The newSpin newsletter, November 14, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been. –Wayne Gretzky
• Deaths of Jack Prater and Margot Bradbury ... See below, under DioBethSpin
• Diocesan Life, November ... available here. Budget constraints have compelled a decision to terminate our wrap agreement with Episcopal Journal. Starting in February, Episcopal Journal will no longer be included with Diocesan Life. More info on page A3 of the November Diocesan Life.
• At Good Shepherd Scranton ... Video on Scranton Prep's project to refinish the bowling alley for Seasons of Love at Good Shepherd, Scranton. It's an awe inspiring video done by the kids themselves. Here.
• Flood Relief in West Pittston ... See below, under DioBethSpin.
• 963 neighbors used Grace Allentown food panty in October ... See below, under DioBethSpin.
• Penn Sate Scandal ... Several items below, under TailSpin and Opinion/Commentary.
• The Reverend John (Jack) S. Prater, 77, of Jesse Road, Plymouth Township, died peacefully at home with his devoted wife, Ingrid, at his side on Tuesday, November 8. He was called to be rector of Prince of Peace Dallas in 1962 where he served until his retirement in 1997. More here and here. Joe Jackloski tells us that hundred stopped by to deliver their condolences and 176 stayed for the Eucharist at Grace Kingston.
• Margaret O. Bradbury, 89, longtime resident of Zionsville and Macungie, member of St. Margaret's Emmaus, died on November 9. Margot was very active in the Episcopal Church Women and for many years was on the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem and a frequent delegate to local and national conventions. Find obituary here.
• He Blessed the Bread ... This video was produced by Kat Lehman, Director of Communication and Information Technology for the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, for the 140th Diocesan Convention in conjunction with the Congregational Renewal Committee. It's a movie made out of the slide show shown at Diocesan Convention. It's Kat's first attempt at something like this. Kudos Kat.
• After the three-legged stool, this ... [Bishop Paul, Sermon at Clergy Day on the Commemoration of Richard Hooker] Here.
• Flood Relief in West Pittston ... [Janine Ungvarsky, FLOODCare Chairpersonand the Community Resiliency Committee of Trinity West Pittston] It has now been just over two months since floodwaters left their mark on West Pittston and several other nearby towns, and I'm happy to report that we are seeing signs of resiliency and recovery. More here. Monetary donations are the best method of helping so that gift cards can be purchased for food and household goods. You may send checks payable to The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, memo line: Flood Relief. 333 Wyandotte St., Bethlehem, PA 18015. Also see "Flood Relief in West Pittston," above, under TopSpin.
• 963 neighbors used our pantry in October ... [Beth Reed, priest-in-charge, Grace Allentown] Last month, Patty McNamara and the volunteers of Grace Church's food pantry in Allentown served 306 families. That number represents 524 adults, 397 children, and 42 senior citizens who receive "senior boxes." The food pantry operates out of Hadesty Hall on the lower level of Grace Church. How is it that nearly 1,000 people every month, in the immediate vicinity of our church, need help getting food on their tables? The Second Harvest website has information on hunger, food insecurity, and poverty in Lehigh County. Second Harvest is a national network of food banks. Ms. McNamara places a weekly order with our local branch and receives a delivery at the pantry on Thursday mornings.
• Grace Honesdale dedicates recently gifted Columbarium ... Here.
• Creating a Culture of Peace training ... Dec. 2-4 at Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church. Here.
• My Inner Naaman ... [Archdeacon Stringfellow, Reflection] “What is it about this oil that you have that will cure me?” There; I had said it and said it aloud for the priest to hear. “What is it about this oil that you have that will cure me?” My inner Naaman, though nameless to me, had stepped out of the shadows and was right there for the two of us to see. For my part, I was proud of that Naaman, for that Naaman kept me me and not another. It was the other I feared, I suppose. I can only guess what the priest thought. At the time I was a sophomore in college. I had been to the doctor—several doctors in fact—to discover the cause of the dizzy spells that were plaguing me at some inopportune times. Read it all here.
