newSpin, the newsletter
March 20, 2013, the first day of Spring
Published on Monday
Occasionally, abbreviated, also on Thursday
• DioLight ... On Wednesday, March 13, Bishop sent to all parishes a mailing called DioLight. This is to be treated as a Pastoral Letter from the Bishop, which must, by canon, be shared with the parish on Sunday. This will be sent biweekly. While Pastoral Letters are usually read at all Sunday services, Bishop Paul asks that DioLight be: (1) printed and put into the Sunday bulletins as an insert, (2) distributed through email lists, (3) delivered to the sick and shut in on pastoral visits. Each edition of DioLight will be sent electronically to arrive by Wednesday. It will contain a word of encouragement from the Bishop, a note about ministry in the diocese, and brief news. DioLight will contain plenty of Good News. Please share it intentionally and abundantly. Read the first issue here.
• Chrism Mass ... Thursday, March 21, 11 a.m., The Cathedral of the Nativity. Bishop Paul looks forward to being with you on this important day. There will be a box at the rear of the Cathedral for items for the Trinity Soup Kitchen. Please see next message.
Trinity Soup Kitchen serves more than 150 people daily ... [Marcie Lightwood, Trinity social worker] Trinity has been serving Bethlehem's most disadvantaged people for more than 32 years. We provide a hot meal with fresh fruit, salad, dessert, bread and main dish every weekday, even holidays. We get donations from area grocery stores, which we put out for folks to take home. Over the past five years, our numbers have gone from about 80 guests a day to more than 150 people every day now. Our contributions have stayed stable, but our costs are way up. We are $20,000 behind for this year, and we are looking for monetary help from area foundations. Due to the economy, so is everyone else. The guests also need non-food items, especially: Deodorant, Shampoo & conditioner, Body Wash/Soap, Disposable razors, Toilet paper, Diapers (mostly larger sizes), Women's sanitary supplies.
Drop items off at Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 E. Market Street. Everyone is welcome to eat with us; you may come and see this mission of mercy with your own eyes if you wish. We serve from 12 - 1 every weekday. Someone is at the church Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., and of course, on Sunday mornings. I also would be glad to come speak to any group in your congregation.
• Pope Francis
... [NYTimes] At formal start of his papacy, Pope Francis offers a passionate pledge to serve "the poorest, the weakest, the least important." ...
[AP, Rachel Zoll] Inside the Conclave ... [The Revealer, Ann Neumann] Center of Gravity ... [NCR, Young Voices] The unfailing hope of progressive Catholics ...
[CNN Belief Blog] Pope's four biggest challenges Charm alone won't be enough. 1. Two-thirds of the 1.2 billion Catholics on the planet today live in the Southern Hemisphere, a share projected to reach three-quarters by mid-century. 2. The rising tide of anti-Christian violence and persecution in various global hotspots. 3. The unfinished business of the clerical sexual abuse scandals, which represent the greatest blow to the moral authority of the Catholic Church in centuries. 4. A Church in Europe and North America that appears to be increasingly at odds with the surrounding secular culture ...
[Spiegel Online] Hopes are high for Pope of the poor ...
[NCR, John Allen] Not him, not him, therefore him ...
[Sightings] Non-Catholic Christians neither look on in envy at inflated Catholic coverage of Pope Francis nor without sympathy for a suffering church, says Martin Marty ...
[Religion & Politics] Theology has consequences: What policies will Pope Francis champion? ...
[Commonweal] Francis & the Junta ... What did Bergoglio do during the dirty war? ...
[Tom Ehrich, RNS] Honest questions ...
• South Sudan: We will persevere ... [Bishop Anthony Poggo, Kajo Keji] Here.
• A virtual Stations of the Cross ... [Episcopal Diocese of Alabama] The Diocese of Alabama plans to provide a virtual Stations of the Cross via our Twitter (https://twitter.com/DioAlaNews) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/dioala) accounts. Each hour beginning at 7:00 a.m. CDT March 29, we will tweet, and post to our Facebook page via HootSuite, one of the 14 traditional Stations of the Cross. We are inviting folks to take a moment to read and silently reflect on the passion and death of our Lord. Those who would like to share a personal reflection will be invited to do so by tweeting, or appending a short reflection as a comment to the station on our Facebook page. The hourly posts will be drawn, with permission (following payment of a small fee), from the Book of Occasional Services.
• 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.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... Canon Anne Kitch's March monthly newsletter on Christian formation. Includes ten formation ideas for any parish. Here.
• Is it business ... or personal? ... [Bill Lewellis] They called him "Shim." Great fun, at his expense. He lived in a shack along a highway. When I was a child, he was a customer and the butt of jokes in the neighborhood bar my parents owned and operated. I did not, until years later, realize why they called him Shim. There was no partition between the side room of tables and the community bar. Families frequented the side room. A First-Communion party took place there for me and my classmates. The place was a small-town Cheers, where everybody knows your name. As a child, I had easy access from our kitchen and living quarters. I thought of our customers as my friends. My father was bartender and bouncer. In his kingdom, he made the rules; he enforced them, as required, with warnings, fists or club. Read on at The Morning Call or the newSpin blog.
• PA Council of Churches ministry of public advocacy ... [Diana Marshall] March 15 news and action summary here.
