The Orient Express
newSpin 140325

newSpin 140318

newSpin, the newsletter
March 18, 2014
Bill Lewellis

Published weekly, usually by Tuesday

• New Beginnings ... [Bishop Sean Rowe, Diocese of Bethlehem] While often hope-filled, times of transition also have particular challenges.  We care deeply about our diocese and the ministry that we share, and, at the same time, we differ about the ways that ministry is exercised or the shape of our future together.  Over the next few months and years, we will continue on a journey where we are called upon to remember that we walk by faith and not by sight.  Together and in ways that are collaborative, we will discern the next steps in our life and witness as a diocese. This time of transition and discernment is a time to celebrate what is working well and examine aspects of our life that are challenging. Read on.

• Appointments with Bishop Sean ... Here.

• We have a lot of work to do ... [Canon Andrew Gerns, sermon at Special Convention, March 1] We are a community with a memory of growth and success and, yes, with a complicated history. And we are wondering where God is taking us next. We are working out our faith in a culture that is changing fast and among people are looking for the direction, purpose and meaning that we hold tantalizingly nearby right here in our hearts, in these sacraments, in this community. Read on.

• Diocesan Training Day For Ministry ... April 5 at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral Wilkes-Barre. Find all you need to know here.

• Discover the Joy: What it mean to be a sensitive introvert ... A free workshop at Trinity Easton, March 31, 6:30 to 8:30. In this workshop, you will learn why your feelings are normal and not a flaw in your character. You will learn new ways to deal with criticism in relationships at home, school and in your professional life. The workshop leader is Peg Gerns, M.S.S.W., D.C.S.W., L.C.S.W., a psychotherapist in private practice in Easton. She has led workshops in Connecticut, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. She is Adjunct Faculty at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem. Read on.

• The challenge of rising expectations for Pope Francis in Year 2 ... [Tom Heneghan, Reuters Religion Editor, March 11] - In the year since his surprise election, Pope Francis has raised so many hopes of imminent changes in Church teaching that managing all those expectations is going to be a challenge.The Argentine-born pontiff has caught world attention by suggesting he might ease the Catholic Church's strict rules on divorce, birth control, married or women priests and gay unions.Off-the-cuff comments such as "who am I to judge?" about gays has contrasted with the more distant style of his predecessors John Paul and Benedict. ... "This pope has undertaken very substantial change, but it is not necessarily going to focus on specific doctrines," said Boston College theologian Richard Gaillardetz. Instead, say Gaillardetz and others, Francis seeks a deeper shift in the Church to become what he calls a "field hospital" serving the needs of the faithful rather than an inward-looking institution more concerned with its own rules and procedures. Either way, he seems to be facing the religious version of what political scientists call a "revolution of rising expectations", the moment when people think their distant leaders are listening to them and start to ratchet up their demands for change. Read on. [NYTimes, Jim Yardley, March 12] Pope Francis marks the first anniversary of his papacy on Thursday having become so globally celebrated that he recently felt compelled to deflate his own “superman” aura. He is a star of magazine covers and social media, praised for his welcoming, nonjudgmental persona, his embrace of the poor and his decisiveness in moving to reform an ossified Vatican bureaucracy. Year 2, however, is likely to prove more challenging, if partly because of Francis’s own success. He has raised expectations that he can bring major change to the Roman Catholic Church — even as opinions differ on what changes are needed, and which ones Francis actually supports. He has become one of the most recognized and popular figures in the world yet his public comments are often deliberately ambiguous, as he is careful not to get pinned down on ideologically charged issues. Read on.

• 10,000 photos ... [dio–beth on Flickr] Check out our Flickr photostream of Diocese of Bethlehem events here.

• Personal info security breach stings Seattle RC archdiocese ... [NCR]
The Seattle archdiocese, the FBI and the IRS are working to determine the scope and source of a security breach that surfaced after discovery of false tax returns filed in the names of archdiocesan, school and parish employees and volunteers. Meanwhile, an increasing number of those employees and volunteers are spending long wait times in IRS and credit bureau phone queues trying to sort out if -- or to what extent -- hackers might have used their personal information. Even if that data has not been used to date, it could still find its way into varied forms of identity theft down the road, many fear. In an "Urgent Notice" updated Friday on the archdiocesan website, employees and volunteers are told they could be "victims of a national tax refund fraud." "Victims' Social Security numbers have been used in fraudulent tax returns for the calendar year 2013," it stated. Read on.

