Diocesan Life for October 2011

You can download the 2.4 MB .pdf here: Download October2011_DiocesanLife_SMALL

More on Pennsylvania floods including links to news outlets in our area

[posted by Bill Lewellis to Bakery]

Susquehanna River crests in Wilkes-Barre; Delaware also crests in Easton and Riegelsville
By Tracy Jordan, Of The Morning Call
7:39 a.m. EDT, September 9, 2011

The levee system in Wilkes-Barre held back the force of the Susquehanna River at one of its historic high points overnight, sparing the city of about 50,000 from the devastation seen during the 1972 floods from Hurricane Agnes.

Meanwhile, the Delaware River in Easton and Riegelsville also has crested below major flood stage as of Friday morning.

In Easton, the river crested at 3 a.m. at 29.23, which is just below major flood stage of 30 feet but about 8 feet above flood stage. As of 5:30 a.m., the river was at 29.12 feet. Sections of Larry Holmes Drive and Route 611 remain closed in Easton.

In Riegelsville, the river crested at 5:15 a.m. at 28.06 feet, which is about two feet below major flood stage and six feet above flood stage. As of 5:30 a.m., the river was at 28.03 feet and falling.

Across the state, though, flooding from Susquehanna River, smaller rivers, creeks and streams devastated homes, businesses and attractions like Knoebel's Amusement Park in Elysburg, the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds and Hershey Park.

Smaller communities immediately north and south of Wilkes-Barre not included in the levee project completed in 2002 have been inundated with floodwaters.

More here, including video and photos.

Federal disaster areas declared in 42 PA counties
By Tracy Jordan, Of The Morning Call
7:16 a.m. EDT, September 9, 2011
Nearly 60 percent of Pennsylvania's counties have been declared federal disaster areas, setting the stage for state and local agencies to seek federal funding to cover 75 percent of expenses incurred in response to the flooding emergency brought on by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.

More here.

More at ...
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre

The Times-Tribune, Scranton

The Daily Review (Towanda, Sayre, Troy)


Bishop Paul Marshall request for flood relief for Northern tier parishes

Colleagues and friends,

Anticipating the worst, I have already designated the convention offering for flood relief in the northern tier. A general appeal is hereby launched: those not attending convention but desiring to aid those stranded or churches damaged, may send contributions to diocesan house, payable to the Bishop's Discretionary Fund. The address is 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem, 18015.

Additionally, this summer I received a very generous gift of $1000 from a source in the northern part of the diocese. Appropriately, I will add that to the funds available.

I will ask Mo. Maureen Hipple and Fr. Charles Cesaretti to jointly apportion these funds--please direct requests and suggestions to them. The first $1000 is available immediately, so that those suffering from hunger or thirst can be aided.

It is not clear how bad it will be, but as I write this there is water in the streets of Wilkes-Barre and evacuation have begun; there is waist-high water in parts of New Milford, and no phone service in parts of Bradford County, and so on. This is a time for prayers, and prayers converted to action.

I spoke with Bishop Baxter in Central PA this morning. Parts of Harrisburg are being evacuated, and Hershey has experienced damage to animal life that cannot be evacuated from the zoo. And so on.

My physical therapist, a Hindu, observed this afternoon that nature has reminded us of our frailty. I replied that I agreed, and that we are also reminded of our power to to care for and assist each other.



St. Paul's Montrose observes anniversary of consecration

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Montrose has announced their observance of the anniversary of its consecration on Sunday, July 18. The building was consecrated by Bishop Potter, Bishop of Pennsylvania, on July 17, 1857, during a four-day series of services and religious programs. The festive Eucharist to mark the occasion will be held at 9:00 A.M. Download the news release below for more information.

Download 1007.Consecration Anniversary News Release.doc

Forward Life Planning Workshop, May 22

[From Charlie Barebo] The Forward Life Planning Workshop, presented by Charles Cesaretti, Diana Marshall and Charlie Barebo, will be held on Saturday, May 22 at St. Luke's, Scranton. Although sponsored by the congregations in the Northern Tier, this workshop is open to all congregations in the Diocese of Bethlehem. Please note that registration and luncheon are free.  However, for planning please call Ely Valentin, 610-691-5655 x 222, or email [email protected]. The program has both pastoral (PB, pg. 445), as well as institutional implications, since many of our congregations have benefited through the planned gifts of former parishioners to the parish's Endowment Fund. Download the pdf file below.

Download Forward Life Planning.pdf

 Forward Life Planning

Montrose celebrates Charles Cesaretti and welcomes Janet Watrous

[From the weekly update of St. Paul's Montrose] This coming Sunday the Congregation of St. Paul's will gather to mark a major transition in its life and ministry. With the retirement of Fr. Charles and the beginning of the four month interim of Mother Watrous, St. Paul's will enter a time of preparation to call and institute a new rector, and celebrate a new ministry. It is no accident that the Sunday Scripture readings appointed for the next weeks recall the beginning of the Christian Community starting with the small apostolic core in Jerusalem, its missionary outreach, and eventual spreading throughout the world.  These readings allow us to examine our own life as a faith community, ministering to the those in need, and reaching out to bring the "good news" to the whole world. St. Paul's will find vision, encouragement, and nurture through reflection of these readings in the weeks ahead.  In the Gospel reading this Sunday, St. Luke reflects upon Jesus' post-Resurrection time with the disciples:  "...he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.'"  Well, there it is!

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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, www.nepaepiscopalchurch.org, 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.

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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.”

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Northern Tier churches prepare Easter dinners for needy

Bountiful Blessings, representing the communities of faith in Montrose, has announced its annual program to provide a full Easter dinner for those in need in Susquehanna County. Individuals and families listed with Interfaith and other area agencies will be eligible for a dinner basket that includes a three or five-pound ham, vegetables, potatoes/macaroni and cheese, canned fruit, bread, and holiday candies. The baskets will be distributed on Wednesday, April 8.

BountifulBlessings Consortium2  

Consortium of Susquehanna churches and county agencies prepare for Easter dinner distribution on April 8. Bountiful Blessings is preparing for the fourth annual Easter Dinner for needy families and individuals in Susquehanna County.

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Empty Bowl Project at St. Paul's Montrose benefits county food banks

Emptybowlproject2 Volunteers serve patrons of the Empty Bowl Project at St. Paul’s Montrose. The event benefited the Susquehanna Food Banks.

“It could not have happened at a better time,” reports Lynn Senick, director of the Trehab Food Bank, which serves Susquehanna County. “Our shelves are near empty, and donations are way down just when we are heading into the season with the most need.” Senick was reflecting on the success of the Empty Bowl Project which was held in Montrose on Saturday, November 8. The event was held at Historic St. Paul’s Church, Montrose, and raised over $1,500 for the Food Bank and the Feed A Friend (Thanksgiving) Program.

The Empty Bowl Project had its beginning in 1990 when a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students solve a problem of creativity –– how to raise money for a food drive.

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