In Lebanon.A Gathering of an Unexpected Result
Diocesan Life for April 2011

newSpin 110328

The newSpin newsletter, March 28, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Mondays and Thursdays

• Consider what you might do to help with recovery efforts in Japan and Haiti
... but don't get scammed. See below, under "Spinning."

• Noonday Prayer at Prince of Peace Dallas ... on YouTube.
• Renewal Assembly video ... see below, under "Diocese."
• SCLM Consultation video on demand ... here.
• The new ... Here.

• The Daily Office ... with the assistance of the Mission St. Clare.
• 20 + 1 + 1 = Renewal
... Challenge yourself to pray for 20 minutes daily, to worship for one hour weekly, and to serve others for one day a month. Find Mother Laura Howell's blog here.
• Acquire a peaceful spirit
... Below, under "Lent."

• April 2, to Diocesan Training Day ... At St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. See below, under "Diocese."
• April 14, Chrism Mass ... Blessing of Oils and Reaffirmation of Ordination Vows, Cathedral Bethlehem, 11:00 a.m. See below, under "Diocese."
• April 21-23, to take part in Paschal Triduum ... At your church.
• May 14, to hear Bishop Michael Curry ... At St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. See below, under "Diocese."
• June 11, to Renewal Assembly II ... At many locations. See below, under "Diocese of Bethlehem."

• That you can join our diocesan interactive list. It's called "Bakery." If you participate, you may be addressed as a "crouton." After all, Bethlehem means "House of Bread." At the Diobeth website, enter your name and email in the "Get Connected" box on the right hand side.
• On Bakery, you will find conversations
such as this one that was initiated last week by Epiphany Clarks Summit rector Craig Sweeney. Once joined, you may read, initiate or comment on conversations.

• Acquire a peaceful spirit  ... At a basic level, a virtue is a habit, something we acquire, something we have become disposed to do. Virtues reuire practice. During Lent, we might try to acquire a habit: of giving others a break, of helpfulness, of a peaceful spirit. In the Diocese of Bethlehem, we have long had an interactive Internet list where people can enter into conversation. We recently changed its name to "Bakery," a play on Bethlehem meaning House of Bread. Bishop Paul Marshall wrote recently on Bakery: “I am going to work on acquiring something this year. Well, starting to acquire it.” He then related that a few months ago on a little table at the end of the nave at Trinity Bethlehem, he saw a bookmark that describes our life's work so well. “It sets a goal,” he said, “that explains why we call it ‘lifelong Christian formation.’ It has spiritual, psychological, and social implications. It has haunted me ever since the day I saw it. It is simply this word from a slavic Orthodox monk of the 19th century, Seraphim of Sarov: Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved. “It has haunted me ever since the day I saw it,” he wrote. I want it to haunt me. I hope it haunts you: Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved.
• 20 + 1 + 1 = Renewal ... See above under "Read."
• Resources from the Diocese of Bethlehem ... Here.

• In Lebanon, a gathering of an unexpected result ... Canon Jane Teter spoke to approximately 50 people from 22 churches in Lebanon County who came together at St. Luke's for a Prayer Shawl Conference on March 19. Those present represented the Prayer Shawl ministries from their churches ranging from established groups, to newly formed groups, and those in hopes of starting a group. More, with photo, here.
• Diocesan Training Day ... April 2 at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. A day set aside for learning about opportunities and resources for ministry in congregations, and celebrating ministries we share. There will be 13 different workshops spanning many aspects of ministry. Read about the workshops here. Register here. Download the brochure here.
• Chrism Mass ... Blessing of Oils and Reaffirmation of Ordination Vows, Cathedral Bethlehem, Thursday, April 14, 11:00 a.m. Special Full Communion Partner Guests: Bishop Samuel Zeiser of the Northeast PA Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; The Rev. David Bennett, President of the Eastern District of the Moravian Church. All Clergy are expected to attend this event (white stoles). Laity are most welcome and most cordially invited. Modest gifts for the parishes bringing the largest percentage of their ASA and for the lay people who have traveled the farthest. Lunch is provided.  Please let Ely know by Monday April 11 how many we should expect from your parish.
• Parish Nurses awarded scholarships ... See below, under "Health."
• Blogging in our diocesan community ... (1) DioBeth newSpin, Bill Lewellis, (2) Andrew Plus, Canon Andrew Gerns, (3) About and Around St. Stephen's, Father Daniel Gunn, (4) 20+1+1=Renewal, Mother Laura Howell, (5) Sermons and Such, Nativity Cathedral, (6) Share the Bread, Diocesan Evangelism Commission, (7) TrinEast, Trinity Easton, (8) Reflections on Mind, Body and Spirit, Jane Williams, (9)    Who else is blogging? Tell Bill.
• Bowl Auction, April 10, at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre ... Here.
• Renewal Assembly Video ... Watch it at YouTube, split into two parts, or all in one at Vimeo. The video, with Bishop Paul, Mother Laura Howell and Father John Francis, is 23:30.
• Calendar of Events ... Updated March 7. Download here.

