It's official: 2014 was the hottest year on record

[WaPo] Planet Earth set an ominous record last year as global temperatures rose to the highest level since modern measurements began, scientists said Friday in a report that heightened concerns about humanity’s growing toll on the natural systems that sustain life. The year 2014 was declared the hottest year in a joint announcement by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, based on separate analyses of weather records dating back to 1880, when Rutherford B. Hayes occupied the White House.

Driven in part by steadily warming oceans, average temperatures edged past the previous records set in 2005 and 2010. The 10 hottest years in modern times have all come since 1997, NASA scientists said. Read on.

Science or Conscience on climate change?[dotCommonweal] The announcement that 2014 was Earth's warmest year on record prompted responses from some who accept the scientific evidence of climate change that this should finally convince those who don't. You'd think that with nine such records set and subsequently broken since 2000 alone, not much more convincing would be required, but there you have it.

The complexity of climate science has become the fig leaf for those reluctant to acknowledge the role of greenhouse gases to hide behind, and thus to rationalize inaction and obstruction. So if the scientific case is too hard, then what about the moral case? That's how Pope Francis's upcoming encyclical on climate change will couch it, perhaps in terms of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Read on.

Trinity, Bethlehem Spring Artist-in-Residence Organ Concert March 18

[From Trinity, Bethlehem]

ARAM BASMADJIAN, Artist-in-Residence at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bethlehem, will herald both spring and Trinity’s newly refurbished Aeolian-Skinner organ on March 18. His recital at 3 P.M. will feature music by the best known composers of music for the “king of instruments,” including Handel, Bach, Bingham, Schumann, Vierne, and Widor.

Mr. Basmadjian has released three solo recordings, including the first classical recording on the world's largest Wurlitzer pipe organ in Barrington, Illinois. He toured for six years with Community Concerts, with performances in over fifty cities each year.

A reception will follow the recital at the church at 44 E. Market Street, Bethlehem. There is a suggested donation of $15; children under 12 are admitted free.   Tickets are available at the door.

For more information: [email protected], 610-867-4741.

St. Peter's, Tunkhannock to host benefit concert for H.A.N.D.S. of Wyoming County

Breakout_pic [From David Martin]

A free concert by an award winning a Capella quartet will take place Sunday September 18, at  5:00 PM at St Peter's Church, 3832 Route 6, a mile east of Tunkhannock. “Breakout” is a quartet with members from both New York and Pennsylvania.  Formed in 2007, their first onstage performance occurred at the Barbershop Harmony Society Seneca Land District Competition in October of that year, where they won first place.   They went on to win another District Championship, and in 2010 the quartet represented the Seneca Land District at the international quartet competition held in Philadelphia.

The members consist of Kevin Jones  - Bass, Jerry Schmidt – Tenor, Dave Scott – Baritone, and Mike Spencer – Lead.  Each of the singers has appeared with numerous other award winning quartets, and they have also performed similar benefit concerts for other worthy causes.  Collectively, they have about 100 years of Barbershop quartet experience. The Endless Mountains Barbershop Chorus of Wyoming County will also present a  selection of songs.

H.A.N.D.S. (Helping Area Needs for Diverse Early Child Care Services) of Wyoming County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality and availability of early care and education in Wyoming County.  H.A.N.D.S. implements planning strategies that allow growth and development of quality early child care and access to education services.  The proceeds of a free will offering will go to support H.A.N.D.S. Projects for Wyoming County children.  Refreshments and a reception will follow the concert.  For further information call 836-2233.

Calendar of Events updated July 12, 2011

Here is the latest calendar of events for all events we have been made aware of in the Diocese of Bethlehem. If you have an event you want added, please contact Kat Lehman and she will be happy to include your event. Even better! Be your own reporter! Take photos and write a story to go with it and you might find it published here, on the Facebook site, tweeted, on the web or even in Diocesan Life! If you have questions, just let her know.

The latest calendar is in Microsoft Word for easy cut and paste into most newsletters. The one posted here is updated monthly and we post weekly updates to the Facebook page. Check it out!

Download 110712calendarofevents

Calendar of Events updated June 2, 2011

Here is the latest calendar of events for all events we have been made aware of in the Diocese of Bethlehem. If you have an event you want added, please contact Kat Lehman and she will be happy to include your event. Even better! Be your own reporter! Take photos and write a story to go with it and you might find it published here, on the Facebook site, tweeted, on the web or even in Diocesan Life! If you have questions, just let her know.

The latest calendar is in Microsoft Word for easy cut and paste into most newsletters. The one posted here is updated monthly and we post weekly updates to the Facebook page. Check it out!

