June 18, 2015
In This Issue
"We'll Let God Show Up:" St. Gabriel's Partners with St. John's Sharon
(l-r) Jane Trambley, Sue Siebert, Joyce Baig, the Rev. Pervez Baig, and the Rev. Adam Trambley

It's not unusual for congregations to partner with churches in other parts of the world as a way to strengthen ties between The Episcopal Church and other provinces in the Anglican Communion.


What is unusual is for a congregation to partner with a church 330 miles away in a neighboring diocese. That's what St. Gabriel's, Douglassville, in the Diocese of Bethlehem and St. John's, Sharon, in the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, are doing.


Why, you may ask? As St. Gabriel's rector, the Rev. Dr. David Green, puts it, "I think that the future of our diocese will depend on regional communication, connection and cooperation...We need to find more creative 21st century ways of being one in mission and ministry."


The Rev. Adam Trambley, rector of St. John's adds, "What could possibility be the downside? I don't know what might come of this. I don't know that this is the answer to what might revitalize these two communities, but we'll let God show up and use the relationship however he wants. Bishop Sean's attitude is we have to try things, and so why not try something with very little downside and an upside that could be incredible."


Read more on the Diocese of Bethlehem's new website.

Bethlehem In Salt Lake:  General Convention Begins Next Week
Diocese of Bethlehem deputies to General Convention gather with Bishop Sean for a pre-convention meeting
The Rev. Scott Allen, chair of the Diocese of Bethlehem's deputation to the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, wrote this preview of the event, which begins next week:

Very soon the deputation from the Diocese of Bethlehem will leave to represent you at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church June 23-July 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The General Convention meets once every three years and is the highest governing body in the Church.

It is bicameral in nature, consisting of two bodies or "houses"-the House of Deputies, which comprises four clergy and four laity elected by their diocesan conventions from each diocese, and the House of Bishops, including all bishops who are in active ministry or who are retired. Proposed legislation must pass both houses of convention in exactly the same language to become Church policy.

Read more.
Vacation BIble Schools Around the Region

School's out, and congregations around the region are offering summer camps and vacation bible schools for children and teens:


St. Andrew's Summer Enrichment Camp Allentown

Children ages 3-8 
June 15 - July 24

Learn more.


St. Peter's Peace Camp


July 6-10

Learn more.


St. George's Camping in the Wilderness Vacation Bible School


June 29-July 2

Learn more.


St. Anne's Nature Camp:  Discover God's MIracles


Children ages 4-14

July 11-17

Learn more.

Complying with New PA Child Protective Laws

Effective July 1, 2015, Pennsylvania law will have new requirements for the clearances necessary for employees and volunteers who work with or come into contact with children. The new law also requires that employees and volunteers are considered mandated reporters of suspected child abuse.


The diocese is asking that current clergy and employees come into compliance by December 31, 2015. Clearances need to be renewed every 36 months. Congregations are required to see original documentation and maintain records of their volunteers' and lay employees' compliance with these guidelines.


Read more.

Bethlehem Episcopalians on Facebook

Last month, 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 250 members.
Diocesan Convention: October 2-3 in Bethlehem

Call for Nominations

In preparation for the 144th Convention of the Diocese of Bethlehem, October 2-3, 2015,  the Nominating Committee calls for nominations for the:

  • Commission on Ministry
  • Diocesan Council
  • Disciplinary Board
  • Incorporated Trustees
  • Standing Committee

Nomination forms are available on the diocesan website. The deadline for nominations is July 15, 2015. The Nominating Committee includes Ray Arcario, Susan Boskett, the Rev. Lou Divis and the Rev. James Rinehart, chair. The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch is the staff liaison.


Call for Resolutions

Resolutions for the 144th Diocese of Bethlehem Convention are being accepted through August 2, 2015. Resolutions should be submitted in the following format:


1.Title of the resolution

2. The full resolution beginning with "be it resolved"

3. The expiation of the resolution

4. The names of those submitting the resolution (three (3) delegates or by a Committee or Commission.)


The resolution can be emailed, faxed to 610-691-1682, or mailed to Jo Trepagnier in the diocesan office.


The Certificate of Elections of Lay Delegates was emailed to each parish earlier this week and can be downloaded here.

The Diocese of Bethlehem in the News
Vandalism at Grace Kingston
Bishop Sean, Canon Anne Kitch, and other clergy and members from area churches visited Grace Episcopal Church in Kingston on May 24 for Pentecost services and a liturgy for "Restoring of Things Profaned." The church had been vandalized earlier in the week. WYOU covered the story.
News of the Diocese
Pentecost with Bishop Sean and the Rev. John Hartman at  Grace Episcopal Church, Kingston
The Rev. Jim Rinehart and his wife, Nancy, at a June 6 celebration marking Jim's retirement.  
Photo credit:  June Bednar
The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog

newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond. Read the June 11 edition. To be added to the new newSpin email distribution list, please email office@diobeth.org.

Upcoming  Diocesan Events
High School Mission Trip

We ask for your prayers for the week beginning June 28 for our High School Mission trip to Grace Mountain House, St. Paul, Virginia. A group of a dozen plus youth and adult chaperones with be helping repair homes in this disadvantaged part of Virginia. Grace House on the Mountain endeavors to extend the love of Christ by reaching out into the communities showing mercy and compassion, through responsiveness by "working with, not for" the families in the surrounding area. Our work projects center on helping families in need to have safe, warm, and dry homes. www.gracehouse.dioswva.org 

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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