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.


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.

Amen.

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


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

[From Canon Maria Tjeltveit]

Friends,
 
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           
“OUR FAITH…OUR DIOCESE”
#88, January, 2014
(length: 1 hour) AIR TIMES
1
Sunday, January 12, 5:00 pm, Premier
2
Tuesday. January 14, 8:00 pm
 
3
Wednesday. January 15, 10:00 am
 
4
Thursday, January 23, 11:00 am
 
5
Friday , January 24, 9:00 pm
 
6
Monday, January 27, 2:00 pm
 
You can also view the program at:
     http://www.dioceseofscranton.org/media/catholic-television-ctv/
 
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.
 
Maria

*******************

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.
 

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS

(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


Goldie, the Temple, and Us [Maria Tjeltveit]

Sermon
Pentecost 28/C, Nov. 17, 2013
Mediator, Allentown
Canon Maria W. E. Tjeltveit, rector

[Maria Tjeltveit, rector at Mediator Allentown, said this sermon got more comments than any she has preached lately. Although it deals specifically with things at Mediator, I thinks it applies to many of our churches. It’s about adaptive change and technical fix as related to the church. She said she might entitle it: “Goldie, the Temple, and Us.”]

My puppy Goldie loves to sleep under our bed. Unfortunately, since she grew from 12 pounds to 45 pounds in the last six months, she can still squeeze under the bed but can’t get herself back out, because she gets stuck. After weeks of hearing her whine and having to drag myself out of the bed to drag her out from under it, I began looking for a solution to this problem so I could sleep through the night. I brought her dog bed up to the room but she would have no part of it at night. I tried having her sleep downstairs but she started barking at the slightest noise, and would only stop when I brought her up to our room.

As part of the Missioner for Growth Task Force, I learned about two approaches to problems: adaptive change and technical fix. In adaptive change, there is no clear solution to the problem and you need to change your behavior to adapt to the circumstances of the problem and work for a solution. With a technical fix, there is a concrete solution which you can apply to the problem and, voila!, the problem is solved.

I realized I had been trying adaptive change which wasn’t working with my dog. So I called a mattress store and discovered that there are things called bed risers, which you put under the legs of the bed to make the bed taller. A technical fix! Now Alan and I have elevated sleep and Goldie can get herself in and out from under the bed.

It may seem like a stretch to go from the problem of my puppy under the bed to Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the temple, in today’s gospel reading from Luke. But, if you hang in there with me, I promise I will make a connection.

The temple in Jerusalem that was built by King Herod, was not only massive and beautiful, it was the center of Jewish worship and life. The system of offerings and sacrifices at the temple shaped a person’s life from birth, when an offering was made for the first-born, to regular visits throughout the year, even if you lived away from Jerusalem. So, to predict the destruction of the temple, that “the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down” (Luke 21:6), was like predicting the end of the world.

The Jerusalem temple was in fact destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Jerusalem was razed and became a Roman city called Aelia Capitolina. The Jewish population was killed or driven out.

This was a huge problem for the Jewish people. The temple had been the place where God’s Name dwelt. Their central place of worship was gone, and the whole sacrificial system stopped. What were they to do?

There was no technical fix for the problem of the destruction of the temple. But there was adaptive change. Already, in the time of Jesus, a synagogue movement had shifted some of the focus away from the temple. With the temple gone, the locus of Jewish worship and life moved to the synagogue and the home. As the Jewish population dispersed around the Mediterranean they took with them the Torah and the teachings to guide them into a new kind of living faith. The destruction of the temple, as painful as it was, turned out not to be the end of the world, or the end of Judaism, because the Jewish people learned to adapt to their new circumstances and find new ways to live out their faith in God.

Reading about the destruction of the temple, with its stones being thrown down, may resonate with us in the mainline churches. Although the mainline or establishment churches, like the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian, Lutheran, United Methodist, and United Church of Christ, have not been destroyed, they have declined significantly in the last 50 years. No invading army has led to this but the changing culture has thrown some of our stones down.

Christmas Eve services when we had to put up extra chairs in the back since the church was so full….That stone was thrown down.

Being the church in which to be seen, where the Air Products executives and rising stars worshipped….That stone was thrown down.

Sundays reserved for church with stores closed and no youth sports on Sunday afternoons….That stone was thrown down.

National attention when our church leaders spoke about social and political issues….That stone was thrown down.

