newSpin, the newsletter
April 5, 2018 – Bill Lewellis
• Bishop Election Walkabouts, April 17-20 … The Rev. Canon Kevin D. Nichols, 56, chief operating officer and canon for mission resources in the Diocese of New Hampshire, and the Rev. Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, 55, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Colorado are the nominees for IX Bishop of Bethlehem. In April, both nominees will visit the diocese for visiting sessions called "walkabouts." During the walkabouts, the bishop nominees will make introductory remarks and hold small group question-and-answer sessions. Members of the diocese are invited to attend any walkabout sessions, and may submit questions for the bishop nominees in advance via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questioners should indicate which walkabout session they plan to attend:
Wednesday, April 18 from 7-9 p.
St. Alban's, Sinking Spring
• Reclaiming Jesus … is as confession of faith in a time of crsis signed on to by many faith leaders incuding Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The following is an excerpt.
I. We believe each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26).
Therefore, we reject the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity.
II. We believe we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28).
Therefore, we reject misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God.
III. We believe how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46)
Therefore, we reject the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34).
IV. We believe that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives.
Therefore, we reject the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life.
V. We believe that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). Therefore, we reject any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it.
VI. We believe Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18).
Therefore, we reject “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. Read all of this confession of faith.
• How Dr. King lived is why he died … [Jesse Jackson, NYTimes, April 3] He mobilized mass action to win a public accommodations bill and the right to vote. He led the Montgomery bus boycott and navigated police terror in Birmingham. He got us over the bloodstained bridge in Selma and survived the rocks and bottles and hatred in Chicago. He globalized our struggle to end the war in Vietnam. How he lived is why he died. Read on. Also, The Atlantic and RNS.
• DioBeth Leadership News, March 15 … Here.
• The newSpin Newsletter, March 22 … Here.
• DioBeth General News, March 29 … Here
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Intersection: Religion, Culture, Politics.
• Mike Pompeo's evangelical zeal could complicate his new diplomatic life … [The Economist, Erasmus March 20] The diplomacy practiced by a global power has to engage with the world’s messy realities. That means that it cannot pretend religion does not matter, nor can it usefully subordinate its own interests to any particular religious agenda. Expediency tends to prevail. Still, even in a Washington, DC, that is used to rude shocks, news of the president’s choice to succeed Mr. Tillerson was met with some alarm. Mike Pompeo, who has hitherto been serving the president as head of the CIA, is a zealous, evangelical Christian accused of Islamophobia.
• MLK's last Sunday sermon is as relevant today as it was in 1968 … “On some positions, cowardice asks the question: Is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question: Is it politic? Vanity asks the question: Is it popular? Conscience asks the question: Is it right?” King said. “There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”
As Christians,, wrote the author of this commentary, we follow a man, Jesus, who never took the easy way out. Jesus did not censor himself for fear of retribution. He challenged the institutional oppression of his day, and calls us to confront the injustices of our own time. Read on.
[Bill] Dr. King delivered his last sermon at the National Cathedral. I don't doubt that some – perhaps many – considered it too political.
• The Second-Most Dangerous American … [George Will] Because John Bolton is five things President Trump is not — intelligent, educated, principled, articulate and experienced — and because of Bolton’s West Wing proximity to a president responsive to the most recent thought he has heard emanating from cable television or an employee, Bolton will soon be the second-most dangerous American. On April 9, he will be the first national security adviser who, upon taking up residence down the hall from the Oval Office, will be suggesting that the United States should seriously consider embarking on war crimes. Read on
• Yes John Bolton really is that dangerous … [NYTimes Editorial Board, March 23] The good thing about John Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, is that he says what he thinks. The bad thing is he says what he thinks. There are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton is to lead the country into war. His selection is a decision that is as alarming as any Mr. Trump has made. His selection, along with the nomination of the hard-line C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, as secretary of state, shows the degree to which Mr. Trump is indulging his worst nationalistic instincts.
• Leaked EPA memo: How to downplay climate change … The Environmental Protection Agency recently sent employees a list of eight approved talking points on climate change from its Office of Public Affairs ― guidelines that promote a message of uncertainty about climate science and gloss over proposed cuts to key adaptation programs.
• Can churches speak? … [Andrew Jungclaus, March 20] A short history of religion, philanthropy, tax law, and political speech in the US. Here. Also, Johnson Amendment remains intact in omnibus spending bill. Here.
