The newSpin newsletter, August 8, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
• We are born, so to speak, provisionally, it doesn't matter where. It is only gradually that we compose within ourselves our true place of origin so that we may be born there retrospectively and each day more definitely. - Rainer Maria Rilke
• My life is based on a true story. [Bill]
This newsletter has been sent from the Church of the Redeemer, Longport NJ, where I can be reached as usual, email@example.com.
• 30 U.S. special operation troops killed in Afghanistan ... A military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan. It was the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war. More here and here.
• America's Somalia wake-up call ... [Daily Beast, July 17] Somalia’s famine has killed 29,000 children under the age of five and left three million starving, but the U.S. government is now taking steps to cut the snarl of red tape blocking food and humanitarian help from reaching the drought-stricken nation. As previously reported in The Daily Beast, an ill-defined law made it difficult for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to send much needed aid. Eliza Griswold on the U.S.’s decision to start waging a full-blown fight against the famine. Here.
• Bruce Bengtson retires ... Christ Church Reading celebrates 40th anniversary of Organist Bruce Bengtson’s ministry upon his retirement. Here.
• James K. Wilson named organist/choirmaster at Christ Church Reading ... Here.
• Fabric for Kajo Keji student uniforms ... Diocesan ECW has a program to raise funds to purchase fabric for student uniforms used in Kajo Keji schools. These schools are in Romogi, Gadera, Liwolo, Sodogo and Dwani. The Bethlehem Tailor’s Training Center (BTTC) assembles the uniforms from the material purchased on the international market. Your donation of funds will help the students both male and female. Female students, in particular, develop self-esteem and a desire for studying; thus staying in school longer. Ongoing contributions are necessary to assure that current and new students have uniforms made by the BTTC. Cost of this material is $5 per meter with two meters required for each uniform. Please, consider donating $10 for one uniform or $5 for 1 meter of fabric.
• 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.
• Become a baker in the House of Bread ... If you are interested in more news, issues, ideas, opinion and conversation related to our diocesan community, the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, you might consider becoming a baker in the House of Bread. At the "Get Connected" box on the right side of our diocesan website, fill in your name and email address, and click on "My Groups." In the next window that comes up, check Bakery. Bakery, of course, is a play on Bethlehem meaning "House of Bread" in Hebrew. Subscribed to Bakery, you will receive several notes daily (perhaps two, perhaps ten when the oven is hot) and you will be able to enter the conversation by posting your own notes to the group, i.e., to the other bakers. News is fresh in the Bakery long before you see it in print in Diocesan Life.
• Study looks at experiences of Gay Mormons ... [Associated Press] Here.
• Ten things the CNN belief blog learned in its first year ... [Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com religion editor] A few of the ten: Every big news story has a faith angle. Atheists are the most fervent commenters on matters religious. Most Americans are religiously illiterate. More here.
• 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.
• Faux Sinatra ... If you sing along with Sinatra, you'll find this short video entertaining. [h/t Joe Jackloski]
• Il Volo ... Una cosa bella. Ascoltate in questo luogo. Anche qui.
• Curiosity.com ... The questions of life. A curious website of the Discovery Channel.
• Career Link Lehigh Valley ... [Cecilia Rodriguez, Weed & Seed Job Counselor, Grace Allenown] Wednesday, September 21, 10:00 to 5:00, Agricultural Hall, Allentown Fairgrounds, 17th & Chew Streets, Gate 3. Last year thousands of people showed up for the Job Fair. In addition to the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a representative of companies who want to hire someone, the fair also offers mock interviews, job skills assessment and resume building and updating. [h/t Bob House]
• 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. Better still, at the "Get Connected" box on the right side of our diocesan website, fill in your name and email address, and click on "My Groups." In the next window, check "Pray for." Then, you will receive the weekly update by email.
• The heady thrill of having nothing to do ... [WSJournal, Scott Adams Aug. 6] Is constant stimulation hurting our creativity—and the economy? Scott Adams, creator of "Dilbert," pays tribute to tedium. We've won the war on boredom! If you have a smartphone in your pocket, a game console in the living room, a Kindle in your backpack and an iPad in the kitchen, you never need to suffer a minute without stimulation. Yay! But wait—we might be in dangerous territory. Experts say our brains need boredom so we can process thoughts and be creative. I think they're right. I've noticed that my best ideas always bubble up when the outside world fails in its primary job of frightening, wounding or entertaining me. More here. [h/t Deacon Larry Holman]
• Two parties pray to the same God, but listen to different economists ... [The Atlantic] People on both sides of the debt ceiling debate at some point claimed God supported their cause. "On the testimony of some of his followers, God is both to the right of Boehner and to the left of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (who didn’t include revenue in his approach)," writes Michael Gerson in The Washington Post. "Both parties read the same Bible and pray to the same God--but apparently listen to different economists." Gerson says we should be suspicious of faith that conforms too neatly to a certain political viewpoint. When people see opposing views as heretical, it limits political dialogue, he argues. There is some room for faith in the public sector though. "While a Christian position on monetary policy is a stretch," he says, "Christian opposition to slavery or segregation is a matter of consistency." Federal budgeting can be fit into having moral implications, too. One group, A Circle of Protection, says the programs that serve the needy must be protected. Another, Christians for a Sustainable Economy, argues that the poor "are best served by policies that promote economic freedom and growth." CASE also argues, though, that faith-based charities should replace government programs, an argument Gerson casts off as "dangerously oblivious." Gerson supports Circle's philosophy more because, he says, "Public spending on poverty and global health programs is a sliver of discretionary spending... This is not an argument endorsed by God, but it corresponds to budgetary reality. And this has a virtue of its own."
• The Dysfunction at the Very Heart of American Politics ... [Michael A Cohen, Guardian UK] How has America been reduced to one party holding a gun to the US economy and the other trading away its political principles to stop the trigger from being pulled? The problem is that the US today has one party intent on utilising government resources as a force for social good and another that rejects any significant role for the public sector. Compounding this collision of ideologies is a populace so indifferent to the workings of their own government that they are unable to choose which model they prefer. More here.
• Should religion play a role in politics? ... [NYTimes Opinionator] Many religious groups with a conservative political agenda are disguising partisan political positions as religious convictions. This cripples efforts to have meaningful discussions about their political views. More 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]