newSpin 170504
Don Knapp: 60 years a priest

newSpin 170518

newSpin, the newsletter
May 18, 2017
Bill Lewellis

[A DioBeth newsletter (General or Leadership) or the newSpin newsletter is published online on Thursdays in the following rotation: (1) Leadership News, (2) The newSpin newsletter, (3) General News, (4) The newSpin newsletter. If you are not receiving these newsletters by email, be in touch with Paula Lapinski (610-691-5655, If you find something online or in print(or if you'd like to write something) that you think might warrant inclusion for the sake of many in the newSpin newsletter, please send the link or your text to]

TopSpin  [• New item  •• Repeat]

• DioBeth Leadership News, May 11Here. •Nominations for Diocesan Leadership Due by July 15, •Eucharistic Visitor Training on July 9, •Youth and Young Adult Mission Trip, •Calendar Planning for 2018 Confirmations, •Summer Musikgarten Training in Harleyville, •Evangelism Conference with Bishop Nicholas Knisley, •People of Bethlehem, •News of the Diocese, •Upcoming Diocesan Events

• The newSpin Newsletter, May 4Here.

• A path to America, marked by more and more bodies[NYTimes, May 4] “A mass disaster”: Over 16 years, more people have died illegally crossing the U.S. border than from 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina combined.
In the rugged terrain of South Texas, the number of deaths has overwhelmed some local officials and made the grisly discovery of decomposing bodies a commonplace occurrence. Most died from dehydration, heatstroke or hypothermia.
Local officials and immigrant advocates said the frequency of the deaths amounts to a humanitarian crisis. Read on.

Prayers of the People and Jubilate
Prayers of the People are composed with great grace by Cliff Carr and posted by Thursday for the following Sunday on the worship resources page of the website of Trinity Church Bethlehem. Cliff is a retired priest of the Diocese of Bethlehem, and associate priest at Trinity. On that same page, you will find another gift from Cliff, Trinity and the Diocese of Bethlehem to the Episcopal and Anglican world. His kindness and talent has gifted Jubilate to many for some 35 years. If they are not familiar with it, your music ministers will find Jubilate to be a treasure.

Formed by Love – a new book by Scott Bader Saye[NYTimes, April 4] Some may remember Scott from his days in the Diocese of Bethlehem. His new book, Volume five of Church's Teaching for a Changing World, is a short, accessible, and engaging introduction to ethics from an Episcopal perspective, for use in parish study groups to give participants a richer theological language for engaging the pressing social and cultural issues of our time.
 Dr. Scott Bader-Saye is Academic Dean and Helen and the Everett H. Jones Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology at Seminary of the Southwest. More about Formed by Love here.

• These students who’ve struggled emotionally are sharing ‘13 Reasons Why Not’ over their school loudspeaker[WaPo, May 9] Dating an abusive popular boy. Feeling like an outcast. Being told to kill yourself. These are the experiences a group of high school seniors are sharing with the entire school body this month. They are stories of bullying and depression and suicidal thoughts, stories of not feeling enough. A student’s recording of his or her painful story has played each morning since May 1 over the loudspeakers at Oxford High School in Michigan.
   The idea came as a response to the controversial Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” which follows the aftermath of a teenage girl’s suicide and the tapes she left behind singling out each person who contributed to her death. The series has been widely criticized for its handling of the sensitive material. Geared 'toward a teenage audience, it does not discuss mental health or suicide prevention, and presents suicide as a way to have your voice heard. Read on.

• In the age of Trump, can Mr. Rogers help us manage our anger?[America, David Dark, May 18] The PBS host once asked, "What do you do with the mad that you feel?" The question is as relevant as ever. Read on.

• The Bishop Search & Transition Committee invites members of the Diocese of Bethlehem … to attend and participate in a conversation. As we begin the formal process of searching for the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem, we need your input on where we are as a diocese and what gifts and spirit we hope our next bishop will share with us. We will also update you on the work of the Committee and what the process looks like going forward through the next year. Please do all you can to see that we have a good representation from every parish. The gatherings are regional for convenience. Feel free, however, to attend any of gatherings if you cannot make the one closest to you. See the schedule of gatherings here.

