Disaster Preparedness Training, Aug. 17

Dear Friends,
There is still time to register for our next-to-the-last disaster preparedness training session, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 17 at St. George’s Regional Disaster Recovery & Outreach Center, 408 E. Main Street in Nanticoke. The training will prepare representatives of your parish to help coordinate a disaster preparedness and response plan for your church, as required by the resolution proposed by the Diocesan Disaster Recovery & Community Resiliency Committee and approved at last year’s Diocesan Convention, as follows:
Diocesan Resolution on Preparedness, Approved at the October, 2012 Diocesan Convention:
With awareness that disasters of many types can and have affected the parishes of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, and in acceptance of our Christian responsibility to both assist those affected by disasters and to be good stewards of our own church resources by protecting them from the effects of a disaster where possible, be it hereby resolved that each parish in the diocese will develop a disaster preparedness and response plan in accordance with the guidelines provided by Episcopal Relief & Development (ER&D) and have it on file in their parish and the diocesan offices no later than January 1, 2014.
Diocesan Disaster and Community Resiliency Committee
Canon Andrew Gerns, Canon Charles Cesaretti, Rev. Charles Warwick, Rev. Timothy Alleman,  Rev. Jane Williams, Rev. Eddie Lopez, Rev. John Major, Janine Ungvarsky
Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall, Convener

Creating this plan may seem to be an intimidating task, but with the resources created by Episcopal Relief & Development and provided at the training, a small committee at your parish can create a basic plan in just a few hours.  In many cases, you will find you already have all the information and resources you need—the plan just provides a way to organize and share it as needed.

With news reports of flooding in North Carolina, Kansas and other areas, California wildfires and even the stories of the “temporary” cardboard cathedral for Christchurch, New Zealand that remind us of the devastating earthquakes and other disasters that have occurred worldwide in recent memory, it is hard to dismiss the need for our Church and our churches to be ready to respond.  A few hours spent putting together a plan will help you be ready to protect your parish assets and respond to your parishioners and your neighbors when the need arises.

Please email me at [email protected] to register for either the August 17 training or the final disaster preparedness training session on October 26.  The session includes Noon Prayer and lunch is provided, so it is important that you register in advance.  I look forward to seeing you at one of the sessions.

Pax et Bonum.  Peace and all goodness.
The Rev. John Major
Trinity Episcopal Church of West Pittston
Saint Clement and Saint Peter Church of Wilkes-Barre
The Children’s MUSICare Project featuring Music Together
Trinity Episcopal Church of West Pittston
Diocese of Bethlehem Episcopal Relief and Development Representative
Director of Saint George’s Regional Disaster Recovery and Outreach Center , Nanticoke, Luzerne County, PA
Member of Diocesan Council, Diocese of Bethlehem
220 Montgomery Avenue
West Pittston, PA  18643

Important day in West Pittston

Today Fr. John Major and Janine Ungvarsky hosted a combined clergy meeting to review the progress in ministry to flood victims along the Susquehanna, particularly in the West Pittston area. Clergy from Tunkhannock to Honesdale and points north and south of that Rt 6 line were present.

There were several joy-producing moments even in the recollection of devastation. In the first place, Trinity and its friends have been persevering long-term servants of their neighbors, and have found that to be transformative of their life. Secondly, the good people at Episcopal Relief and Development have been nothing but helpful in their conversations. Finally, there was a review of the amount of gifts that have flowed in from you to help in this community rebuilding effort, which will take 3 to 5 years to complete.

As you know, we have a team working to help each place in the diocese be prepared for unexpected large-scale tragedy.

One of the things I have learned is that there is a national registry of volunteers that we can all access to put our skills and interests on tap for future needs. More about this will come to you.

I left the event heartened by the clergy turnout, the persistence of Trinity's priest and people, and the knowledge that ERD knows that we are here and are trying. I want to publicly thank all of them.


Grace Honesdale concert raises $1100+ for Haiti

[From Father Ed Erb, rector, Grace Honesdale]

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

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

World Mission Draft Report

Posted by Kat Lehman

Draft report encourages Episcopalians to re-evaluate mission

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Church Center staff issued a 27-page draft report on world mission June 26 in response to two questions posed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:

• What is the primary motivation for global mission?
• How do we practice global mission strategically in the 21st century?

"They are questions that continue to engage us," said Jefferts Schori in an interview when asked if the draft report adequately answered the questions. "This is a good beginning and meant to stimulate greater discussion."

The draft report includes a brief history of Episcopal global mission, estimated 2008 international mission expenditure figures ($22.9 million), the 2009 projected budget for international mission and geographic breakdowns of where the money is spent.

The $24 million projected 2009 budget for Episcopal International Mission, which includes all mission work outside the United State, is broken down by area: Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) (60.6 percent), Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS) (33.3 percent) and United Thank Offering (6.1 percent).

To read the whole story, go to Episcopal Life Online here.