How did you know there was a lion in the marble?

Bill Lewellis
Jan. 5, 2016

HOW DID YOU KNOW THERE WAS A LION IN THE MARBLE? … Some 25 years ago in Bethlehem, I was involved in the installation of a large, movable satellite dish on the four-story bell tower of our cathedral. I invited the local newspaper to send a photographer. He took one exceptional photo when the dish, lifted by a crane, seemed suspended from the sky and a cross on the roof of the adjoining cathedral church was visible through the mesh of the dish.

For many years, as I crossed a bridge into South Bethlehem, just before getting to Diocesan House, a version of that image continued to intrigue me. I used it to get focused, to get centered. It was a juxtaposition in search of a theology of communication. From the bridge, both the cross on the roof of the cathedral and the satellite dish on the bell tower came into view. Glancing at one, then at the other… I remembered the moment when one was seen through the other.

I no longer make that daily drive. I think the dish, surpassed now by better technology, has been removed. Still, the memory remains.

The cross of the Mediator, Jesus Christ, is a window into the heart of God. The satellite dish was symbolic of the many and various other media of God’s self-disclosure. “Long ago,” the Letter to the Hebrews begins, “God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways...” God still uses many media of self disclosure.

Where will God show up today? For whom might you be a clue?

One story/image I discovered long ago in a book by Henri Nouwen frequently replays in my head. The open-ended image is ever fresh.

A little boy wandered into a sculptor’s studio and watched a master sculptor work with hammer and chisel on a large piece of marble. It did not long hold the child's interest. Months later he returned. Where once stood a large block of marble, there stood a majestic and powerful Aslan-like lion. “How did you know,” he asked the sculptor, “there was a lion in the marble?” “I knew,” the sculptor replied, “because I saw the lion first in my heart. The real secret, though, is that it was the lion in my heart who recognized himself in the marble.”

The Christ within recognizes himself unformed in the disguises of the world. Spirituality becomes ministry. Contemplation becomes action. Prayer becomes mission.

The image suggests also the relationship between the ministries of communication and evangelism, God’s word becoming flesh. Incarnation continues.

Churches remain relevant despite decline in membership

Bill Lewellis
The Morning Call
Your View column, May 4, 2012

Declining numbers in churches of whatever flavor have become a truism, probably since the halcyon I-Like-Ike 50s but especially over the past few decades. Wednesday's Page One story detailed the past decade's local decline.

Declining numbers often mean church closings. Witness the closing of Roman Catholic churches over the past few years. They received remarkable publicity because they were done wholesale and drew controversy. There have been many others, somewhat under the radar.

Is there positive spin we might give to this phenomenon of changing churches?

Decades ago, a wire service religion editor used to say that the Episcopal Church has an influence far beyond its numbers. (Did I say he was an Episcopalian?) The Episcopal Church has a lot of experience at being a small yet effective church. There are probably more Muslims in the U. S. than there are Episcopalians.

Some of our churches with an average Sunday attendance of 50 serve the poor, the homeless, the marginalized in ways far beyond what such numbers might suggest. Some of our large churches serve the poor better than the cities in which they are located. Not only Episcopal congregations. You may be a member of a congregation like that in another denomination. It's all about the members and the leadership.

Five fewer or five more people in a congregation of 50 make a significant difference for the mission of the congregation. For that reason, among others, every person is a treasure.

Hear me. If you are not now a member of a church, talk to your local priest or minister. Tell him or her why you are not. Hear what he or she has to say. Perhaps you can't get your head around or have an incredibly bizarre notion of what you'd have to believe. People have acted themselves into believing the basics by taking part in the mission of the church. "Come and see," Jesus said. Faith is not about doctrinal purity. It is so much more, including paying attention to the hope that is within you, attending intensely to what is within and beyond.

If you can't find someone to talk with or if you are not treated as a treasure, resort to me. I'd love to hear from you.

