Lent and Holy Week Offerings around the Diocese of Bethlehem

The following are events and programing planned at various parishes throughout the diocese during Lent.

All through Lent
During Lent Trinity ECW in Carbondale will be selling Welsh cookies $5.00 per "baker's dozen." Call 281-3205 or 785-5673 to place order. Also we will be selling homemade soups: Red Clam Chowder, Pasta Fagiole, Broccali Cheese and Potato Leek  $4.00 per pint and $8.00 per quart on Sundays after the Eucharist (12:00) during coffee hour. Soup will be frozen...just heat and serve!

February 21st: Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday Pancake and Sausage Supper, Trinity, West Pittston, 3:30 to 7:00 P.M. Cost is $6.00 for Adults and $4.00 for ages 10 and under. Tickets can be purchased from the church office by calling 570-654-3271 or at the door.
Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Supper, St. John's, Palmerton 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. Cost is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children.
Dave's Special, Annual Pancake and Sausage Supper, Grace, Allentown, PA 4:30pm to 7:00pm. The cost is $8 for adults, and $4.00 for children ages 6-12. Children ages 5 and under are free. This is an all you can eat event some come early, sit long, and talk endlessly with your friends. Takeouts will be available! Please plan to attend and join us for a good meal, fun and fellowship! There will be Mardi Gras beads, coins, music and of course DOUGHNUTS! DOUGHNUTS! DOUGHNUTS!
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Christ, Towanda 5:00 P.M. Free will offering for supper.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Church of the Ephiphany, 25 Church Hill, Clarks Summit 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. Free will offering benefits Dalton Food Pantry. For any questions, please call 570- 563-1564.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Nativity, Bethlehem 5:30 to 7:00 P.M. Cost is $5.00 and benefits Nativity’s Youth Camp. Entertainment by the Dixieland Five.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Mediator, Allentown 5:30 to 7:00 P.M. Cost is $4.00 for adults and $2.00 for Children.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 5:30 P.M. Suggested donation is $3.00.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and Prayer Service, St. Anne's, Trexlertown 5:45 P.M.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, St. George’s, Hellertown 6:00 P.M. $8.00 adults and $4.00 children under 10.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, St. Brigid’s, Nazareth 6:00 P.M.
Shrove Tuesday Mardi Gras Pancake Supper, Grace, Honesdale 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. We will have games for the whole family.  Our featured event is the traditional pancake races.  Any males wishing to compete in the pancake races must wear the appropriate attire of a kerchief and apron.  There will be games for the little ones, teens and adults. Free will donation for the dinner.  Bring your change for the games.  All proceeds from the games will go towards our purchase of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). Costumes are encouraged.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.

February 22nd: Ash Wednesday
Impostion of Ashes, Grace, Kingston 7:00 A.M.
Ash Wednesday Eucharist, St. Anne's, Trexlertown 10:30 A.M.
Lenten Organ Recital, St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 11:30 A.M. A community soup and sandwich lunch follows.
Ash Wednesday Service and Imposition of Ashes, St. Anne's Trexlertown 12:05 P.M. with Lenten Luncheon.
Imposition of Ashes, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 7:30 A.M. and 6:30 P.M.
Ash Wednesday Eucharist, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.
Ash Wednesday Service, St. Brigid's, Nazareth 7:00 P.M.
Ash Wednesday Eucharist, St. Anne's, Trexlertown 7:00 P.M.
Ash Wednesday Eucharist, St. Paul's, Troy 7:00 P.M.
Ash Wednesday Service, St. Peter's, Tunkhannock 7:00 P.M.
Imposition of Ashes, Prince of Peace, Dallas 7:00 P.M.

February 24th
Stations of the Cross, Christ, 700 Delaware St., Forest City 8:30 A.M. includes pizza sale.
Stations of the Cross, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 6:00 P.M. Followed by a movie series exploring "The Evil in Film" and potluck supper.

February 29th
Lenten Organ Recital, St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 11:30 A.M. A community soup and sandwich lunch follows.
Taize Service, St. Peter's, Tunkhannock 5:30 P.M. St. Peter’s Church, Tunkhannock, will offer soup suppers and Taize services during Lent this year.  Supper is at 5.30 pm. service at 6.00 pm.  Come as you are, if you wish you may bring a meatless soup to share, or a loaf of bread. A Taize service starts with love for God and one another, and through prayer, meditation, chant, and song, the gathered community may enter into the joy of God’s presence, and return to the world refreshed and eager to share community with one another.
First Lenten Soup/Bread Supper and Program: “Trials of Jesus:  Voices of the Prosecution”, St. Brigid's, Nazareth 6:00 p.m.
“Teach Us To Pray” – St. Andrew’s Lenten Series, St. Andrew's, Allentown 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Each Lenten gathering will start with our meal at 6:00 pm. The program begins at 6:30 pm. We promise to end by 8:00 pm.
Stations of the Cross, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.
Lenten Program and Book Discussion, Redeemer, Sayre 7:00 P.M. Refreshments served.
Lenten Program: "Making Time for God", St. Anne's, Trexlertown 7:00 P.M.