Intersection: Religion, Culture, Politics  [•New item ••Repeat]
• When the World Is Led by a Child[NYTimes, David Brooks, May 15] 
At certain times Donald Trump has seemed like a budding authoritarian, a corrupt Nixon, a rabble-rousing populist or a big business corporatist. But as Trump has settled into his White House role, he has given a series of long interviews, and when you study the transcripts it becomes clear that fundamentally he is none of these things. At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif. Read on.

• Healing a House Divided: An interview with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
[Religion and Politics, Marie Griffith , May 16] Here.

• Callista Gingrich set to be named ambassador to the Vatican
[CNN, May 15]
Gingrich is a devout Catholic, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network in a 2011 interview that she has “always been a very spiritual person.” Read on.

SpiritSpin  [• New item  •• Repeat]
• Bread Broken
[Commonweal, Rita Ferrone, May 13] Why is it important that the bread of Eucharist be “bread broken”? What does it tell us about Jesus and about the community that shares his life? Read on.

• Accepting cancer's challenges[RNS, Jeffrey Weiss, May 17] About five months into brain cancer, I’m running into new limits. But they aren’t exactly what I expected. So I’m looking for some meta-advice about how I should react.
   Glioblastoma, aka GBM, is a disease with a median survival of about 15 months. My current odds push my prognosis up to as much as 20 months. Maybe more, maybe less. Thinking about my path to the Egress became a psychological “new normal” pretty much the day after my brain surgery in December.
   But physical challenges surely could have been worse for me at that point. The list of relatively common symptoms to this relatively uncommon cancer includes a variety of losses of basic mental skills and power. Seizures. Paralysis. Loss of the ability to speak. Or see. Or walk. Read on.

• 'American Gods' explores the power of belief – Episode 1[America, Jim McDermott, SJ, May 1] Whether or not some version of the Christ ever ambles on screen, the show’s underlying idea that human belief creates not only power but life (and death)—a concept highlighted in the show’s opening sequence of the first Vikings to arrive in America performing more and more desperate methods of worship to prompt their god’s salvific action—couldn’t be more relevant to the religious and secular landscapes of today. In his recent TED talk (a.k.a. “The World’s Best Grandpa Facetimes From the Library”), Pope Francis made the point that just one person’s hope has the capacity to change everything. “Does hope begin when we have an ‘us’?” he asks. “No. Hope began with one ‘you’. When there is an ‘us’, there begins a revolution.”
   Our current political situation, too, is in many ways a primer in the power of belief (and come to think of it, also disbelief). The boo birds of despair may bemoan what they see to be a growing secularism in the United States, but truly, faith is all around us, just perhaps not in the things we would hope. In such a world, perhaps there is no better vehicle than an audacious, irreverent, hypervisualized television show to bring those dynamics into the light. Read on.

• Wading through the strangeness of 'American Gods' – Episode 2[America, Wyatt Massey, May 11] We are only two episodes into the first season, and we are all going a little mad (in a good way) for “American Gods.”As one of the gods, Mr. Wednesday, tells the character Shadow, “There are bigger sacrifices one might be asked to make than going a little mad.” Each week we are gathering four super fans of the show—two Jesuits and two Jesuit grads—to discuss some of the themes and pull out the central questions. The Starz show, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, is a fascinating trip through the forgotten corners of a fictional America, exploring what happens to the mythical gods who were brought to the country with the beliefs of successive waves of immigrants and slaves. A mix of science fiction, fantasy and mystery, the story explores deep questions about spirituality, identity and power. Read on.