[Canon Bill Lewellis, a retired Episcopal priest, served on the bishop's staff of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem for 24 years and on the bishop's staff of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown for 13 years before that. His email is [email protected]]

Diocesan Life for July/August 2011


You can download the .pdf version here as well: Download July-August2011_DiocesanLife_SMALL

A "Welcome card" can facilitate invitation to church

Most people who enter a faith community for the first time and stay do so because another lay person invited them. Beverly Bammel, a missioner at St. Francis, College Station, Texas, in the Diocese of Texas, says "This only makes sense. How often do we ask a friend their advice about a movie, a book, a doctor, or any countless number of things? We turn to someone who has first sampled the services or goods, someone with first-hand experience. Often we don’t even need to know this other person very well, and we’ll follow their advice."

She offers a practical tool any church can use to help members invite others to come and worship. Print up business cards with the name of your church, address, phone, web-address and worship times.  Read more about it at "Share the Bread", the blog of the Evangelism Commission of the Diocese of Bethlehem.

--posted by Andrew Gerns

Diocesan Training Day on April 2nd

Registration opens today and closes March 23rd. Cost is $17.50 and includes lunch.

A day set aside for learning about opportunities and resources for ministry in congregations, and celebrating ministries we share. There will be 13 different workshops spanning all aspects of ministry to select from this year. Please plan to join us for a wonderful day of learning.

Workshops include:
All Day Workshops (one workshop in both sessions)

#1 Ministry of the Lay Eucharistic Visitor (all day workshop) - The Rev. Edward Erb -- Two-part course leads to licensing. Morning session - Biblical, theological, and historical background. Afternoon session - resources and practical considerations (ex. HIPAA rules, safety, and health concerns)

#2 Understanding and Working with ChurchPost (all day workshop) - Mr. John Goodell, Owner of ChurchPost -- A hands-on guide to using ChurchPost, our electronic newsletter platform, to communicate effectively and immediately with your members and visitors.

Session I - 9:45am to 11:15am

#3 Wardens/Vestry 101 - The Rt. Rev. Paul Marshall and The Ven. Howard Stringfellow - Introduction for new wardens and vestry members or a refresher for experienced vestry members to the roles, responsibilities, and realities of parish leadership.

#4 Bringing Financial Sanity to the Family - Mr. Dan Charney - The program, Financial Sanity, designed by Nathan Dungan, founder and president of Share Save Spend, consists of four one-hour sessions.  This training helps you to become familiar with the program, and will cover session one of the program to give participants a feel for what it is all about.

#5 Transitional Formation in Parishes - Ms. Kim Rowles - In periods of individual transition it is especially important to support and lead members in our communities to an intentional life with Christ, this session will help outline a plan for individual parishes dealing with middle to high school transition, high school to college transition, and couples to family transition.

#6 - Come Let Us Worship - A Workshop for the Laity and Clergy - The Rev. Laura Howell & The Rev. John Francis - This session will explore some of the tools the Book of Common Prayer gives us for daily worship.  It will provide some practical suggestions for parish prayer that may be led by the laity as well as the clergy.

#7 - Evangelism as Prayer and Faith Sharing - The Rev. Jane Bender, The Rev. Doug Moyer,  and Mrs. Carol Keane - The Unbinding the Gospel series doesn't give answers as to how, when and where.  Come learn how many ways this lively resource can be tailored for your use.

Session II -- 1:15pm to 2:45pm

#8 Enabling Ministries: Forward Life Planning - Mr. Charlie Barebo - Develop your parish's capabilities to deliver ministries by strengthening its approach to Forward Life Planning.

#9 Treasurers’ Workshop - Mr. Bruce Reiner -- This workshop will focus on cash receipts, cash disbursements, internal controls, and audits.

#10 - The Confirmation Conundrum - The Rev. Canon Anne Kitch - Explores the rite of Confirmation and the many questions it raises.  Includes an overview of the history of Confirmation in the Episcopal Church and the theology of Confirmation as it is express in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

#11 - Health Ministries - Mrs. Diana Marshall - Health ministry plays a unique and critical role in facilitating the health of clergy, staff and congregations.  Health ministry looks different from congregation to congregation, reflecting the unique needs, interests, and resources of the faith community.

#12 - Incorporating New members into the Episcopal Church - The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns- The course will introduce a simple, easy-to-understand, process of incorporating new members into a congregation. It will also describe various kinds of visitors and newcomers and show how to integrate the worship and theology of the Episcopal Church into our evangelism.

