newSpin, the newsletter
October 22, 2013
Published weekly, usually by Tuesday
• Same-sex marriage in NJ ... [h/t Religion News Daily] A judge’s ruling Friday allowing same-sex marriages in New Jersey has caused some weddings and confusion today. New Jersey Gov. Christie just withdrew an appeal of the same-sex marriage ruling and ordered enforcement of law as dictated by the state Supreme Court. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, one of the main featured speakers via video at the recent evangelical Catalyst conference, performed some of the first ceremonies.
• It's time: to get your flu shot
... Tomorrow, Wed. Oct. 23, free at the Lehigh County Senior Health Fair at the senior center at 1633 W. Elm in Allentown. Info: 610-437-3700. Saturday, Nov. 9, drive-through free clinic at Dorney Park, 9:00 to 3:00. Sunday, Nov. 10, drive-through free clinic at Coca-Cola Park (where the Iron
Pigs play), 9:00 to 3:00. Anytime at many pharmacies, e.g., RiteAid, CVS, SuperMarket pharmacies. Not free, but Medicare and most health insurance plans cover
the cost. Check with your
insurance provider. Under the Affordable Care Act,
many insurers are required to cover certain preventive services, like
the flu vaccine, at no cost to you. If you do not have insurance or if yours does not cover vaccines, help is available.
Free flu-shot clinics are or will be available in many areas. Visit Flu.gov for a lot of info and a "Flu vaccine finder." You might also do a browser search for free flu shots in your county.
• Allentown Band comes to Trinity Easton ... See the Morning Call story about siblings and onetime parishioners who will be featured. One, an associate trumpet with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the other, a mezzo-soprano who has sung with leading opera companies throughout the U.S. and abroad. More info below, under ParishSpin.
• Might a woman – or a few – cast a vote for the next pope? ... [NCR] Here.
• Are women the only adults left in Washington ... [TIME] Here. • Would more women in Congress have prevented the shutdown?... [WaPo] As the fiscal impasse began to show signs of breaking on Capitol Hill, one group may have emerged as a voice of reason all along: female lawmakers. Read on.
• Thanksgiving snd Secularization: Macy's is not to blame ... [Sightings, Martin Marty] Macy’s stores have announced that they are opening and selling in the course of Thanksgiving Day, and are taking heat for announcing that they will do so. Isn’t that to be resented? Rather than resent, Martin Marty suggests, many use the occasion to “do theology” and engage in hard religious and cultural analysis and conversation. What has become clear is that millions of the resenters are accomplices. Macy’s and Wal-Mart and JCPenney’s and Target and other sometimes expansive, often desperate retailers, need to adapt and anticipate the expressions and demands of commerce. Most phenomena that get tagged as “secularizing” agents and events occur because of practical adaptations and the choices citizens make. Read on.
• I love these popes ... [Bill Lewellis] In my recent column published by The Morning Call, available also at the newSpin blog, I wrote that I respected all the popes who reigned during my lifetime (eight, I think), but I loved three: Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul I and Pope Francis. A reader asked how John Paul I, who was pope for only 33 days, could be on this list. Perhaps it was a typo, and I meant John Paul II. This was the substance of my reply: "John XXIII was pope for several years while I lived in Rome. Having begun Vatican II, he seemed to me to care more for the People of God than for institution and hierarchy. I was present in St. Peter's Square when he died and when Paul VI was elected. John's successor in spirit, though 15 years later, seemed to me to have been John Paul I rather than Paul VI. One could see – at least I felt I could see – his love for the People of God in his smiling and compassionate face. Having spent four years in Rome during the early 60s, I naturally became a pope watcher. For many years, I have thought that the Roman Catholic Church needs a pastor in the papacy more than any other title by which popes may be known. For me, John XXIII was a pastor. Francis has seemed that he will be a pastor. My intuition spoke strongly to me that John Paul I would have been a pastor. I think you can tell a lot from a person's face and eyes. Though he was in Peter's chair for only 33 days, I felt a deep loss when he died. As John Paul I was John XXIII's successor in spirit, so Francis is John Paul I's successor in spirit. I love him even more today because I see him in Francis."
• Pope Francis embodies my hopes for the Church ... [The Tablet Blog, Hans Küng] Since Pope Francis took office in March, almost everything he has said and done indicates that he is bent on carrying through a thorough reform of the Roman Catholic Church, beginning with the Vatican itself. Read on.
• Communication opportunities ... available to members of the Diocese of Bethlehem for a limited time. Here.
• Diocesan Convention 2013 ... (1) Address from the chair, by Canon Andrew Gerns. (2) Address/Sermon by Bishop Anthony Pogo of Kajo Keji. (3) Resolutions of Courtesy. (4) Meditation on an Apple ... Dan Charney preached this sermon on serwardship during Morning Prayer on Oct. 5.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... [Canon Anne Kitch] Monthly newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources. October.