• Jesuit head: Religion isn't doctrine, but sensitivity to human experience ... [NCR] Religion is less a code of doctrines and teachings than a sensitivity to the "dimensions of transcendence" that underlie the human experience, the head of Pope Francis' Jesuit order said Friday.Likening the religious experience to a person who can appreciate the intricacies and variations of classical music, Jesuit Fr. Adolfo Nicolás said "religion is first of all very much more like this musical sense than a rational system of teachings and explanations.""Religion involves first of all a sensitivity to, an openness to, the dimensions of transcendence, of depth, of gratuity, of beauty that underlie our human experiences," Nicolás said. "But of course, this is a sensitivity that is threatened today by a purely economic or materialist mindset which deadens this sensitivity to deeper dimension of reality." Read on.

• The Deepest Self
... [NYTimes, David Brooks, March 13] We originate with certain biological predispositions. These can include erotic predispositions (we’re aroused by people who send off fertility or status cues), or they can be cognitive (like loss aversion). But depth, the core of our being, is something we cultivate over time. We form relationships that either turn the core piece of ourselves into something more stable and disciplined or something more fragmented and disorderly. We begin with our natural biases but carve out depths according to the quality of the commitments we make. Our origins are natural; our depths are man-made — engraved by thought and action. ... So much of what we call depth is built through freely chosen suffering. People make commitments — to a nation, faith, calling or loved ones — and endure the sacrifices those commitments demand. Often this depth is built by fighting against natural evolutionary predispositions. Read on.

• Like a prolonged Lent of six years ... [A personal story by Richard Evans] Below, under "TaleSpin."

• The Orient Express ... [A reflection by Richard Evans] First blind hiker of Appalachian Trail dies at 73. Read on.

• Two stories from the director of REACH in Wilkes-Barre ... Below, under "TaleSpin."

• Death, Dying and Loss ... [Jane Williams] Below, under "TaleSpin."

• OMG: Spirituality in the Digital Age
... The 2014 Kay Butler Gill Lecture in Christian Spirituality presented by Bishop Steven Charleston on
Thursday, April 3, 7:00 p.m. at The General Theological Seminary, New York City. More info here.

One overlooked spiritual consequence of our noise addiction is a failure to hear spontaneous sounds. By tightly controlling and curating what we hear, we may block out everything else and muffle the God-messages sewn throughout the fabric of the world. - See more at:

• The (Online) Book of Common Prayer ... Here.

• SpiritSpin Resources ... Below, near the bottom.

• An openly gay Episcopal bishop prays for Pope Francis... [Bishop Gene Robinson, The Daily Beast, March 16] The pontiff will need God’s strength to turn his loving words into real action that transforms the Catholic Church. ... How odd that the leader of the Catholic Church would make big news, espousing an attitude promoted by Jesus of Nazareth himself. Jesus dramatically lived out the command to “judge not,” so why would it be such news when his followers (not to mention the Pope!) would follow in his humble, non-judgmental footsteps?!  It is only a newsworthy development because there had been little evidence of non-judgmental and loving acceptance by his predecessors. In other words, so far, so good—but it is only a good beginning. The hard work lies ahead: There is more to the Christian enterprise than merely being more kind, more sympathetic. One of my favorite old sayings goes like this:  “It’s not enough to pull drowning people out of a raging stream; we must walk back upstream, and see who is throwing them in in the first place!”  Charity (pulling people out of whatever raging stream they’re in, like poverty, disease, discrimination, hunger) is a great and cherished tradition. Nothing wrong with it—as far as it goes. In addition to rescue and charity work, people of faith—indeed all who long for justice—must also do the hard, systemic work of changing the systems that cause and trap people in demeaning, dehumanizing conditions in the first place.  Some of those oppressive systems are found in the Church itself! Not just the pope’s church, but my church and every religious community of believers. Read on.