#13 - Training for Regional Discernment Teams - Members of the Commission on Ministry - This training session is designed to help both clergy and laity understand the purpose and structure of regional discernment as practiced in the Diocese of Bethlehem.

You can click here to register. Download the Diocesan Training Day brochure on our web site here.

Oprah meets Dr. Phil meets Bishop Sheen

From Share the Bread, the evangelism blog of DioBeth:

The Hollywood Reporter says that Fr. Alberto Cutie, aka "Father Oprah," is starting a weekday syndicated daytime talk show. It will show up in the New York City and Los Angeles markets on local Fox-owned stations, and maybe in other markets.

Father Alberto Cutie, a bestselling author of self-help books and radio talk show host as well as a former Roman Catholic priest, will join the ranks of gabbers and host a daily syndie strip devoted to life matters.

"It'll be everything from sex to salvation," Father Alberto told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday in Miami during the NATPE TV trade show.

Hopefully it'll invite "greater dialog" with the audience, he added. Sorta Oprah meets Dr. Phil meets Bishop Sheen, the only other religious personnage who ever fronted a national TV show. (And that was in the 1950s!)

The show is being licensed by Debmar-Mercury and the first station group to step up for a launch test is Fox.

The show will preview on a number of as yet unspecified Fox stations this summer. The Fox test markets will include N.Y. and L.A., the country's top two markets. Other non-Fox outlets may be invited to join the test as well.

Jack Abernethy, CEO of the Fox TV station group, said there has been a crying need for an inspirational show for stations for many years. "Something not dogmatic or rigid but uplifting and helpful to viewers. Such things are big business in other media like book publishing and the radio but not on television," he pointed out.

Father Cutie is not new to this kind of of work. He developed a huge following on Telemundo and in syndication in Latin America when, as a Roman Catholic, and became known as "Father Oprah."

The fact that an Episcopal priest has snagged a syndicated television project like this for a mass market audience (in two languages, no less!) is a very big deal. If it passes the test markets--mainly to see how well Cutie is received among non-Hispanic viewers who did not know him when he was on Telemundo--this will be a huge entry for the Episcopal Church in an audience that we do not often reach out to, in a forum that is new to us.

--posted by Andrew Gerns

From risk to opportunities: Congregational renewal in the Diocese of Bethlehem

[Editor’s note: This is the first of a three part series focusing on congregational renewal within the diocese. If you would like further information please contact Fr. Charles Cesaretti or one of the members listed in the article.]

From risk to opportunities: Congregational renewal in the Diocese of Bethlehem

By Ty Welles and Canon Andrew Gerns
A group of laity and clergy are working to create a process to assist congregations with renewal and development in rapidly changing times, based on utilizing inherent strengths in local communities and networking parishes with similar situations in creative and collaborative ways.

The group was called together in response to Bishop Paul Marshall’s address to the Diocesan Convention in October, 2009. Bishop Marshall said the  following concerning congregations in the diocese:
“The problem with help [for parishes] from the outside is that it can look and feel imposed. Therefore, to help less endangered parishes reclaim their vitality I have been meeting with the Congregational Development Commission in order to reorganize their activities. . . . It is very important to me that parishes in similar situations talk with each other and as far as possible, work together.”

Soon after Convention, Bishop Paul invited the Congregational Development Commission, and a group interested laity and clergy together to talk about how the congregational development process can be reoriented. Instead of providing resources to assist congregations from “above” as it did in the past, the goal will be to facilitate parishes to work together for renewal. The goal will bring together diocesan and congregational resources in a network to assist both troubled and stable congregations move from mere survival to a sense of Christ-centered vitality and world-focused mission.

The new group is chaired by the Rev. Charles Cesaretti and consists of Bishop Paul, Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow, Fr. Cesaretti, Canon Jane Teter, Canon George Loeffler, Canon Andrew Gerns, Fr. Bill McGinty, Fr. Scott Allen, Charles Warwick, Ty Welles, Rachel Bartron, and Dean Tony Pompa. Some of these people were already members of the Congregational Development Commission, and others represented both parishes and other programs or oversight committees of the diocese.