• Diocesan Convention ... Election results, Here. Resolutions passed, Here. Bishop Paul's Convention Address, Here. Bishop Croneberger's sermon, Here. It appears also in the November Diocesan Life.
• Diocesan Life, November ... available here.
• Calendar of Events ... Updated Nov. 11.
• Cathedral trumpet player in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ... Stephen Yale, a member of the Cathedral and a senior at Freedom High School, son of Carol and Bill Yale, will march as a member of the Macy's Great American Marching Band that leads off the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
• Customized Seasonal Posters ... Jenifer Gamber has produced a set of seven seasonal posters that can be customized with your church name. Each 11" x 17" poster announces the liturgical season with words and image that corresponds to the seasonal theme. Posters feature the works of Episcopal artists.The entire set is available in a PDF file format that can be sent to your local printer for printing or arrangements can be made to have them printed at Minuteman Press in Bethlehem and mailed to you. Some churches have copiers that can also print 4-color on 11" x 17" paper. View the entire set and place an order here.
• Holiday Gift Shoppe at St. Brigid's ... St. Brigid’s Episcopal Church, 310 Madison Avenue, Nazareth, is hosting a Holiday Gift Shoppe on Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Hot dogs, chili, soups, and baked goods and, at the same place, do your Christmas shopping. There will be crafters and vendors, a used book sale, a bottle table, a basket raffle, a 50/50 drawing, a gold elephant table, and children’s new and gently used clothes and toys. To learn more contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-746-3910.
• St. Nicholas Faire and Cookie Festival ... Dec. 10 at Grace Honesdale. Here.
• Weekly Parish eNewsletters ... I have been publishing links to the weekly electronic newsletters of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Grace Allentown, Prince of Peace Dallas, and Trinity Easton because these seem to me to be attractive, newsy, helpful and user friendly. The Cathedral's newsletter is created with ChurchPost that, through a diocesan contract, is available free to all parishes. There may be other weekly electronic newsletters, besides these four, that might be looked at. Please let me know. Cathedral Nov. 11, here. Grace Allentown, Nov. 10, here. Trinity Easton, Nov. 11, here. Prince of Peace Dallas, Nov. 11, here.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Download inserts here.
• DioBeth Website ... newSpin Blog ... Re:Create blog – for youth and young adults ... Twitter.DioBeth ... Twitter.Kat Lehman ... Facebook.DioBeth ... Flickr, search under dio_beth
• 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.
• Through the capaciy to be separate, different and alone ... [Harriet Lerner, 1980] The last sentence, Bishop Paul notes in Bakery, brings it all together. "To experience autonomy is to experience our essential aloneness—to recognize that we determine our own choices, decide on our own risks, and assume the primary responsibility for our own growth and development. It is perhaps simpler for all of us to direct our energy toward seeking love and approval from others, to enter into relationships comprised of endless cycles of guilt and blame toward the person who is failing to provide for our happiness, and to preserve forever the fantasy that some other person can complete and fulfill us, as the nursing mother does for her child. My own patients who have made significant moves toward autonomous functioning inevitably go through a painful feeling of mourning and loss for the comforting undifferentiated relationship with a parent (or internalized parental imago) that they have courageously left behind. Still, the goal of achieving increasing autonomy is one that we strive for with each of our patients, male and female, and also ourselves. For it is through the capacity to be separate, different, and alone that we become free not only to express anger in response to the violation of our rights, but also to love each other from a position of true equality, maturity, and depth.
• New Episcopal Bishop of Washington DC inspired by progressive Catholics ... [Maureen Fiedler, NCR] I love telling people that I recently interviewed the new Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C. Many ask, quite innocently, "Oh, who is he?" Then they discover that the new bishop is not a "he," but a "she." Her name is Rev. Mariann Budde. Women continue to rise to new levels of leadership in the world of religion. As a Catholic, however, I find myself echoing the prayer: "How long, O God, how long" until we can celebrate such an event? Meanwhile, I rejoice with my Episcopal sisters and brothers. Rarely have I interviewed a religious leader as impressive as Budde. More here.
