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.


Celebration of New Ministry at Redeemer Sayre

The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe
Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem
and the people of Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal)
invite your prayers and presence at

The celebration of a new ministry
they share with The Rev. Glenn Mahaffey
 as Rector of Church of the Redeemer

Sunday, August 24th at 4pm

201 S. Wilbur Ave.
Sayre, PA

Reception to follow    Clergy: White Stoles

Visiting Clergy please email rsvp to
[email protected]

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

Christ Church Reading celebrates 40th anniversary of Organist Bruce Bengtson’s ministry upon his retirement

[By John Francis]

Bruce Bengston 7-11 004 On Sunday, July 31, Assistant Bishop Jack Croneberger led the Holy Eucharist and festive celebration of Bruce Bengtson’s 40th anniversary as organist of Christ Church, Reading, upon the day of his retirement. Retired rector Walter Krieger joined current rector John Francis and assistant rector Doug Moyer in thanking Bruce and Ruth Anne Bengtson for their incredible talent, hard work, and joyful dedication to the mission and ministry of Christ Church. His son Keith represented Charles Sutton, Father Krieger’s predecessor. Bruce served under all three rectors during his tenure.
The service was filled with beautiful hymns, which included Glorious things of thee are spoken, Austria, and Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, Cwm Rhondda, one of the first Bruce had ever played, and an anthem based on Psalm 150 by Cesar Franck. The service began with a congregational favorite prelude played by Bruce, Prelude on Brother James` Air by Searle Wright, who was one of Bruce Bengtson’s professors at Union, and ended with a postlude favorite of the congregation played by Bruce, as only he could do, the Toccata from Organ Symphony V. Father Francis’ sermon reviewed the incredible blessing Bruce’s extensive and very generous ministry has been for Christ Church and for him personally and how much he will be missed. Bruce and Ruth Anne are looking forward to a well-earned and very enjoyable retirement together.          
Following the service, the parish put on a delicious hors d’oeuvre reception in the parish hall for the entire congregation. Then, parish members and friends of Bruce and Ruth Anne attended a lavish by invitation luncheon at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Reading. Speakers included James Wilson, the newly appointed organist and choirmaster of Christ Church, choir member and soprano soloist extraordinaire Runette Gabrielle, Bishop Jack, a colleague and fellow class member of Bruce and Ruth Anne at Union Theological Seminary, where the Bengtson’s first met, Dr. Francis Williamson, who taught at Albright College, and the Bengtson’s children Matt Bengtson and Sallie Mercer. Ruth Anne had put together a wonderful photographic presentation of Bruce’s career, which was presented on power point. The Christ Church Choir, led by Jim Wilson, offered a joyful rendition of, “We are the very Model of Today’s Episcopalian.”

St. Paul's, Montrose holds birthday party at parish picnic for South Sudan

At the July 10th parish picnic at St. Paul’s, Montrose, Father Paul Walker, and host/senior warden, Lynn Graham, prepare to cut the cake celebrating the Republic of South Sudan’s birth day.  The South Sudan national anthem was played to a thoughtful group. - Al Leigh


Canon Mark Laubach's 25th

May 22 Evensong and Laubach Celebration

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Canon Mark Laubach’s service to the church following a choral Evensong at 5:00 pm Sunday, May 22, in the church, at 35 South Franklin Street.  Evensong is one of the most beautiful services in the Anglican tradition, and the public is invited to stay for the reception afterward.

Music at the Evensong will include Let the People Praise Thee, O God, the majestic anthem composed by William Mathias for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in July, 1981.  The St. Stephen’s choirs under Mark Laubach’s direction also will sing the Evening Canticles in E by Herbert Murrill, and William Smith’s Preces & Responses.

Mark Laubach came to St. Stephen's as Minister of Music January 2, 1986, just two years after winning the National Young Artists Competition in organ performance.  He was appointed a Fellow in Church Music at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and shortly thereafter came to St. Stephens.  Canon Laubach has performed in major venues all over the world, including the Kennedy Center, St. Thomas Church and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (both in New York), and in London at St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, as well as the King’s Chapel in Cambridge.

Canon Laubach administers a busy liturgical, choral, concert, and broadcasting schedule at St. Stephen’s. In 2002, under his supervision the church’s large pipe organ was rebuilt by the Berghaus Organ Company of Chicago. This instrument now stands among the finest of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, having won high praise from organists and audiences.
Suzanne Fisher Staples
570.561.5962 (cell)

Diocesan Life for May 2011

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

Episcopalians and Moravians celebrate Full Communion

Churches in full communion formally recognize that they share essential doctrines, including baptism and Eucharist; agree to accept the service of each other's clergy; and pledge to work together in evangelism and mission. The churches become interdependent while remaining autonomous. In an explanation read during the Eucharist, the two denominations said that full communion is a "significant expression of the full visible unity of all Christians, which we do not yet discern but for which we pray."

