newSpin, the newsletter
September 9, 2013
Published weekly, usually on Monday
• Diocesan Convention ... Friday/Saturday, Oct. 4-5, Cathedral Church of the Nativity. Here. Here.
• ECW In-Gathering at Convention ... The ECW will collect shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, razors, bodywash, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, socks, cotton underwear, cough drops, and over-the-counter medications. Here.
• Two celebrations ... [Canon Andrew Gerns] We as a Diocese are entering a season of change and we start this time out with two celebrations. We are saying “Godspeed” to both Bishop Paul Marshall and to Bishop Jack Croneberger. Bishop Paul will enter retirement on January 1, 2014 and Bishop Jack retired (again) as our Assistant Bishop on August 1, 2013. We are grateful to both men for their leadership and pastoral care to our diocese. We will be holding two events to honor and thank them for their ministries. Read on.
• Banning a pseudo-therapy ... [NYTimes Sunday Review editorial] A discredited therapy that purports to convert homosexuals to
heterosexuals was repudiated again late last month. This time, a
three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit unanimously upheld a California law preventing licensed therapists from counseling minors to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight. So-called “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy” began at a time
when professionals in medicine and psychology considered homosexuality
an illness that was amenable to treatment. That ended in 1973, when
homosexuality was removed from the psychiatry profession’s diagnostic
manual of mental disorders. Soon all major mental health associations
followed suit. A small number of therapists, however, continue to
practice and advocate conversion therapy today. Read on.
• Get the shot, not the flu ... It's time to get your flu shot. Got mine last week. Medicare covers the cost. Most health insurance plans cover the cost. Check with your insurance provider. Under the Affordable Care Act, many insurers are required to cover certain preventive services, like the flu vaccine, at no cost to you. If you do not have insurance or if it does not cover vaccines, help is available. Watch for free flu shot clinics scheduled in your area. In the Lehigh Valley drive-through free clinics have been scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9 at Dorney Park and Sunday, Nov. 10, at Coca-Cola Park (where the Iron Pigs play), both days from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There's a lot of info available at Flu.gov.
Wednesday, September 11 ... is the 12th anniversary of the terrorists attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 men, women, and children. Visit USA.gov's 9/11 Commemorations and Memorials to learn about: Memorials in New York, NY; Washington, DC; and near Shanksville, PA; September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance;' Photos, recovered objects, and eyewitness accounts from 9/11; Emergency preparedness efforts. Please observe a moment of silence on September 11, starting at 8:46 a.m. EDT, to honor the victims who died as a result of the 2001 terrorist attack.
• Breakaway parish mulls joining Episcopal Church ... [RNS] A breakaway Catholic church that stood up to three Catholic bishops in St. Louis, weathered a decade-long legal fight and embraced doctrine far afield from its Roman roots is now on the verge of becoming a parish in the Episcopal Church. Read on.
• IRS to treat same-sex equally for tax purposes ... [WaPo] The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday that they would treat legal same-sex marriages the same as heterosexual marriages for federal tax purposes. Read on.
• Restless hearts ... [St. Augustine] You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
• Being constantly on the lookout ... [The Morning Call, Kathy Lauer-Williams]"Without being constantly on the lookout [said a woman from the Lehigh Valley who has posted a photo a day for a year on a blog], I wouldn't have noticed the peregrine falcon who lives on the water tower next to the grocery store, or the family of kestrels sitting on an electric wire. It's amazing the stuff that goes on all around us, every day, that we have learned to filter out as unnecessary and never really see." She might never have noticed the tiny bug on her pond that looked like "he was wearing goggles" and whose portrait is one of her favorites of the year. Read on.
• The value of suffering ... [NYTimes Sunday Review Op-Ed] Hundreds of Syrians are apparently killed by chemical weapons, and the attempt to protect others from that fate threatens to kill many more. A child perishes with her mother in a tornado in Oklahoma, the month after an 8-year-old is slain by a bomb in Boston. Runaway trains claim dozens of lives in otherwise placid Canada and Spain. At least 46 people are killed in a string of coordinated bombings aimed at an ice cream shop, bus station and famous restaurant in Baghdad. Does the torrent of suffering ever abate — and can one possibly find any point in suffering?
