newSpin, the newsletter
December 31, 2013
Published weekly, usually by Tuesday
• Charlie Barebo on the situation in South Sudan ... as well as an exchange of email between Charlie and Bishop Anthony of Kajo Keji. Here. More from Aljazeera, NYTimes Op-Ed, NYTimes Editorial.
• Major water main break near Trinity Bethlehem ...Work continues to fill in a huge sinkhole created when a water main broke under East Market Street between New and Center streets in Bethlehem on Sunday. Trinity Church has been forced to close, also its Soup Kitchen, likely through Thursday. Express-Times story here. Updates on Facebook.
• The Soup Kitchen at Trinity Bethlehem ... operates Monday through Friday, serving a nutritious meal between 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm. The average number served is 150 per day. It is Trinity's oldest ministry, operating for 33 years. The Soup Kitchen primarily serves the homeless, the temporarily unemployed, MH/MR clients, and those who are economically disadvantaged. It is staffed by a group of volunteers, some from area churches, others from AARP, Moravian College, Moravian Theological Seminary, Cedar Crest College, VIA, Northampton County Probation Office, and from other area schools and religious institutions.Each day, hospitality workers and a social worker are available to help guests navigate the social services systems and access personal items such as shampoo, soap, razors, socks, etc., and over-the-counter meds. Financial support comes from grants received from several foundations, contributions and gifts from local individuals, local churches, and proceeds from Bethlehem’s CROP Walk. Food items are supplied through donations and purchases from the USDA, Second Harvest Food Bank, local restaurant supply companies, and area grocery stores. If you are interested in volunteering or contributing financially to this vital ministry, please contact the Rev. Elizabeth Miller, Soup Kitchen Coordinator (voice 610-867-4741 x302; email firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also visit on Facebook to find out more about what the Soup Kitchen is doing to meet the needs of the hungry.
• A very Franciscan Christmas after all ... [John Allen, NCR] After you’ve been in the Vaticanology business for a while, it’s hard to be surprised by the occasionally tone-deaf questions people ask. During a Christmas Eve broadcast just before the pope’s vigil Mass, however, I was briefly at a loss when asked how I expected Francis to “shake up” Christmas. Read on. • Francis' off-script Christmas nod to atheists is part of a pattern ... [Cathy Lynn Grossman, RNS] Read on.
• Who am I to judge? ... [The New Yorker] "Who am I to judge?” With those five words, spoken in late July in reply to a reporter’s question about the status of gay priests in the Church, Pope Francis stepped away from the disapproving tone, the explicit moralizing typical of Popes and bishops. This gesture of openness, which startled the Catholic world, would prove not to be an isolated event. In a series of interviews and speeches in the first few months after his election, in March, the Pope unilaterally declared a kind of truce in the culture wars that have divided the Vatican and much of the world. Repeatedly, he argued that the Church’s purpose was more to proclaim God’s merciful love for all people than to condemn sinners for having fallen short of strictures, especially those having to do with gender and sexual orientation. His break from his immediate predecessors—John Paul II, who died in 2005, and Benedict XVI, the traditionalist German theologian who stepped down from the papacy in February—is less ideological than intuitive, an inclusive vision of the Church centered on an identification with the poor. From this vision, theological and organizational innovations flow. The move from rule by non-negotiable imperatives to leadership by invitation and welcome is as fundamental to the meaning of the faith as any dogma. Read on. [The New Yorker articles are usually behind a paywall. This link, however, worked for me. If it doesn't work for you, go to the FreshAir link, immediately below where you will find a place to link to the article.]
• James Carroll on Pope Francis ... [NPR, Fresh Air] In Francis' first year, a 'radical pope' seeks to save his church. Listen to the interview here.
• Methodist minister defrocked over gay marriage gets job offer ... [Philadelphia Inquirer] Days after he was defrocked by the United Methodist Church, the Rev. Frank Schaefer was offered a job by a California bishop of the church. Schaefer, the Lebanon County, Pa., minister who defied Methodist policy by officiating at his gay son's wedding, said he was strongly considering the offer from the California-Pacific Annual Conference. Read on.
