The newSpin newsletter, Nov. 22, 2010
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday and Thursday – except when Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday :-)
Diocese of Bethlehem
Advent speaks to us of longing, darkness and hope ... Bishop Paul's column appears on page 2 of the December issue of Diocesan Life, and may be downloaded here.
Trinity Easton hosts early Thanksgiving meal ... More than 120 people attended the church’s Thanksgiving meal this afternoon [Saturday], held on the weekend to coordinate with Trinity’s weekly Saturday soup kitchen. The church’s Thanksgiving meals draw larger crowds than their weekly meals, where 75 to 90 people typically attend.To accommodate the larger crowd, today's luncheon was held at the Third Street Alliance, said Jan Charney, the soup kitchen coordinator. Most of the people who attended today’s lunch are regulars at Trinity’s soup kitchen, but the church always sees some new faces at its Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, Charney said. There’s also a greater influx toward the end of the month, when a lot of people run out of money, she said. More here. [H/T to Andrew Gerns]
Vocare retreat venue changed to St. Francis Retreat Center, Bethlehem. More here.
Advent Quiet Day at Trinity Bethlehem ... Saturday, Nov. 27, led by Canon Cliff Carr, sponsored by Daughters of the King. More here.
New Hope's Faith Journey ... A photo story in the Oct-Dec newsletter of Kajo Keji. Download it here.
Slide shows with music for your congregations ... [From Kat Lehman] I just want to remind you that if you use music with your slide show, please make sure you have specific permission to do so and cite it correctly otherwise you could face a copyright infringement fine or court case. There have been several instances of this happening (mind you with larger organizations) and it is extremely costly. I would hate for any of our parishes to face this. One good source for obtaining royalty free music is MagnaTune.com where you can buy a song for use. They have all sorts of music, mostly independent artists. You can also appeal directly to the artist you wish to use but if it's a big name be prepared for them not to respond or to charge you an arm and a leg or to downright deny you permission. The same applies for public domain music performed by a professional ensemble (like the Bach Choir performing Bach). You must get permission in those cases from the performers. I know it's a pain and complicated but you can land in a world of legal trouble and claiming ignorance won't work.
December/January Diocesan Life ... Download it here.
Calendar of Events ... in and around the Diocese of Bethlehem, updated Nov. 10.
12 Days of Christmas for Kajo Keji ... [From Jo Trepagnier, 610-434-0155] The Diocese of Kajo Keji supports eight primary schools (of which five are New Hope Schools) Currently, these schools have very little support from the government of Sudan and rely on volunteer teachers and donations. You can support one of these classrooms by adopting a classroom for $150. Your support will buy stationery, pencils, and test books. Your donation will change these children's lives. There are many other options from scholarships, solar lanterns, goats and fruit trees. Thank you for your support and please feel free to call me if you have any questions. Download a pdf file here. An ad appears also in December's Diocesan Life which should arrive in homes toward the end of November. In the meantime, you may download December's Diocesan Life here, and see page 3.
The ticking time bomb of lay involvement ... In a note to me – subject line: tick, tick, tick – one of our clergy suggested that this column by Joan Chittister "should be required reading...and not just for Roman clergy."
Explore Faith at Kirkridge ... Kirkridge offers retreat in 2011 to heal the soul and give renewed direction in this challenging world. More here.
Humane Society Guide to Animal Ministry ... [From Linda Henry, Trinity Bethlehem] The Humane Society of the United States has published "Animal Reflection Ministries: A guide for churches" and Trinity Bethlehem is one of three churches featured in the nationwide guide (and the only Episcopal church). Check out the www.humanesociety.org/ministryguide for the guide and a great picture of Mo. Laura and a furry parishioner. You need to register, no obligation involved. The guide contains reflections from three pastors, including Mo. Laura, a list of ideas for simple activities churches can undertake to help animals and people. An excellent resource, and also interesting to see how other congregations are serving all of God's good creation.
Thanksgiving to Mother Earth ... A special concert at Grace Honesdale, featuring Kazzrie Jaxen and The Drummers, Nov. 27 at 2:00. More here.
Christmas Cookie Sale at St. Andrew's ... Dec. 18. See the parish website.
News/Info/Commentary sources from The Diocese of Bethlehem ... •The newSpin blog •The Diobeth website. Enter your name and email address in the "Get Connected" box on the right hand side. You will find quite a few public news and info lists there. You are welcome to subscribe to any or all of them. "Bakery" is the diocesan interactive list. •Twitter
Find earlier issues of the newSpin newsletter here and recent ones in the left column here.