March 2nd
Stations of the Cross, Christ, 700 Delaware St., Forest City 8:30 A.M. includes pizza sale.
Stations of the Cross, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 6:00 P.M. Followed by a movie series exploring "The Evil in Film" and potluck supper.

March 7th
Lenten Organ Recital, St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 11:30 A.M. A community soup and sandwich lunch follows.
Taize Service, St. Peter's, Tunkhannock 5:30 P.M. St. Peter’s Church, Tunkhannock, will offer soup suppers and Taize services during Lent this year.  Supper is at 5.30 pm. service at 6.00 pm. 
Second Lenten Soup/Bread Supper and Program: “Trials of Jesus:  Voices of the Prosecution”, St. Brigid's, Nazareth 6:00 p.m.
“Teach Us To Pray” – St. Andrew’s Lenten Series, St. Andrew's, Allentown 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Each Lenten gathering will start with our meal at 6:00 pm. The program begins at 6:30 pm. We promise to end by 8:00 pm.
Stations of the Cross, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.
Lenten Program and Book Discussion, Redeemer, Sayre 7:00 P.M. Refreshments served.
Lenten Program: "Making Time for God", St. Anne's, Trexlertown 7:00 P.M.


March 9th
Stations of the Cross, Christ, 700 Delaware St., Forest City 8:30 A.M. includes pizza sale.
Stations of the Cross, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 6:00 P.M. Followed by a movie series exploring "The Evil in Film" and potluck supper.

March 14th
Lenten Organ Recital, St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 11:30 A.M. A community soup and sandwich lunch follows.
Taize Service, St. Peter's, Tunkhannock 5:30 P.M. St. Peter’s Church, Tunkhannock, will offer soup suppers and Taize services during Lent this year.  Supper is at 5.30 pm. service at 6.00 pm.
Third Lenten Soup/Bread Supper and Program: “Trials of Jesus:  Voices of the Prosecution”, St. Brigid's, Nazareth 6:00 p.m.
“Teach Us To Pray” – St. Andrew’s Lenten Series, St. Andrew's, Allentown 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Each Lenten gathering will start with our meal at 6:00 pm. The program begins at 6:30 pm. We promise to end by 8:00 pm.
Mid-Lent Retreat Soup and Bread Meal with Stations of the Cross, Prince of Peace, Dallas 6:00 P.M.
Stations of the Cross, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.
Lenten Program and Book Discussion, Redeemer, Sayre 7:00 P.M. Refreshments served.
Lenten Program: "Making Time for God", St. Anne's, Trexlertown 7:00 P.M.

March 16th
Stations of the Cross, Christ, 700 Delaware St., Forest City 8:30 A.M. includes pizza sale.
Stations of the Cross, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 6:00 P.M. Followed by a movie series exploring "The Evil in Film" and potluck supper.

March 21st
Lenten Organ Recital, St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 11:30 A.M. A community soup and sandwich lunch follows.
Taize Service, St. Peter's, Tunkhannock 5:30 P.M. St. Peter’s Church, Tunkhannock, will offer soup suppers and Taize services during Lent this year.  Supper is at 5.30 pm. service at 6.00 pm.
Fourth Lenten Soup/Bread Supper and Program: “Trials of Jesus:  Voices of the Prosecution”, St. Brigid's, Nazareth 6:00 p.m.
“Teach Us To Pray” – St. Andrew’s Lenten Series, St. Andrew's, Allentown 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Each Lenten gathering will start with our meal at 6:00 pm. The program begins at 6:30 pm. We promise to end by 8:00 pm.
Stations of the Cross, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.
Lenten Program and Book Discussion, Redeemer, Sayre 7:00 P.M. Refreshments served.
Lenten Program: "Making Time for God", St. Anne's, Trexlertown 7:00 P.M.

March 23rd
Stations of the Cross, Christ, 700 Delaware St., Forest City 8:30 A.M. includes pizza sale.
Stations of the Cross, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 6:00 P.M. Followed by a movie series exploring "The Evil in Film" and potluck supper.