• Education for Ministry ... [Cathy Bailey] 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, at Pocono Plateau Retreat Center in Cresco. 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. Online registration at diobeth.org. Further details later. More info here. and here.
• 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 email@example.com.
• Stewardship and Evangelism Conference ... May 18, St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. Online registration will open April 1 at diobeth.org.
• St. Matthew's Society Annual Reception ... May 19, Lehigh Country Club, Allentown
• Vocare ... May 31 to June 2, location to be determined. Registration will open online on April 15 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.]
... [Bishop Paul] You may know that Fr. Frank St. Amour announced his resignation at St. Stephen's, Whitehall, early last month. After working with the vestry and having had input from parishioners, I have appointed the Rev. Charles Warwick to serve as Vicar at St. Stephen's, beginning on April 8. I ask your thanksgivings for the gifts Fr. St. Amour brought to the parish, and ask your prayers for Father Warwick and his ministry with in Whitehall. And blessings to all as we strive together to make Christ's life our own. More here.
• Tai Chi and Qigong at Trinity Bethlehem ... [Thomas Ardizzone] Weekly informal gatherings practicing Tai Chi and Qigong are held at Trinity Episcopal Church (44 E. Market St., Bethlehem, PA), 2nd floor chapel, Saturdays, at 10 AM. This peaceful hour spent in contemplative movement can help reduce stress and anxiety and increase flexibility and balance. Sessions are free and open to the public. Donations go to the church’s soup kitchen. For more information contact: Tom Ardizzone at: email@example.com.
• How to write church announcements ... Here.
• Note to parishes ... Post news summaries and links on Bakery or send them to Bill.
Rest in peace
• Marshall Traummell Mays ... father of the Rev. Foster Mays who was ordained a transitional deacon at the Cathedral in December and is currently completing his studies at Sewanee. Mr. Mays was buried from Trinity Cathedral in Columbia SC, March 15. Read his obituary here. Please keep Foster and his family in your prayers. Notes can be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 305 Curlicue Road, Sewanee, TN 37375.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• James Martin SJ to offer Kay Butler Gill lecture at GTS ... April 11. More info here.
• House of Deputies newsletter ... Here.
• Human Trafficking: A Churchwide Conversation ... the forum hosted by Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, is now available on line here. Text of PB's address here.
• 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.
• Episcopal Positions (NYC/DC) ... Here.
• How movements die ... [Episcopal Café, Andrew Gerns] David Brooks reflects on what makes movements vital and what makes movements die. One sign of death: closing ranks in a search for purity. Read on.
• How beer gave us civilization ... [NYTimes Sunday Review] Here.
• Megachurch pastor tells minor that Jesus wanted them to get a room ... [Chicago Sun-Times] Former First Baptist Church of Hammond pastor Jack Schaap’s affair with a 17-year-old girl last summer not only wasn’t wrong but was desired by Jesus Christ. That’s what he claimed in one of several letters he wrote to the victim during his crime, couching the sexual relationship as part of her personal salvation and something Jesus Christ wanted. Read on.
• Are you living in an elitist bubble? ... [BigThink] Take the quiz. Here.HeadSpin
• What would Christ say? ... [NCR] Cars registered to the Vatican display license plates with the letters SCV. Officially, those initials stand for Stato della Citta del Vaticano (Vatican City State). But Italians say SCV stands for "Se Cristo Vedesse" ("If Christ could see it.") One wonders: What if Christ could see it? What would he say? Read on.
• You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay ... [Bill Lewellis] Dr. Aaron Kelley (former emergency physician with Lehigh Valley Health Network), his wife Stephanie and their four young children left about six weeks ago for a two-year stint in Tenwek Hospital, Kenya. They are evangelical volunteers with World Mission. On March 14, their infant daughter died of a brain tumor, diagnosed only the day before. Their faith anchors an incredibly inspiring story told through his and her blogs. [h/t Milton Carrero, writing at the Morning Call health blog.]
• NEPA Synod E-News ... March 15.
• 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.
• Catholic teachers must sign loyalty oath ... [NCR] Teachers and administrators in the Santa Rosa Diocese have until March 15 to sign a letter of intent to renew their contracts for the 2013-2014 school year. The contracts now include an addendum requiring they agree they are "a ministerial agent of the bishop" and that they reject "modern errors" that "gravely offend human dignity," including "but not limited to" contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage and euthanasia. Titled "Bearing Witness," the addendum states teachers must live their lives "in conformity with the 10 Commandments" and Catholic teachers must "acknowledge" that attending Mass every Sunday and on holy days of obligation is "an especially important form of my duty to give witness to my faith." Read on.
• PBS Learning Media ... [PBS] Here.
• Free File ... If your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $57,000 or less, you may qualify to use a brand name tax software to prepare and e-file your taxes for free. Answer a few questions on IRS.gov to help you determine your eligibility to use Free File tax software. If your AGI is more than $57,000, you can still use Free File fillable forms for your federal tax return. Learn more about Free File for all taxpayers.
• Quick Tips for Better Video ... [Diocese of Colorado] Written by Alex Haralson, Youth Coordinator, who has a background in video production. Download the pdf 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.
Events in our parishes ... Here.
Around the Episcopal Church ... Here.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... Canon Anne Kitch's March 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]