Christmas Festival, Lessons and Carols, Stevensville
Renewal Assembly – February 19 – Registration has begun

newSpin 101209

The newSpin newsletter, Dec. 9, 2010
By Bill Lewellis
Published Mondays and Thursdays

Diocese of Bethlehem   
• December/January Diocesan Life ... Download it here.
• Bishop's Day/Night pilgrimage with youth ... With Bishop Paul, January 21-22, St. John the Divine NYC. More here. Register here. Questions?  Contact Kim Rowles, Youth Missioner, at 610-751-3931 or at [email protected]

  • Calendar of Events ... in and around the Diocese of Bethlehem, updated Nov. 30.
• The 13th annual Luminaria Night ... [From Bill White's Morning Call column, Dec. 7] which benefits New Bethany Ministries, will be held Saturday [Dec. 11]. I've written about it many times before. Neighborhoods throughout Bethlehem and surrounding communities, including the Saucon Valley area, will light luminaria on their sidewalks at dusk to support the work done by New Bethany, which provides meals, financial services and housing to people who need help. All this is the result of a grassroots community effort that began when three women decided to raise money for a needy family and bring neighbors closer together. This year, students from the three Bethlehem high schools and East Hills Middle School have volunteered many hours to make 6,000 luminaria kits. Last year's effort raised $40,000. If you've never been out to see Luminaria Night, you've missed out on something pretty special. For more information, go to, where you'll find a terrific video about the event, or go to, where they'll explain how you can participate.
• Vocare ... A retreat for young adults, 19 to 30. Jan. 7-9 at St. Francis Retreat Center, Bethlehem. More info and registration here. Contact Sarah Tax, [email protected] or the Rev. Hillary Raining, [email protected].

• From way north ... the December newsletter of Trinity Athens, Download TrinityAthens.1012.pdf.
• Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols at St. Matthew's Stevensville, Dec. 11. More here.

R20 – Risk to Opportunities
• Renewal Assembly, Feb. 19 ... More here.
• Conference at Kanuga, Jan. 7-9, to help vestries grow thriving congregations amid challenge, change. Info here.
• Top Ten Ways congregations shape and are shaped by society ... [Loren Mead, Alban Institute] Here.

Sudan/Kajo Keji
• Keep checking for news/info/prayers regarding Sudan/Kajo Keji
at the newSpin blog.

• We cannot stop working on this ... [Harry Denaker, St. Barnabas Kutztown] I saw a broadcast on Friday evening on NBC Dateline with George Clooney and John Prendergast. It was a full hour detailing their trip to the Sudan and what the people in the south are looking for with the upcoming Referendum Vote. They are depending on the U.S. and the rest of the world to help and do what is right. I pray that we will. It also showed what they did when they got back to the U.S. They are nonstop in trying to persuade the President and Congress to help as needed and to stop any genocide before it takes place. George Clooney said that we cannot stop working on this until all of our brothers and sisters are safe and allowed to do what is right. One extra push can mean saving one life, perhaps of a child. We need to e-mail the President and all of our congress people asking for quick support and why it is important.

Worship and Prayer
• Advent resources ... Here.
• Pray for our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families. Here.
• Alternative Prayers of the People ... For Advent 3A. If you want updated prayers delivered to your mailbox weekly, subscribe at the "Get Connected" box on the diocesan website.

• Tis the Season–To Slow Down
... A video interview with Barbara Crafton from Trinity Wall Street. View here.

• On what the Bible says about homosexuality ... [Washington Post, On Faith, Bishop Gene Robinson] The first (Texts of Terror) second (Homosexuality in Leviticus) third (Homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah) and fourth (What did Jesus say about homosexuality) in a series of articles examining the Biblical texts traditionally used to address the issue of homosexuality from a religious (Jewish and Christian) perspective.
• Natwivity (Don't correct the spelling) ... The story of the Nativity unfolds on Twitter. More here. [Andrew Gerns, reporting at Episcopal Café]

Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion
• New groups to handle ERD orders ... Starting Monday, January 3, 2011, orders for Episcopal Relief and Development's posters, brochures, gifts and the coffee  (don't forget the coffee!) will be handled by Episcopal Media Center of Atlanta. More here. [Andrew Gerns, reporting at Episcopal Café]
• ENS Weekly bulletin inserts
... New commemorations on the Episcopal Church calendar for the months of January and February are the topic of December 12 inserts. Full text of inserts may be found and downloaded here.

• John Lennon ... [NYTimes] An Appreciation by Verlyn Klinkenborg, The Tea Maker by Yoko Ono, and The Inspiration by Ray Davies.

• Just one cigarette harms you ... says the Surgeon General. More here. [H/T The Daily Beast]
• The App Index ... Browse all the mobile app coverage that has appeared in The New York Times by category, and see what Times writers have on their phones and tablets. Here.
• 100 Notable Books of 2010 ... [The NYTimes] The Book Review's annual list of outstanding poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Here.

• Yesterday, outside of my home office window, snow flurried and it was cold. The calendar on our fridge indicates that "winter begins" on December 21. Could the calendar be wrong?
Cleaning for a Reason is a foundation that provides cleaning services for women who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment. More here. [H/T Lou Divis]

Additional sources of news/info/commentary
• Diocese of Bethlehem
(1) The newSpin blog
(2) The DioBeth website
(3) Twitter.DioBeth
(4) Twitter.Kat Lehman

(5) Public news and info lists: At the Diobeth website, enter your name and email in the "Get Connected" box on the right hand side. You are welcome to subscribe to any or all of these. "Bakery" is our diocesan interactive list.
• Episcopal/Anglican
(1) Weekly roundup of Anglican News ... Nov. 27 to Dec. 3.
(1) NewsLine
(2) News & Notices
(3) Infoline
(4) Episcopal News Service
(5) Episcopal Church website
(6) Twitter
(7) Facebook
(8) YouTube
(9) The Lead, Episcopal Cafe
(10) Daily Episcopalian, Episcopal Cafe
(11) AngicansOnline.
• Find earlier issues of the newSpin newsletter here and recent ones in the left column here.

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... 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 Select newSpin under the groups. You may find samples of the newSpin newsletter on the left column of the newSpin blog,

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.

Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
Communication MInister (1985-2010), Canon Theologian (1998)
Blog, Email (c)610-393-1833
Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]



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