A Conversation About Islam

[Note from Canon Maria Tjeltveit]

Sponsored by Christian Communities Gathering of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.

Featured Speakers:
Dr. Riaz Hussain from the University of Scranton
Dr. Shamshad Ahmed from Marywood University

Saturday, September 6, from 1-3 PM 

Marywood University, 2300 Adams Ave, Scranton, PA 18509, Swartz Center for Spiritual Life, Conference room "A" (The McGowan Room)

There are so many different voices all claiming to speak for Islam around the world and it is difficult to discern which ones are valid and true.  Our discussion will be led by two local educators who will share their personal experience and insights about Islam with us.  Questions and answers will follow and light refreshments will be served.

To register, call: 570-824-2478
You may also register at the time of the meeting.

Wilkes-Barre organ recitals and Lenten ecumenical services

Dear friends throughout the Diocese of Bethlehem and beyond:

Since the 1920s, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church has been host to an annual ecumenical Lenten series of services and organ recitals for downtown Wilkes-Barre and its surrounding communities.  The tradition will continue this year on Ash Wednesday, March 5th, with an organ recital at 11:30 am, followed by an ecumenical Lenten Service at 12:00 pm.

The theme of this year’s ecumenical services is “Finding Your Way Home.”  As in past years, the 2014 Lenten series will involve clergy, musicians, and laity from congregations throughout Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming Valley.  A soup-and-sandwich lunch will be served each week following the Lenten Service, with a suggested donation of $4.00 per person.  Members of the participating congregations will be the hosts for these lunches.  Offerings received at this year’s services and lunches will support the Wilkes-Barre Free Medical Clinic.

This year’s organ recitalists include gifted performers from throughout the United States, from as far away as Houston, Texas, Rochester, New York, and Washington, DC.  The Ash Wednesday Organ Recital at 11:30 am will be presented by Michael Smith, Chair of Performing Arts at The Shipley School and Organist and Choirmaster at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, both in Bryn Mawr (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania.  Before assuming these posts, he served as Director of Music at The Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts, where he was awarded the Pratt Chair of Music.  Michael earned his undergraduate degree in organ performance at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.  While in Birmingham, Michael was assistant conductor of both the Samford A Cappella Choir and the Birmingham Boys Choir, and was choirmaster at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.  He went on to earn graduate degrees in organ and conducting at Yale University, where he served as graduate assistant conductor to the famed Yale Glee Club.  He has accompanied and conducted choirs on tours throughout Europe, Africa, Russia, and South America.  Mr. Smith’s St. Stephen’s recital will feature works by J. S. Bach, Eugene Bozza, and William Boyce.

The Service at 12 noon will be led by The Reverend Daniel FitzSimmons, Rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Martin in the Fields, Mountaintop.  The preacher will be The Reverend William J. Marshall, Jr., Interim Priest Associate of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre.  Special music will be presented by The Wilkes University Chorus, directed by Dr. Steven Thomas.  Organist and music director for these services will be St. Stephen’s Organist and Choirmaster, Canon Mark Laubach.  Hosts for the lunch that follows the March 5th service will be the Women of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral.

A schedule of participants in the remaining Lenten recitals and services follows …

March 12 – Organ recital by Stephen Distad, Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, Houston, TX; The Rev’d Peter Kuritz, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and St. John’s Lutheran Church of Wilkes-Barre (Liturgist); The Rev’d Shawn Walker, The First Baptist Church of Wilkes-Barre (Preacher); special music by Thomas Heinze, oboe; Lunch provided by Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church.

March 19 – Organ recital by John Richardson, The First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, PA; Ms. Caitlin Czeh, Wilkes University Campus Ministry (Liturgist); The Rev’d Msgr. Vincent Grimalia, St. Luke’s Villa, Wilkes-Barre (Preacher); special music by Earl Orcutt, horn; Lunch provided by St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church.

March 26 – Organ recital (starting ten minutes early at 11:20 am) by Robert Poovey, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rochester, NY; The Rev’d Diane Sickler, Unity of NEPA (Liturgist); Rabbi Larry Kaplan, Temple Israel of Wilkes-Barre (Preacher); special music by The Wyoming Seminary Madrigal Singers, directed by John Vaida; Lunch provided by Unity of NEPA.

