The newSpin newsletter, Jan. 27, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Mondays and Thursdays
Diocese of Bethlehem
• R2O: Renewal Assembly, February 19, 9:00 to 1:00 ... Story here about the Assembly and the making of a video for the Assembly. Register here by Feb. 9. Some 120 people have signed up as of this morning. The Assembly will be held in six locations: Christ Church Towanda, Trinity Carbondale,Trinity West Pittston, Trinity Pottsville, St. Anne’s Trexlertown and the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Bethlehem. Lunch will be provided. Registrants will be assigned to the most appropriate site.
• My Father's House, a refurbished apartment attached to the former rectory of St. Luke's Lebanon, was recently dedicated for community service. The apartment will be used for transitional housing for people in need in Lebanon County. The pilot project received grant money from the New Hope Campaign in which funds were solicited for the Diocese of Kajo-Keji in Sudan and the needy in Pennsylvania. More at Episcopal News Service.
• Grace Honesdale begins program to shelter homeless ... WNEP video here.
• Diocesan Life ... Download the February edition here.
• Episcopalians and Moravians will celebrate full communion relationship on Thursday, February 10, at 6:00 p.m. at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will preside, joined by the heads of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church in America. More here.
• Calendar of Events ... Download the current calendar, updated Jan. 4, here. Updated on Jan. 18 for next month, here.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Bulletin inserts for Jan. 30, Epiphany4: Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Feb. 6, Epiphany5: Celebration of full communion with Moravians, the Presiding Bishop's letter to President Obama about the Middle East peace process. Feb. 13, Epiphany6: feast days of Absalom Jones, Cyril and Methodius, Joseph Parry, and Janani Luwum. Here.
• Pray for our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here.
• Reflections on Mind, Body and Spirit ... Jane Williams posts weekly on her blog about spirituality and counseling issues. Read it here. Having read her three most recent posts, I'm confident I will find it useful.
• Nothing we do changes the past, but everything we do changes the future." –Anonymous [H/T Kirkridge Retreat Center]
• Those non-profit Packers ... In a season where N.F.L. owners have steadily threatened to lock out the players next year unless they secure more profits in the next collective bargaining agreement, it’s poetic justice to see the Green Bay Packers, the team without an owner, make the Super Bowl. Actually, it’s not quite accurate to say the Packers are without an owner. They have a hundred and twelve thousand of them. The Packers are owned by the fans, making them the only publicly owned, not-for-profit, major professional team in the United States. Read the New Yorker article here. [H/T Steve Lewellis]
• Faiths Ad Campaigns ... Here.
• The Discernment Process ... Here. [H/T R. Jane Williams]
• Mission to Elbonia ... If you don't care for clever puns, perhaps you should not click here for the Jan. 17 Dilbert.
• Oprah meets Dr. Phil meets Bishop Sheen ... Fr. Alberto Cutié, aka "Father Oprah," is starting a weekday syndicated daytime talk show. It will show up in the New York City and Los Angeles markets on local Fox-owned stations, and maybe in other markets. More here.
• Top 10 Classical Music Composers ... [NYTimes] Anthony Tommansini completes his two week project to select the top 10 classical music composers in history. And the winner, the all-time great, is... Bach! Do you agree with this list of The Greatest? Read the Arts Beat blog posts and readers comments and view the videos exploring what makes a classical composer great.
• Gregory Malia in the news again ... A woman who worked for the former Episcopal priest with a history of legal troubles," according to a story in the Times-Leader, Wilkes-Barre, "has filed a federal lawsuit, alleging she was fired after she complained he had been sexually harassing and abusing her for years. More from the Times-Leader here. Malia was suspended from exercising his ministry as a priest, even using ecclesiastical titles or holding himself out as a priest in December 2008 (First Inhibition) and again in August 2009 (Second Inhibition). After due process, he was deposed (defrocked) on Feb. 15, 2010, and, therefore, is no longer a priest.
• A collection of news/info about Sudan and the Diocese of Kajo-Keji ... Here.
The Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion
• PB lectures at Paulist Fathers college in DC ... [A catholic future: shared mission beyond unitary communions] We are the respective heirs of different strands of western Christianity. I will not begin with the Reformation, but with a much earlier, indigenous Christianity in the British Isles. Roman soldiers appear to have taken the Christian tradition with them when they were posted to the frontiers of the Roman Empire – at least by the second century. That tradition remained when the Roman Empire receded, but the faith continued to grow and develop in its new context. Read it all here.
• Episcopal Church launches video ministry project ... [Episcopal News Service] The first video is available here. A new video will be released each month through May. The purpose of the video project is to present identifying characteristics of healthy churches, with a focus on ministry and outreach, according to the release. More here.
• ERD Lenten Meditations Booklet and ERD Sunday ... More info here.
The Roman Catholic Church
• Remembering Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia ... Retired Catholic Bishop Samuel Ruíz Garcia, known as the champion of the poor and indigenous in southern Mexico, died Jan. 24 of complications from diabetes. He was 86. Bishop Ruiz was a tiny man from a "backwater" state in Mexico. In the eyes of the secular and ecclesiastical powers of the world, he was from nowhere -- and the poor people he represented were barely a blip on the global screen. But the people of Chiapas transformed Ruiz into the man God was calling him to be -- a fearless prophet, an aggressive shepherd, a man of peace. More here and here.
• B16 is more or less ok with Facebook ... Here and here.
• Don't dumb down the incomprehensible God ... We have done our people a breathtaking disservice by trying to make theology (God-Talk) easier to understand. Dumbing-down our God-Talk has only made us dumber about God. More here. [H/T Andrew Gerns]
• Reducing anxiety cuts heart attacks, deaths and other cardiovascular events, research suggests. [H/T Diana Marshall]
• Paths to God: the Path of Disbelief ... [James Martin, S.J.] The Path of Disbelief. The cardinal benefit of this group is that they take none of the bland reassurances of religion for granted. Sometimes they have thought more deeply about God and religion than some believers have. Likewise, sometimes the most selfless people in our world are atheists or agnostics. Some of the hardest working aid workers I met in my time working with refugees in East Africa during my Jesuit training were nonbelievers. The "secular saint" is real. They also have a knack for detecting hypocrisy, cant or lazy answers: a religious baloney detector. More here.
• Zucherberg's Facebook page hacked? ... Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's fan page was hacked Tuesday -- a high-profile breach on a site that constantly faces scrutiny about its handling of its members private data. More here.
• The Rite ... Religion News Service editor Kevin Eckstrom saw an advance screening for The Rite, the new exorcist film starring Anthony Hopkins. He gave it a B. "Hopkins, as always, was spell-binding, but the ending was a whole lot of let-down." He also points us to the San Jose Mercury News that profiles the real-life priest behind the film.
Additional sources of news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• Diocese of Bethlehem
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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 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.