• The Last Person ... [Thomas Friedman, NYTinmes, Nov. 13] There is a concept in telecommunications called “the last mile,” that part of any phone system that is the most difficult to connect — the part that goes from the main lines into people’s homes. Prem Kalra, the director of the new Indian Institute of Technology in Rajasthan, one of the elite M.I.T.’s of India, has dedicated his school to overcoming a different challenge: connecting “the last person.” ... The Aakash is a ray of hope that India can leverage technology to get more of its 220 million students enough tools to escape poverty and poor teaching, but it’s also a challenge to the West. In terms of hope, I was struck by a story that Kalra’s wife, Urmila, told about a chat she had had with their maid after the Aakash was unveiled on Oct. 5. As Urmila recalled, her maid, who has two young children, said that she had heard “from the night watchman that Mr. Kalra has made a computer that is very cheap, and is so cheap that even she can afford to buy it. The watchman had given her a picture from the paper, and she asked me if it was true.” Urmila told her it was true and that the machine was meant for people who could not afford a big computer. Added Urmila: “She asked, ‘How much will it cost?’ I said, ‘It will cost you around 1,500 rupees.’ [$30.] She said: ‘15,000 or 1,500?’ I said, ‘1,500.’ She was sure that if the government was doing something so good for the poor, it had to have a catch. ‘What can you do on it?’ she asked me. I said, ‘If your daughter goes to school, she can use it to download videos of class lessons,’ just like she had seen my son download physics lectures every week from M.I.T.’s [OpenCourseWare]. I said, ‘You have seen our son sitting at the computer listening to a teacher who is speaking. That teacher is actually in America.’ She just kept getting wider- and wider-eyed. Then she asked me will her kids be able to learn English on it. I said, ‘Yes, they will definitely be able to learn English,’ which is the passport for upward mobility here. I said, ‘It will be so cheap you will be able to buy one for your son and one for your daughter!’ ” That conversation is the sound of history changing. More here. [h/t Deacon Larry Holman]
• The Topic of Cancer ... [The Ethicist, NYTimes Sunday Magazine] My boyfriend of one year has been given a diagnosis of terminal cancer. He has no family around, and I have been his primary caretaker. We had a wonderful relationship, but we had not discussed long-term plans, and his declining health has changed much between us. It is becoming harder for me to continue at this level. My desire to look after my own needs, personal and professional, and my guilt for feeling that I could be deserting him are becoming overwhelming. What is my responsibility? More here.
• Pelagius still a heretic ... [Religion News Service] The Diocese of Atlanta defeats a resolution that would have authorized a possible rehabilitation of the fifth-century Christian writer. Here.
• A Melkite Catholic bishop in the U.S. has had it with the priest shortage and plans to ordain married men. [h/t Religion News Service]
• Moral and ethical reflections on the Penn State scandal ... [Episcopal Café] As the story of the sexual abuse of children and the cover-up at Penn State unfolds, many are reflecting on what the scandal means and what we should learn from it. Here.
• Penn State scandal demonstrates how people can be fooled ... [Jack McCallum, Morning Call Op-Ed] Here.
• Tell the truth, tell it first, tell it all ... [Canon Andrew Gerns] As the Friday newshound for the Episcopal Café, I get to sift through the religious news of the day, especially as it impacts the Episcopal Church and the Anglican world. The Penn State scandal has many parallels to the scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church for at least a decade and our own Church from time to time. If there is any lesson to be gleaned from this that when bad news hits, do three things: tell the truth, tell it first and tell it all. This is a lesson that has apparently still not filtered up…but I digress. In our diocese, if you spot abuse, you don’t call your parents, you call the police. That is not to say that in moment of crisis that would be easy. Defending the helpless sometimes requires spontaneous courage. One blog was pointed to me that boiled down why we must always come to the aide of the victim first and worry about the institution (or our jobs) later. Here is the link.
