Hymn-a-thon at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre, Sept. 25

[From Canon Mark Laubach]

In days gone by, when people would visit in homes, a customary form of entertainment was to gather around a piano or pump organ and sing hymns. You didn’t have to always sing perfectly in tune, and you didn’t have to listen to a sermon – you just sang and had fun doing it!In that same joyous spirit, on Saturday, September 25th from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m., St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (35 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre – right across the street from Boscov’s) will open its doors to any and all who wish to come by for a good, old-fashioned “hymn sing” – with a twist.  We’re calling it a “HYMN-A-THON”, as it will fill five full hours with singing hymns, and will raise money to support St. Stephen’s VOICE FOR LIFE Chorister Training Program for children and youth.

Fear not, you don’t have to be here for all five hours! But you’re invited to come and sing (or even just sit and listen) for as long as you’re able. If you have favorite hymns, you can request them in return for a designated contribution (pay by the verse). And for an extra contribution, you can even request a special organ piece or an improvisation based upon your chosen hymn!
 

Continue reading "Hymn-a-thon at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre, Sept. 25" »


Trinity Easton to dedicate building addition and renovations, Sept. 14

[Re-posted to clarify potential ambiguity in paragraph 5]

Contact: The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns
Trinity Episcopal Church
234 Spring Garden Street
Easton, PA 18045
610-253-0792
Cell: 610-392-4112
parish@trinityeaston.org

On Tuesday, September 14 at 5 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 234 Spring Garden Street, Easton, Pennsylvania, will open their church and their new addition to the community for an Open House and then Bishop Paul V. Marshall of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem will bless and dedicate the space starting at 7 p.m.

At the ceremony, the parish will also formally announce the naming of the Trinity Primary School, which is being built in Sodogo, Sudan in the Diocese of Kajo-Keji, Episcopal Church of Southern Sudan, in part with funds raised by members of Trinity Church. Trinity tithed the proceeds of the campaign toward the building of the school, according to the Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns, rector. [Trinity's contribution covers about one-third of the cost of the school; the remaining two-thirds comes from other members of the Diocese of Bethlehem.]

Trinity Church serves the community not only as a house of worship and community of faith, but also as a place of help and refuge for those in need. The parish’s Ark Soup Kitchen serves 65-80 people every Saturday a nutritious, tasty meal. The parish has housed twelve-step groups, community organizations, programs from youth and the aged, and many others, and has a long history of outreach to the community. The parish, which was founded in 1819, calls itself “A Church for all people” who “discover, share and live God’s love.”

The new space contains a new commercial-grade kitchen, new restrooms and a new classroom, and makes the facility barrier-free. A stained glass window over the high altar of the church was threatened if the wall collapsed was also restored. In addition, improvements to the organ were made. The church repaved the parking lot, and made other modifications to make the space handicapped accessible.

The generosity of the congregation’s members made this building and the school in Southern Sudan possible. They raised nearly $450,000 during a capital campaign in 2009. The parish tithed their gift so that $45,000 is going across the globe, in Kajo-Keji County, Southern Sudan, a new primary school is being built in a little Sudanese village called Sodogo. The Diocese of Bethlehem, which includes Trinity, Easton, has a partner relationship with the Diocese of Kajo-Keji, which contains the village of Sodogo. The new school will be named for Trinity Church, Easton.

The new kitchen was equipped through a $25,000 grant from the Episcopal Church's United Thank Offering. The grant was one of three, the largest, awarded for projects in Pennsylvania. The UTO awarded 69 grants for 2010 for a total of $2,163,740.93 for the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The grants were awarded to projects in 43 Episcopal Church dioceses, 11 companion diocese relationships and 15 international provinces.

The Open House will start at 5 p.m. on September 14, with presentations by community and civic leaders at 6:30 p.m. Bishop Marshall will then lead the congregation and community members through the building as the new and renovated spaces are blessed, followed by a Holy Eucharist in the Church. A reception follows in Conine Hall.

The building was financed through Merchants Bank of Bangor, PA.  The general contractor was the Alfero Company of Easton, PA. The architect was Jeff Martinson, AIA also of Easton.

