February 25, 2016
In This Issue
Providing A Shield in the Midst of Life's Storms in NE Pennsylvania
To this day, Janine Ungvarsky gets anxious when she hears heavy rainfall. She was just a young girl in 1972 when Hurricane Agnes tore through eastern Pennsylvania and the raging Susquehanna River devastated the Wyoming Valley. It brought three-and-a-half feet of water into the second floor of her family's home.

"Still, when I hear the heavy rain, I feel myself tense up," says Ungvarsky.

In 2011, when her community again was ravaged by flooding, she knew she had to help. Fortunately, she wasn't alone.

"The 2011 flood damaged about a third of our borough," she says. "Our church (Trinity Episcopal Church, West Pittston) was a block away from the flood in two different directions. Nearby buildings had water that backed up from the sewers. We knew we were extremely fortunate that we had not been affected, and we knew we had parishioners who needed help."
The question was how to give it.

"We kind of floundered at the beginning," Ungvarsky said. "But we figured out that our charism might be that we would be there for the long term, that we were going to find ways to keep helping."

Leadership Training Opportunities
Leadership Training Days:  March 5 and April 9
This spring, clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese of Bethlehem have two opportunities to participate in workshops designed for church leaders. Register now for workshops on Saturday, March 5 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity and on Saturday, April 9 at St. Gabriel's, Douglassville, including:

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, 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.

On March 5, training and certification for lay Eucharistic visitors will be offered, and on April 9, training and certification for lay worship leaders will be offered.

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.

Bethlehem Youth Blogging Lent
During Lent, youth from the Diocese of Bethlehem are posting photographs and short reflections each day on the pilgrimage blog.

On February 22, Vanessa Casterline of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre posted the photograph at left with this reflection on John 3:4:

"Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them - we can only love others as much as we love ourselves."

Find more reflections from our youth on the website.
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 opens on March 11, and scholarships are available. Email Canon Anne Kitch for scholarship information.
News of the Diocese

On February 14, Deacon Charlie Barebo visited Christ Church Stroudsberg to help kick off the congregation's St. Matthew's Planning Giving Program. 
2013 Audit Completed; Ad Hoc Committee Completes Work
Libby House, chair of the ad hoc Audit Committee appointed by Bishop Sean in 2014, has written to the people of the diocese with the report of the 2013 audit

"This is the last audit that the ad hoc Audit Committee was asked to oversee," she writes. "Starting with the audit for the year 2014, the responsibility for ensuring that audits are completed falls to the treasurer of the Diocese and the Finance Committee." 

The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog
newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond. Read the February 18 issue and browse past issues. To be added to the new newSpin email distribution list, please email office@diobeth.org.
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.
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