Trapped in my own blind behaving

Dean Tony Pompa
Nativity Cathedral
March 4, 2016

Some time ago, when life was much more complex (smile), my children very small, a diocesan vocation that took me away from home most nights, and figuring out how to be married as young parents, young professionals, I found myself in a curious position. I had begun to take life and myself way too seriously. So much so that apparently I also began to take for granted the good things and good people in my life. In addition, apparently I was so stressed out that I hadn't even noticed that I was at times also not very nice sometimes. (Yes, believe it). I use the word "apparently" because to me, none of this was apparent. In my head and in my world, I was doing what needed to be done to do it all and ironically enough to feel like I was doing it all very very well. I was so trapped in my own world, my own thinking, my own behaving (my own surviving) that I was blind to the truth that I was becoming someone other than Who God might like me to be.
Then it came. The moment of truth. On a simply long day I was caught short and given "eyes to see". My mother, visiting from afar "apparently" had enough of me and this uber persona. She startled me with the force of her upset and displeasure. For lack of a better description, she "dressed me down".  You need to understand that this approach was foreign from the nurturing and kind mother I had known all my life! Suddenly, she was a force to be reckoned with and that day was my day of reckoning.
She was clear, crystal clear. The way I was, was not gonna work! What a gift. I am to this day grateful that she was the moment God used to whack my head so that I could see through my blind spot and gain clarity to change my direction, change my ways.

This week's pilgrimage learning is about Jesus healing the blind man. It is a story about God's grace and power to bring sight to our lives.
See also Nativity Notes.


Celtic Spirituality Initiative at Bethlehem Cathedral

By Melinda Rizzo

A new experience offered by the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, based in Bethlehem, offers spiritual open space through a new twist on an ancient practice.

Celticnight1 Celticnight3 Celticnight3

Monthly Celtic spirituality evenings, accompanied this summer by live Celtic harp and violin music, candlelight, and set inside the 150-year-old sanctuary of the Cathedral, are a continuation of recent Celtic Spirituality class entitled the Bardsey.

The Bardsey Initiative, offered during this past winter, was a 10-week spiritual pilgrimage for participants, according to the church website. Based upon Celtic Christian spirituality practices, morning and evening sessions were offered from late December through February.

“I savor the time in the Cathedral illuminated by candles and filled with Celtic music,” said long-time Nativity member Victoria (Tori) Penske Aitchison, in an email regarding the latest Celtic spirituality offering.

Aitchison, who also participated in the recent Bardsey workshop series, said, “as an Episcopalian, I feel grounded in the monastic traditions so adding the Celtic way to see the sacred all around me has been a beautiful gift.”

The Very Rev. Anthony (Tony) R. Pompa, Nativity’s dean and rector, said his hope is for the monthly Thursday evenings to become a touchstone for anyone interested in seeking a new way to approach spirituality and make a deeper connection with the sacred.  

All are welcome to the Thursday evening Celtic spirituality offerings, regardless of their denomination, or faith affiliation,  according to Pompa.

“We would like to embrace all and make folks welcome here,” Pompa said.

Janet Felix, a Nativity member of about two years, said she most enjoyed viewing the Cathedral space from a different perspective, and feeling transported by the environment to her Celtic roots.

“It was such a treat…to walk into the darkness of the Cathedral with all the candles lit and the music of my heritage playing,” Felix said. 

Felix, who also participated in the winter Bardsey series, said, “I always seemed to learn something new, either about Celtic spirituality, and/or about myself.”

Pompa is quick to stress that the experience offered is based on ancient Christian teachings and customs, which originated in the British Isles including England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Felix, who also attends the monthly Celtic spirituality evenings, said the sessions became a bridge for her, since the Bardsey completed.

“I miss the weekly (Bardsey) meetings.  But I am thankful that Tony has continued with the once a month gathering.  It is a time to refresh myself and to reflect on what has happened in the past month,” Felix said.

The Thursday evening sessions are informal, and invite participants to enter the Cathedral for meditation, silent prayer, personal reflection time, to light candles, privately ask for healing prayers, and simply enjoy brief theme appropriate meditative readings and poems spoken, all supported by quietly played Celtic Music by guest musicians, well known and versed in Celtic themed music.