For more information please contact The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns, Rector at 610-253-0792 ext. 202 or via e-mail at rector@trinityeaston.org. You may also contact Sr. Patricia-Michael at the Church office (610-253-0752 ext. 201 and parish@trinityeaston.org)


St. Matthew's Stevensville named Century Building

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Stevensville has been named a Century Building by the Bradford County Historical Society. A special service will be held on Saturday, July 17 at 5:00 P.M. to mark the occasion and to receive the bronze marker. The Eucharist will be held on the commemoration of William White, first Bishop of Pennsylvania, who dedicated St. Matthew’s in 1824. Download the news release below for more information.

Download 1007.St. Matthew's Named Century Building Press Release.doc

Stevensville StevensvilleInterior 




Stevensville  


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


From risk to opportunities: Congregational renewal in the Diocese of Bethlehem

[Editor’s note: This is the first of a three part series focusing on congregational renewal within the diocese. If you would like further information please contact Fr. Charles Cesaretti or one of the members listed in the article.]

From risk to opportunities: Congregational renewal in the Diocese of Bethlehem

By Ty Welles and Canon Andrew Gerns
A group of laity and clergy are working to create a process to assist congregations with renewal and development in rapidly changing times, based on utilizing inherent strengths in local communities and networking parishes with similar situations in creative and collaborative ways.

The group was called together in response to Bishop Paul Marshall’s address to the Diocesan Convention in October, 2009. Bishop Marshall said the  following concerning congregations in the diocese:
“The problem with help [for parishes] from the outside is that it can look and feel imposed. Therefore, to help less endangered parishes reclaim their vitality I have been meeting with the Congregational Development Commission in order to reorganize their activities. . . . It is very important to me that parishes in similar situations talk with each other and as far as possible, work together.”

Soon after Convention, Bishop Paul invited the Congregational Development Commission, and a group interested laity and clergy together to talk about how the congregational development process can be reoriented. Instead of providing resources to assist congregations from “above” as it did in the past, the goal will be to facilitate parishes to work together for renewal. The goal will bring together diocesan and congregational resources in a network to assist both troubled and stable congregations move from mere survival to a sense of Christ-centered vitality and world-focused mission.

The new group is chaired by the Rev. Charles Cesaretti and consists of Bishop Paul, Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow, Fr. Cesaretti, Canon Jane Teter, Canon George Loeffler, Canon Andrew Gerns, Fr. Bill McGinty, Fr. Scott Allen, Charles Warwick, Ty Welles, Rachel Bartron, and Dean Tony Pompa. Some of these people were already members of the Congregational Development Commission, and others represented both parishes and other programs or oversight committees of the diocese.

The group designated a drafting team tasked to develop a report about the current state of congregation development and support as well as the needs, hopes and vision of the various groups and parishes in the diocese. The group convened four mini-consultations with representative focus groups from across the diocese to seek out information, background and suggestions. One consultation was with a joint meeting of Diocesan Council and the Standing Committee; a second was with diocesan staff; a third was with representatives of a number of parishes exhibiting growth; and a fourth was with representatives of a number of struggling parishes.

The report, titled From Risks to Opportunities: Congregational Renewal in the Diocese of Bethlehem was the result. The paper describes the standards, practices, and resources that will foster faithfulness of ministry in every congregation of the diocese. The writers suggested that the mission and instrumentality of the committee should be to strengthen all parishes, especially those that have exhibited vitality; provide resources to those congregations “at risk”; and provide self-realization and eventuality to those congregations that have lost their sense of purpose or vitality.

After being presented to Diocesan Council, the Standing Committee, the Incorporated Trustees, and various program committees of the diocese, the outline in From Risks to Opportunities will be brought to the diocese at large through Diocesan Convention this fall. These three articles provide the background for the decisions we will make together in October.

At the heart of the findings described in From Risks to Opportunities is the definition of mission found in the catechism in the Book of Common Prayer: “the mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. The mission is pursued as it prays, worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace, and love. This mission is carried out through the ministry of all its members.” This understanding of mission proclaims that our first and primary relationship is with God; the second relationship is in the worship and proclamation of the church; and the third relationship is with the community and the world. From Risks to Opportunities suggested that this should be adopted as the mission statement of the committee.

