The newSpin weekly
March 10, 2015
Why the title newSpin? ... The "S" in the middle suggests that some items in newSpin are newS; others, Spin; others, both. Which items the editor includes as well as how and how often he presents them are a clue to his leanings. I think all of us spin. Please note that items in newSpin do not represent, as noted at the bottom of every issue, the official view of the Diocese of Bethlehem unless expressed by or forwarded from the Bishop, the Standing Committee or the Archdeacon as an official communication. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul might be said to have spun "the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" [Mark 1:1]. We continue to spin that good news, according to how we have experienced and danced with the Risen Lord.
We're evolving … In order to work in tandem with DioBeth's two new monthly enewsletters – end of month and middle of month – the newSpin weekly has discontinued its DioBethSpin and ParishSpin sections. You will find such news in the new newsletters and on the DioBeth website.
• Indicates new item.
•• Indicates repeat.
• DioBeth's new monthly enewsletters
•• The Chrism Mass … will be held on Thursday, March 19 at 11:00 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity. At this service, the Bishop blesses oils, and the clergy renew their ordination vows. All are welcome, and those with ministries with the sick and in teaching are especially encouraged to attend. Lunch is provided.
• Bakery … has been down since 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 5. It has been hosted on the ChurchPost system which apparently suffered a system failure at that time.
• The road to Selma was paved with the blood of four unsung martyrs … [RNS] Jimmie Lee Jackson, a Baptist deacon; James Reeb, a Unitarian minister; Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a Unitarian laywoman; Jonathan Myrick Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian. They were just four of the thousands of Americans who came to Selma 50 years ago, heeding the call of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for people of conscience to join in protesting the plight of African-Americans in Alabama at the height of the civil rights movement. The four are largely unknown, but they’re being remembered for sacrificing their lives for the rights of others. The names of all four are etched in the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Ala., along with 36 others — starting with Mississippi minister George Lee, who died in 1955, and ending with King, who was assassinated in 1968. Read on.
• See Resources … way below.
• Seven ways to pray when you're stuck … [OnFaith, Jared Brock] Here.
• Naive trust in the prevailing economic system … [Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, Joy of the Gospel, 2014] “We have to say, ‘Thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness. This opinion … expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the … prevailing economic system.”
•• Lenten Resources
• Daily lenten meditations by Anne Kitch… Subscribe here. You will not regret following Anne. Here's an excerpt from Feb. 27: I usually find hand-washing a chore for which I have neither the time nor the patience. But as I scrub and rinse the sweater several times, I discover a soothing rhythm to it and a gentle attentiveness. And I imagine God, hand-washing me with similar care. I am overwhelmed then by a vision of God washing each of us by hand. Patiently. Lovingly. And in God’s hands, no one is ruined beyond repair, and there is no stain that cannot be removed.
• Mediator Allentown outreach missioner Twila Smith … has an absolutely wonderful listing of resources at her Pinterest site. No matter how challenging you might think it is to sign up to see Twila's resources, I think you will find that it's worth it. Her latest listing is Lenten Resources.
• A seven-part Episcopal Public Policy Network series, "Engaging Poverty at Home and Around the World." began Ash Wednesday, available here.
• United Thank Offering provides a daily scripture passage from the Daily Office through Facebook and Twitter (#unitedthankoffering).
• Trinity Bethlehem's "Lights in the Darkness" blog project … [Amy Spagna] will be back for a repeat engagement, beginning on Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 17. This year's reflections will be centered around themes of reconciliation and forgiveness, and will feature work by Trinity parishioners and staff, and several guest writers. The blog's home on the Web is lentenlightsbethpa.blogspot.com. If you would like to receive these daily reflections by email, please send Amy a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she'll be happy to add you to the list.
• Lent with ESC (Episcopal Service Corps)
• Practicing Lent, from the Diocese of West Texas
• #LivingLent is a new social media, photo-based reflection designed to draw participants into the Lenten story by creating 'living pictures' and modern interpretations of biblical art, from the Diocese of Texas.
• A rich resource list, from the Diocese of Olympia.
• Short, daily videos over the five weeks of Lent, from the Brothers of SSJE.
•• Resources ... way below.