Download 110602calendarofevents

Organ Concert at Trinity, Easton, January 28

Trinity Episcopal Church in Easton, PA will be hosting an Organ Concert featuring the works of Mendelssohn, Bach, Mozart, Bruhns and Franck. 


Performing will be Mr. Dale T. Grandfield, Director of Music at Trinity Episcopal Church, 234 Spring Garden Street, Easton, PA (between 2nd and 3rd Street).  The Concert will be January 28, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. Refreshments to follow. Free Admission. Donations to support the music ministry at Trinity Church are welcome. For more information contact Trinity at 610-253-0792, email [email protected], twitter @TrinityEastonPA or see


"An Evening with Margie and Dave" Benefit Concert

[From Fr. Scott Allen]

“An Evening with Margie and Dave”
Recording artists Margie DeRosso and David Lang will perform their original Christmas songs in addition to
your favorite holiday standards.
Saturday December 4th, at 4:00pm.
In the sanctuary of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
1900 Pennsylvania Ave., Bethlehem, PA
A “Meet and greet” with the artists will follow the concert in the church’s Social Hall.
Refreshments will be served.
All proceeds benefit the Pennsylvania Avenue Interfaith Food Pantry
Admission is $5.00 with a non-perishable food item donation at the door. Please call Craig @ 484-892-1589 for details.
This Concert is being sponsored in part by:
Giant Food Markets
Weis food Markets
Michael Thomas Floral Design Studio

Trinity, West Pittston to host MUSICare Project Concert

[From Fr. John Major]

On Wednesday, December 8 at 5:15 p.m., children from infant through age 5 and their parent or other adult caregiver will have a chance to experience the joy of  making music in a playful, age-appropriate way.  The event will include a free demonstration of  Music Together ®, a relaxed music program where infants, toddlers, preschoolers and the grown-ups who love them learn to share and appreciate songs, rhythms and simple instruments in a fun, interactive way.  Santa Claus will also stop by for a sing-a-long and visit with the children.
The evening of fun and music is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested.  Trinity Episcopal Church is located at the corner of Spring Street and Montgomery Avenue in West Pittston.  For more information or reservations, call 570-654-3261.
For more information on Trinity's MUSICare Project featuring Music Together visit

Trinity Revels feature Cambiata

[From Mo. Laura Howell]

Trinity Bethlehem’s Annual Yuletide Revels will be held on Saturday,
December 4, beginning at 5:00 pm. Trinity  co-sponsors this evening of
traditional and early music with Moravian College's Undergraduate
Conference on Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

This yeCAMBIATA_Photoar, the featured performers will be Cambiata, with a program of
Yuletide music and antics. The group uses a variety of colorful period
instruments to bring the Renaissance to life through music. They have
been introducing audiences of all ages to sights and sounds from
Renaissance Europe's royal courts to its rural hamlets.

RevelsProcessionSMALL RevelsReceptionSMALL Festivities continue in the parish hall after the concert, with a
Boar's Head in Procession, flaming Christmas pudding, wassail, nog,
ginger cake, and other traditional Yuletide treats.

The Morning Call has an article on the Conference and Concert at,0,4573850.story.

Suggested donation is $12.00.

For more information contact Laura Howell [email protected],
610-867-4741 X304.

Location: Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 E. Market St., Bethlehem, PA 18018 

Duo piano and organ recitals

[From Canon Mark Laubach]

Erika Funke informs me that she will air an interview she did with Rick Hoffenberg and me (about our duo recitals) on her program, Arts Scene, tomorrow (Thursday, October 21st) at 11 AM. Set your dial (if you have a radio with such an ancient thing!) to 89.9 FM and be listening! You can also listen to the interview live online at I think it will be an informative and fascinating program in which we both discuss the pieces we’re playing and other aspects of doing organ & piano duets.

Dr. Rick Hoffenberg is a good friend and music faculty colleague of mine at Marywood University in Scranton, a phenomenal pianist, and a graduate of Princeton, Westminster Choir College, and Yale. Rick and I are collaborating on three performances of a duo piano & organ recital in the coming weeks. Dates and locations are as follows ...

Friday, October 22nd at 7:30 PM
The Marian Chapel, Marywood University, Scranton

Sunday, November 7th at 4 PM
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Wilkes-Barre

Friday, November 19th at 7:30 PM
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Allentown PA

All performances are free and open to the public. The recital will feature duo works by Marcel Dupre and Igor Stravinsky, and solo works by Brahms, Nikolai Kapustin, and William Bolcom. I hope you can join us for one of these!

