An update from the Diocese of Newark’s Facebook page:

Many thanks to all of you who have been praying for Bishop Jack Spong and his family since we received the news that he suffered a stroke last Saturday morning. Bishop [Mark M.] Beckwith is in contact with the Spong family, and reports that Bishop Spong is stable and talking, and that our prayers offer hope and help. Updates will be provided as they become available.

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Bishop John Shelby Spong has suffered a stroke, the Episcopal Diocese of Newark has reported on its Facebook page.

The diocese published a post Sept. 11 saying the retired Bishop of Newark had a stroke on the morning of Sept. 10 “before a speaking engagement in Marquette, Michigan.”

A calendar posting on Facebook by the Diocese of Northern Michigan said Spong was in Marquette to speak on two topics: “Can Religion Survive in the 21st Century?” and “Jesus Did Not Die for Your Sins: The Meaning of the Cross.” His most recent book is Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy, published in February by HarperOne.

“The next few days are very important,” the post said. “His wife Christine and the Spong family would be grateful for your prayers.”

Spong, 85, served as Bishop of Newark from 1979 to 2000. He has remained a public figure in the years since, traveling often and continuing to articulate his perspectives on theology, ethics, and biblical interpretation.

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