The newSpin newsletter, June 20, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday and occasionally on Thursday
Those on the newSpin list who are subscribed also to "Bakery" may have been wondering why their attempted posts have been bouncing for the past five days. ChurchPost has encountered a few issues in their attempt to upgrade their ChurchReply lists. "Bakery" is a ChurchReply list. Your posts may have been captured for reposting. If not, do hold on to them and repost them when the cloud allows. Thanks. –Bill
• Couple preparing to welcome 72nd foster child ... [CNN] Tom and Ann Rose, members of Grace Allentown, have been foster parents to 71 children over the past 15 years, and they’re hoping to welcome a 72nd soon to their Allentown, home. Tom is in his 70s; Ann, in her 80s. More here. And video at WFMZ.
• On the verge of crisis in Sudan ... [Religion Dispatches] "If the world stands idly by this time, they will bring genocide." Anglican Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail of Kadugli, Sudan (Kadugli is far north of Kajo Keji) More here.
• ABC warns that Sudan faces another Darfur ... [Church Times] Here.
• Bishop Anthony fears loss of freedom for Christians in the North ... [Church Times] Bishop Anthony Poggo of Kajo Keji in Sudan expressed concern that Christians in the mainly Muslim north of Sudan will be “more vulnerable”, when the largely Christian south secedes to form a new country next month. He called on the international community to put pressure on the government of the north to “respect freedom of religion.” Download Bishop Anthony in Church Times.
• Progressive vs. Emergence Christianity ... [Patheos, PhyllisTickle] Despite the sharing of conversations, there still are some distinct differences between Progressive Christianity and Emergence Christianity, says Phyllis Tickle. More here. Brian McLaren, not conservative, not liberal: Progressive. Here. [h/t Leadership Education at Duke Divinity]
• Successful pay-what-you-can model proves humanity can be awesome ... [bigthink.com] Too good to believe? Perhaps not. A year ago, Ronald Shaich, the founder of Panera Bread, one of the biggest restaurant chains in the States, decided to try something different. He opened the Panera Cares Community Café in Colorado, an establishment that looked like and sold the same things as all the rest of the Panera Breads out there. With only one difference - the lack of a cashier. Instead there was a donation box where customers could deposit more or less than the suggested donation for each item. Or not pay for it at all. More here.
• Grants for creative ministry approaches in rural settings ... [ENS] For the training of town and country clergy and rural Christian workers of the Episcopal Church. Here.
• Celebration of New Ministry ... St. Brigid's Nazareth (310 Madison Avenue) with their first rector, the Rev. William L. Martin. Sunday, June 26, at 5:00 p.m.
• Diocesan Life, June ... Read or download it here.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... Read Canon Kitch's newsletter here.
• Thomas T. Church, 91, a long-time member of the Cathedral, died Monday, June 13, at Kirkland Village. Tom was very active in many ministries. A memorial service will take place at the Cathedral on Monday, June 27, at 11:00 a.m. Obituary 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.
• Rescuing the real Uncle Tom ... [NYTimes Op-Ed] The novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, born 200 years ago last Tuesday, June 14, was an unlikely fomenter of wars. Diminutive and dreamy-eyed, she was a harried housewife with six children, who suffered from various obscure illnesses worsened by her persistent hypochondria. And yet, driven by a passionate hatred of slavery, she found time to write “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which became the most influential novel in American history and a catalyst for radical change both at home and abroad. Today, of course, the book has a decidedly different reputation, thanks to the popular image of its titular character, Uncle Tom — whose name has become a byword for a spineless sellout, a black man who betrays his race. More here.
• Thousands have swum the river in both directions ... [Episcopal Café] In a recent move to Baltimore I unearthed the October 5, 1973 issue of the National Catholic Reporter. I was a stringer for the paper then when TV news in Phoenix didn’t pay much. I even had a part time job teaching religion at a local Catholic high school. My ministry included playing guitar at Sunday night masses at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale. Finding this particular issue of NCR not only flooded me with memories (my byline was on page two) but propelled me into the present. On page one was the notice that John Cogley had become an Episcopalian. Cogley was a former executive editor of Commonweal, an NCR columnist and well known Catholic author and journalist. His migration, I later discovered, is fondly referred to by those who keep score as “swimming the Thames”—the description for Catholics who become Episcopalians. Those going the other way “swim the Tiber.” These expressions acknowledge the two rivers next to seats of ecclesiastical authority of both branches of Christ’s “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.” My move to Baltimore came at the calling of the Episcopal bishop to join his staff as canon for evangelism and ministry development. I swam the Thames nearly 20 years ago, went to the Seminary of the Southwest, and was ordained nearly six years later. And so recent events have caused friends, old and new, to ask for my reactions. More here.