• Not enough deep but respectful disagreement in political debate today … [David Leonhardt, NYT, and National Review] The recent discussion between Jamie Weinstein and Ta-Nehisi Coates is a welcome exception. Read on,
• Forgiveness Sunday … [America, March 15, Julie Schumacher Cohen, director of community and government relations at the University of Scranton] On Forgiveness Sunday, we look for the best in the one we forgive and seek to give a charitable interpretation of the other’s intent—what Jesuits call the “plus sign,” in reference to Annotation 22 of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.
In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the season of Lent begins with a “Forgiveness Vespers.” At the end of the service, each member of the community proceeds to the front of the church to exchange with the priest and fellow parishioners—the whole church—a plea of repentance.
One by one, you bow to the person before you and then, coming face to face, you say: “Forgive me!” The other person responds: “God forgives. I forgive.” You then extend your hand and the kiss of peace (or two or three, depending on the parish). And so it goes until each person has asked every other person for forgiveness, and the entire church is encircling the sanctuary. Read on.
• A prayer before anything … [Bill] Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible. Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. Let us pray: Guide us, gracious God. May we be … Attentive to our experience, to the voices and hearts of those around us, Intelligent in our interpretation of that to which we have been attentive. Reasonable in our judgments about what we have understood. Responsible in our decisions about how we will act on our judgments. And always open to inner conversion, to transformation in your truth and your love.
• Choose to be kind over being right … and you'll be right every time,
• Messiah is among you … A famous monastery had fallen on hard times. Its buildings, once filled with young monks and the singing of the chant, were deserted. People no longer came to be nourished by prayer. A handful of old monks shuffled through the cloisters and praised God with heavy hearts.
On the edge of the monastery woods, an old rabbi had built a little hut. He came there from time to time to fast and pray. No one ever spoke with him, but whenever he appeared the word was passed from monk to monk: “The rabbi walks in the woods.” And, for as long as he was there, the monks felt sustained by his prayerful presence.
One day the abbot decided to visit the rabbi and open his heart to him. The rabbi's arms were outstretched in welcome as though he had been waiting for some time.
In the middle of the hut was a wooden table with the Scriptures open on it. The rabbi and abbot sat there for a moment, in the presence of the Book. Then the rabbi began to cry. The abbot began to cry too. For the first time in his life, the abbot cried his heart out.
After the tears had ceased to flow and all was quiet again, the rabbi lifted his head. “You and your brothers are serving God with heavy hearts,” he said. “You have come to ask a teaching of me. I will give you a teaching, but you can only repeat it once. After that, no one must ever say it aloud again.”
The rabbi looked straight at the abbot and said, “Messiah is among you.” For a while, all was silent. Then the rabbi said, “Now you must go.” The abbot left without a word and without ever looking back. The next morning, he called his monks together. He told them he had received a teaching from “the rabbi who walks in the woods” and that this teaching was never again to be spoken aloud. Then he looked at each of his brothers and said, “The rabbi said that one of us is the Messiah.” The monks were startled by this saying. “What could it mean?” they asked themselves. “Is Brother John the Messiah? Or Father Matthew? Or Brother Thomas? Am I the Messiah? What could this mean?” There were all deeply puzzled by the rabbi's teaching. But no one ever mentioned it again.
In those days, the rabbi no longer walked in the woods. His hut had fallen into ruins. But, somehow or other, the old monks who had taken his teaching to heart still felt sustained by his prayerful presence.
• Bidden or unbidden, God is present (Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit) … Commonly attributed to Carl Gustav Jung. My understanding, however, is that Jung discovered it among the Latin writings of Desiderius Erasmus, who declared the statement had been an ancient Spartan proverb. Jung popularized it by having it inscribed over the doorway of his house and upon his tomb.
• A Failure of Empathy … This Twitter thread may make you feel differently about your day. On the way to the gym today, novelist Celeste Ng drove past an elderly lady sitting on the sidewalk. "It's 40 today and it seemed like a weird place to sit," she thought. "I told myself she was probably fine, but I also felt uneasy. So I went back."
• NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar … NBC’s live production of Jesus Christ Superstar was pitched to audiences as a “Live in Concert” version, which led some to expect a straightforward performance of the songs. It turned out to be an inventively staged production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock-and-roll gospel, so passionately imagined that it set a new standard for this type of event. Reviewer Matt Zoller Seitz said it "was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in the 20-plus years I’ve been writing about TV." Read on.
