The newSpin newsletter
November 19, 2014
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Last month, I wrote to you about our need to reduce the diocesan operations budget, make the staff structure more sustainable, and focus our work more fully on creating vital congregations. Today I am pleased to tell you that the Ven. Rick Cluett, archdeacon emeritus, has agreed to assist me in this work by returning for a time to the post from which he retired a decade ago. I am grateful for his dedication to our diocese and his willingness to serve.
Because Rick is retired and receiving health coverage and other benefits from the Church Pension Fund, he will be able to serve full time as archdeacon for approximately half of the cost normally associated with this position. As archdeacon, he will assist me in a variety of ways, including serving as the diocese’s chief of staff, advising about the development and implementation of diocesan policies and programs, visiting and worship with congregations to support their ministry and mission, and assisting clergy in their ministry. He begins his new position on November 20.
Before serving as archdeacon from 1984-2004, Rick served as rector of St. Margaret’s Church in Emmaus and in parishes in New York and Maryland. Since his retirement, he has served as chaplain to retired clergy and families and as the bishop’s representative for world mission. He was interim dean of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in 2005-6. In the wider church, he has been deputy to the Presiding Bishop for reorganizing dioceses, a conference leader and consultant for CREDO Institute, and project manager of Strength for the Journey, a program that assisted dioceses that were reorganizing after their bishops and many clergy departed the Episcopal Church. He is a graduate of Hobart College and Virginia Theological Seminary.
Since I talked with you at convention about the need to reduce the budget, diocesan staff members have already begun to identify potential cost savings, streamline workflow and technology, and improve business practices. I expect to write to you again by the end of 2014 to tell you more about which staff members will handle existing and new programs, initiatives, and administrative functions.
Advent is nearly upon us, and with it comes a sense of holy anticipation at what God has in store for us and for our ministry here in the Diocese of Bethlehem. My prayers are with Rick, with all of our staff and leaders who are working to build a sustainable future, and with all of you and your commitment to our shared ministry. In Christ, Bishop Sean Rowe
• In Memoriam: Bishop Mark Dyer, 1930-2014 … A letter from Bishop Sean Rowe to the people of the Diocese of Bethlehem is available at our website, with a photo of Bishop Mark who served as bishop in our diocese from 1982 to 1995. An excerpt: Those of us who had the privilege of sitting at his feet as students caught a glimpse of what it must have been like to sit at the feet of Jesus. Bishop Mark served each of us in different ways. For me, he was a pastor, mentor, spiritual director, exemplar, and friend. He exercised the episcopate with a particular grace and equanimity that can only be evidenced by a life centered in Jesus Christ, and one of the great privileges of my episcopate is to occupy the seat he once held with the support of his prayers and blessings. Find obituary by Diocese of Bethlehem here. Find obituary by Episcopal News Service here.
• 'I don't dwell on fear' says Winnie Romeril either of working in a helicopter or in a country with Ebola … [Express-Times, Tony Rhodin] "Stay safe and don't get Ebola." That's the advice family and friends offer Winnie Romeril, a 1985 Moravian Academy graduate who grew up with four brothers on Center City Bethlehem's West Market Street, the daughter of Bethlehem Steel Corp. engineer Robert Romeril and the Rev. Gwendolyn Romeril.The 47-year-old Mount Holyoke College and University of Notre Dame graduate's life in upstate New York is not without risk. She's a flight paramedic for Mercy Flight Central, near where she lives with her husband, David Schenck. But until January, Romeril will serve as a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone -- one of three West African countries at ground zero of the Ebola outbreak.She arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in mid-October. Read on.
[Bill] While growing up in Bethlehem, Winnie was a youth group leader in an Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem program. "She has been living out of the Isaiah passage for some years now," Mother Romeril says, "and where the need is greatest, she always answers the call. Winnie continues to inspire me and us, the way she lives the gospel, with complete obedience to her God. I am in awe as a parent and priest, as I try to do my small bit in my corner of the Vineyard. Bob and I honor her choices. Bob reminds me often, that 'Her call is as clear as yours, but it has no labels.' Follow Winnie on her Facebook page.
