newSpin, the newsletter
October 29, 2015
TopSpin [• New item •• Repeat]
• Daylight Saving Time ends … on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2:00 a.m. "Fall back."
• In Remembrance of Mark Dyer … A YouTube video of the diocesan convention banquet program, Oct. 2. (If YouTube tells you the video has been removed, that's temporary. We're trying to work out a problem with the audio.)
• As Greenland melts away … [Poynter] The New York Times uncorked a knockout story on scientists studying the Greenland ice sheet, one of the fastest-melting anywhere, and how it could increase sea levels worldwide by 20 feet in coming decades. It's an understated tour de force with interactive graphics and video that really help inform. As a friend noted, there's almost a cinematic quality to it. The effort is evidence of how smart, creative people are raising the bar with the convergence of print, video and graphics.
• Catholic Church leaders issue appeal on climate change … [NYTimes] Roman Catholic cardinals, patriarchs and bishops from around the world on Monday appealed to climate-change negotiators to approve a “fair, legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement” when they meet at a widely anticipated United Nations conference in Paris next month. Read on. Also at Commonweal and RNS.
• Installation of Presiding Bishop-Elect Michael Bruce Curry … November 1. He is the first African-American to be elected Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. Bishop Curry will be the 27th Presiding Bishop, the Primate, and the Chief Pastor of The Episcopal Church. He will also serve as President of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.
All are invited to join a Vigil Celebration and Eucharist, sponsored by the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) in honor of the 27th Presiding Bishop on Saturday, October 31 at 11 am Eastern at the Armory, 2001 E. Capital St. SE in Washington, DC. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will preside at the Eucharist and Presiding Bishop-Elect Curry will celebrate. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society will sponsor a live webcast of the Vigil Celebration here. More information and registration for the event can be found here.
The Holy Eucharist with the Installation of Bishop Curry, will occur on Sunday, November 1 at noon Eastern at Washington National Cathedral. The Holy Eucharist with the Installation of the 27th Presiding Bishop will be live webcast available here.
• GiveForward expands… [Amina Elahi, Chicago Tribune, BlueSky] GiveForward, a leading medical crowdfunding website, introduced new features Thursday as it looks beyond the industry it helped pioneer. The Chicago-based company unveiled a new way for users to create their own pages to request assistance with meals, create wish lists and communicate with their communities alongside their fundraising efforts. Read on.
Where Religion, Culture and Politics Intersect [• New item •• Repeat]
• Spotlight: Boston Globe church-scandal movie spurs press introspection … [Poynter, Roy J. Harris Jr., Oct 06] After the thunderous applause died down for last week’s preview of “Spotlight,” the new Michael Keaton movie, the real stars took seats in front of the screen. Marty Baron, Walter “Robby” Robinson, Mike Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer and Ben Bradlee Jr. — five key figures in the Boston Globe’s 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning expose into the sexual abuse of young parishioners by Catholic priests. As good a reaction as they gave the film, attendees at the Investigative Film Festival, hosted by the D.C.-based 100Reporters group, seemed as enthusiastic about hearing from the panelists. Read on.
• Survivors of clergy sexual abuse discuss how Spotlight portrayed their trauma … [Boston.com] Ann Hagan Webb didn’t expect to get emotional while watching Spotlight for the first time. As a survivor of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, she had already lived through the events depicted in the film. But Webb found herself feeling completely overwhelmed as she observed how The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team of investigative journalists personally reacted to uncovering the systemic problem of clergy sexual abuse. Seeing it play out on the big screen reminded her of the moment she realized that, as a victim, she wasn’t alone. Read on.
• On Planned Parenthood, beware of false prophets … [Religion&Politics, Oct. 6] Here.
• Time to Retire the Term 'Alien' … [NYTimes, The Editorial Board] Referring to immigrants as "aliens" plays to the xenophobic crowd and poisons the political debate. Read on.
DioBeth [• New item •• Repeat]
•• Clinical pastoral education program at Geisinger … [From Father Tim Alleman] Here.
• 2015 Convention of the Diocese of Bethlehem … Find reports on our convention at the Oct. 8 diocesan newsletter and at our diocesan website.
• All Saints Evensong at Mediator Allentown … [Clint Miller, Organist /Choirmaster] Sunday, November 1, 4:00 pm. The Preces and Response settings are by John Barnard. The musical setting of the Introit to begin the service will be “The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God.” (text from the book of Wisdom) by Stanley Marchant. The canticles Magnificat and Nunc dimittis will be by John Rutter. The Offertory Anthem for the afternoon will be Edgar Bainton’s musical setting of the Revelation text, “And I saw a new heaven.” A gala reception will follow the service. All are welcome.
