Dreams realized in two dioceses, on two sides of the world

By Charlie Barebo

[Nine Photos below]

Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow and I have recently completed a mission trip to Kajo Keji. For me the trip started October 18 at Bishop Paul’s New Hope Donors reception and ended with a presentation to the Presiding Bishop in November. The October event was a meeting of New Hope donors. We socialized for about an hour. Bishop Paul gathered the group and he blessed the New Hope donors and the bronze dedication plaques that would soon be mounted on the walls of schools in the Sudan. It was an emotional moment filled with love, the Holy Spirit and the memory of loved ones. There were few dry eyes in the room.

We set off on the 8,000 mile journey to Kajo Keji with 80 pounds of plaques and great expectations, expectations that were surpassed. The minute we landed on the dirt strip at Kajo Keji, significant changes became evident. In the distance there were dozens of metal roofs, two FM transmission towers and four cell phone towers.

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Desks and chairs for Kajo Keji kids

These kids in Kajo Keji (Southern Sudan, photos below) have no desks or chairs in their new classrooms. The desks you see are borrowed from the nursery school next door. $930 will pay for desks and chairs for a classroom of 40. If your church can sponsor a classroom this Christmas it will be a gift of love from our faith community to their faith community. Checks made out to the New Hope Campaign, noted for desks and chairs, should be sent to Diocesan House, 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem PA 18015. If you cannot sponsor a classroom but want to sponsor a single desk and chair you may do this through the 12 Days of Christmas project.

[Click on photos to enlarge them.]

God Bless You All,

Charlie Barebo
New Hope Chair
Phone 610-965-6018 ext 210
Cell: 610-509-8767

Borrowed chairs Need more desks 28th Nov 2009, Gaderu School, the Pupils infron of their New School


Happy Anniversary, New Hope

By Charlie Barebo

Gaderu students watching the construction of their New Hope School.lo-res Gaderu students watch the construction of their new school

Join me in celebrating the second anniversary of the New Hope Campaign! As we pass this milestone, may we join in a prayer of thanksgiving. We have received $3,900,000 in gifts and pledges, $300,000 more than our initial goal and just $200,000 short of our stretch goal of $4,100,000. Of this we have collected over $2,400,000. Despite the troubling economic times, pledge fulfillment rates remain high. Your pledge commitment is a sacred one. You will bring the gift of the Gospel to a child.

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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. 

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Charlie Barebo joins Bishop Paul's staff

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.

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New Hope Contributions from St. Stephen's, Wilkes-Barre

[FROM Mark Laubauch]: On Sunday, March 29th, Fr. Daniel Gunn officiated at a rite of dedication for the new Solo division of St. Stephen’s Berghaus pipe organ, after which I presented a dedicatory recital. We received an offering that day for the New Hope Campaign. And just this past Sunday, May 17th, St. Stephen’s Choir was joined by Canon Russell Jackson and the Choir of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for a service of Choral Evensong, at which another offering was received for New Hope. I’m delighted to report that the collected offerings received at these two events total $1,090, and that this money is being sent to the New Hope Campaign! My thanks to all who participated in these two events – clergy, conductors, singers, lay worship assistants, congregants, and audience members!

My new understanding of ashes to ashes

By Daniel Gunn

Lent began early for me this year. Rather than being driven into the wilderness for this annual time of spiritual introspection, I was flown into our companion diocese of Kajo Keji. I do not intend to give the impression that the place is desolate or the people uncivilized. Rather, I reflect on what the experience of being with our brothers and sisters meant to me. It was a Lenten journey in which I found a new understanding to an old verse. 

[Download Father Gunn's reflection and a photo story, Download 090405.pdf]

With our brothers and sisters in Kajo Keji

By Trip Trepagnier

The Rev. Daniel Gunn, rector of St. Stephens Pro Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, and Trip Trepagnier, chair of the World Mission Committee of the Diocese of Bethlehem, had the privilege of traveling in Kajo Keji during the last week of February.