• Ebola doctor dies … [Religion News Roundup] Dr. Martin Salia, a U.S. resident, died at a hospital in Nebraska Monday. The doctor, who had contracted Ebola treating patients in his native Sierra Leone, had originally tested negative for Ebola, likely after he had been infected but when his viral load was low, medical experts speculate. The White House responded to Salia’s death: “He viewed this vocation as his calling, telling his fellow United Methodist Church members that he pursued medicine not because he wanted to, but because he firmly believed it was God’s will for him.”
• A priest is a priest is a priest and a person is a person is a person ... [Andrew Gerns] Among the things that changed yesterday (Nov. 17) when Parliament and the Queen cleared away the final hurdles to women being consecrated as Bishops in the Church of England is that apparently any lingering doubts about the validity of the orders conferred by women bishops in other parts of the Anglican communion has been resolved. As of today, in the CofE, a priest is a priest is a priest. And that's important because it means that the Church is that much closer to teaching that a person is a person is a person. I blog about this here.
• The Church of England overturned centuries of tradition … [NYTimes] on Monday with a final vote allowing women to become bishops, with the first appointments possible by Christmas. Approval of the historic change, which was first agreed to in July, was announced after a largely symbolic show of hands at the General Synod, the lawmaking body of the Church of England. The British Parliament supported the measure last month. “Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together,” the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, said after the vote. Two decades after the first female priest was ordained, the issue of women taking senior roles in the church hierarchy remains divisive. As recently as 2012, the proposal had been defeated by six votes.But Archbishop Welby, the spiritual leader of the church and the global Anglican Communion, who supported the vote from the start, had warned fellow church leaders this year that the public would find the exclusion of women “almost incomprehensible.” On Monday, however, he acknowledged that a split in the worldwide Anglican community was now a serious possibility. “Without prayer and repentance, it is hard to see how we can avoid some serious fractures,” he said … Archbishop Welby predicted after Monday’s vote that half the Church of England’s bishops could be women within a decade, which would mean that about 50 dioceses could be led by women. Read on. RNS story here. At Episcopal Café, here. BBC story here.
• Goodbye Communion? … [The Economist] This week was the moment when the archbishop of Canterbury finally acknowledged that the Anglican Communion may be impossible to hold together. The division between (roughly speaking) northern and especially North American liberals, and traditionalists whose biggest stronghold is Africa, has become or is about to become unmanageable. As the archbishop implied, the split is mainly but not purely over same-sex relations. At one end of the spectrum, the Episcopal Church of the United States has consecrated an openly lesbian bishop; at the other end, African bishops have supported harsh anti-gay laws. By comparison with same-sex relations, the issue of female clergy and bishops is not especially divisive, though Nigeria stands out as a large Anglican province where women are not ordained to any clerical rank. But developing-world conservatives are also dismayed when their northern colleagues make liberal theological noises—by suggesting, for example, that Jesus Christ might not offer the only path to salvation.
In his latest speech, Archbishop Welby acknowledged for the first time that the Lambeth conference—a once-in-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops—might never happen again. Nor, he made clear, was it even certain whether the basis existed for convening another "primates' meeting"—a global gathering of slightly lesser status which would normally take place every couple of years. In any case, he was no longer prepared to take sole responsibility for deciding such matters; instead there should be a "collegial model of leadership" with Anglican leaders from around the world deciding which meetings were worthwhile. Read on.
• President plans to change immigration policy ... [Episcopal Café] SpiritSpin
• Six popular Christian sayings that are not true ... [OnFaith] Here.
• 10 things … [On Faith: Fr. James Martin, SJ] I wish everyone knew about Jesus. Read on.
• Advent resources from the Episcopal Church …Here.