A second suggestion was that the committee be renamed The Committee on Congregational Renewal. This would align the committee with the mission statement, and with both the goal and process.

A third finding in From Risks to Opportunities was that the Committee on Congregational Renewal should become the catalyst and agent for a multi-year program to shepherd all congregations of the diocese to renewal and transformation, and to move from risk to opportunities.

Out of the meetings held by the committee there developed a number of assumptions:
1. The bedrock of Christian action is a spiritual life, which must start, direct, and sustain all congregational life.
2. Congregations must focus on their strengths rather than on their weaknesses.
3. Congregations can greatly strengthen their witness when they link up with neighboring congregations in cooperative ventures.
4. Congregations do better when they do not become dependent upon outside sources.
5. Many clergy are ill-prepared to lead a small rural or village church.
6. Every congregation in the diocese must be included in the renewal and transformational process at the appropriate level.

The Committee on Congregational Renewal is developing a process for the diocese and congregations to move into a new era of renewal for parishes in the Diocese of Bethlehem. The vision also includes improved collaboration between the several commissions of the diocese.

As we move towards Diocesan Convention this coming October, the next two parts in this series will describe in more detail how this process will be laid out and frame the discussion and decisions before us. We will spell out the ways in which parishes in the diocese can move into the renewal process beginning at the convention, and how every Episcopalian in northeast Pennsylvania can support a renewed, re-vitalized sense of mission and Christian community.


Good Shepherd Child Care Center is a Rising Star

[From Bill McGinty]

The Good Shepherd Child Care Center in Milford just received news that it has been awarded STAR 3 Status from the Pennsylvania State Star Program. This means so much to the center in terms of grants. Angela Smith and her team, worked for months with parishioners to fill all the State requirements. The Good Shepherd Child Care Center is in its 25th year and cares for poor and single-parent families. As a part of Good Shepherd and St. John's Shared Ministry Outreach Program, the center cares for some 72 children each day. Suzanne Geisler is the center's vestry co-ordinator. From almost closing in July of 2005, this is a monumental achievement for the center and the vestry's restoration program.

Trinity Easton receives $25,000 UTO grant

For Ark Soup Kitchen ministry

Trinity Easton receives $25,000 UTO grant

Trinity Episcopal Church in Easton was awarded a grant by the United Thank Offering of the Episcopal Church for kitchen equipment to support the parish’s weekly Ark Soup Kitchen and other ministries housed there.

The $25,000 award was announced in a letter to the Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall, Bishop of Bethlehem, on May 19, 2010 is to be used between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011.

"I am happy to see Trinity's ministry recognized at the national level.” Bishop Paul said. “The grant is both a material support to the parish, and also an enormous encouragement to all who labor to make our churches effective witnesses of God's love."

The United Thank Offering is known to many Episcopalians through the famous “blue-boxes” into which people put in loose change as offering for anything about which we are thankful. Trinity, Easton has supported the work of the United Thank Offering since its inception and the UTO is now one of Trinity’s “Mission of the Month” offerings.

Continue reading "Trinity Easton receives $25,000 UTO grant" »


Festive Evensong at Mediator Allentown, May 2

On May 2, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Mediator’s Choir will sing a Festival Choral Evensong at 4:00 p.m. The service music, Preces and Responses, is by the English composer, John  Barnard, born in 1948,  and the canticles, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis are sung to settings by Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924). The opening Introit was composed by the American composer, David Gerig who was born in 1948 in Wooster, Ohio and now teaches at the University of New Mexico.
 
The Anthem at the Offertory, a long time favorite of the Choir, is Edgar Bainton’s setting of the text from the book of Revelation, “And I saw a new heaven”. The Revelation passage is included in the Epistle Lesson for the day. Bainton was born in London in 1880, the son of a Congregational minister. He won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music to study theory with Walford Davies and in 1899 he received a scholarship to study composition with Stanford. He wrote extensively in all areas of musical performance including three symphonies and other orchestral music, chamber music and a great deal of choral and vocal music both sacred and secular. “And I saw a new heaven” is his most well known sacred choral composition. In 1933 he emigrated to Australia where he taught at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music where he founded an opera company and also founded the New South Wales Symphony later to become the Sydney Symphony. He died on December 8, 1956 at Point Piper, New South Wales.
 