•• The Scariest Stories: Witch Hunts … a free lecture open to the public, will be presented by The Rev. Brian Pavlac, Ph.D., at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre on Friday, October 30, at 7 p.m. The illustrated talk will discuss when and why Christian authorities began to believe in and fear witches, and how they persecuted people accused as witches. This is a horror story that is based not on Halloween fantasy but on historical fact. The lecture will be followed by a brief penitential service. Fr. Pavlac is a professor of history at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, and is the author of the book, “Witch Hunts in the Western World: Persecution and Punishment from the Inquisition through the Salem Trials,” published by the University of Nebraska Press. For more information, call St. Stephen’s Church 570-825-6653.
• DioBeth Leadership News, Oct. 22 … Here.
• DioBeth e-Newsletter, Oct. 8 … Here.
•• Look online … for the Diocese of Bethlehem Facebook Page, Facebook Group (Bethlehem Episcopalians) and Twitter feed.
•• Bethlehem Episcopalians … is a Facebook group for conversations about mission, spirituality, Christian formation, and more that has replaced the old Bakery email list. Bethlehem Episcopalians is an open group. Anyone can join and items that you post can be shared by group members on their own Facebook pages. This offers each of us the opportunity to reach a larger audience with news and conversations about what God is doing in our diocese." Join the Facebook group. Includes 334 members.
• Look online every Thursday for a Diocese of Bethlehem newsletter or for newSpin … [Bill] Every Thursday in the following rotation: (1) The Leadership News, (2) The newSpin newsletter, (3) The Diocesan e-Newsletter, (4) The newSpin newsletter.
The Leadership News and the Diocesan e-Newsletter are official publications of the Diocese of Bethlehem. They include news, info, features and events relating to our diocese and parishes. Find the most recent Diocesan e-Newsletter, October 8, here. Find the most recent Leadership News, October 22, here.
The newSpin newsletter you are now reading is not an official publication – and will usually not duplicate news, info and features relating to our diocese and parishes found in the official newsletters. It is a relatively lengthy eclectic sampling of items related to religion – at times not, at times not so clearly – that the editor thinks readers might find to be of interest. It has been a kind of hobby of a onetime communication minister, the work of a volunteer who in retirement enjoys and dedicates time to do the research required. I always post the newSpin newsletter on the newSpin blog. If you wish to receive it by email, please send a note to Jo Trepagnier, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Jubilate … The latest may be found at the TrinityBeth web site, in word and pdf formats. Be sure to click on "Late Pentecost B to Last Epiphany C." Thanks to Cliff Carr. What a great service he has been providing for some 35 years.
Episcopal/Anglican [• New item •• Repeat]
• Weekly bulletin inserts … [ENS] November 1: All Saints; November 8: Veterans Day; November 15: FORMA. Find the inserts here.
• Anglican Cycle of Prayer … Here.
• Video: PB urges compassionate response to refugee crisis … [ENS] Here.
• I am deeply grateful for what God has been up to in the midst of our journey together … [PB Katharine Jefferts Schori] "The Episcopal Church has come a long way in the last 10 years. We are no longer consumed by internal conflict over various social issues. We are clearer about who we are – a multinational church, with congregations in 17 nations, worshipping in countless different languages, thriving in international, immigrant, and multicultural contexts everywhere, and discovering the abundant life that comes in turning outward to love the neighbors nearby and far away." Read on.
• All eyes on bishops’ benches in House of Lords as first woman takes seat … [ACNS/ENS] The first woman to sit as a bishop in the U.K. parliament has taken her seat. Bishops have played a formal part in the U.K. parliament since before the origins of democracy in the country. Initially as advisers to the Monarch, Anglican bishops now occupy 26 seats in the upper house of Parliament, the House of Lords. Read on.
• Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook sentenced to seven years in drunk-driving death of cyclist … [The Baltimore Sun, Oct. 27] The sentence came at the end of a two-hour hearing in which the wife, mother and sisters-in-law of Thomas Palermo directed their grief and anger at the disgraced clergywoman. Prosecutors said Cook was far above the legal limit for alcohol and sending a text message as she drove her Subaru Forester in Roland Park on the afternoon of Dec. 27. She struck and killed Palermo, a 41-year-old software engineer and father of two young children, as he enjoyed a ride. She left the scene twice, a fact that weighed on judge Timothy J. Doory."Your leaving the scene at that time was more than irresponsibility, it was a decision," Doory said. Cook, 59, pleaded guilty last month to automobile manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and other violations. Read on.
• Resources … way below.
SpiritSpin [• New item •• Repeat]
• Bishop Michael Curry's vision: A world transformed by the love of God … [RNS, Adelle Banks] An interview.