Carl Sagan was special.
More than a popularizer of science, more than an educator and scholar, Sagan—born on this day (Nov. 9) in 1934—was able to convey the wonder and magnificence of the universe in ways most scientists and teachers cannot.
I think that was because of his approach to science. For Sagan, science was not just a technical pursuit, nor was it simply about the discovery of new facts.
Rather, it was a profound spiritual enterprise which had much to say about human beings, our ethical responsibilities toward each other, and our role in the cosmos.
In The Varieties of Scientific Experience, Sagan wrote: “I would suggest that science is, at least in my part, informed worship.”- See more at: http://chrisstedman.religionnews.com/2014/11/09/atheists-carl-sagan-lead/#sthash.XXbX7XsJ.dpuf
• Resources ... Here.
• Florida priest cited for feeding homeless wants his day in court … [ENS] A Florida priest who was issued a criminal citation for feeding homeless residents in a local park is fighting back. “I am suing the city of Fort Lauderdale for the right to continue to feed the homeless on city streets,” according to the Rev. Canon Mark H. Sims, rector of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs. Sims told the Episcopal News Service Nov. 13 that he has hired local attorneys Bill Scherer, a well-known trial lawyer, and Bruce Rogow, a constitutional lawyer who teaches at Nova Southeastern University, to defend him “in court against a criminal citation I was issued. “I want to fight the constitutionality of the ordinance that was passed. As someone issued a citation I have standing and I’m going to use that opportunity.” Scherer told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel that the city ordinance, passed Oct. 31, which bans feeding of homeless in public places, is unconstitutional and discriminatory. Read on.
• Court rejects atheists' demand to end tax break for clergy housing … [RNS] A federal court of appeals rejected a case brought by an atheist organization that would have declared tax-exempt clergy housing allowances—often a large chunk of a pastor’s compensation—unconstitutional. Read on.
• Don't call the Episcopal Church in Minnesots 'the Diocese' ... [Episcopal Café via ENS] Episcopal News Service has a story on the two new deans for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, installed in its two historic cathedrals within nine days of each other, in the midst of change in focus. Read on.
• In RC Chicago ... [Religion News Roundup] Blase Cupich has officially become the archbishop of Chicago, succeeding Cardinal Francis George … Cupich, much more in the model of Pope Francis than his conservative predecessor, outlined his agenda in a homily, saying he wanted to push for immigration reform, ameliorate gang violence and help the poor. Here’s Michael O’Loughlin’s take on the new archbishop’s plans. Also, Vatican's New Tone Gains a Voice in Chicago … [NYTimes, Laurie Goodstein] Blase J. Cupich of Chicago took his seat as archbishop in the nation's third-largest Catholic archdiocese, part of the pope's effort to reshape church leadership. Read on.
• Diocesan staff email ... [Adam Bond] Diocesan staff email has migrated to Google Apps for Nonprofits. There shouldn’t be any issues with staff sending or receiving emails. The new email addresses are: Adam Bond, email@example.com; Anne Kitch, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill Lewellis, email@example.com; Bruce Reiner, firstname.lastname@example.org; Cindy Bakos, email@example.com; Dan Charney, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ellyn Siftar, email@example.com; Jane Teter, firstname.lastname@example.org; Nanette Smith, email@example.com. You will also be able to send undesignated messages (To Whom It May Concerns) to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you send an email accidentally to the older format email@example.com, it will continue to be delivered, so, don’t sweat it. Please be patient if there are any hiccups — nothing is truly failsafe — in staff receiving your emails, we will resolve them as quickly as possible.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem … Canon Anne Kitch's newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources for the Diocese of Bethlehem. November.
• Living out the Gospel/The New Hope Campaign ... [Charlie Barebo] The New Hope C
• Resources ... Here.