“I am truly indebted to Allison Gillespie, a well known Celtic musician in the Lehigh Valley, and adjunct faculty at Moravian College. Allison responded to my plea looking for musicians not only coordinating a schedule of musicians but occasionally playing herself with various family members”.

“We offer a variety of opportunities for sacred connections in about 40 minutes, and the sessions hold a peace-filled and paced economy of time, the Celtic music played by our gifted guest musicians throughout the majority of the evening invites transformation, it’s a recipe of sacred mystery”,  Pompa explained.

Nativity member Marie Mauro of Williams Township, said having a meditation opportunity inside the Cathedral, supported by candlelight and music, is a powerful and holistic experience.

“I feel like I have access to a (greater power) and to all the many souls that were here before us inside the Cathedral,” Mauro said.

“Meditation and the Bardsey experience opened my heart. In our lives, we fail to stop and acknowledge, and to take a breath,” Mauro said.

The inspiration to create a Celtic spirituality offering on Bethlehem’s Southside grew out of a sabbatical Pompa took in 2013, to England and Wales and his familiarity with a Celtic themed experience offered at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. On Sabbatical, Pompa took a residence program with Ester DeWaal, staying on her rural property situated on the border of England and Wales.

DeWaal is a Celtic spirituality leader, scholar and writer. During his time there, Pompa began creating the framework he’d ultimately bring back to his parish community in Bethlehem.

“The goal is to provide a place for anyone interested in making some sacred space in their lives,” Pompa said.

Even those already rooted deep in faith could benefit from taking a “time out” from regular daily activities to journey within.

“I think in our culture today people thirst for mystery, I know I do,”  Pompa said.

If you go:
What: Celtic spirituality evenings as a time of prayer, reflection, healing and meditation supported by poetry and spoken reflections, accompanied by live Celtic music.
Where: Cathedral Church of the Nativity, 321 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem.(Corner of 3rd and Wyandotte Sts on Bethlehem’s southside.
When: Monthly, from 7 p.m., on the fourth Thursday

Celtic spirituality evenings run about 40 minutes with light refreshments and fellowship following inside Sayre Hall at the Cathedral campus. The monthly evenings are currently scheduled to continue through 2014.

Celtic spirituality evenings are free and open to the public.

For more information call 610-865-0727, email [email protected], or visit the website at

Renewal Assembly IV: Empowered Leaders, Renewed Congregations

IMG_3596SMALLHave you found that service on the vestry has enriched your spiritual life? 

Bishop Paul posed this question to his guests on the video prepared for the next renewal assembly scheduled for Saturday, February 11, from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, at seven sites across the diocese.  The assembly, a retreat for current and future vestry members, is entitled “Empowered Leaders, Renewed Congregations.”

Joining Bishop Paul on the video are Raymond Arcario, who served as senior warden of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem; and, The Very Rev. Anthony Pompa, Dean and Rector of Nativity.

The daylong retreat will draw from Neal Michell’s Beyond Business As Usual: Vestry Leader Development.  “This book,” writes Michell, “is for those churches that are no longer content with business as usual.  It is for those clergy and vestry members who want to be partners in ministry and mission as they explore new and create ways to do and expand mission and ministry.”  Copies of the book will be made available to each vestry attending for a subsidized price of $10.00.

Drawing from Beyond Business As Usual, the retreat will engage vestry members in Bible Study and a number of “teaching” experiences, such as “Four Principles Every Leader Should Take to Heart.”  The purpose is to examine appropriate, effective mental models of the vestry as a “learning community” that plays a significant role in the spiritual growth and renewal of the congregation.

Charles Cesaretti, Interim Missioner for Congregational Renewal hopes "that the retreat will enable every participant to respond in the affirmative to Bishop Paul’s query – Have you found that service on the vestry has enriched your spiritual life?”

Registration is open at until February 3.

Shelters at Cathedral and St. Andrew's seek volunteers

From Craig Updegrove
St. Andrew's, Allentown/Bethlehem
Jan. 20, 2012

For the fourth straight year, Bethlehem area places of worship including a couple Episcopal churches (Cathedral Church of the Nativity and St. Andrew's) are sheltering the area homeless at night. This winter season, the mission started in the beginning of December and runs until the end of March.This week we have seen a large increase of new guests. Last night we housed 34 people! If previous years were any indication, as the winter progresses, these numbers will continue to grow. Through the New Hope campaign funding, we have been able to hire 2 part time coordinators to help coordinate each site. However, many of these sites could use additional help.

