From risk to opportunities: Congregational renewal in the Diocese of Bethlehem
CORRECTED Diocesan Life July and August issue 2010

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Anarchy institutionalized ... a bit like what the church is at our best. Catholic Worker houses rock. Especially when they’re Protestant. More here. [H/T to John B. Chilton, reporting at Episcopal Cafe]

Morning Meditation ... Our sacred communion, a grain of sand within billions of galaxies. Begin your morning meditation with the Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe.

Kajo Keji's New Hope Newsletter, April-June 2010, includes an update on New Hope construction. Download it at the newSpin blog.

Letters of Intent requested for New Hope grants ... [From the Rev. Daniel Gunn] The Social Ministries Committee is now ready to receive and consider requests for disbursements from the New Hope Campaign. The total amount we are able to grant for the 2010-11 calendar year is $100,000. Therefore, we are inviting Letters of Intent from parishes and Episcopal related organizations within the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem. The Deadline for Letters of Intent is 30 July 2010. More here.

Diocesan Life, the July/August issue ... Download it here.

Rowan to Katharine: don't wear your mitre in England ... The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church preached at Southwark Cathedral London last weekend despite muted hisses of disapproval by conservative evangelicals. She wore no mitre. The Archbishop of Canterbury couldn't stop her preaching but said she could not wear a mitre. Something to do with women bishops not yet being allowed in the C of E. She carried the mitre. The subject for her sermon: God welcomes everyone, regardless of dress or condition. More here. [H/T to Ann Fontaine] Read the PB's sermon here. And read here for a follow-up on ecclesial temper. Finally, the PB calls the ABC's treatment of her "bizarre, beyond bizarre." Ordinarily it would not be news that in 2005 Frank Griswold, then presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, wore his mitre at Southward Cathedral. But these are not ordinary times.

Calendars ... •Download the current Calendar of Events for the whole diocese here. (If you would like and event listed, email Kat Lehman with event name, date, location, costs, time event starts and any contact info. She will gladly add any events your parish is hosting. •Find the Calendar of Diocesan Events here. Please note the difference between the two calendars.

•June 26, Communication Workshop at the Cathedral, Bethlehem, 8:30 to 3:00. $10.00 includes lunch. Open to anyone interested in communication as ministry. Download a brochure here. Register online here.

•June 29, Brian Pavlac will be ordained to the priesthood 7:00 p.m., at St Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. A reception will follow.

•July 10, Bishop's Day for Kids, The Gospel according to Dr Seuss, at Good Shepherd Scranton. More info here. Register online.

•August 5-8, Middle School Mission Trip in Bethlehem. More info here. Register online here.

Beyond filling slots ... The Alban Institute's focus this week is worship planning and going beyond the linear 'who does what when' model to a more expansive and spacious planning process.

Classic Voices in Jermyn ... This unique acappella singing group will set the tone with a special concert presentation to be held at St. James and George Episcopal Church Jermyn on Saturday June 19 at 7:00 p.m. More here.

Pray for our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families … Steve M. Theobald, 53; Derek L. Shanfield, 22; Zachary J. Walters, 24; Erick J. Klusacek, 22; Michael P. Flores, 31; Joel C. Gentz, 25; David C. Smith, 26; Benjamin D. White, 24; Michael G. Plank, 25; Gavin R. Brummund, 22; Robert J. Fike, 38; Bryan A. Hoover, 29; Christian M. Adams, 26; Israel P. Obryan, 24; William C. Yauch, 23; Mario Rodriguez, 24; Brian M. Anderson, 24; Christopher W. Opat, 29; Joshua A. Lukeala, 23; Matthew R. Catlett, 23; Charles S. Jirtle, 29; Blaine E. Redding, 22; ... 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.

Hymn Sing at St. James Dundaff, June 27 at 6.30 p.m.  The Tunkhannock Dulcimers will also join the fun, and a Biblical storyteller will make an appearance.  Dessert afterwards. St. James is a summer chapel. Worship services with Communion, 10.30 Sunday mornings from Memorial Day through Labor Day. St. James was one of the original churches in Dundaff Corners, and is one of two still in use today.  Founded in the 1830’s, the parish grew as the community did, and people often found ‘standing room only’ for worship services. When a different site was selected as the county seat, Dundaff began to decline somewhat, and is now a pleasant, quiet place to live. There are many families who summer at Crystal Lake and Newton Lake, and others who are year-round residents in the near-by townships.  Surrounded by Elk Mountain, Clifford, Forest City, and Carbondale, Dundaff offers near-by antiquing, restaurants, parks, golf and other recreation. Located about 6 miles from Interstate 81, the chapel is easy to find on Route 247. For more information, call the Rev. May Lou Divis at 570-878-4670 or Bob at 570-222-2724. Other programs this summer include a yard sale on July 24, and a picnic/worship in Merli-Sarnoski park on August 21. St. James especially welcomes campers, bikers, golfers, and neighbors.

Does your church use a wireless microphone? ... If so, note that new rules by the Federal Communications Commission now restrict the frequency on which wireless microphones can operate. The 700 MHz Band became off-limits to wireless mics on June 12. That band now is dedicated to public safety agencies. More information is on the FCC website at http://fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/

U.S. RC bishops from a better time ... Richard McBrien writes in the National Catholic Reporter of "the acute change in the composition of the U.S. hierarchy over the past 30 years, that is, since the election of Pope John Paul II in 1978 and the departure of Archbishop Jean Jadot, Apostolic Delegate to the United States, in 1980. So marked and long-lasting has the change been that many Catholics today, clergy, religious, and laity alike, tend to view many, if not most, bishops as ciphers at best, hopeless reactionaries at worst. To such Catholics, bishops are irrelevant to the life and mission of the church, and to their own lives as well ... If anyone wants to know why there has been so much hemorrhaging from the Catholic church in recent years (the Pew Study of U.S. religions has put the number at 3 in 10) and why there is so much demoralization among those who have thus far remained, we need look no further than the general pattern of appointments to, and promotions within, the U.S. hierarchy over the past three decades." More here.

The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion ... Find a kind of Cliff Notes here.

ENS Weekly Bulletin Inserts ... In the insert for June 20, a lesson can be drawn from the still-unfolding oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico –– that all are connected. Inserts may be downloaded here.

Consecration Sunday Assistance will be offered at Good Shepherd, Scranton on June 23 at 7:00 p.m.  Please contact Dan Charney at dancharney@aol.com or call 610-837-4613 to register for this event by June 21.  Please give the name of your parish and the names of those attending.

Find earlier issues of the newSpin newsletter here.

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About the newSpin newsletter ... Composed at least weekly (usually twice a week) by Bill Lewellis, the newSpin newsletter appears as a post within the newSpin blog, but newsletter and blog are not identical. The newsletter currently goes to some 1,000 email addresses on a separate list. The newsletter comes, of course, with some spin from the editor, but 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. Comments may be addressed to Bill.

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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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