The group designated a drafting team tasked to develop a report about the current state of congregation development and support as well as the needs, hopes and vision of the various groups and parishes in the diocese. The group convened four mini-consultations with representative focus groups from across the diocese to seek out information, background and suggestions. One consultation was with a joint meeting of Diocesan Council and the Standing Committee; a second was with diocesan staff; a third was with representatives of a number of parishes exhibiting growth; and a fourth was with representatives of a number of struggling parishes.

The report, titled From Risks to Opportunities: Congregational Renewal in the Diocese of Bethlehem was the result. The paper describes the standards, practices, and resources that will foster faithfulness of ministry in every congregation of the diocese. The writers suggested that the mission and instrumentality of the committee should be to strengthen all parishes, especially those that have exhibited vitality; provide resources to those congregations “at risk”; and provide self-realization and eventuality to those congregations that have lost their sense of purpose or vitality.

After being presented to Diocesan Council, the Standing Committee, the Incorporated Trustees, and various program committees of the diocese, the outline in From Risks to Opportunities will be brought to the diocese at large through Diocesan Convention this fall. These three articles provide the background for the decisions we will make together in October.

At the heart of the findings described in From Risks to Opportunities is the definition of mission found in the catechism in the Book of Common Prayer: “the mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. The mission is pursued as it prays, worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace, and love. This mission is carried out through the ministry of all its members.” This understanding of mission proclaims that our first and primary relationship is with God; the second relationship is in the worship and proclamation of the church; and the third relationship is with the community and the world. From Risks to Opportunities suggested that this should be adopted as the mission statement of the committee.

A second suggestion was that the committee be renamed The Committee on Congregational Renewal. This would align the committee with the mission statement, and with both the goal and process.

A third finding in From Risks to Opportunities was that the Committee on Congregational Renewal should become the catalyst and agent for a multi-year program to shepherd all congregations of the diocese to renewal and transformation, and to move from risk to opportunities.

Out of the meetings held by the committee there developed a number of assumptions:
1. The bedrock of Christian action is a spiritual life, which must start, direct, and sustain all congregational life.
2. Congregations must focus on their strengths rather than on their weaknesses.
3. Congregations can greatly strengthen their witness when they link up with neighboring congregations in cooperative ventures.
4. Congregations do better when they do not become dependent upon outside sources.
5. Many clergy are ill-prepared to lead a small rural or village church.
6. Every congregation in the diocese must be included in the renewal and transformational process at the appropriate level.

The Committee on Congregational Renewal is developing a process for the diocese and congregations to move into a new era of renewal for parishes in the Diocese of Bethlehem. The vision also includes improved collaboration between the several commissions of the diocese.

As we move towards Diocesan Convention this coming October, the next two parts in this series will describe in more detail how this process will be laid out and frame the discussion and decisions before us. We will spell out the ways in which parishes in the diocese can move into the renewal process beginning at the convention, and how every Episcopalian in northeast Pennsylvania can support a renewed, re-vitalized sense of mission and Christian community.

Episcopal priest on "What Not to Wear."

The Rev. Emily Bloemker thought she was going to Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis to talk about their dioceses partnership with the diocese of Lui in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. Surprise! Instead of leading an adult forum, she ended up being the subject of her favorite television show, TLC's "What Not to Wear."

According to Lisa Fox blogging on "My Manner of Life,"

Emily is a smart, passionate, joyful, no-B$ priest. As I hear it, she is a fan of the What Not To Wear show and expressed a wish they could do a wardrobe make-over for her. Apparently, some of her friends contacted the show. And the show decided to take her on.

Then Mike Kinman invited Emily to deliver a presentation on Sudan early this year at Christ Church Cathedral. Except it wasn’t really a Sudan session. It was a set-up … into which the What Not to Wear Duo sprang. My St. Louis friends tell me it was a very pleasant evening. Apparently, Mike had warned the crew that they were filming in a church, and a certain decorum must be obeyed. From all I have heard, it was a delightful evening with much good-natured banter between the show’s crew and the gathered Episcopalians.

The promo reads: "Emily is your typical single girl with one divine difference... she's an Episcopal priest. She may have been called by a higher power but her friends and family called Stacy and Clinton. Can Emily find a feminine style that balances her youthful energy?"

The episode will be broadcast on TLC at Friday, February 5th at 9 pm.