• Congregational Renewal Grants … are due November 20. Mail completed applications to Diocesan House. Download Congr Dev App 2015
• UTO Grant Applications ... [Cathy Bailey] Find the 2015 United Thank Offering grant information along with How to Write a Grant here or here. Contact Cathy Bailey, firstname.lastname@example.org, Diocesan UTO Coordinator, if you have any questions or need assistance.
• Free Welcome Posters, customized for your church … Jenifer Gamber has produced a set of seven welcome posters for churches based on the liturgical seasons. Sets are customized by church name and available free as a downloadable pdf file at www.myfaithmylife.org. These full-color, 11" x 17" posters can be printed in-house or by your local printer for a modest cost. This year's series features the photography of Episcopal Christian educator Fran Woodruff who blogs at on the chancel steps. If your church name is not represented at Jenifer's website, you may request a set by emailing Jenifer at email@example.com. Please put “Liturgical Posters” in the subject line.
Jenifer is the Director of Christian Formation at St. Anne's in Trexlertown and serves the wider church as author, consultant, and presenter. Her first book My Faith, My Life: A Teen's Guide to the Episcopal Church is used widely to prepare youth for confirmation. A revised version along with a leaders guide was released in September 2014. She is co-author with Bill Lewellis of Your Faith, Your Life: An Invitation to the Episcopal Church. Her website, www.myfaithmylife.org, also provides resources for the ministry of Christian formation with children, youth, and adults.
• Recovery Eucharist in Mountain Top ... [Janeann Lokken, 570-868-6895] St. Martin in the Fields will be celebrating a special Holy Eucharist Rite 2 on November 23rd at 10 am to celebrate recovery from any kind of addiction. All are welcome. This is part of the Recovery Sunday events the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church will be holding. Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church is an independent, nationwide network of Episcopal laity and clergy, dioceses and parishes, schools, agencies, and other institutions - all with a common commitment to address the effects of addiction, in all its forms, in relation to the church's mission.
• Send me, bill@diobethorg, links to your parish's Facebook, Newsletter, Website, Weekly newsletter, Twitter, whatever, if you would like to have them occasionally listed here. Thanks,
• Resources ... Here.
Columns, Sermons, Reflections and other Spin
• On Episcopal argumentation and Advantage Seeking Invocations of Friedman … [Bill] Anyone who has ever invoked the name of Rabbi Friedman might enjoy this witty truth from Jim Naughton at Episcopal Café.
• Can commerce and religion go their separate ways this Christmas? ... [Tom Ehrich, RNS] Shortly after Halloween, with hardly a nod to Thanksgiving, stores and advertisers began going full-bore on the supposed “Christmas package,” namely, gift-giving, family fun, decorating and entertaining. It’s sad — this annual effort to derive profits from a facsimile of a 1950s Christmas — but other things are a lot sadder: an elusive economic recovery, continuing gun violence, racial violence, religious extremism, mounting rage and intolerance at home and echoes of the Cold War in Europe. Let commerce tread the line between gauche and tacky — merchants have salaries and suppliers to pay, after all. We have a troubled world to care about. The path to that care doesn’t go by way of Wal-Mart or Budweiser. It is God’s path, and it goes by way of anticipation, promises, prophetic vision, a birth, a life, a death, and over all of it a sustaining grace that cares little for our seasonal receipts but cares intensely about our lives. Read on.
• You've met the ‘nones.’ Now meet the ‘dones’ … [Baptist News Global] The ‘dones’ are those Christians who consider themselves faithful to God but are turned off by the institutional aspects of church -- and they just quit going. It figures. Just as churches, seminaries and congregational consultants were wrapping their heads around the concept of “the nones” in religious life, yet another term emerges for yet another category of Americans abandoning the church: “the dones.”
The first group denotes the growing number of Americans with no religion affiliation. “Nones,” which may represent as much as 38 percent of the U.S. population, also are known for generally having had no or very little in the way of religious upbringing. But sociologists, church historians and congregational coaches have realized for a while that another subset of Americans are answering “none” on surveys about religious affiliations: Those who have grown up in the church and remained active in adulthood — at least until getting tired of church life.