[Diocese of Bethlehem Bishop Paul V. Marshall] In the 1780s, the Episcopal Church's leadership chose not to receive episcopal orders at the hands of Moravians, so our kneeling before each other tonight for the laying-on of hands and the right hand of fellowship was more than symbolic--it was a moment of healing. Ghosts can indeed become ancestors.

[Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori] The visible witness of two different traditions coming together is a profound sign of the possibility of reconciliation to the world around us.

[Kat Lehman, Moravian, serves as IT coordinator and editor of Diocesan Life for the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem] As a Moravian and a person who was there, let me tell you it was profoundly moving. I'm very excited about this historical moment in both our churches.

[The Rev. T. Scott Allen, rector, St. Andrew's Allentown] I was glad to be there and witness this historic service.  The highlight for me was The Reconciliation of Episcopal Ministries with the Episcopal Bishops kneeling and receiving the laying on of hands and "Right Hand of Fellowship" from Unitas Fratrum Bishops.   And then the Unitas Fratrum Bishops kneeling and receiving the Laying On of Hands from Episcopal Bishops. Very moving! The sermon was spot on as well.  Thanks to all who made it a most holy evening....I consider it a blessing to have been there.

[The Rev. Canon Ginny Rex Day, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired] As one of those who studied at Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem, this milestone in our relationship with one another has a particular significance. The scholarship, the inclusiveness, and the welcome I enjoyed during those years were formative at a spiritual level beyond the obvious.  Ecumenical study at this level is a unique and most valued blessing. What a gift it is to live in the region of Bethlehem and to be part of this answer to the years of prayer for Christian Unity. The Reconciliation among our bishops was particularly poignant. What's so hard about this kind of relationship restoration?

Amid music and prayer ...
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Episcopal News Service
February 11, 2011
With an evening Eucharist Feb. 10 that blended elements of the liturgical and musical practices of both traditions, representatives of the Episcopal Church and the two provinces of the Moravian Church in North America formally inaugurated a full-communion relationship between the denominations. More here.

Episcopalians, Moravians celebrate Common Cup
By Dave Howell (of Trinity Bethlehem) for The Living Church

The sanctuary of Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa., is both simple and majestic. It is completely white, except for natural wood trim on the pews and gas lamp fixtures on the side walls. As befits Moravian tradition, there are no stained-glass windows, or a cross above the altar. Yet there is majesty in its soaring height, supported by two Corinthian columns and an arch at its front. And there is the treasured Moravian music, from a magnificent Moller organ and a choir of sterling voices. About 500 people gathered at Central Moravian Feb. 10 to celebrate the full communion of the Episcopal Church and the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church. The Episcopal Church approved the full-communion agreement at General Convention in 2009, and the two Moravian provinces approved it in 2010. The churches had practiced interim eucharistic sharing since 2003. This historic occasion featured a prelude with music by the Central Moravian Brass Ensemble, and opened with a procession of nearly a dozen Episcopal and Moravian bishops. For this event, the Central Moravian choir merged with those of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity and Trinity Church, Bethlehem. More here.

Gallery of Photos from ENS, including two good photos of Bishop Paul during the laying on of hands ... here.

Photos taken by Kat Lehman ... here.

Video of the service ... here.

Moravians? Who are they? Here.
The Moravian Church, which celebrated its 550th anniversary in 2007, is one of the oldest Protestant denominations, dating back to 1457 in Europe and first coming to America in 1735. The Moravian Church, whose motto is, “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things love,” has strong traditions of ecumenical work, missionary endeavors and creativity in music and worship.  The Moravian Church in North America includes more than 150 congregations in the U.S. and Canada.  The Unitas Fratrum -- the worldwide Moravian Church -- counts nearly 795,000 members. Website of The Moravian Church in North America:

The final report of full communion, “Finding Our Delight in the Lord: A Proposal for Full Communion Between The Episcopal Church, the Moravian Church-Northern Province and the Moravian Church-Southern Province” is located here: or

Sermon by Milwaukee Bishop Steven Miller
at the Feb. 10, 2011, Celebration of Full Communion

