Emergency shelter in Bethlehem opens early
The Religious Sports Fan

091208 newSpin

Emergency shelter in Bethlehem opens early ... Read it here.

Los Angeles diocese elects openly gay bishop suffragan ... The Diocese of Los Angeles made history for the second time in as many days on Dec. 5, electing an openly gay candidate, the Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool, 55, canon to the bishops in the Diocese of Maryland for the past eight years, as suffragan bishop. A day earlier, some 680 delegates elected the Rev. Canon Diane Jardine Bruce, 53, rector of St. Clements by-the-Sea Church in San Clemente, California, in the Los Angeles diocese, as their first woman bishop. [Read the ENS story here and the Episcopal Cafe report on early reactions to the election here and herel

Revelation gives hope ... At Evening Prayer today [Monday, Dec. 7]we start again a course reading of the first six chapters of Revelation, known also as The Apocalypse, ending on Saturday before Advent 4. The reading underlines one of the themes of this season: we move toward meeting the Judge at the end of time while we move toward meeting the Baby on December 25. Is it any wonder that we tend to focus on the Baby whilst putting out of our minds the Judge? Who can resist a Baby? Who’s eager to meet the Judge?  [Read Archdeacon Stringfellow's reflection on the Book of Revelation.]

Dreams realized in two dioceses on two sides of the world ... Story and nine photos by Charlie Barebo.

Desks and chairs for Kajo Keji kids ... Story and three photos by Charlie Barebo.

12 Days of Christmas for Kajo Keji ... Find a bulletin insert for the 12 Days of Christmas for Kajo Keji  sponsored by our World Mission Committee. Similar info appears on page 6 of the December issue of Diocesan Life. To date, donations of $6,360 have been made: Solar Lanterns 6, Scholarships 4, Solar Radios 10, Tables 5, Soccer Uniforms 17, Jump Ropes 34, Fabric 70 Yards, Chairs 16, Hoes 15, Net Balls 8 and Bikes 14.

Who's In, Who's Out? ... God is bigger than all our formulas, more mysterious than all our ways of drawing the line. Read the May 5, 2009, sermon by Washington National Cathedral Dean Sam Lloyd here.

Reflecting the Light ... How do we encounter the poor? Are they simply the recipients of our unwanted clothing or our spare change, forgotten until we are confronted by a Salvation Army bell-ringer or a donation-collection truck? Read the Presiding Bishop's column here.

Presiding Bishop speaks out on Uganda anti-gay law ... Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued a statement expressing concern about the pending Ugandan legislation that would introduce the death penalty for people who violate portions of that country's anti-homosexuality laws. Read the statement here.

Where and how will you seek out the light of the world ... Read the Presiding Bishop's Christmas message.

Loneliness may be contagious ... Lonely people may attract fellow "lonelies" and influence others to feel lonely, too. Loneliness can spread from person to person to person –– up to three degrees of separation, i.e., if I don't know anything about you, but I know your friend's friend is lonely, then I can do better than chance at predicting whether or not you will be lonely. [Read more here. H/T to Diana Marshall]  In a nursing home for 13 years ... [Comment from Sue Wolfe, Westminster Village, Allentown, member of Trinity Bethlehem] Thanks so much for the information on loneliness. I suspect many people are afraid to say they are lonely, and don't know how to discuss anything intimate on emotions. I've been in a nursing home for 13 years and have felt dying of loneliness much of the time. If I hadn't wanted to be an outreaching Christian and hadn't had enough counseling experience before needing to live in a nursing home, I would have been both lonely and despairing. When I think of women who live alone, I'm at least grateful for the variety of staff here even though contacts with them are mostly brief, surface ones.

The Mercy Site aims to bring together teaching, links and resources to help introduce Christians to contemplative prayer. Find it here.

Anxiety Disablers ... Twelve are featured on BeliefNet. You may find a few to be quite useful. For me, however, better than any of those is Bishop Paul's suggestion in his June 2009 column for secular newspapers, Borne Up by God's Spirit: "The Christian tradition calls God’s breath the Holy Spirit. What was there from before the beginning is here to nurture and encourage. How do you “get it?” You can’t, because it is already present, always available. My point can only be made by experience. The next time you want to panic or go into crisis mode (both prime signs of spiritual disability), try something else. Let go. Seriously but gently exhale; as you breathe in, feel yourself borne up. Stay in that rhythm long enough and see what answers or attitudes emerge for you. I believe that the most common experience of God’s Spirit is the experience of being borne aloft when and where we are most accustomed to being disabled. It is when God is most accessible and emotionally understandable. It is when religion is most worth trying out."

