Diocesan Life for December 2011/January 2012

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Resolutions of Courtesy from Diocesan Convention

By Canon Anne Kitch

May it be resolved, that we who are gathered in this place do most graciously give voice to our joy in thy worshipful servant Bishop Paul, and that we offer unto him deep gratitude for that he hath led us on to ponder "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;” and for that he doth continually translate God’s Word for us.

Resolved, we salute Bishop Jack for being an all around holy man and for proving that it is possible to take our faith seriously while maintaining a light heart.

Resolved, we admire Canon Jane Teter for knitting the Diocese together through the warmth of her spirit and the multitude of her ministries.

Resolved, we humbly honor Stephen Tomor, the New Hope Campaign Coordinator in Kajo-Keji, and offer heartfelt gratitude for his faithful oversight of the construction of the schools in South Sudan.

Resolved, we applaud and support the deep Christian compassion manifested by the spontaneous outpouring of aid from parishes and individuals in our Diocese in response to those grievously afflicted by the recent flooding.

Resolved, we celebrate The Congregational Renewal Committee, for establishing the Diocesan Renewal Assemblies, summoning us to lives of prayer, showing us how to celebrate our blessings and inviting us to connect the dots.

Resolved, we marvel at Tom Lloyd, who has given 50 years of service on the Peace Commission of this Diocese and been a stalwart champion for matters of justice and peace.

Resolved, we glorify the Holy Spirit who has inspired us to bear a common witness in a hurting world with our sisters and brothers of other denominations and other faiths thereby finding strength in unity.

Resolved, we express copious gratitude to the people of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity for lavishly hosting us and for inspiring us by their gallant example of how we might cope gracefully with all impediments—scaling new heights and crossing hazardous terrain with confidence.

Resolved, we praise our merciful God for gifting us with new ministry, new schools, and new hope in our Diocese and for the favor poured out upon this Convention evident in the first four consecutive days in four months without rain. May God bless us and give us the courage to climb the mountain and the inner silence to hear God’s word.

Respectfully presented by the Committee on Resolutions of Courtesy

The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch, chair
The Rev. Earl Trygar
Ms. Melody Lewis


Diocesan Convention Resolutions as passed

The following are the Convention Resolutions as passed at this year's Diocesan Convention.

Resolution on the Budget of the Diocese of Bethlehem

Be it Resolved, That the Assessment Rate applied to Line A, Normal Operating Income (NOI), of the 2010 Parochial Report shall be 12% in 2012;

and be it further

Resolved, That the Proposed Mission and Ministry Budget of the Diocese as it is presented to the Convention be adopted.

Presented by Diocesan Council

Explanation:

With this Resolution, Diocesan Convention adopts a Diocesan Operating Budget for 2012.  The Income of the Budget represents a continuation of a blend of Assessments and Acceptances, both at rates identical to last year: 12% of Normal Operating Income (NOI, Line A of the Parochial Report) for the Assessment and 3% of NOI for the Acceptance.

Resolution of the Personnel Committee Regarding the 2012 Salary Schedule

Be It Resolved, that the Salary Schedule for Clergy for 2012, be as follows with a 2.8% Cost of Living increase,

and be it further

Resolved, That the same Cost of Living increase applies to lay employees.

Parish Index                    Size of Parish                    Clergy Salary Range
1-99                                Small                                $30,635.00 - $36,800.00
100-250                           Medium                            $33,925.00 - $50,165.00
250-399                           Large                                $40,600.00 - $62,500.00
400 – above                      X-Large                            $54,790.00 - $88,715.00

Be It Resolved, That the Clergy Supply Schedule for 2011, be as follows, and be it further

Resolved, That Supply Clergy be reimbursed for travel at the current IRS rate.

