Prince of Peace Dallas calls rector

  [From Prince of Peace Dallas] Following a period of transitions and our latest search for a rector, we are pleased to announce that we have called Father John Major as our new rector. Father Major will also continue his priestly ministry with our neighboring parish, Trinity Episcopal Church, West Pittston.

MajorJohn2

Committed to priestly ministry in Luzerne and Lackawanna County for nearly 20 years, Father Major has been rector of Trinity West Pittston for the past eight years. A several month-long process of prayerful and careful review of his many years of priestly ministry, his dedication to priestly and pastoral care, his diverse involvement in parish and diocesan ministry, and his zeal for the health and growth of the Episcopal Church in our area resulted with the Prince of Peace Search Committee, Vestry and Diocese of Bethlehem Bishop Paul Marshall supporting this call without reservation. 

Continue reading "Prince of Peace Dallas calls rector" »


Father Ron Molrine

By Michael Piovane

This is a story about my first encounter with Fr. Ron after becoming an Episcopalian. It was 20 years ago that Rita and I first worshipped at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. We had been married over a year, just built a home in Macungie, and were looking for an Episcopal church closer to us so that we could become active in the parish.

Continue reading "Father Ron Molrine" »


As the future happens

Sermon at Trinity Mt. Pocono, Bishop Paul V. Marshall
Retirement of Canon Ginny Rex Day

Pentecost 7, Proper 8, June 29, 2008

We come, Lord God, after all is said and done, to the end. May the Holy Spirit be present in a way that allows us to acknowledge and master our many emotions and move into your future. Amen.

It has been an interesting and instructive task to decide on something to say today that would not sound like leftovers or remind anybody of the designated hitter rule.

I say that because you have already had a party, a testimonial dinner, so to speak, to honor and celebrate a ministry marked by productivity and joy. Many wise and appreciative words have been said to and about Canon Day with great sincerity, privately and publicly. I also suspect there may have been one or two funny stories told; do not ask me how I know this.

Continue reading "As the future happens" »


Bishop Paul names Anne Kitch to Diocesan Staff as Canon for Formation in the Christian Faith

Kitchanne2007The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch, Canon for Christian Formation at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, since 1999, has accepted Bishop Paul Marshall's invitation to become Canon for Formation in the Christian Faith in the Diocese of Bethlehem. She will begin her ministry on Diocesan Staff on August 11. Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow said that Canon Kitch "wants to begin by learning what programs and curricula are used in parishes throughout the Diocese."

Continue reading "Bishop Paul names Anne Kitch to Diocesan Staff as Canon for Formation in the Christian Faith" »


Sermon at Memorial Service for Henry Pease

Sermon in Loving Memory of the Rev. Henry J. Pease
Given at the Requiem Eucharist
April 19, 2008 in St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre
By the Ven. Richard I. Cluett

[More on Father Pease here]

Precious in the sight of God is the death of his saints. Precious, too, is the life of that saint. Beloved Henry J. Pease is such a one.

What calls to mind a beloved person? When you think about this man, what is it that comes to mind? The life and the death of Henry J. Pease have brought us to this day and to this service. I know some call him Mr. Pease, and that is an honorific, befitting this man. MR. Pease. Others of us know him as Father Pease, or Professor Pease, or Dad or Grampa, or simply as friend, colleague, or neighbor, Henry.

But now that we are here, what comes to mind – what comes to your mind – such a man whose life and death has brought us all here this day? Each of has had our own experience with this extraordinary ordinary man. So what is it for you?

Continue reading "Sermon at Memorial Service for Henry Pease" »


Mark Laubach named Canon Precentor

Bishop Paul Marshall has named Mark Laubach Canon Precentor "to take the lead in efforts to coordinate, communicate, and further educate all the musicians of the [14-county] Diocese of Bethlehem."

LaubachCanon Laubach is a lay person who has served as music minister at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre since 1986 where he administers a busy liturgical, choral, concert and broadcasting schedule. He will continue in that position. He resides in Forty Fort.