April 2 – Organ recital by John Bohl, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, K Street, Washington, DC; The Rev’d William J. Marshall, Jr., St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre (Liturgist); The Rev’d Diane Sickler, Unity of NEPA (Preacher); special music by John Michael Vaida, violin; Lunch provided by St. John’s Lutheran Church, Wilkes-Barre.

April 9 – Organ recital by Thomas Sheehan, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA; The Rev’d Dr. Robert Zanicky, The First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre (Preacher); special music by Carol A. Tome, mezzo-soprano; Lunch provided by The First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre.

April 16 – Organ recital by Carl Ruck, Church of Christ Uniting, Kingston, PA; Ms. Caitlin Czeh, Wilkes University Campus Ministry (Preacher); special music by The Marywood University Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Rick Hoffenberg.

I hope many of you can join us for at least one or more of these recitals and services!

Wishing you and yours a blessed and holy Lenten season ...

Mark Laubach
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

Sermon for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Canon Maria Tjeltveit
Friday, January 24, 2014
St. Peter’s RC Cathedral, Scranton, PA

Here is the sermon I gave at the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service at St. Peter’s Cathedral, in Scranton. It was very well received, and I felt good about it. In case you are interested in the images I mention in the sermon, here are the links: Poster from Canadian Church and Image from Churches Together of Britain and Ireland.

   I always find it moving to see the expression in the Roman Catholic women’s faces when I have the honor of preaching at a Roman Catholic service. The Diocese of Scranton is incredibly gracious, especially Bishop Bambera and the Rev. Phil Altavilla (the Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer and pastor of St. Peter’s Cathedral), and I know that inviting me as a woman to preach was intentional on their part. They also had The Rev. Dr. Barbara Smith, General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Lackawanna, read the gospel. –Maria

It is an honor for me to preach at this service celebrating Christian unity, and I want to thank Bishop Bambera and the Rev. Philip Altavilla for their gracious invitation and hospitality.

When I first learned that I would be preaching on the theme for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity—“Has Christ been divided?”—I thought, “This is great! All I have to do is pose the question, ‘Has Christ been divided?’ answer ‘No!’ and sit down!”

But it’s not that simple is it? Because the apostle Paul asked this question to the church in Corinth as a rhetorical question, like, “Is the pope Catholic?” We all know the answer to that is “Yes!” Paul knew that the Corinthian church would know that the answer to the question “Is Christ divided?” was “No!” But the way that they were living out their life in Christ was giving the opposite answer; with people being divided among different factions within the church.

Since I couldn’t just have a one word sermon, I did what every good preacher would do in my shoes and googled “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.” What I found were two different images, using two slightly different questions for this week.

The first is the official poster, designed by the Christian community in Canada, which on a blue-green background, has a round earth, with a cross on the top, and a vine growing up the cross. Around the outside of the globe are churches of all different styles and sizes. At the top of the poster it says, in beautiful type face, “Has Christ been divided?”

The second image comes from Churches Together of Britain and Ireland, and is on the front of your bulletin. In hues of dark orange and brown it has an icon of Christ cut up and put back together, with white spaces between the pieces. At the top it says “Is Christ” and the question “divided?” slices down a jagged triangle that splits apart the image of Christ.

These two images are a contrast artistically and emotionally. They capture a little of how these two different Christian communities have experienced difference in their churches. The people of the churches in Canada speak different languages, and have different cultures and climates. For the most part they have experienced difference as diversity, finding a sense of unity in their differing ways of expressing their faith.

The people of the churches in Ireland and Britain also have differences in their languages, and cultures, if not their climates. But they have experienced their differences as division in their history, division that has sometimes led to violence in the name of Christ. For them, seeking a sense of unity in Christ has been a hard road in the midst of much brokenness.

So the two images reflect two distinct contexts in which the Apostle Paul’s question is heard and answered by Christians today.

As I reflect on these two images, I realize how grateful I am that, for the most part, our experience in the church in America is like that of our brothers and sisters in Canada. Particularly here in this part of our state, with the long-time ministry of Christian Communities Gathering of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Roman Catholic, Assemblies of God, Lutheran, Orthodox, Methodist, Polish National Catholic, Moravian, Episcopal, American Baptist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Salvation Army, and non-denominational church clergy, lay people, and religious, come together regularly to learn about our differences and discover unity in our diversity. Back in our own communities, we seek opportunities for ministry together with other Christians; discovering in our differences a diversity that, when brought together can strengthen our witness to Christ.

