Be not afraid –– revisited
By Bill Lewellis [Published in The Morning Call, Nov. 29, 2008]
During my 23 years as communication minister for the Diocese of
Bethlehem, newspapers have published some 150 of my columns and op-eds.
None received more positive feedback than Be Not Afraid, published in
The Morning Call a few months ago.
It tapped into the hope of many. Typical among responses received was
this: I have long believed what you wrote, but I have hesitated to
share this at my church.
Fear and the Future
By Bishop Paul V. Marshall
[Diocesan Life, Diocese of Bethlehem, December 2008]
I tend to feel sharply contrasting emotions around Christmastime, and feel them simultaneously, as do many of us, I suspect.
This is our first holiday period after my father’s death. As Advent comes upon us, I feel rather than see the darkness.
Of course that happens every year. In the northern hemisphere, Advent
comes as the world is darkening, as things always appear to be dying. I
am particularly aware this year that someday Advent will arrive and I
will not be here to greet it because I, too, will be dead.
On the road to acceptance of one’s mortality there are feelings of
futility, of cynicism, of anger. My light shines so dimly; and the
darkness, the afternoon darkness, the winter darkness, the last
darkness, seem likely to overcome it.
So, one old prayer for Advent began, “Stir up, we beseech Thee, Thy
power, O Lord, and come.” Advent is first and foremost about humanity
in the darkness, longing for light to come, longing for God to act.
Advent is permission, invitation, for each of us to enter the heart’s
fearful dark places that we try so hard to ignore most of the time, and
to cry out, “Stir up your power, Lord, and come.”
[From Jenifer Gamber] I have written references between the NOOMA videos 001-021 and J2A curriculum for those congregations who use the Journey to Adulthood program. Download this as a word or pdf file below.
[From the PA Council of Churches] The Union of Concerned
Scientists (UCS)* has issued an invitation to participate in a webinar
briefing on the key findings of a new report, Climate Change in Pennsylvania: Impacts and Solutions for the Keystone State,
which provides the most in-depth look at the potential consequences of
climate change in the state to date. The webinar will be held on
Monday, December 8, from 11:00 to 12:00.
[From Father Pat Malloy, rector, Grace Allentown] First came the flood from the leaking roof. While we were waiting for the insurance company to assess the damage to the floor and walls, a contractor came for the placing of his brother-in-law's ashes in the columbarium. He noticed the damaged floor and offered to install terrazzo for the cost of labor. He would donate the materials. Then someone on the west coast visiting our website saw our architect's plans for renovating the church. Those plans were drawn up last year and were just a dream. She offered us a very sizable grant to replace our pews with the church chairs the architect suggested, but only if we could match it. We are now working to meet her challenge and are confident we will. Then a newcomer contacted a former business associate and arranged to have the paint donated. We did not ask him to do it. He just told us that we have free paint.
Within just a couple months, then, we went from thinking that we could never afford to rehab our church (even though it was getting shabbier by the day) to being mid-project, and are planning to move into a renewed space on Christmas Eve.
There's just one problem.
We have 30 very well made solid oak pews, along with three privacy panels and a sedilia and no place to store them. Maybe some of you are interested in buying a good-as-new, top quality pew for a mere $100. They make great Christmas gifts!
Page 1: (1) Sunday vespers in Montrose attracts people from many traditions (2) Empty Bowl Projec at St. Paul's Montrose benefits county food banks
Page 2: (3) Bishop Paul.Fear and the Future (2) Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation
Page 3: Twelve Days of Christmas for Kajo Keji
Page 4: In Jim Thorpe.Volunteers at St. Mark's/St. John's 'outreach' to their community
Page 5: Progress in Kajo Keji.Charlie Barebo's column on our New Hope Campaign
Page 6: (1) Canon Anne Kitch's "In-Formation in Bethlehem" column (2) Advent and Christmas resources for all ages (3) Bishop's Day with Youth.Nightwatch in NYC (4) Senior-high mission trip, July 25-Aug. 1
Page 7: Calendar and Prayer cycles
Page 8: Christmas greetings from Bishop Paul, Bishop Jack and Diocesan Staff
[From Canon Kitch] Download below an Advent Wreath Devotion Booklet that you can print. To print this booklet, you will need to use legal size paper. Once you have the four pages, you can copy them double sided and fold into a booklet. Advent and Christmas resources for children and adults for your use may also be downloaded below. Have a Blessed Advent -- Anne Kitch
Forty-seven youth and adults filled up Kirby Episcopal House, November 14-16, 2008, for Happening #18. The weekend was led with thoughtfulness and grace by this year's youth rector, Allison Duckloe of Christ Church, Stroudsburg (pictured in the front of the group). Many thanks to Allison for her hard work and gentle leadership. Thanks also to this year's adult staff members: Canon Calvin Adams (St. Gabriel's, Douglassville), Joyce Anderson (Church of the Redeemer, Sayre), Scott Bader-Saye (Peacemeal Community, Scranton), Trica Bonenberger (St. Gabriel's, Douglassville), Brian Gordon (Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem), Bobbie Hraba (St. John's, Hamlin), and Wes Wubbenhorst (Missioner for Youth in the Diocese of Maryland). Finally, a Happening first in the Diocese of Bethlehem, an enthusiastic welcome to next year's co-youth rectors, Katie Kolepp and Sam Martin (both of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem). This dynamic duo was so good we could not decide between them, so Happening #19 will be blessed with double the energy, creativity and great ideas. [The Rev. Demery Bader-Saye (Missioner for Youth in the Diocese of Bethlehem & Happening Spiritual Director]
Download four photos below, as a word or pdf file. Hi-res versions are available upon request. Email Bill Lewellis.