The Episcopal Church/The Anglican Communion
Sac fly in SJ, runners in scoring position. FW pleased ... The Fresno Bee reports on the latest inning in the court battle between the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and the breakaway group led by former Bishop Schofield. While the justices sent the case back to trial, they also established some non-debatable "ecclesiastical facts" that must guide the decision. Meanwhile over in the diocese of Fort Worth, the Episcopal diocese noted that this situation is very similar to their own, with the same "ecclesiastical facts" and is pleased with the outcome. More here. [H/T to Andrew Gerns at Episcoopal Cafe]
Ordinariate details revealed ... Roman Catholic Bishops in England announced on Friday the details of how the so-called "Apostolic Ordinariate" will be set up to receive clergy and groups of laity who leave the Church of England. In January the five active CofE bishops who join the RCC will be ordained Deacon and Priest in the Catholic Church. During Lent, the retired Church of England bishops who join the Roman Catholic Church will be ordained Deacon and Priest. None of the former Anglican bishops will continue to serve as Bishops. The number of clergy and laity involved is quite small compared to the total in the Church of England. About .61%, but the reaction in the news is quite a bit larger than that. The tone of the Roman Catholic leadership is that the process is a pastoral concession to people who have reached out to them. More here. [H/T to Andrew Gerns at Episcoopal Cafe]
On the proposed Covenant ... [From Bishop Paul] Here is an episode in the current debate on the proposed Covenant with the Church of England, which has to make a decision soon. It is worth reading all the way to the end. More here.
More on the proposed Covenant ... Governance by hurt feelings, a system in which power flows to those who complain the loudest and the most frequently. The Church of England's General Synod will take up this "misguided and dangerous document" tomorrow. Here is what a few more people are saying.
Rethinking the Prosperity Gospel? ... The bigger conflicts within Christendom have little to do with Historic Episcopate or human sexuality, but rather with the loss of members of the Anglican churches in the Third World to the preachers focusing on what is called the "Prosperity Gospel." More here. [H/T to Nicholas Knisely at Episcopal Cafe]
Diocese of Western New York elects R. William Franklin as bishop ... Franklin, 63, senior associate priest at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was elected on the seventh ballot out of a field of four nominees. He received 95 votes of 150 cast in the lay order and 46 of 89 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 76 in the lay order and 45 in the clergy order. ENS story here.
Weekly roundup of Anglican news ... Nov. 13-18.
News/Info/Commentary sources from The Episcopal Church ... •NewsLine •News & Notices •Infoline •Episcopal News Service •Website •Twitter •Facebook •YouTube
News/Info/Commentary sources from other Episcopal sources ... •The Lead, Episcopal Cafe •Daily Episcopalian, Episcopal Cafe •AngicansOnline •
ENS Weekly bulletin inserts ... Inserts for November 28, the First Sunday of Advent, feature a meditation on the church's "subversive" mission as it begins a new church year. Full text of inserts may be found and downloaded here.
Beyond the Bounds
The deadliest cults ... Founded in 1955 by Jim Jones, Peoples Temple, which counted thousands of members, was headquartered in San Francisco before the group took off for Guyana, to form a “socialist paradise.” On Nov. 18, 1978, 918 people died at Jonestown, including 270 children, and Congressman Leo Ryan. Until the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it was the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster. View deadly photos of this and seven other deadly cults.
In rare cases, Pope justifies use of condoms ... [Andrew Gerns, Episcopal Cafe] The Sydney Morning Herald writes about a series of interviews with Pope Benedict XVI including one where he says that condom use might be acceptable 'in certain cases', notably to reduce risk of HIV infection. The BBC story is here, and the NYTimes story here. Also see "authoritative text of interview" here.
Lost boys of Sudan fill in the blanks of their past ... [NYTimes] It has been 10 years since Malek Deng and thousands of other young men known as the Lost Boys of Sudan left war behind for new lives in the United States. But a new digital archive of their refugee records is taking Mr. Deng and the others back to the harrowing days of their youth. More here.
Gays attacked in Uganda after Mag publishes info ... Here.
Bishop among those 'outed' by Ugandan tabloid ... Here.
Evangelizing this Chrismas ... Remember Gary Nicolosi, onetime assistant at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity? Back in Canada, Gary is rector of St James Westminster Anglican Church in London, Ontario. He has written a "guest opinion" in The Anglican Journal on "What can your church do to evangelize this Christmas?" Read it here. [H/T to Ann Fontaine at Episcopal Cafe]
Where donations go astray ... [Nicolas Kristof, NYTimes] This holiday season, Americans will dig into their pockets for good causes. But these gifts will sometimes benefit charlatans or extremists, or simply be wasted. Partly that’s because religious giving — and a good deal of casual secular giving — isn’t vetted as carefully as it should be. Researchers find that religious people on average donate more of their incomes than the nonreligious, and Christians, Jews and Muslims alike write checks to charities that they assume share their values. Dangerous assumption. More here.