So, when we ask the question “Has Christ been divided?” we are working to live into the answer that Christ is not divided and that we are given different gifts of the spirit to be together the body of Christ. (In 1 Corinthians 12) Paul uses this image of the body, that each of us, or perhaps we would say each of our churches, is like a hand or foot or eye or ear in the whole body of Christ. We need each other in our difference and diversity so that we can more effectively serve as the united body of Christ.

Originally I was going to stop my sermon there. But it’s not that simple is it? Even as we give thanks to God for the gifts of diversity that we celebrate among our different churches here in northeastern Pennsylvania, I realize that for my own church, the Episcopal Church, difference has sometimes been experienced as division. Since I was the age of the school children in the choir, my Church has split apart over divisions about liturgy, the role of women, and issues of sexuality. Even now there are divisions in the Anglican Communion, the larger body of which the Episcopal Church is a part. And the Episcopal Church is not alone. Each one of our denominations has or has had things that have divided us; many of them the same issues that my church has struggled with. We share with the churches in Ireland and Britain the experience of difference as division. We know the brokenness of division in the body of Christ.

As I sat in the Martin Luther King Day service at St. James AME Zion Church, in Allentown, on Monday, with a wide diversity of African Americans, Latinos, and Caucasians, I thought about how, all these years after King’s death, Sunday morning at 11:00 is still the most, divided, segregated hour in America. Yes, difference is not always diversity; it is sometimes division in the body of Christ. When we only talk about diversity, we may be making things too simple. As the preacher at that service said, “If you can’t face it; you can’t fix it.”

An optional part of the suggested liturgy for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a time for people of different denominations to bring forward symbols of the gifts that each Church brings. In a paradoxical way, I believe that experiencing division within our churches or denominations is a gift that we bring to the work of Christian unity and to the world. In our common lives we know the brokenness of division, its pain and longing. That can humble us and open our eyes and hearts to the brokenness of the world around us. We can reach out to our brothers and sisters in other Churches, not smugly or triumphantly, as though we have it all together, but humbly, knowing that each of us falls short of Christ’s calling but that, together we can be more closely the body of Christ. In our brokenness we can work together to bring Christ’s healing love to the people around us broken by poverty, disease, racism, injustice, and violence; to people in places where division has led to alienation or civil war.

Pope Francis, in many ways, seems to exemplify this way of having the brokenness of the church open us to the brokenness of the world. He has embraced a humble attitude toward, not only his Christian brothers and sisters, but particularly people broken by poverty, disease, and alienation. The answer to that old rhetorical question “Is the pope Catholic?” has become for some of us Protestants, “Yes, but we might like to claim him too.”

In his witness, Pope Francis is following, not only the saints for whom he is named, but Jesus Christ. For Christ, who is undivided, embraced the brokenness of the world and for our sake was broken on the cross. Through his death and resurrection he heals us and brings us to wholeness and life. He has given us all the gifts that we need to be united together as one in the Body of Christ.

When we acknowledge our divisions and brokenness; when we, in humble love, focus on the undivided Christ and the needs of our broken world, Christ will make us one.

Maybe it is that simple.


[Maria Tjeltveit is Canon for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for the Diocese of Bethlehem.]

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

[From Canon Maria Tjeltveit]

