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St Peter's Tunkhannock invites community to dedication ceremony for new building

newSpin 110609

The newSpin newsletter, June 9, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Mondays and Thursdays

Stay cool ... Temps expected in mid 90s today.

• Put on your red dress, baby ... Here.
• Renewal Assembly II ...  Saturday, 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. 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. 
 • The Tree of Life ... [America Magazine, James Martin] I knew that “The Tree of Life” tackled what are sometimes ominously called “Big Questions” about religion. But I was unprepared for the power of the film, which is like living inside a prayer. Essentially, the film works on (at least) two levels: as a story and as a meditation. Read it all here.

 • Three Episcopal clergy take part in Moravian clergy retreat ... [Deacon Sally Bosler] Here.
• 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.
• 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.

 • 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.
• 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.

• The face-palm Jesus award ... [Andrew Gerns, Episcopal Café] A New Zealand Anglican priest has proposed a new award with a logo of Jesus with his palm over his face. He awards the first face-palm Jesus to an unnamed congregation where everyone in the congregation joins in saying the words of institution. Bad liturgical practice, like bad Christian art or bad Christian fiction, may also arise out of bad theology, or when one worthy theological concept is allowed to run amok over all other considerations. More here. 
• Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand problem
... [TIME] These days, when people question a politician’s “morality,” they usually mean his or her personal behavior and choices. But an interesting thing is happening right now around the GOP budget proposal. A broad coalition of religious voices is criticizing the morality of the choices reflected in budget cuts and tax policy. And they’ve specifically targeted Ryan and his praise for Rand, the philosopher who once said she “promote[d] the ethic of selfishness.” More here. Also, in the NCR, "Pushback from the religious left."

• 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.
• Staying afloat amid information overload ... [Faith & Leadership, Duke Divinity]  Questions for leaders of Christian institutions: Is it possible to serve the church’s mission and still give your mind, body and soul a much-needed break from the seemingly unending flow of information? Can you be an effective, responsive leader without being plugged in all the time? And when you are plugged in, are there strategies for managing the wave of information coming at you so you can avoid drowning in it? The answer is “yes” to all three, say those who study the impact of information overload and the practice of managing it all. More here.
• Teen's dad spends school year waving at bus, embarrassing son ... [Deseret News, Salt Lake City] Here. [h/t Leadership Education at Duke Divinity]
• Dodger Fans See Blue All Over ... [NYTimes] Dodger Stadium, one of baseball's most storied parks, appears to have as many police officers as fans these days as reports of fights and rowdiness have grown. Attendance is down sharply. The Dodgers, rich in history and victories and a source of civic pride since Walter O’Malley brought them here from Brooklyn in 1958, have become a source of embarrassment for the city this spring, with a parade of indignities testing the loyalty of their anguished fans. Here.
• My Bad: A Political Medley ... [NYTimes Op-Ed] When misbehaving publc officials say, "I'm sorry." Here.
• Pennsylvania gas price data ... Here.

• The Tree of Life ... [America Magazine, James Martin] I knew that “The Tree of Life” tackled what are sometimes ominously called “Big Questions” about religion. But I was unprepared for the power of the film, which is like living inside a prayer. Essentially, the film works on (at least) two levels: as a story and as a meditation. Read it all here.
• The Grand Rapids Lip Dub Video ...
The international sensation that Roger Ebert calls "The Greatest Music Video Ever Made." Also 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. 

• 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

• The Diocese of Bethlehem on Facebook ...
• Kat Lehman on Twitter ...!/KatLehman
• Episcopal News Service on Twitter ...!/episcopal_news

• June 12, Pentecost ... Put on your red dress, baby. Christ Church Winnetka, Illinois encourages everyone to wear red for Pentecost with a catchy ad on their
web site. [h/t Ann Fontaine]
• 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.
• Prayers of the People ... for Pentecost Sunday. Here.

• 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]
• Child Safety ... [MedlinePlus] When lawn mowers attack. Here. [h/t Diana S. Marshall]
• What I learned from my cancer scare ... [Dr. Mehmet Oz, TIME] At some level, I knew I was standing in the middle of New York City traffic, but my mind was in another dimension entirely. Reminders of your mortality will do that. The day hadn't started off so strangely and scarily, but it hadn't started off to be much fun either. I was going to my doctor's office for a colonoscopy, my second in nine months. Colonoscopies aren't supposed to happen nine months apart, of course, unless the first one turns up something worrisome — and mine had. Back in August, my doctor discovered a suspicious polyp that needed to be removed. It turned out to be precancerous, and while a large majority of such growths do not eventually become cancer, colon cancer usually starts with just that sort of polyp. So did I have the 40-some years left to me that I had been more or less counting on — or just a year or two? You ask a lot of existential questions like that when you get the kind of news I had gotten. And you do a lot of hoping that when you return for a follow-up exam, all will be well — and the problem will simply go away. Now I was going in for that follow-up. Read the TIME cover story here.
• Cancer in the cross hairs ... [TIME] How we find it. How we treat it. How we may finally be able to outsmart it. Here.
• E. Coli: Don't blame the sprouts ... [NYTimes, Opinionator] Here.

• iCloud/iTunes ... [NYTimes, David Pogue] Sorting through Apple's many announcements. [Telegraph] Is your world safe in Apple's iCloud? Also [NYTimes] “We are going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud,” Steven P. Jobs said in a Monday announcement. Check out how this new service will change the way that you store music and data, compare these new services to those of Amazon and Google and even see which apps will be threatened by the upgrades.

• 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 
• 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
• Episcopal parish hopes to join RC Church ... St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Bladensburg MD has decided to leave the Diocese of Washington and seek entry into the Roman Catholic Church. It would become the first in the country to move to Roman Catholicism under new Vatican rules. The transition is being made with the support of Bishop John Bryson Chane of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Catholic Archbishop of Washington The rector of St. Luke's is Mark Lewis, onetime priest-in-charge at St. Stephen's Whitehall PA. Washington Post story here. Episcopal News Service story here. As a "first," this proposed move has received a great deal of national publicity.
• Vatican takes time to mull recommendations for reviving Irish church after sex abuse scandal ... [Washington Post] The scandals have caused exceptional trauma in Ireland, a once-devoutly Catholic nation. An Irish government collapsed in 1994 amid arguments over its failure to extradite a pedophile priest to Northern Ireland. Since 2002, a government-organized compensation board has paid out more than €800 million ($983 million) to 13,000 people abused in Ireland’s church-run homes for children. Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has spoken out recently, criticizing the Vatican’s slow pace, and Monday’s statement was unlikely to satisfy those expecting more tangible results after Vatican investigators turned in their reports in April. Martin said he was becoming “increasingly impatient” at the Vatican’s pace of the investigation process, saying the longer the delay in releasing the results of the probe “the greater the danger of false expectations and the greater the encouragement to those who prefer immobilism to reform.” Martin has been the strongest voice in the Irish hierarchy demanding accountability and reform in the Irish church. Read it here.
• Bishops to meet, review policies ... [Religion Link] The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops will meet this month in Seattle to consider revising policies approved nearly a decade ago in response to the clergy sexual-abuse crisis. But recent developments indicate the bishops may have even more work to do. 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.
• Faith in Public Life ... 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, some 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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