Young people raised in the Episcopal Church automatically coming back to church when they had kids….That stone was thrown down.

We are in a period when, on a national level, and on a parish level, things that we thought were set in stone have crumbled. Just deciding to go to church on Sunday morning is an active decision now, not a given. We live in a largely secular culture, where those who say they are “Nones” (meaning no religious affiliation), or “spiritual but not religious” are rapidly increasing. Even for those who go to church, that does not necessarily include worship, with more families coming regularly just for Sunday School. The church is increasingly marginal in our society. It used to be a place for seeking community, as well as faith, but now people often seek community on line, not in the pew.

Mediator is not exempt from these problems. Our attendance has declined dramatically since the 1960s, with the trend continuing in the last decade. We have some strong ministries and bonds with one another but we are an aging congregation and unless we do something, we will not be viable in the long run.

What do we do? Is there a technical fix for this? About 20 years ago some in the parish thought that moving to the suburbs might be a fix; an idea derailed by the bishop at the time, who said that Mediator could not sell this building. But there are small churches in the suburbs, so even a move would not necessarily have meant that we would have grown. This is a problem that requires adaptive change.

As many of you know, our Widening Our Welcome campaign this spring raised over $400,000 to renovate parts of our building and to hire a part or full-time Missioner for Growth. It would be nice if our new kitchen, when it is done, and the Missioner for Growth were technical fixes, but they are part of adaptive change. There is no one easy clear solution to the problems that face our parish and the mainline church. What we are called to do, and what the Missioner for Growth will help us do, is to learn about the culture and community around us and adapt our ministry so that we can find ways to proclaim the good news of God in Jesus Christ in language that people can understand and relationships they can trust. To do this we will need to change; perhaps our language, perhaps our behavior. We have already begun some of that change, with the Contemporary Eucharist on the fourth Sunday of the month reaching out to people who seek a shorter, simpler service. We are also reaching out to those who seek more formal worship, and will be using incense at our next Choral Eucharist.

Adaptive change to the problems faced by our Church and our parish, will move us away from focusing on institutional survival (trying to keep the temple from being thrown down) to seeing what God is up to in the community and world around us, and seeking to be a part of God’s mission to our hurting and hungering world. It will also challenge us to be able to articulate who Jesus Christ is for us and for others, in our increasingly pluralistic world. 

In today’s gospel, Jesus talks about people being taken before secular authorities, and says, “This will give you an opportunity to testify” (Luke 21:13). In a similar way, part of our adaptive change will be to learn to testify, to talk about our faith, in ways that people around us can relate to. We have been doing some of that in our Adult Forums, as we have discussed our parish history, and I will be inviting members of our congregation to testify or give a lay witness in place of the sermon periodically in the next year. If we can learn to do this in church then we can learn to do it in our communities where people need to hear about God’s transforming love.

Change like this is challenging. Some of us find change exciting, but others do not. We may not want the stones of our traditional way of being the church thrown down. We may not want to learn new ways of worshiping, speaking about our faith, refocusing on God’s mission toward the world around us. But doing the same thing we have always done is like Goldie squeezing her way under the bed, only to get stuck. The last seven words of an Episcopal church are: We’ve never done it that way before!

When the temple was destroyed, the Jewish people learned adaptive change to continue as God’s faithful people. We too can learn adaptive change, discovering what new things God is calling us to do, what God is seeking to do through us. In the process we can rediscover the truth that the church is the people, not the building; the body of Christ, continually being given for the world.

In the midst of change, may we trust that Jesus Christ is the one stone that cannot be thrown down. May Christ be with us, guide us, and bless us as we seek to embrace adaptive change.

Amen. 


"Come Meet John the Baptist at the Mall" Sermon for Advent 2

[By Canon Maria Tjeltveit, Rector of Church of the Mediator, Allentown]

Sermon
Second Sunday in Advent
December 4, 2011
Church of the Mediator
Mark 1:1-8

I admit I was pretty shocked to see it on the sign for the Lehigh Valley Mall. Right underneath “Come Meet Santa at the Mall” it said “Come Meet John the Baptist at the Mall.” This was a first!