• What is belief? Discussing 'American Gods' – Episode 3 … [America, Wyatt Massey, May 16] Is belief still alive in America? What do we mean when we say “I believe in God” or “I believe in America”? This week’s episode of “American Gods” is a great place to start (but not end) that discussion. Take some time to consider our questions and ask yourself: What do I mean when I say “I believe”? Read on.

• 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.
• The Prayer Site ... a resource of Forward Movement. Here.
• Speaking to the Soul ... Episcopal Café blog. Sermons, reflections, multimedia meditations and excerpts from books on spirituality. Here.

• Spirit Resources
 ... way below.

Columns, Sermons, Reflections, other Spin [• New item  •• Repeat]
• Acting-as-if in trust and hope[Bill Lewellis, The Morning Call, April 29] I served with the late bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Mark Dyer, who used to advise people in the depths of their spiritual dryness to “act as if you believed.” Everyone experiences doubts about the faith at times, said Pope Francis. He did, many times – but such doubts can be “a sign that we want to know God better and more deeply. One who does not ask questions cannot progress either in knowledge or in faith.”
   Letters made public years after the death in 1997 of Mother Teresa revealed that this “living saint” spent nearly 50 years without feeling God’s presence, “neither in her heart or in the eucharist."
   Because I have experienced doubts, dryness and spiritual crises, and continue to do so, even at 80, I find comfort in such admissions from people I admire. Read on in The Morning Call or the newSpin blog.

•• Match your Myers-Briggs type to a patron saint[WaPo] Here.

DioBeth [• New item  •• Repeat]
•• Refugee Ministry: Where is God calling us to respond[Diocese of Bethlehem] Allentown is home to refugees from Eritrea, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burma (Myanmar), who speak Arabic, Kiswahili and multiple Burmese dialects. The Refugee Community Center at Church of the Mediator in Allentown is among the leading organizations responding to their needs. The center, which grew out of an Arabic-English book drive in 2015, offers free community dinners, English as a Second Language classes, discussion groups and prayer. It is both a hub and catalyst for other activities. Read on.

A DioBeth newsletter (General or Leadership) or this newSpin newsletteris published online on Thursdays in the following rotation: (1) Leadership News, (2) The newSpin newsletter, (3) General News, (4) The newSpin newsletter. If you are not receiving these newsletters by email, be in touch with Paula Lapinski (610-691-5655, If you find something online or in print(or if you'd like to write something) that you think might warrant inclusion for the sake of many in the newSpin newsletter, please send the link or your text to

• DioBeth Leadership News, May 11Here.
• The newSpin Newsletter, May 4

DioBeth Parish and Agency Websites
• Allentown: Episcopal HouseHere.
• Allentown: Grace
• Allentown: Grace Montessori SchoolHere.
• Allentown: MediatorHere. Refugee Community CenterHere.
• Allentown/Bethlehem: St. AndrewHere.
• Athens: TrinityHere.
• Bethlehem: Nativity CathedralHere. Emergency ShelterHere.
• Bethlehem: New Bethany MinistriesHere.
• Bethlehem: TrinityHere.
• Bethlehem: Trinity Soup KitchenHere.
• Carbondale: St. James-St. GeorgeHere.
• Clarks Summit/Glenburn: EpiphanyHere.
• Dallas: Prince of Peace … Here.
• Douglassville: St. GabrielHere.
• Easton: TrinityHere.  ARK Soup Kitchen … Here.
• Emmaus: St. MargaretHere.
• Forest City: Christ ChurchHere.
• Hazleton: St. PeterHere.
• Hamlin: St. JohnHere.
• Hellertown: St. GeorgeHere.
• Honesdale: GraceHere.
• Jermyn: St. James/St. GeorgeHere.
• Jim Thorpe: St. Mark/St. JohnHere.
• Kingston: GraceHere.
• Lebanon: St. LukeHere.
• Lehighton: All SaintsHere.
• Milford: Good ShepherdHere.
• Montrose: St. PaulHere.
• Morgantown: St. ThomasHere.
• Moscow: St. MarkHere.
• Mountain Top: St. Martin-in-the-FieldsHere.
• Mount Pocono:Here.
• Nanticoke/Alden Station: St. AndrewHere.
• Nazareth: St. BrigidHere.
• Palmerton: St. JohnHere.
• Pen Argyl: St. JosephHere.
• Pottsville: TrinityHere.
• Reading: Christ ChurchHereSPARKHere.
• Reading: St. Mary:Here.
• Sayre: Redeemer:Here.
• Schuylkill County: North Parish … Here.
• Scranton: St. Luke:Here.
• Sinking Spring: St. AlbanHere.
• Stroudsburg: Christ ChurchHere.
• Towanda: Christ Church … Here.
• Trexlertown: St. AnneHere.
• Tunkhannock: St. PeterHere.
• Whitehall: St. StephenHere.
• Whitehall: St. Stephen SchoolHere.
• Wilkes-Barre: St. Clement/St. PeterHere.
• Wilkes-Barre: St. StephenHere.
• West Pittston: TrinityHere.
• Wind Gap: St. Mary
[Bill] Please let me know if your website is not listed above. Also, let me know if you would like me to highlight something on your site. Please note, also, that a few of the websites need to be updated. Thanks.]

