newSpin, the newsletter
March 25, 2013, Monday in Holy Week
Published on Monday
Occasionally, abbreviated, also on Thursday
• Welcome to Now, by Anna Tjeltveit ... [The Morning Call] As community members took turns pleading with Allentown School District officials on Thursday night to reconsider proposed cuts to music and art, Raub Middle School student Anna Tjeltveit waited for her turn. After about two hours of listening to others, Anna finally heard her name called. The sixth-grader walked to the microphone at the front of Trexler Middle School Auditorium and read the following poem: "Welcome to Now" By Anna Tjeltveit ... They took away our future, When they took away the arts. Read on. [Anna is the daughter of The Rev. Maria and Alan Tjeltveit. Well done, Anna. Congratulations.]
• Interview with ABC Justin Welby ... [Religion&Ethics] Reconciliation is extraordinarily painful for those involved in the conflict. It’s not a magic wand that you wave over people, and suddenly everyone’s happy, and when they are I’m usually slightly suspicious. True reconciliation requires courage, honesty and integrity. Here. [Episcopal Café] Welby enthroned as ABC.
• High Court will hear arguments in two gay marriage cases ... [HuffPost] A line began forming at the Supreme Court this past Thursday for people who want to attend Tuesday's arguments in two gay marriage cases. More here. Also, Resources for Reporters here. NYTimes Q&A here.
• 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.
• Sermon at the Chrism Mass ... [John R. Francis, rector, Christ Church Reading] Eight years ago this past January, I rode into Reading, Berks County, from the badlands of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Pennsylvania, to be received by the lovely flock of Jesus at Christ Church and the Diocese of Bethlehem with its very stellar bishop. The quite attractive brown stone and red brick bell tower and church edifice, housed a cheery, bright white interior, with a classic Anglican style choir and high altar. I suddenly realized I was in Oxford-Movement heaven. Of course I was relieved that the altar was already free-standing. So immediately I began to read about and reflect upon the hard labor of all my predecessors and their clergy assistants and associates. Read on.
• 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
[RNS] How long will the pope's honeymoon last? A good analysis by David Gibson.
[NCR Editorial] Symbols and signs of a new era. Francis may be realizing what is thickly in the air: Catholics really want to like and believe in their leaders. As has been demonstrated, it doesn't take much. Catholics are not so much in search of world-class theology or grand international gestures as they are of authentic holiness and personal integrity. A few days of a leader speaking compassion and acting in a way that suggests he understands everyday Catholics and their struggles has moved a great deal of the world in Francis's direction.
[NCR] Five test of whether Pope Francis' reform of the Vatican could be real. Under Francis, simple is the new chic.
[NCR] Debunking three 'urban legends.'
• 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 limitations of being 'spiritual but not religious' ... [Time] Institutions, not abstract feelings, tie a community together and lead to meaningful change, says Rabbi David Wolpe. 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.
• Speaking to the Soul ... An Episcopal Café blog. Sermons, reflections, multimedia meditations and excerpts from books on spirituality. Here.
• Changes in Health Insurance Coverage for all Clergy and Lay Employees of the Diocese of Bethlehem ... [The Diocesan Insurance Committee and the Archdeacon] We have been hearing for some time that the Episcopal Church's Medical Trust has been crafting a denominational health insurance plan. General Convention requires that we participate. The Diocese of Bethlehem is among the many dioceses that are part of this new initiative. The Diocesan Insurance Committee has been working with Church Pension Group for many months to design a plan that will give us excellent coverage at reduced costs, since the "pool" of people is now the whole church.
In the next few weeks, those of you who are already covered by the diocesan health insurance plan will be receiving a letter from CPG about your new plan, with instructions for enrolling dependents The new plan is scheduled to take effect June 1, 2013. Please keep watch for this letter, and act speedily, so we can get you all enrolled.
Parishes which are not now members of the diocesan plan will have the opportunity to join after we process current enrollees. All clergy and lay employees of the Diocese of Bethlehem who receive health insurance must be enrolled in the denominational health plan by the end of 2013. Much more information will be forthcoming.
• 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 22 news and action summary here.
• A church crisis requires a communication plan ... [United Methodist Reporter] Crisis communication is never easy -- and it's even less easy when you pretend that it would never happen in "my" church. Read on.
• 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. Also, see the wish list for the Christophany Outreach Project here. What is Christophany? 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
• Gordon Cosby (1918-2013) ... [Patheos] Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove remembers Church of the Savior co-founder Gordon Cosby, who died in Washington, D.C. last week at age 95. Here. Also, from the WaPo archives, fueling a revolution in faith-based activism.
• Athena Bozakis ... [Michael Piovane, St. Anne's Trexlertown] Please pray for Athena Bozakis who died March 20 at Lehigh Valley Hospital. After 20 years of coping with serious illnesses, she is now in the loving care of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Kindly keep her family your prayers as they grieve her loss.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• National Cathedral dean on guns, church and gay marriage ... [NPR] The National Cathedral is at the forefront of a campaign for tighter gun laws. It's also taken a leading role in advocating marriage rights for gays and lesbians, and at the center of all these discussions is the relatively new dean of the cathedral, the Very Reverend Gary Hall. Read on.
• Archbishop of Canterbury enthroned in ancient splendor ... [ENS] Here.
• James Martin SJ to offer Kay Butler Gill lecture at General Seminary ... April 11. More info 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.
