The newSpin newsletter, August 4, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
T.S. Eliot warned against “dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good."
[Bill] This newsletter has been sent from the Church of the Redeemer, Longport NJ, where I can be reached as usual, email@example.com.
• Somalis wasting away as insurgents block escape from famine ... [NYimes, Aug. 2] Aid groups are trying to scale up their operations, and the United Nations has begun airlifting emergency food. But many seasoned aid officials are speaking in grim tones because one of Africa’s worst humanitarian disasters in decades has struck one of the most inaccessible countries on earth. Somalia, especially the southern third where the famine is, has been considered a no-go zone for years, a lawless caldron that has claimed the lives of dozens of aid workers, peacekeepers and American soldiers, going back to the “Black Hawk Down” battle in 1993, spelling a legacy that has scared off many international organizations ... “Somalia is one of the most complicated places in the world to deliver aid, more complicated than Afghanistan,” said Stefano Porretti, who heads the World Food Progam’s efforts in Somalia and recently worked in Afghanistan. More here.
• Bruce Bengtson retires ... Christ Church Reading celebrates 40th anniversary of Organist Bruce Bengtson’s ministry upon his retirement. Here.
• New Bethany Ministries has new prospect for expanded social services center ... [Express-Times] Nine months after a deal to buy the former Our Lady of Pompeii Roman Catholic Church fell through, New Bethany Ministries has a new prospect for an expanded social services center in Bethlehem. The organization has submitted a letter of interest for a dilapidated warehouse at East Fifth and Atlantic streets .. The new site is a block away from the former church but will likely be better supported by the neighborhood because it is not on the main commercial stretch of East Fourth Street as the church is, said Ellen Larmer, project director for Community Action Development Corp. of Bethlehem. The organization and several business owners within the neighborhood known as Four Blocks International opposed New Bethany’s proposed purchase of Our Lady of Pompeii. More here.
• Collette Shepherd's father ... [Jo Trepagnier, parish administrator, Mediator Allentown] Collette Shepherd’s father died very unexpectedly this past weekend. She is in the Chicago area now. Her father cared for her mother and this death is very complicated and surprising to the large loving family. Colette is a great woman and I ask for your prayers for her father Paul Coutre and her family. Collette is parish administraor at St. Anne's Trexlertown. Obituary here.
• Parish Administrators ... [Jo Trepagnier, parish administrator, Mediator Allentown] As parish administrators we all work for different clergy and vestry and parish families with all sorts of expectations. In most cases, we are unlike the clergy, who have all kinds of opportunities for paid time off for education and tuition reimbursement, sabbaticals, mileage reimbursements, clergy days, clergy meals and retreats. The administrators share very similar work from Christmas bulletins to newsletters to newcomers and parochial reports. Often, we are the voice and ears of the parish and may know more about the families than any others. Administrator meetings are lovely but primarily they are an opportunity for us to learn from each other and develop contacts for tough situations. I believe the administrators are a major untapped resource in this diocese and that if we had more opportunities to work together we could save the diocese a lot of money and increase the overall quality of our work. I’ve attended meetings where in one minute one person has helped another solve hours and hours of problems. I’d love to have quarterly regional meetings, planned by someone dedicated to that planning. To have the administrators encouraged, required and or released from our work load to attend and paid for the hours we attend.
• At St. Mary's Reading ... [Jennifer Ross] The Rev. Ellie Hart is supply priest at St. Mary's while Pastor Nancy is on her well-earned vacation. She spoke last week during her sermon of how most churches are small ... and struggling. Her sermon was wonderful. I'd not heard her often before, and I'm glad I've listened to her God-gifted and ministry-grown wise words on the lessons to share and explain. This week, I've been thinking of a new ministry that's come to us through vestry member Scott Chambers. At this moment, members of our parish are up at a nearby distribution center, getting into what the process is. It's an Angel Foods Ministry. We're going to begin it in August. Pray for us, please, at St. Mary's as we take another step to serve whoever takes part in ordering needed foods. They turn to Angel Food, because they know of needs. We pray to serve well. Please continue to hold all those in need these hot summer days in your hearts. [newSpin expects soon to hear more about Angel Food Ministries and St. Mary's participation from Scott Chambers]
• Diocesan Life ... Read or download the July/August issue 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.