Episcopal/Anglican [• New item  •• Repeat]
• Episcopal Church releases Becoming Beloved Community guide for racial reconciliation efforts[ENS] Following a year of listening, consulting and reflection, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and officers of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies are inviting Episcopalians to study and commit to using “Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice.” Read on. The full document may be read here.

• Anglican Orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position[The Tablet, Christopher Lamb, May 9, h/t Andrew Gerns] One of the Vatican’s top legal minds has opened the way for a revision of the Catholic position on Anglican orders by stressing they should not be written off as “invalid.” In a recently published book, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, calls into question Pope Leo XIII’s 1896 papal bull that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void.” Read on.

• The Toolkit … of the Public Affairs Office is located on the Public Affairs pages of The Episcopal Church website here. Among the items are: Topics – topics of interest and dates of importance. Catalog – a list of important topics along with actions taken by The Episcopal Church and General Convention. Getting started - an easy how-to for getting started in preparing materials, media releases, op-eds, etc. For more information contact Neva Rae Fox, Public Affairs Officer,, 212-716-6080.

• Sermons that work … The Episcopal Church welcomes many different points of view, and sermons offered during an Episcopal service may vary greatly from congregation to congregation. Although there is no “typical” or one-size-fits-all sermon for Episcopal congregations, the sermons in this series are selected for their universal qualities so that they may be useful to a wide variety of small congregations without full-time priests on staff, where lay leaders often shoulder the responsibility of delivering the sermons on Sunday. To assist these small congregations, the Episcopal Church offers Sermons That Work, new sermons each week for Sundays and major feast days throughout the liturgical year. Here.

• Nearly 50% in UK are of no religion[The Guardian] The secularisation of Britain has been thrown into sharp focus by new research showing that for every person brought up in a non-religious household who becomes a churchgoer, 26 people raised as Christians now identify as non-believers. The study also shows that inner London is the most religious area of the country, mainly because of its large Muslim and migrant communities. The least religious areas are the south-east of England, Scotland and Wales. People identifying as non-religious are typically young, white and male – and increasingly working class.

   Christianity in Britain in which Christianity has seen a dramatic decline – although figures suggest a recent bottoming out in recent years. The avowedly non-religious – sometimes known as “nones” – now make up 48.6% of the British population. Anglicans account for 17.1%, Catholics 8.7%, other Christian denominations 17.2% and non-Christian religions 8.4%. Between 1983 and 2015, the proportion of Britons who identify as Christian fell from 55% to 43%, while members of non-Christian religions – principally Muslims and Hindus – quadrupled. There has been a marked growth in “nonverts” – a person who was brought up to practise a religion, but who now identifies as having no religion. More than six in 10 “nones” were brought up as Christians, mainly Anglican or Catholic. Read on.