Thanksgiving in Hindsight ... Thanksgiving is literally a week of nostalgia (which means "returning home" in Greek) for many Americans. It's a time where we all can claim the "odd-hatted" Pilgrims as distant relatives and mimic their rituals in our kitchens, observes The Boston Globe columnist James Carroll. As a national holiday, it also seems "universally tinged with the sweet sorrow of loss." It is the one time of year where we "measure our present experience against what Proust called 'lost time'...by holding up a fancied golden era of yesteryear...we can devalue where we are and who we have become." This year, Caroll notes, "the hope Obama sparked looks in hindsight like hallucination." However, he urges readers not to "punish the difficult present by comparing it to a misremembered bygone." More here. [H/T to the Atlantic Wire]
Ireland's Paradise Lost ... As Ireland reluctantly agrees to a bailout, The New York Times columnist Ross Douthat looks back, arguing that the country was fundamentally unready for the global market. "It’s as if there were only two eras in Irish history," writes Douthat, "the Middle Ages and the housing bubble." After decades in relative isolation, Ireland thrust into the role of international player. Douthat notes that while "the Irish sometimes say that their 1960s didn’t happen until the 1990s...But Ireland caught up fast: the kind of social and economic change that took 50 years or more in many places was compressed into a single revolutionary burst." This burst came too quickly, and the assets that financed the nation's warp-speed evolution proved toxic."When the story of the Great Recession is remembered, Ireland will offer the most potent cautionary tale...a reminder that the biggest booms can produce the biggest busts, and that debt and ruin always shadow prosperity and growth." More here. [H/T to the Atlantic Wire]
Take a closer look at the warning label ... [NYTimes editorial] Starting in 2012, cigarette packages and advertisements will have to carry new warning labels that pound home the message that smoking sickens and kills. The message isn’t new, but it will be presented in a bigger, starker format — including images of tobacco’s devastating effects — that should be harder to ignore than the tiny, text-only warning labels that have lost their punch. More here.
Pope, church leaders call for guaranteed health care for all people ... Pope Benedict XVI and other church leaders said it was the moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay. Access to adequate medical attention, the pope said in a written message Nov. 18, was one of the "inalienable rights" of man. More here and here.
The Bible in/and Popular Culture: A Creative Encounter... In popular culture, the Bible is generally associated with films. Less attention has been given to the relationship between the Bible and other popular media such as hip-hop, reggae, rock, and country and western music; popular and graphic novels; animated television series; and apocalyptic fantasy. This collection of essays explores a range of media and the way the Bible features in them, applying various hermeneutical approaches, engaging with critical theory, and providing conceptual resources and examples of how the Bible reads popular culture—and how popular culture reads the Bible. This useful resource will be of interest for both biblical and cultural studies. More here.
Advent Meditation and Prayers from Seminary of the Southwest ... Here.
Trinity Wall Street's online Advent Calendar ... Trinity Wall Street's 2010 Advent Calendar takes a look across America at young people who are growing into wisdom, advocating for change, and creating a better world. Stories this year are drawn from the Episcopal Service Corps, the All Our Children public-school advocacy program, and other innovative church initiatives involving youth and young adults. It goes live on November 28. More here.
The Consortium for Media Literacy brings 21st century skills to your community, school and home. Sign up to receive Connections. More here.
• "Imagine a world of writers writing from a place of deep empathy and compassion. What a revolution in literature and in the world! What an opportunity to bring about greater harmony in the world rather than contribute to the conflicts all around us. Work the conflicts out on the page and present an experience for the reader that allows her/him to think, expand, laugh, and cry. Literature changes lives. Start with yours." ~ From Writing Begins with the Breath by Lariane Herring
• A Random Act of Culture at Macy's in Philadelphia [H/T to Bishop Paul]
• No one can make you unhappy. You have choices. [One of Dear Abby's life's lessons, compiled by a reader] Another: Don't protect those you love from the pain that will heal them. And another: The best person with whom to discuss marital difficulties? Your spouse.
• On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Suspected gunman Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th president of the United States. On Mrs. Kennedy's Detail.
• Why are the faces of holy people so important, not only in iconography but also in Christian experience and memory? Joy is the physical surfacing of the light of God. As the moon reflects the sun, so joy shines in the holy face. [One of 12 theses on joy, from Faith and Theology]
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Send info about newSpin to friends you think may be interested ... newSpin is an electronic newsletter that includes news, information and commentary related to the Diocese of Bethlehem, the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion and the world of religion ... with some spin, of course, from the editor. It is edited by retired communication minister Bill Lewellis and ordinarily published twice weekly, on Monday and Thursday. The newSpin newsletter is currently received by some 1,200 people, many of whom forward it to many others. To have it emailed directly to you, subscribe at the "Get Connected" box on the right column of www.diobeth.org. Select newSpin under the groups. You may find samples of the newSpin newsletter on the left column of the newSpin blog, www.diobeth.typepad.com.
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 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.