March 28th
Lenten Organ Recital, St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 11:30 A.M. A community soup and sandwich lunch follows.
Taize Service, St. Peter's, Tunkhannock 5:30 P.M. St. Peter’s Church, Tunkhannock, will offer soup suppers and Taize services during Lent this year.  Supper is at 5.30 pm. service at 6.00 pm.
Fifth Lenten Soup/Bread Supper and Program: “Trials of Jesus:  Voices of the Prosecution”, St. Brigid's, Nazareth 6:00 p.m.
“Teach Us To Pray” – St. Andrew’s Lenten Series, St. Andrew's, Allentown 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Each Lenten gathering will start with our meal at 6:00 pm. The program begins at 6:30 pm. We promise to end by 8:00 pm.
Stations of the Cross, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.
Lenten Program and Book Discussion, Redeemer, Sayre 7:00 P.M. Refreshments served.
Lenten Program: "Making Time for God", St. Anne's, Trexlertown 7:00 P.M.

March 30th
Stations of the Cross, Christ, 700 Delaware St., Forest City 8:30 A.M. includes pizza sale.
Stations of the Cross, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 6:00 P.M. Followed by a movie series exploring "The Evil in Film" and potluck supper.

April 1st: Palm Sunday
Holy Eucharist with neighborhood palm procession led by Henry and Honey Bun, the Grace adopted donkeys, Grace, Kingston 10:00 A.M.

April 4th
Taize Service, St. Peter's, Tunkhannock 5:30 P.M. St. Peter’s Church, Tunkhannock, will offer soup suppers and Taize services during Lent this year.  Supper is at 5.30 pm. service at 6.00 pm.
Stations of the Cross, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.

April 5th: Maundy Thursday
Agape Feast in the Nave, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M followed by the Holy Eucharist and foot washing.  An Agape Feast recalls an early church tradition where a community gathered for Eucharist shared in a common meal.
Prayer Vigil, Grace, Kingston 8:00 P.M. (24 hour prayer vigil)
Maundy Thursday Service and Stripping of the Altar, St. Paul's, Troy 7:00 P.M.

April 6th: Good Friday
Good Friday Liturgy and Stations of the Cross, St. Paul's, Troy 1:00 P.M.
Good Friday Liturgy with Veneration of the Cross, Grace, Kingston 6:30 P.M.

April 7th: Holy Saturday
Great Vigil of Easter, Grace, Kingston 10:30 P.M.

April 8th: Easter Sunday
Holy Eucharist, Grace, Kingston 10:00 A.M.


Arts on the Mountain, Feb. 19

Trinity Episcopal Church
139 Trinity Hill Rd.
Mt. Pocono, PA 18344
Contact: Peter Salmon 570-629-0644
Church office: 570-839-9376

On Sunday, February 19, 2012, Arts On the Mountain at Trinity Episcopal Church, Mt. Pocono, PA, will present a music and art event beginning with a reception for the artists at  3 PM. The Flute Choir of the Poconos  will perform a concert of varied works, beginning at 4 PM, and author Robert McMahon will offer selected readings from his new book “Wandering Thoughts”. Copies of the book, now in its second printing, will also be available for purchase, signed by the author. The Art Gallery in the Parish Hall will feature Photography by Frank Fiore. A suggested donation of $10. ($5. students) helps support programming by Arts On the Mountain.

Continue reading "Arts on the Mountain, Feb. 19" »


Father Gerns’ illustrated, simplified and painless Bible Study*

*with apologies to Marshal Efron
This is not the Bible for dummies. But it is for people who feel dumb around the Bible.
Wednesdays, 6:15 to 7:30 p.m., in the Charney Room at Trinity Easton.
Call the Trinity office for more info and/or to sign up: 610-253-0792
Next session: January 4 – February 15: Jesus’ Prayer Book (and ours): The Psalms
Imagine a book in the Bible where God doesn't tell us what to do, but where we tell God how we feel! That's the Book of Psalms!

Have you ever wondered if there really is a God? Have you ever wondered if God really cares about you?

Have you ever wondered why God would allow evil to exist or let evil triumph over good? Have you ever had to make a choice but weren't sure which way to turn? How you ever been awed by the beauty of nature? Have you ever been so sad that you did not know how to go on or felt so happy that you wanted to praise God in every way you could?

The Psalms express every possible human emotion and honestly explore every human experience. The Psalms are the record of how people react to God every day.