• Former bishop convicted of automobile manslaughter denied parole[Episcopal news Service, May 9] Former Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook May 9 failed in her parole bid for early release. Cook is serving a seven-year prison sentence for fatally striking a bicyclist on Dec. 27, 2014, while texting and driving drunk, and then leaving the scene. Read on.

• House of Deputies NewsletterMay.

• Weekly bulletin inserts … provide information about the history, music, liturgy, mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church. Here. There's also an archive dating back to 2006.

• Resources … way below.

Evangelism/Stewardship/Church Growth/Migration/ERD  [• New item  •• Repeat]
• Evangelism initiatives … from the Episcopal Church provides an array of evangelism resources. Here.

• The Jesus Movement … webpage is filled with detailed and descriptive information regarding the Jesus Movement including a video from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Here.

• Stewardship of Creation and Eco-JusticeHere.

• Antarctic Dispatches[NYTimes] Miles of ice collapsing into the sea. Four NYTimes journalists joined scientists in Antarctica to understand how ice is moving across the continent and sliding into the sea. The result is a three-part series that uses interactive maps and immersive videos to explore what is happening to Antarctica as the rest of he planet warms. Here.

• Episcopal Migration MinistriesHere.

• Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN)Here.

• Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD)Here

• Resources
 ... way below

In the Media  [• New item  •• Repeat]
Nothing for this issue.

TaleSpin  [• New item  •• Repeat]
• On the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, remembering Martin Luther’s contribution to literacy[RNS]
By demanding everyone read the Bible, Luther helped to provide one of the most effective arguments for universal literacy in the history of Western civilization. Read on.

• Shuning Huang Lewellis … our oldest son Jim's wife, completed the Pittsburgh Marathon May 7, 26.2 miles, 5 hrs 31 mins. It was the first she trained for. Read on.

• A modern day Harriet Tubman[Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes, May 4] She was 4 years old when her aunt’s boyfriend began to abuse her sexually. Then at 14, she had a baby girl, the result of a gang rape. Soon she fell under the control of a violent pimp and began cycling through jails, prisons, addiction and crime for more than 20 years. Yet today, Susan Burton is a national treasure. She leads a nonprofit helping people escape poverty and start over after prison, she’s a powerful advocate for providing drug treatment and ending mass incarceration — and her life story is testimony to the human capacity for resilience and recovery.

   America’s greatest failure in the 21st century may be that far too many children grow up in a twilight zone of poverty, chaos, violence, drugs and failing schools. We can’t afford to help them, we say, and then we spend billions of dollars building prisons to house them. Read on.

• A church closes – but where does its pipe organ go?[USA Today, May 4] The $500,000 instrument is in good condition and free — if you can pay $10,000 to $30,000 to remove it from the old West Nashville TN United Methodist Church and reassemble it. Read on.

Requiescant in pace  [• New item  •• Repeat]
• Dorothy Latham, 87 … died May 11. She was a member of St. Andrew's Church, Allentown/Bethlehem where she participated in the Altar Guild. Obituary.

• Thomas V. Daily, 89[NYTimes] died May 15 in Queens.
Bishop emeritus of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, he raised tens of millions of dollars to repair schools and churches but his last years were marred by criticism of how he had handled the church’s sexual abuse scandals in Boston and Brooklyn.In his first news conference in 1990, Bishop Daily distinguished himself from the more liberal Bishop Mugavero, saying in response to a reporter’s question that he would bar Gov. Mario M. Cuomo from speaking at parish churches in the diocese, which included Mr. Cuomo’s home borough of Queens, because of his position on abortion. The governor had said he supported abortion rights and public funds for abortions for the poor while being privately opposed to abortion. “I find that a contradiction, and I don’t buy that,” the bishop said. “Politicians have to be consistent, especially when it comes to the life issue.”