• Have you ever had a religious experience? … [Bill] You might have, without recognizing it as such. Have you ever changed from within, i.e., not because of external manipulation but because you experienced a burst of energizing insight? (Is that why they call it INsight?) It may not be a religious experience, but it may be close. Nothing outside of you seemed to change. Reality that day was essentially the same as it was the day before. But somewhere in time, eternity almost happened; you gained a significantly different outlook on life or relationships or responsibility or religion.
You may be content to consider that an experience of integrity or authenticity. It is that, and may be more, part of the ongoing process of God's self-communication. Look at it this way. A late '80s book by a Jesuit priest presents "an inverse approach to revelation." William Reiser, in "Drawn to the Divine" suggests that we look at revelation as "our coming out of hiding into the light created by the holy mystery of God."
• The lonely death of George Bell … [NYTimes Magazine, N.R. Kleinfield, Oct. 18] Dying alone in New York. Each year around 50,000 people die in New York, some alone and unseen. Yet death even in such forlorn form can cause a surprising amount of activity. Sometimes, along the way, a life’s secrets are revealed. Read on.
• Feeling Isolated? Try Choral Singing … [Pacific Standard] New research suggests singing together was the original way our hunter-gatherer ancestors forged bonds with strangers. Singing together releases endorphins (which have been called "the body's natural opiates") no matter the size of the group. Read on.
• When people tell you who they are … [Brain Pickings, Maria Popova] Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
• Hope dies last … [Bill] Nearly ten years ago, I came across a story/image that resonated with my own prejudices. A former nun is the protagonist of "Severina," a posthumously published book of Italian author Ignazio Silone. As she lay dying of a wound received during a protest, one of the sisters from her former convent comes to her deathbed. She takes Severina’s hand, saying, “Severina, Severina, tell me you believe.” Severina says, “No … but I hope.”
Who could say that is not a profession of faith? That story came to mind when I heard Archdeacon Rick Cluett preach during our diocesan convention Eucharista few Sundays ago (October 18, Pentecost 21, Proper 24). He referenced Hope Dies Last, a book Studs Terkel wrote toward the end of his life. "His thesis," Cluett preached, "is that God created in the human psyche and soul, a Hope – a Faith, a Trust, call it what you will – a Hope that will sustain us to the very end when we meet God face to face."
• Lady Gaga and the Life of Passion … [David Brooks, NYTimes] Those who immerse themselves in their pursuits show courage in exploring their inner selves and in getting past worrying about what others think … Lady Gaga is her own unique creature, whom no one could copy. But she is indisputably a person who lives an amplified life, who throws her contradictions out there, who makes herself a work of art. People like that confront the rest of us with the question a friend of mine perpetually asks: Who would you be and what would you do if you weren’t afraid? Read on.
• Moral overconfidence: You’re not as virtuous as you think … [WaPo, Nitin Nohria, Oct. 15] We overestimate our ability to do the right thing. The Harvard Business School dean suggests "moral humility." For a real-world example, consider Enron. Employees were under extraordinary pressure to present a picture of impressive earnings. Ambiguities and conflicts were built into the legal and regulatory systems they were operating in. And so they pushed accounting rules to their limits. What began as innovative and legitimate financial engineering progressed to a corporate shell game that met the letter of the law but flouted its spirit — and ultimately led to Enron’s collapse. This is not to say that Enron’s top executives — Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling and Andrew Fastow — were good people, but to emphasize how others throughout the organization got caught up in morally troublesome behavior.
We would see fewer headlines about scandal and malfeasance, and we could get our actions to better match our expectations, if we tempered our moral overconfidence with some moral humility. When we recognize that the vast majority of us overestimate our ability to do the right thing, we can take constructive steps to limit our fallibility and reduce the odds of bad behavior.
One way to instill moral humility is to reflect on cases of moral transgression. We should be cautious about labeling people as evil, sadistic or predatory. Of course, bad people who deliberately do bad things are out there. But we should be attuned to how situational factors affect generally good people who want to do the right thing. Read on.
• Finding God in the neighborhood … [Diana Butler Bass, The Atlantic] In the 1980s, when I was living in Durham, North Carolina, I attended a church in a neighborhood undergoing transition. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church had been built to serve Hope Valley, an upper-class neighborhood, an early 20th-century enclave strategically positioned on the other side of the Durham County line, allowing residents to avoid racial tensions in town. By the late 1980s, however, change was afoot in Durham County. Huge planned developments sprang up, complete with schools, private pools, and associations. The new communities bore old-fashioned words like “chapel,” “farm,” or “woods” in their names, to give them an air of tradition. The old Hope Valley neighbors, who could be an exclusive lot, had a hard time with these pop-up communities, seeing the new people as interlopers and the new developments as intrusions on the landscape. At the church, a tribal war broke out between those who sought to maintain the old neighborhood and the newcomers who had begun to attend the church. In the short term, the old-timers won. It was, in a word, unpleasant.
