as object is unthinkable or at least uninviting, it is life-giving to observe that the creed has gotten more musical of late. The revival of Trinitarian theology in the last two generations has been at its heart the rediscovery by western Christians that what the ancient church chose to say about God is not in the first place data; it is doxology . .. Doxology comes from reflection on both practical and ecstatic experience; and Trinitarian doxology comes to the conclusion that God is, in God's deepest self, in relationship, from before time and forever. Many have observed that the Greek word for that relationship is very like the word for dance. Three distinct persons in one eternal Dance. Delicate, rhythmic, supple, inviting. ... Trinitarian heresies simplified words about God, made God seem understandable and manageable, pedestrian and certainly less lyrical. What we call the heresies often moved theology from the mystical dance to something like bad Powerpoint." Read on.
• Andante: Starving Artists ... A closer look at ourselves, in our desperate moments ... [Bishop Paul served as conference preacher for the June 2012 Association of Anglican Musicians in Philadelphia. He preached four sermons. This is an excerpt from the second.] The first lesson this morning from Numbers 11 is an unfortunate example of the humorlessness of lectionary makers, who have trimmed a story from the wild side into something perhaps too neat and tidy. In its context Numbers chapter 11 is another of those stories that is many layers deep and thoroughly soaked with irony. It starts with the people being tired of miraculous manna – there is the first movement of a cantata right there. In any event, they are sick of the miracle food and remember the Chateau Briand, Hagen Dazs®, and single-malt back in the ghetto in Egypt. Sure, they may have been slaves, but they had all the basic food groups. Moses is caught completely off guard by this concern popping up when they are finally getting on track with their mission, and we see him here overwhelmed, losing his vision. So he complains to God for most of the chapter, ending up with a stunning combination of blaming, sacrcasm, and whining. Read on.
• PA Council of Churches ministry of public advocacy ... [Diana Marshall] March 1 news and action summary here.
• Chrism Mass ... March 21 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, 11 a.m. Please let Nanette Smith at 610-691-5655, x222, know how many people are coming from your parish.
• Christophany ... April 19-21 at Pocono Plateau Retreat Center in Cresco. Online registration opened March 1 at diobeth.org.
• Disaster Preparedness Training ... April 27, 10:00 a.m., St. George's Regional Disaster and Recovery Center, Nanticoke. Registrations may be made for the workshop by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Stewardship and Evangelism Conference ... May 18, location to be determined. Online registration will open April 1 at diobeth.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.
• Allentown/Bethlehem ... Social ministries at St. Andrew's. Here.
• Allentown ... Social ministries at Grace. Here.
• Athens ... Social ministries at Trinity. Here.
• Bethlehem ... Social ministries at Cathedral Church of Nativity. Here.
• Bethlehem ... Social ministries at Trinity. Here.
• Douglassville ... Social ministries at St. Gabriel's. Here.
• Easton ... Social ministries at Trinity. Here.
• Glenburn/Clarks Summit ... Social ministries at Epiphany. Here.
• Forest City ... Social ministries at Christ Church. Here.
• Hazleton ... Social ministries at St. Peter's. Here.
• Hellertown ... Social ministries at St. George's. Here.
• Honesdale ... Social ministries at Grace. Here.
• Jermyn ... Social ministries at St. James-St. George. Here.
• Kutztown ... Social ministries at St. Barnabas. Here.
• Moscow ... Social ministries at St. Mark's. Here.
• Mt. Pocono ... Social ministries at Trinity. Here.
• North Parish ... Social ministries at the three churches. Here.
• Pottsville ... Social ministries at Trinity. Here.
• Reading ... Social ministries at Christ Church. Here.
• Sayre ... Social ministries at Church of the Redeemer. Here.
• Susquehanna ... Social ministries at Christ Church. Here.
• Troy ... Social ministries at St. Paul's. Here.
• Tunkhannock ... Social ministries at St. Peter's. Here.
• West Pittston ... Social ministries at Trinity. Here.
• Wilkes-Barre ... Social ministries at St. Stephen's. Here.
[Highlighting parish social ministries will be a continuing item.
Send corrections and additions to email@example.com.]
