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Three Episcopal clergy take part in Moravian clergy retreat

newSpin 110606

 The newSpin newsletter, June 6, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Mondays and Thursdays

 • Renewal Assembly II ...  June 11 (9:00 to 1:30) at eight locations across the Diocese. More here and on pages A1 & 8 of the June Diocesan Life. Register here. Today [Monday, June 6] is the deadline. The focus of this assembly will be congregational discernment, on strengths and what works well, not on weaknesses. A new video will feature Bishop Paul in conversation with three lay people: Lucy Kitch-Peck on the Gifts of the Spirit in her life; Liza Holzinger of St. Andrew's Allentown on a Congregation detecting the gifts and opportunities the Spirit gives parishes; Warren Shotto of Good Shepherd Scranton on how parish leadership detects the gifts in individuals and calls them forth.
• Introducing the denominational health plan
... In July 2009, the 76th General Convention passed Resolution A177, establishing the Denominational Health Plan (DHP), a Church-wide program of health care benefit plans requiring equal access to and funding of health care plans for eligible clergy and lay employees (those scheduled for at least 1,500 hours of compensated work annually) by January 1, 2013. The Episcopal Church Foundation's Vital Practices blog has a post about the denomination wide health plan that is set to go into effect in 2013. Laurie Kazilionis, Vice President, Client Relations, The Episcopal Church Medical Trust, answers some basic questions. There are still many specific details to be worked out and communicated. [H/T Andrew Gerns, writing at Episcopal Café]

• A word about The Catcher in the Rye ... [Bishop Paul] The book is rightly considered an accurate and compelling portrait of adolescent confusion, anxiety, alienation and rebellion. Adolescent. Adolescent. Because Holden cannot find his own identity and so much needs a kindly voice at the end of the book to tell him that gently living for a cause has a lot more value than noisily dying for one, he lashes out at everything around him and spirals downward, alienating those who were his friends, even his girl friend. More here.
• Jack and Ingrid Prater: Living the faith ... See below, under DioBethSpin.
• REACH helps the homeless get back on their feet – to close July 1 ... See below, under DioBethSpin.
• 30 years into the AIDS crisis ... The 'death sentence' now carries a message of hope. The Page-One feature in The Morning Call includes an interview with David Moyer, retired community health specialist at the Allentown Health Bureau and parishioner at Grace Allentown. Also here. And The Death Sentence that Defined My Life ... [NYTimes Op-Ed] I haven't died on schedule. Most people don’t think death has a schedule, at least a knowable one. But if you were infected early in the AIDS epidemic, you thought otherwise. At 61, I have now lived half my life with AIDS, my constant companion and distant cousin, the inseparable identity I won’t let define me, the everyday fact and special circumstance that bent the arc of my life in every way. [NYTimes Editorial] No time to give up on the fight. Here.

• Renewal Assembly II, Saturday June 11 ...  Above, under TopSpin.
• Jane Teter, Charles Cesaretti, Kim Rowles, Ellyn Siftar ... [Bishop Paul] Later this week, we will celebrate the ministry of Canon Jane Teter, who begins a well-earned retirement (although she will continue in a number of activities within the Diocese). We are not quite ready to find a permanent replacement for Jane, so Fr. Charles Cesaretti will act as Interim Missioner for Congregational Development. As some of you know, Kim Rowles has resigned as Youth Missioner in order to concentrate on her seminary studies. I am happy to announce that Ms. Ellyn Siftar will be taking over those duties. Ellyn has been working on our diocesan committees for some years, and has been employed at Trinity, Bethlehem in that area. She will be joining us in July. You may want to write to Jane or Kim, and can do so in care of the diocesan office, 333 Wyandotte St, Bethlehem, 18015.