• Jesus was a Jew – Get over it … [Sally Quinn, FaithStreet] A Q&A with award-winning writer James Carroll on how Christians misunderstand Jesus. Is the New Testament anti-Semitic? (Well, kind of.) Should we read the Gospels as historical documents? (Very clearly, no.) What happened to Jesus’ Jewishness? (Christians forgot it.) James Carroll, the Catholic reformer and Boston Globe columnist, takes on these and other heated questions in his latest book, Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age. I caught up with Carroll to talk about the Jewishness, divinity, and spark of Jesus — here are the highlights from our conversation. Read on. If you don't know James Carroll, his background may provide interesting reading.
• How Jon Stewart has made the news better … [Commonweal Editorial] Stewart has for more than a decade functioned as a valuable corrective to much of what’s wrong with mainstream news, especially political coverage that can’t seem to identify the radical intransigence of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party for what it is. By intent or default, he established himself as a relentless fact-checker and watchdog, using research, video clips, and comedy to call out politicians and other public figures on their evasions, over-simplifications—and lies. That he so often confronts Fox News is no doubt his primary appeal for many viewers, but this shouldn’t be surprising. Fox is the leading source of information for a significant number of Americans, to whom it distributes a steady stream of blatant and potentially dangerous falsehoods, dozens of which Stewart recently compiled in a loop posted on his show’s website (2009: “People will go to jail if they don’t buy health insurance”; 2011: “Obama has accumulated more debt than forty-three presidents combined”; 2014: “Some doctors say Ebola can be transmitted through the air by sneeze or cough”). Though much of his fire is aimed at the right, he has also been critical of the Obama administration for its rollout of health-care reform, its response to the war in Syria, and its punishment of government whistleblowers: “Of the eleven times in our entire history that the Espionage Act has been used against government workers sharing information with journalists, seven of them have been under this presidency,” he noted in February. Read on.
• Telling the good news, in the media ... [Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson] If the media isn’t telling the stories you want told about your congregation, it is possible (we say very gently) that those stories aren’t interesting or significant enough to warrant coverage. Or, it is possible that you are not presenting them to the media in a way that catches their attention. Or perhaps you have not presented stories to the media at all. It isn’t easy to get your congregation, diocese, conference, or other sort of Christian organization into the newspaper or in online media outlets unless something has gone significantly wrong. It is even harder to get it on television or the radio. But it is possible if you absorb these 10 simple tips. Read on.
• Communicate … Your Ministry, including Bill's Communication Biases and Communication-Evangelism. Here.
•• Resources ... Here.
•• Resources ... Here.
Rest in Peace
• Joella Malloy, 85 … Father Pat Malloy's mother, Joella Raphael (Smith) Malloy, of Mount Savage Maryland, died just before midnight on Wednesday, March 4. She died in Cumberland MD, after a long illness in the home of her son Brian and a week in hospice care. During that week, her family was with her: Pat, his sister Rae Anne, his brother Brian and their families for the entire time and when she died. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Pat is a professor at the General Theological Seminary. He served as rector at Grace Allentown for some ten years before that. A Funeral Mass was celebrate today [Tuesday, March 10].
• Edward Egan, 82 … Cardinal Edward M. Egan, a stern defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy who presided over the Archdiocese of New York for nine years in an era of troubled finances, changing demographics and an aging, dwindling priesthood shaken by sexual-abuse scandals, died on Thursday in Manhattan. NYTimes. Also in RNS: If Egan was never beloved by priests or parishioners the way other archbishops were, he also had a tough job to do.
• Patricia High, 72 … teacher, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, died on March 4, at her home in Fort Worth. She married Rayford B. High, Jr. in 1964. He is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, and the retired bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Obituary.
• Fred Craddock, 86 … [United Methodist Reporter] noted teacher and author on preaching who influenced a generation of United Methodist pastors during his time at the Candler School of Theology died Friday, March 7. Read on.