Each site, at a minimum, require the following for each night they house the homeless:
Cooks and or servers- Each site will feed dinner to about 15-30 people (this includes volunteers). Usually a site will have at least two people cook and serve. Also, each site/volunteers will supply the dinner, drinks, dessert, and paper products for each meal.
Overnight volunteers- 2-3 volunteers at each site spend the night at the place of worship  to oversee everything. Additional cooks/ servers- Each site serves breakfast. Some just serve cold cereal, while others provide a hot breakfast. Again this usually takes about two people.

Many of these  places of worship  have additional volunteers that will come and socialize with the guests. Also, some sites have volunteers to come in and clean-up in the morning. In addition to volunteers at the churches, we also transport to some sites. A handful of the places of worship  that shelter are not within walking distance to the Southside (where the homeless are during the day). We try to have 2-3 drivers in the evenings and 2-3 drivers in the mornings to transport the homeless to and fro the places of worship .

I encourage you to help at least once during this season. This is a transformational mission that has affected me more than you can imagine. It will do the same for you. Please take this opportunity to help the homeless. Please discern this email while you are eating a hearty soup or snuggled up in your warm bed and imagine not having it. At the very least, as a Christian, isn't this what we are called to do? Help the people that can't help themselves.

If you would like to volunteer, I've attached a flyer with schedule and contact information. Also the following link will allow you to sign-up to drive the homeless:

Sign up genius for transportation volunteers

Please feel to contact Brian Gordon from Nativity @ cell 610-463-5988 if you would like to drive.

If you have any additional questions about the mission, please feel free to call me at 484-892-1589.

Craig Updegrove

Bakery mailing list
[email protected]

Monday Martin Luther King Day Breakfast at Cathedral Church of the Nativity

Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration will take place on Monday January 16th at 9:00 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. This annual event sponsored by the Bethlehem Branch of the NAACP and the YWCA of Bethlehem will be focused on the theme “Let Justice Roll”.  The Rev. James Edlow, Pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Philadelphia will be the keynote speaker.


Icon workshop with Peter Pearson, at Cathedral

[From Mariclair Partee]

The Cathedral will host an icon workshop led by the Rev. Peter Pearson, May 3-6, from the evening of Thursday through Sunday. Please see the attached flyer (in .pages and .doc formats) for details, and feel free to distribute it widely. The maximum number of students is 25. Register early. Our icon for this workshop will be a modified Virgin and Child commissioned in celebration of the 150th anniversary of our congregation. Folks who came last year can attest to Father Peter’s skill (and patience) as a teacher. No experience necessary; all material costs are included in the workshop fee. I hope to see you in May.


Download Pearson.IconWorkshop.pages

Download Pearson.IconWorkshop.doc

Diocesan Life for November 2011

Open publication - Free publishing - More bluegrass

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Resolutions of Courtesy from Diocesan Convention

By Canon Anne Kitch

May it be resolved, that we who are gathered in this place do most graciously give voice to our joy in thy worshipful servant Bishop Paul, and that we offer unto him deep gratitude for that he hath led us on to ponder "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;” and for that he doth continually translate God’s Word for us.

Resolved, we salute Bishop Jack for being an all around holy man and for proving that it is possible to take our faith seriously while maintaining a light heart.

Resolved, we admire Canon Jane Teter for knitting the Diocese together through the warmth of her spirit and the multitude of her ministries.

Resolved, we humbly honor Stephen Tomor, the New Hope Campaign Coordinator in Kajo-Keji, and offer heartfelt gratitude for his faithful oversight of the construction of the schools in South Sudan.

Resolved, we applaud and support the deep Christian compassion manifested by the spontaneous outpouring of aid from parishes and individuals in our Diocese in response to those grievously afflicted by the recent flooding.

Resolved, we celebrate The Congregational Renewal Committee, for establishing the Diocesan Renewal Assemblies, summoning us to lives of prayer, showing us how to celebrate our blessings and inviting us to connect the dots.