• Prayers and Thanksgivings from the BCP ... Here.
• The (Online) Book of Common Prayer ... Here.
• The Daily Office ... 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 and reflections. Here.
Columns, Sermons, Reflections, other Spin
• The Resurrection isn't an argument – It's the Christian word for defiance … [The Guardian, Giles Fraser, March 31, 2016] The Easter story is who we are, and allows us to push back against the darkness. I know the Church of England is supposed to be dying. And there are those who want to save it with cod management theory and evangelical up-speak. But if we as a church really believe in death and resurrection, then we don’t really need any of that secular sorcery. There has been a priest in my parish continuously since the reign of King John in the early 13th century. Politicians call it resilience. I call it resurrection. Read on.
• God and her (female) clergy … [Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes, March 31] Ever since Eve bit into an apple in the Garden of Eden, God has been rough on women. Or, more precisely, the men who claim to speak on behalf of God have routinely disparaged women or discriminated against them. Male religious leaders declared menstruation ritually unclean and advised in Deuteronomy that when a girl doesn’t bleed on her wedding night “the men of her town shall stone her to death.” Saint Paul orders women to “be in submission” and adds, “It is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church” (some scholars believe that Paul didn’t write that passage, and that it was added later). Over the centuries, it was fine for women to be martyred (or, at times, to be burned as witches), but they were denied the right to become priests, rabbis or ministers. Yet a revolution is unfolding across America and the world, and countless women will be presiding this weekend over Easter and Passover celebrations. In just a few decades, women have come to dominate many seminaries and rabbinical schools and are increasingly taking over the pulpit at congregations across the country. “What we’re seeing before our very eyes is a dramatic shift; in my mind it’s as big as the Protestant Reformation,” says the Rev. Serene Jones, the first woman president of New York City’s Union Theological Seminary — where almost 60 percent of the students are now female. Read on.
• Special Electing Convention and Diocesan Convention Updates … A Special Electing Convention with the sole purpose of electing the IX Bishop of Bethlehem will take place April 28 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity. The new bishop will be ordained and consecrated on September 15 at The First Presbyterian Church, Allentown.
The Diocesan Convention, including the seating of the new bishop, will take place October 12 and 13 at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Allentown Bethlehem Center Valley. Eucharist and the seating will be held at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity. Please note the change of dates and location. The seating will be held during diocesan convention rather than the Sunday morning after the ordination and consecration so that everyone in the diocese has the opportunity to attend.
Certificates of Election of Lay Delegates, who will serve at both the Special Electing Convention and at the Diocesan Convention, were due February 28. Certificates must be completed and sent to the diocesan office through mail, fax or to email@example.com.
Download the Certificate of Election of Lay Delegates (fillable PDF).
• Trinity Bethlehem Artist-in-Residence teaches LCCC students to fly … Aram Basmadjian, Artist-in-Residence at Trinity Bethlehem, was featured in an article in Aspire Magazine. In addition to amazing work which he does at Trinity as organist/choir director, he also serves as the Chief Flight Instructor at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC). This is a quote from the article: “Aram Basmadjian clearly has one of the most experienced and qualified team of flight instructors that I have seen in 15 years of flying.
• DioBeth Leadership News, March 15 … Here.
• The newSpin Newsletter, March 22 … Here.
• DioBeth General News, March 29 … Here
• Interview with Justin Welby … [The Guardian, Rachel Cooke, April 1] The archbishop of Canterbury was raised by an alcoholic and answered God’s call ‘kicking and screaming’. Now, his unorthodox views are at odds with many in his church. Here he talks about his demons and his mission. Read on,
• Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Easter Message … [The Guardian, Rachel Cooke, April 1] It is easy to overlook, and sometimes convenient to forget, that Jesus was executed, Jesus was crucified by an unholy alliance of religion, politics, and economic self-interest … Hatred does not have the last word. Violence does not have the last word. Bigotry does not have the last word. Sin, evil do not have the last word. The last word is God, and God is love. View and/or read.
• Highlights (4 minutes) of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's sermon at the Opening Eucharist of Evangelism Matters … [March 15] View here.
• A new comprehensive Evangelism Toolkit … is available online for congregations, dioceses, groups, and individuals to explore Evangelism.
• Episcopal Migration Ministries … Here.
• Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) … Here.
• Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) … Here.
• Episcopal Asset Map … Here.
• Jesus Died Only to Rise Again. Where Did the Concept of the Resurrection Come From? … [Jon Meacham, NYT, March 30] To many believers — and even to many nonbelievers — the story of Christianity seems monumental and unchanging, the stuff of oft-recited creeds and hymns. It’s essential to appreciate, however, that there was no pre-existing expectation of an atoning messianic human sacrifice in the complex Judaism of the first century. No one was looking for a savior who would suffer, die and rise again to offer redemption from sin and eternal life. On the contrary, the prevailing thought was that a militaristic Davidic figure would emerge to throw off Roman rule and inaugurate what was known as “the kingdom of God,” an era of justice marked by the defeat of evil, a general resurrection of the dead and the restoration of Israel. Before the formation of the Christian story, resurrection within Judaism was less about the rising from the dead of a specific person than about a glorified vision of a triumphant Israel. Read on.
• How the world’s best basketball player became a political force for racial justice … LeBron James is quite possibly the best basketball player who’s ever lived. He has compiled a résumé that rivals any player in the history of the NBA — up to and including Michael Jordan, widely regarded as the greatest player in the sport’s history. But the 33-year-old James is much more than a living sports legend. He is an actor, a media mogul, and a cultural icon. He rose to the top of his sport at the same time that America was forced to confront its systematic violence against black people, especially young black men, and James has taken up that cause as one of the most famous young black men in the nation. He is perhaps the most socially and politically influential athlete since Muhammad Ali. Read on.
• Because our father does … As a Roman Catholic priest in Reading during the mid '60s, I visited a family a few blocks from the church. Mother and three children, about 5 to 15. Father wasn't home. After some introductory conversation, I mentioned that I've never seen them in church. I asked why they did not attend. "Because our father does," the 15-year-old boy said. I was silent. Then the mother said something like this. "My husband is not a good husband to me. He's not a good father to our children. But he goes to church every Sunday. You may have seen him." She asked the children to go into the adjoining room and went into sad detail. For some reason, that suddenly came to mind recently.
• Lehigh Valley agency throws Hail Mary pass to save homeless housing … Probably because we made a 2017 contribution, significant for us, in response to a plea from the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley to help Puerto Ricans flooding the Lehigh Valley, fleeing the devastation of Hurricane Maria, we were on the mailing list for an unusual appeal from CACLV's executive director Alan Jennings.
A uestionable change in HUD regs has put the existence of long-term transitional housing programs such as CACLV's Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown in jeopardy. Jennings' letter wasn't your ordinary "give what you can" approach. Rather, it was a "Hail Mary" pass (inside-baseball talk for football fans). "We need to find that rare person who would be able and willing to contribute a substantial amount of money in order to keep this project going," he said: they needed $60,000 this year, roughly $50,000 next year and $25,000 per year for two or three years after that. "Such a commitment would give us more time to find a more permanent solution," the letter read. I read the letter on Friday and discarded it with an "I wish."
According to Bill White's Morning Call column online, Jennings got an email from a couple who said they were in for the 60 and 50 Then a call from another offering 50 and another offering 30. "It produced a miracle," Jennings told White. "It's the kind of thing that makes you feel good about your community … And it's a pleasure to thumb our noses at HUD once again." More here.
• The Last Frontier for Gay Rights … [WaPo, Tiffany Stanley, April 2] A powerful liberal activist, a rural conservative town and a debate that won’t end.
• The President sang Amazing Grace … [The Atlantic] Joan Baez, the folk singer, remembers the first time she heard “The President Sang Amazing Grace.” At the time, she was driving: “I had to pull over to make sure I heard whose song it was, because I knew I had to sing it.” Watch a new animation of Baez’s rendition of the song.
Requiescant in pace
• Grover N. Keiper, 67 … died March 29. He was a member of St. Luke's Scranton. Obituary
• Sue P. Large, 95 … died Feb. 25. She was an active parishioner at St. Andrew's Allentown/Bethlehem. Obituary.
• Robert Jackson, 75 … died March 24. He was an member of St. Andrew's Allentown/Bethlehem. Obituary.
• Frances Arthofer, a former long time member of the Cathedral. She lived in a retirement care facility near Myerstown, Pennsylvania for many years. Fran was active at the Cathedral, a member of the Altar Guild and the Quilters group.
