May 21, 2015
In This Issue
Our Autonomy Is Going to Kill Us:  A Message from Bishop Sean


Last weekend, Bishop Sean spoke to the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania's Mission Conference about taking risks and collaborating for the sake of the Gospel.

A Celtic Discovery:  Cathedral Pilgrims Visit Wales

Earlier this month, 18 people from the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, made a 10-day pilgrimage to Wales in the care of scholar and spiritual guide Esther deWaal and the staff of St. David's Cathedral Pilgrim Center in Pembrokeshire.

On the morning after their arrival, the pilgrims met over breakfast with deWaal, who spoke to them about the Celtic understanding of pilgrimage.

"A coracle is a small hollowed out boat typically found in Wales, southeast England, and Ireland," wrote the Very Rev. Tony Pompa, dean of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, on the pilgrimage blog. "The coracle was used by ancient celtic pilgrims to begin a 'peregrinatio.' This compelling image of ancient people of faith climbing into small boats full well accepting the winds would decide their destination. These pilgrims set out on a journey where the destination was not geographical but spiritual. The ancient celtic pilgrim went where the winds directed them but their spiritual quest was to discover their 'true resurrected selves,' that is to discover what new life God might have for them.

"This was the image Esther DeWaal put forth to our pilgrims today. The image of peregrini climbing into coracles and letting the spirit take us to where we might find new life in God."

Read the blog and see photos of the pilgrimage on Facebook.
New Hope Through Scholarships in Kajo Keji
Annet Gie
Christine Senya Gogonya

Tonny Duku Charles

Martin Kondi 
Viola Kiden 

Emmanuel Loruba Nyara

In 2015, the Diocese of Bethlehem has doubled its support for primary school students in Kajo Keji, South Sudan. In each of the six primary schools that the diocese's New Hope campaign supports, 20 children have been awarded scholarships

"Our two primary aims are to insure an equal balance along gender lines and to help the poor, particularly war orphans, receive an education, breaking the cycle the poverty," says Deacon Charlie Barebo, New Hope chair. "These beautiful children are from the Helen Wagner Liwolo New Hope School, which is first out of 126 county primary schools for eighth grade passage of the high school entrance exams. 

"Thank you for giving New Hope to those who had none," said Barebo.

On May 6, Laura Chegwidden announced that between now and diocesan convention in October, the Episcopal Church Women will work with congregations to raise money for scholarships for girls in Kajo Keji primary and secondary schools. Primary school scholarships are $30 each and secondary school scholarships are $325 each. Please send scholarship donations to Diocesan House, 333 Wyandotte St., Bethlehem, PA 18015, attention: Charlie Barebo, and note the scholarship designation in the memo line.

Bethlehem Episcopalians on Facebook

Earlier this week, the Diocese of Bethlehem launched a new Facebook group for conversations about mission, spirituality, Christian formation, and more. "Bethlehem Episcopalians is an open group," wrote Archdeacon Rick Cluett, "which means that anyone can join and items that you post can be shared by group members on their own Facebook pages. This offers each of us the opportunity to reach a larger audience with news and conversations about what God is doing in our diocese." Join the Facebook group, which now includes more than 125 members.
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.

Day of Conversation on Gun Violence:  June 13 at St. Peter's

On June 13 from 9 am until 1 pm at  St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Tunkhannock, the Diocese of Bethlehem's Peace Commission will host a day of conversation on gun violence and gun safety. The event is an opportunity to gather with others from throughout the diocese in an atmosphere of peace to share personal stories and begin dialogue that can decrease gun violence and increase gun safety.


"Theinspiration for this dialogue came from exciting open and honest discussion that took place at the hearings for the resolutions presented at the diocesan convention in October of 2014," writes the commission. "Not only did the people present share their opinions on the resolution, but it was done in an atmosphere of prayerful listening. Our hope is to recreate that sense of working together in the Christian community."


Register online.

The Diocese of Bethlehem in the News
Vandalism at Grace Kingston
Please keep the people of Grace Episcopal Church in Kingston in your prayers in the wake of a burglary, vandalism and desecration of the sanctuary earlier this week. Archdeacon Rick Cluett visited the parish on Wednesday, and Canon Anne Kitch will be there on Sunday for Pentecost services and a liturgy for "Restoring of Things Profaned." Read the story in the Times Leader.
News of the Diocese
Diocesan Youth Council and some young friends on May 17
Members of the Episcopal Church Women with Canon Anne Kitch on May 6
Clergy colleagues and Bishop Rowe at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church on May 2 after the Celebration of New Ministry for the congregation and 
the Rev. Joseph P. Rafferty (on Bishop Rowe's right)
The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog

newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond. Read the May 14, 2015 Edition. To be added to the new newSpin email distribution list, please email

People of Bethlehem

Bishop Rowe has received the Gannon University Graduate Studies Award for Scholastic Achievement in Organization Learning and Leadership in recognition of his outstanding dissertation research and 4.0 GPA. His dissertation is titled "The relationship between adaptive performance and work-related psychological health and their demographic correlates among bishops in The Episcopal Church."


In Memoriam

Ellen Male, wife of the Rev. Canon Henry A. Male, Jr., rector of the Church of the Epiphany, Glenburn, Clarks Summit from 1967-1993, died on May 20 in Maine, where they couple had lived since their retirement.

Elizabeth Whittemore, wife of the Very Rev. H. Lawrence Whittemore, dean of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity from 1967-1993, died on April 19.
Read the obituary in the Morning Call. May light perpetual shine upon her.
Upcoming  Diocesan Events
Mission Trip for 9th - 12th Graders

Date: June 28 - July 5, 2015

Location: Grace Mountain House

5100 Pewter Drive
St. Paul, VA 24283

Contact The Rev. Doug Moyer

Clergy Family Day with the IronPigs

Date: July 20, picnic 6-8:30 pm; game time 7:05 pm

Location: Coca-Cola Park Allentown

Contact Canon Jo Trepagnier

Clergy can register online by June 18.

Upcoming  Parish and Community Events
SUMMA:  A Student Theological Debate Society

SUMMA: A Student Theological Debate Society at Sewanee from July 21-29 offers high school students tools for thinking, knowledge of the Christian theological tradition, skill in public speaking and debate, and a chance to study religion and science, social ethics, and interfaith relations. Learn more.

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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