2010 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the noted American composer, Samuel Barber. He was born March 9, 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania and died on January 23, 1981. He is best known to the general public by his orchestral piece, Adagio for Strings, composed in 1935 and premiered in 1938 by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. Originally written as the slow movement of his String Quartet, Opus 11 it has been transcribed for several musical media including an organ transcription by the organist/composer William Strickland a friend of Barber’s. Mr. Miller will play the Strickland organ transcription of the Adagio as the concluding voluntary.

 A gala reception will follow the Evensong in Commons Room.


Tribute to St. Mark's/St. John's Jim Thorpe and Father John Wagner from a Jewish visitor

December 31, 2008

The Episcopal Parish of St. Mark and St. John
ATTN: The Reverend John Wagner, Priest-in-Charge
21 Race Street
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

Dear Reverend Wagner:

Let me first wish you a very Happy New Year. You do not know me, but I met you Christmas Eve at your beautiful church in Jim Thorpe. I was visiting my girlfriend’s grandmother and attended worship service with her family in the evening; a unique feat for me. I am not Episcopal; I am not Roman Catholic; I am not Catholic; I am not even a Christian. I am Jewish. This was the first Episcopal worship I had ever attended with my Roman Catholic girlfriend (whose mother is Episcopal) – and I have never felt neither more welcomed nor more comfortable in a religious service.

Continue reading "Tribute to St. Mark's/St. John's Jim Thorpe and Father John Wagner from a Jewish visitor" »


Organist and Choir Director Position Available

[ADVERTISEMENT] GOOD SHEPHERD & ST JOHN'S  MILFORD
 
                   SEEKING ORGANIST and CHOIR DIRECTOR.
 
This is the opportunity to work with an eighteen strong choir, playing a two year old 25 rank SCHANTZ Pipe organ. Milford is the cultural centre of the Tri-State Area, attracting classical musicians from all three states and the five boroughs. Music festivals, concerts and the arts abound. Population expands in the summer. This is a part-time position paying $10,000, ideal as a second job or for retiree. Contact the office at: office@goodshepherdmilford.org  or 570-296-8123.

Sudan Bishop's visit to the Diocese of Bethlehem

Visit to the Diocese of Bethlehem by Bishop Anthony Poggo of the Diocese of Kajo Keji

[From Bishop Paul Marshall, posted last Monday afternoon, March 8, on Bakery] I hope you saw the press coverage of the bishop's Reading and Wilkes-Barre visits. (Background story here.) He was able to visit New Bethany and the Trinity soup kitchen, as well as two clergy Bible studies. The week also gave him opportunity to hear directly from our General Convention deputation and attend the regular meeting of the diocesan staff. Wednesday night was a special evening with the World Mission Committee. Friday night offered time with young people, and on Saturday morning Sophie and Lucy Kitch-Peck gave him the insider's tour of Bethlehem on foot. He also had personal contact with a number of our clergy and lay people as the week progressed. [Here's a story with photos of his visit to Trinity Easton.]

All in all, he has a much deeper picture of our life than his very brief previous visit to our convention afforded. After a very pleasant trip to Sayre and back over the weekend, we concluded last night with dinner at the Barebo's. Today was packing, lunch, and a drive to Newark. Bishop Anthony and I have come to know each other very much better after our week in the car together (Andrew, I miss you). The last few days gave us opportunity to discuss core issues of mission and the tasks of episcopate. Ever a busy man, Bishop Anthony will return not to Kajo-Keji, but to Juba, the capitol of the south, where he will preach at a bishops' retreat and then on to a mission meeting on his way to Nairobi. It was a great pleasure to have him with us, and I am grateful for all who cooperated in making the trip a success.

The April edition of Diocesan Life will provide rich photo coverage. Download a pdf file of pages 4-5 of that issue below.