• Betty Miles, 67 … died March 26. She was an member of Trinity Easton. Obituary.
• Minnie E. White, 88 … died March 23. She was a member of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Emmaus, where she worked as the secretary from 1964 to 1973. Obituary.
• Mary Thiel … died March 5. [Dean Tony Pompa] Mary was one of the longest living members of Nativity Cathedral who in her younger years was devoted to the mission, ministry, and life of this congregation. A true matriarch of love and faithfulness who embodied grace.
• Annamae VanDoren, 99 … died March 17. She was at one time a longtime member of Nativity Cathdral Bethlehem. Obituary.
• Linda J. Ellis, 78 … died on March 6. She was a member of St. Brigid's Nazareth. Obituary.
• P.L. Thibaut Brian, 87 … died April 2. He attended the Church of the Mediator in Allentown and the Church of the Annunciation in Bradenton, FL. Obituary.
• Stephen Hawking, 76 … [CNN March 14] may have been our era's greatest scientist. Read on. To be interred at Westminster Abbey.
• Linda Brown, 75 … died March 25. Remember Brown v. Board of Education? Read on.
Ecumenism, Interfaith, Pluralism – or Not
• The Church of Scientology has launched a TV channel. It's weirdly familiar. … [Vox] Scientology channel's vague "self-help" platitudes and stock-footage-laden graphics tie neatly into the intersection of capitalism and spirituality that has come to define the American religious landscape. Read on,
Evangelical Lutheran Church
• ELCA Website … Here.
• ELCA News Service … Here.
• ELCA Blogs … Here.
• Cute mascot? Beloved grandmother? Sister Jean reveals deeper stereotypes about nuns… [WaPo, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, March 31] In movies such as “The Sound of Music,” “Sister Act,” “Dead Man Walking” and “Doubt,” Hollywood has cycled through different portrayals of the religious figures, such as singing nuns, sexy nuns, serious nuns and lovable nuns. But even fun stereotypes are dangerous, Sullivan said, because they can diminish the many accomplishments of these women. “They’re not adorable mascots,” she said. “They’re women of experience and passion who have fought through some serious battles and emerged stronger than ever.” Read on.
• Diocese of Scranton ... Here.
• Diocese of Allentown ... Here.
• United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ... Here.
• Catholic News Service ... Here.
• Crux Now ... Here.
• Lost in Transition … [Commonweal, Massimo Faggioli, April 3] Communication problems are usually not just communication problems: this is as true at the Vatican as it is anywhere else. The fiasco surrounding Benedict XVI’s letter declining an invitation to write the introduction for a series of volumes on Pope Francis’s theology was more than a PR snafu. It reveals deeper issues in the ongoing transition from the pontificate of Benedict XVI to the pontificate of Francis. Read on.
• Vatican Information Service blog ... Here.
• Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
Health and Wellness
• Health and Salvation: A Parish Nurse in the basement of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Allentown … [March 20, “The Patient Body” is a monthly column by Ann Neumann about issues at the intersection of religion and medicine. This month: Parish Nursing] Deb Gilbert sits at the head of a diagonally placed folding table in a small room. She is surrounded by black garbage bags overflowing with winter coats of every color and style. Gilbert both blends in—she’s wearing head to toe purple—and stands out—she is clean, orderly and perfectly manicured. From each of her earlobes dangles a tiny snowman earring. Outside the door, about 60 homeless men and women mill about in a loose queue, waiting for lunch to be served. The basement smells like winter air, like stale alcohol, like food prepared in large quantities. And like bodies that haven’t been washed today, but maybe yesterday or the day before.
Gilbert is a registered nurse and director of the Parish Nursing/Community Outreach Department of Sacred Heart Health Services, a Catholic hospital founded in 1912 by a monsignor and the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart. Gilbert meets with patients in this coat-filled basement room every week to practice her version of holistic medicine, which is part first aid, part prayer, and part close listening. She is not Catholic, she tells me, so she is able to refer patients to whatever denominational services they desire. “The first question I ask,” Gilbert says of her approach to patients, “is ‘Tell me about your spiritual journey.’” Read on
• The facts about farmed salmon … [NYT] Salmon passed tuna as the most popular fish in the United States. Our doctors have told us to eat more of it; our fitness and diet regimens have put it in heavy menu rotation. The problem is not all salmon is created equal. More than 90 percent of the fresh salmon eaten in this country comes from giant fish farms, and those farms have problems. Big ones. Here are the facts about America’s favorite fish that you should know but perhaps wish you didn’t. Read on.