Wise men in every tradition tell us that suffering brings clarity, illumination; for the Buddha, suffering is the first rule of life, and insofar as some of it arises from our own wrongheadedness — our cherishing of self — we have the cure for it within. Thus in certain cases, suffering may be an effect, as well as a cause, of taking ourselves too seriously. I once met a Zen-trained painter in Japan, in his 90s, who told me that suffering is a privilege, it moves us toward thinking about essential things and shakes us out of shortsighted complacency; when he was a boy, he said, it was believed you should pay for suffering, it proves such a hidden blessing.
Yet none of that begins to apply to a child gassed to death (or born with AIDS or hit by a “limited strike”). Philosophy cannot cure a toothache, and the person who starts going on about its long-term benefits may induce a headache, too. Anyone who’s been close to a loved one suffering from depression knows that the vicious cycle behind her condition means that, by definition, she can’t hear the logic or reassurances we extend to her; if she could, she wouldn’t be suffering from depression. Read on.
• The Book of Common Prayer ... every edition from 1549 to 1979. Here.
• Prayers and Thanksgivings from the BCP ... Here.
• The Daily Office ... can be read online in Rite I, Rite II or the New Zealand Prayer Book versions. At Mission St. Clare.
• Holy Women, Holy Men ... Download Holy Women, Holy Men as a .pdf file.
• Speaking to the Soul ... An Episcopal Café blog. Sermons, reflections, multimedia meditations and excerpts from books on spirituality. Here.
• The Imitation of Christ ... Available free online.
• Celebration for Bishop Paul ... Sunday, Dec. 15, at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. More here.
• Celebration for Bishop Jack ... Friday, Oct. 4, at the Diocesan Convention banquet. More here.
• Diobeth Episcopal Relief and Development ... [John Major] A shield in the midst of life's storms. Week of Sept. 9.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... Canon Anne Kitch's monthly newsletter on lifelong Christian formation resources. September.
• Christmas at Sea ... [Canon Jane Teter] Now that September is here, it is time to pick up your knitting and/or crocheting. Why not knit up a hat, scarf, vest, or socks for Mariners on the high seas who cannot get home for the Holidays. Once again we will collect these items at our Convention on October 4 & 5. If you will be attending, bring the items with you or send them along with your delegates. Patterns may be found at www.seamenschurch.org. Go to "ways to give", then Christmas at Sea.
• Info re Diocesan Convention, Oct. 4-5 ... Here. Here.
• DioLight ... Vol. 1, Issue 13: Regional Confirmation as well as Youth, Mission and Direction.
• Diocesan level events ... Here.
• Public news and info lists ... At the Diobeth website, enter your name and email in the "Get Connected" box. You are welcome to subscribe to any or all of these. "Bakery" is our diocesan interactive list.
• Trinity Soup Kitchen ... at Trinity Episcopal Church (44 E. Market St., Bethlehem) offers hospitality, a hot meal, counseling, human service agency referrals and incidental material needs every weekday to some 150 persons who may be unemployed, mentally ill, disabled and poor. For 32 years. Often, it is the only place where they get a smile and warm greeting, which is as important to them as the food. Trinity can use your financial help. More here. The next Trinity Soup Kitchen Benefit Concert is on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 4:00 p.m. Roland Kushner and Roger Latzgo will offer their musical talents. Once again, a wonderfully generous anonymous donor will match all ticket sales. Tickets are $20.00 and you can get yours by calling 610-867-4741 X 308.
• Calendar of events in our parishes ... Here.
• Inviting people to church ... [Episcopal Café] Here.
Rest in peace
• Robert Farrar Capon, 88 ... [Christianity Today and Episcopal Café] Father Robert Farrar Capon, the Episcopal priest and author of many books, most notably The Supper of the Lamb, died September 5, 2013. Read at Christianity Today and Episcopal Café.
• Our young men and women who died recently in Afghanistan and for their families ... Here ... Pray also for the fallen heroes also of our coalition partners, and for the citizens of Afghanistan who have died, unnamed and unknown to us, and for those who mourn ... and for the end to this endless war.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• Church, presiding bishop respond to UTO resignations ... Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a statement Sept. 6 regarding the recent resignation of four United Thank Offering board members in response to a draft revision of UTO’s bylaws. Read on.
