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News from the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Vol. 1 No. 6, November and December 2012
Transformed by New Hope: Five years and still blessing others BY CHARLIE BAREBO Five years ago, we embarked on a remarkable journey that has seen us through some of the most turbulent times Americans have experienced in three generations. We had a vision that we would follow Christ, literally. We would raise money, millions in fact, and give it all away. People told us we were crazy. People warned us not to build the schools in the Sudan; they would be torn down in short order. People told us New Hope would be a failure that we could never, ever pull off. But we’re not crazy; we are certainly not a failure. The schools are standing, the ignorant educated,
the poor fed, clothed and healed, prisoners ministered to, and the stranger welcomed. God is still blessing people here and around the globe THROUGH us, via the New Hope Campaign. Hasn’t New Hope been the springboard to that blessing for the diocese? Now as we come to an end of this phase in serving Christ let us review the objective outcomes. To date approximately 1,000 donors have made $4,078,000 in gifts or pledges we believe will be paid. We have received over $3,500,000 in payments. At home we have established and funded a disaster relief program, supported emergency housing for
PHOTO PROVIDED BY CHARLIE BAREBO
First New Hope trip from left to right: Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow, Jo Trepagnier, Connie Fegley, Bishop Paul Marshall, Randall Fegley, and Charlie Barebo.
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What are you waiting for? A time to find your voice other people about God, about Jesus, about what’s possible in a human life. Loads of people would like to work and with some ancient prayer practices. Christian prayer and community are extraordinary and can be a life changing.”
BY CANON CHARLES CESARETTI “I hear one message clearly: Most people want real friends. Most people want to be able to talk honestly about their lives and about significant life issues.” So writes Mary Grace Reese in her introduction to Unbinding You Soul, the latest book in the Unbinding Series. “Most people have some kind of spiritual Life. Millions of people in and out of churches would love to try an authentic test of a faith community–confidential, loving, hopeful, real group of people. They’d like to explore, to think about, to talk with
The sixth Renewal Assembly will be held on Saturday, November 17 at seven host sites across the diocese. The theme of the event will be: "What are You Waiting For?: A time to Find your Voice and Share your Faith." The goals of the assembly are to affirm and celebrate your faith; to give find words to express and demonstrate your faith; to share and welcome others into your life of faith; and, to support and nurture new believers. At the assembly, the participants will view a video of Bishop Paul Marshall interviewing Charlie Barebo. Barebo, who is the Development Missioner of the diocese, shares his steps and shape of his faith journey. The format
will engage all participants in prayer and small group Bible Study, and find the space to share their faith story. “The building blocks of a renewed congregation are people who themselves have been renewed,” said the Rev. Donald Schaible, co-chair of the diocesan renewal committee. “With Jesus Christ as the cornerstone, we seek to refresh and uplift those who are foundational to building and strengthening strong and healthy confessional congregations. This is the goal of the renewal assemblies which are grounded in the experience of Jesus and his call to discipleship.” The host sites for the November 17 assembly are: Christ Church, Towanda; Church of the Epiphany, Clarks Summit/Glenburn; Trinity Church, West Pittston; St. Mark’s, Moscow; Christ Church, Reading; St. Anne’s, Trexlertown; and, Church of the Mediator, Allentown. Light lunch will be available. Registrants will be assigned to a site. The assembly will
convene promptly at 9:00 AM and conclude at 2:00 PM. Registration is open at www.diobeth.org.
Inside Diocesan Life Convention Address 2012 2 Happy Birthday! Grace Montessori turns 20 2 Greetings and a message from the Diocese of Scranton 3 Happening 3 New Hope (continued) 4 Book Review 5 Grace Montessori (continued) 5 Diocesan Convention a resounding success 6 Diocese of Scranton (continued) 6 What's Happening 6 Turkey & Israel trip 7 7 Note on Diocesan Life Upcoming youth events 8
Convention Address 2012 BY BISHOP PAUL MARSHALL I—The Landscape In the year since we last met, there has been much for which I thank God. So much, in fact, that the message this year is subdivided. At our Eucharist, Charlie Barebo will help us give thanks for the remarkable success of the New Hope Campaign—touching lives right here in Scranton and as far away as Sudan. Our five-year adventure in sacrificial discipleship has solidified our spirit and joyfully proclaimed that Jesus Christ is alive in Northeast Pennsylvania. Tomorrow morning Fr. John Major will share with us the remarkable ministry that has grown out of the diocese-wide response to flooding in our northern region. For the first time in our history, we have a systemwide disaster response team, and each parish has the opportunity to participate in ways that match the needs of their neighborhood. The former St. George’s church in Nanticoke has become the hub of this ministry, with the help of generous grants from within the diocese and from Episcopal Relief and Development. These things don’t just happen. We owe thanks to those members of the diocese who have volunteered time, money, and considerable skill in grant-writing. I have chosen to let Charlie Barebo and Fr. Major have the last word about these two ministries out of respect for what they have done, and how they have led us to grow in our corporate discipleship,
so I ask you to hear them with gratitude, and when you have the chance, offer a personal word of thanks.