Rest in peace
• Dr. C. Everett Koop ... widely regarded as the most influential surgeon general in American history and played a crucial role in changing public attitudes about smoking, died February 25 at his home in Hanover, N.H. He was 96. ... Dr. Koop issued emphatic warnings about the dangers of smoking, he almost single-handedly pushed the government into taking a more aggressive stand against AIDS, and despite his moral opposition to abortion, he refused to use his office as a pulpit from which to preach against it. ... Where he failed, in his own view, was to interest either Reagan or his successor as president, George Bush, in making health care available to more Americans. More at NYTimes. And USA Today editorial.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• The Episcopal Church’s gay rights pilgrimage ... [WaPo, Marc Handley Andrus, Diocese of California, Feb. 28] The Episcopal Church has always seen itself as existing in our culture, not outside or above or in opposition to our culture. ... We are a church that believes Christ continues to be with the world, moving with us, helping us find meaning in moments of joy and also loss and pain. ... It can definitely be unsettling to find that some structures and beliefs are not fixed and unchanging. Add to that the fact that the Episcopal Church has no doctrine of infallibility, of anybody, and one can understand those who prefer more predictability. For me, I hope to stay open to divine surprise. Read on.
• A bishop and a rabbi walk into a boardroom ... [WYNC News] WNYC asked two religious leaders based in New York to reflect on the management challenges of leading a faith organization in the 21st century. Read on.
• House of Deputies newsletter ... Here.
• Human Trafficking ... Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will host an hour-long exploration into the church’s work in Human Trafficking on Wednesday, March 6. Human Trafficking: A Churchwide Conversation will originate from the Chapel of Christ the Lord in the Church Center in New York City beginning at 2 pm Eastern. It will be presented via WebEx. Participation is limited; advance registration is mandatory. To register: firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit a question, email@example.com, More info here. Also here.
• Restructuring principles for the church ... [George Clifford, Episcopal Café] Part One. Part Two.
• Episcopal Church Website ... ENS blog ... Episcopal Web Radio ... Episcopal Church on Facebook ... YouTube ... Twitter ... foursquare ... and Linked-In ...
• Anglican Communion Website ... News Service. ... and News Service on Facebook.
• DioBeth Missioner for Communication and Congregational Renewal ... A new full-time position in the Diocese of Bethlehem. See above, under TopSpin.
• Episcopal Jobs ... Here.
• Director of Music: St. Paul's Lutheran, 36 S. Eighth St., Allentown, is seeking a director of music. Two weekly services; chancel choir, bell choir; 4-manual Moeller pipe organ, rebuilt 1992; grand piano in sanctuary. About 15 hours weekly; salary $13,000-16,000, depending on training and experience. Contact Eunice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Organist and Choir Director: Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Whitehall, is looking for a part-time organist and choir director to direct a senior choir, youth choir and handbell choir. One service a week. Salary range from $16,000 to $17,500. Contact the church office at 610-262-1600 for more details.
• Capitalists for preschool ... [NYTimes] The business case for early childhood education. ... The debate over preschool is also partly a debate over inequality. Our nation is becoming divided: an America of well-off, well-educated families, who can afford pre-K education, and struggling families who are living in poverty or close to it (often, even while holding down full-time jobs), have modest educations, living in challenged circumstances, and can’t. Do we really think it is fair to predetermine children’s chances for success in life based on what ZIP code they live in? More here.
• Who made that sliced bread? ... [NYTimes Magazine] In 1928, a full-page newspaper ad announced the first presliced loaf of bread. It included instructions: 1) “Open wrapper at one end”; 2) “Pull out pin”; 3) “Remove as many slices as desired.” At the time, as everyone knew, cut bread quickly went stale. Anticipating consumers’ fears, Otto Rohwedder, a Missouri-based inventor, inserted a U-shaped pin at both ends of his presliced loaf to hold the bread together inside the resealable bag, creating an illusion of wholeness that signified freshness. ... He teamed up with a baker named Frank Bench who supplied — literally and figuratively — the dough. The product they created became a runaway hit. By 1930, sliced bread had spread to almost every town in America. Read on.
• The Wages of Celibacy ... or not ... [NYTimes and America] NYTimes columnist Frank Bruni writes that priestly celibacy is pretty much the reason for everything bad that has ever happened in the church, and maybe anywhere. Jesuit Francis X. Clooney has a gentle but pointed pushback. [h/t Religion News Daily and Bruce Baker]
• Lutheran Satire presents ... Choose Your Pope.