Download 100404-5.pdf


Maria Tjeltveit named to Allentown Ethics Commission

Canon Maria Tjeltveit, rector of Mediator Allentown and Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer for the Diocese of Bethlhem, was appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council to the five-member Ethics Commission for the City of Allentown. According to the City of Allentown website, the Board of Ethics "is responsible to administer the City's Code of Ethics. This Board was established by ordinance to City Council, where the Mayor appoints its members with the advice and consent of Council. Members meet as often as the Mayor or City Council requests. No more than two people on this Board can be from the same party. (Member Requirements: 5 members; and Term Limits: appointed to 4 year terms)"

Bethlehem churches' efforts to shelter homeless during winter months commendable

An Express-Times Editorial – Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Temperatures are starting to climb, most snowbanks have melted away and those of us here in the Northeast are beginning to trade our winter coats for light jackets.

Ah, spring! It's a time when we are no longer forced to cope with crippling snowstorms, ice-covered roads or chapped skin.

And it's also the time when the homeless among us aren't quite as vulnerable as they were during the bone-chilling days and nights of winter.

Recently Express-Times reporter Lynn Olanoff took readers inside a church-based effort in Bethlehem that provides shelter for the homeless from January through March.

Continue reading "Bethlehem churches' efforts to shelter homeless during winter months commendable" »


Hearing criticism as applause

Father Dan Gunn, rector of of St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre, wrote the following note today to parishioners and others on his mailing list. It is a model for turning potentially bad news into good or, as he states at the end, hearing criticism as applause.

Dear All,
 
A Blessed Ash Wednesday, to you.
 
I hope you have seen the stories in the local papers the past three days.  Here, here and here.  I think this is good news for us.  The reporters have been balanced and reasonably accurate.  For the record, I went down to Reach this morning and was greeted with a chorus of “Good morning, Father!” and even inquiries of when the Ash Wednesday Services were scheduled.  (Jokingly, I asked them to go out to the street and assault someone so we could be in the paper again on Thursday.  They all declined.)
 
I have spent a great deal of my time in the past few years trying to make certain that Reach is operated in an appropriate manner.  If you read the articles in recent days you will hear a great deal of innuendo and speculations.  In four years I have only found one needle, 3 drug packets (I have them in my desk), and a couple dozen beer cans.  I would love to say that there had been none of these items, but I live in reality.  Downtown Wilkes-Barre is an inner-city, and that comes with all the problems of such a place.
 
For those of you who read the local papers on-line as I do, please scroll to the end of the articles and read the posted comments.  The overwhelming majority of the feedback is POSITIVE toward St. Stephen’s and Reach.  One person even said that we are the one church that “practices what we preach.”  Another said that we are the only church open and active during the week while others are locked and guarded except on Sundays.
 
One of my mentors tells me that this sort of press is good press, and better than any advertisement we could buy.  I tend to agree.  Please if you or any of your neighbors have questions direct them to me.  I will be happy to respond as I am able.
 
It is times like these when I think about our brothers and sisters in Kajo-Keji (maybe because I was there this time last year) and wonder where would our critics want to send them?  They’re uneducated, poorly clothed, poor and black, suffering from years of mistreatment.  Our mission, though at times needing critique, is true and good and right, whether in Downtown Wilkes-Barre or in Africa.  We are truly an International Parish: we need to tell others about our good works.  Just as we welcome Bishop Anthony in a few days, we welcome Kevin whom I met in the basement of Boscov’s today who asked me to bless the cross he was wearing around his neck and say a prayer for him, too.  We are known by our deeds, whether they be acts of charity or music or liturgy.  We are a dynamic church and God bless those who think and say otherwise.
 
Finally, Rabbi Ed Friedman, whom you have heard me speak of often, said that “You know you have reached a new level of maturity when you can hear criticism as affirmation.”  He went on to say that “criticism is an act of pursuit.”  This is true for individuals and parishes.  In the past few days I have heard an abundance of affirmation.  I have also felt pursued.  Can you feel it?  Can you hear it with me?
 
In peace,

Dg

Posted by Bill Lewellis

Area churches to prepare Easter dinners for the needy in Susquehanna County

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.