If the Episcopal Church, along with Christianity itself, is to survive in the United States, it must be, and must seen to be, faithful to that self-same Lord Jesus. What we treasure, and what no secular means of salvation can offer, is a living relationship to a living Lord. Christ is known to us in Word and Sacrament, received in a community of disciples. I am deeply grateful to our Congregational Renewal group for offering us six Renewal Assemblies, at which so many of you have found refreshment for your souls and new depth in your own witness to Jesus. Increasingly, people who may not have previously known of the existence or location of each other’s parishes are talking with each other about their faith, and we will have opportunity to do that in our groups tomorrow morning. The next assembly date is November 17th, and you are all encouraged to share the joy of these special moments. II—Transition, Thanksgiving and Concerns After sixteen years of faithful service, at the age of eighty-two, Deacon George Loeffler has retired as Secretary of the Convention, Historian and Archivist, and as Chaplain to the Bishop. You know how deeply in his debt we all are—he has in some ways shaped the liturgical life of the diocese for the next generation, and he given of himself and his resources with
unstinting generosity and humor. I have depended upon him for support since my very first episcopal visit. His deep modesty does not allow him to be here today, despite all my coaxing, but I would be very grateful if the minutes could show that you stood up at this moment to offer applause in thanksgiving for his ministry. I also note fifteen years of service by Ty Welles, our chancellor. Ty is my ideal of a church’s lawyer: unflappable, thorough, and deeply dedicated to the Church and its mission. Please thank him. Many of you know and love Canon Calvin Adams. He is in the last stages of his life’s journey, and I ask you to keep him and Pam in your prayers. Also remember Father Daniel Gunn, who remains seriously ill, and Father Han van den Blink, who is in the process of rehabilitation after a stroke. III—Being in Scranton in an Age of Anxiety Just a century ago, in 1912, the Scranton Board of Trade published a history and description of the city. I mention this so you know that I looked it up and also because the religious evolution of the city is so indicative of a good slice of American religious history in the industrialized north. Subsequent waves of immigration, originally from New England, brought their peculiar religious traditions to the Lackawanna Valley. From 1823 when a Baptist minister with the unlikely name of Bishop was the first settled clergyman in the region, followed in short order by
Father Flynn in 1825, to the Presbyterian majority in subsequent years, to the overwhelming success of the Roman Catholic community in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, the fortunes of religious groups here have been followed the trends in northern industrial centers. If we go back by a century, the Episcopal Church had six parishes and missions in the region in 1912, but even in those church-going days there were but sixtyfive hundred of us, compared with sixty thousand Roman Catholics in addition to their cousins in the Polish National Catholic Church, also headquartered in Scranton. It was accordingly a major step for the tiny minority of Episcopalians that there arose in Green Ridge a stunning plant designed by the pre-eminent architect Henry Vaughan. Together with
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Happy Birthday! Grace Montessori turns 20 BY LIBBY HOUSE Grace Montessori School celebrates twenty years, kicking off festivities with a Heritage Day celebration on November 3rd, featuring crafts, foods, dance, and art representing the nations, religions, and cultures that epitomize the students’ backgrounds, and a special birthday cake. The year-long celebration will culminate next spring in the dedication of a labyrinth in the school’s outdoor green space. Grace Montessori School, a ministry of Grace Church, Allentown, opened in 1992. Founded by Catherine Constantin Reid, a trained Montessorian, and inspired by former rector Fr. Donald Knapp, the school was established to meet the need for a quality the anglican communion A freely chosen global fellowship of churches in communion with one another and with the See of Canterbury in England, some 80 million people in 38 self-governing churches in more than 160 countries. www.anglicancommunion.org Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Rev. Rowan Williams Lambeth Palace London, England SE1 7JU Episcopal Seat: Canterbury Cathedral www.archbishopofcanterbury.org
preschool, grounded in religious and moral teachings, reflected in the faces of children whose parents were clients of the church’s food pantry.
bilities of a Catechesis program and a Montessori school. Grace decided to pursue the Catechesis program first, taking a year to launch the school.