• Nuns who won't stop nudging ... [NYTimes, Nov. 12] Not long ago, an unusual visitor arrived at the sleek headquarters of Goldman Sachs in Lower Manhattan. It wasn’t some C.E.O., or a pol from Athens or Washington, or even a sign-waving occupier from Zuccotti Park. It was Sister Nora Nash of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. And the slight, soft-spoken nun had a few not-so-humble suggestions for the world’s most powerful investment bank. Way up on the 41st floor, in a conference room overlooking the World Trade Center site, Sister Nora and her team from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility laid out their advice for three Goldman executives. The Wall Street bank, they said, should protect consumers, rein in executive pay, increase its transparency and remember the poor. ... Long before Occupy Wall Street, the Sisters of St. Francis were quietly staging an occupation of their own. In recent years, this Roman Catholic order of 540 or so nuns has become one of the most surprising groups of corporate activists around. More here. [h/t Deacon Larry Holman]
• Politics sends poor lining up for help ... [Detroit Free Press, Harry T. Cook, a retired Episcopal priest] The number of people living in American neighborhoods of extreme poverty grew by a third since 2000 and continues to increase by the day. Here.
• Called by God to run? ... [Religion News Service daily roundup] Herman Cain says he "prayed and prayed and prayed" before deciding that God had called him to run for president. "And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses," said Cain. That makes four GOP candidates (Perry, Santorum, Bachmann and Cain) who believe they have a divine mandate run for president, and two who have compared themselves to Moses. And yet, evangelicals have basically given up on finding their Chosen One, says Time's Amy Sullivan.
• Praying the News is a blog by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. Here.
• The Daily Office ... with the Mission St. Clare. Now available for iPhone and iPad.
• 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 Devil and Joe Paterno ... [Ross Douthat, NYTimes Op-Ed, Nov. 13] I believe that Joe Paterno is a good man. I believe Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated, the brilliant sportswriter who is working on a Paterno biography, when he writes that Paterno has “lived a profoundly decent life” and “improved the lives of countless people” with his efforts and example. I also believe that most of the clerics who covered up abuse in my own Catholic Church were in many ways good men. Of course there were wicked ones as well — bishops in love with their own prerogatives, priests for whom the ministry was about self-aggrandizement rather than service. But there were more who had given their lives to their fellow believers, sacrificing the possibility of family and fortune in order to say Mass and hear confessions, to steward hospitals and charities, to visit the sick and comfort the dying. They believed in their church. They believed in their mission. And out of the temptation that comes only to the virtuous, they somehow persuaded themselves that protecting their institution’s various good works mattered more than justice for the children they were supposed to shepherd and protect. More here.
• Mariann Budde consecrated Bishop of Washington ... Episcopal Café here.
• CNN on the fixing of the quake damage at the National Cathedral ... Good video here.
• Can evangelicals fill John Stott's shoes? ... [USA Today] Here. [h/t Deacon Larry Holman]
• Bede Parry confesses ... [Episcopal Café, Jim Naughton] The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has released a confession apparently written in May by Bede Parry, the former Benedictine monk and Episcopal priest who sexually abused minors while a monk. The confession was obtained by clergy abuse survivor Patrick Marker who runs a website called Behind the Pine Curtain. In the confession, Parry asserts that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, while Bishop of Nevada, was informed that he had committed sexual abused and had a proclivity to reoffend with minors. Parry, however, was not party to that conversation, so we still lack firsthand knowledge of what precisely Abbot Gregory Pohlan of Conception Abbey said to Bishop Jefferts Schori. It seems increasingly clear however that interest in this case is not likely to abate any time soon, and it is dangerous for the church to behave as though it will. More here.
• Anglican Communion News Service weekly review ... Nov. 4-11. Here.
• Episcopal Church website ... Episcopal Church on Twitter ... Episcopal News Service ... ENS on Twitter ... NewsLine ... News & Notices ... Infoline ... Episcopal Church on Facebook ... Episcopal Church on YouTube ... Anglican Communion website ... Anglican Communion News Service. ... Anglican Communion News Service on Facebook.
• NEPA Synod E-News ... Nov. 11, here. NEPA Synod website ... Here. ELCA website ... Here. ELCA News Service ... Here. ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."