   In his 13 years overseeing the diocese, Bishop Daily developed a reputation as a genial priest’s bishop who forgave more than $100 million in parish debts, raised $67 million in a capital campaign and consolidated parishes.But the bishop’s legacy was clouded by criticism, coupled with his own second thoughts, about his response to lawsuits by people alleging that they were abused as minors by priests in Brooklyn and especially in Boston. Bishop Daily had been chancellor and vicar general in the Diocese of Boston under two former archbishops, Cardinal Humberto Medeiros and, briefly, Cardinal Medeiros’s successor, Cardinal Bernard F. Law.  It was Bishop Daily who allowed the Rev. John J. Geoghan on a planned two-month sabbatical to Italy before placing him back in the same parish near a family whom Father Geoghan had traumatized. Bishop Daily informed neither law enforcement nor the parish priest of the allegations against Father Geoghan, who became the country’s most notorious example of a predatory priest. Bishop Daily was named as a defendant in dozens of suits filed by people who claimed that Father Geoghan, who was later defrocked, had molested them in his three decades as a priest. In 2002, the Boston archdiocese settled the Geoghan lawsuits for millions of dollars. Read on.

• Eileen O'Neil, 91 … died Dec. 22. She was a member of St. M

• Jonathan Demme, 73the Oscar-winning filmmaker who observed emphatically American characters with a discerning eye, a social conscience and a rock ’n’ roll heart, achieving especially wide acclaim with “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” died April 26 at his home in Manhattan. Read on.

• Cousin Bobby … Demme directed a 1992 documentary, Cousin Bobby, about his cousin Robert Castle, a white Episcopal priest who had served an inner-city church in Harlem for many years, and who died in 2012 at 83. Castle was fairly conventional at an earlier stage of his life. Then came the 1960s and social upheaval, and, for him, a crucial and influential friendship with Isaiah Rowley, a Black Panther leader in Jersey City, N.J. At a time when the Panthers were feared and hated, Castle found Rowley to be a natural leader, sane and inspirational, and gradually the white priest was drawn into circles that were alarming to many members of his congregation. He was once the speaker at an AIDS Memorial held at Nativity Cathedral in Bethlehem. Castle obituary.

“the food at this place is really terrible, and such small portions”

Read more:

“the food at this place is really terrible, and such small portions”

Read more:

Alfred was a member of Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church, Kutztown, where he served as an usher. He was a former member of Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church,

Allentown, where he was a choir member.

- See more at:

[Rectors, senior wardens or family members who would like the death of a parishioner noted here may point me to published obits, or send their own brief notice. Thanks.]

Ecumenism, Interfaith, Pluralism – or Not [• New item  •• Repeat]
• The Episcopal Church … is currently in full communion relationship with the following churches: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Moravian Church of the Northern and Southern Provinces, the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht, the Philippine Independent Church, and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India. Coordinating committees support the implementation of some of these relationships, which involve full mutual recognition of ministries and sacraments. Clergy of these churches may serve in Episcopal churches, and vice versa. We also have warm relationships with the Church of Sweden and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria.

   The Episcopal Church is in active dialogue with three traditions: the Roman Catholic Church through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the United Methodist Church. Our dialogues meet regularly to discuss matters of common concern, doctrinal agreements and disagreements, and possibilities for the emergence of full communion relationships. Each diocese of The Episcopal Church has a designated officer responsible for promoting ecumenical and interreligious conversations on the local level. Canon Maria Tjeltveit of the Church of the Mediator inAllentown is the designated officer for the Diocese of Bethlehem. Read on.

Episcopalians, Methodists propose full-communion agreement
[ENS, Mary Frances Schjonberg, May 17] The proposal, titled “A Gift to the World, Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness,” says it “is an effort to bring our churches into closer partnership in the mission and witness to the love of God and thus labor together for the healing of divisions among Christians and for the well-being of all." Read on.