Now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near in the Blood of Christ. For he is our peace who has made us both one and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility. (Eph: 2:13)
We hear these words in our reading this evening from the letter to the Ephesians. The apostolic message to the letter’s first recipients and to us is that in Christ God brings together that which had been separate.
In the case of the Church at Ephesus, the apostle is writing to a community living after the fall of the Temple in Jerusalem, after the Church’s first wrestling with implications of God’s act in Christ Jesus and for whom that act was accomplished, in a time in which the word Christian had become the primary label for believers. The Apostle wanted those who heard and read this letter to know that the distinctions of the past were no more. Echoing the letter to the Galatians with its proclamation that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female (Gal 3:28), the apostle  reminded the church in Ephesus that in Christ Jesus what was separate is now united. He, Jesus, is our peace who has made both Jew and Gentile one. The author goes on to build an ecclesiology that shapes and challenges us today.
Jesus is our peace who has made us both one.
This is the apostolic word to us tonight as we gather to celebrate and inaugurate the full communion relationship between the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church in the United States of America and of The Episcopal Church. They are to us reminder, comfort, and challenge. Reminder, in that what we celebrate tonight is God’s action at work in us. That the impetus to begin the conversation 17 years ago that resulted in first interim Eucharistic sharing and now a full communion agreement is the activity of the unifying spirit of God at work in Christ in his incarnation and his Body the Church today. It is comfort, in that we are strengthened and our hearts are warmed in that God continues to work his promise in us, God continues to be the God who breaks down walls and who brings together.
But these words are also a challenge: for we know that the strength of this full communion relationship depends not on the document and the synodical resolutions that have made this day possible, but upon our continuing to discover what God is calling us to as his people, allowing God’s Uniting Spirit to work in us, not just those gathered here but every member of our communions, as we seek to discover and live into the full communion we inaugurate this night.
We were reminded earlier in this liturgy that a part of our brokenness and sin is our tendency to make “idols of our achievements” (Moravian Unity Liturgy). It is important for us to remember that this liturgy is not an end but a beginning. My fear is that unless we are attentive and intentional we will miss the opportunities before us.
As I was reflecting on all this, words from my first spiritual director echoed in my ears. “The question is, Steven,” she said, “Jesus is Lord, what are you going to do about it.”
We are here tonight because we have found our delight in the Lord who has found his delight in us and sent his only Son to be our Savior. We have discovered through our dialogue and proclaimed in our synods and convention that difference does not mean division. And so the question before us tonight is: We’re in full communion, what are we going to do about it? Or better yet, we are full communion partners, what does God want it do in and through us. As I prayed and pondered this question three words came to mind: Transfigure, Transform, Send. And it is each of these that I want to focus on tonight.
In just a few weeks the Epiphany season will come to a close and we will hear again on the last Sunday after the Epiphany the story of the Transfiguration. The story of how Jesus, after the prediction of his passion, took with him Peter, James, and John, the inner circle of the twelve, up on a mountain to pray. And while he was praying, he was transfigured before them, his face shone like the sun, his garments became dazzling white, and there appeared with him Moses and Elijah. And a voice came from heaven, “This is my Son. Listen to Him.”
In each of our churches we sing of this event in the life of Jesus with these words:
O wondrous type, O vision fair, of glory that the church may share
Which Christ upon the Mountain shows, where brighter than the sun He glows
In the Transfiguration we get a glimpse of our destiny and calling that “we may shine with radiance of Christ’s glory that he may be known, worshipped and obeyed to the ends of the earth.” (BCP collect for 3 Epiphany). My prayer and hope is that in this new relationship for our two churches we will gain insights into who Christ Jesus is and what he calls us to do. We will discover a deeper and fuller sense of the meaning of Christian discipleship. If that is to happen it will require of us intentionality and effort. Taking this intentionality, to be in the presence of one another, to listen and learn, and discover. Together in the light of the transfigured Christ we can discover new songs to sing to the Lord.
But visions are not enough, the purpose of vision is to transform.
I can witness, as I know can all of us who have labored to make this day possible, sisters and brothers with whom I shared this journey, that our work together has given us a greater vision of what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ and made us more the people he has called us to be. Bishops of both churches have testified to experiences like that of another famous Anglican in which our hearts were “strangely warmed” through our fellowship one with another. Our walk of faith is enriched by the daily devotional strength of each of our traditions.
However, we are now in the second century of the Ecumenical Movement. I am fearful someday historians will be writing about the second and third centuries of the ecumenical movement unless we embrace the vision God puts before us and truly bring it into being.
We say in our full communion document that full communion is not merger. And so it is.  But can it not be something more than advancing the ecumenical ball a little bit further down the field? God does not call us to stop here and build three booths, one for the Moravian Southern province, one for the Northern Province, and one for the Episcopal Church, particularly in an age when such identities matter very little to those who are outside them. Is perhaps part of the call that our denominational structures and boundaries be transformed to a new reality and new life? The call is still there to be one church on earth as it is in heaven.
Here I am reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s words on the night before his assassination, “I have seen the promised land.” We know how sweet and pleasent it is when sisters and brothers live together in unity. We know God’s will is that all may be one as Christ and the Father are one. May that unity be revealed in us. We have seen the promise of Ecumenism. Let us enter that promised land.
Seeing God’s vision and transformed by his work in us God sends us. Each of our traditions has a rich missional heritage. The introduction to the Moravian Daily Texts of 1739, just 17 years after the establishment of Hernhut on the estate of Count Zinzendorf, is addressed to congregations and missions throughout the world including South Africa, Surinam, Guyana, Ceylon, Ethiopia, and Persia.
The Episcopal Church is incorporated as the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, giving birth to new provinces of our communion in the Phillipines, Japan, and South America and other places through our missionary efforts. The diocese which I serve was born of our commitment to domestic mission and the efforts of the first missionary bishop, Jackson Kemper. Another of those missionary bishops, Ethelbert Talbot, later served this community as Bishop of Bethlehem and Presiding Bishop.
That Mission field is as ripe for harvest today as it was then. Our Gospel lesson tonight reminds us and proclaims to us the harvest is plentiful. The harvest is plentiful. And to each servant the master says, go work today.
The penultimate paragraph of the full communion document, Finding our Delight in the Lord, states:
44. We do not know to what new, recovered, or continuing tasks of mission this agreement will lead our churches, but we give thanks to God for leading us to this point. We entrust ourselves to that leading in the future, confident that our full communion will be a witness to the gift and goal already present in Christ, “so that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). Entering full communion and thus removing limitations through mutual recognition of faith, sacraments, and ministries will bring new opportunities and levels of shared evangelism, witness, and service. It is the gift of Christ that we are sent as he has been sent (John 17:17–26), that our unity will be received and perceived as we participate together in the mission of the Son in obedience to the Father through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Tonight God calls us to discover what those new, recovered, and continuing acts of mission are: Together, each with its purpose “to restore all people to unity with God in Christ.” My sense is that mission has at least something to do with the ability to embrace difference while working for the common good and discovering God’s mission of reconciliation not just as for the Church but for the world.
May God bless our witness. May the God who makes us one, Make all one, that Christ may be all in all.