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is fast approaching (January 18-25). Clergy received order forms for items related to this year’s theme, “Has Christ been divided?”  If you did not get around to ordering anything, you can still get materials from the Graymore Institute: http://www.geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/theme_announcement_2014.html   This week’s theme is from Canada (and the part of 1 Corinthians that we read the following Sunday, Jan. 26).  If you want to see a visually striking interpretation of the theme, check out the website of the Churches Together of Britain and Ireland: http://www.ctbi.org.uk/657
Here are some Week of Prayer events and things you may want to know about and participate in.
This Sunday, January 12, at 11:00 a.m., the Nazareth Ministerium  had their ecumenical service at the Nazareth Intermediate School. The Rev. Canon Anne Kitch was the preacher.
For those of you in the Lehigh Valley, the Lehigh County Conference of Churches will have their Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service on Sunday, January 19, at 4:00 p.m., at Calvary Baptist Church, 4601 Tilghman Street, Allentown. This is the Conference’s 60th anniversary year.
For those of you up in the Scranton area, there will be a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service, at 12:10 p.m., on Friday, January 24, at St. Peter’s Cathedral, 315 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton. I will be the preacher. This is a wonderful service that is an outgrowth of the Christian Communities Gathering of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
In anticipation of that service, I was taped talking about the service, Christian Unity, and other issues. Here’s how you can view it:
Air dates and times for “Our Faith…Our Diocese”:
CTV: CATHOLIC TELEVISION update           
#88, January, 2014
(length: 1 hour) AIR TIMES
Sunday, January 12, 5:00 pm, Premier
Tuesday. January 14, 8:00 pm
Wednesday. January 15, 10:00 am
Thursday, January 23, 11:00 am
Friday , January 24, 9:00 pm
Monday, January 27, 2:00 pm
You can also view the program at:
It looks like you have to wait until it is aired on Sunday to watch it on the website.
If people have other Week of Prayer for Christian Unity events, that they want to share, I hope you will post it on Bakery.


Here’s information you can use or send to your congregation if they want to engage in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
If you would like Meditations for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, (an octave that begins Saturday, January 18) here are two good options:
You can download a pdf or word file for a booklet from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland at: http://www.ctbi.org.uk/657   (You will need to scroll down the page. The Word document downloads more easily.)
You can go to the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute site for on line daily reflections:  http://www.geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/prayer_worship/daily_scripture_and_prayer_guide.html


If you are not involved in an ecumenical service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this Sunday, you can still incorporate parts of the suggested service. I just modified their prayers (based on the Millennium Development Goals) by adding a final collect.  If you haven’t finished planning your service, feel free to include these.


(following the themes of the United Nation’s eight Millennium Development Goals)

L: We pray for all people who suffer day to day in poverty and hunger. Their precarious state often causes divisions; may Christ’s love restore justice and peace. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for all those striving for universal education. May their thirst for knowledge build bridges between our churches and restore respect in our differences. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for those striving for equal dignity and rights of all people. May the image of God be honored in all women and men. We remember especially the need for equal access to jobs, goods and services. As we become one in Christ Jesus, may we fully receive the gifts of both men and women. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for the young who are sick and those who seek to improve child health. As we take care of children, may we welcome Jesus himself. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for women who bear children, and for their maternal health. May we take care of these mothers who carry new life and whose love for their children reminds us of God’s uniting love for us. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for those who combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. May we hear the voices of those denied a life of dignity, and work to create a world in which all people are respected and cared for, and where no one is excluded. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for all who suffer the consequences of the poor stewardship of creation, and for all endangered species. Guide us to environmental sustainability so we can be reconciled with creation. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

L: We pray for those who practice international solidarity and global partnership. As we favor a fair trade of goods and we cancel debt in the poorest countries, may we also strive for justice. Gracious God, hear our prayer,
A: And in your love, answer.

Celebrant: Gracious God, you call your Church to work for reconciliation among all people and to build up the kingdom of God on earth. Unite us in our faith and our commitment to serve your people and the world you have made. Empower us with your Holy Spirit as we work together so that all may know your love through your Son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

See the website for more ideas: http://www.geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/prayer_worship/ecumenical_celebration.html

Learning about Islam

[From Canon Maria Tjeltveit]

Since we passed a resolution at Convention about connecting with people who are Muslim, I wanted to let people know about a couple of upcoming things in the Lehigh Valley.
The Institute for Jewish Christian-Understanding at Muhlenberg College has a yearly Dialogue Day for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. This year’s theme is Being in Prayer; Prayer in our Being. It is this coming Sunday afternoon, Oct. 23. I am attaching a brochure about it. The deadline to sign up was supposed to be last week but I checked and they welcome registrations even on that day.  I’ve been in the past and it is usually very good. Here's the file for that:
Download 2011_Day_of_Dialogue final
The Lehigh Dialogue Center is a Turkish Muslim group in the Bethlehem area. They regularly have activities to which they invite the public. The one coming up this week is a cooking class for women, this Saturday and the following two Saturdays. It sounds yummy. See the attachment for this brochure here:
Download Cookingclasshandouttoemail
I will gather more resources as we go along, but wanted to pass these along right now.
Maria Tjeltveit
Canon for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

Diocesan Life for November 2011

Open publication - Free publishing - More bluegrass

Want the .pdf version instead? You can download load the 2.3 MB file here: Download November2011_DiocesanLife_SMALL

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 live.trinityeaston.org. 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 www.trinityeaston.org 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, live.trinityeaston.org. 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 www.tinitymtpocono.org for directions.