--Posted by Andrew Gerns

Getting ready for Christmas visitors

The Evangelism Commission has a new post on their blog "Share the Bread," Getting Ready for Christmas Visitors.

Here's an excerpt:

Most congregations will have to dust off the back—or the front!—pews on Christmas Eve. Churches find that a lot of people show up for what is both a major feast of the church and a major cultural holiday. The Christmas story reminds us that God is revealed to strangers and welcomes the outsider. How we prepare for Christmas at the doors of the church is every bit as important as what we prepare in the chancel....

...Don’t forget to prepare for visitors as carefully as we prepare our music, our flowers and greens and our liturgies. We may think that these special liturgies are for “us” and so end up treating visitors as outside observers or, worse, as interlopers. If there is ever a time when our liturgy is both a celebration of the community faith and a spiritual ministry to the community, Christmas Eve is it!

Here are some more or less random suggestions for extending hospitality to everyone on Christmas Eve. These are lessons that can be applied any time.

Read the rest for some tips on how to get ready for Christmas visitors.

This is the complete link:


The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns
Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Easton, PA
Chair, Diocesan Evangelism Commission

St. Gabriel's, Douglassville Youth Events

Posted by Kat Lehman
Tuesdays to Serve
In response to the teens at St Gabriel’s saying that they miss one another over the summer, the increased need in our community and the desire to “do the work of Jesus”, St Gabriel’s Youth Ministry has started a Summer program for youth in grades 6 through graduating seniors.  This program is called “Tuesdays to Serve”  teens are dropped off in the morning, while parents are on their way to work, they bring a brown bag lunch, and spend the day doing mission work, in prayer and in fellowship.  Some of the mission projects scheduled for the summer include working around the church campus, visiting our neighbors at the Villa at Morlaton, assisted and independent living facility, cooking the Community Meal for those in need in Birdsboro, and possibly working with the Humane Society and the Greater Berks Food Bank.  If you would like more information about the program please contact Kim Rowles, youth ministry coordinator, at [email protected].

Teens and Tech Seminar
Do you know what social networking is all about?  Do you know the difference between a tweet and an update?  Do you know how to keep your kids safe online?  Do you know what the dangers of the online world even are?  In hopes of opening communication between teens and their parents about their lives “online”  St Gabriel’s is hosting 5 teens and tech seminars over the summer.   Come to St Gabriel’s for a FREE seminar on Tuesday July 21, Thursday July 23, Monday August 10, Wednesday August 12, or Friday August 14 to discuss the dangers of “online life”  and how to keep safe in the cyber world.  Topics to be discussed are :  Social Networking, Cyberbullying and Cyber Predators.  Come and learn more about how teens can protect themselves on line through programs like the Teen Angel network.  For more information about the seminars contact Kim Rowles, youth ministry coordinator at [email protected] or if you would like to learn about the Teen Angel network visit

Evangelism Road Trip

Evangelism Road Trip
By Warren Shotto
Senior Warden, Good Shepherd Scranton

A contingent of people on a summer service trip from St. Phillip’s church in New Hope and Trinity in Buckingham , Pa is coming to Good Shepherd the last week of July. Led by Rev. Peter Pearson, they will be helping us with the “sweat equity” projects in the undercroft, bowling alley and kitchen while they are here. They are staying at the Fatima retreat center and we will be providing lunch and dinner for the entourage for the week they are here.

Recently our evangelism committee comprised of Kathy Elgaway, Char Jeffers, Pam Shotto and me, were asked to come to New Hope to speak about our journey from a parish with an uncertain future to our commitment to mission to the recent awarding of the New Hope grant and present situation at Good Shepherd. We spoke at both St. Phillips and Trinity on Sunday June 21st. Both parishes were very interested in what we were doing and establishing similar ministries at their churches. 

Continue reading "Evangelism Road Trip" »

Imagine yourself in the Episcopal Church

By Bill Lewellis

Three 30-second television spots have been giving northeastern and central Pennsylvania viewers of WNEP, channel 16, visual clues of the Episcopal Church as sacramental and of its members as diverse, involved and caring for neighbors in need.

The spots for this groundbreaking project began to air on April 1 during the Good Morning America show and the 5:30 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts, introduced by WNEP’s Good Things are Happening music.

