newSpin, the newsletter
June 10, 2013
Published on Monday
• New rector in Douglassville ... [Archdeacon Stringfellow] With pleasure I announce to the Diocesan Community that The Rev. David Robert Green will be the Rector of St Gabriel's in Douglassville. Father Green begins his ministry in Douglassville on July 1. [St. Gabriel's Newsletter] Father David comes to us from Christ Church Parish, Kent Island, Maryland, where he has been serving as rector since 2004. He previously served parishes in West Virginia and Ohio. Ordained in 1987, he is a graduate of Clarion University of PA, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, and the Graduate Theological Foundation. Fr. David will be moving to our rectory with his wife, Jenifer Jeni), to whom he’s been married for 31 years. They have three children: Megan, 26, a registered pediatric nurse; Jonathan, 24, a merchant mariner; and Mary Hannah, 19, a freshman in college, and two dogs: Daniel (the Spaniel) and Ella, and two cats: Moby and Paisley. Fr. David lists as his personal interests: jazz pianist and composer, swimmer, “saunterer” in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau, Father Christmas/Santa Claus Ministry and Associate of The Order of Julian of Norwich.
• Cartoons enabled them to preach far beyond church pulpits ... The Rev. William Sloane Coffin – combined with Coffin's protege, the Rev. Scotty McLennan – inspired the character of the Rev. Scot Sloan in Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury.’’ Will D. Campbell (see below, under "Rest in Peace") was the inspiration for Doug Marlette’s the Rev. Will B. Dunn in his “Kudzu” cartoon strip.
• Power to the Preschoolers ... [Gail Collins, NYTimes]
“Spread the word about President Obama’s plan to provide high-quality
preschool for every kid in America,” twittered the White House on
Wednesday. We all know that nothing on the planet compares to the
awesome power of social media. But it may require more than a hashtag to
bring this one home. Read on.
• The Archbishop and the Pope ... Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis will meet on Friday, June 14. The visit has been described as "brief" and "informal" and will include a time of common prayer and lunch at the Pope's residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
• Across all religion groups ... [RNS] support for gay marriage is growing. Even evangelical support has inched up from 13% to 23% — and about six in 10 Americans see it as “inevitable.” [h/t Religion News Daily Roundup]
• Church of England gives up fight against marriage equality ... [RNS and The Telegraph] Here and Here. [h/t/ Episcopal Café]
• Many have turned to NYC's Little Church Around the Corner ... [Reading Eagle] It was an Underground Railroad haven for escaped slaves and a shelter for black families during the Draft Riots of the Civil War. Today, the church remains as a magnet for people who may not have their needs met in more traditional congregations. In July 2012, the Little Church was the site of the first same-sex wedding in the Diocese of New York. Many conventional weddings are held there, partially because of the setting. There was a time in the late 19th century when actors were considered to be outside of society. When some could find no place to worship, marry or be mourned, they were directed to The Church of the Transfiguration. Read on.
• Old Boots ... [Bill] "This book of poems," John Reynolds writes, "is my way of reflecting on my life so far and what iies ahead." Reynolds' new book, subtitled "Reflections on Coming to the Last Bend in the Road," is available through Amazon where you are invited to peek inside to read a few pages. Click on "First Pages" and read the poem titled "Old Boots." Careful. You will want more. I do. Often enough, an insight is coming upon something said by another and saying, "Aha, I knew that." You will experience that when reading the poems of John Reynolds. You may also say, "but I could never have brought it to life so well." John Reynolds lives in New Milford with his partner Charles Cesarretti.
• A Bug Collection, a new book by Peter Salmon of Trinity Mt. Pocono ... Peter Salmon, Artist, of Trinity Mt. Pocono, explores the beauty and benefits of bugs and spiders from his 50 years of painting the natural world. He writes: "I like bugs. I like some better than others, but even those that bite us or eat our gardens are food for birds and animals we love. Some insects and spiders add color and beauty to our lives and are part of memories of unhurried summer days. Some touch our hearts. It is a joy to have a lady bug explore your hand or to help a woolly bear caterpillar across the road to safety." Salmon's paintings and field notes illustrate each bug's special characteristics. Written for all ages but especially ages 4-8. Available at Amazon. See Peter Salmon's website here.
