[From Warren Shotto, senior warden at Good Shepherd, Scranton] We are having a celebratory service for The Rev. Dr. Fred Mauger. After many years of service to the Diocese of Bethlehem, having served in many capacities at many of our parishes, Father Fred recently retired from active ministry at the age 85. In recognition of that and as a special thank you from Good Shepherd, we are hosting A Celebration of Thanksgiving for his ministry . The service will take place on Sunday August 10th at three o’clock in the afternoon at Good Shepherd with a dinner to follow in the parish hall.
Twelve of our young people and three adult chaperones joined nearly 850 youth and more than 300 adult chaperones and resource persons to represent the Diocese of Bethlehem at the Episcopal Youth Event in San Antonio, July 8-13: [Youth] Jensen Appleman of Trinity Easton, Rebekah Beers of St. Mark's Moscow, Annie Bonenberger of St Gabriel's Douglassville, Kayla Farley of St. Brigid's Nazareth, Antonia Harewoord-Harris and Corey Mars of Christ Stroudsburg, Katie Kolepp of Cathedral Bethlehem, Sophie Neumann and Vanessa Segaline of Trinity Bethlehem, Ryan Ochse of St. Paul's Montrose, Brittany Radcliffe of St. John's/Good Shepherd Milford, and Rachel Salmon of Trinity Mt. Pocono. [Adults] Mother Demery Bader-Saye, diocesan missioner for youth, Trica Bonenberger of St. Gabriel's Douglassville, and Andrew Reinholz of Grace Allentown. Browse the EYE website here. More to come.
[From Cathy Bailey and Janet Kolepp] Education for Ministry (EfM) is a four year theology course that includes study of the Old Testament, New Testament, Church History and Theological Choices. Every baptized person is called to ministry. This program, through study, discussion, guided reflection, prayer, worship and fellowship, helps Episcopalians and others to carry out that ministry. Participants register for one year at a time, meet weekly in groups of 6-12, and are led by a trained mentor. If you have completed any part of the EfM course of study, this is a perfect opportunity to continue toward graduation.
In the morning ... Wednesdays, 9:30-noon starting September. More info: Cathy Bailey 610-261-1106, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the evening ... Thursdays, 6:00-830 p.m., starting September. More info: Janet Kolepp, 610-954-9582, email@example.com.
Under One Roof (the partnership of the parishes in the Northern Tier of the Diocese of Bethlehem) will offer a special workshop to explore the role that money plays in our daily lives and in our faith. The workshop is scheduled for late September (Sept. 20, from 9:30 to 2:00, at St. Paul's Montrose) in time to assist, guide, and resource parishes for their stewardship programs.
We live in a money-dominated culture. We are constantly told that the amount of money we earn determines who we are. We are promised that having more money will make us happy. Yet the relentless focus on money and accumulation of wealth can fill us with anxiety and self-doubt that rob us of the peace and contentment that Jesus promises in his Sermon on the Mount.
As Christians, we must wrestle with some of life’s most basic questions: How much money is enough? Who is master: my money or me? What do I truly rely on for security: money or God? By examining our beliefs about money, and what Jesus had to say about money and wealth, we can start to live in ways that are connected, passionate, meaningful, and -- most importantly -- free. We can learn how to help our communities of faith engage in the work of changing lives and challenging the status quo, just as our Lord did on this earth. We can participate in building the kingdom of God.
Join Dan Charney and Char Horst, Missioners for Stewardship and Development, respectively, in open and frank discussion about the meaning of money and its role in life and ministry. All are most welcome. There is no charge for this workshop. Lunch and refreshments are included. Please register by September 15 with Brenda Allen at St. Paul’s Montrose by phone 570-278-2954, or email. Please put UOR in the subject line.
For years I have wondered why so many Christians have been drawn to the Dalai Lama and his teachings. What's the deal? I have asked that question, with some skepticism, perhaps also with a modicum of cynicism, each time I have read one or another of his talks, his books, books on Buddhism and stories about the Dalai Lama. No need to point to hubris in my personal wonderment. I have already indicted myself many times. I have closely questioned and accused myself each time I have thought about this ... and continued to wonder. I believe, however, that I have discovered an answer, sufficient at least for me. I found it in the Wednesday, July 9, issue of The Morning Call, in an op-ed by Lehigh University chaplain Lloyd Steffen that may be found here.