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

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

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

Diocesan Life for September 2011

Download the September issue of Diocesan Life as a .pdf
Download September2011_DiocesanLife_SMALL (3.3 MB file)

The real ecumenical/interfaith opportunity

By Bishop Paul Marshall
Posted on "Bakery" the interactive Internet list
of the Diocese of Bethlehem, June 25, 2011

I read this factoid on the web:

Using General Social Survey data, those identifying themselves as Southern Baptist fell from 8.9% of the U.S. population for the 1996-2000 survey period to 7% for the 2006-2010 period, a drop of 21%. The percentage of Episcopalians in the population fell by 14% for the same period.

So if this is true, the conservatives are losing members faster than the mainline! I wouldn't do the Schadenfreude polka just yet, but the numbers suggest that the propaganda that our church is shrinking because of its positions on various matters needs careful examination. The RCC has lost a breath-taking 30% of its membership.

Perhaps the real ecumenical/interfaith opportunity is to find ways to communicate to our culture the importance of religious belief, period.

Here is a starter on that project, from a Jewish doctor:
Download Kernberg religion.pdf

In case time is short, here is his conclusion:

In contrast to Freud, I would conclude that science and reason cannot replace
religion, that religiosity as a fundamental human capability and function has to be
integrated in our understanding of normality and pathology, and that a universal
system of morality is an unavoidable precondition for the survival of humanity.
Psychoanalysis has given us fundamental information regarding the origin of
religiosity, but not a world conception or an arbitration of the philosophical and
theological discussion regarding God.

At a clinical level, one of the functions of the psychoanalyst is to explore the extent
to which religiosity as a mature desire for a transpersonal system of morality and
ethical values as outlined is available to our patients. The function of the
psychoanalyst is not that of a pastoral counselor or a guide to such a universal
system of values; rather, the psychoanalyst's function is to free the patient from
unconscious conflicts that limit this capability, including the systematic confrontation,
exploration, and resolution of unconscious conflicts that preclude the development of
concern, guilt, reparation, forgiveness, responsibility and justice as basic aspirations
of the individual. Psychoanalysis also has to help certain patients to free themselves
from the use of formal religious commitments as a rationalization of hatred and
destructiveness directed against self or others. Perhaps one might add to Freud's
suggestion that love and work are the two main purposes of life, that the
commitment to morality and the appreciation of art are two further major tasks and
sources of meaning for the human being.


Three Episcopal clergy take part in Moravian clergy retreat

[From Deacon Sally Bosler]

The Clergy/Staff Retreat of the Moravian Eastern District was held at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, PA on May 23-25, 2011. This year, The Rev. David Bennett, the President of the Eastern District of the Moravian Church, invited Bishop Paul Marshall to send three clergy persons from the Diocese of Bethlehem to attend the retreat, thereby expanding the process of exploring the full communion between the Moravian Church and the Episcopal Church.  Joining the thirty-plus Moravian pastors, gathered from New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, were The Rev. Andrea Baldyga, Church of the Redeemer, Sayre, PA., The Rev. Sally Bosler, St. Gabriel’s, Douglassville, PA., and The Rev. Terrence Wible, St. Luke’s, Lebanon, PA. The retreat, entitled “Cultivating Attentiveness” was led by Kairos: School of Spiritual Formation.
I arrived tired, still burdened by unfinished work, half relishing the promise of retreat and half begrudging the time set aside from my busy schedule. I was immediately welcomed by our Moravian brothers and sisters, who were also tired, but eager to journey together. My heart, mind and body all reacted to the deceleration, the conscious letting go of distractions advised by the team from Kairos. Cell phones, computers, books, unwritten sermons, etc. were to be left in our parked cars! I was invited to ‘simply be’, to rest and allow myself to be refreshed. I began to approach and then to practice silence, often awkwardly and imperfectly. Our shared “speaking” times together were rich with insight and the comments shared were often accompanied by nods born of common experience.  It was a time for listening to God, to self and to others, both when we were together and when alone. The retreat was a constant invitation to draw near. I embraced the diversity of people and experiences. With distractions at a minimum, conversation progressed past social convention into dialogue and relationship. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to greet several former classmates and to begin additional new friendships among the Moravian clergy. Deacon Sally