Expectant in Bethlehem ... Find Monday's Advent reflection by Canon Anne Kitch here. If you would like to subscribe to her daily meditations go to the "Get Connected" box on the right side of our Diocesan Website.  Enter your name and email address, click on "my groups," then choose Expectant in Bethlehem. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Is the Bible too liberal? Amateur translators working on Conservative Bible Project think so. You just can't make these things up, including the twist that the founder of the project's online home is Phillis Schlafly's son. Read about it here.

Fast Facts you may find useful. Here.

Episcopal Church signs are now available in Spanish. For prices and to order signs in single-sided English and Spanish or double-sided English/Spanish, contact EBaR via email at ebr@episcopalchurch.org, phone 800 903-5544, or http://signs.episcopalchurch.org/.

I am Episcopalian because ... Check it out here.

To benefit Allentown and Grace Montessori School ... A project –– traditional and fine art photos taken within Allentown by aspiring local artists –– sponsored by Dan’s Camera, Allentown Brew Works, The Morning Call, and Nikon Cameras will benefit Allentown and Grace Montessori School. Read more here. You might find a special Chrstmas gift. Grace Montessori School will receive 30 to 50 percent of the purchase price on all the products Dan's Camera City has produced and is providing at cost.

A radical Muslim feminist ... This is what she looks like. [Please don't look too deeply for unintended offense. Or :-) will become :-(  Thanks. –Bill]

Christmas Cookies at St. Andrew's ... [From Liza Holzinger] Too busy to bake for the holidays? Purchase some fresh, homemade, delicious treats for entertaining and gifts. Cookies, kiffles, and nut tossies go on sale at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. (just south of Catasauqua Rd. on the border of Bethlehem and Allentown) on Sunday, December 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Visit www.standrewsbethlehem.org or phone 610 865-3603 for more information. All proceeds benefit the church’s mission and ministry of sheltering the homeless and feeding the hungry.

Pray for our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families … Derrick D. Gwaltney, 21; Jonathan A. Taylor, 22; Kenneth R. Nichols Jr., 28 ... for the fallen heroes also of our coalition partners ... and for the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan who have died, unnamed and unknown to us, and for those who mourn ... and for an end to this endless war. [Posted on the Bakery and the newSpin blog, usually on Tuesdays, with names found over seven days.]

Fight the flu with facts  ... See the comprehensive flu.gov website. Also, a CDC warning details a phishing alert email example... Visit the National Swine Flu Situation Page.

Long Island Episcopal Diocese aids expansion of shelter for gay youths. Read it in today's NYTimes.

What numbers are on your plastic containers? [From a NYTimes column by Nicolas Kristof] I asked the doctors [at the recent symposium at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, exploring whether certain common chemicals are linked to breast cancer and other ailments] what they do in their own homes to reduce risks. They avoid microwaving food in plastic or putting plastics in the dishwasher, because heat may cause chemicals to leach out. The symposium handed out a reminder card listing “safer plastics” as those marked (usually at the bottom of a container) 1, 2, 4 or 5. It suggests that the “plastics to avoid” are those numbered 3, 6 and 7 (unless they are also marked “BPA-free”). Yes, the evidence is uncertain, but my weekend project is to go through containers in our house and toss out 3’s, 6’s and 7’s. [Comments on Kristof's column may be found at his blog, On the Ground]

The state of the RC Church today ... "Although he would do many good things in the 26 and a half years he occupied the office, John Paul II's appointments to, and within, the hierarchy were not among them. And that is the main reason why the Catholic church is experiencing such difficulty today." [From a Dec. 7 essay in the National Catholic Reporter by Father Richard McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.]

Diocesan Life.December ... download it here. Diocesan Life will not publish a January issue.

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity ... January 18-25. Find resources here.

Become a baker in the House of Bread ... If you are interested in more news, issues, ideas, opinion and conversation related to our diocesan community, the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, you might consider becoming a baker in the House of Bread's new Bakery. Go to the "Get Connected" box on the right side of our diocesan website. Fill in your name and email address, and click on "My Groups." In the next window that comes up, check Bakery. Bakery, of course, is a play on Bethlehem meaning "House of Bread" in Hebrew. Subscribed to Bakery, you will receive several notes daily (perhaps two, perhaps ten when the oven is hot) and you will be able to enter the conversation by posting your own notes to the group, i.e., to the other bakers. News is fresh in the Bakery long before you see it in print in Diocesan Life. If you choose to do so, thank you for becoming a baker.

Find earlier issues of the newSpin newsletter here.

Bill Lewellis, Communication Minister/Editor (1986), Canon Theologian (1998)
Diocese of Bethlehem, 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Website, Blog, Email (c)610-216-2726, (w)610-691-5655x229, (h)610-820-7673
Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]

Comments

Frank Kiehne

Please add a note that Christ Church is selling holy land olive oil to help the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. They are in desperate need of funds to buy medicine and supplies.

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