• An infant universe, born before we knew ... [NYTimes] Astronomers released the latest and most exquisite baby picture yet of the universe on Thursday, one that showed it to be 80 to 100 million years older and a little fatter, with more light and dark matter than previously thought, and perhaps ever so slightly lopsided. Recorded by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, the image is a heat map of the cosmos as it appeared only 370,000 years after the Big Bang, showing space speckled with faint spots from which galaxies would grow over billions of years. Read on.
• Our God is undocumented ... [HuffPost] The practice of hospitality, especially to strangers (the Bible's term for outsiders or people not of your tribe, clan or national group), is one of the most central teachings of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. ... The Bible portrays God as undocumented, standing with the undocumented foreigner and stranger, unwilling to be domesticated by any national or imperial agenda.* God stands outside of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman imperial narratives and calls people to a humanity beyond these divisions. Even when God's people have ignored this calling, the ideal of a community whose care and compassion goes beyond their national borders is impossible to avoid in the Bible. More here.
• Jim McGreevey needs your approval ... [New York magazine, Carl Swanson] Alexandra Pelosi, who specializes in making documentaries about “broken men,” made one about this one, called Fall to Grace, that HBO will air on March 28. Pelosi approached McGreevey and his partner, money manager Mark O’Donnell, three years ago, having followed the story in the tabloids—the coming out, the so-far unfulfilled bid for priesthood, the ugly divorce where his wife accused him of “fraud.” “Alexandra was relentless. She sent me a card with some witty script across the face of it,” McGreevey tells me. They turned her down, he says, but they became friends. “Then she started showing up.” McGreevey invited her to his house for a party, then to see his work with Integrity House, where he counsels women in prison and helps them rebuild their lives when they get out. It’s become a second calling to him, helping others get over the mistakes of their lives. Read on.
• On coming out in the political spotlight ... [Yale Daily News, Will Portman] "I came to Yale as a freshman in the fall of 2010 with two big uncertainties hanging over my head: whether my dad would get elected to the Senate in November, and whether I'd ever work up the courage to come out of the closet," writes Will Portman, the son of influential Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who on March 15, in advance of this week's hearings at the Supreme Court on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, announced his support for marriage equality, in a column referring to his son coming out to him and his wife in 2011. In today's column, the younger Portman weighs the burden of his father's public life against the opportunity to advance the rights of gay people. "I could certainly do without ... commentators weighing in to tell me things like living my life honestly and fully is 'harmful to [me] and society as a whole.' But in many ways it’s been a privilege to come out so publicly," he writes. "I hope that my dad’s announcement and our family’s story will have a positive impact on anyone who is closeted and afraid." Read on. [h/t The Atlantic Wire]
• Men in white ... [CSM] Here.
• Are you living in an elitist bubble? ... [BigThink] Take the quiz. Here.
• Why the rich don't give to charity ... [The Atlantic] The wealthiest Americans donate 1.3 percent of their income; the poorest, 3.2 percent. Writing in the Atlantic, Ken Stern asks what's up with that?
• 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. They are back home as we speak, for a while. [h/t Milton Carrero, writing at the Morning Call health blog.]
• NEPA Synod E-News ... March 22.
• 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.
• Major sex abuse uncovered in Joliet diocese ... [Chicago Tribune] The Joliet Diocese readily admitted that David Rudofski was sexually abused during his first confession at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. It offered him an in-person apology from the bishop and more than six times his annual salary in the hope of putting a quick, quiet end to yet another ugly incident involving a priest. But Rudofski wanted more than money. The south suburban electrician wanted the diocese to truly pay for its repeated and, oftentimes, willful mishandling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy — and he insisted on a currency far more precious to the church than money. He demanded that the diocese settle its debt by turning over the secret archives it maintained on abusive priests and making them available for public consumption. Read on.
• Letter by letter, keeping a Catholic outpost alive ... [NYTimes] In late February, two weeks into Lent, 80-year-old Brother Norbert Karpfinger sat down to write a letter, one of hundreds he writes seeking donations for a Catholic daycare center, the sanctuary on any given day for about 60 children. Decades ago, St. Adalbert was one of 14 Catholic parishes in East St. Louis. Now, there is one. Read on.
• Francis is not a name ... [Leonardo Boff] It is a way of being church. More.
• The everyman stories about Francis are legion (cooking his own meals, riding the bus). Here’s one more: he called to cancel his newspaper delivery in Argentina. [h/t Religion News Daily]
• Vatican website ... Here.
• Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.
• Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
• Make a family emergency plan ... [Healthfinder.gov] Here.
• Flu Situation 2013 ... Here.
• Resources for caregivers ... Here. • Medline Plus ... Here. • WebMD ... Here.
• Alzheimers.gov ... For the people helping people with Alzheimers. Here.
• PBS Learning Media ... [PBS] Here.
• Adware Trojan Targets OS X Systems ... [SANS, March 20] The Yontoo Trojan horse program installs a plug-in that displays fraudulent advertisements on web pages. Yontoo targets computers running Mac OS X. It spreads by disguising itself as a media player, a video quality enhancement tool, and a download accelerator. The installer asks users if they want to install an app called Free Twit Tube. If usersclick yes, the Trojan is downloaded onto their computers and the malware monitors their web browsing and through a remote server, injects the ads onto the sites they visit. Yontoo is being classified as a Trojan because it uses trickery and disguises to become installed. [h/t Kat Lehman]
• 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]