• Why Jennifer Haselberger is NCR's person of the year for 2013 ... [NCR Editorial] Be loving critics and critical lovers of the institutional church. Read on.
• We can do more to make 2014 better than 2013 for people ... [Alan Jennings, The Morning Call, Your View] There is something about an approaching new year that leads us to assess where we are with our plans, our expectations, our hopes, and our fears. In my case, I agonize constantly over the human condition. So I can't help but jump on the bandwagon and offer a sobering perspective on our world. Let's face it: Too many people are falling behind; they're being left out. Far too many are earning less today than they were 10, 20, or even more years ago. We can say it ain't so, pretend we don't notice, act like it's OK. But it isn't. Leaving folks behind is un-American, at least insofar as we believe in an America where anyone can succeed if he works hard enough.
Government, for most of us, is not perceived as being on our side. It protects those who have over those who have not, those who can over those who cannot, those who are with over those who are without. We favor those who want tax cuts over those who need help. This sort of favoritism is puzzling in a nation whose population professes a faith in God, since every major faith perspective includes an imperative to stand up for the disenfranchised, bring comfort to the afflicted, justice to the wronged and opportunity to those left behind. Read on.
• The Sydney Awards ... [David Brooks, NYTimes] The highly prestigious Sidney Awards go out to some of the best magazine essays of the year. This year, many of these essays probed the intersection between science and the humanities. Links to all can be found on the online edition of this column. Part 1. Part 2.
• God-baked, God-broken, God-made ... [Sermon by Bill Lewellis at the retirement of Bishop Paul] Upon returning from a 2005 mission trip to southern Sudan, Paul Marshall told this story: “At the end of a week in that bomb-torn country, Diana and I baked in a bus for 14 hours. Finally you give up wiping your face. As we became increasingly caked with red dirt, and the overcrowded bus grew hotter and hotter, I found myself baking in a creative and holy sense: I knew God wanted my attention." Read on.
• Gallup: Respect for clergy drops ... [RNS, Lauren Markoe] Gallup polls shows large differences between Republicans and Democrats on whether clergy are honest. (Republicans tend to think so, Democrats less so.) This year, clergy took a back seat to nurses, pharmacists, schoolteachers, medical doctors, military and police officers. Nurses are the most trusted and have been nearly every year since Gallup added them to the poll in 1999, with 82 percent of people saying they rank high or very high on the ethical spectrum. Clergy came in seventh of the 22 professions ranked. The overall trend for clergy has sloped downward since 2001, with Gallup pollsters attributing the slide to scandals involving the sexual abuse of minors.
• 'Duck Dynasty' and Quackery ... [NYTimes Op-Ed, Charles Blow] You don’t have to operate with a malicious spirit to do tremendous harm. Insensitivity and ignorance are sufficient. In fact, intolerance that is disarming is the most dangerous kind. It can masquerade as morality. Read on. • Quack backlash ... [Religion News Daily] Sorry if you’re sick of Duck Dynasty. At its heart, the debate hits at the tension between sexuality and religion, or as one Atlantic contributor puts it, it’s a debate between sexual tolerance with religious tolerance. Duck Dynasty is not just a television show. It’s a franchise. The publishers will continue to sell books, but it’s unclear if merchandise is actually flying off the shelves. Cracker Barrel apologized to some customers after removing some of its products. Tobin Grant looks at why evangelicalism needs controversies like this one. After A&E’s dismissal of Phil Robertson, some of the initial reaction came from male Christian leaders like Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Jim Daly and others. But over the weekend, highly shared opinions come from women like Jen Hatmaker, Ann Voskamp and Kirsten Powers. came from male Christian leaders like Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Jim Daly and others. But over the weekend, highly shared opinions come from women like Jen Hatmaker, Ann Voskamp and Kirsten Powers.