When we pray the psalms, we are using the very same prayer book that Jesus used. We are praying the words he prayed, we are summing our feelings, our questions, our experiences, before God just as Jesus did.

We will look at some of the Psalms to get a flavor of the depth, power and poignancy of this book.

January 4, 2012 - Happy or Wicked: You Choose! (Psalm 1)
January 11, 2012 - The Majesty of God (Psalm 8)
January 18, 2012 - The Forgiveness of Sin (Psalm 32)
January 25, 2012 - A Lament for the City (Psalm 79)
February 1, 2012 - God's Dwelling Place (Psalm 84)
February 8, 2012 - Revenge! (Psalm 137)
February 15, 2012 - I Will Praise God (Psalm 146)
Please sign up in the back of the church or call the parish office to sign up.

Congregational Development Grants

[From Canon Jane Teter]

Congregational Development Grant applications have been mailed to those congregations who are currently receiving grants. If you are not currently receiving a grant but would like to apply, please contact me and I will get the application to you. Please read the guidelines carefully to see if your request will meet the guidelines. 

Our budget has been cut so there is limited funding available for 2012.

The absolute deadine is NOVEMBER 15, 2011.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact me.

Canon Teter

The Rev. Canon Jane B Teter
Diocese of Bethlehem
333 Wyandotte St.
Bethlehem, PA  18015
610-691-5655 ext 228


Pet food collection at Redeemer Sayre (UPDATED 21 September)

RedeemerSayre AnimalFood Collection2
[From JoAnn Lumley, Outreach Coordinator] The Church of the Redeemer with Boy Scout Troop 4019 started to collect supplies for the Bradford County ASPCA in Ulster on Wednesday. If you will pardon the pun, they are flooded with displaced pets and are in need of cat litter, kitten chow, canned and dried cat food, canned and dried dog food and cleaning supplies. The attached photo was taken yesterday [Wednesday, Sept. 14]. Today we sent out pet food with the Athens FD for distribution for pets still at home. We will also be able to share with additional shelters. The response has been incredible and we are meeting many neighbors.The drive continues tomorrow (Friday) from 8AM to 5PM and Saturday from 8AM to Noon.

Here's the scoop of what was collected:

In three and a half days and with a minimum of effort we collected: 501.21 lbs of dry cat food, 44.5 lbs of kitten food, 48 pouches and 259 cans of moist cat food (for the senior felines) and 407 pounds of cat litter.  For our canine friends we received 650.5 lbs of the requested Pedigree dry food,  590.5 pounds of other brand dog food,  243 cans of Pedigree moist food, 40 lbs of dog treats, 15 gallons of bleach, bags of bedding and monetary donations of $434.02.  Thank you to all who helped to make this such a amazing success.

RedeemerSayre AnimalFood Collection3At noon on Saturday Mother Andrea Baldyga and Scout leader John Johnson and the Boy Scouts from troop number 4019 helped to truck the bulk of the food to the Bradford County ASPCA and to Stray Haven Humane Society. The smaller bags of food were taken to the Athens Fire Department to be shared with local friends and family sheltering displaced pets.


Bishop appoints priest-in-charge at Trinity Mt. Pocono

[Note: The sequence for the appointment of a priest-in-charge is search, selection, and acceptance by the vestry including request that the bishop appoint the person as priest-in-charge, approval of the contract by the archdeacon, notification by the archdeacon to the bishop who appoints the priest-in-charge.]

[From senior warden Charles Buttz and the vestry]                                                                                      September 12, 2011

Dear Friends,

We are most pleased to announce that The Reverend Robert J. Criste-Troutman has been called to be Priest-in-Charge of Trinity Episcopal Church, Mt. Pocono.  Trinity's Search Committee recommended Fr. Bob for this appointment after evaluating some 12 candidates, so you may be certain he has some very special qualities!

For the past 10 years, Father Bob, as he prefers to be called, has been Rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Washington, NJ.  During his tenure at St. Peter's, parish membership expanded and Church School attendance more than quadrupled.  Fr. Bob also receives high praise from his St. Peter's parishioners for his insightful sermons, his ability to communicate with young people, and his gentle pastoral manner.

Fr. Bob is aware that Trinity has some major challenges in its future, and is looking forward to joining forces with us to help us do God's work in Northeastern Pennsylvania.   He should arrive at Trinity in mid-October 2011, and a formal reception for him is in the planning stages.  I know you will join with the Vestry in warmly welcoming him to Trinity Church and to the Poconos! 