• Happening #22 ... Nov. 8-10 at Kirby House. Registration is open. Note from Ellyn Siftar.
• Jonathan Walton, professor of moral theology at Harvard ... will deliver the Priscilla Payne Hurd lecture at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity on Saturday, October 26. He will preach at the 5:00 p.m. Eucharist and lecture at 6:00. Here. For more info, Download Hurd Lecture - The Rev Dr J Walton.
• DioBeth on Facebook ... Don't miss the Diobeth Facebook page.
• Diobeth Episcopal Relief and Development ... [John Major] A shield in the midst of life's storms. October 14.
... Vol. 1, Issue 16: "Seeds of Faithful Change" by Canon Andrew Gerns. "Prable of the Apple Redux" by Dan Charney. Here.
• Grieving Well with Andrew Gerns ... [ChurchNext] 'We are wired to grieve because we were built to love.' So begins this excellent course in healthy grieving taught by a seasoned hospital chaplain and gifted teacher, Canon Andrew Gerns. The online course, $10 to register, can be very helpful for those experiencing grief and those caring for the bereaved. More info here.
• Diocesan level events ... Here.
• 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.
• Music from St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre ... Here.
• Allentown Band comes to Trinity Easton ... The Allentown Band Comes to Trinity Episcopal Church, 234 Spring Garden Street, Easton, 3:00 pm, Sunday, October 27: featuring Lauren Curnow, mezzo soprano and Jeffrey Curnow, Associate Principal Trumpet with Philadelphia Orchestra. Music of Wagner, Bizet, Dvorak, Gould, Gershwin, Sousa and more! Parking is available behind the church in the lot, in the bank lot next door to the Church parking lot. There is also metered street parking. Tickets- Seniors and Students- $12.00; General Admission in Advance- $15.00 up until the day before the concert (there will be a “Will Call” table); and $20.00 at the door. For information call Peg Gerns at 610-253-0792 Ext. 212
• Grace at Noon ... [Hillie Cousart, parish administrator] is a new service of mid-day quiet prayer that began at Grace Church Allentown on October 7. Our doors are open before noon five days a week for this short service of prayer and silence, followed by optional brown-bag lunch fellowship. All our invited to this quiet daily respite in downtown Allentown.
• Benefit Auction ... [Hillie Cousart, parish administrator] Grace Allentown is hosting our first Benefit Auction on Saturday, November 9, at 3:00pm. Come as you are or wear your island clothes to bid on a fabulous opportunity for a Caribbean luxury condo week-long vacation in St. Martin’s Island ($2,800 value) or a Professional Color and Interior Design Consultation ($2,500 value). Enjoy fellowship, food and beverages while you browse our silent auction tables that have treasures for everyone’s price range. This is a TTT Auction: Time, Treasure, and Talents, all up for bids. If you have items to donate for our auction, please contact Parish Administrator, Hillie Cousart, at 610-435-0782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Calendar of events in our parishes ... Here.
• Why young adults are keeping their faith to themselves ... [U.S. Catholic] Being a practicing Catholic has become a covert operation for some young adults. Read on.
• Stewardship, Tithing, Giving, Annual Pledge ... [Episcopal Café] Helpful definitions and challenging questions. Read on.
•• Communication tips and tools ... [United Methodist Communiction] Here.
Rest in Peace
• Ellen Henry ... [Linda Henry, Vice Chancellor, Diocese of Bethlehem] With sorrow I must let you know that my mother, Ellen Henry, died very early Friday morning (in fact, it may still have been Thursday night). As you know, she has been facing multiple health challenges, but we did not imagine we would need to confront her loss this soon. She died quietly in her sleep at the nursing home where she was admitted to undergo rehab. She was quick-witted, a voracious reader, an animal lover, and a faithful parishioner at Christ Church, Ridley Park, where her three children were confirmed. Fittingly enough, her service is scheduled for November 2.
• James Romberger, 91 ... [Canon Anne Kitch] father of Mary Jo Cliff who is the wife of the Rev. Graham Cliff. James died surrounding by his loving family. His obituary can be found here. Please keep Mary Jo, Graham, and their family in your prayers.
• Robert and Victor Valli ... [John Major] My wife's oldest uncle, Victor Valli, died on October 18th. This is very hard news for our family to absorb along with the death of Sandra's other uncle,the younger, Robert Valli, just months ago. Both were rather sudden deaths. Please remember us and our family and our Christian brothers, Robert Valli and Victor Valli in prayer, that these "sheep of your own fold" and sinners "of your own redeeming," are received into our Lord's arms of mercy , "into the the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen." [BCP, Page 499]. "Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting." [BCP, Page 499].