An odd thing, however, has happened since. The way of life that the older church members were trying to maintain, that of the historic houses and interrelated families, has pretty much vanished. They may have won the skirmish at the church, but the world was changing around them. Although old Hope Valley remains as a protected historic district, some of it was surrendered to infill and tear down, and the newer surrounding neighborhoods, with their modern amenities, are now home to many thousands more people than the original neighborhood could have ever housed. The new tribe eventually took over. Thirty years ago, I thought that the conflict at St. Stephen’s church was about theology. In hindsight, it is apparent that it was a conflict about sociology: the meaning and future of the American neighborhood. Read on.
• Nadia Bolz-Weber on the decline of mainline Christianity and her new book, 'Accidental Saints' … Making the church safe for sinners. As a performative pastor, Bolz-Weber might seem New Age, but her ministry is actually focused on something old school: sin. Read on. And she is baffled by how churches became so squeaky clean. Jesus never scanned the room for whoever was the most clean-cut. Read on.
•• Why be Episcopalian? … [Episcopal Café, Lisa Fischbeck] The Episcopal Church is the American expression of the Anglican Church, a Church with a tradition of rich and thoughtful theology, spirituality and liturgy. At its best, Anglican theology is a theology that welcomes questions, that respects individual conscience, and that looks for truth in the comprehensive, rather than the particular. It is a theology that is nuanced and that thrives in the creative tension between seemingly competitive dualities. Anglican theology holds a particular appreciation of the Incarnation – God becoming a human being. This means that we believe that God comes to us where and how we are, that all of humanity has been lifted up, and therefore the dignity of every human being is to be respected. Anglican theology has a lot to contribute to conversations among Christians, between Christians and those of other faiths, and between the Church and the world.
At its best, Anglican spirituality calls forth a lifetime of conversion and transformation, what former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold described as being “transformed and conformed into the way of Christ.” Anglican Spirituality holds a wealth of pre-existing resources for prayer and formation: the Eucharistic Rites to remind us of the Story again and again, the daily office with its many canticles to inform our conscience, the liturgical calendar and the rhythm of the church year to transform time. This comes as a comfort and relief to those who have not had a one-time, life-changing conversation experience. And it helps to give value to the many and varied transformative events of our lives. It also means we have more transformation ahead. Read on.
• Spirit Resources ... way below.
• For some 30 years, I have known Archdeacon Rick Cluett to be an outstanding preacher … And he keeps getting better. Please find below an excerpt from Rick's sermon at the Cathedral Bethlehem, October 18 (Pentecost 21, Proper 24) and a link to the complete sermon.
"Fear can make us act in so many ways. It can paralyze, take our choices away, make us feel helpless. It can drive us to action that might at another time seem precipitous, even reckless. There is a marvelous book by the author, Studs Terkel, written toward the end of his life. He titled it, Hope Dies Last. His thesis is that God created in the human psyche and soul, a Hope – a Faith, a Trust, call it what you will – a Hope that will sustain us to the very end when we meet God face to face.
"It is easy to know Hope in the best of times. It is sometimes hard to remember Hope in the worst of times, but the truth is that for us human beings, Hope Dies Last. When it seems that there is no way, no how, no power to move us out of our fear; there is a way and there is a how and there is a power. And it begins with that spark of Hope God placed in our soul in the very beginning, in the act of creating us." Read on.
• This column is gluten-free… [NYTimes, Roger Cohen, Oct. 19] People, if they have a choice (and it’s worth recalling that much of humanity still does not), are eating better. That’s good. But there is also a downside that has to do with self-indulgence, commercial manipulation, the rampant anxiety associated with “affluenza” and narcissistic fussiness. … Gluten has done O.K. by humanity for upward of 10 millennia. It’s bad for some people, but the epidemic of food intolerance has gone way over the top. Read on.
• Pope Francis can embrace contradictions – unlike most of his bishops … [The Economist, Erasmus, Oct. 28] In contrast with documents which had circulated in earlier rounds of deliberation, the final document (as yet only in Italian) offered no flexibility in its assessment of gay relationships and was unequivocal in its opposition to gay marriage. That firm line was seen as a concession to the African bishops who accounted for about one fifth of the delegates. But liberal-minded types saw a chink of light emerging in another contentious area: the status of Catholics who divorce and remarry without the blessing of the church, and whether or not such people can be admitted to communion. As of now, the rules exclude such people from the church's most important rite.