Working with Interfaith and other area agencies, those individuals and families listed with the agencies will be eligible for a dinner basket that includes a 3 or 5-pound ham, vegetables, potatoes/macaroni and cheese, canned fruit, bread and dessert. The baskets will be distributed on Wednesday, March 31. This year there are plans for at least 700 dinner baskets. In order to better serve our neighbors, three distribution sites will be available: St. Paul’s Montrose, St. Mark’s, New Milford, and Christ Church, Forest City.

Continue reading "Area churches to prepare Easter dinners for the needy in Susquehanna County" »


Bonaventure Reading Group meets Forsyte Saga

[From Laura Howell, Trinity Bethlehem] "Bonaventure" means "good venture," an apt name for the journey of discoverythat makes this informal book discussion series so rewarding. Two or three times a year a group gets together on Wednesdays at 6:00, at Trinity Bethlehem, to explore, over the course of several months, a work of literature from the past.

During the next few months we'll be talking about John Galsworthy's classic trilogy, The Forsyte Saga. It is a good read on a grand scale, the archetype of the family saga. Its underlying theme, the confrontation between personal moral integrity and the public high-Victorian code, finds expression in an ever-varying plot. And, this book is full of Forsytes –– even the dull ones are interesting.

Continue reading "Bonaventure Reading Group meets Forsyte Saga" »


Friday night at St. Andrew's Allentown

[Editor's note: Some ten Bethlehem churches and one synagogue are participating in the second year of an emergency sheltering program, coordinated by Bethlehem’s Trinity Episcopal Church. It began in 2008 when Trinity Soup Kitchen staff discovered that there were no emergency shelter beds for people in Bethlehem during a particularly cold period, and people were in danger of freezing. The story below is a snapshot of Friday night when St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on the Allentown/Bethlehem border opens its doors to the homeless. For context, see an earlier story by David Howell.]

By Scott Allen, Jean Evans and Colleen Kram

Last January, when St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania, decided to open their doors to the homeless on Friday nights, we had no idea what we were in for. While it’s a great deal of work and we deal with some difficult personalities who have exhausted the social service networks, we were in for blessings beyond our imaginings. As the priest there, I knew that this is what we are called to be and do by the gospels – but I had no idea of what grace and transformation this ministry would yield.

Recently, I asked one of our parishioners, a retired primary school teacher who is part of our hospitality team, to write a short reflection on her experience that evening (even though she had volunteered many times before). Each time we host is a little different and a snapshot like the one that follows is indicative of a “typical” evening – if there is such a thing – in this sort of hospitality ministry.

Continue reading "Friday night at St. Andrew's Allentown" »


Helping the Homeless in Allentown

New Bethany Ministries, which has attacked the homeless problem in Bethlehem for nearly 25 years, has the final $250,000 it needs to launch its first project in Allentown. At a news conference Monday, community leaders announced the funding that completes a $460,000 plan to turn a former Grace Episcopal Church building at 112 N. Fifth St. into a group home.

[snip, snip, snip]

Renovation of the three-story Allentown building is expected to begin in April and a midsummer opening is anticipated. It is to include the six rooms, a living room, kitchen, dining area, three bathrooms and a laundry facility. The top floor will be used for meetings. Grace Episcopal, which sold New Bethany the building for half its value, had used the building for an AIDS outreach program until its funding was cut. The Lehigh County Conference of Churches, which administers programs for the poor, will choose who will live in the group home. The coalition of 140 area churches will provide rent subsidies and social services. Grace Episcopal Church, which is next door to the future group home, will also provide services.

[snip, snip, snip]

New Bethany offers single-occupancy units at other locations: 10 in Bethlehem and 13 in Coplay. It also offers temporary housing in Bethlehem, serves nearly 200 lunches a day and provides other services. New Bethany is also planning a $2 million hospitality center with laundry facilities, showers and affordable housing at the shuttered Our Lady of Pompeii Catholic Church in south Bethlehem. New Bethany is scheduled to close on the property April 1.

New Bethany Ministries, community operated, is owned by the Diocese of Bethlehem.

Read more.

––posted by Bill Lewellis
from a story in The Morning Call, Feb. 2, 2010