• Five susrprising reasons to eat more garlic … It helps control blood pressure. It eases inflammation. It makes cold season less miserable. It's good for your joints. It may help you lose weight. Read on.
Film and TV
• PBS film explores how we go gently – or kicking and screaming – into the night … [RNS] Five weeks after she receives her terminal lung cancer diagnosis, Phyllis Tickle is sitting on her porch in Tennessee, talking about death. “I’ve reared my children. I’ve buried my husband. I’ve done the work I think I came to do,” the renowned religious historian says. Then she pauses. “Now I can go.”
81-year-old Tickle’s body was laid to rest three months later — before her longtime friend Helen Whitney, a veteran filmmaker, could interview her a second time for a documentary project. The two-hour film “Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death,” which premieres March 26 on PBS, pushes viewers to confront their own mortality. In the film, Whitney asks nine men and women grappling with death to tell their stories. Read on,
• Spirituality & Film ... Here.
• Spirituality on DVD ... Here.
• Communicate … Your Ministry, including Bill's Communication Biases and Communication-Evangelism. Here.
Media, Print, Music, Tech
• 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.
• The Hive … is a website created by Hillary Raining, rector of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Gladwyne and known to many in the Diocese of Bethlehem where she was ordained. "Based on a model of community and support found in the hive of the honey bee," Hillary writes, "this wellness and spirituality website is for you in your quest to change the world." Here.
• The Episcopal Café … Here.
• AnglicansOnline … Here.
• Diocese of Bethlehem … Here.
• The Episcopal Church … Here.
• Episcopal News Service … Here.
• The Bible for Normal People … Hosted by Peter Enns and Jared Byas. I especially jliked Episode 4 with Richard Rohr
• The Daily … How the news should sound. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by New York Times journalism.
• Invisibilia …Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.
• Today, Explained … Vox's daily explainer podcast — bringing you the biggest news every day with guests, context, radio drama, and more
• Radio Atlantic … Weekly conversations with leading journalists and thinkers to make sense of the history happening all around us.
• Stay Tuned with Preet … Join former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for a podcast about justice and fairness.
• The Axe Files with David Axelrod … Revealing interviews with key figures in the political world.
• Pod Save America … Four former aides to President Obama — Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor — are joined by journalists, politicians, comedians, and activists for a freewheeling conversation about politics, the press and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency.
• Trumpcast … A quasi-daily podcast from Slate chronicling Donald Trump's rise to the presidency and his current administration. With journalists, historians, psychiatrists, and other experts to help explain who this man is and why this is happening, right now, in the United States of America.
• Freakonomics Radio … Stephen Dubner has surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt.
• Things Not Seen … is an independent radio show and podcast that features in-depth interviews with nationally recognized guests. Each week, we welcome authors, musicians, politicians, filmmakers, and more. "We take faith seriously, and our guests do, too."
• The Francis Effect … is about the real world of politics and current events, seen through the lens of Catholic teaching and spirituality. Hosts, Fr. Dan Horan and David Dault, both have doctorates in theology. Dan is a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest. David is a radio producer and Catholic convert.
Abbreviations of Sources
AM … America Magazine
AO … Anglicans Online
AP … Associated Press
BCP … Book of Common Prayer
CJR … Columbia Journalism Review
COM … Commonweal
CN… Crux Now
CNS … Catholic News Service
DoB… Diocese of Bethlehem
EC … Episcopal Café
ENS … Episcopal News Service
ERD … Episcopal Relief & Development
MC … Morning Call, Allentown
NCR … National Catholic Reporter
NYM … New York Magazine
NYT … New York Times
R&P … Religion&Politics
RNS … Religion News Service
TA … The Atlantic
TEC … The Episcopal Church
TLC … The Living Church
TNY … The New Yorker
WaPo … Washington Post
WSJ … Wall Street Journal
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, the Canon to the Ordinary 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]
Selected Posts from Past newSpin Newsletters that may still be of interest
• For the Poor and the Neglected … [BCP] Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
• The Serenity Prayer … God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful worldas it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-716-6080. THERE'S A NEW TOOLKIT
• 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 on'e-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.
• 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.
• 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 in Allentown is the designated officer for the Diocese of Bethlehem. Read on.