Resolved, we marvel at Tom Lloyd, who has given 50 years of service on the Peace Commission of this Diocese and been a stalwart champion for matters of justice and peace.

Resolved, we glorify the Holy Spirit who has inspired us to bear a common witness in a hurting world with our sisters and brothers of other denominations and other faiths thereby finding strength in unity.

Resolved, we express copious gratitude to the people of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity for lavishly hosting us and for inspiring us by their gallant example of how we might cope gracefully with all impediments—scaling new heights and crossing hazardous terrain with confidence.

Resolved, we praise our merciful God for gifting us with new ministry, new schools, and new hope in our Diocese and for the favor poured out upon this Convention evident in the first four consecutive days in four months without rain. May God bless us and give us the courage to climb the mountain and the inner silence to hear God’s word.

Respectfully presented by the Committee on Resolutions of Courtesy

The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch, chair
The Rev. Earl Trygar
Ms. Melody Lewis

Come to the Mountain

Come to the Mountain

By Bishop Jack Croneberger
October 8, 2011
Diocesan Convention Eucharist Sermon
Cathedral Church of the Nativity

“Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites, you have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now, therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom, and a holy nation.’” (Exodus 19:3-7)

Brothers and sisters, it is time for us to go up to the mountain, to God, for God is surely calling to us. We shall be borne on eagles’ wings and brought to God’s presence and we...we are called to obey God’s voice and keep God’s covenant, for we are God’s treasured possession. A priestly kingdom, a holy nation.

O.K., O.K...Then tell me how come I frequently don’t feel much like a treasured possession or a priestly kingdom and certainly not a holy nation!

Let’s try this...called to obey God’s voice and keep God’s covenant. Obeying God’s voice requires the sharpest of our listening skills, listening for God’s voice in the panoply of creation; from the beauty or the devastation of wind, or water, or fire; from the roaring sounds of the world around us to the still small voices of the world within us.

How is God’s voice being spoken to us this day? Can you hear it? Can you share it?  Can you do it? What if it’s not popular or politic? I call upon you this day, at this convention and Eucharist to come to the hear the voice of God.
Be careful now, for if you hear God’s voice, you will inevitably be called to keep God’s covenant. And not just the “Do you believe” but also the “Will you continue, will you persevere? Will you proclaim, will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, will you strive for justice and peace among all people?”

Just when I believe I might have a handle on all the “Will I’s?” of the covenant, the old fears come to visit again. Something is not right! Something is missing! It’s too much! I cannot possibly do all the covenant asks of me. Forgive me, Lord.
And just then, Jesus steps into my screen...this time in the form of a “Peanuts” cartoon strip. Lucy is crying bitter tears over a decision her mother has made. She wails, “You promised me a birthday party  and now you say I can’t have one! It’s not fair!”

Enter Lucy’s brother, Linus, who is the theologian in the group, who calls her aside to offer some advice. “You’re not using the right strategy,” he says. “Why not go up to Mom and say to her, ‘I’m sorry, dear Mother. I admit I’ve been bad, and you were right to cancel my party, but from not on, I shall try to be good.’”

Lucy thinks about it. She even rehearses the little speech to hear what it sounds like coming from her. Then she thinks about it some more. Finally, in the strip’s last panel, Lucy cries out, “I’D RATHER DIE!!”

Sometimes I think I’d rather die than say “I’m sorry.” Rather die than repent. But then dying to self is really what repentance is all about. Perhaps it is because I seem to be surrounded by death and dying, some expected and some very unexpected, but within the context of these finite lives of ours we need to be prepared. We need to wash our faces in the waters of baptism and put on the wedding garments of faith and our active response to faith. So let’s do whatever dying we need to do now, in order that we might be ready to live. To live with Christ and in Christ, now and forever.

 “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.’” (Matthew 16:24-25).

Diocesan Life for October 2011

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Sermon at Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Hope

Bishop Paul V. Marshall
Cathedral Church of the Nativity
September 11, 2011

On behalf of the Episcopal Church in these fourteen counties of NE PA, it is my privilege to welcome to this place the distinguished leaders of several Lehigh Valley religious communities, and indeed all of you who are present at this moment of remembrance and hope.