• A personal note from Bill ... December 18 was the 50th anniversary of my ordination as a priest of the RC Church, 1963, in Rome. After 18 years as an RC priest, mostly on the staff of Bishop Joseph McShea of the RC Diocese of Allentown and 18 years as an Episcopal lay person, serving on the staffs of Bishop Mark Dyer and Bishop Paul Marshall of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, I was received in 1999 as a priest of the Episcopal Church, continuing to serve on the staff of Bishop Paul. Monica and I were married in 1981 and have three grown sons. I am so grateful for the experiences in both churches, especially for my wife and three sons as well as my experience as a celibate priest in the Roman Church. I am grateful for good friends and mentors in both churches and for three bishops from whom I have learned many good life lessons. I am grateful for so many of you. I would not change a thing because, if I did, I would not have met Monica and would not have three sons I love. Please share my joy.
• Ideas from a manger ... [Ross Douthat, NYTimes Op-Ed] The Christmas story is an entire worldview in a compact narrative, a depiction of how human beings relate to the universe and to one another. It’s about the vertical link between God and man — the angels, the star, the creator stooping to enter his creation. But it’s also about the horizontal relationships of society, because it locates transcendence in the ordinary, the commonplace, the low. Read on.
• The cultural captivity of Christianity ... [Marcus Borg, Day 1] The ethos and ideology of individualism is a major American cultural value that has pervasively affected American Christianity. We are, according to many studies, the most individualistic country in the world. Individualism as an ideology should not be confused with the value of individuals. Individuals matter. It is a central affirmation of the Bible and Christianity: we all matter to God. Individuals and progress in individual rights, human rights, matter.But individualism as an ideology is quite different. It is the notion that how our lives turn out is primarily the product of our individual achievement. Those who do well do so because they have made the most of their opportunities. It is the notion of the "self-made" person.
This ideology generates a politics and economics that privileges the successful: they deserve the fruits of their achievement. It dominates the political right, Christian and non-Christian alike. Most often absent or minimized is a concern for "the common good," except perhaps when it is alleged to be the product of maximizing individual opportunities.The effects of American individualism on American Christianity go beyond politics. For many Christians, morality is understood primarily to be about personal behavior. In comparison, what might be called "social morality" (economic fairness and a concern for the common good) receives short shrift.
• When the Jesus you were expecting is not the Jesus who shows up ... [Jim Naughton, Episcopal Café] As the Advent3 Gospel reading makes clear,
• SoulSpin Resources ... Below, near the bottom.
• 2014 United Thank Offering Grants ... [Cathy Bailey, Diocesan UTO Coordinator] If your parish is considering applying for a UTO grant, please begin to gather the information needed. Find grant information here so that you can prepare your grant application. Deadline for submission to Diocesan House is January 31. Please send via email to Anne Kitch, email@example.com. For more info: Cathy Bailey, firstname.lastname@example.org or Anne Kitch.
• The 2014 Episcopal Youth Event ... will take place at Villanova University, July 9-13. Read on.
• 2014 IRS Mileage Rates ... [Bruce Reiner] Business, 56 cents a mile. Medical or moving, 23.5 cents per mile. Volunteer miles, 14 cents per mile
• Diobeth Episcopal Relief and Development ... [John Major] A shield...in the midst of life's storms. December 17.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... [Canon Anne Kitch] Monthly newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources. December here.
• DioBeth on Facebook ... Diobeth Facebook page.
• DioLight ... Vol. 1, Issue 20: Christmas message by Andrew Gerns; Upcoming Events, compiled by Adam Bond. Here.
• What's Happening? ... 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.
• Moving 'the front line' of your ministry forward ... [Episcopal Café] Bishop Steve Lane of the Diocese of Maine has asked clergy and members of his diocese to move "the front line" of their ministry out into the community. In Windham, the Rev. Tim Higgins is getting out of his office and into bars and cafes. In what ways are you and your congregation moving "the front line" forward into the community? What other ways might be possible? Read on.
• An organ recital by Mr. Ken Lowenberg ... will be held Friday, January 3, at 7:30 PM on at The Episcopal Church of St. Clement & St. Peter, 165 Hanover Street, Wilkes-Barre. More infor here.