They’ve been included in other names created by researchers, including the “unchurched” and the “de-churched.” They’ve been the target of evangelistic efforts now and then, but the newer term, “dones,” captures a fact about them that other monikers didn’t: they’re finished — and most likely for good. Read on.
People from our diocese and parishes in the media
Nothing to report.
• 2014-2015 Diocesan Youth Events ... Here.
• Resources ... Here.
• Church giving won't rise unless pastors embrace Jesus' teachings on poor, report says … [RNS] Christian researchers tracking decades of decline in charitable giving say the trend will not be reversed until pastors challenge congregants to embrace Jesus’ teachings on the poor. But that, says Sylvia Ronsvalle, one of the authors of the annual “Empty Tomb” reports on Christian giving, will take a different kind of pastor than the counselors and comforters that seminaries and divinity schools have trained for ministry.Seminaries instead need to school future clergy on the affluence of American congregations, and remind church members of “God’s agenda to love a hurting world,” the report said. Read on.
• Five churchy phrases that are scaring off millennials ... [FaithStreet] Here.
• What evangelism is and isn't … [Jim Naughon, for Diocese of Chicago] Author Sara Miles, who has written deeply personal books on her conversion to Christianity and her ministry in poor communities in San Francisco, will be talking about listening when she gives the keynote speech at the diocese’s convention on November 21 at the Westin Hotel in Lombard. “I am really interested in talking about evangelism and what evangelism is and isn’t,” says the author of City of God, Take this Bread, and Jesus Freak. “The short version is that evangelism is about listening; it is not necessarily about telling. It is about listening to people’s stories and really paying attention to how others’ experiences of God are part of a larger story. “It is about training ourselves to engage in a midrash on our own lives and to do that in a way that is honest, that is not looking for a moral, that is not looking for a solution, that is not looking for ‘Aha! I have found the theme of this essay.’ That’s not story telling. That’s bad English class.” Read on.
• The Ice-Bucket Racket ... [NYTimes Magazine] Ever since the ice-bucket challenge swept the Internet this summer, raising more than $115 million for A.L.S. research, a legion of imitators has sprung up to try and cash in themselves. In the approaching holiday season, as fund-raising appeals swell, we can now smash a pie in our faces, snap selfies first thing in the morning or take a photo of ourselves grabbing our crotches, among other tasteful gestures, to express solidarity with various worthy causes. But the failure of these newer gimmicks to enjoy anywhere near the same popularity as the frigid original demonstrates the peculiar and finicky nature of our altruism — a psychological puzzle that both scientists and economists are trying to decipher. Read on.
• One in five Americans … share their faith online in a typical week. Read the new survey from the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel.
• Resources ... Here.
Rest in Peace
• Bishop J. Mark Dyer, 84 ... died November 11, 2014. He served as Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem from 1982 to 1995. See above, under TopSpin. Bishop Dyer's funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. Nov. 20 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Va. Committal will be in the Chapel Garden (at VTS) at 2:00 p.m., followed by a reception in the Deanery. The Diocese of Bethlehem has arranged with the Dyer family to hold a memorial service at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in the near future, at time convenient to them. We will keep you informed of those plans.
• Richard Neunzig ... [Dean Tony Pompa] Long time and beloved Nativity Cathedral parishioner Richard (Dick) Neunzig died unexpectedly, Thursday November 7, 2014. Dick recently moved to Shermon, Connecticut to live with his son James, his wife Kara, and their children. Dick was a long time and very faithful part of this Cathedral community. His wife Judy died three-years ago on November 3.
• Resources ... Here.
• Originality is undetected plagiarism … Quote, William Ralph Inge, who was an English author, Anglican priest, professor of divinity at Cambridge, and Dean of St Paul's Cathedral.