• Choral Evensong at Mediator Allentown ... Sunday, April 3, 4:00 p.m. More info.
• Prince of Peace Dallas to host fashion show ... Sunday Aprl 3, 1:00-3:00. More info here.
• Actor Frank Runyeon returns to the Cathedral ... Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m., to present his one-man play, Signs: The Gospel of John, staged with dramatic lighting and entertaining audience interaction. Its text is the first eleven chapters of the Gospel of John, translated into contemporary American speech. As characters and settings and lights constantly shift, the Gospel engages the audience’s imaginations, surprises them with flashes of humor, and drives relentlessly forward with all the dramatic suspense you would expect from great theater. By the time the last candle is blown out, each audience member has a sense that they are part of the story that God is writing—not simply spectators. That Jesus is a very real Presence among them. And that they have been called not only to witness these signs, but to respond to the Word they have heard, like Lazarus, by becoming a sign of that Life themselves. $12 adults, $8 children 12 and under. Childcare provided for children under 7. For tickets contact Jeremy Joiner at [email protected], or call the Cathedral office at (610) 865 0727.
• North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry ... will keynote our 2011 Stewardship and Evangelism Workshop, Saturday, May 14 (9:00 to 3:00). The theme: Jesus loves a growing seed. Bishop Curry is a nationally recognized preacher known for his vivid and exciting spiritual messages packed with humor and thought-provoking ideas, encouraging listeners to think more fully about their spiritual lives and responsibilities as Christians. Participants will leave with something of value in their minds and hearts. Registration is open at (click on Register for Diocesan Events, at right) and will close April 30 or when 300 have registered. Cost per person, $10,00, includes breakfast sacks, beverages and lunch.
• Renewal Assembly II ... Would you believe? With a new introductory video, featuring lay people. Saturday, June 11 (9:00 to 1:00) at six, possibly nine, locations around the Diocese. Focusing on God's blessings: Prayer, Bible Study, Small group discussion.
• Christophany ... [Kim Rowles] Take a leap of faith; register for Christophany, April 8-10. More here.
• Lenten collection for Christophany ... Read about it here. And more here.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Bulletin inserts for April 3, Lent4: The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music's online survey for Holy Women, Holy Men. Download inserts here.
• DioBeth Website and newSpin Blog
• 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.

• 'Being a bishop will just break your heart' ... [The Living Church, Doug LeBlanc] Death among priests is a common experience in any diocese, but in late 2010 the Diocese of Maine lost two active priests within two weeks of each other. The Rev. Eckart Horn, 49, died of a heart attack Nov. 17, only a day after leading portions of an annual retreat for clergy. The Rev. Canon James P. Dalton-Thompson, 60, died Dec. 1, only 13 days after learning that he had colon cancer. More here.

• Philadelphia school battles students' bad eating habits, on campus and off ... [NYTimes] Tatyana Gray bolted from her house and headed toward her elementary school. But when she reached the corner store where she usually gets her morning snack of chips or a sweet drink, she encountered a protective phalanx of parents with bright-colored safety vests and walkie-talkies. The scourge the parents were combating was neither the drugs nor the violence that plagues this North Philadelphia neighborhood. It was bad eating habits. More here.
• History's ultimate Godfather ... Jeremy Irons stars as Pope Alexander VI in Showtime's mini-series “The Borgias.” It begins next Sunday night. More here.
• Japanese Earthquake Info ... from Episcopal Relief and Development ... Donate now. Deaths surpass 10,000, with 17,000 still missing; some 240,000 people shelter in 1,900 centers. Beware of scams already surfacing. Give to reputable agencies, including ERD. What aid makes sense for Japan ... Here. Is Japan seeking financial assistance, here. Visit a comprehensive NYTimes page here. Litany for Japan, here.
• Haiti
... Info from Episcopal Relief and Development.

