A Letter from Bishop John Shelby Spong

This is a letter circulated by ProgressiveChristianity.org following Bishop Spong's 90th birthday

My Dear Friends,

Please accept my sincere thanks for the cards and letters sent to me on the occasion of my 90th birthday. I experienced the joy of reliving moments of my life in reading them. They were more than 500 in number and came from every continent of this earth except for the Arctic and Antarctic regions! I read them with joy. I soon realized that I could never respond to them individually, so I hope you can accept this communication.

Many of you asked for an update on my health. I had the stroke on September 12, 2016 in Marquette, Michigan, where I was lecturing. The right side of my body was paralyzed. I could not walk nor use my right arm or hand. Fortunately that did not last and by a host of physical therapies, I can today walk (with a cane) and I can use every part of my body save my right hand. It feels asleep all the time. I can not write in a legible fashion and
cannot even sign a check. It is a stage of life that seemed strange at first -- not able to write even a letter, but I have accepted my limitation and I live in the love of my wife Christine and my daughters and grandchildren.

A number of you inquired about my last book Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today. It was due at Harper/Collins on December 31, 2016. I had yet to do the task of writing the conclusion and doing the editorial work that separates the wheat from the chaff! Not being able to write legibly was a problem. I dictated the final chapters to my wife and she typed them and we edited it together. We got it in on the deadline and it was published in 2018! The downside came when I could not go on tour with the book. We had already stated that this was the final book of my career. I hope it was a fitting conclusion. It has had to grow by word of mouth, but that is not all bad. I am proud of it! I feel completed. Thanks for asking.

Sincerely yours,

John S. (Jack) Spong

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