Thanks –

Canon Mark Laubach, Organist & Choirmaster
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Pro-Cathedral of the Diocese of Bethlehem
35 South Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre PA 18701
Church Phone: (570)825-6653
Church Fax: (570)825-0430
Mark's Mobile Phone: (570)704-7055

PAI Concert in Wilkes-Barre, July 17

From: Mark Laubach <[email protected]>
Date: July 13, 2010 10:23:33 PM EDT
To: Mark Laubach <[email protected]>
Subject: Organ, Orchestra, and Choirs Concert this Saturday at 8 PM

Dear Friends:

At 8 PM this Saturday, July 17th, St. Stephen's will be privileged to host an extraordinary concert presented by faculty and students participating in the 2010 Wyoming Seminary Performing Arts Institute (PAI). Featured will be the Institute's orchestral and choral ensembles, directed by Paul Hostetter (Music Director of the Colonial Symphony based in Morristown, New Jersey, and Director of Orchestral Studies at Montclair State University) and John Vaida(Chairman of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Wyoming Seminary). I'm delighted and honored to be joining these marvelous musicians in their performance as guest organist!

Continue reading "PAI Concert in Wilkes-Barre, July 17" »

Choral Evensong and mini-concert

[From Mark Laubach, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre]

posted by Kat Lehman

Choral Evensong and mini-concert
This coming Sunday, May 2nd, St. Stephen's Episcopal Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre will be pleased to host a service of Choral Evensong for the Fifth Sunday of Easter at 5 p.m., immediately followed by a 30-minute choral concert presented by the Chamber Singers of Marywood University in Scranton.

Evensong will be sung by the Choir of St. Stephen's under the direction of Canon Mark Laubach, Organist and Choirmaster. Officiant for the service will be the Reverend Daniel C. Gunn, Rector of St. Stephen's. Music for the service will include the following ...

Organ Voluntary:   Feierlicher Einzug   -   Richard Strauss, arr. by Max Reger
Hymn, "The day of resurrection"  (tune: Ellacombe)
Hymn, "Christ, mighty Savior"   (tune: Innisfree Farm)
Psalm 84, Anglican chant by C. Hubert H. Parry
Evening Canticles in F, by George Dyson
Anthem, O God, why hast thou cast us out, by Henry Purcell (sung by the Marywood University Chamber Singers)
Anthem, The Lord is my Shepherd, by Howard Goodall (theme music for The Vicar of Dibley, sung by St. Stephen's Choir)
Hymn, "This joyful Eastertide"   (tune: Vruechteni)
Organ Voluntary:   Toccata in C, BWV 564  -  J. S. Bach  (played by Christopher Prestia, Organ Scholar)

St. Stephen's is truly privileged to present a brief program by the Marywood University Chamber Singers, conducted by Dr. Rick Hoffenberg, Associate Professor and Director of Choral Music at Marywood. This exciting and varied program will include the following works selected from repertoire to be sung for the group's forthcoming tour of Northern and Southern California.

Missa Brevis, by Richard Rodney Bennett
Water Night, by Eric Whitacre
I cannot dance, O Lord, by Aaron Jay Kernis
All the things you are, by Jerome Kern, arranged by Ward Swingle
'Round Midnight, by Thelonious Monk, arranged by Rick Hoffenberg

Grace Honesdale concert raises $1100+ for Haiti

[From Father Ed Erb, rector, Grace Honesdale]

You cannot imagine if you were not there, the phenomenal concert enjoyed at Grace Church this evening. I wish I could say the $1,100+  raised was the best part of the evening. All to aid Episcopal Relief and Development for their work in Haiti.

Our guess is that about 75 people from all over NEPA and NY State gathered to hear some of the most amazing music.
Our own Janet Burgan (folk guitarist, song-writer and singer) and Steve Faubel (classical pianist and soft-rock singer) will forgive me I know, but to these ears the most moving offering of the evening was a dream vision of the travesty of the earthquake.  The keyboard playing and singing of Kazzrie Jaxen entered us into a journey from early Tuesday calm, through the shocks, the subsiding, the after-shocks and the unsettling calm following the devastation of the earthquake.
I have been at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York as the organist Dorothy Papadakos improvising from the depths of the organ to the full swell of the State Trumpet in the balcony, the sound of the earth filling that huge cathedral.  We experienced that tonight with the Steinway piano and Kazzrie's playing - the sound of the earth filling Grace Church.  What an experience, you cannot imagine!
And now, the joy of sending well over $1,000. to give some relief to our sisters and brothers in Haiti.  It was suggested over and over again that we do something like this once a year, every 3 months, once a month - for some special need.  Here is another ministry of Grace Church.  And all we had to do was open the doors and turn on the lights!  Praise God!