In a formula that carefully avoided saying "can" or "can't" it was declared that priests should "accompany" divorced people on a path of "discernment" to see what their spiritual state was: how they had treated their children, and how "the situation of the abandoned partner" stood. The unspoken implication was this might lead to divorcees being admitted to the communion table, but conservatives could still claim that the rules were unchanged …
In his own words and gestures, Francis has shown an impressive ability to embrace paradox. During his recent visit to Washington, DC, he received a woman who is regarded as a conservative heroine because she went to jail rather than officiate at a gay marriage; but he also warmly greeted a former pupil and his gay partner. It is much harder for a vast, bureaucratic and rule-bound institution to cope creatively with contradiction. But in the words of his biographer Austen Ivereigh, "Project Francis is still intact" after the synod. Read on.
• 'Own Your Heresy': Who gets to do public theology? … [Religion Dispatches] The topic of Ross Douthat’s Erasmus Lecture for First Things magazine this week was “The Crisis of Conservative Catholicism,” a timely one given the recent public tussles over the Synod of the Family in Rome. On the same evening, a group of prominent Catholic theologians released an open letter to the editor of the New York Times, responding to Douthat’s October 17th column on “The Plot to Change Catholicism.” In the letter, the theologians objected to Douthat’s “view of Catholicism as unapologetically subject to a politically partisan narrative that has very little to do with what Catholicism really is.”
Douthat had stirred up trouble on Twitter the previous week when he got into a protracted debate with Catholic theologian Massimo Faggioli, who stated that Douthat’s column demonstrated an “ignorance of basic Catholic theology.” After some back and forth on doctrine, Douthat fired back: “Own your heresy.” Heresy is a word that gets thrown around a lot on Twitter by people who often don’t understand its meaning and historical context, but for theologians accusations of heresy can have serious implications. Theologians can be censured, banned from teaching at Catholic institutions, and silenced by the Vatican.
Evangelism/Stewardship/Worship/Church Growth [• New item •• Repeat]
• Resources ... way below
In the Media [• New item •• Repeat]
Rest in Peace [• New item •• Repeat]
• Virginia Handley … died peacefully on October 15, at her residence in Frederick, Md. She was a devoted long time member of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Allentown. Find obituary here.
TaleSpin [• New item •• Repeat]
• Lemons into lemonade … [WaPo] Jilted bride-to-be turns $35,000 wedding reception into feast for the homeless. Read on.
• Second time, second church … [WaPo] Broke pizza delivery driver in need of medication shocked by church’s $1,900 tip. Read on.
• Forty-three years after … [WaPo] the burns that made her the ‘Napalm Girl’, Kim Phuc gets treatment for scars. On June 8, 1972, Kim Phuc was 9 years old and running for her life: her mouth open in anguish, her thin arms splayed out on either side of her small naked body, her burning clothes left behind as the skin on her back stung with the torture of having touched fire. With one black and white photograph, Phuc became a symbol for the pain of the Vietnam War.
Nick Ut, a photographer for the Associated Press, snapped the portrait of terror just before taking her and several other fleeing children to a hospital in Saigon. The next day, the photo was printed on the front page of the New York Times and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize; Ut has said that it was a moment that changed both of their lives. Read on.
• The amazing woman who can smell Parkinson's disease – before symptoms appear … [WaPo] Here.
• The transformation of David Brooks … [Columbia Journalism Review, Danny Funt, Oct. 27] David Brooks was struggling with sin. More precisely, he was seeking a way to translate the Christian understanding of sin into secular terms for millions of readers. His emerging specialty, whether in his New York Times column or best-selling books, is distilling dense concepts for the mainstream. An ugly word for that, he notes, is popularizing. On religious topics, some might say proselytizing. He calls it reporting. “He’s the master,” says Princeton professor Robert George, a onetime adviser to Brooks. “Nobody is better at that than David.”
Explaining Christian theology has bedeviled Brooks for several years now, in writing his latest book, The Road to Character, and in recent columns, much to the bewilderment of readers. It’s strange partly because Brooks was raised Jewish, but also because the opinion pages are generally reserved for current events and politics. For counsel on political punditry, Brooks used to make a practice of interviewing three elected officials a day. To flesh out his sense of sin, he sought a different sort of expertise. Read on.
• South Sudan report shows civil war horror … [WaPo, Michael E. Miller, Oct. 29] This lengthy and graphic story does not mention Kajo Keji or the Kuku people. So graphic, however, that some might not care to read on. "South Sudan celebrated independence on July 9, 2011. Eighteen months later, the brand-new country was burning.The conflict had little to do with the north, however. Instead, it sprang from within South Sudan. Long before it was its own country, South Sudan was seething with tension between various tribes, particularly the two largest: the Dinka and the Nuer." Read on.