• Frodo and Mormon share stage in 'South Park' Mormon musical ... [Religion Dispatches] Mormons have been justifiably nervous about The Book of Mormon, the long-anticipated Broadway musical from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and Robert Lopez, co-creator of the award-winning musical, Avenue Q. The show opened yesterday but, as most early reviewers found, the main Mormon characters come off as lovably sincere, if a little goofy, so little backlash was expected. Early reviews of The Book of Mormon were near-unanimous on two points: it is predictably profane and yet it simultaneously manages to be, as one Mormon told the Salt Lake Tribune, “incredibly sweet.” ... Mormon is a made-up story about the value of made-up stories. More here. And from [The Daily Beast] Andrew Sullivan attended opening night and called it “a loving celebration of religious faith” despite its being heralded as the most obscene musical ever to hit Broadway. Sullivan says the “underlying humaneness of their (Parker, Stone and Lopez) view of the world” makes the show “subversive material filtered through tradition and sincerity.” He concludes: “It is the best thing they have ever done—musically, theatrically, comically. They are slowly becoming the Hogarths and Swifts of our time, because by trashing the world with anarchic humor and biting commentary, they are obviously also intent on saving it.” More here. And an Op-Ed piece by Maureen Dowd here.
• Memories of a Catholic boyhood: Growing up in the parallel culture of the Church in the 1950s ... [First Things, Kenneth Woodward] Those of us who did grow up in the RC Church of the 1950s will find this to be delightful. Read here. [H/T Bishop Paul]

• Parish Nurses awarded scholarships [Diana Marshall] The Diocese of Bethlehem Health Ministries Committee is pleased to announce that it has awarded scholarships for education to Peggy Godfrey-Drinkard for basic parish nurse training and Barbara McCarthy for continuing education.  Barbara has already completed the basic training and both nurses serve Trinity Church in Easton. As your parish works toward implementing the resolution passed at our 2010 convention urging “the congregations of The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, which have not already done so, to explore and implement health ministry as an organizing concept or vital component of outreach and pastoral care of the congregations by 2012” be assured that the Health Ministry Committee stands ready to assist you. For information and assistance, contact Diana Marshall, diocesan liaison to NEHM and chair of the Diocesan Health Ministries Committee, at [email protected] or 610-807-9281.
• Make a health plan that works
... [Health and Wellness News, Episopal Church Medical Trust] Here. [H/T Diana Marshall] 

The Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion
• Guidelines provide best practices, standards for teaching religion in Episcopal schools
... [Episcopal News Service, Sharon Sheridan] New guidelines on best practices for teaching religion aim to help Episcopal schools enhance religious literacy among their students, maintain academic standards for religion instruction and outline qualifications for religion teachers. Principles of Good Practice for the Study of Religion in Episcopal Schools is the fourth in a series of pamphlets produced by the National Association of Episcopal Schools, an independent organization supporting and advocating for more than 1,200 Episcopal schools and early-childhood education programs. The others address the principles of good practice for furthering Episcopal identity in Episcopal schools, governance in Episcopal parish day schools and leadership transitions in Episcopal schools. More here.

• Liturgy and Music commission makes Holy Week lectionary recommendation ... [Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) issued a statement March 24 concerning inconsistencies between the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) and the Holy Week liturgies of the Book of Common Prayer. Full story.
• Episcopalians, Lutherans in North America plan full-communion commemoration ... [Episcopal News Service] Full story.
• Anglican Communion News Service Roundup ...
• SCLM Consultation Video on Demand ... [Episcopal News Service] In a hist
• Survey finds Episcopal Church congregations increasing their digital presence
... FACT study also shows two-thirds of c
• Episcopal Church Website
and News Service

The Moravian Church in North America
• Moravian Church in North America website   • Moravian Church Northern Province website  • Moravian Theological Seminary website 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
• ELCA website ... Here
• ELCA News Service ... Here. 
• ELCA's blogs
may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."

• NEPA Synod website ... Here. 
• Synod E-News
... March 18. Sign up to receive the weekly newsletter by email here.

The United Methodist Church
• March Communication newsletter ... Here.  • UMC website ... Here• UMC News Service ... Here.  UMC Communication ... The United Methodist Church has long been a leader in providing useful resources for church communicators. Start here.  Eastern PA Conference of the UMC website ... Here.  Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog ... Here.

The Roman Catholic Church
• Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website ... Here. Catholic News Serice ... Here.  • Diocese of Allentown website ... Here.  • Diocese of Scranton website ... Here.

Would you believe?
• Nearly 60 percent of evangelicals believe God uses natural disasters to send messages, according to a new survey conducted by RNS and Public Religion Research Institute. More than half of evangelicals say God punishes whole nations for the sins of individuals, according to the survey. The vast majority of mainline Protestants and Catholics disagree. Do sunny days mean that God is happy with us? [Religion News Service]

Additional sources of news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• Diocese of Bethlehem

(1) The DioBeth 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) 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.
(12) AnglicansOnline News Centre.
(13) Anglican Communion website.
(14) Anglican Communion News Service.

• Find earlier issues of the newSpin newsletter here and recent ones in the left column here.

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. Edited by retired communication minister Bill Lewellis and ordinarily published twice weekly, on Monday and Thursday, it 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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