An Open Letter to Clergy and Families
in the Diocese of Bethlehem
In 2013, the Standing Committee appointed chaplains to the Diocese of Bethlehem to offer clergy and their loved ones pastoral care during the period of transition. After his election, Bishop Sean Rowe, our Bishop Provisional, met with and continued this ministry. Diocesan Chaplains are a team of Diocesan clergy especially skilled in pastoral care and available as caring companions to colleagues and loved ones in need.
During this year, we have answered the call as Chaplains to be fully present and attentive to many of you who experienced hospitalizations, health crises, losses, relationship stresses, and other difficulties.
We have also listened to painful stories of suffering that have come from the previous chapter of our common life. We are not part of the “Listening Process” and we do not want to take its place. We are supportive of this process, seeing in this the prospect of healing for us all -- but this is the work of someone else.
Our mission as Chaplains is to be in your midst as an attentive presence ready to minister to you and the members of your household through the unique stresses of ordained life. We endeavor in all situations to be present with you in challenging situations so that you may feel heard and accepted, and know you are not alone.
As your Chaplains, we are bound by the same expectations of confidentiality as parish clergy. All pastoral care communications are kept confidential unless they involve situations of abuse, suicidal or homicidal indications, or violations of canons/discipline.
The need to be heard is essential to a thriving, growing, and dynamic Christian community -- not only in this present moment but as a continuing charism of who we are as a Diocese. We hope to be part of that charism -- to walk beside you, our colleagues and your loved ones, in any experience of crisis, loss, confusion, struggle into which you invite us and to offer support, encouragement, honest concern, and compassion.
In closing, we are your Diocesan Chaplains called to live God's love in our ministries with you, such that you will feel connected to and part of a loving community and know the comfort of receiving the care that our souls all yearn to receive from one another and from God.
In God's love,
Tim Alleman 570-540-3535 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sally Bosler 610-858-2650 email@example.com
Raymond Harbort 484-547-5464 firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Haynes 570-350-9875 email@example.com
Nancy Packard 610-334-5884 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Teter 610-216-1731 email@example.com
Jane Williams 484-226-5073 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastoral Care Supervisor