• Virginia Beach church faces deadline to separate RC/Episcopal ... [Associated Press and The Virginia Pilot] Diocese of Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has told the Virginia Beach Church
of the Holy Apostles congregation to separate its 30-year-old blended Roman Catholic and Episcopal services in order to bring its liturgical celebrations
into conformity with the Roman Catholic Church. Read the diocesan statement here and here.
[There's local flavor in this story. Bishop DiLorenzo, a onetime Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest, was
auxiliary bishop of Scranton during the late 80s and early 90s. The progressive Bishop Walter Sullivan, one of the Jadot bishops, only a
few remain, was named Bishop of Richmond in 1974 and served there for
30 years. He helped launch the blended parish/service at Holy Apostles
in Virginia Beach. Also in1974, the northern part of Virginia was carved out of the Diocese
of Richmond to become the Diocese of Arlington, smaller but perhaps
more prestigious (butting up against DC) than the larger parent diocese
of Richmond in the southern part of Virginia. Bishop Thomas Welsh was named bishop of the new Diocese of Arlington where he served until 1983 when he was named bishop of the Diocese of Allentown. One of the problems, I believe in the city of Arlington during the 70s, was an
established parish council with authority rather than the faux RC parish
advisory councils. Welsh, it seemed to me at the time, was Rome's man
to quietly clean things up there. His attempt to do so created a controversy that
was covered by the Washington Post and drew national attention.]
• Cardinal admits sexual misconduct, but questions remain ... [NCR] The Vatican had known about the allegations for five months and had apparently hoped that they would slip away from vision as the Cardinal retired. More here.HeadSpin
• Who paid the bill ... [NCR, Viewpoint, Thomas Doyle] When the bishops' cheerleaders throughout the country accuse the victims' lawyers of being greedy, they should take another look at the dozens of attorneys who made up Mahony's brigade, all of whom were high-priced and none of whom worked pro bono for even an hour. Whenever the cardinal appeared for a deposition or meeting involving the cases, at least six and often 10 lawyers accompanied him. Who paid the legal fees? The "people of God" of the Los Angeles archdiocese. Who else? Read on.
• NEPA Synod E-News ... March 1.
• NEPA Synod website ... Here. ELCA website ... Here. ELCA News Service ... Here. ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."
• 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.
• Analysis: Vatican intrigue is age-old part of papal politics ... [RNS] Here.
• Cataloging health care's excesses ... [NYTimes, Bloomberg News] The cover story in last week's TIME magazine, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” is a serious, exhaustively reported piece about the problem the U.S. health care system has become. The article, by Steven Brill, has created unusual buzz in Washington; it spares no vested interest. Read on.
• Stress-busting smiles ... [WSJournal] Smiling could be good for your health.
• Your mind is hooked on being right ... [Harvard Business Review, Judith Glaser] I'm sure it's happened to you: You're in a tense team meeting trying to defend your position on a big project and start to feel yourself losing ground. Your voice gets louder. You talk over one of your colleagues and correct his point of view. He pushes back, so you go into overdrive to convince everyone you're right. It feels like an out of body experience — and in many ways it is. In terms of its neurochemistry, your brain has been hijacked. Read on.
• Flu Situation 2013 ... Here.
• God's Light Show ... [NYTimes Magazine] Aurora Borealis photos. Here.
• Why public schools should teach the Bible ... [WSJournal] Here.
• The Longest Night ... [The Revealer] Children’s author Laurel Snyder has just released a new children’s book, The Longest Night, a retelling of the story of Exodus from the perspective of one of the Israelite children living in Egypt. More here.
• Your smartphone as a personal safety device ... [Make Use of] Here.
• Free eBooks by Project Gutenberg ... Here. • Free Audiobooks from LibriVox ... Here. • Free Audiobooks and eBooks ... Here and Here.
• Google Books ... Millions of books you can preview or read free. Here. • The Online Books Page ... from UPenn. Here.
• More free eBooks and Audiobooks ... [Techlicious] Here.
What's Happening in our parishes? ... Here.
What's Happening around the Episcopal Church? ... Here.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... Canon Anne Kitch's February monthly newsletter on Christian formation ... Here.
• Forward Movement ... Here.
• The Alban Institute ... Here.
• ECF Vital Practices ... Here.
• Faith in Public Life ... Here. A strategy center for the faith community advancing faith in the public square as a force for justice, compassion and the common good.
• Religion&Ethics News Weekly (PBS) ... 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.
• Updated Episcopal Church canons and constitution available online ... Here.
• 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 in a somewhat abbreviated form, 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]