• You might want to know
... that it’s totally kosher to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent, according to New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, although other meat is still verboten. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops points out: “Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted.” Glad that’s settled. [h/t Religion News Roundup]

• Ontology smontology ... [Tom Roberts, NCR] More than a hundred people turned out on a Sunday afternoon in late November to the crypt of historic St. Patrick's Church in Sydney for a presentation by a forensic psychologist on the sex abuse scandal jarring the Catholic community in Australia. During a question-and-answer session, a woman in the audience made a sarcastic reference to priests once thinking they were "ontologically different." The phrase provoked an immediate howl of laughter, as if she'd delivered a punch line of a joke.
This over-50 (and probably well over-60) crowd, the equivalent of a Call to Action gathering in the United States, represents the very generation raised on such notions of clerical superiority and priestly otherness. It is the same generation that, in terms of numbers of priests, nuns and people in the pews, had brought Australian Catholicism to a zenith not too many years ago. A linchpin of that phenomenon -- a clergy standing "in persona Christi" and marked indelibly as something different from the rest of humanity -- is now as much taken for granted as a laughing point as it once was a tenet of faith. Granted, the line was an offhand observation in a presentation and discussion of more immediate matters. But it contained, like an exploration of Catholic DNA, a key to a striking transformation of Catholic life that appears to be occurring in regions where Catholicism once seemed a settled and unchanging reality. Read on.

• Fred Phelps is dying ... [Religion News Roundup] The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., that became famous for its controversial protests at funerals, is ill and in hospice care. His estranged son posted on Facebook that his father had been excommunicated from the church and church officials are not allowing family members who have left the church from seeing him. Phelps was once a widely hailed civil rights lawyer who won an award from the NAACP.

• Fixation on the papacy trivializes the faith of Catholics ... [Slate, Paul Baumann, Editor of Commonweal] The truth is that the more the world flatters the Catholic Church by fixating on the papacy—and the more the internal Catholic conversation is monopolized by speculation about the intentions of one man—the less likely it is that the church will succeed in moving beyond the confusions and conflicts that have preoccupied it since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). The church desperately needs to reclaim its cultural and spiritual equilibrium; it must find a density and richness of worship and mission and a renewed public presence, which far transcend mere loyalty to the pope. Lacking such equilibrium and self-possession, the church cannot find its true voice. But to find this voice, Catholics will have to turn not to Rome but toward one another, which is where both the problems and the solutions lie. The fixation on the papacy trivializes the faith of Catholics, the vast majority of whom throughout history have had little knowledge of, and no contact with, any pope. Read on.

• Who is a Catholic? ... [Sightings, Martin Marty] “Who is Pope Francis?” was the understandable and constant question during this pope’s first year, now past. “Who is a Catholic?” is the understandable and urgent question in his second year, now begun. Of course, the two questions are symbiotic. What the pope says and does relates to and potentially effects change in the lives of each of the one billion individuals called “Catholic.” The question not only takes a plural form, “Who are Catholics?” but, also, “Who is a Catholic?” So far, the public media and the internet have highlighted the latter question. Read on.

• Four easy ways to resolve life's toughest questions
 ... Want to work more efficiently, be happy, improve your memory and deal with a dilemma? The Week offers four tips. Think of them as a survival kit for the mind.

• The intellectual snobbery of conspicuous atheism ... [The Atlantic, Emma Green] Here.

• Cristo Redentor ... The BBC has a gorgeous spread on Cristo Redentor, the iconic Jesus statue in Rio de Janeiro. Check it out, if only to see how online story presentations are changing. Arms Wide Open. Brazil’s statue of Christ is, for some, the ultimate religious symbol. For others, an irresistible tourist attraction. Its image is known the world over, but few know the story behind Cristo Redentor.

