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.

Outreach at Trinity Athens

[An excerpt from the message of the rector, Mother Trula Hollywood, in the January issue of Trinity Times, the newsletter of Trinity Athens]

Our outreach efforts in the last year have been quite successful. Our clothing, food and toy drives were very helpful to many people in the community. These efforts gave many of us an opportunity to meet people we may not have otherwise. In that sense, the experience was very rewarding. In another sense, the experiences served as an eye opener to the poverty in our area. ...

We have plans in 2010 to offer outreach from our smallness. We are going to use the parish hall for AA meetings and possibly for a support group for woman in crisis. We have also increased our food pantry giving. I hope that we can continue our current efforts at meeting needs in the community into this new year and beyond.

We are on a journey together. Many of us have faced poverty in our own lives. I know from my own experience how much stress is involved when the utility companies are threatening to shut off the heat or it is questionable where the next meal will come from, or whether there will be enough money to pay the medical bills.

Many people are faced with making choices between medical care, food or heat. It is a scary place to be and no one chooses to be there. Circumstances in life bring us to places where survival is the main focus.

[More at www.trinityathens.org]

Letter to St. Margaret's Emmaus, a "parish at risk" (Canon XXIX)

November 22, 2009
From Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow and Canon Lexa Shallcross

[From the December 2009 newsletter of St. Margaret's]

Dear Friends in Christ,

One year ago, the existing Vestry and Canon Shallcross wrote to Bishop Paul and the Standing Committee requesting the diocesan help and oversight available to a "Parish under Review" according to Canon XXVIII. A that time, the identified concern was financial hardship.

In August, Bishop Paul and the Standing Committee moved St. Margaret's to a "Parish at Risk" under Canon XXIX based on the recommendation of their review team. That team includes Elizabeth House, Connie Archer, Canon Anne Kitch and Charlie Barebo. Members of the Standing Committee and the diocesan staff have been present at Vestry meetings since August. Bishop Paul used this time to determine what were the appropriate measures to take under Canon XXIX which would restore health to St. Margaret's Church. He has been at the last two Vestry meetings and has deep concerns that have led him to take the following actions which are designed to put the parish in a place where it can reform itself.

Continue reading "Letter to St. Margaret's Emmaus, a "parish at risk" (Canon XXIX)" »

St. Brigid's Nazareth October Newsletter

From the October 09 issue of St. Brigid's Nazareth newsletter, you may find the following to be of interest: (1) A message from Dean Schenkel regarding wills and estate planning, the St. Mathew Society and funeral planning. (2) Copy and photos of St. Brigid's youth on this summer's diocesan youth mission trip to New Orleans. St. Brigid has an especially active youth ministry. (3) St. Brigid's Fall Festival, October 3.

Download the newsletter below. It's a 616 KB file.

Download Nazareth.0910.pdf