In the Diocese of Bethlehem www.diobeth.org Dec. 7: St. Luke’s Church, Scranton, The Rev. Peter D. D’Angio, rector Dec. 14: St. James’ Church, Schuylkill Haven, The Rev. John H. Heffner, rector Dec. 21: St. Martin in the Fields Church, Mountaintop, The Rev. Daniel V. FitzSimmons, rector Dec. 28: St. Margaret’s Church, Emmaus, Canon Lexa H. Shallcross, rector, www.stmargaretsemmaus.org
Anglicans Around the World www.anglicancommunion.org Dec. 7: The clergy and people of The Diocese of Kolhapur in the United Church of North India Dec. 14: The clergy and people of The Diocese of Kumi in the Church of Uganda Dec. 21: The clergy and people of The Province of Lagos in the Church of Nigeria Dec. 28: The clergy and people of the congregations in the 14 counties of The Diocese of Bethlehem
The Diocese of Kajo Keji Dec. 7: Lire Secondary School, The Rev. Simon Peter Kenyi Dec. 14: Lito’ba Parish, The Rev. John Liri Amuja Dec. 21: Logili Parish, The Rev. Mary Basa Dec. 28: Logu Parish, The Rev. Elisama Pitia
Pray for our Diocesan Mission Holy God, your Son called us to wrap the whole world in your saving embrace. By your Holy Spirit, give us compassion, purpose and energy to invite into your church those who do not yet know the transforming power of your love. We ask this through Him who has brought us from darkness to light, your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Pray for our New Hope Campaign for a New Sudan and the Needy in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Pray for the reception of the ministry of all ordained persons throughout the Anglican Communion.
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, Palestine, Afghanistan, Sudan, Northern Ireland and Iraq. Pray for peace in our hearts and throughout the world
In response to a group of laypersons in Montrose seeking a Sunday
evening service, Historic St. Paul’s has been hosting a monthly Office
of Vespers at 5 p.m. on the second Sunday of the month. The service has
slowly grown over the past months and the attendance in November was 95.
In November, 19 church school students formed the Combined Youth Choir of Montrose to sing at the monthly Vesper Service at St. Paul’s Montrose.
Following the monthly Vesper Service, a light supper prepared and served by a team from one of the participating congregations is provided in the Parish House of St. Paul’s.
I expect to have one more major donation week and then we'll aim to transfer the amounts in mid December. Also, this week, we received 3 undesignated donations for $625, which will be very helpful in rounding out some of the purchases. Some of the gifts, like the sports equipment, were intended to be one for each school or archdeaconry, so the cash will be very helpful.
Thanks to all. If you have been waiting to send in your donation, this would be a great week.
Hymnody for Advent through Epiphany B ((Nov. 30, 2008 to Fe. 22, 2009),
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. Jubilate is a service of our Liturgy and Music Commission, specifically Canon Cliff Carr who has been doing this for more than 30 years.
[From Peter D'Angio, rector, St. Luke's Scranton] On Friday, November 21st at 7:00 p.m. Saint Luke's will host the Integrity Chapter of the Diocese of Bethlehem for a viewing of the independent documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So."
Volunteers serve patrons of the Empty Bowl Project at St. Paul’s Montrose. The event benefited the Susquehanna Food Banks.
“It could not have happened at a better time,” reports Lynn Senick,
director of the Trehab Food Bank, which serves Susquehanna County. “Our shelves are near empty, and donations are way down just when we
are heading into the season with the most need.” Senick was reflecting
on the success of the Empty Bowl Project which was held in Montrose on
Saturday, November 8. The event was held at Historic St. Paul’s
Church, Montrose, and raised over $1,500 for the Food Bank and the Feed
A Friend (Thanksgiving) Program.
The Empty Bowl Project had its beginning in 1990 when a high school art
teacher in Michigan helped his students solve a problem of
creativity –– how to raise money for a food drive.