• Diocese of Bethlehem elects Sean Rowe as provisional bishop ... [ENS, Canticle Communications] A special convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem on March 1 elected the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe as the provisional bishop of Bethlehem. ... “My style is a collaborative one in which we will work together — bishop, clergy and lay leaders,” said Rowe in an address to the convention following his election. “I hope you will find yourself welcome to a table large enough to hear your voice. Collaboration requires relationships of substance, and I want to spent time getting to know you, hear your stories, and learn to care about those ministries for which you have great passion and excitement.” All of 64 of the clergy present and 99 of the 100 laypeople voted in favor of Rowe’s election, which required a two-thirds vote. ... “Today you did not elect the smartest or the most spiritual bishop ever. The fact is, there are people here who have been praying twice as long as I’ve been alive,” said Rowe, who is 39. “What you’ll get is one who is faithful to God, at least most of the time, and one who stands firmly on the promises of Jesus Christ. I am your servant.” Read on. More here.

• Jubilate ... [Diocese of Bethlehem] Hymnody for Lent and Easter is published by the Diocese of Bethlehem for our diocesan community and for free distribution to the world. It is a service of our Liturgy and Music Commission, specifically Canon Cliff Carr who has been doing this for more than 30 years. Find it here.

• Trip to Diocese of Kajo Keji ... [Charlie Barebo] Report on the January 2014 trip of Charlie Barebo, diocesan Missioner for Development, and Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow to the Diocese of Kajo Keji, South Sudan. Here.

• New Hope in Pictures/UIpdated ... Archdeacon Stringfellow is blogging “New Hope in Pictures” chronicling our shared mission with the South Sudanese.

• The DioLight
... Vol. 2, Iss. 3, March 12. Here. New Beginnings, by Bishop Sean Rowe. Welcome, by Canon Andrew Gerns.

• In-Formation in Bethlehem
... [Canon Anne Kitch] A newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources. March.

Diobeth Episcopal Relief and Development
...  [John Major] A the midst of life's storms, March 5.

• Diocesan Training Day For Ministry ... April 5 at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral Wilkes-Barre. Find all you need to know here.

• Chrism Mass ... at Cathedral Church of the Nativity, April 10, 11:00 a.m.

• DioBeth news, info ... DioBeth website, newSpin blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, and LinkedIn,

• 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.

• Christophany ... April 25-27 at Bear Creek Camp, Wilkes-Barre. Registration now open. Here.

• EYE: The 2014 Episcopal Youth Event ... will take place at Villanova University, July 9-13. Read on.
• The EYE 2014 Team ... Here.

• At St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre ...  Organ recitals and Lenten ecumenical services. Here.

• At St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre ... The acclaimed DaPonte String Quartet will present a concert of works by Franz Josef Haydn, Earl Stewart, and Ludwig van Beethoven at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 35 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, on Wednesday, April 2, at 7:30 pm.  Admission at the door is $20 per person, $15 for students, senior citizens, and WVIA members with ID.  Proceeds from this concert will support the Wilkes-Barre Free Medical Clinic and REACH of St. Stephen’s. Read on.

• IRS VITA ... The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $52,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. To find a VITA tax preparation site in your area, go to and enter your zip code. 

• Calendar of events in our parishes ... Here.

• United Methodist website ... Here.
• Evangelical Lutheran website ... Here.
• The Moravian Church in North America website ... Here.
• The Moravian Church Northern Province website ... Here.
• The Presbyterian Church USA website ... Here.
• United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website ... Here.
• Vatican website ... Here.
• The Episcopal Church website ... Here.

• Competing to be the real thing
 ... [The Economist] Perhaps it's surprising that the worlds of faith and advertising don't clash even more frequently. At a deep level, both activities are competing for the same space in people's conscious and sub-conscious minds. Read on.

Helping religious leaders become theologically savvy about technology

Founded in 2010, the New Media Project aims to help religious leaders think theologically about digital technology. We think leaders need more than primers in building websites and using social media tools. We believe that leaders of faith communities also need a larger interpretive framework for recognizing and evaluating what’s happening in communication today. Even though the major shift in patterns and tools of communication brought about by digital technology will have a lasting effect on the church, compelling theological interpretations of the shift have not yet been adequately developed. Nor do sufficient strategic frameworks yet exist to help faith communities move forward using technology in theologically responsible ways.

