August 13, 2015
In This Issue
Youth on Mission Trip Give and Receive
Yes, it's better to give than to receive, but as participants in the Diocese of Bethlehem's High School Mission Trip learned, that's only part of the story. For them, it was through helping a family in Virginia's Appalachian Mountains that they received gifts beyond measure.

"It was probably one of the best experiences I've had in my life," said 16-year-old Eden Stella, who went on the mission trip earlier this summer with nine other young people and four chaperones. "It was great. I don't even know how to put it into words. It was emotionally challenging, it was physically challenging, but it was so great to put aside your own personal life and needs for a whole week and help a family who really needs it."

The diocese sponsors a high school mission trip every other year (middle school students do a trip on the off years). This year's group spent June 28-July 5 at Grace House on the Mountain, a non-profit organization near St. Paul, Virginia, that is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Virginia. Grace House seeks to be a place of social justice and advocacy for the welfare of the Appalachian people. Its projects help families in need of safe, warm and dry homes.

Steve Whiteley and his wife, Mary Ellen, were among the chaperones, as was the Rev. Doug Moyer, rector of Christ Church, Stroudsburg, where the Whiteleys head the church's youth group. Two of the Whiteley's three children--Sam, 17, and Tess, 14--also went on the trip.
Whiteley said that most members of the Christ Church youth group are too young for the high school mission trip, but he and Mary Ellen wanted to go experience it so they would know how to prepare for a future trip. It was the first time members of Christ Church had participated in a diocesan mission trip, Whiteley said. It won't be the last.

Read more on the website.
Christmas at Sea Seeks Knitters, Crocheters
Seaman's Church Institute booth at the recent Episcopal Church General Convention. Find more photos on Facebook.
Since 1898, during the Spanish American War, volunteers of the Seamen's Church Institute have knitted, collected, packed, and distributed gifts to mariners who are miles away from home during the holidays. The gift consists of a handknit garment, a personal letter, and information on services for mariners. The package also includes several useful items like hand lotion, lip balm, and toothbrushes that are difficult to come by when working long stretches on the water.

If you knit or crochet, you can help. Visit the Seaman's Church Institute website for hat and scarf patterns, and remember to avoid fringe or pom-poms that could get caught in ships' machinery. Drop off your finished items at the diocesan office or bring them to diocesan convention in October. 

Questions? Please email Canon Jane TeterWant to know more about the Seaman's Church Institute? Visit their website and Facebook page.

Canon Kitch Writes New Book on Preparing for Baptism

Congratulations to the Rev. Anne E. Kitch, canon for ministry formation and transitions in the Diocese of Bethlehem. Her new book, "Preparing for Baptism in the Episcopal Church," was published in July by Morehouse Publishing.


Learn more and order the book on the Church Publishing Inc. website.

Diocesan Convention: October 2-3 in Bethlehem
This year's diocesan convention takes place at the Best Western Conference Center in Bethlehem with Convention Eucharist at the Cathedral of the Nativity. 

New Schedule and Registration Process
This year, convention begins at 9 am on Friday, October 2 and concludes at noon on Saturday, October 3. Find a detailed schedule on the registration page. Please register for convention using this online form by September 16 and learn more about reserving hotel rooms on the website.

New Focus
"The diocesan convention offers our diocese the opportunity to gather for prayer, strategic mission planning, and worship," says Bishop Sean. "Our focus this year will be deepening our understanding of mission through consideration of our particular adaptive challenges and opportunities. Hugh O'Doherty, a leading practitioner in the area of adaptive leadership, will be with us to facilitate our conversation. A change of venue will give us the opportunity to work together at round tables and utilize different technology."

Remembering Bishop Dyer
Friday evening's Convention Eucharist and dinner will include opportunities to honor and remember the Rt. Rev. Mark Dyer, bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem from 1982-1995, who died in November 2014.
What Else is New?

Pre-Convention Hearings
All diocesan convention delegates, clergy and lay, are encouraged to attend one of three pre-convention hearings scheduled around the diocese. The resolutions and the 2016 budget will be reviewed, and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the sponsors of the resolutions.

Thursday September 17, 7 pm:  St. Alban's Church, Sinking Spring
Tuesday September 22, 7 pm:  The Church of the Epiphany, Clarks Summit
Thursday September 24, 7 pm:  Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Volunteer Opportunities
Convention requires the help of non-delegate volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to ensure the success of this important diocesan event, meet new people from across the diocese, see and experience convention behind-the-scenes-and have fun! Learn more on the website.

News of the Diocese
People of Bethlehem
The Rev. Osita Oluigo has been called by Church of the Epiphany, Clarks Summit as priest-in-charge. Oluigo, who holds a master of arts in leadership studies, is currently earning his doctor of ministry in transformational ministry leadership. He has most recently been rector of St. Andrew's Sidney on Vancouver Island in the Diocese of British Columbia. His first Sunday at Epiphany will be September 20, when the parish will welcome him and his family, including his wife, Jennifer, and their sons Chizu, Esomchi, and Chiduzie.

Neil Chaban has been called by St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Allentown as its organist and choir director. Chaban is a 2013 graduate of West Chester University, where he is currently a master's candidate, and has most recently served as  director of contemporary music at West Chester United Methodist Church. He begins his new position on September 6.
Key Dates for 2015-2016 Now Online
Check the website for an updated list of dates for key 2015-2016 diocesan events, including regional confirmations, youth events, clergy days, and clergy bible studies. You can also find a list of Bishop Rowe's visitations online.

For updates and additions to the diocesan schedule, check the newsletter and website calendar. Questions? Please email Jo Trepagnier
The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog

newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond.  Read the August 6 issue and browse past issues. To be added to the new newSpin email distribution list, please email

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