October 22, 2015
In This Issue
Pilgrimage Preparations Begin
Preparations for the Diocese of Bethlehem's pilgrimage are underway.

Announced at diocesan convention by Bishop Sean Rowe, the diocesan pilgrimage will be "a time of discernment, planning and decision making about the mission strategy of the diocese."
The process, led by the Very Rev. Tony Pompa, dean of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, and the Rev. Charles Cesaretti, a retired priest of the diocese and Renewal Assembly founder, will begin in earnest at Epiphany and conclude at next year's diocesan convention, when a new mission strategy will be presented.

The process that will produce this strategy will be unique to the diocese, Pompa says. "We want people to be aware that we don't have a curriculum that we are going to drop on them. We aren't going to say, 'Here's what we are going to do for the next year.'" Instead, he says, the diocese is going "to make the path by walking," and by relying on the gifts of its people.

Advent Resources and Pilgrimage Blog
photo by Kit Fish
Advent begins November 29 this year, so now is the time to order Advent meditations, liturgical resources, and children's materials. Visit the website for a list of Advent resources curated by the Rev. Canon Anne Kitch.

If you're looking for accessible Advent meditations for a general audience in booklet format, Living Compass offers "Practicing Patience with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind."

"In a culture that glorifies immediate gratification, learning to wait is counter-cultural," writes the Rev. Scott Stoner, founder of Living Compass, in the booklet's introduction. "The emphasis on immediate gratification increases tenfold as we rush full-speed ahead into the Christmas season. We are encouraged to give into our impulses to eat more, do more, drink more, and buy more this time of year. The season of Advent ... provides us with the support we need to slow down so we can make counter-cultural choices, choices that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Christmas." Learn more.

Pilgrimage Blog
Earlier this month at diocesan convention, Bishop Sean called the people of the diocese to a pilgrimage beginning on Epiphany. During Advent, Kitch and the Rev. Canon Maria Tjeltveit will begin a daily blog about preparing spiritually and practically for pilgrimage. Watch for more details in next month's Leadership News, and find the meditations on Facebook each day during Advent.
Regional Leadership Training Day on October 24


Join leaders from across the diocese on October 24 from 9:30 am-2:30 pm at Church of the Epiphany, Clarks Summit for workshops on: 
  • Leadership for Wardens and Vestry, led by the Ven. Rick Cluett
  • Benedictine Spirituality for Leadership, the Rev. Laura Howell
  • Worship Leader Certification (parts 1 and 2), led by the Rev. Ed Erb
  • Best Practices for Parish Finance, led by Deacon Charlie Barebo
  • Spiritual Gifts for Ministry, led by the Rev. Canon Anne Kitch

The day is free with a freewill offering for the cost of lunch. Online registration is closed, but for last-minute reservations, please email Jo Trepagnier.
Other regional leadership training days will take place on March 5 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and April 9 at St. Gabriel's Church in Douglasville. The March training will include Eucharistic visitor training.


The Installation of the 27th Presiding Bishop
Episcopalians from across the church will gather in Washington D.C. on October 31 and November 1 to celebrate the installation of Bishop Michael Curry as the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Saturday, October 31
Everyone is invited to join a Vigil Celebration and Eucharist sponsored by the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) in honor of Bishop Curry.  Learn more and order tickets online or watch a live webcast.

Sunday, November 1
The Holy Eucharist with the Installation of the 27th Presiding Bishop takes place at noon EST at Washington National Cathedral. Watch a live webcast.
CONNECT Youth Retreat:  November 13-15
CONNECT, a weekend of faith stories told by youth, is a new event being designed by our youth for our youth. Sophie Kitch-Peck, grade 12, from the Cathedral of the Nativity in Bethlehem and Lauren Todero, grade 11, from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Allentown, are leading the event, which will take place at Kirby House November 13-15.

The cost is $125 and scholarships are available. Learn more via email from the Rev. Don Schaible and register online now.
A Letter from Bishop Sean:  Safeguarding God's Children
Last month, Bishop Sean wrote to the people of the diocese about the need for every person in the diocese who works with children to have the necessary training and certifications specified by the policies of the diocese, the canons of the church, and the laws of the state. Read his letter on the website and review information about safe church training and policies online.
Diocesan Investment Trust New Procedures
Deacon Charlie Barebo, diocesan treasurer, has written to update diocesan leaders on new Diocesan Investment Trust procedures. "The Trustees are working hard to make our DIT the most user friendly product responsibly conceivable," writes Barebo. "We have seen turn-around time on withdrawal requests cut to a few days, deposits made directly to the custodian, and we have streamlined the process to establish new trust accounts."

Read the entire letter, and review new withdrawal, deposit, and new account procedures on the website. Questions? Email Barebo or call him at 610-509-8767.
United Thank Offering
The United Thank Offering (UTO) is both a way of nurturing the habit of giving daily thanks and a means of funding outreach grants that support the mission of the church. Many parishes in the Diocese of Bethlehem have UTO coordinators who help with planning twice-yearly ingatherings. If you would like help identifying a UTO coordinator in your congregation or would like more information about the United Thanks Offering please email Cathy Bailey, diocesan UTO coordinator.
People of Bethlehem
From October 11-13, the clergy of the diocese gathered at St. Francis Retreat House in Bethlehem for a retreat with the Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr.

the Revs. William Marshall, Gwendolyn-Jane Romeril, Peter Pearson and Daniel Fitzsimmons

the Revs. Rick Cluett, Maria Tjeltveit, John Francis and Don Shearer

Resources and Reminders
From Refugee to Resource for Refuge: The Interfaith Journey of Abbas Khalaf
On November 14 at 10 am, Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas will host Abbas Khalaf, a Muslim Iraqi refugee who came to America through Israel, brought his family here, and now works with Syrian refugees as a translator/case manager for Lutheran Congregational Services, in Allentown. Information on refugee resettlement will be available. 

Learn more and register by talking with the Rev. Maria Tjeltveit via email or at 610-434-0155. This event is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission.
John Dominic Crossan at Drew University on October 29
Crossan, professor emeritus of religious studies at DePaul University, a past president of the Society of Biblical Literature, and a former co-chair of the Jesus Seminar, will speak at Drew University on October 29 at 7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Learn more.
Israel:  A Bible Journey

Trinity Episcopal Church in Williamsport, PA is hosting an April 2016 Holy Land pilgrimage as part of its 150th anniversary. Learn more.

ECF Vital Practices

Looking for leadership resources? ECF Vital Practices from the Episcopal Church Foundation offers online articles, discussions, and tools. Browse the Vestry Papers archive.

Stewardship Resources
Visit the stewardship website for resources to help with evaluation and all other aspects of the annual financial stewardship campaign.
Episcopal Church Foundation Webinars
The Episcopal Church Foundation offers webinars on stewardship, planned giving, capital campaigns, and more. This fall, ECF offers webinars on strategic planning, digital giving, endowments, leading change, and more. Browse the list of upcoming 2015 webinars.
The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog
newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond.  Read the October 15 issue.
Prayers of the People and Jubilate Online:  New Website Link
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 new Trinity Bethlehem website.
Upcoming Diocesan Events
Regional Leadership Training Day
Date:  October 24
Location:  Church of the Epiphany, Dalton

CONNECT Youth Retreat
Date: November 13-15
Location: Kirby Episcopal House

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