• Valuing the Invaluable ... [Congregational Resource Guide] This report from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), highlights the importance of family caregivers by showing not only how many provide care to adults, but also how that care translates into dollars. Learn more by linking to the "Valuing the Invaluable" webpage, fact sheet, or full report. Also see CRG's in-depth piece, "Parish Nursing: New Trends," as well as the blogs "Forming (Wholly) Healthy Communities" and (perhaps most relevant) "Congregations and Caregivers: Serving Those Who Serve." More here.
• Episcopups ... [Forward Movement, Scott Gunn] We at Forward Movement have decided that "The Episcopal Church welcomes you" extends to dogs. So our Episcocats calendar will be joined by an Episcopups calendar. This is at the request of many readers. To get the calendar out on time, we need to put it together quickly. We'd love some high quality photos, but we need them ASAP. Please see this web page for details. The deadline is August 12. If you'd like to make your dogs famous, this is your chance.
• 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.
• Feudal America ... [Joe Jackloski, posted on Bakery] Let's see now: The many supporting the needs a of a few. The most vulnerable ignored or preyed upon. Infrastructure concentrated around power. Wealth aggregated to the wealthy. A ruling class unresponsive to the common nation. Universal education under attack. Senseless wars. Intrusive Government. Diminished personal rights. Capricious taxation. I see a least a passing resemblance to a Feudal state.
• On American Income Inequality ... [Daily Kos] Al Jazeera documentary on American Income Inequality nails it: It's the oligarchy, stupid. Here. [h/t Joe Jackloski]
• Mary Magdalene: Role Model for Bishops ... [EpiscopalCafé, Ann Fontaine] The Very Reverend June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury, gives the sermon during the service for the Ordination and Consecration of the Bishop of Salisbury and the Bishop of Stepney. Service was held at St Paul's Cathedral, London, on the Feast of Mary Magdalene, July 22, 2011. Text and video. Here.
• Grants from Episcopal Appalachian Ministries ... The deadline for the Episcopal Appalachian Ministries fall Small Grants Initiative is August 31. Grants usually range in size from $500 to $3,000. Here.
• Follow Episcopal News Service on Twitter.
• Anglican Communion News Service ... on Facebook. And weekly review, posted July 1.
• Fall Continuing Education offerings at Moravian Theological Seminary ... Here.
• Crossroads Lay Courses at Moravian Theological Seminary ... Here.
• Moravian Church in North America website
• Moravian Church Northern Province website
• Moravian Theological Seminary website
• 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.
• Diocese of Scranton ... Here.
• Diocese of Allentown ... Here.
• United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ... Here.
• Catholic News Service ... Here.
• Vatican website ... Here.
• Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.
• Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
• The Daily Office from MissionStClare.
• The Lectionary Page ... Here. This is a new URL. Update your bookmarks or favorites.
• The Lectionary ... Here.
• Oremus Bible Browser ... Here.
• Revised Common Lectionary ... Vanderbilt.
• 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
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
(4) Episcopal News Service
(5) Episcopal Church website
(9) The Lead, Episcopal Cafe
(10) Daily Episcopalian, Episcopal Cafe
(12) AnglicansOnline News Centre.
(13) Anglican Communion website.
(14) Anglican Communion News Service.
Composed at least weekly (usually on Monday and occasionally on Thursday) by Bill Lewellis, the newSpin newsletter appears as a post within the newSpin blog. Newsletter and blog are not identical. This notice that a new newsletter has been published currently goes to some 1,200 email addresses on a separate list. Many recipients forward it to many more. 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/Editor (1986-2010), 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]