• Diocesan Life, June ... Read or download it here.
• Jim's Journey ... [St. Anne's Trexlertown newsletter] Many members of St. Anne’s, as well as friends everywhere, were familiar with the frequent email posts that Jim Snyder sent out to a growing list of relatives and friends during his year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. These posts are now compiled and available in a book. As Pastor Judith [Snyder] wrote in her forward, “It was his hope and that of his family that the journal he authored would perhaps give others who are dealing with cancer, either personally or with a loved one, inspiration and encouragement to help in their journey. It also has much to say to anyone, as it presents a glimpse into the mind and spirit of one individual who lived every day to the fullest.” The books are available through the church office for a donation of $15. For ordering info, write here. A portion, after production costs, will be donated to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Please make checks payable to St. Anne’s Church and include “Jim’s Journey” in the memo line. Please add $5 for shipping, if applicable.
• Jack and Ingrid Prater: Living the faith ... [Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Janine Ungavrsky] Once upon a time, a young couple drove past a small church in Dallas. He already knew he wanted to be a priest. She already knew she wanted to be a certain priest’s wife. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have that as our church?” they asked each other. A few years, two ordinations and a wedding later, the Rev. Jack Prater and his wife, Ingrid, found themselves called to serve at that little church and for the next 35 years, Prater ministered to the spiritual needs of the congregation as rector of Prince of Peace Episcopal Church. That ministry made such an impression on the Prince of Peace community that parishioners made Prater Rector Emeritus when he retired. And today, more than 14 years after he stepped aside, the current congregation of his former parish will recognize years of devotion to ministry by dedicating the church’s community room to Jack and Ingrid Prater. The dedication and reception will take place following the 9 a.m. Mass and will include the unveiling of a plaque naming the room in honor of the Praters. Parishioner Jean Carson coordinated the event to celebrate the Praters’ ministry at Prince of Peace, which began Labor Day weekend in 1962. More here. [h/t John Major]
• REACH helps the homeless get back on their feet – to close July 1 ... [Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Bill O'Boyle] Mike Smith, Skip Constable, Bryan Hogan, Kathy Boston and a man named Jeb have all been helped by REACH to the point where they are living on their own and getting their lives back together. Each has a story of how they have coped with life and its ups and downs. They are regulars at REACH, the homeless day center on South Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre. None of them want to see the center close. On a recent visit to the center, the five offered their thoughts on homelessness and the need for help. On most days more than 40 homeless enter the basement of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church to get a shower, check their mail, grab a little breakfast or use a telephone. But on July 1, the homeless services at REACH go away due to budgetary constraints. The clients will then filter into the streets to find a place to hang out, keep warm or have a conversation. More here. [h/t John Major]
• Kajo Keji Newsletter ... April to June 2011. Download a pdf file here.
• Christ Church Forest City has a website.

• Honesdale celebrates Lutheran/Episcopal Full Communion ... Here.
• Nativity Week Notes ... June 3.

• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... 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.

• Not good-bye ... [Andrew Gerns, Sermon, Sunday after Ascension] Have you ever noticed how many Christians find ways of focusing on Jesus’ absence?Jesus’ ascension is not “good-bye.” Jesus’ ascension is in a very real sense only the beginning. Read it here.
 • Somewhere between Holden Caulfield and St. Augustine ... [Scott Benhase, Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia] Here. [h/t Andrew Gerns]
• A word about The Catcher in the Rye ... [Bishop Paul] See above, under TopSpin.

• PA property tax/rent rebate program deadline extended to Dec. 31 ... Property Tax/Rent Rebate application forms and assistance are available at no cost from Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators’ offices. More here.

• Give and you shall receive – Didn't we know it? ... [Scientific American] Give and you shall receive -- a boost to your self-esteem. Self-esteem is something we all want, and, experts say, need for our mental health. But the more we chase it, the more it eludes our grasp, Scientific American reports. Research shows that doggedly pursuing self-worth backfires, because that pursuit implies a level of ego-involvement that is unhealthy. And a new study shows that the best way to boost self-esteem is to forget about yourself altogether -- and think about others. [H/T Leadership Education at Duke Divinity] 
• Fed flag fans fight ... [Episcopal Café, Nick Knisely] The Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond Virginia is flying a rainbow flag in observance of LGBT Pride Month as a symbol of their commitment to "the values of acceptance and inclusion". A Virginia legislator is calling for its removal arguing, in part, that it supports an act which he says is still a felony in Virginia. More here.
• This doesn't happen here
... "This happens in Missouri. This happens in Kansas. This doesn't happen in Massachusetts."
– A landlord in Massachusetts whose apartment building was damaged by a tornado. 
• Identical twin friars, 92, lived their lives together, died hours apart ... [St. Petersburg Times] For 65 years, Julian and Adrian Riester worked as Franciscan monks, gardening and churning out tables and cabinets for the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor, including 35 years at St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, N.Y. In 2008, the twins retired together to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg. They were still together at the end. On Wednesday, they died hours apart. They are survived by their five older sisters. More here. [h/t Jim Lewellis]
• Actually, that's not in the Bible ... [CNN Belief blog] The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it's also one of the most misquoted. Here.
• It's not about you ... [NYTimes Op-Ed, David Brooks] Over the past few weeks, America’s colleges have sent another class of graduates off into the world. These graduates possess something of inestimable value. Nearly every sensible middle-aged person would give away all their money to be able to go back to age 22 and begin adulthood anew. But, especially this year, one is conscious of the many ways in which this year’s graduating class has been ill served by their elders. They enter a bad job market, the hangover from decades of excessive borrowing. They inherit a ruinous federal debt. More important, their lives have been perversely structured. This year’s graduates are members of the most supervised generation in American history. Through their childhoods and teenage years, they have been monitored, tutored, coached and honed to an unprecedented degree. Yet upon graduation they will enter a world that is unprecedentedly wide open and unstructured. Read it all here.

• Remembering when Dad came out ... [NYTimes] There is all manner of love crisscrossing through “Beginners,” connecting mothers and fathers, parents and children, sons and lovers, men and their dogs. The love feels heartfelt but it’s difficult loving other people (the dog has it easy), a hardship that’s evident in the happy-tearful faces, the tentative touches and searching glances that make this movie, or maybe all its yearning, so appealing. For the writer and director Mike Mills, who based this memory piece about a straight son and his dying gay father on his own life, love is a wonder even if its palpable reality largely remains elusive, a hoped-for gift locked in an adjacent room. More here.
• Taking a chance on God ... [Episcopal Café, Torey Lightcap] Pioneering gay priest John McNeill is still shaking up the Vatican at age 85. He is going to Rome for the world premiere of a new documentary about his life on June 6 at EuroPride 2011 -- and to ask the Vatican for LGBT justice. Here and here.