We aim to change that. 

- See more at:
 New Media Project: Helping religious leaders become theologically savvy about technology ... Founded in 2010, the New Media Project aims to help religious leaders think theologically about digital technology. We think leaders need more than primers in building websites and using social media tools. We believe that leaders of faith communities also need a larger interpretive framework for recognizing and evaluating what’s happening in communication today. Even though the major shift in patterns and tools of communication brought about by digital technology will have a lasting effect on the church, compelling theological interpretations of the shift have not yet been adequately developed. Nor do sufficient strategic frameworks yet exist to help faith communities move forward using technology in theologically responsible ways. We aim to change that. Read on.

• Communication tips and tools ... Here. (March) In this issue: Is your Facebook page reaching fewer people? Tips for getting people to open (and read) your email. [Video] 5 social media guidelines for churches. Online security for churches. What can Twitter teach the church?

Rest in Peace
• Grace C. Jones, 90 ... [T. Scott Allen] wife of the late St. Andrew's Rector Emeritus The Rev. Canon David Jones, died peacefully Friday, March 14, in her home. The Burial Office was read and Holy Eucharist celebrated at at St. Andrew's on Monday, March 17.  Interment was in the Memorial Garden at St. Andrew's. May Grace rest in peace and rise in the glory of Christ. She will be deeply missed by her family, fellow parishioners and all who knew her. Find her obituary, with photo, here.

• Bill Irwin, 73 ... [Richard Evans] First blind hiker of Appalachian Trail. Here.

• Joe McGinniss, 71
... [NYTimes] chronicled politics and the 'Fatal Vision' case. His
books concentrated on behind-the-scenes looks at political figures like Sarah Palin and Richard M. Nixon, and notorious crimes. Read on. Find AP obituary here.

• Everett L. "Terry" Fullam, 82
... died on March 15. He served as rector of St. Paul's, Darien, Conn., which became famous as a tall steeple parish in the mainline Protestant renewal movement. More at Christianity Today. [h/t JoAnn Lumley] No obituary available by newSpin newsletter deadline.

Ralph Waite, who played the kind-and-steady patriarch of a tight-knit rural Southern family on the TV series "The Waltons," died Thursday, his manager said. He was 85. - See more at:
Cynthia had a profound fear of airplanes and took a year off during college to work as a stewardess for Eastern Airlines to conquer that fear. That was the way she did things: fighting head-on against all obstacles. - See more at:•• 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)
• Free weekly bulletin inserts ... provide information about the history, music, liturgy, mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church. Here's the insert for March 23, 2014 – Third Sunday in Lent (A): Parish Websites  Read more about the inserts here.

• Around the Episcopal Church ... Here

Employment Opportunities
• Episcopal Positions (NYC/DC) ... Here.

• Walter is dead ...This obituary is making the rounds on FaceBook.  “Walter George Bruhl Jr. of Newark and Dewey Beach is a dead person; he is no more; he is bereft of life; he is deceased; he has rung down the curtain and gone to join the choir invisible; he has expired and gone to meet his maker.”Read on. It gets better. [h/t Religion News Roundup]

• After deadly riots, a shared experience ... [NYTimes, Rachel L. Swarns] The draft riots exploded on the streets of Manhattan in 1863 when poor Irish immigrants and other whites turned on African-Americans in a bloody spasm of beating, maiming and lynching. Many of us know the story: It was the worst civil disturbance in our city’s history, a bloodletting that left more than 100 people dead and laid bare the tensions between Irish and black New Yorkers who often lived and labored side by side. But there is another story, too, one that unfolded afterward with little fanfare: The emergence of a neighborhood with scores of interracial couples. They were African-American men and Irish women who met in the hotels and restaurants where they worked and in the crowded tenements that they shared. By 1870, just seven years after the riots, 80 of these couples lived in Manhattan’s Eighth Ward, which included what we now know as SoHo and the southernmost sections of Greenwich Village. Read on.