Most sincerely,

For the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church

Charles Buttz, Sr. Warden


Grace Church and Grace House residents get to know each other

By Beth Reed, Priest-in-Charge, Grace, Allentown

Yesterday [Sunday, August 14] was a joy at Fifth and Linden in downtown Allentown. We welcomed three of our six new neighbors from Grace House at coffee hour, and then our neighbors showed us their home. At least 20 parishioners took the opportunity to see the first floor of Grace House, with its common kitchen and living room, and two residents very graciously showed us their bedrooms. We took a solid next step in our relationship with our neighbors, and I look forward to how our relationships will develop.
 
Grace House is a partnership of New Bethany Ministries, the Lehigh County Conference of Churches, and Grace Episcopal Church. Six previously chronically homeless men now live in a renovated building that formerly housed the Grace Church Sunday school and the parish’s AIDS Outreach ministry.
 


A New Day for St Mary's Reading: Angel Food Ministries

In response to current economic conditions and lengthy unemployment lines, St. Mary's Church has realized there is a great need in the city of Reading for some kind of food ministry benefiting all members of the community. Angel Food Ministries is one example of a way to provide quality, affordable food, which is part of the core of Christian mission.

Angel Food provides individuals and families with fresh, brand name food for a fraction of the retail price. By purchasing food in bulk, directly from some of the top suppliers in the country, food is discounted by up to 50 percent of retail. Angel Food Ministries is now offering a new selection of prepackaged boxes with more protein items. They contain top quality food staples from every food group, including chicken or beef, milk, eggs, vegetables and fruits. Each of the regular boxes of food feeds a family of four for about one week or a single individual for almost a month. The menu selections vary each month, and consist of both fresh and frozen items, saving Americans money with no sacrifice to quality.

Angel Food Ministries’ service is available to anyone wanting to stretch their food dollars. There are no income requirements or program qualifications. We accept Food Stamps. There are no limits to the quantity of boxes per individual, nor are there any applications or qualifications for eligibility.

Here’s a link for the August menu: http://www.angelfoodministries.com/menus/menu_2011-08_en.asp


Order  by calling Scott Chambers at: 484-333-8877 at the following times:
     August 10th from 5pm – 7:30pm
     August 13th from 9am – 12 noon
     August 17th from 5pm – 7:30pm
     August 20th from 9am – 12 noon
 
On August 27th we will pick up the boxes at a central location at 6:30 a.m. Ordered boxes will then be available for pick up at St. Mary’s Church, 100 W. Windsor St., Reading, PA 19601 on Saturday, August 27th beginning between 8:00-8:30am. Some boxes will be VERY frozen and can go about 6 hours without refrigeration.

Anyone who wishes to learn more may go to St. Mary's website and click on the Angel Food Ministry tab. You may also call Scott Chambers directly at 484-333-8877.


Douglassville seeks part-time organist/choirmaster

[From Sally Heist. Respond directly to her at the address below.]

St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church in Douglassville PA is looking for a part-time Organist/Choirmaster, working on the average of 15 hours per week. This person should be an accomplished organist and choir director, open to various musical styles and settings and committed to enhancing and developing the musical programs at the parish.

Familiarity with the Episcopal liturgy and seasons of the Christian year is a plus. The candidate must be competent in organ playing and choral directing, possess a working knowledge of sacred choral music,ability to work effectively with adults, children/youth (or those who work with them)and ability to be sensitive and responsive to the capabilities, needs and interests of the entire parish family.

In preparation for Services, the Organist/Choirmaster will plan and coordinate service music with the rector,and work with a volunteer choir. Other significant liturgical occasions –– Christmas, Holy Week, Easter, Funerals and Weddings -– will require extra planning and rehearsals. 

The annual salary is commensurate with the abilities and experience of the candidate. The position is available September 10, 2011.

Please send your resume to office@Stgabriels.us.
Office: 610-385-3144

Sally Heist
Parish Administrator


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


TCC – Many thank you all

By Bill Lewellis

"Due to declining enrollment and a lack of funding," the story began in today's Republican Herald, "the preschool[Trinity Center for Children] at Trinity Episcopal Church in Pottsville will close June 3."
 
How sad. In its heyday, TCC's enrollment surpassed 30. Today, 14 children, five full-time and nine part-time, are enrolled, with a staff of four, two full-time and two part-time people.

Sad, indeed, but might we not thank God and many groups and individuals for 20 years of this wonderful ministry.