• Back to the future ... [Alban, Peter Steinke] At a workshop I was leading, a woman stood up and said, "If 1950 were to return, my congregation would be ready." Succinctly, she summarized a nagging problem for many churches. The context in which congregations now find themselves is quite different from 1950. "How we do church," though, has been quite persistent. ... With steep changes happening in our society, congregations have to ask themselves whether they are responding to a world that no longer exists. Read on.
• Call 211 for help finding community services ... [Kathy Lauer-Williams, The Morning Call] A new system to help those in need get information and referrals for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more has recently been launched in the Lehigh Valley, the Help for Families panel says.Call 211 is funded by the United Way and provides free, confidential information for people in Lehigh, Northampton and Berks counties. The program, which is nationwide, was started in 2012 and launched locally this fall. The program uses the easy-to-remember number so people can call to access services including housing, clothing, rental assistance, legal aid and even reading tutors. By calling 211, you get a trained counselor at a call center in Lancaster and with your zip code they can connect you with services in your area. The call center is open 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; in January it will be open 24 hours. Read on.
• Calendar of events in our parishes ... Here.
• Communication tips and tools ... [United Methodist Communiction] Here.
Rest in Peace
• Marilyn Croneberger, 77 ... loved life and was always a gracious and fun-loving hostess. She loved to dance, go antiquing, read, cook and made everything around her beautiful. She is remembered with great love and esteem in the Diocese of Newark, where her husband Jack served first as rector of Church of the Atonement in Tenafly, and then as 9th Bishop of Newark until his retirement in 2007 when they moved to the Diocese of Bethlehem where Bishop Jack served as assistant bishop until his retirement earlier this year. Marilyn's funeral will take place at Christ Church Reading on Saturday January 4 at 12:00 noon. Read on.
• Michael Montgomery, Sr, 78 ... [Dean Tony Pompa, Cathedral Bethlehem] died at home peacefully and surrounded by his family. Michael and his wife Joan have been members of the Cathedral for nearly 20 years having settled in Bethlehem upon retirement as educators. Michael was a devoted spouse, father, and grandfather — talented musician, church musician for many years, educator, and artist. We join his family in their grief at this time and give thanks to God for the gift of Michael. A service of Christian burial will take place on Saturday January 4 at 11 AM in the Cathedral. Your prayers and presence are requested. Obituary.
• Lois Howell, 88 ... of Trinity Bethlehem, mother of David, mother-in-law of Laura. Obituary here.
• Audrey Romeril, 83 ... sister-in-law of Bob and Gwendolyn-Jane Romeril, died on Dec. 24 after a long illness. Obituary here.
• Homeless persons memorial held ... in Wilkes-Barre and around the country. It began in Wilkes-Barre with Paul T. and ended with Melissa F. In between were Peaches, Scrappy, Lillian C. and Snowball stretching the list of the homeless men and women who died locally to 109 names. Their names were read during a memorial service at the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-cathedral on South Franklin Street. The eighth annual program drew nearly 40 people to the church late in the afternoon as daylight faded quickly and the longest night of the year began.
• 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.
• How to write a condolence note ... and much more.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• Mission Enterprise Zones, New Church Starts grants announded ... Here.
• Around the Episcopal Church ... Here
• Episcopal Church position on Office of Government Relations ... Here.
• Episcopal Positions (NYC/DC) ... Here.
• The old 'Forever Family,' a onetime Allentown cult with a new name ... [RNS] A Haiti orphanage run on donations from an upscale New York City antique store is so filthy and overcrowded that the government is threatening to shut its doors. The antique store, meanwhile, claims it makes $2.5 million annually in donations to the home, according to an AP investigation.
• The Salvation Army ... [RNS] is a church. Each congregation is built to meet the needs of a local community." If a congregation boasts a big teen program, the church might include a youth center or gym, LeMar says. If it serves a large homeless population, it could have a shelter attached. Read on.