Episcopal-Moravian Full Communion celebration, Feb. 10

[From Maria Tjeltveit]

One of the privileges and joys of my ministry has been serving on the Moravian-Episcopal Dialogue for our national Church, which drafted the full communion proposal for our two Churches. So I am delighted to invite you to join in the celebration service inaugurating our full communion relationship on Thursday, February 10, at 6:00 p.m. at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem. Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori will be the celebrant, joined by the heads of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church in America.

It’s not often that a historical event happens right here in our back yard. And even though it’s a service for the whole of both our denominations, having a midweek service in February may reduce the number of people who come from a great distance. So that means that we who are local are encouraged to come and bring our friends. It will be great to celebrate this service right in the heart of the Moravian Church and in our diocese.

What is full communion? It is a way for denominations to come together without merging; acknowledging the fullness of the church in each other, working together for mission and ministry, and exchanging clergy. We have been in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for 10 years, and the Lutherans and Moravians are also in full communion, so this kind of completes a triangle of full communion relationships. Especially in our area, where there are plenty of Lutherans and Moravians, it will be good to see how we can live into full communion in substantial way.

I hope you will join me on February 10 for this celebration.

Maria Tjeltveit, Canon for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

Diocesan Life for December 2010 and January 2011

Attached is the latest Diocesan Life for December, 2010 and January 2011. Remember, we love to get stories and pictures! If you have something you want featured, please contact Kat Lehman to discuss publication. Diocesan Life deadlines are posted on the calendar as well so you know when to get the stories in. For February's issue, we need the stories by January 4th. The attached file is 3 MB in .pdf format.

Download December2010_DiocesanLife_SMALL

Hellertown welcomes new rector

[News Release from St. George's Hellertown]

St. George’s Welcomes New Rector 

Jonathan Mayo On Thursday, October 14th, 2010 St. George’s Episcopal Church Hellertown will
have a “Celebration of New Ministry” with the institution of Father H. Jonathan
Mayo as rector.   The congregation and local clergy will gather for a special service at
7:00 P.M. that will include Holy Eucharist and a visit from the Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem, The Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall.