I thank God for the vision and unselfishness of the lay and clergy leadership of Trinity Episcopal Church who sought back in 1991 to provide quality education and spiritual nurture for children beyond the bounds of their membership, for the Diocese of Bethlehem, the diocesan community's provision of financial and other important resources at TCC's launch and periodically thereafter, for the board volunteers of TCC, often recognized only when criticized, who over the years provided crucial governance, expertise and insight in hiring dedicated staff and keeping the ministry afloat. I thank God for the teachers who have loved the children and for the parents who have appreciated the teachers, the board, the Diocese of Bethlehem and the vision and leadership of Trinity Episcopal Church. Indeed, it took a village to raise 20 years of precious children. Many of us thank you all.

Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
Communication Minister/Editor (1986-2010), Canon Theologian (1998)


Social Ministries now accepting grant requests from New Hope Campaign

[From the Social Ministries Committee]

17 May 2011

Dear Partners in Ministry,

The Social Ministries Committee is now ready to receive and consider requests for disbursements from the New Hope Campaign.  The total amount we are able to grant for the 2011-12 calendar year is $100,000.  Therefore, we are inviting Letters of Intent from parishes and Episcopal related organizations within the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.  The Deadline for Letters of Intent is 15 July 2011.

The Letter of Intent should contain:

  • The Mission Statement of the parish/organization
  • A summary of the proposal including a brief project description
  • An outline of the focus and scope (who will be served?)
  • Amount to be requested from the SMC (one time or multi-year request)
  • Partner churches, agencies, organizations, etc., if any
  • Project start date
  • Name, e-mail and day and evening telephone number of contact person(s).

Letters of Intent should be sent to The Rev’d Daniel C. Gunn, St. Stephen’s Pro-cathedral, 35 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA  18701 or emailed to dgunn@ststephenswb.org with “Social Ministry Application” in the subject line.

A member of the Social Ministries Committee will be in contact soon thereafter.  These Letters are preliminary proposals and will be considered in the order in which they are received.  Applications will be sent after the initial contact.

In peace,

The Rev’d Daniel C. Gunn, Chair


St. Anne's Trexlertown seeks part time director of music

St. Anne's Episcopal Church, a warm and welcoming medium-sized parish, seeks a part time Director of Music.  Responsibilities include: directing junior and senior choirs, choosing and providing both traditional and contemporary music for worship, and attending staff meetings.  Must be proficient on piano.  Familiarity with organ necessary, proficiency on organ a plus.  Must be willing to work with musicians of all levels of ability.  Interested applicants should send resume and salary requirements to: Rev. Canon Michael Piovane, P.O. Box 368, Trexlertown, PA 18087


Six chronically homeless persons will live next to Grace Episcopal Church in Allentown

By Libby House and Bill Lewellis

Grace House2 On April 20, Grace House at 112 North Fifth Street, Allentown, a newly renovated three-story brick and stucco property next to Grace Episcopal Church, will welcome its first homeless residents.

The creation and development of a group home to provide permanent housing in apartments for six chronically homeless persons began a few years ago with a conversation between Robert Wilkins, president of the board of New Bethany Ministries from 1998 to 2010, and Elizabeth House, senior warden of Grace Church.

It was the brain child of Wilkins, House, William Kuntze, former executive director of New Bethany and Patrick Malloy,  former rector of Grace Episcopal Church. Their initiative received enthusiastic moral support as well as financial commitment from Bethlehem Diocese Bishop Paul V. Marshall.

Grace House Funding for Grace House came from a wide variety of sources. Grace Church donated to New Bethany Ministries half the value of the property which for nearly 15 years had served as the church's headquarters for its former AiDS Outreach Ministry that closed in December 2007 when federal and state funding dried up. The $500,000 costs for renovating the facility were paid for by a $250,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank, Pittsburgh, through KNBT grants from Lehigh County and the City of Allentown, and additional money generously provided by Episcopal Ministries of the Diocese of Bethlehem, the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, Senator Pat Brown, Representative Jennifer Mann, The Century Fund, and individual donors.

The new group home will become part of the City of Allentown's First Lady's Commission to End Chronic Homelessness in 10 years. The six individuals who will gain the safety and stability of a permanent residence through this project represent 10 percent of those described as chronically homeless in Allentown in 2010.