•• Geography of Poverty: A journey through forgotten America … [MSNBC] Poverty manifests itself in many ways — poor health care, substandard education, rugged housing, bad diet. But one of its often overlooked consequences is the harsh toll on the body exacted by the geopolitics of poverty, the lucrative energy industry and environmental hazards. As Trymaine Lee examines in this striking piece, the wheezing, coughing, burning eyes and early deaths in Louisiana’s so-called Cancer Alley are a direct result of the legacy of institutional, inescapable poverty that dates to the Antebellum South.This is SOUTHEAST, part two of MSNBC‘s four-part series, Geography of Poverty. INTRODUCTION. SOUTHWEST. NORTHEAST. NORTHWEST.
•• The shocking reach of U.S. child poverty … [CBS MoneyWatch] America's childhood poverty numbers aren't pretty, but they are even uglier than you might think. Take a snapshot of the U.S. today, and you'll find that 22 percent of all children live in families that are below the federal poverty level. But what happens when you look at how American children fare throughout their pre-adult lives? It's nearly twice as bad. Read on.
• Heart Frauds … [Wired] We’ve probably all been hit on by email fraudsters — purported Nigerian princes asking for money orders and so forth. And some of us may have dabbled in online dating. The subjects of this piece were victims of a combination of the two. The results of what the writer, Brendan I. Koerner, calls “online romance scams” are often tragic. “It’s not just the money that’s lost; it’s also emotionally devastating for the people involved,” one government investigator says. “There have been suicides because of this.” Read on.
BackSpin: Do you remember? [• New item •• Repeat]
Employment Opportunities [• New item •• Repeat]
• Episcopal Positions beyond DioBeth ... Here.
Ecumenism, Interfaith, Pluralism – or Not [• New item •• Repeat]
• Word of Life Church’s grew from a Bible group to lethal sect … [NYTimes] Once a living room prayer group, the leaders of a New York church where a young man was allegedly beaten to death invaded congregants' private lives, say former members. Read on
• Resources … way below.
Evangelical Lutheran Church [• New item •• Repeat]
ELCA website ... Here.
ELCA News Service ... Here.
ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."
Spirit Spinning ... for those who hunger and thirst for a deeper connection with God ... Here.
Moravian Church [• New item •• Repeat]
Moravian Church in North America website.
Moravian Church Northern Province website.
Moravian Theological Seminary website.
United Methodist Church [• New item •• Repeat]
News Service Here.
Communication Resources ... Start here.
Eastern PA Conference website Here.
Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog Here.
Presbyterian Church USA [• New item •• Repeat]
Website ... Here.
News & Announcements ... Here.
Roman Catholic [• New item •• Repeat]
• Just one percent of nuns are under the age of 40 … [Pacific Standard] In fact, there are more sisters over the age of 90 than there are under 60. The number of Catholic sisters in the U.S. has steadily declined from a peak in 1965 of 181,421, to about 49,883, according to a 2014 report by researchers at Georgetown University. By 2009, just one percent of sisters were under the age of 40. Read on.
• Strategic Opportunities: Eight chances to strengthen the church … [America, Dennis Holtschneider, Nov 2 issue] This November, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will set forth a new strategic plan. The notion of a unified national bishops’ conference addressing major issues is complicated, of course, because bishops remain independent actors in their own dioceses. Still, all organizations can be strengthened if they set clear goals and aggressively implement them. If the conference were to adopt some collective, achievable and useful strategic goals, what might those include? It is a thought experiment, to be sure, but here is a first attempt. Read on.
• Diocese of Allentown ... Here.
• Diocese of Scranton ... Here.
•• 'Servant of the poor' of Scranton … [Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader] Sister Adrian Barrett, known for her charity work throughout the region, has died at age 86. “She believed in taking care of the poorest of the poor from before their birth,” said Barrett’s cousin and former Scranton mayor James McNulty. A nun with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Barrett died Monday morning (Oct. 12) at Our Lady of Peace retirement home in Scranton, McNulty said. Barrett worked her entire life to improve the quality of life for the impoverished through her activities as both a community servant and political activist, her cousin said. In 1986 she founded the Friends of the Poor, a nonprofit, volunteer-run charitable organization which works to provide those living in poverty with food, clothing and other basic needs. Read on.
• United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ... Here.
• Catholic News Service ... Here.
The Vatican [• New item •• Repeat]
• The real achievement of the Synod … [The Editors of Commonweal] has been the re-invigoration of the synodal process itself.