TO: Parish clergy, wardens, Congregational Development
Parish Transition guidelines
Diocese of Bethlehem
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
This document summarizes the policies and practices of the Diocese of Bethlehem from the time a priest first meets with me to discuss retirement or a new call through the settling and first year of the new priest. I am grateful to the Diocese of Washington, which has provided on its website bits of the boiler plate in the pages that follow. There will be many places where what is unique in our common life will stand out. It is best to start with one such place:
Everything depends on the search process being conducted not only in or with prayer, but as prayer. Consciousness that one is doing a holy thing for the good of the whole congregation and the sacrifice of personal agenda are the two essential qualities in all those involved in the decision. Inability to make those commitments indicates that person has a different ministry in the parish.
Those of you who have participated in a search before will find the contents of this document familiar.
As you know, transition times are a mixed bag of loss, stress, challenge, and discovery. The single most important factor in the time of transition is the steady calm of the wardens and search chair(s).
As you perhaps do not know, parishes in transition or seeking new leadership are prayed for by name every day at Diocesan House and remain in my own prayers. If it should ever seem to you that communication is not what it should be, the wardens should contact me directly, preferably by telephone.
Archdeacon Stringfellow, Canon Teter, and I stand ready to assist you in any way we can.
[A note posted July 6 by Bishop Paul Marshall on "Bethlehem of Pa," the interactive email list of the Diocese of Bethlehem]
It has been implied recently that the 39 Articles are the standard of doctrine in the UK and should be for us. Here is a word from the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Te last sentence is the important one.
This is a story about my first encounter with Fr. Ron after becoming an Episcopalian. It was 20 years ago that Rita and I first worshipped at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. We had been married over a year, just built a home in Macungie, and were looking for an Episcopal church closer to us so that we could become active in the parish.
Sermon at Trinity Mt. Pocono, Bishop Paul V. Marshall
Retirement of Canon Ginny Rex Day
Pentecost 7, Proper 8, June 29, 2008
We come, Lord God, after all is said and done, to the end. May the Holy Spirit be present in a way that allows us to acknowledge and master our many emotions and move into your future. Amen.
It has been an interesting and instructive task to decide on something to say today that would not sound like leftovers or remind anybody of the designated hitter rule.
I say that because you have already had a party, a testimonial dinner, so to speak, to honor and celebrate a ministry marked by productivity and joy. Many wise and appreciative words have been said to and about Canon Day with great sincerity, privately and publicly. I also suspect there may have been one or two funny stories told; do not ask me how I know this.
[This is Bishop Paul Marshall's July 2008 column for secular newspapers, usually 600 word of less and different from his column in Diocesan Life. The column is sent to newspapers throughout our 14 counties. It is published by The Morning Call, Allentown, on the first Saturday of every month. It usually appears also in eight or nine additional papers at some point during the month. The combined circulation of papers that publish the column regularly is more than 400,000. More than 130 columns have been published over the past 12 years. If your newspaper does not publish the column and you might consider speaking with the editor about that, please email Bill Lewellis.]
Women and men along a large chain of human connection are about to link at Lambeth. I invite readers accustomed to praying to keep us in mind.
Seldom do I use this space for purely denominational issues. When I do, it is usually to make a larger point. Next to the United Nations and the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion is the world’s third largest linkage of human persons, cultures and geography.
While the American branch of the Communion is the relatively tiny Episcopal Church, Anglicanism is the major expression of Christianity in much of Africa.
That being so, the Lambeth Conference, the every-ten-year gathering of the bishops of the Communion in Canterbury, England, July 16 to August 3, is perhaps worth a word of explanation.
To: Clergy, Parish Administrators, Parish Newsletter Editors
From: Bill Lewellis and Kat Lehman
The Diocese of Bethlehem will soon roll out ChurchPost for use by all parishes.
ChurchPost is a web-based and user-friendly solution that will empower parishes to create group email lists to communicate with parishioners generally and to communicate on separate lists with those members engaged or interested in specific ministries. It will enable parishes to create topical email groups that will be accessible to interested members from any computer while also allowing all parishioners, simply by signing up at a "Get Connected" box on the home page of the parish website, to have access to any or all groups that are created and made available publicly. It will also give parishes the ability not only to create quick text emails to post to the group but also (without any need for technical knowledge) to create professional-looking email notes and email newsletters by using colorful templates. Find more information about ChurchPost here.