• Around the Episcopal Church ... Here
• The recreation of John Donne's 1622 gunpowder sermon ... [Anglican Communion News Service] Anglicans around the world can now get a feel for what it was like to attend a sermon given on November 5 1622 by English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England John Donne. This has been made possible through the work of an international team of scholars, engineers, actors, and linguists who have sought to recreate "what we know, or can surmise, about the look and sound of this space, destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, and about the course of activities as they unfolded on the occasion of a Paul’s Cross sermon, so that we may experience a major public event of early modern London as it unfolded in real time and in the context of its original surroundings." Read on, and explore.
• Episcopal Positions (NYC/DC) ... Here.
• Unprepared pastors ... [Episcopal Café] Were you or were the clergy you know prepared for pastoring a congregation by their education? Thom S. Rainer talks about eight areas where many are unprepared for the job they are called to do. Read on.
• Their odd bugger ... This
description of a Church of England vicar after a year at his parish was
an LOL for me during my listen to a novel on a recent drive: "A measure as
to how well he was settling into his new job was the degree to which his
parishioners were dropping their guard. They no longer stopped
conversations short of his approach. He might be an odd bugger, but he
was their odd bugger."
The Protestant work ethic is real ... [Pacific Standard] Why do we work so hard? For years Americans have been arguing over whether or not it has something to do with the country's religious history. Does a history of Protestant religiosity make us work harder? As Pacific Standard reports, we've finally got some answers.
The sounds that bind: why we evolved to love music ... [Pacific Standard] The question of why humans invented music has long puzzled scholars, Pacific Standard reports. Although some have guessed it grew out of a courtship ritual, recent research suggests that music developed as a way to cement social bonds within a community .
• Traveling without seeing ... [Frank Bruni, NYTimes Op-Ed] In theory the Internet, along with its kindred advances, should expand our horizons, speeding us to aesthetic and intellectual territories we haven’t charted before. Often it does. But at our instigation and with our assent, it also herds us into tribes of common thought and shared temperament, amplifying the timeless human tropism toward cliques. Cyberspace, like suburbia, has gated communities. Our Web bookmarks and our chosen social-media feeds help us retreat deeper into our partisan camps. (Cable-television news lends its own mighty hand.) “It’s the great irony of the Internet era: people have more access than ever to an array of viewpoints, but also the technological ability to screen out anything that doesn’t reinforce their views,” Jonathan Martin wrote in Politico last year, explaining how so many strategists and analysts on the right convinced themselves, in defiance of polls, that Mitt Romney was about to win the presidency. Read on.
• Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there ... [Episcopal Café] Video of Tom Joad's speech, recited by Henry Fonda in Grapes of Wrath and sung by Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine singing about the ghost of Tom Joad. Listen and view here. You might want to watch this twice, at least.
• Not all Christians ... [HuffPost] Christian blogger John Shore and Wayne Besen have launched NALT, the Not All Christians Are Like That Project. Based on the format of the Dan Savage “It Gets Better” campaign, the website is a platform for Christians who want to send a direct message of welcome and acceptance to the LGBT community. Read on and view.
• When I'm 64 ... [NYTimes] Diana Nyad finally conquered the 110-mile passage from Cuba to Florida that had bedeviled her for 35 years. The 64-year-old endurance swimmer emerged dazed and sunburned from the surf on Smathers Beach in Key West, Fla., just before 2 p.m. on Monday [Sept. 2] after nearly 53 hours in the ocean, a two-day, two-night swim from her starting point in Havana. She had survived the treacherous Florida Straits, a notorious stretch of water brimming with sharks, jellyfish, squalls and an unpredictable Gulf Stream. And she became the first person to do so unaided by the protection of a shark cage. It was her fifth attempt, coming after four years of grueling training, precision planning and single-minded determination. Her face scorched and puffy from so many hours in the salt water, she leaned on one of her friends and said from the beach: “I have three messages. One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.” Read on.
• How it became a religious war ... [RNS] Battle lines in the Syrian civil war are being drawn along sectarian —that is, religious — lines, pitting Alawites, Shiites and Sunnis. Read on.
• Prayers for different Myers Briggs personality types ... Here.
• Fundamentalism enters the church of baseball ... [Episcopal Café] Will instant replay turn the "church of baseball" into a fundamentalist religion? Read on.
• Communication tips and tools ... Here.
• UMC website Here.