• Dioceses of Chicago, Quincy unanimously agree to reunite ... [ENS, Mary Frances Schjonberg] Members of the dioceses of Chicago and Quincy unanimously agreed June 8 to reunify, something that no other dioceses have done in the Episcopal Church for 70 years. Read on.
• Malcolm Boyd at 90: Still writing, still 'running,' still inspiring ... [ENS, Pat McCaughan] These days, the Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd prefers quiet revolutions to the public upheavals that have distinguished his life and times for decades. The Hollywood executive turned Episcopal priest, Freedom Rider, anti-war and gay rights activist, author, playwright, social critic and church revivalist will be 90 on June 8 and has been busy being filmed for a documentary about his life. Read on.
• Prayer Walk at Episcopal House ... [Bill] A few weeks ago, the executive director of Episcopal House in Allentown asked me if I would consider leading a Prayer Walk, with stational stops, around the exterior of the building at 15th and Walnut. Of course, I said yes though I thought only five to ten of the residents might show up. But, of course, where two or three ... Last Wednesday, more than 30 residents, at least ten with walkers and canes, made the walk around the building. After just a bit of instruction and encouragement from me, one of the elderly women volunteered to lead "Let us pray to the Lord," and the whole group responded with the Slavonic tone, "Lord, have mercy." Singing made the prayer. By the time we finished, I think we were singing in harmony. I loved it.
• Pray for Nelson Mandela ... [BBC] Prayers were said in churches across South Africa for former President Nelson Mandel, who has spent a third night in hospital in ”serious but stable” condition for a lung infection. Also NYTimes. The Times of London notes that Archbishop Desmond Tutu requested prayers for Mandela's "comfort and dignity" and not for recovery.
• 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.
• Bishop's Day for Kids 2013 ... June 22 in Scranton and June 29 in Whitehall. More info here. Our friends in Kajo-Keji have sent special greetings to the Children of the Diocese of Bethlehem. Come and see! Deadline to register is June 14.
• Parish preparedness plans ... As we approach the half-way point of 2013, it’s time to assess our progress as we all work towards meeting the terms of the 2012 Diocesan Convention Resolution for all Diocese of Bethlehem parishes to have preparedness plans on file in the diocesan office by the end of 2013. Read on.
• DioLight ... Sixth issue. Back issues: this fifth issue of DioLight. Back issues are available here: first issue, second, third, fourth, fifth.
• PA Council of Churches Ministry of Public Witness ... Here. [h/t Diana Marshall]
• When in our Music God is Glorified ... July 14, a Lovefeast and Song Service of Christian Unity. Here.
• Diocesan level events ... Here and Here.
• DioBeth Website ... newSpin Blog ... Re:Create blog for youth and young adults ... Twitter.DioBeth ... Twitter.Kat Lehman ... Facebook.DioBeth ... Flickr, search under dio_beth
• Public news and info lists ... At the Diobeth website, enter your name and email in the "Get Connected" box. You are welcome to subscribe to any or all of these. "Bakery" is our diocesan interactive list.
• Trinity West Pittston's new weekly ... Trinity West Pittston has begun publishing an attractive weekly newsletter through ChurchPost. Within the newsletter, you may also link to Trinity's new web pages. Great work, John Major, and all who have had a part in this.
• Art in Allentown's West Park, next to Mediator ... West Park Civic Association is sponsoring their annual juried art show in the middle of beautiful West Park on Saturday June 15. This is a great day to view and support 80+artists and enjoy this lovely old park with a classic fountain and bandstand. Music and dance are provided throughout the day. The Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Allentown, a neighbor to West Park, hosts fundraising efforts on that day. This is a lovely old neighborhood and Mediator is glad to be welcoming to all who visit. Read on.
• Around the World on Broadway at Trinity Bethlehem ... [Laura Howell] Hear Broadway's best songs and relive their magical moments. On Friday, June 14, baritone Michael Craig sings Broadway show tunes at Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 East Market St., Bethlehem. Join him in his musical tour from New York to England, France, Russia, Austria, Scotland, Siam, and back to New York. You’ll hear favorite songs from My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, Gigi, Sound of Music, Cabaret, Brigadoon, the King and I, and more. Michael Craig has performed with the NYC Metropolitan Opera, Goodspeed Opera House, and as a guest artist on tours through the USA and Europe. The program, Around the World on Broadway, begins at 7 pm, June 14th. Light refreshments follow a question and answer session with Mr. Craig. Tickets available at the door, $15, under 12 free. For information, contact Jeanne Deets, 610-838-7180, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Spaghetti Dinner at St. Andrew's Bethlehem ... Thursday, June 20. More info here. Click on "News and Events."