Grace House will be a joint project of New Bethany Ministries of Bethlehem, sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem and community operated, and Grace Allentown, a parish of the Diocese of Bethlehem. The facility's location in downtown Allentown will allow New Bethany Ministries, which has been working to address the needs of homeless people and others on the margins of our society, primarily in Bethlehem, for 25 years, to expand its outreach. it will also allow the Grace Church community to continue to develop and increase its mission and ministry to the people of the inner city neighborhoods of Allentown, where it already provides strategic services to the poor.

in addition to New Bethany and Grace Church, the Lehigh County Conference of Churches will play a crucial role in supporting and supervising the residents who will live in the facility by providing rent subsidies and social services. The organization will select the individuals who are to live in the group home and will assign a caseworker to help see that those living in Grace House will have the assistance they need to help them become independently functioning and contributing members of the community. They will assist with access to public benefit funding, subsidized meals, clothing services, referrals for medical and mental health treatment, and job skills training.
Grace Episcopal Church houses several ministries that will also provide additional support for the group home residents, such as supplemental groceries through its food pantry, Grace Community Foundation which provides supplemental food in a respectful manner to some 6,000 ethnically, religiously and racially diverse persons in need every year; access to a job placement counselor through the City's Weed and Seed Program; a GED program for those who dropped out of school who wish to work to earn their diplomas; the iMPACT juvenile offender program; services from paralegals from North Penn Legal Services; and blood pressure screenings. The church hopes that the tenants may wish to become part of the Grace Church community and will benefit from the possibilities that can be derived from relationships offered there.

Once described at a national conference because of its outreach ministries as the largest small church in the United States, Grace Church also owns Grace Montessori School, which provides scholarships to one-third of its diverse student body of more than 100 in a newly built, state-of-the-art facility.
 
Episcopal Ministries of the Diocese of Bethlehem, Inc., dba New Bethany Ministries, is an agency of the Diocese of Bethlehem and as such is a church-sponsored, non-profit corporation whose purpose is to organize and operate housing and social ministries with related services in the geographic area of the Diocese of Bethlehem for the care and relief of the needy, poor, displaced and other distressed persons.
 
With its long history and experience in battling homelessness, New Bethany Ministries brings compassion and expertise to the Grace House initiative at a level that cannot be overstated. This ministry of The Episcopal Church summons the talents of approximately 20 employees and 600 volunteers to serve the needs of the homeless, the hungry, the mentally ill, and the poor. In addition to managing its many shelters, homes, and apartments and providing much needed social services, the agency also serves breakfast and lunch daily in its hospitality center in South Bethlehem and offers emergency food pantry services. it is hoped that the unique combination of experience, expertise, services, proximity, and common mission of these three social justice power houses, New Bethany Ministries, Grace Church, and LCCC, will serve as a model for faith-based groups wishing to work together to address the problems of the most desperate of individuals living in our society, making a permanent difference in their lives that will restore them to dignity and independence.

New Bethany's 25-year history has included one deep valley. It was buried in debt in 1998. Low morale had spread through the staff as its executive director and two executive board members resigned. The staff had to be cut from 16 to 10. The organization was close to going out of business. That’s when Wilkins, retired senior vice president of finance for Bethlehem Steel and former Bethlehem city administrator took a leave of absence from his business to serve as interim executive director during New Bethany’s crisis when the ministry was having a hard time finding the $1,000 a day in donations (half the budget) it takes to operate its shelters, subsidized housing and meal programs. That's when the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, New Bethany’s 1983 founder, stepped in.

The Diocese of Bethlehem provided New Bethany the security for a loan and lent the charity $200,000 without interest. Bishop Paul Marshall convened a “Blue Ribbon” panel of leaders in business, social service, church and philanthropic fields to explore the problems and challenges facing New Bethany. The panel met during the last quarter of 1998 and offered a series of recommendations to the New Bethany board. By 2001, the charity cut its annual spending plan by $100,000. It got back up to a full staff of 16. It began offering just as many services as before its financial fall.

[Mrs. Elizabeth "Libby" House is senior warden of Grace Episcopal Church, Allentown, and director of the Grace Montessori School. Canon Bill Lewellis, now retired, served for nearly 25 years as communication minister for the Diocese of Bethlehem.]

Download: (1) An outline of the origin of New Bethany Ministries, by Bill Lewellis, (2) New Bethany's Two-Year Recovery, by Bill Lewellis, Diocesan Life, Dec. 2001, (3) Remarks by Beth Reed at Grace House open house, 4/7/11.

Download NBM.Outline of Origins

Download NBM’s Two-Year Recovery.Lewellis

Download NBM.GraceHouse.Holy Ground

 


Grace Kingston seeks full-time Minister of Music

[Received from Grace Kingston]

Grace Episcopal Church in Kingston, Pennsylvania is looking for a full-time Minister of Music committed to enhancing and developing the musical programs at the parish. This person should be an accomplished organist and choir director, and open to various musical styles and settings. Familiarity with the Episcopal liturgy and seasons of the Christian year is a plus but not required. The candidate should have the ability to communicate and work well with a volunteer adult choir, paid soloists, other musicians, children and youth, and clergy and staff in a team environment.