His London-based agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker died Monday of lung cancer in Colorado, where he has lived for the past two decades. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/ns/obituary.aspx?n=joe-cocker&pid=173558813#sthash.22Z9bcRa.dpuf
• Haunted by the terror of racism … [Richard Cohen, Opinion, WaPo, March 9] On my flight here [to Selma], sheer luck took a liking to me. I got seated next to Thelma Adair, a 94-year-old black woman coming down from New York for the Jubilee. It had been 50 years from when civil rights marchers were beaten bloody by the police wielding truncheons and the entitlement that comes from centuries of racist tradition. We talked about the civil rights movement for a while, which is why she told me about her nightmares. They are so terrifying that she screams in her sleep. When she awakes, she remembers nothing. Read on.
BackSpin – Do you remember?
Nothing this week
• Episcopal Positions (NYC/DC) ... Here.
Ecumenism, Interfaith, Pluralism – or Not
Nothing this week
Evangelical Lutheran Church
NEPA Synod website ... Here.
ELCA website ... Here.
ELCA News Service ... Here.
ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."
Spirit Spinning ... for those who hunger and thirst for a deeper connection with God ... Here.
Moravian Church in North America website.
Moravian Church Northern Province website.
Moravian Theological Seminary website.
United Methodist Church
News Service Here.
Communication Resources ... Start here.
Eastern PA Conference website Here.
Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog Here.
Presbyterian Church USA
Website ... Here.
News & Announcements ... Here.
• Churches closed in Diocese of Scranton … [CitizensVoice] At least 86 churches closed during the last six years in the RC Diocese of Scranton. Ten were in Wilkes-Barre, according to the list of consolidations provided by the diocese; seven in Luzerne County have been demolished; 31 have been sold and eight are currently up for sale. Read on.
Diocese of Allentown ... Here.
Diocese of Scranton ... Here.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ... Here.
Catholic News Service ... Here.
• Vatican Insider …is a project run by the daily newspaper La Stampa. The website provides comprehensive information on the Vatican, the activities of the Pope and the Holy See, the Catholic Church’s presence on the international scene and on religious issues. It is an independent multimedia tool, produced in three languages: Italian, English and Spanish. It is distributed through its website as well as other digital platforms and the main social networks on the Internet. It boasts a staff of qualified Vatican correspondents, flanked by some of the most prestigious international names in the field of religious and Vatican-based information. It provides free news and in-depth reports seven days a week and offers its partners exclusive journalistic services, inquiries, interviews and information packages.
• Two years in, Francis faces headwinds in reforming the Vatican. Here's how he can prevail … [RNS, David Gibson] One reason the cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis two years ago on Friday (March 13) was a brief but powerful speech the Argentine cardinal made shortly before the conclave in which he denounced the “theological narcissism” of the Roman Catholic Church. The church, Francis declared, was “sick” because it was closed in on itself and needed to go out “to the peripheries” and risk all by accompanying the shunned and marginalized. In these past two years, Francis’ efforts to do just that have captivated the public’s imagination and inspired a wide swath of the Catholic spectrum with visions of a newly resurgent faith unshackled from years of scandal and stagnation.
But there was another big reason the cardinals voted for Bergoglio: They thought the Jesuit archbishop of Buenos Aires was the one man with the administrative chops to finally rein in the dysfunctional papal bureaucracy, known as the Roman Curia, that was often at the root of the Catholic crisis. Today, however, the reforms that Francis launched with vigor and near-evangelistic zeal are showing signs of a sophomore slump, bogged down in ponderous consultations and more infighting. Read on.
Vatican website ... Here.
Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.
Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
The Joy of the Gospel [Evangelii Gaudium] ... Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, with detailed table of contents. Here.
Health and Wellness
• Why parents want to believe in a vaccine conspiracy … [WaPo, Opinion, Susan Senator] I didn’t get a perfect kid or a perfect life. No one does. But when you’re a young, scared parent, you will grasp at anything to make sense of a hardship such as autism. I know that firsthand. But the MMR vaccine does not cause autism. And more important, autism is not the only tough thing that can happen in this life. A return of deadly diseases kept at bay by vaccines would be far worse. Read on.
• A message for the anti-vaccine movement … from Jimmy Kimmel Live. Visit my Facebook page and scroll down a bit.
•• Flu shots ... Info from the CDC here and here. A lot of good info also at flu.gov.
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.
• Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
• Center for Disease Control - Healthy Living
• Church Health Reader
• Eastern Pennsylvania Faith Community Nurses
• Episcopal Mental Illness Network
• Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging at NIH
• National Episcopal Health Ministries
• NEHM Wellness Resource Page
• Let's Move
• 'Dig' digs into the Bible – but is it 'true'? … [RNS, Kimberly Winston] Breathlessly describing his new USA Network series “Dig” in a promo, leading man Jason Isaacs promises “everything is based on reality and true.” To a point. The new series, which premiered Thursday (March 5), moves quickly between multiple story lines and locations, bouncing off prophesies and spinning conspiracies around the Second Coming of Christ, the Book of Revelation and the restoration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, where much of the series is filmed. Throw in a high priest’s magical breastplate, a spotless red heifer and a doomsday Christian group living in a bunker and the series becomes the would-be love-child of Steven Spielberg and Dan Brown. And that’s just the first episode. Read on.
• Eight-episode TV series on conservative U.S. pope scheduled to begin production in July … [Variety] Jude Law is reportedly in advanced negotiations to play the lead role in Italian Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino’s high-concept TV series, working-titled “The Young Pope,” about an imaginary pontiff who is the first Italian-American pope in history. Law would play a hard-line conservative American pontiff recruited by a Vatican fed up with liberals. The ambitous big-budget skein has been touted by the producers as being “about dreams, fears, conflicts, battles, the search for meaning and the need for love of a pope, seen through the prism of Sorrentino’s unique vision capable of creating worlds that are at the same incredible and more real than reality itself.” Shooting on the eight-episode English-language skein in fifty-minute format, set in Vatican City and the U.S. and conceived for the international market, is expected to start at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios in July. Read on.
•• What we're reading … I've browsed for months a twice weekly email wherein reporters and editors of the NYTimes recommend stories from around the web. What We're Reading includes resumes and links to the stories. I've hardly ever looked at it without finding something that I did not read all the way through. Sign up here.
Spirituality & Film ... Here.
Spirituality on DVD ... Here.
Books for Spiritual Journeys ... Here.
Audios for Spiritual Journeys ... Here.
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.
Nothing this week
• General enewsletter, near end of month, February …
• Special enewsletter, mid month, March …
• DioBeth website
• Stumbling into the Sacred ... [Reflections on seeing God in the everyday by Canon Anne E. Kitch]
• newSpin blog ... including the newSpin weekly by Bill Lewellis.
• Facebook …
• Twitter …
• TREC [TaskForce for Reimagining the Episcopal Church] … website.
• TREC … Video Q&A with TREC panel at Oct. 2, 2014 TREC Churchwide Meeting at the Washington National Cathedral
• The Episcopal Church website, news service, news service blog,
• Episcopal Café
• AngicansOnline website and news centre.
• The Living Church
• The Anglican Communion website and news service.
• The Daily Scan: Contact email@example.com to add subscribers for news releases, notices, statements, or Daily Scan.
• Free weekly bulletin inserts provide information about the history, music, liturgy, mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church. Find the inserts here.
• Updated Episcopal Church canons and constitution ... Here.
• Forward Movement ... Here.
• Episcopal Web Radio ... Here.
• Episcopal Church Event Calendar ... Here
• 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.
• The Daily Office ... from the Diocese of Indianapolis. Here.
• Daily Prayer ... a resource of Forward Movement. Here.
• 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.
• 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.
• Celebrating the Eucharist, by Patrick Malloy. Google Book
• Enriching our Worship, 1 to 5 ... Free download here.
• The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant: Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Sex Relationships [Extracted from Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing] Here.
• Collection of worship resources at Diobeth.org ... Including Diocesan Cycles of Prayer for weekly worship, Holy Women Holy Men, and The Text This Week. Here.
As the newSpin weekly is completed, usually by Tuesday, it is uploaded to the newSpin blog and posted on Bakery and on other diocesan lists of some 4,000 addresses. Many recipients forward it to others. The newSpin weekly 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, the Standing Committee or the Archdeacon as an official communication. Comments are welcome on Bakery (if you are subscribed to that interactive list) and at the newSpin blog. Click at the newSpin blog 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]