• Sweet Voices: Music to Benefit the Trinity Soup Kitchen ... [Laura Howell] will be presented on Sunday, June 23, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 E. Market Street, Bethlehem. The 4:00 pm concert features Bethlehem Folksinger Anne Hills and includes her friends Bethlehem singer-songwriter Bonnie O’Donnell and Philadelphia performer Denise Moser. Tickets are $20.00, available by calling 610-867-4741 X 308. A donor will match, dollar for dollar, all the ticket sales. A reception will follow the concert. Hills is one of the better-known players in the contemporary music scene, for her exquisite voice, perceptive songwriting and gift for collaborating with other musicians including Cindy Mangsen, Steve Gillette, Priscilla Herdman, David Roth and Tom Paxton. Tom Paxton says, “Anne Hills is such an exquisite singer that it’s understandable that people might be swept up in the pure beauty of her voice and thereby overlook her writing. That would be a mistake. For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.” Hear more from Anne at: www.annehills.com or www.myspace.com/annehills.
• The 'Race Street Run' in Jim Thorpe ... [Father John Wagner] For those of you who are still “fleet of foot” and in reasonable physical shape, St. Mark’s and St. John’s, Jim Thorpe, will be hosting our eighth annual “Race Street Run” on Saturday, July 6. Registration will be from 7:00 a.m. until 8:15 a.m. in the Tolman House, directly across Race Street from the church. Contestants in the 4-mile run will start at 8:30 a.m., while those who opt for the 15K run, will start at 8:45 a.m. Refreshments, awards and random drawing will be held in the church immediately following the completion of each race. Registrations are $20 through June 28th, and $25 from June 29th through the day of the event. The first two hundred registrants will receive a tee-shirt. For further information, e-mail email@example.com, or visit our event website at www.racestreetrun.org. If you don’t desire to participate, but would like to offer your help with this event, please use the e-mail address above.
• Concert and Folk Mass in Jim Thorpe ... [Father John Wagner] On Saturday, September 14, Mr. Jay Smar will be in concert at Saint Mark’s and Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Jim Thorpe. His concert will begin at 6:30 p.m., and will be followed by a “Folk Mass” for which Mr. Smar will provide the music. In the last 10 years, Jay Smar has toured Scotland twice, received recognition from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival twice, recorded music for the Welsh BBC documentary, "The Welsh in America" and has been selected by the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour to be on their professional touring roster. Please do join us for this concert highlighting the music of our local coal industry, and also for the following Eucharist. We, of the Episcopal Church, play well with all of God’s Kids! Know that ALL baptized Christians are welcome to receive Christ’s Body and Blood from His altar, of which we are simply stewards. For further information, please contact Fr. John at 484-547-7133 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• This is what evangelism looks like in our time ... [Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral] “I won’t be walking bare-chested. I’m kind of a reserved person,” Hall said with a laugh before setting out from the staging area just west of Dupont Circle. “But if my being seen in the [Gay Pride] parade is a visible sign that God loves and accepts people across the full spectrum of human sexuality, it will have achieved its purpose.” Read on. [Jim Naughton on Facebook] This reminds me of the time when Bonnie A. Perry got the words "the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives and proclaims the profound inclusivity and hospitality of God" into the NY Times. This is what evangelism looks like in our time, and my pulse quickens just a bit when I see signs that our church is getting wise to this. As you once put it, Susan [Russell]: on message for Jesus. Also here.
• The Christian Century reviews Speaking Faithfully ... Here.
• How the church creates atheists ... [The Atlantic, Andrew Gerns, Episcopal Café] When Larry Alex Taunton interviewed college nonbelievers about how and why they left religion, he discovered how it was the churches that drove young people to unbelief. Read on.
Rest in peace
• Will D. Campbell ... [HuffPost] maverick white minister who drew acclaim for his involvement in the civil rights movement died at 88. Read on. Don't miss the video.