Number of Services

1 Sunday Service or 1 Saturday                $130.00
2 Sunday Services                                    $160.00
Mid Week Service                                    $80.00

Resolution To Establish a Plan of Action for Relief for the Homeless and Poor in Our Society
[A M E N D E D]

Whereas the current increase in suffering of homeless people in our society has been largely ignored during our economic downturn and housing crisis, as almost 700,000 of our citizens are known to be homeless (with four in ten living on the street);

Whereas the greatest increases in recent years in homelessness are among people who have become unemployed (including veterans returning from our wars) and among those who formerly lived in homes now in foreclosure;

Whereas 250,000 persons living in families are homeless;

Whereas, contrary to misconceptions, blame and stereotypes, the root causes of homelessness are lack of affordable housing and poverty;

Whereas in response to our economic downturn and jobs crisis, budgetary reductions at the state, federal, and local levels have had direct and devastating effects upon our parishes’ work with the poor – upon shelters for the homeless; upon soup kitchens, upon food banks, upon employment counseling programs, upon legal services programs;

Whereas a large part of Jesus’ ministry consisted of the prophetic task of confronting and denouncing not merely the distinct sinful actions of individuals, but a host of systemic, structural evils (e.g., the transformation of the temple into “a den of thieves”) that degrade human life and impede the coming of God’s reign;

Be it Resolved, therefore, That parishes throughout The Diocese of Bethlehem will form prayer-and study-groups to meet regularly for an extended period in order to discern what is the Church’s call to the homeless and the poor in this present era; to discover how our faith in the coming reign of God may be sustained and strengthened in these profoundly difficult days; to devise methods for challenging and changing systems that now severely limit our society's potential for achieving a just distribution of the necessary means of life; to examine government policies that either contribute to or reduce unemployment; to plan actions for relief of the most vulnerable among us; to raise the quality and dignity of life for the poor and the homeless; and to restore compassion to our public and private discourse.

Be it further Resolved, That this convention submits the following resolution for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 2012 which commends the same practices to the parishes and dioceses of the National Church:

To Establish a Plan of Action for Relief for the Homeless and Poor in Our Society

Whereas the current increase in suffering of homeless people in our society has been largely ignored during our economic downturn and housing crisis, as almost 700,000 of our citizens are known to be homeless (with four in ten living on the street);

Whereas the greatest increases in recent years in homelessness are among people who have become unemployed (including veterans returning from our wars) and among those who formerly lived in homes now in foreclosure;

Whereas 250,000 persons living in families are homeless;

Whereas, contrary to misconceptions, blame and stereotypes, the root causes of homelessness are lack of affordable housing and poverty;

Whereas in response to our economic downturn and jobs crisis, budgetary reductions at the state, federal, and local levels have had direct and devastating effects upon our parishes’ work with the poor – upon shelters for the homeless; upon soup kitchens, upon food banks, upon employment counseling programs, upon legal services programs;

Whereas a large part of Jesus’ ministry consisted of the prophetic task of confronting and denouncing not merely the distinct sinful actions of individuals, but a host of systemic, structural evils (e.g., the transformation of the temple into “a den of thieves”) that degrade human life and impede the coming of God’s reign;

Be it Resolved, therefore, That parishes and dioceses of The Episcopal Church will form prayer-and study-groups to meet regularly for an extended period in order to discern what is the Church’s call to the homeless and the poor in this present era; to discover how our faith in the coming reign of God may be sustained and strengthened in these profoundly difficult days; to devise methods for challenging and changing systems that now severely limit our society's potential for achieving a just distribution of the necessary means of life; to examine government policies that either contribute to or reduce unemployment; to plan actions for relief of the most vulnerable among us; to raise the quality and dignity of life for the poor and the homeless; and to restore compassion to our public and private discourse.