• Vatican website ... Here.
• Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.
• Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
• The Joy of the Gospel [Evangelii Gaudium] ... Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, with detailed table of contents. Here.
• A readers’ guide to “Laudato Si” … [NCR, Thomas Reese, June 26] Chapter-by-chapter guidance with study questions to help in reading Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change. Intended for book clubs, classes and small discussion groups. Read on.
Health and Wellness [• New item •• Repeat]
• Free shots at drive-thru flu shot clinics … [Morning Call, Jennifer Sheehan] Lehigh Valley Health Network will once again offer free seasonal flu shots for adults and children 6 months or older at two drive-thru sessions in November. The sessions are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 at Dorney Park and Sunday, Nov. 8 at Coca-Cola Park. LVHN will partner with the Allentown Health Bureau to offer online registration again this year. Hourly slots are available both days.
•• Flu Vaccine: Ready and Better … [The Morning Call] The CDC recommends most people over 6 months of age be vaccinated by October. In addition to the traditional shot or nasal spray, the vaccine can also be administered through a jet injector, which uses a high-pressure, narrow stream of fluid to penetrate the skin instead of a hypodermic needle.Two main types of vaccine are available: the trivalent, engineered to protect against three kinds of flu, and the quadrivalent, which includes protection against a fourth. Rhodes recommends the trivalent, which is available in a high-dose form, for seniors. Though the trivalent covers a narrower spectrum of the virus, its high-dose form, which contains four times as much antigen, has been shown to be far more effective in older patients than the quadrivalent, he said.Generally, the vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective. It produces side effects in some people, although usually they are mild and temporary. Whatever immunity it provides lasts at least four to six months. Read on.
• WHO: telling us what we know? … [The Atlantic] The World Health Organization said that eating bacon and hot dogs increases a person’s risk of getting colon cancer, classifying the consumption of red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and processed meats, like ham and sausage, as “carcinogenic to humans.” This doesn’t mean that eating processed meat is as deadly as smoking, but that it’s one food that people could cut back on if they want to be healthier.
• Resources … below
Media/Print/Films/TV/Music/Tech [• New item •• Repeat]
•• Over 45,000 free ebooks … [Stumble Upon] Gutenberg.org.
VariaSpin [• New item •• Repeat]
The strange word … Years ago, when I decided to call this newsletter and its related blog newSpin, I had a few thoughts in mind. The "S" in the middle suggests that some items in newSpin are newS; others, Spin; others, both. Which items I include as well as how and how often I present them are clues to my leanings. I think all of us spin. There's a lot more spin in the world of news than most editors own up to. Watch out for that upper case S in the middle. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul might be said to have spun "the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" [Mark 1:1]. We continue to spin that good news, according to how we have experienced and danced with the Risen Lord.
The newSpin newsletter is uploaded to the newSpin blog and posted on a newSpin list of some 2,000 addresses every other Thursday. Many recipients forward it to others. It 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, the Standing Committee or the Archdeacon as an official communication. Comments are welcome on Bethlehem Episcopalians (if you have joined that interactive FaceBook group).
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]
• Look online every Thursday for a Diocese of Bethlehem newsletter or for newSpin … Every Thursday in the following rotation: (1) The Leadership News, (2) The newSpin newsletter, (3) The Diocesan e-Newsletter, (4) The newSpin newsletter. The Leadership News and the Diocesan e-Newsletter are official publications of the Diocese of Bethlehem. They include news, info, features and events relating to our diocese and parishes. The newSpin newsletter you are now reading is not an official publication – and will usually not duplicate news, info and features relating to our diocese and parish as found in the official newsletters. It is a relatively lengthy eclectic sampling of items related to religion – at times not, at times not so clearly – that the editor thinks readers might find to be of interest. It has been a kind of hobby of a onetime communication minister, the work of a volunteer who in retirement enjoys and dedicates time to do the research required. The newSpin newsletter is always posted on the newSpin blog. If you wish to receive it by email, please send a note to Jo Trepagnier, email@example.com.
• Look online … for the Diocese of Bethlehem Facebook Page, Facebook Group (Bethlehem Episcopalians) and Twitter feed.
• Bethlehem Episcopalians … is a Facebook group for conversations about mission, spirituality, Christian formation, and more that has replaced the old Bakery email list. Bethlehem Episcopalians is an open group. Anyone can join and items that you post can be shared by group members on their own Facebook pages. This offers each of us the opportunity to reach a larger audience with news and conversations about what God is doing in our diocese." Join the Facebook group.