• News Service Here.
• Communication Resources ... Start here.
• Eastern PA Conference website Here. Facebook Here. Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog Here.
• A game-changing decision? ... [Eugene Cullen Kennedy, NCR Column] Pope Francis told a gathering of apostolic nuncios in June that he wants them to recommend men of pastoral experience to become bishops. This may be the most potent source of game-changing energy he has yet injected into the church's daily life in his six months as the Holy Father. He told the nuncios with the same disarming directness with which he paid his hotel bill after his election that he wanted these key figures to seek out potential bishops who are "close to the people, fathers and brothers" as well as "gentle, patient, and merciful, animated by inner poverty, the freedom of the Lord, and also by outward simplicity and austerity of life." In addition, potential bishops "should not have the psychology of princes." Francis has, in effect, told central ecclesiastical casting not to summon what Hollywood calls "dress extras"; that is, those who already have the costume necessary for the roles they are to fill. In this case, that's men who have already purchased the red-trimmed cassocks and gleaming crosses they can don immediately when their longed-for call from the nuncio in Washington finally comes. Read on.
• Vatican removes its envoy to Dominican Republic ... [NYTimes] The authorities in the Dominican Republic said they would look into rumors of child sexual abuse involving the papal envoy there after he was abruptly removed from his post by the Vatican. Read on.
• Vatican website ... Here.
• Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.
• Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
• Get the shot, not the flu ... See above, under "TopSpin."
• The new Health Insurance Marketplace ... [USA.gov] Visit USA.gov's Health Insurance page to learn about the new Health Insurance Marketplace and other types of health coverage. Starting October 1, 2013, you can fill out an application for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You'll be able to compare your options side-by-side and enroll in a plan that fits your budget and meets your needs. Coverage takes effect as early as January 1, 2014.
Richard Evans, a member of St. Martin's Mountaintop and Diocesan Council, suggests that check out this program aimed at religious communities to help uninsured folks become aware that enrollment for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will start on October 1. Download a pdf file of the info.
• Beware of Obamacare scammers ... They're on the move. Here, Here, Here, Here.
• Resources for caregivers ... Here.
• Medline Plus ... Here.
• WebMD ... Here.
• Alzheimers.gov ... For people helping people with Alzheimers. Here.
• Three Free Apps for getting qualified medical advice... [Techlicious] Urgent Care, HealthTap and First Aid. Info and links.
• Paraíso ... [NYTimes Op-Doc] I first got the idea for this film (whose title, “Paraíso,” is the Spanish word for “Paradise”) when I was living in Chicago working as a film editor. One morning, as I sat at my desk in a high-rise downtown, a man dropped down inches from my window, cleaned it, and disappeared to the next floor. This momentary interaction seemed a perfect metaphor for life in many multiethnic American cities where the work of immigrants often goes unnoticed. I hoped to find out more about what motivated these men to spend their working days dangling hundreds of feet in the air. Read on and view.
• The Complete Works of Chopin, for Everybody, for Free ... [The Atlantic] A new Kickstarter project aims to liberate the composer's music from its copyright confines.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... September.
• Plethora of Congregational Resources ... The "Using Resources" series of publications by the Center for Congregations is designed to help congregations make the most effective use of capital funds, consultants, architects, contractors, books, congregation management software, and more.
• Church locators ... Here.
• Insights into Religion ... Here.
• Forward Movement ... Here.
• The Alban Institute ... Here.
• ECF Vital Practices ... Here.
• Faith in Public Life ... Here.
• Religion&Ethics News Weekly (PBS) ... Here.
• The Chalice, a publication created by Joan DeAcetis for older adults and caretakers. Download issues here.
• Weekly Bulletin Inserts from the Episcopal Church ... Here.
• Episcopal Web Radio ... Here.
• Updated Episcopal Church canons and constitution ... Here.
Additional sources for news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• National Catholic Reporter ... here.
• Back issues of the newSpin newsletter ... here.
(1) The Episcopal Church website, news service, news service blog,
(2) Episcopal Café
(3) AngicansOnline website and news centre.
(4) The Living Church
(5) The Anglican Communion website and news service.
• Daily Office ... Lectionary Page ... Lectionary ... Oremus Bible Browser ... Revised Common Lectionary
Comments are welcome at the newSpin blog.
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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]