The companion relationship between the dioceses of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania and Kajo Keji in southern Sudan is flourishing. In addition to funding the construction of schools and a college, the dioceses are participating at a more personal level.

Youth members of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity’s church school made greeting cards and a quilt for delivery to their companion parish in Romogi; they, in turn, received messages from the children of Romogi primary school.

Palm crosses brought from Bethlehem were burned together with those from Kajo Keji and used at an Ash Wednesday service led by Father Daniel Gunn and the Rev. Samuel Pianile Alibe.

Christmas gifts purchased by Diocese of Bethlehem parishioners were distributed to an orphanage, the Mothers’ Union Training Center, primary schools and archdeaconries throughout the Diocese of Kajo Keji.

Prayers are offered weekly for members of the two dioceses.

Although we live many thousands of miles apart, the people of Kajo Keji and Bethlehem are one body in Christ.

[Download the photo feature from the April Diocesan Life, Download 090404.pdf]

From Bishop Anthony of Kajo Keji

February 9, 2009
Dear Archdeacon Howard and Charlie Barebo,
Greetings from Kajo-Keji.

As you would have read recently and also as per the Presiding Bishop's statement, there have been a resurgence of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) activities in Western Equatoria state and in the Democratic Republic of Congo from December. So far, we have not heard any reports of any major LRA activities in Central Equatoria State in general and Kajo-Keji County in particular.

I would like to assure you that the situation in Kajo-Keji in regards to the LRA is normal and has been so since March 2008. I spoke to the Commissioner of Kajo-Keji County who assured me that there are no reports of LRA activities but that they are monitoring the situation closely.

There is no current threat to any of our Diocesan plans and activities; this includes the New Hope Campaign funded projects.

I would like to request you to pray that the situation in the affected areas would
improve and that a permanent solution would be found to this problem.

Secondly, I join the Presiding Bishop in encouraging you to raise this issue with
your government so that efforts are made to bring the LRA war against civilians
in Sudan, Uganda, Congo and Central Africa to an end.


Rt Rev Anthony Poggo
Diocese of Kajo-Keji
Episcopal Church of the Sudan

Good Shepherd Scranton helps homeless and poor

View this photo 
Good Shepherd lvolunteers, from left: Char Jeffers, Warren Shotto, Dave Jeffers, Ethel Dougherty,  Tom Dougherty, Kim Kandel, and Pam Shotto, in the large kitchen area were meals are cooked once a month  for those less fortunate. [Butch Comegys / Times-Tribune Staff Photographer]

At North Washington Avenue and Electric Street, amid the mansions in the heart of Green Ridge, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd has been quietly feeding the homeless, the working poor and struggling senior citizens a monthly meal for the last five years.

Now, the regional Episcopal diocese has awarded the church a $200,000 grant to help it expand that mission.

The church will receive $40,000 a year for the next five years from the Diocese of Bethlehem to upgrade its kitchen, create a food pantry, renovate its clothing exchange, install showers and restrooms and establish an emergency shelter in the church basement.

Here's a link to the Scranton Times-Tribune story of January 8.

A word document with pics may be downloaded below.
Download Episcopal Church in Green Ridge

Find more info here.

Diocese of Kajo Keji Highlights

Edited by Stephen Tomor ... "to keep our brothers and sisters in the picture of what is happening in the Diocese of Kajo Keji."

Find Nov-Dec 2008 below:
Download DKK Highlights.Nov-Dec 2008 "This issue has seen the Bishop of the Diocese of Kajo Keji reaching out to visit our brothers and sisters outside the geographical boundaries of the Diocese of Kajo Keji –– Bugerere, in Uganda ... and the work of the Samaritan Purse in building Churches ... scheduled to build 40 churches in the Diocese."

The Loopo School in Kajo Keji

[Info and pics from Jo Trepagnier] Our prayers this Sunday are for the Loopo school and thought your newspin readers might be interested in seeing and learning a little more. The Loopo School is an Episcopal primary school that has been supported by our diocese through the adopt-a-school program. There are around 400 students (half are girls). The school uniform distiguishes each school and in Loopo those that can afford to wear purple.