It is, as each of us knows and feels, the anniversary of the vicious destruction of three thousand human lives ten years ago. Our worship tonight beautifully brings the riches or our several traditions together to assist us in the remembrance of those who have died. It expresses our concern for those who still live with the burden of grief or injury. We also remember those whose efforts at rescue and recovery ten years ago have cost them and their loved ones dearly.

Our technology allows us to relive the disasters of 9/11 on our screens at the touch of a button or click of a mouse. That fact informs some, but it has also kept wounds open for many more victims than we might suspect, and we remember all of those who are imprisoned by horrible memories.

Yet the words said and sung here may not in the long run be as significant as the very fact of our gathering together.  Our presence enacts our wish to work together in a way that promotes a just peace in every place.  We meet not on the level of our strengths or our defenses, but on the level of our grief, on the level of our tears. When we risk being vulnerable in each other’s presence, healing can happen.

The title on your leaflet is “Remembrance and Hope.” Remembrance and grief are well expressed in this worship service. We may have differing notions of what it means to remember the departed before Heaven and to ask the Creator to remember the dead. But surely we agree that to some degree the aspect of hope is left up to us to accomplish. I want to say a brief word about making way for hope.

This is hardly the occasion to say anything new, but I will try to put what we already know, and perhaps feel, into some kind of structured reflection. I hope I do so humbly and carefully.

The first hopeful observation is that tonight we suspend or at least transcend our reservations about those whom we perhaps sometimes presume to categorize as “other.” What we can do today we can do tomorrow, if we want to. Tonight we suspend or transcend our reservations because, as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has said, while we may not share a single faith we certainly share a single fate. Only a change in all of us at the cellular level can avoid that devastating fate.

There have been, as there always are, people who wish to mitigate the evil of 9/11 through a version of “understanding” the perpetrators. I find that abhorrent. The idea that if one has suffered enough one has license to be a monster must be rejected out of hand. What moral authority organized religion has left must, I think, say that clearly.

The sad truth that concerns us as religious people is that 9/11 happened because an evil man used religious language to foster in alienated and angry people a hatred cold, vicious, and refined enough for them to murder three thousand human beings without warning or opportunity to defend themselves.

We who uphold spiritual values must confront in our fellow believers such a misuse of religion if there is to be hope for the world. It is for each of us to ask how much and how often we have confronted the extremists in our own communities. How often do we give bad behavior a pass because we do not wish to be seen as critical of our own side—and the others are looking?

There are followers of every religion I have encountered who have used religious language and religious loyalties to instill attitudes or even incite deeds that defy the will of the One who called Abram so that all the world might find a blessing. We must forbid that defiance of Heaven—not among others, but among our co-religionists. I speak not of old-fashioned brotherhood or tolerance, of even King Empathy itself, but of the survival of our species.

If there is to be a future, it belongs to our children. In that regard I report that I am essentially a city boy, and have been around long enough to know that every religious group—and lots of religious sub-groups—have words of casual distain for those who are not like them. Our words shape our thinking. Does training for hatred start as our children hear these expressions that are so much a part of many vocabularies? Can we live without them? Do we want to live without them?

I know a country girl whose earliest memory of seeing a black man is neurologically fused with her experience of her mother clutching her hand somewhat desperately as the stranger approached. What might have come from such an experience? Again, I am not interested at this moment in good feelings, but in survival.

In the interest of survival there is a need for every group and nation to cease rationalizing their own behavior or the behavior of those they support while condemning the same acts when others do them. Can we who lead religious groups, while surely decrying the evils we see, also root out in ourselves all that degrades others? Can we root out   all that externalizes blames and projects our negativity onto others? And here our various groups very much need each other’s feedback, as difficult as it may be to offer or to hear it. What is a casual remark in one vocabulary may be a grave insult in another.

We who bear, preserve, and hand on religious traditions have a very heavy responsibility in this regard. Religion by its nature touches and moves parts of us that are not entirely rational, not even conscious, and this can be a very good thing. Spiritual practices require a deliberate regression, just as art and music do, if we are to experience meaning deeply. It is because people come to religious moments in a regressed state that they are open to the sublime.

