November 5, 2015
In This Issue
It Might Be Messy, And That's A Good Thing
What the Rev. David Green, rector of St. Gabriel's, Douglassville, finds exciting about the upcoming diocesan pilgrimage is that it might be messy.
"I'm really excited that this is not a top-down kind of a thing," says Green, of the pilgrimage that was  announced by Bishop Sean Rowe at diocesan convention and is coming together under the leadership of the Rev. Charles Cesaretti, a retired priest of the diocese and the Very Rev. Tony Pompa, dean of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity.
"It's a bottom up thing," Green says. "That's probably a lot messier and a lot more amorphous, but I think it will work better than the opposite approach."
Green is just one of a growing number of people in the diocese who have volunteered to help make the pilgrimage, which will culminate in the creation of a mission strategy to be presented at the next diocesan convention, a success. 

The Rev. Canon Maria Tjeltveit, rector at Church of the Mediator, Allentown, also belongs to a growing team of diocesan clergy and lay leaders who are developing plans to make the pilgrimage a moving spiritual experience as well as an effective means of developing a mission strategy.
"Almost everywhere you turn in scripture you are confronted with those images of people moving to a new place and God moving with them," says Tjeltveit, who will be contributing to and helping to curate a blog devoted to themes of pilgrimage with the Rev. Canon Anne Kitch, canon for ministry formation and transitions.

CONNECT:  High School 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.

The cost is $125 and scholarships are available. Just a few spots remain:  register online by November 6.
Installation of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:  Video
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was installed in a festive Eucharist at the Washington National Cathedral on November 1. Episcopal News Service covered the story.

News of the Diocese

Leaders from the Dioceses of Bethlehem and Northwestern Pennsylvania with Bishop Sean at the installation of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, held on November 1 at the Washington National Cathedral
Congregational Renewal Grant Applications Available November 13

Applications for Congregational Renewal Grants from the Diocese of Bethlehem will be accepted from November 13-December 15. Grants, which can range from $1000-$15,000, are provided to:
  • Develop and support new congregations in their growth
  • Provide short-term financial support during a period of transitions for congregations that have undergone change (e.g. fire, flood, rapid growth)
  • Provide financial support for congregations who are not self-sufficient to enable ministry in places where there is a viable witness to Jesus Christ.
Funding for grants comes from $60,000 in funds allocated in the 2016 diocesan budget that was approved by diocesan convention in October. Grants will be made by Diocesan Council in February 2016.

Members of the Diocesan Council committee that will review the grants and make funding recommendations are:

The Rev. Rodney Conn, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Deacon
Jan Charney, Trinity Church, Easton
The Rev. David Green, St. Gabriel's Church, Douglassville
Linda Henry, Church of the Epiphany, Clark Summit, Chair

Diocesan Staff:
The Ven. Richard Cluett
The Rev. Canon Anne Kitch

Please email Jo Trepagnier for an application form or to learn more.
State of the Diocese 2014 Report Now Online

The Diocese of Bethlehem's State of the Diocese report for 2014, prepared for the Standing Committee according to the Constitution of the Diocese of Bethlehem, is now online. The report, prepared by Canon Bob Wilkins, a former treasurer of the diocese and a past president of the Incorporated Trustees, details the membership, attendance, finances, stewardship and clergy deployment of congregations in the diocese.

People of Bethlehem

The Rev. Rebecca Anne Barnes, vicar of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in New York City has accepted a call to serve as priest-in-charge of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Scranton. She previously served as curate and assistant rector at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Church, also in New York. A classically trained musician and native of Northeastern Pennsylvania, she is a graduate of General Theological Seminary.

The Ven. Howard Stringfellow III has been called as priest-in-charge at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Scranton beginning November 1. Stringfellow has also served as an archdeacon of the Diocese of Bethlehem and as rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Scranton.

The Rev. Dr. Jane Williams has been appointed by Bishop Sean as chair of the Commission on Ministry for a year-long term. Williams is a priest in the Diocese of Bethlehem and associate professor and chairperson of the MA in clinical counseling program at
Moravian Theological Seminary. She has previously served at Christ Episcopal Church in Reading and as chaplain and counselor at a girls' school in Memphis.

In Memoriam
Kathryn Stephens, the widow of the Rev. William Stephens, long-time rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale, died on Wednesday, October 28. Her funeral will be Saturday, November 7 at 10 am at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Columbia, PA. Read her obituary.

May light perpetual shine upon her.
Safeguarding God's Children
Congregation leaders, church school teachers, youth group leaders and all other volunteers who work with children must meet both Pennsylvania and Episcopal Church requirements for training, background checks and clearances. Find Safeguarding God's Children details on the website. All leaders must be in compliance with these policies by the end of 2015.

In September, Bishop Sean wrote to leaders of the diocese about safe church training:  "I write on a matter that will not be new to any of you, but about which I feel some urgency. We have a duty as Christian ministers to do everything in our power to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children in our congregations." Read Bishop Sean's entire letter.
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 29 issue and browse past issues. To be added to the new newSpin email distribution list, please email

Upcoming Diocesan Events
Visit the website calendar for a full list of upcoming events in the Diocese of Bethlehem.
Upcoming Parish and Community Events
Kristallnacht Commemoration at Christ Church Reading
On November 9, Christ Church Reading will hold its annual commemoration of Kristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass" in 1938 on which Nazi troops and civilians began a coordinated attack on Jews in Germany and Austria. 

At 6:30 pm, the congregation will hold a candlelight vigil outside the church. The interfaith commemoration, which is co-hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church in Reading, begins at 7 pm.
Stay Connected