• Losing Faith ... [Martin Marty, Sightings] Commonweal, a superior Catholic magazine, recently presented a symposium featuring notable, mature and senior Catholic parents who wrote about the absence of explicit Catholic faith among many of their grandchildren. The collection inspired an uncommon number of blog posts and other responses, a fact suggesting that this topic concerns multitudes. Many Catholic friends, with whom my wife and I raised children “next door” or “next sanctuary” through the decades, report, sometimes with a tear and sometimes with haste to get past the topic: “Not one of our offspring or not one of theirs ever goes to Mass or observes anything we taught or tried to model for them.” Most eloquent among the Commonweal authors, in my view, is Sidney Callahan, a writer whom I’ve known and respected for decades, who, with her (now post-faith) husband, ethicist Dan Callahan, was an exemplar in the “faith” community. Dr. Callahan now writes eloquently about the six Callahan children who have departed the Church and for whom “faith” is a non-issue. Read on.
• Popular Belief ... is the new blog of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Religion Writer Peter Smith covering the diverse spiritual scene of Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond. Here.
• Most Humble ... [TIME] Once there was a boy so meek and modest, he was awarded a Most Humble badge. The next day, it was taken away because he wore it. Here endeth the lesson. [The beginning of TIME's cover story on Pope Francis as Person of the Year.]
• Pope Francis has changed the music ... [TIME] In less than a year, he has done something remarkable: he has not changed the words but he's changed the music. Tone and temperament matter in a church built on the substance of symbols – bread and wine, body and blood – so it is a mistake to dismiss any Pope's symbolic choices as gestures empty of the force of law. [From TIME's cover story on Pope Francis as Person of the Year.]
• The Spotless Mind ... [Gerard Baker, WSJournal] Where are the keys? Where did I park the car? Most of the time, we wish we had sharper memories. But what about wanting to delete a memory, perhaps a painful one, like in the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"? Our story reports that scientists have discovered that passing an electric current through the human brain can erase distressing memories. The overall procedure triggers a brief seizure that can help treat depression, though it isn't yet clear how it works.
• Inequality for Dummies ... [NYTimes Op-Ed, Bill Keller] The top 10 percent of Americans used to take in a third of the national income. Now they gobble up half. The typical corporate C.E.O. used to make 30 times as much as the average worker. Now the boss makes 270 times as much as the minion. The alarming thing is not inequality per se, but immobility. It’s not just that we have too many poor people, but that they are stranded in poverty with long odds against getting out. The rich (and their children) stay rich, the poor (and their children) stay poor. Read on.
• Why the church needs business ... [James Martin, SJ, America Magazine] It’s not surprising that many cardinals, archbishops, priests, sisters and brothers don't know much about business. Of course many do. ... How is it that so many seem to have so little expertise in what so many people take for granted? Not long after the financial crisis in 2008, one priest confidently told me, “Capitalism is dead.” I asked him if he could still go to the corner and buy a hotdog. Yes, he said. “That’s capitalism,” I said. “It’s not dead.” A few days later another priest with a Ph.D. asked me, as he read about the financial crisis, “What’s a bond?” Whence the lack of business knowledge among otherwise smart and talented (and highly educated) men and women? There are two simple reasons: First, many cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, sisters and brothers now in their 60s and 70s (that is, those running things in the church) often entered their seminaries or religious orders right out of college, even high school. Thus, many (not all, but many) did not have the important experience of having to earn a paycheck, balance a checkbook, manage employees, read a balance sheet, invest in the stock market, and so on. The second reason is more basic. Once in the seminary or religious order, business education was not a part of their training. This is an immense lacuna in the training of priests and men and women in religious orders. Read on.
• NEPA Synod website ... Here.
• ELCA website ... Here. The new ELCA.org website will be launched on Monday morning, Nov. 18. The launch is the culmination of extensive planning and implementation, during which the ELCA gathered input from a wide range and number of colleagues, constituents and end users from across this church. The result of their collective work is now ready to be published online. Check it out!
• ELCA News Service ... Here.
• ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."
• 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.
• Judge orders Lynn freed on bail ... [Phila Inquirer] The Philadelphia judge who last year said she was sending Msgr. William J. Lynn to prison for enabling "monsters in clerical garb" to sexually abuse children ordered that he could be freed on bail Monday while the state Supreme Court decides whether his conviction was legal. Read on.
