Religion Briefs: Bishop Spong to Give Talk Sunday in Bradford

John Shelby Spong, a retired Episcopal Bishop and liberal theologian who has challenged literal interpretations of Bible texts, will speak in Bradford, Vt., on Sunday at the Bradford Congregational Church.

His 2 p.m. talk titled “A New Christianity for a New World,” is free and open to the public. A question-and- answer session will follow.

Spong’s books have sold more than a million copies, with titles such as Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, A New Christianity for a New World, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and Here I Stand. “I am a believer who knows and loves the Bible deeply,’’ he has said. “But I also recognize that parts of it have been used to undergird prejudices and to mask violence.”

The announcement about his talk said he promotes an inclusive faith. He is described as a strong proponent of feminism, gay rights and racial equality in the church and society at large. Spong retired in 2001 as Episcopal Bishop of Newark.

For information about the event, call Karen Lipincyzk at 802-222-4610.

Dartmouth Names
New Director

The Rev. Nancy A.G. Vogele has been named director of religious and spiritual life at the Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College.

A 1985 Dartmouth grad, Vogele was most recently pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in White River Junction, where she served for more than a decade. In her new role, she will coordinate the 25 groups that make up the United Campus Ministers, and will work with the foundation’s multi-faith council, Rollins Chapel ecumenical worship services, faith and service activities, and more. She said she hopes to “help foster ethical discussions and ethical decisions so that students have a good basis for that when they graduate.’’

At St. Paul’s Church, Vogele was chair of the Dismantling Racism Commission for the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, an officer in the United Valley Interfaith Project, and helped lead her church’s Hurricane Irene community recovery efforts.

“A Radical Call”

A plastic surgeon who gave up his private practice to take up ministries in Africa and Europe will speak Sunday at noon at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hanover.

Dr. Tertius Venter will speak on “Serving the Poor, the Broken Hearted, and the Captive — The Radical Call to Follow Jesus.” He works with “Mercy Ships’’ that provide care on the west coast of Africa, and also spends three months a year “with a message of God’s love’’ for those in the sex trade in the Netherlands.

The talk is scheduled to last from noon to 1 p.m. Information about Venter is available on his website,

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