March 24, 2016
In This Issue
This World Does Not Need Another Fairy Tale:  Bishop Curry

In his Easter message, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says, "The truth is, the way the world very often operates is not working out. It's not sustainable. It's not the way to life. Jesus has shown us the way. He has shown us that unselfish, sacrificial love, love of God, and love of the other, is the way to life. That, my friends, is the ultimate reality.  And that's not a fairy tale."

Upcoming Diocesan Staff Changes
Earlier this week, Bishop Sean informed the Standing Committee and Diocesan Council of two upcoming changes to the diocesan staff:

Jo Trepagnier, who has served as canon for administration and communications for the past year, will conclude her time on the diocesan staff on May 6. "I am grateful to Jo for her service and especially for the investment of time and energy she has made in gathering information for the new diocesan database," wrote Bishop Sean.
Bruce Reiner, comptroller and assistant treasurer, is beginning his transition to retirement by working half-time on special projects and on assisting the auditors in completing the 2014 audit. "Bruce's assistance has been important to the auditors as they have completed the audits from 2010-2013," Bishop Sean wrote, "and I am grateful that he is able to stay on to complete the task." 

Rowe also reported that Cindy Dougan, who has served as interim accounting manager for the Diocese of Bethlehem since last year, has assumed the role of interim comptroller. Dougan, who can be reached via email, also serves as canon for finance in the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Leadership Training Opportunities
Leadership Training Day on April 9
On Saturday, April 9, clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese of Bethlehem can participate in workshops designed for church leaders. Register now.

Benedictine Spirituality for Leadership, led by Laura Howell
Benedictine spirituality teaches that we are all called to be leaders. Explore some of the leadership tools and wisdom in these ancient practices.

Leadership for Wardens & Vestry, led by Rick Cluett
Explore best practices for parish leaders; examine roles, responsibilities, and realities; and take a look at the canons, models, strategies and resources to assist elected parish leaders.

Best Practices for Parish Finance, led by Charlie Barebo
Get hands-on experience completing the parochial report and setting up and managing a simple parish accounting system, and learn the key responsibilities of parish treasurers.

Making Your Church a Community, led by the Diocesan Stewardship Committee
How do our congregations grow and become healthy communities in the face of daunting challenges? Explore practical strategies for adapting existing structures to enrich the faith community and strengthen connections to the neighboring world.

Worship Leader Training, led by Anne Kitch
A worship leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship, such as Morning Prayer, in a congregation under the direction of a member of the clergy. This is a canonically licensed ministry in the Episcopal Church. This training session is the necessary prerequisite to be licensed by the bishop.

Adaptive Leadership Training:  April 30
The 2015 diocesan convention keynote speaker, Hugh O'Doherty, returns to the Diocese of Bethlehem for a day of adaptive leadership training. Learn more and register online.

Pilgrimage Regional Gatherings in April and May
In April and May, pilgrimage leaders will meet in regional gatherings for conversations that will help shape a set of common values for the Diocese of Bethlehem.

Congregations are asked to send clergy, a warden, the congregational pilgrimage shepherd, and a young person to consider:
  • What do our congregations value about their life together in Christ?
  • What do our congregations do in Christ's name that their neighborhood/communities and our diocese could not live without?
  • What one hope or aspiration do our congregations have for their congregation and our diocese?

Bethlehem Youth Blogged Lent; Maria Tjeltveit to Blog Easter
During Lent, youth from the Diocese of Bethlehem have posted photographs and short reflections each day on the pilgrimage blog.

On March 21, Eden Stella of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre posted the photograph at left with  this reflection on 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7.

"The Youth Council of the Diocese of Bethlehem and every young adult that participates in youth events are the perfect example of this passage. They are such wonderful and kind individuals who work very hard to to help others be enlightened as they have.."

Find more reflections from our youth on the website.

The Rev. Canon Maria Tjeltveit, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Allentown, will blog on weekdays during the Easter season. Find her posts on the website beginning Monday, March 28.
Christophany Youth Retreat:  April 22-24 at Bear Creek Camp
2016 Christophany logo
The Diocese of Bethlehem's youth event for 6-12th graders, called Christophany, takes place from April 22-24 at Bear Creek Camp

Registration for $125 is now open, and scholarships are available. Email Canon Anne Kitch for scholarship information.
News of the Diocese

Margaret Pendergast, Melvin Moralis, and Gloria Obando of Christ Church, Reading, at lunch after the March 22 Chrism Mass at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity.

Barbara Cato and Antonia Harewood-Harris of Christ Church, Stroudsburg, at the Chrism Mass luncheon.

The clergy of the Diocese of Bethlehem gathered for the Chrism Mass.
Benedictine Oblate Chapter to Hold Organizational Meeting
On Sunday, April 17, at 1:30 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bethlehem, the Rev. Laura Howell will host an organizational meeting of the Diocese of Bethlehem's new Benedictine Oblate Chapter.

Howell, who has been a Benedictine oblate of the Sacred Heart Monastary in South Dakota for twelve years, writes, "Oblates promise to live a Benedictine life in the world, while maintaining a spiritual connection to a monastery ... We make promises of obedience, stability and conversion of life, to be lived while continuing in the station of life God has called us to."
Anyone, lay or clergy, who is interested in learning more about being a Benedictine oblate is invited to attend the meeting. To learn more, email Howell.
In Memoriam:  Everett Francis and John Brndjar
The Rev. Everett W. Francis, rector of St. Luke's Scranton from 1977-92, died on Saturday, March 19. After retirement from St. Luke's, he served also as interim at St. Paul's Montrose and the Episcopal Ministry of Unity, Palmerton/Lehighton. His memorial service will be April 2 at Buckingham's Choice in Adamstown, Maryland, where he lived. Read more.

A memorial service for the Rev. Dr. John M. Brndjar, who died on Saturday, January 23, will take place on Saturday, April 16 at 1 pm at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Allentown. Read his obituary online.

May light perpetual shine upon them.
The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog
newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond. Read the March 17 issue and browse past issues. To be added to the new newSpin email distribution list, please email
Upcoming Diocesan Events
Save the Dates
Episcopal Church Women Annual Meeting: May 11, Kirby House
Youth Mission Trip:  June 26-July 2, Grace Mountain, VA

 Visit the website calendar for a full list of upcoming events in the Diocese of Bethlehem.
Stay Connected