Reid recalls, “The school’s roots go beyond Grace’s food pantry and include the movement in the dioceses in the early 1990’s toward the work of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The internal need of the church to instruct its children aligned with the external need for quality preschool education that was present among the food pantry’s client families. Fr. Knapp returned from a diocesan meeting fired up about the Catechesis. He said it was Montessori-based and wanted to know if I knew anything about Montessori. That’s when we began conversations about the possi-
Margaret Sipple and the Rev. Robyn Szoke of the diocese championed the program. During the summer of 1992, I was interviewing the first person from the neighborhood to inquire about admission. Phyllis Thomas had walked in with daughter Amaris. I shared that I didn’t know how we would provide scholarships. She said she’d pray about it. The phone rang; it was Margaret Sipple, saying the diocese had found $10,000, donated anonymously and available for Grace. When I shared my conversation with Mrs. Thomas, she continued her prayer, ‘Thank you, Jesus.’
the episcopal church One of 38 self-governing national churches within the worldwide Anglican Communion, 2.4 million members in 7,679 congregations in 110 dioceses in the U.S. (95), Mexico and Central America. www.episcopalchurch.org Presiding Bishop The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori Episcopal Church Center 815 Second Avenue • New York, NY 10017 212-716-6000 • 800-334-7626 Episcopal Seat: The Washington National Cathedral www.episcopalchurch.org/pb
Live God’s love: tell what you have seen and heard
the diocese of bethlehem The Episcopal Church in eastern and northeastern PA, 63 churches in 14 counties: Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming. www.diobeth.org Bishop The Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall email@example.com Assistant Bishop The Rt. Rev. John P. Croneberger Archdeacon The Ven. Howard Stringfellow firstname.lastname@example.org 333 Wyandotte St. • Bethlehem, 18015 610-691-5655 • 800-358-5655
Dee Montgomery convinced the woodworking group at the Cathedral to make shelving. The people of Grace cleaned and painted a basement space for a classroom. We visited tag sales to collect materials and ordered the minimal Montessori equipment. We hired an assistant teacher with Montessori experience who saw our want ad under her dog’s food bowl.
From the beginning GMS sought to provide an inclusive, not exclusive, education. By enrolling their children, families demonstrate their willingness to buy into both the Montessori Method and the church’s inner city mission.”
Increasingly parents from all over the Lehigh Valley did make the choice
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Diocesan Life is an independent newspaper of the Episcopal Church. Copy deadline is the first Monday of the preceding month. Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Bishop or the Diocese of Bethlehem. Send articles and letters to the editor. Editor: Kat Lehman, klehman@ diobeth.org
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Greetings and message from the Diocese of Scranton BY BISHOP JOSEPH C. BAMBERA On behalf of the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, it is an honor to be present to offer greetings and prayerful best wishes, as you gather here at the Church of the Good Shepherd, for this diocesan convention. I am grateful for the invitation to offer these greetings and for the opportunity to encourage the ecumenical relationship that has been growing between our two dioceses. For a number of years now, there has been healthy interaction between the clergy and faithful of our dioceses, as we work together to fulfill the Last Supper prayer of Jesus that “all may be one, so that the world may believe.” Today, I particularly recall my visit to the Church of Saint Luke at the Choral Evensong for All Saints on Sunday, November 7, 2010, in the presence of Bishop Marshall and many clergy and faithful of both dioceses. I especially appreciated the time for fellowship, following the prayer service, allowing me to visit with friends, old and new. This important visit took place within the first few months of my having been called to serve the as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Scranton. Adding a special dimension to this visit today is the fact that it occurs just a few days before the Roman Catholic Church embarks on a Year of Faith. In the 4th paragraph of his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith), which announced the Year of Faith,
Pope Benedict writes: “The Year of Faith will begin on 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and it will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013. The starting date of 11 October 2012 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a text promulgated by my Predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, with a view to illustrating for all the faithful the power and beauty of the faith.” During this Year of Faith, it is the hope of Pope Benedict that Catholics both deepen their friendship with the Lord Jesus and deepen their understanding of the faith that has been handed on to us through the ministry of those who have come before us. Of particular note, the Pope has encouraged a renewed interest in the work of the Second Vatican Council, placing special emphasis on a study of the 16 documents that were issued by the Council. As one of these 16 documents, the Decree on Ecumenism, given on November 21, 1964, explains why I am here today and why we, together, are reflecting upon our shared faith and baptism. For all that has been proposed for consideration and reflection during the Year of Faith, however, the heart of this Year – and, indeed, the very heart of evangelization and the proclamation of the Gospel – is something very simple: our relationship with Jesus and our need to
