August 11, 2016
In This Issue
Diocesan Convention Is October 7-8 in Reading:  Registration Open Now
The 145th Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of Bethlehem will take place October 7-8 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Reading. 

This year's convention will be hosted by the southern region of the diocese and will include a convention Holy Eucharist at Christ Church, Reading. The convention will be the culmination of the diocesan pilgrimage that was announced at the 144th Convention in 2015. Find the draft schedule on the website.

Convention Registration:  Deadline September 21
Registration for this year's diocesan convention is now open. Full registration is $90, and a ticket for Friday evening's dinner only is $40. Sign up online to attend by September 21. If you also want to reserve a room at the DoubleTree, please use the link below. Please note that registering for convention does not guarantee a hotel room.

Room Reservations:  Deadline September 5
All room reservations at the DoubleTree must be made by September 5. Learn more about registration and group rate room reservations at the DoubleTree, and make your reservation online using the Diocese of Bethlehem's registration page. If you plan to stay overnight at the DoubleTree, you must make your own room reservation even if you have already registered for convention.
Welcome Paula Lapinski, New Assistant for Administration
On Monday, the staff of Diocesan House welcomed Paula Lapinski as the diocese's new assistant for administration. In her new position, she will support the diocesan office, serve as building administrator, coordinate diocesan events, and manage diocesan communications. She reports to Bishop Rowe.
Lapinski has worked as an administrative assistant and clerk in the Bethlehem area for more than thirty years, including serving as parish secretary at St. John's Lutheran Church in Richlandtown. She holds a bachelor degree in accounting and management from DeSales University in Center Valley.
"I'm enjoying my first week at the Diocese of Bethlehem and I'm excited to be here," she said. "I'm glad to be back in a church setting, and I'm looking forward to meeting everyone at convention and around the diocese."
Lapinski lives in Bethlehem near Diocesan House with her husband, Mark, who works at Dorney Park. They have two young adult daughters, Cassandra and Alexis.
To reach Lapinski, email her at  or call her at 610-691-5655.

Church Responds to Violence in South Sudan
Photo courtesy of Episcopal Relief & Development
Clashes between political factions in South Sudan, which erupted in early July, have continued to worsen. Nearly 60,000 people have fled the country, most seeking refuge in Uganda, and the United Nations estimates that 40,000 people have been internally displaced by the latest violence.

Last week, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, which says it is protecting 200,000 people in the country, issued a condemnation of "widespread sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, of women and young girls" in the capital city of Juba. The city is also experiencing a cholera outbreak, which has killed more than 20 people. A measles epidemic in camps for internally displaced people has killed 17 children in the last several weeks.

Bishop Anthony Poggo of the Diocese of Kajo Keji reports that the situation in that diocese is calm. The Diocese of Bethlehem has a companion relationship with Kajo Keji and supports schools and a college in the diocese.

"Like all other South Sudanese and others who love and care about this nation, we continue to pray that peace prevails in Juba and the whole nation," wrote Poggo. "Pray that our leaders will recommit themselves to the full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS)."

Pilgrimage Blogger: the Rev. Canon Laura Howell
The Rev. Canon Laura Howell from Trinity Church, Bethlehem continues our season after Pentecost on the Pilgrimage Blog by taking us "on pilgrimage with the saints." Reflecting on the life of Joseph of Arimathea in her first post, she writes, "While we are not called to serve Jesus by burying his body, we are called to serve by caring for the bodies of our brothers and sisters who make up the Body of Christ. And we are certainly called to serve by traveling together in kindness and compassion along the Way of Christ. Read more on the Pilgrimage Blog
Bishop Sean on Vacation 
Bishop Sean is on vacation and will return to the office after Labor Day. Please contact the diocesan office with any pressing matters so that he can enjoy uninterrupted time with his family.
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."

Staying Connected to the Pilgrimage
The pilgrimage page on the website is updated regularly--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.
Pre-Convention Hearings
Delegates to diocesan convention and other interested members of the diocese can attend one of three pre-convention hearings in September to review resolutions submitted to convention. Bishop Sean will be present at all of the pre-convention hearings to discuss proposed canonical and constitutional changes.

News of the Diocese

The Episcopal Churches of Schuylkill County, including North Parish,(Holy Apostles, St. Clair, and St John, Ashland), St. James, Schuylkill Haven, and Trinity, Pottsville, sponsored a "Hugs and Kisses" booth at the Schuylkill County Fair. The group gave away chocolate kisses, juice drinks and balloons, as well as smiles and laughs. 
The Diocese of Bethlehem newSpin Blog
newSpin is Bill Lewellis' eclectic sampling of religion news from around the Episcopal Church and beyond. Read the August 4 issue.
Upcoming Diocesan Events

Tuesday, September 13, St. Alban's, Reading

Pre-Convention Hearing, Clarks Summit
Thursday, September 15, Church of the Epiphany, Dalton

Pre-Convention Hearing, Bethlehem
Tuesday, September 20, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Friday, October 7 - Saturday, October 8

Sunday, October 16 - Tuesday, October 18, St. Francis Retreat Center

Friday, November 11 - Sunday, November 13, Kirby Episcopal House

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