A tagline on two of the spots asks viewers to “imagine yourself in the Episcopal Church.” That continues with slight variations of “where your questions are respected as much as anyone’s answers,” All three spots – a fourth still to be developed – then conclude on the note that viewers can find an Episcopal church or more information about the Episcopal Church by visiting the WNEP website.

TEC NEPA The WNEP website includes a link on a prominent new Episcopal Church in Northeast PA logo that will continuously display there and take interested viewers to a new Episcopal Church in Northeast PA website,, developed specifically for the ad campaign. There, viewers will find information about the Episcopal Church or links to the 42 Episcopal churches in the WNEP coverage area. The spots may also be replayed at the site.

Continue reading "Imagine yourself in the Episcopal Church" »

On Marketing the Episcopal Church in Northeast PA –The Resolution that Could

A resolution on Marketing the Episcopal Churches of Northeast PA was approved by a virtually unanimous vote at last October's Diocesan Convention: "This Convention applauds the efforts made by parishes to evangelize their communities using local media outlets. Furthermore, we encourage those efforts by calling upon the parishes in the northern and central parts of the diocese to participate for one year in a televised evangelism campaign by contributing to the cost of a commercial advertising program to run under the title The Episcopal Churches of Northeastern Pennsylvania on a local television station.”

Continue reading "On Marketing the Episcopal Church in Northeast PA –The Resolution that Could" »

Does your church need a website?

Does your church need a parish website? Would you like it to be free or very, very cheap to operate? Would you like your web-site to be so easy to maintain that even you can do it? Well, you can have all this ... but you have to act fast! I will be "Cooking up a Parish Website" or two at the Diocesan Training Day on March 28 at St. Stephen's in Wilkes-Barre (Find the description here.) and I am looking for two churches in our diocese that need a web site. I am looking for a church without a web-site or with one that is very old and either out of date or one where it is a pain-in-the-neck to maintain. I prefer a smaller church, although I know some larger churches may fit the bill, so it's first-come, first-serve.

Continue reading "Does your church need a website?" »

I am Episcopalian

New Episcopal Church 'microsite' will showcase videos of diverse church members

Beginning Ash Wednesday, visitors to the Episcopal Church website will find an interactive feature called I am Episcopalian, containing short videos of people "sharing their deep, personal connections to the big, wide, vibrant church that we are," said Anne Rudig, who joined the Episcopal Church Center in New York as communication director on January 5. The videos will show the diversity of Episcopalians. The site will let users upload their own videos. Uploaded videos will be monitored before being posted, and should be no longer than 90 seconds. I am Episcopalian will be the website homepage throughout Lent, with a link to the rest of the Episcopal Church's web content. It is part of a renewed communications effort "to tell our own story," Rudig noted. "We are hoping it will grow, and we hope the rest of the world will see what a dynamic church we have." The microsite can also be reached at

How Grace Kingston is using its Congregational Development Grant

By Joe Jackloski
[From the December 2008 issue of the Grace Kingston newsletter]

Grace Church had been the recipient of Congregational Development Grants for the last two years. These Grants are intended to help us in our outreach efforts, and to promote the growth of the Grace Church. This money is entirely separate from out operating budget and to be used solely to help Grace Church grow in numbers and spirit. These grants are not automatic. They are awarded to those congregations which make a genuine effort to reach out into the community.

Continue reading "How Grace Kingston is using its Congregational Development Grant" »

Might you be an Evangelism Consultant?

This is an invitation from the diocesan Evangelism Commission to consider prayerfully whether you would like to apply to receive training to be an evangelism consultant, to be able to assist local congregations plan and implement their evangelism ministry. The commission will train nine to twelve consultants on Saturday, April 19, (10:00 to 3:00) at Trinity Mount Pocono (lunch provided, no fee) and will then ask you to join with one of the current members of the commission to do a third round of Regional Evangelism Training Days on May 3, 10 or 17 at locations to be determined. From there, you would work with the commission and go out to parishes that request practical help in getting their evangelism ministry off the ground and help the commission plan future trainings and workshops. Donwload more information below.

Download 0801.Evangelism Consultants.Invitation.doc

Download 0801.Evangelism Consultants.Invitation.pdf

Download 0801.Evangelism Consultants.Letter to clergy.pdf