In preparation for one to two services on Sunday, the Minister of Music will plan and coordinate service music with the rector, the parish administrator, and work with a volunteer choir. Other significant liturgical occasions –Christmas, Holy Week, Easter, Funerals and Weddings – will require extra planning and rehearsals.

The annual salary is commensurate with the abilities and experience of the candidate. The position is available May 16, 2011.

Please contact
The Reverend John Hartman
Rector Grace Episcopal Church
30 Butler Street
Kingston, Pennsylvania 18704
Office: 570-287-8440
Rector’s Study: 570-714-2622
Rector’s Email: j.franklin.hartman@gmail.com


Milford Jewish-Christian Community to share Passover Seder

[Received from Good Shepherd/St. John's Milford]

April 20th, 2011 is going to be a very special night, at the Church of the Good Shepherd and St John the Evangelist in the middle of Milford. For on that night, the three thousand year old Hebrew question will ring out: “What is it that makes this night different from all others?”

Wednesday, April 20th, a traditional Passover supper will be shared by members of the Jewish and Christian communities in the parish hall of the Good Shepherd Church at Fifth and West  Catherine Streets in Milford, at 7:00 p.m.

The idea was first conceived by Chefs Peter and Sharon Daniels of the Fork Restaurant in Shohola, and the Rev. Canon Elizabeth R. Geitz of the Good Shepherd Church, following a joint Healing Service in the fall. As hosts, Peter, Sharon and Elizabeth are sponsoring the event and refer to it as the ‘First Annual Interfaith Passover Seder’, in Milford. 

The goal of the evening is to bring local people of different faiths together to share a real Seder meal, which will comprise several courses of traditional Passover foods prepared by Chefs Peter and Sharon Daniels and wine. Participants from both communities will gather for what will be both a social and deeply religious event.

The Passover Seder is a ritual held at the beginning of Passover, the Jewish holiday which marks the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt. Passover begins this year at sundown on Monday, April 18, and continues through April 21. 

The word “seder” is Hebrew for “order.” It relates to the order of events during the evening. The story of the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt is told with foods and stories. The Seder celebrates the triumph of freedom over bondage. Through ritual, readings, song, and a shared meal, the Seder offers a message of hope, justice, transformation, and light.  

“It’s beautiful to see members of both Jewish and Christian communities come together to share a Passover Seder, a ritual which seems to stand at the very intersection of the two great religions.  God calls all people out of darkness into light.” 

While Jews will be affirming their beginnings as a Chosen People, Christians  will recognize the oneness of God’s salvific plan for all people, culminating with their own story.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Ecumenical Food Pantry, a local cause supported by all sections and denominations in the community.


Elizabeth Geitz joins Milford church team

[From Good Shepherd & St. John's Milford PA]

Renowned author and  speaker Elizabeth Geitz officially joined the clergy team as priest associate of the Good Shepherd and St John’s Episcopal Church, Milford on March 23, 2011. An Episcopal priest, retired of the Diocese of New Jersey, the Reverend Canon Elizabeth Geitz now lives in Shohola. Vice-Chair of the board of trustees of the General Theological Seminary in New York, and a spirituality faculty member of the Credo Institute, Canon Geitz is a recognized expert in women’s spirituality.

A native of Clarksville, Tennessee, she brings a wealth of experience to the pastoral work of the church that stands on the corner of Fifth and West Catharine. With a firm grasp of social and community issues, Elizabeth has been a unifying factor for people of many cultures and faiths in the area. Like so many authors and writers in Pike County, she is inspired by the beauty, tranquility and ageless grace of the Delaware Valley, its wildlife and ecology.

The congregation of the church and so many sections of the greater community are excited to welcome Elizabeth to Milford and the church of Good Shepherd and St John’s. “We are all so please to welcome Elizabeth," said rector Father Bill McGinty. "She is interested in so much more than denominational church matters and brings a whole new dimension to the outreach of the greater Milford Community. For too long, we in Pike County have been aware of what divides; Elizabeth is all about what unites and binds people together, with a healthy respect for their diversity and richness of their stories. We are very blessed to have her on board.”

Locally, Elizabeth serves on the Board of The Biondo Foundation and is a member of the Chefs Do Dinner Event Committee of the Center for Developmental Disabilities. She is also co-chair of the U.S. advisory board for the Good Shepherd Home for Orphans, Cameroon, West Africa.