• UK organist has got talent ... [Episcopal Café, Andrew Gerns] Jean Martyn, a 59 year old parish church organist at St Mary and St Chad, Brewood rocked the house on ITV's Britain's Got Talent. More here. Enjoy her performance here.

• Diocese of Bethlehem
... Updated monthly, June 2. Download here. Find weekly updates on the DioBeth Facebook page. Also here.

• Episcopal Church ... Here.
• Lectionary ... Here and Here.

• The Diocese of Bethlehem on Twitter
... http://twitter.com/#!/Diobeth

• The Diocese of Bethlehem on Facebook ... https://www.facebook.com/DioceseOfBethlehem
• Kat Lehman on Twitter ... http://twitter.com/#!/KatLehman
• Episcopal News Service on Twitter ...  http://twitter.com/#!/episcopal_news

 • June 11, to Renewal Assembly II ... At many locations. See above, under TopSpin.

• July 9, to Called to be Heroes ... Bishop's Day for Kids, grades 1-5, at Church of the Good Shepherd in Scranton. Children in grades 1-5 are invited to spend the day with Bishop Paul, 9:30 to 2:30, and meet some no-so-well-known heroes in the Bible. Discover your own super powers, and enjoy being together. Storytelling, games, Eucharist and more. Also here.

 • The Daily Office ... with the Mission St. Clare.

  • For our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families. Here.

 • E. coli outbreak in Europe is the deadliest in history ... [ABC News] The rapidly developing European E. coli outbreak that has killed 18 people and sickened thousands, including four suspected cases in the United States, has become the deadliest outbreak of E. coli in modern history. More here.
Bean spouts from northern Germany farm identified as likely source. Here.

• Email fraud hides behind a friendly face ... [NYTimes] Most people know to ignore the e-mail overture from a Nigerian prince offering riches in exchange for a bank account number. That is a scam, plain to the eye. But what if the e-mail appears to come from a colleague down the hall? And all he asks is that you add some personal information to a company database? This is spear phishing, a rapidly proliferating form of fraud that comes with a familiar face: messages that seem to be from co-workers, friends or family members, customized to trick you into letting your guard down online. And it has turned into a major problem. Read more.
• Follow Kat Lehman on Twitter
... Here.
• Phones put a bargaining chip in the car buyer's hand ... [NYTimes, Bob Tedeschi] Car shoppers who thought that the Web would save them from wasting money were kidding themselves. As too many people have found, you can bring along boxes of printouts from car-advice sites, and slick or unscrupulous sellers will argue that the information is outdated or irrelevant. Mobile apps are the obvious answer, if you’re smart about which ones you choose. The best, like those from Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book and Cars.com, stress simplicity and speed, not just beauty. More here.
• iCloud/iTunes ... [Washington Post] iCloud could be a game-changing move away from relying on USB ports and cables to update your media library. More here. Live blogging Apple's iCloud announcement here.

• Enshrining gay exclusion in the CoE ... [Episcopal Café, Ann Fontaine] The Bishops of Church of England "are seeking to enshrine gay exclusion" says the Rev. Dr. Giles Fraser writing in the Church Times, and Colin Coward notes in The Guardian that there are currently at least 13 gay bishops in the CoE. Here.

• The oppressive myth of unity in the Anglican Communion ... [Episcopal Café] Here.
• Episcopal Church
Website and News Service. Follow the Episcopal News Service on Twitter.

• Anglican Communion News Service ... on Facebook.

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

Evangelical Lutheran 
• Part-time position available at NEPA Synod Office ... Here.
Schism in Lutheran church raises scriptural, financial concerns ... [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] ELCA split quietly plays out in southwest PA and across the U.S., with 444 congregations voting to leave since 2009 vote on gay clergy and 300 new ones planted. More here.

• NEPA Synod website ... Here. 
• Synod E-News
... June 3. Sign up to receive the weekly newsletter by email here.

• ELCA website ... Here
• ELCA News Service ... Here. 
• ELCA's blogs
may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."

United Methodist
• May 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. • Facebook ... Here.  • Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog ... Here.

Roman Catholic
• Luzerne County begins taxing some church properties ... [Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre] County assessment records show an estimated 30 church properties have returned to taxable status to date. Most are part of the Diocese of Scranton, which implemented a consolidation plan to close some schools and churches throughout the county to save money. The 30 properties have a combined assessed value of about $8.6 million, which equates to roughly $44,995 in county tax revenue. The rest of the tax bill varies based on each property’s school and municipal tax rates. Court-level assessment appeals are pending on at least 11 of the 30 properties, according to a review of records in the prothonotary office. More here.
• An Archbishop burns while Rome fiddles
... [NYTimes Op-Ed] Here.

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

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) Facebook.DioBeth
(6) 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 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.

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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