[All Alabama] Campbell was the only white minister present at the creation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. He also escorted nine black students through angry mobs as they integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. ... His wit and sartorial style inspired cartoonist Doug Marlette to make "the Rev. Will B. Dunn" a fixture of the cartoon strip "Kudzu." Campbell's longtime trademark was carrying a wooden cane and wearing a broad-brimmed black hat as an identification with the Amish, who have more in common with Baptist heritage than modern-day Southern Baptists do, he said. ... Campbell was once asked when he thought the church would come to grips with homosexuality. "It's never come to grips with heterosexuality," he said. "You've got to get in line." Read on.
[NYTimes] In the 1960s, after appeals to Christian churches in the South to end segregation in their own ranks and actively fight discrimination, Mr. Campbell abandoned organized religion, though not his faith. He accused Southern Protestant churches in particular of standing silent in the face of bigotry. Widening his horizons in the 1960s, he protested American involvement in the Vietnam War, helped draft resisters find sanctuaries in Canada, spoke against capital punishment and turned against politics, government and institutions in general for failing to provide solutions to the nation’s social problems. ... In 2000, Mr. Campbell received the National Endowment for the Humanities medal from President Bill Clinton and was profiled in a PBS documentary, “God’s Will,” narrated by Ossie Davis. Read on.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• The popular Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) ... will be held at Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia July 9-13, 2014.
• Around the Episcopal Church ... 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.
• The National Episcopal Historians and Archivists are looking for an editor to help publish their quarterly magazine. More here. And a few pieces of information that are not in the description ... editor Margaret Landis is happy to work with the incoming editor for a few issues to help identify sources of articles. The current editor has phoned in her report for board meetings over a telephone conference bridge. The NEHA board is looking at ways to meet virtually.
• Episcopal Positions (NYC/DC) ... Here.
• The religious evolution on gay Boy Scouts ... [Michelle Boorstein, WaPo] A week after the Mormon and Catholic Churches issued their approval of (or at least peace with) the Boy Scouts' vote to allow gay troops in 2014, Michelle Boorstein tries to explain the shift in tone. "The Boy Scout debate highlighted the way religious conservatives — like much of society in general — have begun, in recent decades, to say that being gay is a biological orientation, not a rebellious and changeable behavior," she writes. "... Which leads to a question: Can you affirm the complete human dignity and equal stature of someone while simultaneously saying one of their basic attributes makes them an undesirable role model?" In The Miami Herald, Leonard Pitts notes that the recent Boy Scouts vote goes only so far: "The Boy Scouts’ decision to split the difference — allow gay boys, ban gay men — does not exactly smell of Solomonic wisdom. ... What kind of message does all of this send gay boys? You’re acceptable until you aren’t?" Read on. [h/t The Atlantic Wire]
• D-Day invasion of Europe ... [NYTimes] On June 6, 1944, the D-Day invasion of Europe took place during World War II as Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. See the NYTimes 1944 front page about this.
• More libraries than McDonald's ... [The Atlantic Cities] If you have ever felt overwhelmed by the ubiquity of McDonald's, this stat may make your day: There are more public libraries (about 17,000) in America than outposts of the burger mega-chain (about 14,000). The same is true of Starbucks (about 11,000 coffee shops nationally). Read on.
• ELCA according to Mohler ... [Courier-Journal] Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler says the nation’s largest Lutheran body is “not a church.” Nor is it evangelical or Lutheran. Only American. All this because ELCA ordained its first openly gay bishop. Read on.
• Know anyone who thinks racial profiling is exaggerated? ... [Upworthy] Watch this, and note when your jaw drops.
• A wedding cake for Fido and Fluffy but not for Dave and Charlie? ... [ACLU] A lesbian couple denied an order of cupcakes for their commitment ceremony ordered a cake for a wedding celebration for two dogs. You know how this ends. They were quoted a price and asked how soon they needed it. Read on. [h/t Religion News Daily]
• How differently we talk ... [Seth Godin] Here. [h/t Steve Lewellis]
• NEPA Synod website ... Here.
• ELCA website ... Here.
• ELCA News Service ... Here.
• ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."
• Communication newsletter (tips and tools) Here.
• UMC website Here.
• News Service Here.
• Communication Resources ... Start here.
• Eastern PA Conference website Here. Facebook Here. Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog Here.
• Three RC churches in Frackville to merge into one parish ... [Republican and Herald] Here.
• EWTN to launch daily news show with 'Catholic perspective' ... [RNS] Here.