Honesdale celebrates Lutheran/Episcopal Full Communion

[From Father Ed Erb]

The feast of the Ascension of Christ Jesus was celebrated in Honesdale together by Lutherans and Episcopalians.  In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Full Communion between the two denominations, Pastor Kenneth Buckwalter of St. John Lutheran Church and Father Edward Erb of Grace Episcopal Church decided to join forces for a feast day celebration.
On May 1, 2001 the national bodies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, The Anglican (Episcopal) Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church, USA signed documents recognizing the ministries and sacraments of each others' traditions, entering into "Full Communion."  Lutherans and Episcopalians have shared much over the centuries in their theology and practice, and now it has become formalized.
Lutheran Pastor Buckwalter presided at the Altar of Grace Episcopal Church on Thursday evening while Father Erb preached at the service of Holy Communion. Mentioning in his sermon about the years that the two parishes have served the community together in weekly free dinners and other ministries, Fr. Erb commented that Jesus' mandate that his Name should be proclaimed throughout the world "beginning in Jerusalem" meant that we have work to do together right here in our own backyard, and these two parishes have been doing just that.  Communion began when we started working together.  Now we can share the Body and Blood of Christ as sisters and brothers.
A joint choir provided special music for the occasion, and lay participants from both parishes joined in the service.
There are many "Major Feasts" in the Church which often fall mid-week.  These provide perfect opportunities, not only for us to join together, but to ceremoniously observe the holy days of the Church's tradition.  Plans are already underway to continue these joint celebrations with our "families of friends."

Diocesan Life for May 2011

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

A photo of a first

[From Bishop Paul]

Alleluia. Christ is risen!

An edited keepsake Here is a cropped  version of Kat Lehman's excellent photo of a first. Moravians (Rev David Bennet), Lutherans (Bishop Samuel Zeiser) and Episcopalians (me and Bp Jack) at one altar. A wonderful step toward NE Pennsylvanians becoming one in practice as well as theology. It is my deepest prayer that the next time this photo is taken, we will have a bishop of the United Methodist Church in the picture! (That would also add a woman bishop!)

My own Phantasie [sic] at this moment is a gigantic Share the Bread-type celebration of the four bodies that will fill a great space and give a strong witness to the area and a solidifying opportunity for celebration among the churches. Stay tuned.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Easter blessings,


To The Morning Call, re 'new RC structure to welcome Anglicans'

By Bill Lewellis
April 11, 2011

A March 14 Page One story (Allentown Catholic Diocese anticipates new structure to welcome Anglicans) included a phone number for Episcopalians who seek an older liturgy or who have a problem with the acceptance of women priests and gay clergy.
We learned from the story that a few "have turned to Rome where teaching and practice are unchanged." Huh? Then another stereotype: the uninformed description of Episcopal liturgy as one where "prayers are lengthier and language richly Elizabethan." We do better than that. Come and see.

Prior to my resignation as a Roman Catholic priest, I served the Diocese of Allentown as media liaison (1968-81). I wrote hundreds of news releases and made suggestions for many more stories. Not one put another denomination down.

During 24 years as communication minister for the Diocese of Bethlehem, until recently retiring, I knew some 20 former Roman Catholic priests, not counting former RC women who became priests. Hundreds of former RC laity were members of our parishes. Though I knew many of their stories, I never sought to provide any to the media. I encouraged a policy of not seeking publicity for such stories, even turning down local and national offers to publish my own story.
I enjoyed a scene from the 1997 movie, The Apostle. Robert Duvall, playing a Texan charismatic-Pentecostal minister, watched priests in full regalia bless shrimp boats. "You do it your way," he said to himself, "and I do it mine ... together we get it done."
Let's "get it done" together. No need to put the other down.

Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
Communication Minister/Editor (1986-2010), Canon Theologian (1998)
newSpin blog, Email (c)610-393-1833
Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]

In Lebanon.A Gathering of an Unexpected Result

By Pat Walter
St.Lukes Episcopal Church, Lebanon, PA
A Prayer Shawl Conference took place Saturday, March 19, 2011 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Lebanon. Approximately 50 people from 22 churches in Lebanon County came together for this Lenten, daylong activity. Those present represented the Prayer Shawl ministries from their churches ranging from established groups, to newly formed groups, and those in hopes of starting a group.

Opening the event, Father Terrence Wible, St. Luke's Rector, welcomed the group. Canon Jane Teter, widow of the former St. Luke's rector, Lloyd Edgar Teter, was the speaker. Canon for Ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Teter spoke about Contemplative Knitting and Crocheting and how its repetitive motion is soothing and opens the mind to higher thoughts. She also spoke about a possible outgrowth of each individual ministry to include countywide projects for various agencies and people in need. She showed many of her own items for this extended ministry.

Continue reading "In Lebanon.A Gathering of an Unexpected Result" »

A Theological Foundation for Full Communion: Episcopal, United Methodist

The following document, A Theological Foundation for Full Communion between The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church, was adopted by the Episcopal‐United Methodist Dialogue Team on Friday, April 16, 2010. The document speaks only for our current Episcopal‐United Methodist dialogue team at this point, but it is commended to our churches for study and discussion. This is a preliminary printing of the document, but the text that follows is the text as adopted by the Dialogue Team. Download it below.

Download Theological Foundation for Full Communion

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: www.moravian.org

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:  http://www.episcopalchurch.org/110055_111526_ENG_HTM.htm or  http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/Finding_Our_Delight_Official_Text__2_.pdf

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.



New locally commissioned hymn to celebrate Christian unity

By David Howell

Three center city Bethlehem churches have joined together to commission a new hymn.  Moravian Seminary, Trinity Episcopal Church, Salem Lutheran Church, and Central Moravian Church have asked noted hymn writer Brian Wren to pen a new hymn to reflect the joy of their union. The new work will debut March 11 at Moravian’s College’s Foy Concert. Brian Wren will be in Bethlehem to present the Weber Memorial Lecture. (See below)

Bethlehem is the focus of an historic event as the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (the largest U.S. Lutheran church) and the Moravian Church in North America celebrate full communion agreements that allow the three bodies to share clergy and minister together in significant ways.

The Rev. Dr. Steve Simmons, director of Moravian’s Continuing Education program, writes, “A good new hymn may surprise and delight us with its theology, poetry and music. Sung often, it can lull us into inattention, or surprise us with sudden relevance. With this in mind, Brian Wren, one of the most significant and popular hymn writers of our time, will introduce some of his own recent work, as well as new hymns by Richard Leach and Shirley Murray, and invite us to converse about them and sing them. In the process, he will discuss the history, practice, and future of congregational singing in a time of rapidly changing styles of worship.”

Dr. Wren says, "Perhaps one or two will catch our imagination and become familiar enough to express our deepest needs and beliefs, yet still be able to surprise."

Wren Dr. Brian Wren studied at Oxford, taking degrees in Modern Languages and Theology, including a D. Phil for work on the Hebrew prophets. After ordination, he pastored a Congregational church in Essex, served as consultant to the British Council of Churches, and worked in the student-based world poverty campaign, Third World First. Since 1983, Brian has followed a freelance ministry, helping worshippers, ministers, educators and musicians to improve skills, and deepen spirituality. Recently retired as John and Miriam Conant Professor of Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary, he currently lives in upstate New York with his wife Susan Heafield, a United Methodist pastor.



Weber Memorial Lectures in Pastoral Ministry
Surprise Us by the Words We Sing: New Hymns to Sing and Ponder
March 11, 2011 (9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.)
Foy Concert Hall, Payne Campus, Moravian College
Free, but registration is recommended.
3.5 CEUs
Visit here for more information or to register: http://www.moravianseminary.edu/conted/Spring11/weber.html

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

RC Diocese of Scranton Bishop will preach at St. Luke's Scranton

The Right Reverend Paul V. Marshall
Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem
and the Rector and Congregation
of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church
cordially invite you to attend
A Choral Evensong for All Saints
at which Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera
Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton will preach

Sunday, November 7, 2010 at four o'clock in the afternoon

Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church
232 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503

Traditional English Tea following

For more information: 570.342.7654 [email protected]