Presented by the following:

Members of Grace Church, Allentown, Summer Reading Group, 2011:
Addison Bross
Mary Louise Bross
Kelly Cannon
Kelly Denton-Borhaug
Gunnar Denton-Borhaug
Bob House
Libby House
Lori Molloy
Jean Moody
Jack Moody
The Rev. Elizabeth Reed
Jeff Reed
Joan Roy

The Rev. T. Scott Allen

Vestry Members, St. Andrews Church

The Clergy and Vestry Members, Trinity Church, Bethlehem

Resolution on Building Relationships with Muslim-American Community
 
Whereas:  A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in September 2010 found that 31 percent of U.S. citizens believe that "mainstream Islam [i.e., not "militant Islam"] encourages violence;"

Whereas:  Rep. Peter King's accusation (in Congressional hearings, March 10, 2011) that American Muslims have failed to support U.S. law enforcement's fight against terrorism has caused much pain and misunderstanding;
 
Whereas:  John B. Chilton, reporting on these hearings  in the Episcopal Cafe,  cited a document entitled "Shoulder to Shoulder," signed by clergy and laity of various faiths, representatives of national religious councils, and leaders of institutions for training of clergy, calling on elected officials and all citizens "not to perpetuate damaging false witness against our neighbors," but instead "to stand shoulder-to-shoulder [with persons of all faiths] in communities of growing awareness, trust and hope;"

Be it Resolved: That the parishes within the Diocese of Bethlehem be encouraged to work with the Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission in reaching out to their local Muslim neighbors by organizing or being a part of an event in the coming year to build new relationships that will lead to better understanding of our different faiths.
 
Presented by the Diocesan Peace Commission:
Addison Bross, Co-Chair;
Barb Gessner, Co-Chair;
Mary Louise Bross;
Njideka Kelley;
Fr. Don Knapp;
Tom Lloyd;
Suzanne Siebert;
Candis Siatkowski.


Diocesan Life for October 2011

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

Creating a Culture of Peace Training

[From the Peace Commission]


CCPLogo Creating a Culture of PeaceTM

  ...community-based training for generating nonviolent power

 

Gather with others from the Diocese November 5 – 7, 2010, for this spiritually-based, interactive and experiential training for teens and adults that will prepare you to make a difference in your life, your family, and in the world. Event to take place at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre. Cost: $45 for Episcopalians & Students (scholarships available). To register please contact Fran Hlavacek 570-296-5264, franhcmt@gmail.com   Registration Deadline – October 22, 2010 

Training sponsored by the Diocesan Peace Commission

Download CCP Bulletin Insert

Download CCPFlyer 2010

Download CCPregistration Fall 2010


Father Abraham and Gandhian peace work

On Saturday afternoon, November 14, ten persons from around the Diocese of Bethlehem came together at St. John's, Palmerton, to listen to Father Abraham Valiath tell the story of his very active involvement in Gandhian peace work in his home country of India. Gandhi, who based much of his thought on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, embraced the concept of ahimsa or nonviolence which, Father Abraham pointed out, is a spiritual and moral force Gandhi applied to affect social change.

Father Abraham's early work involved publishing literature opposing the actions of the government and social institutions that violated people's civil and social rights, particularly the poor. Later he affected significant land reform, arranging for poor people to finally be granted ownership of land they had been working for generations

His inspiration and effectiveness through all this has been his Christian faith and his life of active prayer. “Peace comes first from within –– in the silence and quietness –– and from developing our inner [person] by exercising that discipline everyday in everything we do,” he said. And this is not just a personal venture, but rather “peace is the responsibility of all Christian people.”


Peace Scholarships

Posted by Kat Lehman
CCP_logo5-09 The Diocesan Peace Commission will award 8 Peace Scholarships to Episcopalians to attend "Creating a Culture of Peace" (CCP) training retreat. The deadline to apply for the $300 scholarships is August 10, 2009. The CCP training is September 10-13, 2009, and runs from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch at Kirkridge Retreat Center near Stroudsburg. The full cost of the training retreat, including room and board, is $395.  Scholarship recipients will be awarded $300 and will pay the remaining $95 themselves. Episcopalians Janet Chisholm and Fran Hlavacek will lead the training. CCP training responds to General Convention resolutions and funding to develop a culture of peace and nonviolence and to make nonviolence training and peace education available throughout the Episcopal Church. This is the second CCP training for the Diocese of Bethlehem. Apply for Scholarship:  Mary Louise Bross, mlb2@lehigh.edu, 610-691-2684 or 610-248-0030. Download the complete flyer Download 09PeaceScholarship.