• An effort to foster tolerance in religion ... [NYTimes, Laurie Goodstein] For a guy who is only 35 and lives in a walk-up apartment, Eboo Patel has already racked up some impressive accomplishments. A Rhodes scholar with a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, he has four honorary degrees. His autobiography is required freshman reading on 11 college campuses. He runs a nonprofit organization — the Interfaith Youth Core — with 31 employees and a budget of $4 million. And he was tapped by the White House as a key architect of an initiative announced in April by President Obama. Mr. Patel got there by identifying a sticky problem in American civic life and proposing a concrete solution. The problem? Increased religious diversity is causing increasing religious conflict. And too often, religious extremists are driving events. He figured that if Muslim radicals and extremists of other religions were recruiting young people, then those who believe in religious tolerance should also enlist the youth. More here.
• Leave those kids alone ... [The Atlantic] Childhood is more than merely a springboard to adulthood. Here. [h/t Anne Kitch]
• Israel sees slow but growing acceptance for gay Orthodox ... [RNS, Michele Chabin] TEL AVIV, Israel (RNS) Though never short on spectacle, this year’s annual gay pride festival was even more colorful with a parade float, sponsored by Google, representing the country’s religious gay and lesbian communities. Dressed in shorts and T-shirts bearing the words “Religious Pride Community,” the 20- and 30-somethings who accompanied the float on Friday (June 10) smiled proudly if even a bit self-consciously when onlookers did a double take or shouted, “Good for you!” While Israeli law forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation in most areas of life, and gay soldiers can serve openly in the military, the public at large is only beginning to accept the notion that observant Jews can be both openly religious and openly gay. More here.
• Plurality of Americans believe capitalism at odds with Christian values ... [Public Religion Research Institute] Overall more Americans believe that Christian values are at odds with capitalism and the free market than believe they are compatible. This pattern also holds among Christians. Among Christians in the U.S., only 38% believe capitalism and the free market are consistent with Christian values while 46% believe the two are at odds. Religiously unaffiliated Americans look similar to the general population and to Christian Americans, with a plurality (40%) saying capitalism is at odds with Christian values, compared to 32% who say they are compatible; 14% say they do not know. There are significant differences by gender, party and income. More here.
• The Ayn Rand Makeover ... [Sojourners, Danny Duncan Collum] Life just got even harder for our friends on the Right. Now, apparently, a true conservative must also believe that the late Ayn Rand was a great philosopher. Anyone who has so far managed to avoid Rand's work or her disciples should know that in her novels and essays Rand expounded a worldview, dubbed "Objectivism," that can be summed up as a pastiche of free-market libertarianism and cartoon Nietzscheanism. To the Randian, there is no God but self, and self-will and pursuit of self-interest is the only virtue. More here.
• The other side of the Catholic tradition ... [Washington Post Op-Ed, Matthew Fox] People who came of age in the past 40 years have known only one version of the Roman Catholic Church—a version of an iron-fisted ideology that first John Paul II and then Benedict XVI have enforced in the process of condemning condoms, birth control, liberation theology, creation spirituality, women, gays, the “secular world” and much more. World-over the hierarchy are being criticized for coddling pedophile priests and bishops while denouncing theologians and others who bring ideas to an age-old tradition. More here.
• Those Manly Men of Yore ... [NYTimes Op-Ed, Sara Lipton] In the face of recent revelations about the reckless sexual conduct of elected officials, it's worth recalling that sexual restraint was once the measure of a man. More 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
• 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.
• With The Book of Common Prayer ... Here.
• For our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families. Check the newSpin blog for an update.
• The apocalyptic fantasy inspired by Jerusalem ... [NCR] If a book can have a soundtrack, then James Carroll’s Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World (reviewed here by John Olinger) calls for Leonard Cohen’s “Story of Isaac,” a lament for youth sacrificed on the altars of parents’ visions and a cry against the war on Vietnam. Carroll, son of a U.S. Air Force officer and himself a former priest, has written an extended meditation on violence and religion, rooted in the hallowed ground of Jerusalem, sacred to the three Abrahamic faiths. More here.
• Does anything matter? [Peter Singer, professor of bioethics, Princeton] Can moral judgments be true or false? Or is ethics, at bottom, a purely subjective matter, for individuals to choose, or perhaps relative to the culture of the society in which one lives? More here.
• Bobby McFerrin ... [American Public Media] On Being with Krista Tippett. Here.
• The first couple in story and film ... [NCR] Adam and Eve in popular culture.
