January 14, 2016
In This Issue
Pilgrimage Resources for Congregations
The Diocese of Bethlehem's pilgrimage began on January 6. In his video pilgrimage message, Bishop Sean says, "The Diocese of Bethlehem has been bold in conceiving its future ... This planning process is deeply rooted in both what is personal to us, and what is good for our entire diocese and our entire region."

  • The pilgrimage blog includes short daily reflections by writers from around the diocese.
Staying Connected to the Pilgrimage
During 2016, the pilgrimage page on the website will be updated regularly--you can find it under "Congregational Resources" on the menu--and our newsletters will feature pilgrimage information and news each month. Anyone can sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter and/or our monthly Leadership News, and back issues are available on the website. Please share these links with members of your congregation, encourage them to visit the website and sign up for the newsletter list, and share pilgrimage news and articles in your congregation's newsletter and bulletin.

The Bethlehem Episcopalians Facebook group will also be home to ongoing pilgrimage discussion. Find the group on Facebook and request membership to join the conversation.

To learn more about upcoming plans for the pilgrimage and the work of congregational shepherds, read this letter from pilgrimage leaders the Very Rev. Tony Pompa and the Rev. Charles Cesaretti.
Pilgrimage Blog: Han van den Blink
The Rev. Dr. Han van den Blink is writing on the pilgrimage blog for the first half of Epiphany. On Saturday, he wrote:

I am not an American native. My place of birth in 1934 was Mojowarno, a small village in East Java, Indonesia, where my father was principal of an elementary school run by a Dutch Reformed missionary society. Aside from my parents, the most important person during my first years of my life was a Javanese woman who had a profound influence on my early formation.

She was a Muslim woman and, like most Indonesians, her faith was heavily influenced by an underlying animism which sees the world as divinized by spirits, not only good but also bad ones. This sense of the sacramental nature of the world stayed with me and had much to do, I believe, with my life long difficulty in adjusting to a more rational Protestant faith and also with the way I resonated so strongly with the sacramental theology and practice of the Episcopal Church.

 2016 United Thank Offering Grants
The 2016 United Thank Offering Grants session will focus on the Fifth Mark of Mission, to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. The grant criteria are available on the UTO website. Creativity and innovation are important criteria, and "creation" includes humankind as well as animals and the earth.

To apply, complete the application and project budget worksheet and submit them to Jo Trepagnier in the diocesan office via email by February 19. All applications will be reviewed by the diocesan UTO committee, which includes Cathy Bailey, Liz Miller, and other members to be named. This group will select one grant for Bishop Rowe to review and submit to the UTO office in New York by March 4.

Please email Cathy Bailey, the Diocese of Bethlehem's UTO coordinator, to learn more or to ask questions.
 Regional Confirmations in March and May
This spring, Bishop Sean will hold two regional confirmations:

Saturday, March 26 at 5 pm:  Easter Vigil of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity
Please email Dean Tony Pompa if your parish would like to participate.

Sunday, May 1 at 4 pm:  location to be determined.
Please email Jo Trepagnier if your parish would like to participate, how many confirmands you expect, and if you would be willing to host this event.
Trinity Institute 2016: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice
Trinity Institute 2016 is taking place January 21 - 23 in NYC and participating simulcast locations. TI2016 is called "Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice" and reminds us that such conversations are not only sacred, they are almost always uncomfortable. Participants will include Nicholas Kristof, Anna Deavere Smith, Michelle Norris, and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Learn more and register.
2016 Forma Conference and Annual Meeting
This year's Forma conference will take place January 27 - 29 in Philadelphia, PA. Conference speakers include Bishop Andy Doyle, Broderick Greer, Jerusalem Jackson Greer, and Bronwyn Clark Skov. Learn more and register.
2015 Parochial Reports Due March 1
2015 Parochial Reports have been mailed to each parish and should be completed and approved by vestries by March 1, 2016. If you have not received your reminder with account and password, or have any questions about completing this annual report, pleased call the Diocesan House or review the parochial report webpage for instructions.
Safeguarding God's Children 
All clergy, lay employees, and lay people who work with children are required to complete the Safeguarding God's Children training program offered by the Church Pension Group. Those who need to receive this training may register by following a link at the bottom of the Safe Church page on the diocesan website, where you can also find diocesan policies and a field guide to their application.
People of Bethlehem
By the grace of God and with the people consenting, Bishop Sean Rowe will ordain Susan Mary Treanor to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday, February 6 at 11 am at Grace Church in Honesdale. A reception will follow, and clergy are invited to vest (red stoles).
Resources and Reminders
2016 Episcopal Church Foundation Webinars
Early in 2016, Episcopal Church Foundation will offer free webinars on vestry leadership, planned giving, and investment strategies. Learn more and register online.
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.

The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog
newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond.  Read the December 10 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 new Trinity Bethlehem website.
Upcoming Diocesan Events
Thursday, March 3, 9:30 am-3 pm
Pilgrimage with David Green and Jane Williams, along with Canon Scott Slater from the Diocese of Maryland.
Tuesday, June 7, 9:30 am-3 pm, location to be determined
Boundaries, Responsibility, and Accountability: Pastoral and Practical Issues with Canon Scott Slater from the Diocese of Maryland.

Tuesday, March 22, 11 am
Cathedral Church of the Nativity
Saturday, April 30, 9:30 am-4 pm
Cathedral Church of the Nativity
Hugh O'Doherty returns to the Diocese of Bethlehem for a day-long training that will further our work in adaptive leadership. Clergy are expected to attend along with key elected lay leaders from each congregation, including those who exercise leadership but may not serve on the vestry. Registration opens in February.

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