Peace Commission Meeting

This comes from Fran Hlavacek: The Diocesan Peace Commission will be meeting on June 13, 2009 in the Chisholm residence at Kirkridge Retreat Center, Bangor, PA. The meeting will take place at 1:00. Please contact any members of the Peace Commission for more information.


Creating a Culture of Peace

The Training Energized Clergy and Laity
By Addison Bross
 
 

Creating a Culture of Peace

For three days last fall (November 7-9) a group of Episcopalians from this Diocese came together at Kirkridge Retreat Center near Bangor to take up the challenging work of learning to make peace.  With the help of two trained facilitators they moved beyond the faulty notions about peacemaking that commonly hold us back from embracing Jesus’ promise that peacemakers will get blest (Matthew 5:9).  Over the weekend their experience with a program called “Creating a Culture of Peace” bore out Jesus’ realistic admonition – that to take on this task they must be not just “innocent as doves,” but also “cunning as serpents” (Matthew 10: 16).  They must, that is, stratetgize.

Continue reading "Creating a Culture of Peace" »


Creating a Culture of Peace: Nonviolence training for personal and social change

[Updated 7/5/08]
The Peace Commission of the Diocese of Bethlehem will host spiritually-grounded peacemaker training at Kirkridge Retreat Center, Bangor, PA, November 7-9 (Friday 9:00 a.m. to Sunday 2:00 p.m.) The interactive process will include exploration of violence and nonviolence, analysis of how change occurs, community building and project planning.

Continue reading "Creating a Culture of Peace: Nonviolence training for personal and social change" »


Peace Training Programs at Kirkridge

Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center will offer spiritually-grounded peace training, led by Janet Chisholm and Addison Bross, August 16-19. Creating a Culture of Peace: Nonviolence training for personal and social change is the kind of peacemaking training supported by General Convention, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and our Diocesan Peace Commission on which both presenters serve. A nationally-recognized leader in peacemaking, Chisholm is the originator of CCP. She is Kirkridge's Coordinator for Peacemaking, and a member of Christ Church, Stroudsburg. Bross, a member of Grace Church, Allentown, is Peace Studies Professor at Lehigh University. Download more information, as a word or pdf file, below.

Download creating_a_culture_of_peace.doc

Download creating_a_culture_of_peace.pdf

Kirkridge has been providing a place for rest and renewal to pilgrims along life’s journey. The Center is located on the beautiful Kittatinny Ridge of eastern Pennsylvania near Bangor, the Delaware Water Gap and the Pocono Mountains region. 

Kirkridge’s emphasis since 1942 has been the integration of contemplation and action for justice, or "Picket and Pray." Those early pilgrims and seekers who came to Kirkridge understood that the life of faith requires not only action to transform the world toward greater shalom, but also the cultivation of a deep spirituality to sustain that compassionate action. The legacy continues today, with a wide variety of programming and a growing constituency of folks from many faith traditions. Visit the Kirkridge website for details of many currently offered programs. Kirkridge draws presenters and retreatants from across the country. You may also download info about peace and justice programs in a table format for your use below.

Download k_weekends_table_w_bios.pdf

Download cc_with_discount.html




Continue reading "Peace Training Programs at Kirkridge" »


The blessedness of striving for peace

Our diocesan Peace Commission was reestablished by vote of delegates at our 2005 Diocesan Convention. The commission's first effort will be to find ways to promote a current movement, now gaining momentum across the nation, to establish a U.S.Department of Peace and Nonviolence, a cabinet-level office parallel to the departments of State, Education, and Defense. Download the Peace Commission's statement below.

Download 0604.Blessedness of striving for peace.pdf