"For more than two decades you have served St. Stephen’s, the Diocese, and the community with great artistry and great gentleness," Bishop Paul said during the March 22 Easter Vigil at St. Stephen’s. "You have sought the glory of God in your performing, conducting and teaching. Together with Roy and Carol Horton, you have been a singular teacher and coach to many of those musicians who served our smaller congregations. You have been an invaluable adviser to many priests and at least one bishop. Most recently, you have agreed to take the lead in efforts to coordinate, communicate, and further educate all the musicians of the Diocese. So it is with gratitude and joy that I name you Canon Precentor of the Diocese. This is both an honorary canonry for life and also a working canonry, given what you have undertaken. You have been a blessing to so many. Please know that what we do tonight is a thanksgiving to God for the gifts he has given the Church through you, and thanksgiving and recognition of you as someone who has been a dedicated steward of the gifts that come from above."

Under Laubach's leadership in 2002, St. Stephen’s large pipe organ was rebuilt by the Berghaus Organ Company of Chicago. This instrument now stands among the finest of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, having won high praise from organists and audiences.

He served as a diocesan deputy to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention in 2003 and has been elected to serve in that capacity once again for the General Convention of 2009.

Having won first prize in the 1984 American Guild of Organists (AGO) National Young Artists' Competition in Organ Performance, he is regarded among the finest organists of his generation in the U.S.

Download laubach_named_canon_precentor.doc

Download laubach_named_canon_precentor.pdf


John M. Garber

John M. Garber, 52, Reading, formerly of Tamaqua, died Feb. 5, 2008, in his home.

John grew up in Tamaqua and was a son of William A. Garber, Tamaqua, and the late Carol (Steidel) Garber. While residing in Tamaqua, he worked for Children and Youth Services of Schuylkill County. He was working for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at its Shillington office. John was a 1973 graduate of Tamaqua High School and received his master's degree from Gettysburg Seminary.

He was a member of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church, Douglassville, where he was organist/choirmaster for 19 years. He was a member of the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Anglican Musicians and a founding member of the local chapter of Integrity in the Diocese of Bethlehem. He was a major participant in the redesign of the worship space at St. Gabriel's and the church's acquisition of a new Allen organ.

Surviving in addition to his father are a brother, William R. Garber and his wife, Carolanne, Tamaqua; nieces, TaraBeth and Karri; nephew, Billy; and grandfather, Maurice Garber, Tamaqua.

Services will be Monday at 1 p.m. in Christ Church on Field Road in Rush Township, Tamaqua, with the Rev. Canon Calvin C. Adams officiating. Friends may call noon until time of services in the church. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Memorial services will be Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. in St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church, 1188 Benjamin Franklin Highway East, Douglassville. www.stgabriels.us

Donations in his name may be made to the church.


Harold Wharton Black, Jr.

Harold Wharton Black, Jr., 87, Wyomissing, died Feb. 11, 2008, in Wyomissing Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Reading. A member of Christ Episcopal Church, Reading, he was the husband of Deborah (Gibbs) Black. Born in Bluefield, W.Va., he was a son of the late Harold Wharton Black and Annie (Sanders) Black.

Harold was a typographer for CBS and Black Inc., both in New York City. He also was a freelance typographer in both New York and Berks County, retiring in 1987. He was a 1942 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a bachelor's degree in journalism. He was a veteran of the Army, serving in the Signal Corps and stationed on the USS Rocky Mount in the South Pacific during World War II.

He was past president of Friends of Berks County Libraries and was widely known for the articles he wrote for the organization, which went well beyond his years as president. Harold also served at the Emergency Shelter (now known as Opportunity House) for 10 years.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Melissa A. Black, Wyomissing; and his four sons: Timothy L., husband of Denise Black, Old Bridge, N.J.; Philip L. Black, Fleetwood; Andrew M. Black, Pleasanton, Calif.; and Matthew G., husband of Theresa Black, Tinton Falls, N.J. Other survivors include eight grandchildren and a stepgreat-granddaughter. He was predeceased by a brother, Joseph.

