The newSpin newsletter, Feb. 20, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
• I saw you kneeling there ... [Bishop Paul] In a few days it will be that time again. What will you be thinking? How do you suppose people the age of toddlers, teens, seniors, and so on will hear the Ash Wednesday words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return?” We will all hear them as we gather later this month, February 22, for the beginning of Lent, and it might be interesting to imagine for a moment what you and the people next to you could be thinking. Here are some possibilities that occur to me. More here.
• Christ Church Stroudsburg celebrates new rector ... [Pocono Record] Here.
• Diocesan Training Day ... The annual Diocesan Training Day is now open for online registration. The event, Saturday, March 24 at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre will feature 12 workshops from a variety of ministries. Here and here.
• A Space for Common Prayer ... [General Seminary Events] On Tuesday, Feb. 28, The General Theological Seminary (GTS) will offer A Space for Common Prayer, a daylong event on church art and architecture lead by one of the country’s leading sacred space planners, Richard S. Vosko. Participants will gather at 9 a.m. for a keynote talk by General’s Associate Dean and liturgical scholar, the Rev. Canon Patrick Malloy. More here.
• General Convention... The new website of the General Convention is up and running. Here.
• DioBeth GC Deputies blog ... A vehicle for communication created by the deputation of the Diocese of Bethlehem to the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church to be held July 5-12th, 2012 in Indianapolis. Here.
• Benjamin Albro, 17 ... a junior at Emmaus High School, was killed Thursday in a one-car accident. He and his family were members of St. Anne's Trexlertown.The church was open Saturday for family and friends to gather. Rector Michael Piovane said visitors had an opportunity to talk about Benjamin and support each other. Morning Call story here. Obituary here. Please pray for Benjamin and his family.
• Defeating our Enemies: Our need for Lent ... [Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow] The Lord’s words to Cain never quite become silent. They never leave, and they remind me, as they linger, of the need we have of using every means possible to prefer the good and to leave the evil alone: “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7). The choice is ours, of course, whether we do well or do not do well, or whether we master sin or permit sin to master us. The desire to defeat our enemies as much as anything I know points to our need for Lent—our need to repent and to return to the Lord. Defeating our enemies clearly belongs to the category of not doing well and letting sin become our master. As long as we’re clear on that, some room may remain to have a little fun. More here.
• Mary could get you out of jail –– and put you in ... [Bill Lewellis, The Morning Call] When I was growing up in a small town in Schuylkill County, a strong woman was my hero. Before folks heard the word, Mary was a feminist in the Forties. More here.
• Jubilate for Lent to Trinity Sunday ... Hymnody for Lent to Trinity Sunday (February 22 to June 3, 2012), published by the Diocese of Bethlehem for our diocesan community and for free distribution to the world, may be downloaded below as an Acrobat or MSWord file. Jubilate is a service of our Liturgy and Music Commission, specifically Canon Cliff Carr who has been doing this for more than 30 years. More here.
• Small group study on Nicene Creed ... Mediator Allentown will be doing a We Believe small group study on the Nicene Creed during Lent. The study was developed by a planning group in the parish to help people explore what the Creed means to us individually and communally. People from outside the parish are invited to join a small group on Thursday evening at 7:00, Saturday morning at 10:00, or Sunday at noon, at the church, located at 1620 Turner St., Allentown. The study begins the first full week of Lent, February 26. For more information go to www.episcopalmediator.org or call 610-434-0155.
• Disciples of Christ in Community Training ... DOCC training will be offered at the Cathedral March 2-3 by the Rev. William Barnwell of Trinity Church New Orleans. Cost: $125 for presenters (clergy or EFM graduates), $50 for facilitators (small group leaders). If your congregation is interested in starting a DOCC experience you are invited to participate by recruiting a small team of leaders and registering for this event. Contact Dean Pompa or Canon Partee. Disciples of Christ in Community is a step by step journey into the heart of Christianity. One word can be used to describe DOCC and that is transformational. What does it mean to hear God's Call? What does it mean to be the church as opposed to belonging to the Church? What difference can Christ really make in our lives? Through short presentations and small group discussion around such important topics participants are invited to grow in faith in community. For more information about D.O.C.C. visit www.trinitynola.com/docc.
• An evening with C.S. Lewis ... Trinity, Easton is hosting “An Evening with C.S. Lewis,” a one man show starring British actor David Payne on Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. The presentation is sponsored by the Music and Arts Ministry of Trinity Episcopal Church. Please see the blog post.
• Christian formation specialist adds days to calendar ... In a bold move, The Rev. Anne E Kitch, Canon for Formation in the Christian Faith of the Diocese of Bethlehem, presented a new calendar late last week. Known as The Calendar 2012 (but to be referred to as the New Calendar for the next 30 years), its main feature is the addition of three days to the month of March. “It’s quite straightforward,” said Canon Kitch from her office in Bethlehem. “This year March has 34 days.” More here.
• Bishop's Beach Party (Rescheduled) ... March 17, 2:00 to 7:00, Cathedral. More here.
• Weekly Parish eNewsletters ... Here are links to the attractive, newsy, and user-friendly weekly electronic newsletters of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Grace Allentown, Prince of Peace Dallas, Trinity Easton and St. Anne's Trexlertown. The Cathedral's newsletter is created with ChurchPost that, through a diocesan contract, is available free to all parishes. Cathedral, Feb. 17, here. Grace Allentown, Feb. 16, here. Trinity Easton, Feb. 17, here. Prince of Peace Dallas, Feb. 17, here. St. Anne's Trexlertown, here, click on "Weekly Calendar." There may be other weekly electronic newsletters, besides these five, that might be looked at. If so, please send me a link.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Download inserts here.