• Competing strains within American Catholicism: Boston's O'Malley and Philadelphia's Chaput epitomize church's different paths ... [Essay by Tom Roberts, NCR] The contrasts in the two prelates are apparent and have to do with personality as well as ecclesiology and theology. Over the long haul of history, the church perhaps needs all types of leaders, including the exceedingly pessimistic. But given the realities of the current era and the fact that most bishops would line up behind one model or the other, it is fair to ask: Who would you prefer to follow? What kind of church would most people be inclined to enter? What kind of community would most of us prefer to join? Is it the one led by the cardinal whose principal texts seem to be Scripture and his life? Or is it the one led by the archbishop who seems to lean heavily on a neoconservative understanding of history, memorized catechism answers, and an endlessly gloomy critique? Are we more likely to be attracted to the invitation into a life, a story if you will, of transformative love, rats and all, or one in which the criticism of our lives, beliefs, efforts and culture is relentless and without much hope? Read on. [Tom Roberts' baptism as a journalist was with the former Bethlehem Globe-Times when John Strohmeyer was editor and Dolores Caskey was the paper's consumer advocate.]
• Keeping a memory alive in Shenandoah ... Three years ago, St. George Church in Shenandoah, the first Lithuanian Catholic parish in the United States, was closed and torn down by the Diocese of Allentown. WNEP-TV recently featured a story on the erection on a billboard to keep the memory of St. George Church alive. The story includes a video on the destruction of this huge church. A Shenandoah family website includes an interesting history of Shenandoah as well as links to Shenandoah memories and Lithuanian heritage.
• Staying in the City ... [RNS] Breaking with another centuries-old tradition established by his predecessors, Pope Francis will remain in Rome during the summer and endure the usually stifling heat of the Eternal City. He will not move to the papal villa of Castel Gandolfo, where previous popes usually spent at least part of the summer. Read on.
• Vatican website ... Here.
• Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.
• Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
• The 'Incidentaloma' problem: best left undetected? ... An interesting word and reality. [Wikipedia] In medicine, an incidentaloma is a tumor (-oma) found by coincidence (incidental) without clinical symptoms or suspicion. It is a common problem: up to 7% of all patients over 60 may harbor a benign growth, often of the adrenal gland, which is detected when diagnostic imaging is used for the analysis of unrelated symptoms. With the increase of whole-body CT scanning as part of health screening programs, the chance of finding incidentalomas is expected to increase. 37% of patients receiving whole-body CT Scan may have abnormal findings that need further evaluation. When faced with an unexpected finding on diagnostic imaging, the clinician faces the challenge to prove that the lesion is indeed harmless. Often, some other tests are required to determine the exact nature of an incidentaloma. Wikipedia and NYTimes. [h/t Stephen Lewellis]
• Resources for caregivers ... Here.
• Medline Plus ... Here.
• WebMD ... Here.
• Alzheimers.gov ... For people helping people with Alzheimers. Here.
• Is Scientology unwatchable?... [RNS, David Gibson] The news is not good for the new movie “After Earth,” which means the news is not good for Sony Pictures, or Will Smith … or, it seems, Scientology, whose sci-fi inflected religious system inspired what was to be a summer blockbuster. Now it’s looking like a summer bust. As the NYTimes reports, “After Earth” took in 18 percent less than the lowest of prerelease expectations and may have ended Smith’s reputation as a surefire action-adventure box office draw — not to mention hurting the budding career of son Jaden, his co-star. Oh, and how much further off track could M. Night Shyamalan’s career go? He used to pose big questions in intriguing ways, but he directed and co-wrote this movie, yet another flop for him. The movie has been ripped in reviews, and may well add to the narrative of decline and crisis that has been surrounding Scientology: an exodus of members, tell-all books, lawsuits, celebrity scandals. Well, maybe Scientology IS like a real religion after all. But the main difference may be that Scientology just isn’t watchable. “After Earth” appears destined to join John Travolta’s 2000 film "Battlefield Earth," which aimed to introduce Scientology’s unusual cosmology to the public, as among the Worst Movies Ever. Read on.
• KPCB Internet Trends 2013 ... Here.• Checking out library e-books on an Amazon Kindle ... [NYTimes] 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.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... May issue here.
• Insights into Religion ... Here.
• Forward Movement ... May News.
• The Alban Institute ... Here.
• ECF Vital Practices ... Here.
• Faith in Public Life ... Here.
• Religion&Ethics News Weekly (PBS) ... Here.
• The Chalice, a publication 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 ... 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
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Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]