• Like a prolonged Lent of six years
... [A personal story by Richard Evans] I found the Episcopal Church about 15 years ago in Florida in an attempt to break away from the walk in the desert that comes after a divorce -- and what an oasis it has been! Read on. Rich Evans is a former Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. He is a member of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Mountain Top where he serves on the vestry and finance committee. He is also a member of the Diocesan Council and the Incorporated Trustees. His ministry is helping parishes with their audits.

• Two stories from the director of REACH in Wilkes-Barre ... Stories heard frequently by Debra Kellerman who is already tired of Lent and its desert. Read on.

• Death, Dying and Loss ... [Jane Williams] I teach a Death, Dying and Loss class at Moravian Theological Seminary. I think such classes are major aids especially to clergy and counselors whose roles will have near constant involvement with the issues of death, dying, chronic illness, and the multitude of losses (relationships, jobs, etc. -- not just loss from death) that all of us experience in our lifetimes. Read on.

• The 160-year Christian history behind what's happening in Ukraine
 ... [Christianity Today] The Crimean War was significant for more than the beginning of modern nursing through the work of Florence Nightingale. It represented a pivotal moment in European religious affairs, writes Philip Jenkins. Read on.

• The womn behind ... [Leadership Education at Duke Divinity] When her son was diagnosed with autism, Jenee Woodard had to give up her dream of a career as an academic scholar. Instead, she created The Text This Week, an influential trove of online resources for pastors writing sermons, Christian leaders and educators. Read on.

• Mars Hill Church pastor apologizes ... [RNS] Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll has written a letter to his congregation to explain recent controversies, including the marketing campaign intended to place the book, “Real Marriage,” on The New York Times best-seller list. Read on.

• Denominations downsizing ... [NYTimes] Here.

• RC priest accused of molesting boys in Pike County promoted to vicar general in his diocese in Paraguay ... [Pocono Record, Beth Brelje] A Roman Catholic priest who was accused of molesting boys in Shohola and Moscow, Pa., has been promoted to the No. 2 position in his diocese in Paraguay. That is according to a database released this week, listing Catholic clergy from Argentina involved in sex abuse cases. The database was compiled by, an organization that aims to keep a record of sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Read on. Also TimesLeader, Wilkes-Barre.

• Which is more remarkable ... that someone managed to swipe $600,000 from Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, or that the nation’s largest church manages to pull in $600,000 in one otherwise average weekend? According to reports, that’s $200,000 in cash and $400,000 in checks. [h/t Religion News Roundup]

• Created in the tiniest sliver of a second ... [Religion News Roundup, Lauren Markoe] It could be the biggest science story of the year. Cosmologists have detected ripples in the fabric of the universe that show it “underwent a fast and incomprehensibly massive growth spurt in its earliest infancy,” according to USA Today. And what they mean by “fast” is “almost instantaneous.” I hope I didn’t wreck anyone’s theology this morning.

Evangelical Lutheran
• NEPA Synod website ... Here

• ELCA website ... Here.
• ELCA News Service ... Here
• ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."

• Moravian Church in North America  website.  
• Moravian Church Northern Province website
• Moravian Theological Seminary website.

United Methodist ... Here. (March) See above, under "Evangelism/Stewardship."
• UMC website Here.
• News Service Here.
• Communication Resources ... Start here.
• Eastern PA Conference website  Here.
• Facebook Here.
• Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog Here.

On Meet the Press earlier this month, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, claimed that the Catholic Church is not anti-gay. “We’re pro marriage, we’re pro traditional marriage, we’re not anti anybody. We’ve been out-marketed, we’ve been caricatured as being anti-gay,” he explained to the show’s host, David Gregory. Dolan’s right. The Catholic Church isn’t anti-gay, but evidence suggests its bishops certainly are. - See more at:
Whoops! After years of debate, Catholic bishops in France decided that the version of the Lord’s Prayer their congregants recite could be considered blasphemous. Apparently French people…can’t read French? The official translation has been changed from “Do not submit us to temptation” to “Let us not enter into temptation,” absolving God of any perceived meddling. - See more at:
Whoops! After years of debate, Catholic bishops in France decided that the version of the Lord’s Prayer their congregants recite could be considered blasphemous. Apparently French people…can’t read French? The official translation has been changed from “Do not submit us to temptation” to “Let us not enter into temptation,” absolving God of any perceived meddling. - See more at:

Roman Catholic
• National Catholic Reporter ... Here.
• Diocese of Allentown
... Here.