• Our young men and women who died recently in Afghanistan and for their families ... Here ... Pray also for the fallen heroes also of our coalition partners, and for the citizens of Afghanistan who have died, unnamed and unknown to us, and for those who mourn ... and for the end to this endless war.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• England's Prince George ... [h/t Religion News Daily] will be christened on Wednesday in a private ceremony by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The royal couple broke with tradition and chose loyal friends as godparents.
• Around the Episcopal Church ... Here
• Episcopal Positions (NYC/DC) ... Here.
• Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? ... [History] Today, Oct. 22, is its 51st anniversary. More here.
• Whoops!... [RNS "On Freedom" blog by Brian Pellot] After years of debate, Catholic bishops in France decided that the version of the Lord’s Prayer their congregants recite could be considered blasphemous. The official translation has been changed from “Do not submit us to temptation” to “Let us not enter into temptation,” absolving God of any perceived meddling. Read on.
• First AME's former pastor is troubled by church upheaval ... [Los Angeles Times] In the nine years since he retired from his South L.A. congregation, the Rev. Cecil Murray has watched his hard work crumble under the leadership of his successor. Read on.
• Overcoming the 'OK Plateau' ... [Brain Pickings] "Any sequence of mental action which has been frequently repeated tends to perpetuate itself," William James wrote, "so that we find ourselves automatically prompted to think, feel, or do what we have been before accustomed to think, feel, or do, under like circumstances. Read on.
• The past ... is never dead, it’s not even past. [William Faulkner?]
• The Bible paradox ... [Big Think] Nearly 80 percent of all Americans think the Bible is either literally true or is the inspired word of God. And yet, most Americans have no idea what is actually in it. Read on.
• Communication 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.
• Divorce and Remarriage and Communion ... Pope Francis is calling a special synod, a meeting of bishops from around the world, for next fall and they’re likely to discuss the controversial topic of divorce and remarriage and communion, among other family values. The German church is already trying out some new things in this regard, but the Vatican warned them not to get out in front of Rome on communion for remarried Catholics.
• It's time: to get your flu shot ... See above, under TopSpin.
• Resources for caregivers ... Here.
• Medline Plus ... Here.
• WebMD ... Here.
• Alzheimers.gov ... For people helping people with Alzheimers. Here.
• Three Free Apps for getting qualified medical advice... [Techlicious] Urgent Care, HealthTap and First Aid. Info and links.
• Free Advent/Christmas series with Barbara Crafton ... [Herb Gunn, CPG Education and Wellness] CREDO is launching a really nice Advent and Christmas series with Barbara Crafton, open to everyone. The series is a collection of short, daily audio reflections presented by Barbara from her book, "Let Every Heart Prepare: Meditations for Advent and Christmas." It will also be released as an iTunes podcast, and follows the book. On the six Sundays, Barbara's presentation is in video form--with the idea that church folks can plan a six-week Advent/Christmas series as an Adult Forum on Sundays. We also have a Series Facilitator's Guide, with sample exercises or discussion questions from which to choose. Take a look. See if this is something you would consider linking to. There is a sign-up page for the series here.
• Martin Guitar: Roll over, Stradivarius ... For guitar aficionados, a visit to the C. F. Martin & Company factory is akin to a religious experience, The New York Times reports. A new book argues that the company's founder was not only a craftsman and entrepreneur, but also a design and technology innovator of the first order. As a co-editor said, the Martin guitar "deserves to be adjacent to a Stradivarius violin."
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... October.
• Many Congregational Resources ... The "Using Resources" series of publications by the Center for Congregations is designed to help congregations make the most effective use of capital funds, consultants, architects, contractors, books, congregation management software, and more.
• Church locators ... Here.
• Insights into Religion ... Here.
• Forward Movement ... Here.
• 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.
• Religious Freedom Recap ... a weekly look back at the top stories and developments on religious liberty around the world, Sept. 9-16. Here.
• National Catholic Reporter ... here.
• Back issues of the newSpin newsletter ... here.
(1) The Episcopal Church website, news service, news service blog,
(2) Episcopal Café
(3) AngicansOnline website and news centre.
(4) The Living Church
(5) The Anglican Communion website and news service.
• 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.
• The Imitation of Christ ... Available free online.
• Lectionary ... A collection of Lectionary resources for the Episcopal Church, updated Sunday night. Here.
• Lectionary Page ... A liturgical calendar for upcoming weeks, with links to readings from the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), as adapted for use in Episcopal worship. Here.
• Revised Common Lectionary ... Here.
• Oremus Bible Browser ... Here.
Comments are welcome at the newSpin blog.
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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]