Kajo Keji.Loopo.0807-Current_classroom_structure

Kajo Keji.Loopo.0807.Pupils_with_their_teacher_working_in_the_school_garden2

Michael Deebee: 'I can now die joyfully, knowing my people have been delivered'

By Charlie Barebo

Slide 4a

Michael Deebee: Like Simeon when he met the Messiah, I can know die joyfully, knowing my people have been delivered.

Michael Deebee is the head man of the Kuku people in Romogi. His story is worth telling. Michael is the living history book of the Kukus and the Episcopal Church in the Romogi area. He believes he is 82. Michael spoke at a celebratory feast, November 10, 2008, after Archdeacon Stringfellow officially opened the Bishop’s house and Charlie Barebo said a blessing and cut the ribbon to the first dormitory at the college. His words were translated to me by the Rev. Emmanuel Murye. 

Here is part of Michaels’s story:

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Diocese grants nearly $100,000 for social outreach from New Hope campaign funds

For immediate release, December 22, 2008
Contact: Canon Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem
Email: blewellis@diobeth.org
(c) 610-216-2726; (w) 610-691-5655 x229; (h) 610-820-7673

The Diocese of Bethlehem, the Episcopal Church in 14 counties of eastern and northeastern Pennsylvania, has designated nearly $100,000 in grants to help with the launch of new social outreach programs by six congregations. These are the first of five years of grants for local social ministry projects that will be made from New Hope campaign funds. The balance of the $1.1 million designated for local needs will fund future projects.

Good Shepherd Church, Scranton, will receive $40,000 this year toward the establishment of a men's shelter, an expansion of the parish's Seasons of Love program that serves healthcare needs of the homeless and working poor. The multi-year plan ($200,000 over five years) is geared toward preparing for use of the undercroft of the church as an emergency shelter during winter nights and on those occasions when other needs displace families in the community.

St Clement's/St. Peter's Church, Wilkes-Barre, will receive $30,000 toward start-up costs for a day care center to serve low and middle-income families. This grant is also a multi-year project.

St. Andrew's Church on the Allentown/Bethlehem border will receive $13,000 to establish a food bank that will be open one full day a week.

St. Stephen's Church, Wilkes-Barre, will receive $10,000 to expand the services of its Clothing Closet/Thrift Store.

St. Barnabas Church, Kutztown, will receive $3,600 to provide monthly meals to the homeless, those on the margins and to college students.

St. Anne's Church, Trexlertown, will receive $2,500 to develop a program with women in prison to record them reading books that could then be listened to by their children.

The grants were made after reviewing applications submitted over the past few months. In the spring of 2009, parishes will be invited once again to submit proposals to seed new social ministry initiatives. The committee included senior deacons of the diocese, respecting the principle that this order of ministry is charged with interpreting the needs of the world to the Church.

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Mission trip to Kajo Keji

Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow and Charlie Barebo, who has chaired our New Hope campaign, have made another mission trip to the Diocese of Bethlehem's companion diocese, Kajo Keji as guests of Bishop Anthony Poggo.  They left on Tuesday, Nov. 4 and will return on Monday, November 11.

Beyond strengthening the ties and fellowship between our dioceses and between parishes in Bethlehem and Kajo Keji, the purpose of the trip is to inspect the progress of construction at the Poggo College and the Romogi Primary School, two projects funded by New Hope.

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Social Ministries Committee invites letters of intent for local proposals to be funded by New Hope Campaign

13 May 2008
Dear Partners in Ministry,

The Social Ministries Committee is now ready to receive and consider requests for disbursements from the New Hope Campaign. The total amount we are able to grant for the 2008-09 year is $100,000. Therefore, we are inviting Letters of Intent from parishes and Episcopal related organizations within the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem. The Deadline for Letters of Intent is 31 July 2008.

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