• Bishops vow to uphold same-sex union ban ... here. • UMC website Here. News Service Here. Communication Resources Start here. Communication newsletter (tips and tools) Here. Eastern PA Conference website Here. Facebook Here. Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog 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. Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
• Godspell: A vision of spirituality returns to broadway ... [NYTimes, Charles Isherwood, Nov. 7] Go easy on the caffeine if you’re heading to the Broadway revival of “Godspell” that opened on Monday night at the Circle in the Square. The cast of this relentlessly perky production of the 1971 musical, which transformed parables from the Gospels into a series of singable teaching moments, virtually never stops bopping, bouncing, bounding, even trampolining across the stage and up the aisles of the theater. Here.
• More on Godspell from a local performer ... [Warren Shotto, Good Shepherd Scranton] Commening on Bakery, Warren first quotes from a Nov. 6 NYTimes article, Welcome to the Church of Godspell: Godspell, which opens Monday in its first Broadway revival, was serious business in 1971. At the time American religion was in a profound state of flux. The pews were emptying out, and children especially were disappearing from mainline Christianity. Vocations to the Catholic priesthood were cratering, and from 1963 to 1972 the number of American Catholics going to Mass declined from about three quarters to half (and kept falling). To take one startling statistic, Episcopal church school enrollment fell by a quarter from 1965 to 1971, the year “Godspell” made its debut Off Broadway. John-Michael Tebelak, who conceived and first directed the show, was himself an Episcopalian who later flirted with the priesthood before dying, at 36, in 1985. His church’s pews, even more than most, were vacant.” [The following is Warren] It is funny that 40 years later, we can still say the same things. The article credits Godspell with bringing mainstream music into the church. And, it in turn gave birth to contemporary Christian music. For me, Godspell is more than just that. It takes a very simple universal message and makes it personal to all who listen. My rag tag troop of theater and musical performers have staged countless productions of this show over the last 17 years and raised over $300,000.00 for terminally ill and their families. I credit not only the cause but the show itself. It reminds us that we are all on this journey together and have an obligation to care for each other. The show has its roots in the Episcopal church and embodies its message “All are welcome at this table” Not everyone can say that.
• The Daily Office from MissionStClare. Now available for iPhone and iPad.
• 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.
• Jan. 6 ... Ordination, St. Stephen's, Wilkes-Barre 7:00 p.m.
• Jan. 21 ... Bishop's Day with Youth, grades 6-12.
• March 24 ... Diocesan Training Day, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 9:00 to 3:00.
• March 29 ... Chrism Mass, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem 11:00 a.m.
• April 20-22 ... Christophany Retreat, grades 6-12, at Pocono Plateau Retreat, Cresco.
• May 16 ... Episcopal Church Women Annual Meeting, Kirby House 9:00 to 2:30.
• May 20 ... St. Matthew's Society Gathering, Lehigh Country Club, Allentown 3:00 p.m.
• June 1-3 ... Vocare Retreat for Young Adults, Kirkridge Retreat Center.
• June 30 ... Bishop's Day with Kids
• July 5-12 ... 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Indianapolis.
• July 28 ... Bishop's Day with Kids
• Summer ... Senior High Mission Trip. Dates and destination TBA.
• The Diocese of Bethlehem on Twitter and Facebook ... http://twitter.com/#!/Diobeth ... 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.
(1) The Lead, Episcopal Cafe
(2) Daily Episcopalian, Episcopal Cafe
(4) AnglicansOnline News Centre.
You are reading the newSpin newsletter. The newSpin blog, which includes the newsletter and other items, is available here. When the newsletter is completed on Mondays and occasionally, more often than not, on Thursdays as well, it is published immediately to the blog and on Bakery and on a ChurchPost list of some 1,000 addresses. Many recipients forward it to many more. Bakery and the blog are interactive. The ChurchPost list is not. The newsletter comes, of course, with some spin from the editor. 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. If you're wondering why you haven't seen something related to your parish or agency here, it's probably because no one has sent relevant info. Regarding items about your parish or agency as well as feedback on any other items ... send email 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]