• A pope with no down time and an interview with the Vatican's financial reformer ... [NCR] John Allen's Friday column. Here.
• Preparing a generation of 'Francis bishops' ... [John Allen, NCR] Pope Francis celebrated his 77th birthday in relatively quiet fashion, which didn't others from marking the occasion -- including, improbably enough, the pro-gay magazine The Advocate, which named him its Person of the Year. In truth, however, Francis had already given himself a major birthday present 24 hours before by shaking up the membership of the Congregation for Bishops in order to lay the groundwork for a new generation of "Francis bishops." ... There's no doubt that Francis shifted the center of the gravity inside the body responsible for selecting bishops towards the middle -- not just with the American members, as it turns out, but across the board. Read on.
• The Joy of the Gospel ... Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, with detailed table of contents. Here.
• Vatican website ... Here.
• Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.
• Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
• An epidemic of Attention Deficit Disorder ... [NYTimes Editorial] The hard-sell campaign by drug companies to drive up diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D., and sales of drugs to treat it is disturbing. The campaign focused initially on children but is now turning toward adults, who provide a potentially larger market. ... A two-decade campaign by pharmaceutical companies promoting the pills to doctors, educators and parents was described by Alan Schwarz in The Times on Sunday. The tactics were brazen, often misleading and sometimes deceitful. Shire, an Irish company that makes Adderall and other A.D.H.D. medications, recently subsidized 50,000 copies of a comic book in which superheroes tell children that “Medicines may make it easier to pay attention and control your behavior!” Advertising on television and in popular magazines has sought to persuade mothers that Adderall cannot only unleash a child’s innate intelligence but make the child more amenable to chores like taking out the garbage. ... So many medical professionals benefit from overprescribing that it is difficult to find a neutral source of information. Prominent doctors get paid by drug companies to deliver upbeat messages to their colleagues at forums where they typically exaggerate the effectiveness of the drugs and downplay their side effects. Read on.
• When I'm sixty-four ... [NYTimes Op-Ed, Roger Cohen] The brave new world of regenerative medicine is upon us. This is the term of art for the various techniques and technologies (including cell therapy, gene therapy and tissue engineering) that will, its advocates say, allow the body to slow, halt or even reverse aging by enabling the regeneration and repair of damaged organs, cells and tissues. Talk of routinely living to 120 or even 200 no longer lies in the realm of cranks and fantasists. Read on.
• Flu now widespread in Pennsylvania ... [The Morning Call] An early start for the season. Read on.
• To reach goals, be more logical and take a scientific view of your emotions ... [Gerard Baker, WSJournal] For those of us gearing up to tackle a list of New Year's resolutions, the following question might be of interest: Is rationality teachable? While some skeptics don't think so, the "rationality movement" says science can help us optimize our decision-making. And it isn't about purging our emotions. Surprisingly, much of the advice is contingent on them, such as building up an "emotional library" of associations to reduce procrastination. "Rationality isn't about getting rid of emotions, but analyzing them and taking them into consideration when making decisions," says the president of the Center for Applied Rationality, a nonprofit prominent in promoting the rationality movement. Our story takes a look at some techniques that can help us reach our goals.
• 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.
• Hollywood rediscovers the Bible ... [NYTimes] Studios and filmmakers are rediscovering the Bible as source material for upcoming mainstream films. Read on.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... December.
• Jubilate for December 1 through March 2 ... The newest Jubilate, hymnody for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany is available at the DioBeth website under Diocesan Resources. This is graciously provided by Canon Cliff Carr. If you wish to receive this quarterly via email, in both Word and .pdf formats, use the Get Connected box on the righthand side of the DioBeth home page and sign-up for Jubilate.
• 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 Blog ... a weekly look back at the top stories and developments on religious liberty around the world. 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.
• Enriching our Worship and Same-Sex Blessings ... Free download here.
Comments are welcome at the newSpin blog. Click there on the title of the current newsletter. Comment below. As soon as the newsletter is completed, usually by Tuesday, it is uploaded to the blog and posted on Bakery and on a ChurchPost list of some 1,200 addresses. Many recipients often forward it to others. 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]