I turned into the crowded parking lot and finally found a space. Inside the mall it wasn’t too hard to spot Santa. Actually I saw the line first; little kids fidgeting, their parents looking bored or trying to break up squabbles before they got out of hand. There was Santa seated on a large chair saying “Ho! Ho! Ho!” his white mustache and beard bouncing up and down. He welcomed a small child onto to his ample lap; her sticky hand grazing his red and white suit. I stopped for a while and listened as Santa asked each child if he or she had been good (they all had!) and what they wanted for Christmas. The lists seemed as long as the line: Let’s Rock Elmo!, Fijit Friends, Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Dolls and LEGO Ninjango, Leapfrog Leap Pad Explorer, Kidizoom Twist, and Harry Potter Scene It, Angry Bird toys, Barbie Doggie Water Park, Moshi Monsters Talking Plush, Baby Annabelle…and on and on. Each child seemed to want every hot toy there was. Santa smiled and patted their heads, then had the obligatory picture before each child moved on. The parents looked glad to get the ordeal over with as they took their children’s hands and the animated children dragged them off to the nearest toy store.

I had to look a little harder to find John the Baptist. He was over in a quieter corner of the mall next to the water fountain. I guess Jordan Creek is a little too cold this time of year for outdoor baptisms. John, too, had a line waiting for him, although the line was shorter and the people in it were older, a few children but mostly teenagers and adults. John was sitting on a folding chair, dressed in a loose camel hair outfit that was drawn together by a leather belt but still hung from his thin body. His dark hair and beard were unkempt but his face and eyes glowed with an inner light that was compelling. He seemed both young and old at the same time. Those who approached him did not try to sit on his knobby knees but sat on another folding chair across from to him. Again I stopped to listen.

John looked in the face of each person who came to him and said “What do you need to let God turn your life in the right direction?” The answers didn’t always come at once but John was patient. I heard one person speak of how he was estranged from his parents and needed reconciliation. Another spoke of wrestling with addition to alcohol and pain medications and needing to be freed. One spoke of being in grief during this time when everyone else was celebrating and needing to know God was there. A teenager spoke about feeling pressured to go further with her boyfriend than she felt comfortable and needing to be able to assert herself and live out her own values. Someone mentioned feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff he already had and needing to find how to give in a meaningful way to people who didn’t have enough. A child talked about how he and his sister were always fighting or mean to each other and needed to remember that they really did care about each other. One had been unemployed for months and needed to believe that there was hope. Another felt so rushed in this season that she needed to know how to make time for God…. Each person’s need was different, personal, and it seemed like just speaking it out loud to John broke something open for them.

John would listen to each person. Sometimes he would give advice on what they could do. Then he would take each to the water fountain and let the water run over their hands and head. He would say to each one, as he handed them a paper towel, “I have baptized you for repentance, for turning your life around, and for forgiveness, but this is just the beginning. Someone is coming who is greater than me. I have washed you with water but he is coming and will draw you to God with the Holy Spirit. He is coming soon. Wait for him. Look for him. Continue to work with God to turn your life in the right direction. The one who is coming will come to you.”

I can’t say that I understood all of what John was about. But the line of people stayed steady.

I wandered around the mall a little more, going into a few stores. As I got near the exit, I recognized some of the people who had been in the line to meet Santa. The parents were weighted down with bags and looked frazzled, sometimes dragging a reluctant child by the hand as he cried that he wanted something from Cinnabon and how could Mommy be so mean not to let him have it.

I also recognized some of the people who had been in line to meet John the Baptist. Some of them were holding a bag or two, a few holding a child’s hand. Their hair was still damp, but their faces showed a kind of serenity and hope and they smiled at the people they passed as they went out into the cold air.

I watched for a few minutes and then I went and got in line to talk to John. What do I need to let God turn my life in the right direction?


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

Lenten Prayer Booklet from Mediator Allentown

Allentown's Church of the Mediator is doing a small group study on the Baptismal Covenant during Lent, Water in the Wilderness. Canon Maria Tjeltveit, rector, put together a prayer journal for the first half focusing on one of the baptismal covenant vows each week. She intends to do the second half soon.

It is in booklet form (to be printed front and back) attached below as Water in the Wilderness, and one that runs consecutively (in case anyone want to keep it on their computer), attached below as Prayers.  Both are word files.
 
Maria says she has not done a prayer journal like this before so, if anyone uses it and wants to pass on feedback, she would appreciate it. Her email is revmaria@episcopalmediator.org

Download WATER IN THE WILDERNESS Part 1

Download Prayers.Part 1