• Trinity Broadcasting trial begins with accusations of sex, abuse
… [South Orange County Register, May 8] Her father, heir apparent to the Trinity Broadcasting Network empire, was addicted to pornography; she caught her mother performing sex acts on another man, and was encouraged to be promiscuous; and she had several unplanned pregnancies that ended in abortion, attorneys for Trinity said on Monday. Carra Crouch, granddaughter of the late Jan and Paul Crouch, stared straight ahead, fidgeting her foot as Trinity attorney Michael King told the newly-impaneled jury that she did drugs, cut herself and was a deeply troubled youth before that day in April 2006 that she claims changed her life. Carra Crouch, King said, simply seeks Trinity’s money. After five years of dizzying legal maneuvers and thousands of court filings that cleaved the first family of Christian broadcasting to pieces, a trial that promises to brutally air the family’s dirty laundry got under way in Orange County Superior Court. Read on.

•• Khan Academy
… a tour through five major world religions.  • Buddhism,  • Christianity,  • Hinduism,  • Islam,  • Judaism.

•• Khan Academy … an introduction to the Protestant Reformation.

Evangelical Lutheran Church
• ELCA WebsiteHere.
• ELCA News ServiceHere.
• ELCA BlogsHere.

Moravian Church
• Moravian Church in North America

• Moravian Church Northern Province Website
• Moravian Theological Seminary Website.

United Methodist Church

• News Service

• Communication Resources ... Start here.
• Eastern PA Conference website  Here.
• Facebook Here.
• Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog Here.

Presbyterian Church USA
• Website
... Here.

• News & Announcements ... Here.

Roman Catholic
• NJ Cardinal blasts GOP for ignoring immigration reform [RNS, David Gibson, May 17]  Cardinal Joseph Tobin, one of the U.S. Hierarchy's most visible champions for the marginalized, ripped Republicans for "inflicting cruelty on innocent people." Read on.

• The enemy is not the secular world, it is fear[NCR, Editorial] In New Jersey, Cardinal Joseph Tobin wants us to say no to "heartless" deportation policies. In Kansas, Archbishop Joseph Naumann wants us to say no to the Girl Scouts. And to the word "yoga." Read on.

• As Catholic infuence in Ireland wanes, some hope abortion will be legalized … [RNS, May 16] Here.

• Knights of Columbus' financial forms show wealth, infuence … [NCR, Tom Roberts] Here and Here.

• Diocese of Allentown ... Here.

• Diocese of Scranton ... Here.

• Diocese of Scranton sells former Pius X Seminary[Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, May 15, Mark Guydish] For those who may remember … at its peak, Pius X housed 120 men training for priesthood.

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

The Vatican
• Pope says he doubts Medjugorje apparitions are authentic … [RNS, Philip Pullella, May 14] Pope Francis has voiced serious doubt about the authenticity of alleged continuing apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, a once-obscure village in Bosnia where six children first reported visions in 1981. Read on.

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

Health and Wellness [• New item  •• Repeat]
• Resources
… below

Media/Print/Films/TV/Music/Tech [• New item  •• Repeat]
Bono has a message for young Christian artists[HuffPost, May 16] U2 musician Bono has spent years reading and learning from the poetry of the Psalms, a book of the Bible that contains ancient hymns. If there’s one thing Bono has realized from his studies, it’s that art always requires honesty. During a conversation with Fuller Studio, the rock star spoke at length about the intersection of faith and art, particularly art that is produced by Christians. “I would really like this conversation to unlock some artists,” the singer, a devout Christian, said. “Because I think there are trapped artists and I’d like them to be untrapped.” Read on.

• Eleven books[RNS] to read at the beach, at the pool or in the hammock without leaving your brain — or your interest in religion — behind. Read on.

•• Commonweal Spring Books[May 5 issue] Read it here.

•• 80 Books x 2[Esquire] Our list of 80 Books Every Man Should Read,
published several years ago, was rightfully called out for its lack of diversity in both authors and titles. So we invited eight female literary powerhouses to help us create a new list, 80 Books Every Person Should Read.