• Child Safety ... [MedlinePlus] When lawn mowers attack. Here. [h/t Diana S. Marshall]
• How a Minnesota Episcopal priest is coping with Parkinson's ... [National Public Radio] My most vivid recollection as a kid of going to church was hearing a booming voice fill the building. It was my dad's voice. As an Episcopal priest, he commanded the room whether he was giving a sermon or singing a hymn. Not any more. One of the ongoing issues my dad has is that his vocal chords aren't engaging like they used to. At church he gets by with a microphone; at home, you have to get right next to him to hear what he's saying. It's because his brain is no longer intuitively helping his body do its normal tasks. A lot of people see Parkinson's — namely the tremors — so they think it's physical, but it's all in the brain. More here.
• Diocese of Washington elects Mariann Budde as its ninth bishop ... [Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., elected the Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde as its first female diocesan bishop on the second ballot on June 18. Budde, 52, Spanish-speaking rector of St. John's Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was elected out of a field of five nominees. She received 102 votes of 163 cast in the lay order and 137 of 175 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 82 in the lay order and 88 in the clergy order. Pending a successful consent process, Budde will succeed Bishop John Bryson Chane, who will retire this fall. The service of consecration and installation for the new bishop is set for Nov. 12. More Here. Read the Washington Post story here.
• In New Zealand: Christchurch Bishop fears her clergy face “exhaustion of spirit” following tremors ... [Anglican Taonga] In the wake of yet more big jolts in Christchurch, Bishop Victoria Matthews says she fears her clergy are facing “exhaustion of spirit”. “People are tired. They have been more than magnificent. Let me say that clearly. “But I am hearing of a deep weariness of the soul, and I'm having to ask people to reach deep into their resources to meet yet another crisis. “The churches that have stepped up to the plate, and been magnificent so many times before, will have to do it all over again. Because we have got to keep looking after the people of God. More here.
• 'Mission-shaped' cathedrals as incubators of fresh ministry, hatcheries of mission ... [Episcopal News Service] What if cathedrals across North America, the long-held treasured symbols of tradition, were "re-imagined" into incubators and hubs for fresh and creative new ministries, "places where young adults can be drawn to explore Christian faith and spirituality within dioceses?" The Rev. Karen Ward hopes to inspire both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to sign onto a three-year Mission Shaped Cathedrals Project (MSCP) to do just that. More here.
• CofE clears way for gay, celibate bishops ... [CNN Belief Blog] The Church of England’s lawyers advised the church not to refuse to appoint gay bishops; but it can insist that they remain celibate, CNN reports.
• Episcopal Church Website and News Service. Follow the Episcopal News Service on Twitter.
• Anglican Communion News Service ... on Facebook.
• NEPA Synod website ... Here.
• Synod E-News ... June 16. 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."
• 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.
• Communication newsletter ... Here.
• Eastern PA Conference of the UMC website ... Here.
• Facebook ... Here.
• Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog ... Here.
• Cardinal reports on progress toward U.S Ordinariate for ex-Anglicans ... [Catholic News Service] As many as 100 U.S. Anglican priests and 2,000 laypeople could be the first members of a U.S. personal ordinariate for former Anglicans who want to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington reported to his fellow bishops June 15. At a news conference following his report, Cardinal Wuerl said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Vatican were to establish the U.S. ordinariate by the end of the year. "I think it will be sooner rather than later," he said. He said St. Mary's Seminary in Houston has developed and the Vatican has approved an intensive nine-month program of priestly formation for Anglican clergy who wish to become Catholic priests. Father Jeffrey Steenson, the former Episcopal bishop of the Rio Grande who became a Catholic in 2007 and now teaches at St. Mary's Seminary, was instrumental in developing the program, which focuses on "the areas of historic theological divergence" between the Catholic and Anglican churches, Cardinal Wuerl said. More here. [Canon Gerns' take, worth reading, at Episcopal Cafe] First, the RCC does not distinguish between Episcopal Churches and members of breakaway church, nor does it distinguish between the Episcopal Church and groups that claim an Anglican heritage or style of worship but were never part of the Episcopal Church in the first place. So give those numbers appropriate latitude. More here.
• Theologians express regret over bishops' rebuke of Johnson book ... [Thomas C. Fox, NCR] The Catholic Theological Society of America June 10 overwhelmingly passed a resolution, 147 to one, recommending the U.S. bishops establish a committee to evaluate procedures that led to their doctrine committee’s April statement, which severely criticized a book by a noted U.S. theologian. More 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
(4) Twitter.Kat Lehman
(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.
(2) News & Notices
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(9) The Lead, Episcopal Cafe
(10) Daily Episcopalian, Episcopal Cafe
(12) AnglicansOnline News Centre.
(13) Anglican Communion website.
(14) Anglican Communion News Service.
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About the newSpin newsletter ... Composed at least weekly (occasionally 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.