New Hope grant to St. Margaret's Emmaus
Tutu urges leaders to agree on climate deal

091215 newSpin

“Do you know what a messiah is?” the teacher asks a group of preschoolers. This takes a certain amount of courage. Anyone who has worked with young children knows a question like this is just begging for a show-stopper answer. My friend Henry, age four, does not disappoint. [Read the rest in the December issue of Canon Anne Kitch's In-Formation in Bethlehem newsletter.]

Sudan –– U. S. Policy and New Hope ... [By Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow] Charlie Barebo and I flew to Kajo-Keji October 20 none the wiser. We landed on the grass and gravel airstrip the following day still not knowing anything had happened. When Bishop Anthony arrived from Juba having attended an election of ten new bishops for ten new dioceses in the Episcopal Church of Sudan, he told us. “President Obama has changed U. S. policy regarding Sudan. It just happened.” I looked at him blankly for two reasons: I knew nothing about the old policy, and as surely I knew nothing about the new one. But right away my neglected homework stood right in front of me. No way around it. An agenda had been set. “Archdeacon, I will send you some documents that I just received.” [More at the newSpin blog.]

Good news from Sudan ... Find the BBC report here. [H/T to Bishop Paul]

Win a reporting trip to Africa with Nicholas Kristof to cover issues of global poverty ... Are you a university student with a yearning to see the best and worst of the world? Are you (reasonably) unruffled if you’re dive-bombed by insects the size of small planes while bouncing over ruts toward an interview with a warlord?  Then it’s time to apply for my 2010 “win-a-trip” contest. For the fourth time, I’ll take a student with me on a reporting trip to Africa to cover issues of global poverty — and their solutions." Nicholas Kristof of the Times has an alternative to Parisian Café society.  Have a look at the contest here. If you win you won't be practicing tourism but journalism. [H/T to Archdeacon Stringfellow] ... Kristof's colleagues within the Times say that first prize is ne trip with Kristof; second prize is two trips.

Did you hear the one about the Montana cop, the rabbi and the dog who speaks Hebrew? It's here. [H/T to Canon Andrew Gerns]

Commission for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations ... and Canon Maria Tjeltveit ... [From Bishop Paul] I am happy to announce that after a period of gathering for initial conversations, we once again have a Commission on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. It is comprised of a good number of clergy and lay people from the north and the south of the DIocese. Because this work is so important and because she has put so much time and energy into the efforts so far, last week I named the chair of the commission as Canon for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. I know you will want to congratulate the Reverend Canon Maria Tjeltveit on her appointment. Those who attend convention are already familiar with her reports and her dedicated work on the dialogue with the Moravians. One of the Commission's tasks is to keep us educated and motivated in these matters, so with you I look forward to hearing from them. Blessings, +Paul

The Reluctant Organist ... “No way! Yes, I can play the piano -– some. But what do I know about Church Music? The organ –– with pipes?!? Two, three, four keyboards –– and those pedals! Anglican chant? I’ve heard about Gregorian chant in a music history class...” “So,” the rector says, “here’s the key to the organ, and the file cabinets of decaying music Do what you can. I trust you.” Find some help here from the Leadership Program for Musicians.

St. Paul's Montrose will celebrate their new ministry of the congregation with Father Paul Walker as their rector on January 23 at 4:00 p.m.

Free Credit Report ... According to the Federal Trade Commission, AnnualCreditReport.com is the only authorized online source to get a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three national credit reporting companies every 12 months. Some other sites claim to offer 'free' credit reports, but may charge you for another product if you accept a 'free' report." Watch your spelling if you type in the web address (rather than click on our link above) –– many of the bogus sites are just one letter away from the site you want. To gain maximum benefit, space out your free credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus over the year. Print or download your report(s) immediately. You may not be able to gain free access again until your 12 months are up. [H/T to Scambusters.org]

De-stress all day long ... Why wait until yoga class -- or nap time -- to destress when you can do it all day and save a ton of wear and tear on your body? Read how here.

Bishop's Bakery and Coffee House for Youth ... Friday, Jan. 29 (6:00pm) - Saturday, Jan. 30 (9:00am) at Good Shepherd Scranton. Online registration is now open. More info here.

Dive In: A Day Exploring Christian Baptism will be held Saturday, February 27, at Good Shepherd Scranton. This day of Christian Formation will offer resources for parents, Christian educators, clergy, and anyone seeking a deeper life in Christ. Online registration and more information is available here.

What would a debate between Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and retired Bishop William Frey look like? And in Dallas. It would look like this. [H/T to Neva Rae Fox]

New Hope grant to St. Margaret's Emmaus ... The New Hope Northeast PA Grants Committee has designated $4,000 to St. Margaret's Emmaus for start up costs for the parish's new outreach ministry to help adults improve their literacy and basic life skills while their children are being cared for one evening a week.

St. Margaret's Emmaus has been designated a "parish at risk" according to Canon XXIX. Read the letter from Archdeacon Stringfellow and Canon Shallcross to the parish.

Canon Anne Kitch's In-Formation Newsletter may be found here.

Lay Worship Leaders Training, formerly Lay Readers, will take place Jan. 23 at Trinity Mount Pocono. More info here.

Diocesan Training for MInistry will be held on Saturday, April 24 at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. Details will be available here when online registration opens on February 20.

Teens and Sex: Can We Talk? ... Some advice from the pros on having these critical conversations. More here.

In Pennsylvania ... One in five ninth-graders fail to graduate from high school. Two in five minority students fail to graduate on time. 170 students drop out each day. More here.

Guilt-free holiday eating ... Enjoying food during the holidays doesn't necessarily have to tip the scale. Check out these five holiday-eating strategies: Three Holiday Eating Myths―Busted, Healthier Than You Think, Guilt-free Holiday Eating, Five Healhful Holiday Foods, and Go Ahead, Indulge. The source document for all of this is the CookingLight website. [H/T to Diana Marshall]

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

CNN to ponder faith and money ... The program is set to air December 19, but I haven't been able to find a CNN abstract or even a specific time. More here from John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.

Christ Church Reading 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. More info from Frank Kiehne.

The Year in Ideas is the cover story of the Sunday Magazine of the NYTimes.

It's that time of year when we begin to see tedious lists compiled. Among the fascinating, however, is The Year in Ideas, the cover story of the Sunday Magazine (12-13-2009) of the NYTimes and TIME Magazine's highs and lows of the past year in 50 wide-ranging lists.

Expectant in Bethlehem ... Find a recent Advent reflection by Canon Anne Kitch here. Anne writes in a way that makes her reflections both entertaining and useful. 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.

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.

UK's first woman bishop on the horizon? ... In the Scottish Episcopal Church. More here. [H/T to Nick Knisely reporting at Episcopal Cafe] 

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

The Diocese of Bethlehem ...
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The Episcopal Church ... Website ... NewsLine ... News & Notices ... EpiScope ... InfoLine ... Episcopal Life Online ... FastFacts ... I am Episcopalian ... Weekly Bulletin Inserts ... On Twitter ... On Facebook ... and on YouTube.

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.

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
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Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]

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