• Called to ordination in the hinterlands of the holy … [Daily Episcopalian] Residential seminary experience may be the norm in clergy formation, but it's equally as important that some be formed in the border country. Read on.
• St. Mark's Moscow … is in need of an organist and/or pianist. Even a part timer would be helpful. If you know of someone please contact Father Earl Trygar. firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Trinity Mt. Pocono, PA is seeking an organist/choirmaster with a diverse musical background. Send cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
• West Side Moravian Church in Bethlehem … The West Side Moravian Church is seeking and administrative assistant to manage the office of the church. Looking for a pleasant, organized and motivated person to greet the public, prepare bulletins and newsletters, creates printed material, maintain data, works with accounts payables, payrolls and provide accounting. Strong computer skills required with Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher experience. The candidate will also need to maintain the church’s social media outreach. 20-25 hours/week, hourly rate based on experience. Knowledge of church dynamics and administration helpful. Email resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail resume to Personal Committee, West Side Moravian Church, 402 Third Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18018.
• Episcopal Positions (NYC/DC) ... Here.
Ecumenism and Interfaith
Evangelical Lutheran Church
• Resources ... Here.
• The John Dominic Crossan lecture … [Bruce Marold] was a huge success as the fifth annual Marold Lecture Series scholar. Here is a dispatch from Prossor Auditorium on some high points: Getting some trivialities out of the way first, this may have been the best attended lecture so far, beating out both A-J Levine last year and Bart Ehrman the first year. I saw hardly a dozen empty seats in Prossor Auditorium, plus many people in the Moravian Southern Province, who saw it telecast live.
Crossan's two lectures were on Jesus and Paul, and a common theme was that one can avoid a lot of foolish ideas by actually reading the Bible. Coming from a Catholic, that seems like a remarkably Lutheran point of view.
One of Crossan's "big ideas" was that contrary to what the Muslims say when they combine themselves with Jews and Christians as "People of the Book", we are people of Jesus. We revere Jesus as the model of justice God would like us to spread in this world, toward the objective of eliminating violence. An even bigger idea for Jesus and "end time things" is the notion of "participatory eschatology". Per Jesus, God is a God of peace, and it is up to us to see that peace becomes a reality in our lives and in the world.
In discussions after the lectures, Crossan agreed that this is not a new idea, and that it appears as early as the first chapters of Genesis. Also in after lecture discussions, Dr. Walter Wagner and I both felt he was not entirely fair to the Gospel of John on one or two points. His take on Paul was fascinating, in that he divides the 13 letters attributed to Paul to belong to the "revolutionary Paul" (7 genuine), conservative Paul (Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians) and reactionary Paul (1,2 Timothy, Titus.) Reactionary Paul literally disagreed with Paul of Romans and Galatians. I will relay more when I get a DVD of the lectures.
• Resources ... Here.
United Methodist Church
• Resources ... Here.
Presbyterian Church USA
• Resources ... Here.
• Hypoallergenic incense and low-gluten hosts … [NCR via Diocese of Allentown] Frankincense -- the incense traditionally burned in religious ceremonies -- can act on the brain to lower anxiety and diminish depression. It also can deeply affect people with respiratory problems and cause coughing fits and force them out of church to seek fresh air … Celiac causes the body to attack the lining of the small intestine and other organs when certain proteins found in the cereal grains of wheat, rye, and barley are ingested. The autoimmune condition is estimated to affect one in 133 people in the nation. Read on.
• Pope Francis challenges the faithful ... [Michael Gerson, WaPo column] As a Protestant, I have no particular insight into the internal theological debates of Catholicism. But the participants seem to inhabit different universes. One side (understandably) wants to shore up the certainties of an institution under siege. Francis begins from a different point: a pastoral passion to meet people where they are — to recognize some good, even in their brokenness, and to call them to something better. That something better is not membership in a stable institution, or even the comforts of ethical religion; it is a relationship with Jesus, from which all else follows. Instead of being a participant in a cultural battle, Francis says, “I see the church as a field hospital after battle.” First you sew up the suffering (which, incidentally, includes all of us). “Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds.” The temptation, in his view, is to turn faith into ideology. “The faith passes,” he recently said, “through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus; in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. . . . The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.” Read on.
