Trinity Bethlehem organizes churches to shelter homeless people from the cold
Reflection on the gospel for Epiphany 2C

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Trinity Bethlehem organizes churches to shelter homeless people from the cold ... Story and three pics.

On Haiti ... On January 13, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued the following statement concerning the January 12 earthquake in Haiti: The people of Haiti have suffered a devastating earthquake, and it is already clear that many have died and many more are injured.  Even under “normal” circumstances, Haiti struggles to care for her 9 million people.  The nation is the poorest in the western hemisphere, and this latest disaster will set back many recent efforts at development.  I urge your prayers for those who have died, been injured, and are searching for loved ones – and I urge your concrete and immediate prayers in the form of contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development, who are already working with the Diocese of Haiti to send aid where it is most needed.

Follow developments in Haiti on Episcopal Cafe. Haiti is the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church. Download a bulletin insert here. You may donate directly and quickly by credit card at ERD. You may also call 800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Some 92% to 96% of each dollar given to ERD goes directly to the program be it for disaster relief or for development.

Shameful new low for Pat Robertson ... Raymond Joseph, Haitian ambassador to the United States, addresses the outrageous claim by televangelist Pat Robertson that the earthquake suffered by Haiti is the result of a 200-year-old "deal with the devil." [H/T to Peter Carey, reporting at Episcopal Cafe]

A 21-day financial fast ... When a tragedy such as the Haiti earthquake occurs, the outpouring of support for this already poor nation is nice to see. As we approach the season of Lent, it can be an extremely spiritually rewarding practice to give some time to reflect upon the way that many people in the United States and elsewhere consume more than we need. On NPR online, Michelle Singletary proposes a 21-day financial fast in order to purify our consumerist mentality. Pairing this practice with the practice of radical giving to the victims of the Haiti earthquake would be good news indeed. [H/T to Peter Carey, reporting at Episcopal Cafe]

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Drawing attention to Sudan's faltering peace process, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan met with U.K Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday to underscore the urgency for the international community to take action to ensure that the country doesn't plunge back into civil war. Read more here.

Sudan ... Remarks on the fifth anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Episcopal Church Medical Trust work on denominational health plan underway ... Church-wide plan to be built on diocesan choice. Read more here.

St. Paul’s, Montrose will celebrate its new ministry on Saturday, January 23, at 4:00 p.m. with the installation of the Rev. Paul E. Walker as rector. Bishop Jack Croneberger will preside and preach. A reception will follow in the Parish House. The public is welcome to join us in this service to welcome Father Paul to St. Paul’s and the community. St. Paul’s is located at 60 Church Street. For more information: 570-278-2954.

Climate change? ... The Diocese of Alaska recently announced four nominees for next bishop. One of them is from Hawaii.

The Holy Ordinary ... An article by Suzanna Guthrie in The Christian Century, Jan. 12, 2010.

Church of England pension fund near insolvency ... Read here.

Bloggers and theologians have taken on the popular movie, Avatar, as the topic du jour. More here, thanks to Ann Fontaine.

For daily news, information and commentary, visit Episcopal Life Online and the Diocese of Bethlehem's newSpin blog.

Recent columns, sermons, reflections by Bishop Paul ... Redeem the gift card, a Christmas sermon ... • Are church leaders getting it, at last ... • The Presiding Bishop - An appreciation and reminders for parish leaders ... • Pastoral Provision for same-sex couples ... • Remembering Loved Ones ... • Address to 2009 Diocesan Convention ... • The Spirituality of Integrity ... • Mother Jones - More than a magazine ... • Don't confuse being valuable with being right ...

Recent reflections by Archdeacon Stringfellow ... • A reflection on John 2:1-11, Epiphany 2C ... • A reflection on the Baptism of Our Lord in the gospels for Epiphany I ... • His heart and his $80 million treasure ... • A New Year's Reflection on the Miracle of Compound Interest ... • A reflection on Matthew's Infancy Narrative ... • Bridging Ideas and Things, a reflection on John's prologue ... • Friends in low places, A Christmas reflection ... • We don't help people, we help them help themselves ... • Jesus' birth exalts the poor ... • Sudan –– U.S. Policy and New Hope ... • The Religious Sports Fan: the boundaries blur, the boundaries clarify ... • A prophet with a new message, but he's not the Savior ...  • Revelation gives hope ...

Resolved: 20 Religious Resolutions ... By Andrew Gerns. Read here.

Got a question? Need some info? InfoLine can help you find answers and make connections to churchwide ministries, events and activities.

Plan Ahead ... Jan 18-25: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity ... Resources here. Suggestions from Canon Maria Tjeltveit here. ••• Jan. 23: St. Paul's Montrose will celebrate the new ministry of the congregation with Father Paul Walker as their rector, 4:00 p.m. ••• Jan. 23: Lay Worship Leaders Training, formerly Lay Readers, will take place Jan. 23 at Trinity Mount Pocono. More info here. ••• Jan. 27-29: Trinity Institute, Building an Ethical Economy,  at Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Old Zionsville, PA, $35. More info or to register, call 610-966-3834 or or email zions@ptd.net. ••• Jan. 28: Diocesan Council, Grace Kingston 6:30 p.m. ••• Jan 29/30: Bishop's Bakery, Coffee House and Open Mic Night for Youth ... Friday, Jan. 29 (6:00pm) - Saturday, Jan. 30 (9:00am) at Good Shepherd Scranton. Poster and info here. Online registration is now open.  Get more info and register online. ••• Jan. 30: Lay Eucharistic Visitors Training, St. Brigid's Nazareth, 9:00 to noon. More info here. ••• Feb. 6: Grace Kingston will celebrate the new ministry of the congregation with Father John Hartman as their rector on February 6 at 4:00 p.m. ••• Feb. 17: Ash Wednesday ••• Feb. 27: 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. More info here. ••• March 25: Chrism Mass at the Cathedral, Bethlehem, 11:00 a.m. ••• April 16-18: Christophany, Watson Homestead, Painted Post, New York. Registration will open February 12 online at www.diobeth.org. ••• April 24: 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. ••• April 30-Mary 2: Creating a Culture of Peace at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem. ••• July 10: Bishop's Day with Kids at Good Shepherd Scranton. [If you have a brief announcement you'd like listed in this PlanAhead, send it to Bill. Please keep it brief.]

The 2010 standard mileage rates per IRS ... 50 cents business, 16.5 cents for medical and moving, 14 cents for charitable service.

From '24' to the underwear bomber ... The debate over torture is heating up on two fronts: politics and popular culture. The airline bombing attempt on Christmas Day brought renewed calls to use torture on terror suspects, and the Jan. 17 premiere of the new season of "24″ again thrusts that drama’s frequent depictions of torture into the mix. Read more.

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Bill Lewellis, Communication Minister/Editor (1986), Canon Theologian (1998)
Diocese of Bethlehem, 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Blog, Email (c)610-393-1833, (h)610-820-7673
Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]

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