Memorial services were held at Christ Church on Saturday, February 16.


Debra Kissinger accepts position with Diocese of Indianapolis

Kissinger The Rev Debra Kissinger, missioner to children and child advocate for the Diocese of Bethlehem since May 2001, has accepted a position with the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis as canon for education and formation on the staff of Bishop Catherine M. Waynick, effective April 1.

On Bishop Paul's staff, Debra has had a ministry of oversight and development of diocesan children’s ministries, birth through grade 6. She consulted with parishes regarding child-friendly worship, Christian education and formation development with an eye to congregational development. She represented the Diocese of Bethlehem in local, state and national advocacy work with various child advocacy organizations. Her ministry also included oversight and development of diocesan-wide children’s event and various teacher training events and oversight of child abuse prevention training. She served also as staff liaison to diocesan evangelism and stewardship Committees.


Pray for Father Henry Pease

Please pray for Father Henry Pease, retired rector of St. Paul's, Montrose (1972-98), who for some eight years has served also as priest-in-charge at St. George's, Nanticoke,. Father Pease is undergoing chemo and radiation therapy for cancer of the esophagus. Notes and cards may be addressed to: The Rev. Henry J. Pease,  17 Lake Shore Dr., Tunkhannock, PA, 18657. Henry has held many leadership positions within our diocesan community, including president of the Standing Committee. Many remember Henry's courageous trip to Ecuador in 2000 to rescue three grandsons, then ages 3, 5 and 8. He took them into his home, where he had been living alone, and has cared for them there over the past seven years. An April 2002 Diocesan Life story about that may be downloaded below.

Download 020403a.pdf


Not Fair

The Cathedral Church of the Nativity invites parishioners “to share a story (great or small) about being thankful for something that has been done by this church, its people or its ministries” for publication in the parish newsletter. Unless requested, all stories are printed anonymously. Not Fair appears in the December issue. Download it below.

Download 0712.Not Fair.pdf

Continue reading "Not Fair" »


Cathedral celebrates interim ministry of Rick Cluett

A "Resolution of Heartfelt Love" presented to Archdeacon Rick Cluett after his ministry of almost two years as interim dean and rector of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, may be downloaded here ... Download RickCluettResolution.pdf.

Rick's sermon on his last Sunday there, June 24, may be accessed here.

Details of the gift in honor of Rick's ministry, over $7,000 to Kajo Keji to purchase specific items for Canon Beniah Poggo Bible College Library, may be downloaded here ...Download gift_in_honor_of_rick.pdf

And a few photos may be downloaded here ... Download rickcluett.Photos at leavetaking.pdf


Tell the Stories of Margaret's Life as You Knew Her

A Memorial Service for the Rev. Margaret Helen Merrell, a priest of the Diocese of Bethlehem who died on April 16, was held on Saturday, June 2, at Christ Church, Susquehanna. Margaret served as rector of Susquehanna Country Ministry (Christ Church, Susquehanna, and St. Mark's Church, New Milford) from 1979 to the mid '90s. She was the first woman to serve as a rector in the Diocese of Bethlehem. Bishop Paul presided at the service. Canon Carol Horton, who served as rector at Susquehanna Country Ministry from 1995 to 2006, preached the sermon.

Carol's sermon, a few photos and more information about Margaret may be downloaded below.

Download 070708a.pdf

Download the_rev_margaret_merrell.pdf


The Rev. Margaret Merrell

A Memorial Service for the Rev. Margaret Helen Merrell, a priest of the Diocese of Bethlehem who died on April 16, will be held on Saturday, June 2, beginning at 11:00 a.m., at Christ Church, Susquehanna. Margaret served as rector of Susquehanna Country Ministry (Christ Church, Susquehanna, and St. Mark's Church, New Milford) from 1979 to the mid '90s. She was the first woman to serve as a rector in the Diocese of Bethlehem.

Download more information below.

Download the_rev_margaret_merrell.pdf