• Pope Francis and the GOP's bad science … [The New Yorker] Here.
• Right-to-die advocate's mom blasts Vatican remarks ... [Crux] Brittany Maynard’s mother is responding angrily to criticism from the Vatican of Maynard’s decision to end her life early under an Oregon law written to let terminally ill patients die on their own terms. Days after Maynard’s Nov. 1 death at age 29, the Vatican’s top bioethics official called her choice “reprehensible” and said physician-assisted suicide should be condemned. Maynard’s mother, Debbie Ziegler, issued a sharp written response Tuesday. She said the comments from Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, came as the family was grieving and were “more than a slap in the face." Her response was made through Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that Maynard worked with in her last days. Maynard suffered from terminal brain cancer and in the spring was given six months to live. She moved to Oregon from Northern California with her husband and parents because Oregon allows terminally ill patients to die using lethal medications prescribed by a doctor. Maynard used her story to speak out for the right of the terminally ill to end their lives on their own terms. A media campaign by her and Compassion & Choices sparked a national conversation. Read on.
• Pope Francis to build showers for homeless in St. Peter's Square … [RNS] In his latest bid to ease the suffering of the poor, Pope Francis plans to build showers for the homeless under the sweeping white colonnade of St. Peter's Square. Read on.
• Tips for Obamacare health insurance shopping … [nextavenue, PBS] Here. Also, at healthcare.gov, explore health insurance options so you can sign up for a plan. Once you've done that - then what? This video series from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will help you make the most of your coverage with: •Policy Tips, •Help finding a Provider, •Information on preparing for your first doctor visit, •Words and terms to know, •Ways to live a long and healthy life.
• C'mon, get your Flu shot ... Info from the CDC Here and Here. A lot of good info also at flu.gov.
• Four-part series by Morning Call journalists about health-care superutilizers … [Bill] Over the past four days, The Morning Call published a four-part series on medical super-utilizers that might well be of interest to those beyond the Lehigh Valley. Super-utilizers, as defined for this series, generally are patients who are among the top 1 percent based on their health-care expenses, not including trauma victims or patients who require regular, expensive care such as chemotherapy. They often have multiple poorly managed chronic and behavioral health illnesses, lack social support and are frequent users of hospital emergency departments. Because their health needs are so complex and their care uncoordinated, these patients frequently require expensive hospitalizations.In 2010, "super-utlizers," or the top 1 percent of patients as ranked by health-care expenses, accounted for 21.4 percent of total health-care spending. Their average annual health-care expenditure was $87,570. The top 5 percent of patients ranked by health-care expenses accounted for 50 percent of total health-care spending. The average annual health-care expenditure was $40,876. Part 1: Health-care superusers overload hospital ERs. Part 2: Allentown team gives patients much more than medicine. Part 3: Reforming EMS to keep people at home. Part 4: Keeping people out of hospitals make system healthier.
• Resources ... Here.
• Resources ... Here.
As soon as the newSpin newsletter is completed, usually by Tuesday, it is uploaded to the newSpin blog and posted on Bakery and on other diocesan lists of nearly 4,000 addresses. Many recipients often forward it to others. The newsletter comes, of course, with some spin from the editor. The views expressed, implied or inferred in items or links contained in the newsletter or the blog do not represent the official view of the Diocese of Bethlehem unless expressed by or forwarded from the Bishop, the Standing Committee or the Archdeacon as an official communication. If you're wondering why you haven't seen something related to your parish or agency here, it's likely that no one has sent relevant info. If you think something about your parish or agency merits inclusion, send email to Bill. Comments are welcome on Bakery (if you are subscribed to that interactive list) anf 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]