July 30, 2015
In This Issue
Letter from the Audit Committee:  2011 Audit Released

Libby House, chair of the Diocese of Bethlehem's Audit Committee, has released this letter and the 2011 audit report to the people of the diocese.


July 30, 2015


Dear Sisters and Brothers of Our Diocese:


We are attaching the final audit reportsummary report, and communications letters regarding the financial statements of the Diocese of Bethlehem for the year ending December 2011. These reports represent the fourth of six (2008-2013) financial audits of the diocese that Bishop Sean and the Standing Committee hired the accounting firm of Campbell Rappold & Yurasits to undertake in March 2014.


These are the complete reports as presented to the Audit Committee. No information has been left out. These audit reports and letters indicate the firm has found no malfeasance or misuse of funds in the years that have been examined. However, as with the previous three reports, the auditors have pointed out a number of weaknesses and deficiencies to be addressed and which we began to address as of the 2014 fiscal year.


Read the entire letter and download the final audit report on the website.

Diocesan Convention: Resolution Deadline is August 2


  • Convention begins at 9 am on Friday, October 2 and concludes at noon on Saturday, October 3.
  • The Certificate of Elections of Lay Delegates was emailed to each parish earlier this week and can be downloaded on the website. The form was due July 20, so please submit it as soon as possible. 
  • Registration will open on August 13 and close on September 16. Watch the website and future email newsletters for registration details.
  • Reservations for the nights of October 1 and 2 are available at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel and Conference Center for a group rate of $99/night through September 15. The center does not have an elevator, so please request a first floor room if you do not wish to climb stairs. To make reservations, please call the hotel at 610-866-5800.
Watch the website for upcoming convention news.


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 explanation 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.

Complying with New PA Child Protection Laws

Effective July 1, 2015, Pennsylvania law has 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.


To assist with compliance, the diocesan office has made available for download information regarding the basics of clearances and training as well as verification forms. Please find more information about Safe Church policies and procedures on our Safe Church page.


Read more.

Play Ball!

On July 20, clergy of the diocese and their families gathered at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown to see the Lehigh Valley IronPigs take on the Toledo Mud Hens. 


The game's first pitch was thrown out by Lauren Rowe, age 2, daughter of Bishop Sean and Carly Rowe.


See more photos on Facebook.

Christian Formation Consultations Available

The Diocese of Bethlehem's Commission for Lifelong Christian Formation offers consultations to assist congregations and regional groups of congregations seeking to explore new formation ministries and programs. 


Canon Anne Kitch writes, "Are you or your congregation wondering what the future of Christian formation will look like in your context? The Commission for Life Long Christian Formation can help you discern where the Spirit may be leading you. Is your parish looking at the upcoming season of Sunday school and wondering what to do next? Are you considering becoming a Sunday School teacher, youth mentor, or engaging in some other formation ministry, but just aren't sure if it's for you?"


To schedule a consultation, which can take place in the evening, in a day-long retreat, and even via Skype, email Canon Kitch.

In Memoriam

The Rev. John Kimble

Archdeacon Rick Cluett wrote on July 26:  "We have received word from the Rev. Dan Jones that the Rev. John Kimble died yesterday. John was the rector of St. Michael's, Birdsboro from 1967-72. He was ordained deacon and priest by Bishop Warnecke. After leaving this diocese, John had a long ministry in Toledo, Ohio and then retired to Florida. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, who is the sister of Laura Jones. We join with his family, friends, and parishioners giving thanks to God for his faithful ministry and we pray that God's comforting presence will be with all who mourn."


Frances Berger
Frances Berger, the widow of the Rev. James Berger, died on July 11. She was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Hamlin. Read her obituary.


Resources and Reminders
ECF Vital Practices

Looking for leadership resources? ECF Vital Practices from the Episcopal Church Foundation offers online articles, discussions, and tools.  This month: Vision and Planning.

Stewardship Resources


"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Creator, who created all the lights in the heavens. God never changes or casts a shifting shadow"

James 1:17


This verse from James is the inspiration for this year's TENS stewardship resources, which have the theme "God the Giver. On the TENS website, you'll find an introduction to the theme; reflections written by generous stewards around the church, a pledge card, and more. To use these resources, visit the TENS website, click on member resources, insert the username "living" and password "generously" to download the editable materials.


Dan Charney, stewardship missioner, has a list of possible guest leaders for Consecration Sunday programs. You can reach Dan via email or by calling the diocesan office at 610-691-5655.


Episcopal Church Foundation Webinars

The Episcopal Church Foundation offers webinars on stewardship, planned giving, capital campaigns, and more. Browse the list of upcoming events and the archive on the ECF website.

The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog
newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond.  Read the July 23 issue.
Prayers of the People and Jubilate Online
The Rev. Canon Cliff Carr, priest associate at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bethlehem, writes Prayers of the People for each week and prepares a list of hymn selections by season. Find those resources on the Trinity Bethlehem website.
Upcoming Diocesan Events

Diocesan Convention

Date: October 2-3, 2015

Location: Cathedral of the Nativity and Best Western Conference Center, Bethlehem, PA

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