In July, Canon Gwendolyn-Jane Romeril will celebrate her 80th birthday, and the 30th anniversary of her Ordination to the priesthood. (Her 30 years have been spent as an associate at the Cathedral, Trinity Easton, and Trinity Bethlehem, and as the rector at St. Andrew's Allentown.) Her family is asking friends to honor these occasions in one or both of two ways:
[By Fr. Ed Erb]
“I don’t want to have the parish buy a columbarium, Jean.” said Fr. Edward Erb, of Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale, to one of his parishioners, “because as soon as we do, you’ll die.” But that did not deter the parishioner. One Friday, her husband drove her to the Church. She was not strong enough to get out of the car. When the priest came out to greet her, she handed him two checks to pay for the unit and its installation. A week and a half later, she did die. But she got her wish.
Sunday November 6th for the commemoration of All Saints, Fr. Erb, surrounded by Jean’s family dedicated the columbarium to the glory of God, and in memory of Jean Hoerter.
A columbarium is a wall of niches specially designed to give permanent rest for the cremated remains (“cremains”) of the faithful. “It is a wonderful stewardship in many ways,” explained Fr. Erb. “First of all, it saves precious earth from row after row of graves in a cemetery. Secondly, cremation is less expensive than interring a body in the ground, and saves considerable on funeral costs, not having a coffin to purchase, for one thing. In addition, having the remains of the faithful placed at rest in the Church continually reminds us of the saints who have gone before us.”
The columbarium is placed in the Baptistry at Grace Church and contains 64 niches. The reason for the placement is that in Baptism, Christians are assured of the hope of resurrection to new life after the death of this life. At Grace Church, as in many churches, the Baptistry is placed at a major entrance into the Church. Again, the symbolism of “entry” - in this case entry into eternal rest with God. Grace Church is also proud to house the family baptismal font of Philip Hone, himself, originally placed at Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York City, and for over 150 years housed in the Baptistry at Grace Church. “Two great benefactors of the parish are memorialized together,” concluded Fr. Erb.
Grace Church will be one of the sites honored by the Houses of Worship Tour sponsored by the Greater Honesdale Partnership later this month. The public is warmly welcome to visit the Church to learn more about its history, and its future.
[photo caption - pictured Mr. William Hoerter, husband of the benefactor, Fr. Ed Erb, at the Columbarium in Grace Episcopal Church.]
By Laura I. Chegwidden
Once again, new sweat shirts and pants along with underwear and socks were among the donations presented at Diocesan Convention. Over 600 items were collected in response to the Diocesan Episcopal Church Women's appeal for these items. Recently the donations of new clothing were given to the diocesan programs for distribution. Two of the organizations that benefited were St. Stephen's Wilkes Barre's "Reach" program and New Bethany Ministries in Bethlehem.
Download a bulletin insert below. It's a .doc file. If you can't open it and might need a .pdf file, pleaae let me know.
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.
Charlie Barebo has joined Bishop Paul Marshall's staff as Development Officer.
"Charlie is doing this as a gift to the diocese, as part of his discipleship, for which I am most grateful," Bishop Paul said earlier, announcing the appointment. "Charlie is the backbone of our New Hope Campaign and has much to bring us. Please join me in gratitude to God for this unique appointment to the staff." Bishop Paul received the gift after reviewing a five-year plan presented by Barebo.
Bishop Paul will greet members of the St. Matthew Society as they gather on St. Matthew Sunday, May 4, for a special reception to honor and celebrate their generosity to the Church. The St. Matthew Society was founded in 2001 throughout the Diocese of Bethlehem to recognize and thank all those who have planned a gift to their individual parishes. This year’s celebration event will be held at the Lehigh Country Club from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m., and will feature food, drink and good company. The Bishop sincerely hopes that all current St. Matthew Society members will plan to join him and each other at this special gathering. For information about enrolling in the St. Matthew Society, and/or to learn more about the stewardship of planned giving, please contact Char Horst, Missioner for Development, at email@example.com or 610.683.8625.
By Priscilla Payne Hurd
Before she married my father, my mother taught kindergarten in the Hull House district of Chicago. Her experiences as a young teacher, which she shared with me, profoundly impacted me and cemented my personal value system which I have strived to adhere to throughout my life.
The Cathedral's Easter Offering will fund a well and pumping station for the community at Romogi in Sudan, the new site of the diocesan Cathedral, center and college. The well will also serve the local community. Many people have to walk miles to draw water and then carry the water back to their homes.
May God bless our efforts to support the people of Kajo Keji and the mission of the church in that country.
Download the poster below.
"Three opportunities await the best efforts of each of us," Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow writes in his March Diocesan Life column. "Quietly and very humbly, members of our Planned Giving Committee and the St. Matthew Society are raising the money needed to conduct a feasibility study to determine just how much the Diocese of Bethlehem can expect in the years ahead to be of help and to accept these opportunities for what they are: a mission at which our hearts can be made new and re-created, a step along the way in the reconciliation of the world t God through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Spirit."
Read about the extraordinary generosity of one congregation in the Diocese of Bethlehem.
"Although it was by no means our intended theme for this year of our
common life," Bishop Paul said at the beginning of his address t the
2005 Convention of the Diocese of Bethlehem, "it has turned out that
what our diocesan community has been about this year is compassionate
The following are among many acts of care, mission, generosity and sweat equity.
This is a work in progress. So much more, perhaps even more noteworthy, might be listed. If you have noticed that I missed something, please provide a short paragraph and I'll be sure to include it in the next draft.
The Cathedral Church of the Nativity in the Diocese of Bethlehem has given away its entire Christmas offering since 1999 and its entire Easter offering since 2001. Their generosity to national, international and local ministries via this route during these years has reached $100,000. Actually, that's not the half of it. The unconditional dollar giveaway by the Cathedral Church to all outreach projects and ministries beyond its walls since 1999 comes to more than $350,000.