• DioBeth website
• Stumbling into the Sacred ... [Reflections on seeing God in the everyday by Canon Anne E. Kitch]
• newSpin blog ... including the newSpin weekly by Bill Lewellis.
• Facebook Page … Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem
• Facebook Group … Bethlehem Episcopalians
• Twitter …
Center for Congregations ... 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.
• Congregational Consulting ... More information on how to contact the consultants can be found here and at http://www.congregationalconsulting.org/ .
• Church locators ... Here.
• ECF Vital Practices ... 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.
• Calendar of events in our parishes ... Here.
• TREC [TaskForce for Reimagining the Episcopal Church] … website.
• TREC … Video Q&A with TREC panel at Oct. 2, 2014 TREC Churchwide Meeting at the Washington National Cathedral
• The Episcopal Church website, news service, news service blog,
• Episcopal Café
• AngicansOnline website and news centre.
• The Living Church
• The Anglican Communion website and news service.
• The Daily Scan: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to add subscribers for news releases, notices, statements, or Daily Scan.
• Free weekly bulletin inserts provide information about the history, music, liturgy, mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church. Find the inserts here.
• Updated Episcopal Church canons and constitution ... Here.
• Forward Movement ... Here.
• Episcopal Web Radio ... Here.
• Episcopal Church Event Calendar ... Here
Franklin Graham had a revelation. On Friday, Graham said it has “dawned” on him on how to “fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community.”
His solution: stop doing business with LGBT-friendly companies.- See more at: http://elielcruz.religionnews.com/2015/06/07/franklin-graham-calls-on-christians-to-blacklist-lgbt-friendly-companies/?email=blewellis%40diobeth.org#sthash.WI32aUeD.dpuf
• The Book of Common Prayer ... every edition from 1549 to 1979. Here.
• Prayers and Thanksgivings from the BCP ... Here.
• The (Online) Book of Common Prayer ... Here.
• The Daily Office ... can be read online in Rite I, Rite II or the New Zealand Prayer Book versions. At Mission St. Clare.
• The Daily Office ... from the Diocese of Indianapolis. Here.
• Daily Prayer ... a resource of Forward Movement. Here.
• 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.
• Telling the good news, in the media ... [Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson] If the media isn’t telling the stories you want told it is possible (we say very gently) that those stories aren’t interesting or significant enough to warrant coverage. Or, it is possible that you are not presenting them to the media in a way that catches their attention. Or perhaps you have not presented stories to the media at all. It isn’t easy to get your congregation, diocese, conference, or other sort of Christian organization into the newspaper or in online media outlets unless something has gone significantly wrong. It is even harder to get it on television or the radio. But it is possible if you absorb these 10 simple tips. Read on.
• EpiscopalShare ... Here.
• The 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.
• The Liturgical Calendar ... BCP, Lesser Feasts and Fasts, HWHM ... Here.
• Oremus Bible Browser ... Here.
• Celebrating the Eucharist, by Patrick Malloy. Google Book
• Enriching our Worship, 1 to 5 ... Free download here.
• The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant: Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Sex Relationships [Extracted from Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing] Here.
• Collection of worship resources at Diobeth.org ... Including Diocesan Cycles of Prayer for weekly worship, Holy Women Holy Men, and The Text This Week. Here.
Health and Wellness
• 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.
• Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
• Center for Disease Control - Healthy Living
•Church Health Reader
• Eastern Pennsylvania Faith Community Nurses
• Episcopal Mental Illness Network
• Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging at NIH
• National Episcopal Health Ministries
• NEHM Wellness Resource Page
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project: Daily Religion Headlines ... 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.
• BBC News Online ... here.
• BBC Religion & Ethics ... here.
• Faith in Public Life ... Here.
• Religion&Ethics News Weekly (PBS) ... Here.
• Religion Research Hub ... ARDA, Association of Religion Data Archives, an especially useful site.
• Back issues of the newSpin newsletter ... here.
• Spirituality & Film ... Here.
• Spirituality on DVD ... Here.
• Books for Spiritual Journeys ... Here.
• Audios for Spiritual Journeys ... 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.
• Telling the good news, in the media ... [Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson] If the media isn’t telling the stories you want told about your congregation, it is possible (we say very gently) that those stories aren’t interesting or significant enough to warrant coverage. Or, it is possible that you are not presenting them to the media in a way that catches their attention. Or perhaps you have not presented stories to the media at all. It isn’t easy to get your congregation, diocese, conference, or other sort of Christian organization into the newspaper or in online media outlets unless something has gone significantly wrong. It is even harder to get it on television or the radio. But it is possible if you absorb these 10 simple tips. Read on.
• Communicate … Your Ministry, including Bill's Communication Biases and Communication-Evangelism. Here.