• You need to see 'A Serious Man' again  … [RNS, Jeffrey Salkin] The three rabbis in A Serious Man are object lessons to rabbis, and to anyone who cares about religious wisdom.
Read on.

Websites, Podcasts and Blogs [•New item  •• Repeat]
• The Episcopal Café
• AnglicansOnlineHere.
• Diocese of BethlehemHere.
• The Episcopal ChurchHere.


newSpin? … I decided years ago to call this newsletter and its related blog newSpin. The "S" in the middle suggests that some items are newS; others, Spin; others, both. Items I include as well as how and how often I present them are clues to my leanings. I think all of us spin. There's a lot more spin in the world of news than most editors own up to. Watch out for that upper case S in the middle. 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, as we experience and dance with the Risen Lord.
   The newSpin newsletter is uploaded to the newSpin blog and posted on a newSpin list of some 2,000 addresses every other Thursday. Many recipients forward it to others. It 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 Bethlehem Episcopalians (if you have joined that interactive FaceBook group).

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]


• Look online every Thursday for a Diocese of Bethlehem newsletter or for newSpin … Every Thursday in the following rotation: (1) The Leadership News, (2) The newSpin newsletter, (3) The General News, (4) The newSpin newsletter. The Leadership News and the General News are official publications of the Diocese of Bethlehem. They include news, info, features and events relating to our diocese and parishes. The newSpin newsletter you are now reading is not an official publication – and will usually not duplicate news, info and features relating to our diocese and parish as found in the official newsletters. It is a relatively lengthy eclectic sampling of items related to religion – at times not, at times not so clearly – that the editor thinks readers might find to be of interest. It has been a kind of hobby of a onetime communication minister, the work of a volunteer who in retirement enjoys and dedicates time to do the research required. The newSpin newsletter is always posted on the newSpin blog. If you wish to receive it by email, please send a note to

• Look online … for the Diocese of Bethlehem Facebook Page, Facebook Group (Bethlehem Episcopalians) and Twitter feed.

• Bethlehem Episcopalians … is a Facebook group for conversations about mission, spirituality, Christian formation, and more that has replaced the old Bakery email list. Bethlehem Episcopalians is an open group. Anyone can join and items that you post can be shared by group members on their own Facebook pages. This offers each of us the opportunity to reach a larger audience with news and conversations about what God is doing in our diocese." Join the Facebook group. Includes more than 400 members.

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 Page  … Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem
Facebook Group … Bethlehem Episcopalians

Center for Congregations ... 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.
Congregational Consulting ...  More information on how to contact the consultants can be found here and at .
• Church locators ... Here.
• ECF Vital Practices ... 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.
• Calendar of events in our parishes ... Here.

• 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 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

Ecumenical/Interfaith Relations

Franklin Graham had a revelation. On Friday, Graham said it has “dawned” on him on how to “fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community.”

His solution: stop doing business with LGBT-friendly companies.

- See more at:

• 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.
• The Prayer Site ... a resource of Forward Movement. Here.
• Speaking to the Soul ... Episcopal Café blog. Sermons, reflections, multimedia meditations and excerpts from books on spirituality. Here.
• The Imitation of Christ ... Available free online.

Evangelism/Stewardship/Church Growth
• Telling the good news, in the media ... [Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson] If the media isn’t telling the stories you want told 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.

• EpiscopalShare ... Here.

• 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 ... Including Diocesan Cycles of Prayer for weekly worship, Holy Women Holy Men, and The Text This Week. Here.

Health and Wellness
• 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.
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

• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project: Daily Religion Headlines ... 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.
• BBC News Online ... here.
• BBC Religion & Ethics ... here.
• Faith in Public Life ... Here.
• Religion&Ethics News Weekly (PBS) ... Here.
• Religion Research Hub ... ARDA, Association of Religion Data Archives, an especially useful site.
• Back issues of the newSpin newsletter ... 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.
• 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.

• Insights into Religion ... Here.
• The Alban Institute ... Here.


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