They are also open to demagoguery and hatred in those moments. They are especially vulnerable if they are afraid, or wounded, or if the speaker has some powerful slogans. If there is to be hope, those of us who lead or teach or influence religious institutions must remember the vulnerability of those who hear us and frame our words very carefully. A student once said to a professor that “with a little work you could be a mesmerizing speaker.” The professor told him that he worked even harder not to be mesmerizing. Our religious discourse ought never deprive our hearers of the ability to make moral and ethical judgments on their own, to say, “Hey, this is wrong.”

Just one more point. When I was a student back in the 60s, it was the politics of the left that was very critical and rejecting of the state. At this moment it seems that the right is having that experience. I don’t take a side here, but point out that everyone is capable of an attitude of alienation from their own country. The prophet Jeremiah, whom our several traditions all revere, had a word about that. To captives and exiles who had every reason to be bad citizens, he wrote: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

In its welfare you will find your welfare. I don’t expect to live long enough to see them teaching Civics again to high school students, and that is a pity. We must do it. We need to teach by word and example the values of community, the responsibilities of citizenship, the importance of fair play, and respect for the potential that lies in every human being. Actively seeking the good of humanity right where we live defies narcissism, greed, and hatred--and opens the path to peace.  That is a hope worth pursuing if we are to survive and our children to thrive.




September 11 Services of Remembrance in the diocese

September 11 Services of Remembrance from around the diocese in chronological order

St. Anne's, Trexlertown:  8:00 and 10:15 A.M. During both services on September 11 we will have special prayers and remembrances to commemorate the lives that were lost on this dreadful day and to seek God’s guidance and wisdom as we live with the ramifications and impact of this national tragedy on our country and on the world. Please come to church prepared to stop whatever you are doing when you hear the sound of the drum and the cymbal. It will be a sacred moment of silent prayer. When you arrive at church on September 11, the greeters will remind you about keeping silence at these significant moments of September 11.

Christ Church, Forest City: 9:00 A.M. service with special hymns, prayers, and will host "first responders" from the surrounding communities.

Church of the Good Shepherd and St. John, Milford: 10:00 A.M. "Eucharist in Remembrance of 9/11" Church bells will be rung 10 times each on the times of the four plane crashes - 8:46am, 9:03am, 9:38am, and 10:03am. After a silent processional the service with continue with special prayers, hymns, and anthem. The church will remain open from 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. as a sanctuary for those who wish to observe a reverent silence, hosted by the Daughters of the King.

Trinity Church, Carbondale: 11:00 A.M. service with special hymns, prayers of the people and remembrances for the victims and their families.

Providence Place Retirement Home, Drums: 1:00 P.M. Members of a Gospel Quartet will lead the hymns, members of the staff and resident will assist with the readings. Lead by Deacon Marion Meiss of St. Peter's, Hazleton

Trinity Church, Easton: 1:30 P.M. organ voluntary followed by the service at 2:00 P.M. An Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Hope  to be webcast live on Sunday, September 11. The service will be streamed live at A Service of Remembrance and Hope will include interfaith prayers and hymns. In addition, music will be provided by: a double quartet of members of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus of New York City, a local Chamber Orchestra and the Easton Area High School Choir. Scheduled selections will include: Faure's "Requiem in d minor, Op 48" (Intoit and Kyrie; Sanctus; Pie Iesu; Agnus Dei and Lux Aeterna; In Paradisum.), Bach's "Cantata 106: Gottes Zeit ist dis Allerbeste Zeit" movement III a & b. Participating congregations include: B'nai Abraham Synagogue, Easton; College Hill Presbyterian Church; 1st Presbyterian Church of Easton; 1st United Church of Christ of Easton; St. John's Lutheran Church of Easton; Temple Covenant of Peace, in Easton; The Muslim Community of Easton/Phillpsburg and Trinity Episcopal Church.  Go to and click on the link to the webcast.. Read more about it, including compatibilities with your computer, smartphone or tablet here. You may also go to Trinity's UShare page, For information, call Trinity Church at 610-253-0792

Grace Church, Honesdale: 2:00 P.M. Service of Remembrance for 9/11 Meditation, inter-faith prayers, music and sharing will all be a part of the service as we remember all who were affected by the tragedies, especially within our community.  A time to remember those who were killed in New York City, southwestern Pennsylvania and Washington DC will be an important part of the service.  Grief counselors will be on hand should anyone need to talk privately.  “It is our hope to move forward bringing God’s peace into our community,” commented Ms. Frances Hlavacek of Grace Church who has been a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem’s Peace Commission. The service will be held in the handicap-accessible Parish Hall of Grace Church, located on the corner of Church and Ninth Streets in downtown Honesdale.  For more information, you may call the parish office at (570) 253-2760.  All are welcome to attend.

