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the diolight WEDNESDAY, 21 August 2013

Vol. 1, Iss. 12

A Celebration for Bp. Paul A liturgy to celebrate and give thanks to God for the ministry of the Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall will be held on the Third Sunday of Advent, Dec. 15, 2013 at 3 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, with a reception to follow.

All clergy and laity of the diocese are invited to come and participate, as this will be our chance to remember, celebrate, and wish Bishop Paul well as we give thanks to God for his remarkable episcopacy.

It’s a New Year! Ready for Guests? In a few weeks, our churches will begin readying for the new program year. This may seem like either a hassle or a welcome return to routine, but we cannot forget that from now through Columbus Day is “church shopping season.” Most people who intentionally explore church membership do so in the early part of the program year. These guests may not be as obvious as those who appear at Christmas and Easter, but they are far more likely to commit to a congregation than holiday visitors. These people are more likely to join a faith community, whereas visitors who come for holidays may only want an experience of worship suitable to the season. That is good, but a church-shopper is looking for a

 Canon Andrew Gerns More details will follow, but if you have questions or want more information, you may contact me, the Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns, President of the Standing Committee, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Easton or by telephone at 610-253-0792.

Canon Andrew Gerns

church-home and they use the tools find? Are your public spaces ready of our consumer culture: experience to receive guests or are they clutand comparison. tered and tired looking? So, while ramping up for the new »» Do you have a useful guest regisyear here are some considerations: ter with fields for name, address, telephone, and e-mail? Do you fol»» Think of “guests” not “visitors.” low up with an invitation? »» Ushers are both greeters and worship assistants. They are “acolytes” »» Introduce yourself but listen! Let the guest tell their story and be at the front door. They must be ready to answer questions. Introokay with attending newcomers duce your guest to others and tell and saving catch-up conversation a little bit of your own story. until coffee hour. »» Look at your parish with the eyes »» Again, follow up. If you have the data, use it! Send a card thankof a stranger. Do you know how to ing guests for their visit within 48 enter? Where do you park? Are the hrs., even if they are from out of good spaces taken by members? state. Keep a record of all visitors If long-timers come in through and consider personally inviting the side door, is the main door them to a parish supper, picnic, or unlocked with someone there to evening event. greet? Are the restrooms easy to

The Seeds of Hope Ministry Our mission is “to plant seeds of hope in the hearts of the hungry, the homeless, the lonely and the wounded.” We have done this after learning that men, women, and children are living in the woods surround-

The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem, PA (610) 691-5655 •

ing the Hazleton Area. From these seeds grew a ministry that provides a monthly meal to the Salvation Army, a local home for troubled youth, and a free lunch served at St. Peter’s, Hazelton.

Deacon Marion Meiss Increased demands on our ministry required more refrigeration. A New Hope grant made it possible to buy a commercial refrigerator and freezer, ensuring that our mission will continue!

The Diolight, Vol. 1, Iss. 12  

This is the bi-weekly bulletin publication from the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.

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