"Churches exist for a purpose
– to make disciples … In every church in every place, there is the same choice:
Are we here for us or are we here to worship God and serve God’s world?
Churches that grow have a strong sense of mission that far outweighs their
pain, doubt and survival concerns. … Large or small, rich or poor, churches
grow because they want to. … We struggle to step away from magical thinking …
that there is an easy answer, a program, or somebody from somewhere else who
will fix the situation … What is exasperating for us personally and
organizationally is that we come to Jesus asking for magic and instead of magic
he offers us maturity."
Download the text of Bishop Paul Marshall's diocesan convention sermon below.
U2charist offers spirituality with contemporary twist... at Test Pattern in downtown Scranton on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. at the gallery, 334 Adams Ave.
A growing trend among some Protestant denominations, a U2charist blends contemporary music and culture with Christian worship. Incorporating traditional liturgical elements primarily from the Episcopal Church, the service will be marked by songs by the acclaimed band in place of traditional hymns. Coordinating the event is Peacemeal, a group of about 15 area residents who identify themselves with the “emerging church,” a grass-roots network of progressive evangelicals who are advocating for new modes of worship and daily living as Christians. Download the Scranton Times-Tribune story below.
Usually different from his column in Diocesan Life, this monthly column is sent to newspapers throughout our 14 counties. It is published by The Morning Call, Allentown, on the first (occasionally, the second) Saturday of every month. The combined circulation of papers that publish the column regularly is about 400,000. More than 110 such column have been published over the past ten years.
I've uploaded the November edition of Diocesan Life here.
It probably won't be arriving in hard copy in the mail until the end of October or early November. I have uploaded each page separately so you
can choose to download only the pages that may be of interest to you.
New Hope from Bethlehem Bishop Paul Marshall October 13, 2006
When we accept Jesus' discipline of looking beyond ourselves, we change. When each of us sees ourselves as having a part in Christ's mission in life, much around us changes. The family in Bethlehem diocese has affected its neighbors unforgettably. In the last five years, our relatively tiny diocese has given over $800,000 to relief for Africa, for tsunami victims and for hurricane relief. And that is just the money we know about because it flowed through us to Episcopal Relief and Development. Certainly there has been more. No one can doubt that the love of God lives among us, and I thank you on behalf of the many who have no other way to address you. ...
Diana and I baked in a bus for 14 hours in the Ugandan sun. Finally, you just give up wiping your face. As we became increasingly caked with red dirt and the overcrowded bus grew hotter and hotter, I found myself baking in a holy and creative sense: I knew God wanted my attention. Genesis says humans began our existence as kind of mud pies, and the red dust of the earth baking into my pores helped me have the beginnings of a new insight: Here were sisters and brothers with almost nothing to their names trying to build a life and a country -- how could I go on as usual with my life? As I told you last year, in addition to altering how I live personally, I have had to abandon some of my bricks-and-mortar dreams for our own diocese, particularly regarding a conference center, in order to see what God would have us do for others. The question that intrigued me was, Could we dare to have a capital fund drive where we didn't get the money?
[Read all of Bishop Paul's address to convention at the link below.]
... for a New Sudan ... for New Churches ... for the Needy At the link below, you may download a brochure explaining the goals of the Feasibility Study which was authorized by Diocesan Council. The Study's purpose is to inform parishioners of identified needs for which funds are needed, gain feedback and opinions as to those goals, and determine the level of financial support for a diocesan-wide capital campaign. As part of the Feasibility Study, questionnaires and interviews will be conducted with clergy, wardens, diocesan leaders and selected lay persons throughout November.
The Lilly Endowment has awarded $44,555 to Grace Church, Allentown, to enable its rector to take a three-month sabbatical. According to a news release from the church, download it below, Father Patrick Malloy will seek to explore his artistic interests in an
effort to revitalize his imagination and his spiritual life. He sees this
opportunity as a springboard into an on-going program of practical art study and
an evolving leadership role in the development of the Allentown Arts District of
which Grace Church is becoming an integral part, especially through its
partnership with its neighbor The Baum School of Art.”
Lilly invites congregations and ministers across the country to apply for a grant up to $45,000. Congregations must submit the grant request for the benefit of their pastors. The 123 grants conferred this year represent 19 denominations and 37 states plus the District of Columbia.
Hymnody for Pentecost 21 (Proper 25-B, Oct. 29) to Epiphany Last (Feb. 18),
published by the Diocese of Bethlehem for our diocesan community and
for free distribution to the world, may be downloaded below as an
Acrobat or MSWord file, whichever works best for you. Jubilate is a service of our Liturgy and Music Commission, specifically Canon Cliff Carr who has been doing this for some 20 years.
Once distributed in hard copy, Jubilate is available only by electronic download.
The Church of the Epiphany- Clarks Summit, will host Hermitage, a six-member
group of Russian singers from St. Petersburg for two concerts October 28 (4 and
7 pm) at the Church. They are an 'a cappella'
group, and will sing Orthodox liturgical music, chants and also Russian folks