Trinity, Mt. Pocono: 2:00 P.M. Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Prayer. Representatives and members of our global community, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh, will gather together to speak about our lives as one in community and to pray together as one for a world of peace and community which can only be gained through the gift of open dialogue as sisters and brothers who seek to move forward beyond the smoke and ashes and offer healing in order to embrace a renewed life together. Please contact the Parish Office at 570 839 9376 for information or go to for directions.

Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem: 5:00 P.M.  9/11 Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation, Nativity, Bethlehem 5:00 P.M. Clergy participating are: The Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall, Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem; The Very Rev. Anthony R. Pompa, Cathedral Dean & Rector; Rabbi Allen Juda,  Congregation Brith Sholom; Metin Bor, Muezzin, Lehigh Dialogue Center; Mohamed Rajmohamed, Al-Ahad Islamic Center; The Rt. Rev. Hopeton Clennon, Bishop of the Moravian Church, Northern Province and Chaplain, Moravian College; The Rev. Canon Mariclair Partee, Cathedral Canon, Ministry of the Baptized; Cantor Ellen Sussman, Temple Shirat Shalom; and The Rev. Canon George Loeffler, Deacon and Bishop's Chaplain. Music provided by the Cathedral Choir under the direction of Canon Russell Jackson will present selections from Faure’s Requiem, with Naoko Cauller as soloist. A reception will follow in Sayre Hall, and all are welcome.

St. Paul's, Montrose: 5:00 P.M. Vesper Service to Remember 9/11will be held at the Second Sunday Vesper Service on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Church Street Montrose, PA  The solemn service will provide a time of deep spiritual reflection and include scripture readings, prayers, and music prepared especially for the anniversary.  The Rev. Canon Charles Cesaretti will welcome the congregation; the greeters are Linda and George Gardner.  The Lector will be Amy Johnson.  Sarah S. Bertsch will be the organist.  MaryAnn DeWitt will be at the piano.  A buffet supper will be served immediately following the service in the Parish House.  The cooks are Ed and Barbara Schmidt and John and Sharon Siedlecki.  Gail and Doug Overfield will be the servers. All are welcome on this special day to remember the victims and those who miss them, as well as the rescue workers and all responders.

Church of the Epiphany, Clarks Summit: 7:00 P.M. Service of Remembrance with two church joint choir, psalms and prayers

Diocesan Life for July/August 2011


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Diocesan Life for May 2011

You can download the .pdf version if you like below:

Women's Retreat, hosted by Cathedral

The Gold Box: Discover the Treasure Within

Deirdre Good 5x7 The Cathedral Church of the Nativity is hosting its annual retreat for women March 11-13 at Villa of Our Lady Retreat House, Mt. Pocono, open to all women in the Diocese of Bethlehem and surrounding dioceses in the Episcopal Church. This year's retreat leader is Deirdre Good, Professor of New Testament at General Theological Seminary in New York City. The Gold Box: Discover the Treasure Within is an invitation to receive Jesus' seemingly simple parables as gold boxes holding precious treasures. Together we will open these gold boxes to discover the meaning of parables for our lives today. The weekend will also feature generous fellowship, art responses, prayer stations and worship.
About the leader: Dr. Deirdre Good is professor of New Testament at The General Theological Seminary, specializing in the Synoptic Gospels, Christian origins, noncanonical writings and biblical languages. She is the author of many well-received books including Jesus' Family Values and most recently Studying the New Testament, with Bruce Chilton. Deirdre is a frequent contributor to EpiscopalCafe (, a website where writers and artists "reflect upon contemporary life in a context informed by faith."

For the complete announcement and registration form, download the pdf 2011 Womens Retreat or email Janet Kolepp at [email protected]

Please prayerfully consider coming. If you have questions call Janet Kolepp at 484-241-1252 or The Rev. Canon Mariclair Partee at 610-865-072