• 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.
• Why are so many dolphins beaching themselves on Cape Cod? ... [Christian Science Monitor] In the past month, 177 short-beaked common dolphin have beached themselves on Cape Cod. Depite rescue efforts, 124 have died. More here.
• Lack of women will irreversibly harm the church ... [NCR, Joan Chittisterr] it is clear that the church already lost a good proportion of one generation of women in the last 25 years and is now willing to lose the next one to reassert its maleness. The question rises again with new and demanding urgency for many: Why do we go there? Here.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... Canon Anne Kitch's February newsletter.
• Lent with SSJE ... Here.
• Episcopal Church offers Lenten resources, meditations ... Here.
• Congregational Resource Guide ... Here.
• Continuing split ... [RNS via Episcopal Café] Religion News Service summarizes the current struggle within the Anglican Mission in America and the difficulty the breakaway church has in maintaining an Anglican identity while drifting farther away from their roots. [h/t/ Andrew Gerns]
• Virginia Episcopalians prepare to take back their churches ... [WaPo via Episcopal Café] Here.
• New Jersey's Episcopalians keep the faith despite papal invitation ... [Bergen County Record] The Vatican has invited Episcopalians who oppose their church’s liberal leanings to join the Roman Catholic fold, but so far, New Jersey congregations aren’t budging. Some Episcopal clergy note that the Vatican’s invitation comes after years of a reverse trend, where they’ve seen many Catholics joining and attending their churches. Often it’s because they disagree with the Vatican’s conservative stance on issues like homosexuality, female ordination and divorce. More here.
• Episcopal Church new website ... complete transformation and redesign, launched December 28, efficient and user friendly. Read about it here. ... Episcopal News Service ... ENS blog ... Episcopal Church on Facebook ... Episcopal Church on YouTube ... Anglican Communion website ... Anglican Communion News Service. ... Anglican Communion News Service on Facebook.
• 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.
• Five questions about the Vatican's leaks scandal ... [John Allen, NCR] 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.
• Our unrealistic attitudes about death, through a doctor's eyes ... [Washington Post] As a hospital internist, Craig Bowron is often asked by families to use his physician superpowers to push a patient's tired body further down the road, with little thought as to whether the additional suffering will be worth it. For many Americans, modern medical advances have made death seem more like an option than an obligation, Bowron writes in the Washington Post. "We want our loved ones to live as long as possible, but our culture has come to view death as a medical failure rather than life's natural conclusion." More here. [h/t Leadership Education at Duke Divinity]
• Contraception controversy roundup ... [Episcopal Café] Cable news channels and the web make news developments around controversial issues easy to keep up with but, perhaps, not so easy to understand. A post by Canon Andrew Gerns on Episcopal Café may help. Catch up with the nuances here. Andrew's post is well worth reading. This post raises a question that I'm surprised I haven't seen elsewhere over the past few days: To whom does health insurance that is part of a compensation package belong? Employer or employee? Might it be similar to asking to whom does one's salary belong? Does an employer have the right to tell you how to spend your salary? See also a WaPo column by E.J. Dionne. And, Laurie Goodstein's story in the NYTimes: "The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops have rejected a compromise on birth control coverage that President Obama offered on Friday and said they would continue to fight the president’s plan to find a way for employees of Catholic hospitals, universities and service agencies to receive free contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans, without direct involvement or financing from the institutions."
• Twenty iPhone tips and tricks ... [Christian Science Monitor] Here.
February: Music at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral. Updated. Here.
March 2: An Evening with C.S. Lewis at Trinity Easton. Here.
March 5: Financial Sanity Seminar At Trinity Easton, Four Mondays, 7 to 8:30 p.m., March 5 to 26. More here.
March 9-11: Nativity Cathedral's 10th annual retreat for Episcopal women, here.
March 17: Bishop's Beach Party (Rescheduled) Here.
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 13: Ordination, Nativity Cathedral Bethlehem, 7:00 p.m.
April 15: Trinity Pottsville Concert: Mark Laubach, organist; Cora Gamelin-Osenbach, soprano. Here.
April 20-22: Christophany Retreat, grades 6-12, at Pocono Plateau Retreat, Cresco.
April 22: Celebration of New Ministry, Good Shepherd Scranton
The Rev. Peter Pearson as rector, 4:00 p.m.
May 3-6: Icon Workshop with Peter Pearson at Cathedral. More info here.
May 16: Episcopal Church Women Annual Meeting, Kirby House 9:00 to 2:30.
Program: Prefer Nothing to Christ – Benedictine Wisdom for the Christian Life.
The Rev. Laura Thomas Howell
May 18: Ordination to priesthood of Charlie Warwick and Lou Divis at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre, 7:00 p.m.
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 16: Renewal Assembly 5, various locations.
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.
Sept. 20: New Hope 5th Anniversary
Sept. 25: Pre-Convention Meeting, St. Alban's, Sinking Spring 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 27: Pre-Convention Meeting, Church of the Epiphany, Clarks Summit 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 2: Pre-Convention Meeting, Nativity, Bethlehem 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 5-6: Diocesan Convention at Good Shepherd Scranton
Nov. 11: Joint Eucharist with United Methodists
Asbury UMC, Allentown, 4:00 P.M. Bishop Paul to preach.
Additional sources of news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• Faith in Public Life ... here.
(1) The Episcopal Church
(2) Episcopal News Service
(3) Episcopal Café
(5) 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 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]