April 23, 2015
In This Issue
Our Powerful Witness:  A Message from Bishop Sean
photo credit:  Heather Prather

Alleluia. Christ is risen.


These Great Fifty Days are the most hopeful days of the church year.  We are invited to live the resurrection life anew and celebrate the continued renewal of our lives and our church.


One of my favorite features of this season of celebration is that we read regularly from the Book of Acts. We are treated to the powerful witness of the early Church that shows us the extraordinary power of God to heal, renew, and restore. The faith of the apostles was so palpable that people simply wanted to have the shadow of an apostle pass over them so that they could be healed. The accounts of the power of God related to us in Acts reveal a church that is, in a very real way, on fire. 


We are called to bear a similar witness in our own time. As I travel around our diocese and hear the accounts of the power of God, I am even more aware that we have a powerful witness to share with the world. 


Last weekend, 70 people were confirmed in Douglassville and Reading. We asked the confirmands to expect that God would continue to do a mighty work in them, and we were not disappointed. Several people spoke to me about their renewed sense of vocation and God's particular call in their lives. 


On Sunday morning, I visited Christ Church, Reading and experienced the ministry of an active healing team; a team that meets with others from neighboring parishes for study and prayer.  Many people received anointing during the liturgy and some were willing to share their stories of the ways in which God was healing them. One person who came for healing prayer learned about the service after attending the Beatles' mass at the church on the previous night.


These seeds of faith and signs of the power of God are evident all over our diocese. The Easter season is a good time to reflect on our own spiritual life and revitalization as we call our diocese ever deeper into the spiritual renewal to which God is calling us. 


He is risen indeed. Alleluia.



Great Sermon! Now, How About My Carburetor?

Most everybody in Moscow, Pennsylvania, knows Father Earl Trygar. At some point or another he's probably had his head under the hood of one of their cars. Plus, about 40 of them hear him preach and sing the Eucharist at St. Mark's Church every Sunday morning. It makes for interesting conversation.

"People will stop on the way out of church and say, 'Nice sermon! By the way, my inspection sticker expires at the end of the month. Can you get me in?'"


And Trygar always can. Trygar's Auto Center, which he opened in 1977, is the only garage in town, and it's conveniently located about 100 yards from St. Mark's Church, where Trygar has served as rector since 2003.


During the years leading to his 2002 ordination to the priesthood, more than a few church leaders urged him to consider ordained ministry. Not that they wanted him to give up being a car mechanic; they just thought he should do both.


Read more.
"Nothing Short of a Miracle":  Return to Kajo Keji
In January, Charlie Barebo, Rick Cluett, and Dennis Blauser of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania visited the Diocese of Kajo Keji in South Sudan. 

This ninth annual trip allowed the group to visit the five primary schools and the secondary school built and supported by the Diocese of Bethlehem's New Hope campaign.

The Barnabas Principle:  May 30 Stewardship Conference

On May 30 from 8:15 am until 3 pm, the Diocesan Stewardship and Evangelism Committee will host a day-long conference at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre. The Rev. Dr. C.K. Robertson, canon to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will lead the day. His topic will be "The Barnabas Principle:  A Practical Approach to Congregational Development."


Robertson, a distinguished visiting professor at General Theological Seminary, is a fellow of the Episcopal Church Foundation and has served on the board of the Episcopal Network for Stewardship. He is the author of several books about the life of Barnabas and Paul, including "Transforming Stewardship" and "Barnabas vs. Paul," which will be given to attendees.


Learn more and register online. The cost for the retreat is $15 and includes lunch and two books by Robertson.

The Diocese of Bethlehem in the News
Meeting Neighbors in Wilkes-Barre
"'We wanted to welcome the warmer weather, and open up our relationship with the community,' said Father John Major, who leads the Hanover Street church as well as the Trinity Episcopal Church in West Pittston. 'It's well worth it to us to meet our neighbors.'"
Read the story in the Times Leader.
Praying with Legislators in Harrisburg
The Rev. Maria Tjeltveit, rector of the Church of the Mediator in Allentown opened the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives with prayer on April 15. See photos on Facebook.
News of the Diocese
On Sunday, April 19, Bishop Rowe visited St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church in Douglassville and confirmed fourteen youth and several adults
Bishop Sean ordained Charlie Barebo as a deacon on Saturday, April 18 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity.
The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog

newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond. Read the April 17, 2015 Edition. To be added to the new newSpin email distribution list, please email office@diobeth.org.

People of Bethlehem

Father Don and Virginia Knapp will move on May 1 to a private home on the Luther Crest campus.


The Rev. Joseph P. Rafferty and the people of Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas will hold a celebration of new ministry on Saturday, May 2 at 4 pm. Bishop Sean will officiate.

Upcoming  Diocesan Events

Episcopal Church Women Spring Meeting

Date:  May 6, 2015

Time:  9:30 am-2:30 pm

Location:  Kirby House

Speaker:  The Rev. Hillary Raining on "The Wisdom of Proverbs:  Ancient Insignt for our Modern Lives"

Learn more and download a flyer.

Episcopal Church Women Spring Meeting

Date:  May 6, 2015

Time:  9:30 am-2:30 pm

Location:  Kirby House

Speaker:  The Rev. Hillary Raining on "The Wisdom of Proverbs:  Ancient Insignt for our Modern Lives"

Learn more and download a flyer.

Clergy Day

Please note change in location

Date: May 12, 2015

Time: 8:30 am - 3 pm

Location: Cathedral Church of the Nativity

Mission Trip for 9th - 12th Graders

Date: June 28 - July 5, 2015

Location: Grace Mountain House

5100 Pewter Drive
St. Paul, VA 24283
Information Meeting: Saturday, May 2, 1 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, Mt. Pocono. Learn more.

Contact The Rev. Doug Moyer

Upcoming  Parish and Community Events
Dignity:  An Evening with Dr. Donna Hicks

On May 15, Christ Church, Reading is co-sponoring an evening with Dr. Donna Hicks, associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and author of "Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict."  Learn more and download a flyer.


On Saturday, May 16, Christ Church will host a daylong workshop with Dr. Hicks. The event is limited to 45 participants. Talk with Connie Fegely at 619-698-9274 or via email if you would like to attend.

Godly Play Training Conference at Sewanee
At the 2015 North American Godly Play Conference, July 20-August 1 at Sewanee's Beecken Center, leaders can participate in Core and Advanced Training and also attend keynote presentations and evening receptions. Learn more.
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