• Diocese of Scranton ... Here
• United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ... Here
• Catholic News Service ... Here.  

The Vatican
• Understaning Pope Francis ... David Gibson of RNS has a masterful primer in how to understand Pope Francis: Understand the Jesuits. Meanwhile, the Pope Francis, um, critics are coming out in force in time for his one-year anniversary: Catholic blogger John Vennari calls him a theological “train wreck.” Meanwhile, victims’ advocates have compiled a summary of the pope’s actions on abuse cases when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. [h/t Religion News Roundup]

• Vatican website
... Here
• Vatican Information Service blog
... Here
• Vatican News/Info Portal
... Here.

• The Joy of the Gospel ... Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, with detailed table of contents. Here.

• Eight reasons why sugar is bad for your health ... [Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips] Here.

• Resources for caregivers
... Here

• Medline Plus ... Here.  
• WebMD ... Here.
• ... 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.

Lord of the Flies, still haunting at 60
 ... has inspired countless high school writing assignments, a dark tide of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction, and even a memorable episode of The Simpsons. At age 60, Big Think reports, the book is still a valuable literary and cultural reference point and, more surprisingly, an instructive manual about contemporary political life -- and its liabilities. [h/t Leadership Education at Duke Divinity]

• Free eBooks by Project Gutenberg
  ... Here.  • Free Audiobooks from LibriVox ... Here.  • Free Audiobooks and eBooks ... Here and Here.
• Google Books
... Millions of books you can preview or read free. Here.  • The Online Books Page ... from UPenn. Here.

• More free eBooks  and Audiobooks ... [Techlicious] Here.

• Religion Research Hub ... ARDA, Association of Religion Data Archives, an especially useful site.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem
... February.
• Many 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.

Religious Freedom Recap, our weekly look back at the top stories and developments on religious liberty around the world. - See more at:

Additional sources for news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• Religious Freedom Blog ... a weekly look back at the top stories and developments on religious liberty around the world. Here.
• National Catholic Reporter ... here.
• Back issues of the newSpin newsletter ... here.
• Episcopal/Anglican
 (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.

SpiritSpin Resources
• The Book of Common Prayer ... every edition from 1549 to 1979. Here.
• Prayers and Thanksgivings from the BCP
... Here.

• The (Online) Book of Common Prayer ... Here.
• The Daily Office
... can be read online in Rite I, Rite II or the New Zealand Prayer Book versions. At Mission St. Clare.

• Daily Prayer ... a resource of Forward Movement. Here.
• Holy Women, Holy Men
... Download Holy Women, Holy Men as a .pdf file.
• Speaking to the Sou
l ... An Episcopal Café blog. Sermons, reflections, multimedia meditations and excerpts from books on spirituality. Here.

• The Imitation of Christ ... Available free online.

Bible&Worship Resources
• The Lectionary ... A collection of Lectionary resources for the Episcopal Church, updated Sunday night. Here.
• Lectionary Page ... A liturgical calendar for upcoming weeks, with links to readings from the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), as adapted for use in Episcopal worship. Here.
• Revised Common Lectionary ... Here.
• The Liturgical Calendar ... BCP, Lesser Feasts and Fasts, HWHM ... Here.
• Oremus Bible Browser ... Here.
• Enriching our Worship and Same-Sex Blessings ... Free download here.


As soon as the newSpin newsletter is completed, usually by Tuesday, it is uploaded to the newSpin blog and posted on Bakery and on a ChurchPost list of some 1,200 addresses. Many recipients often forward it to others. 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 Standing Committee 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. If you think something about your parish or agency merits inclusion, send email to Bill. Comments are welcome at the newSpin blog. Click there in the right hand column on the title of the current newsletter. Then, make your comment below.

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]





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