Father Jonathan is a native of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, and has returned to
Pennsylvania after a 30-year absence.  He has served parishes in California,
Minnesota, and Wisconsin, before coming to St George’s on August 1.  He had
previously served small churches, and therefore had a secular career in Information
Technology.  He graduated from Wilkes College, Wilkes-Barre, in 1975, and St
Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, NY, in 1980.  He has
immediate family living in the Lehigh Valley, the Pocono region, and St Louis, MO.  
In 2008, St. George’s celebrated 100 years of worship having been a part of the
Hellertown community since 1908.  Regular services are held on Sundays at 9:30
A.M. and Church School is offered for children ages 3-13 years old.  


Biggest, Boldest, Best Block Party Around

posted by Kat Lehman

Check out the Block Party "A Celebration of Gifts" this Saturday, September 19th from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Market Street between New and Center Streets in Bethlehem. Trinity, Bethlehem has been actively planning this event in conjunction with other churches, social agencies, community groups and the city government for about 8 months.

There are over 30 groups performing including the Bethlehem Bagpipe Band, Trinity's own Singing Priests, musicians and singers from Holy Infancy, Moravian Academy band and choirs, the O'Grady-Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance, storytelling by Mayor Callahan and MANY, MANY MORE! There are also games and crafts for kids plus food and lots of fun. What an awesome way to spend Saturday!

Come celebrate!!

Centennial celebration in Emmaus

By The Rev. Elizabeth Diely

St. Margaret’s Church, Emmaus, marks its 100th anniversary on Sunday, October 5, with a variety of special Homecoming events for current and past members and clergy. The 10:30 a.m. worship service will begin with a festive procession of acolytes, crosses, and banners. Souvenir booklets will include liturgy, favorite hymns, and church history.

Continue reading "Centennial celebration in Emmaus" »

St. George's Hellertown celebrates 100

Church2 On Sunday, November 9, St. George’s Hellertown will celebrate 100 years of worship, witness, and service. Bishop Paul Marshall will be the celebrant and preacher at the 10:00 a.m. Eucharist. Special music will be provided by the Brass Band from the First United Church of Christ of Hellertown. Clergy who formerly served the congregation have been invited to participate. After a social hour at the church, the festivities will continue with a banquet at The Meadows at 1:00 p.m.

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Celebrate The Rev. Dr. Fred Mauger –– August 10

[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.

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Honoring Eric Snyder

A sermon by Rick Cluett for the
50th Ordination Anniversary of Eric Snyder

Snyder_50th2I first met Eric in the food bank in the undercroft of St. Paul’s, Montrose where he was working for Treehab, a Susquehanna County community action agency. He was in between a national church staff gig in New York City and finding a priestly post in the diocese of Bethlehem. This urbane, urbanite was living with his beloved Jean on their goat farm in Hopbottom, Pa, so I knew he was going to be an interesting person ...

An ordered priest, whose ministry was to, at times, break order to lead the church in ministering to the needs of God’s people, especially the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the hungry, the imprisoned, the lost and the disempowered when the church would rather have been complacently comfortable.
A gentle man who would vigorously, but humanely, contend in the corridors and offices of power.

Such contention, such belief in action, inevitably call for an institutional response, and a new presiding bishop felt that the church needed to be more, not less, comfortable. Eric was let go.

A man of constant contradictions or a man of divinely inspired integrity called to a unique and wonderful life of ministering? It is only when you watch him closely, listen to him carefully, work with him daily that you come to learn the riches of God’s graces incarnate in this man and how they work together to accomplish God’s good purposes.

[The sermon is attached below as a word and pdf file.]

Download sermon_by_rick_cluett.doc

Download sermon_by_rick_cluett.pdf

Trinity Carbondale gears up for 175 years

At Christ Church Carbondale
Tiffany Windows to be Restored
June 2, 2008 05:20 PM –– WNEP-TV

Tiffany_windowsThe three Tiffany stained glass windows at Trinity Episcopal Church in Carbondale are being removed, restored and will then be reinstalled.

By Josh Brogadir

Fixing three buckling windows in Carbondale, section by section, will take a few months because those windows are special Tiffany stained-glass. Inside the chapel at Trinity Episcopal Church in Carbondale is a view 140 years into the past. Three Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows were a gift to the church that dates back to the 19th century. The years have taken their toll on the windows and now begins the painstaking process of restoring them.

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