grow and deepen that relationship. That, more than anything else is the goal of the Year of Faith. And that – you and I know very well - more than anything else is what lies at the heart of the relationships of our Churches, one to another. In inviting me to be a part of this day, Bishop Marshall requested that I reflect with you on challenges that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton has faced in recent years, particularly with respect to the consolidation and closure of some of our parishes. I understand that you too are facing the reality of changing demographics, diminished numbers of clergy and the impact of a world and society that far too often questions the value of the mission of our Churches. We Roman Catholics number approximately 350,000 members in the eleven counties of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania that we refer to as the Diocese of Scranton. In 2008, faced with all of the challenges that I just noted, my predecessor, Bishop Martino, began a process of study and reflection about our future. At that point in our history we had 196 parishes and scores of secondary worship sites. Today, almost five years later, we have 121 parishes with approximately 50 additional worship sites. The process that allowed us to reach this place in our history was far from perfect. It would be unfair of me to lead you to believe that it was problem free and painless – for many of our faithful, our
clergy … and me! Five formal appeals were submitted to the Holy See in Rome. Four of the appeals of my decisions were not upheld. One is still in process and a sixth is just beginning. Those of you who live in the area and watch the local news or read the local papers are well aware of the pain associated with that particular church closing.
Yet, for all of the upheaval and pain so often associated with change, I am pleased to share with you that life does indeed go on. And just as importantly, parish life is settling back to normal. … And I am convinced that we are in a better place today because we respected the wisdom of our people. We engaged a process of genuine consultation and dialogue with the faithful of
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Convention address the 1917 construction of the present St. Luke’s Church, Episcopalians added with this new building at least their fair share to the architecture of the city. Thus we meet in the Church of the Good Shepherd, at their invitation, to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of this remarkable space. You have material about the building and the parish in your packets, but I would like to add some observations that go beyond its architecture, which I ardently pray no one will seek to improve. This parish is alive and growing today almost entirely because lay people, despite trauma at the deepest level, were determined to keep it open, keep it in mission. Now, with a new rector who will greet us in a few minutes, they enter a new phase of their life and ministry. Along with many of you, I have found their hospitality unstinting even in their years of struggle for life. With your New Hope contributions, a homeless shelter that puts to work formerly unused space in the building is in the final stages of completion. What Good Shepherd’s people have taught us is the old, old, lesson that is ever-new. Parishes that live unto themselves die unto themselves, but those communities who refuse to panic and who retain their sense of mission and live into to it find new life. I am going to ask those present from Good Shepherd to stand so that we may thank them.
We will also want to join with the Cathedral Church of the Nativity as they celebrate their 150th anniversary. If you do the math, you know that 1862 was a very troubled time in our nation’s history, and the founding of a church under those circumstances was testimony to hope. I will be addressing just this theme when I join them in their celebration next month, but invite you to reflect on the importance of gestures of hope in defiance of anxiety, for surely we live in troubled times. God, our hope in ages past is our hope for years to come. We ought never to allow ourselves to surrender that truth. There was a General Convention this summer. I had nothing but admiration for how our deputation did the work of convention and also represented our spirit, and I hope you have benefited from their reports. I believe the Presiding Bishop was at her absolute best, and has found a unique voice in Anglicanism as she blends timeless truth with current questions. I have attended these national meetings since 1997, and have never witnessed so much unanimity of spirit--and consistent gentleness when disagreement was unavoidable. The two big stories at convention were the decision not to act on the Anglican Covenant, and the ratification of a liturgiContinued on Page 8
Live God’s love: tell what you have seen and heard
New Hope, five years and still delivering blessings
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individuals and families, supported healing, feeding, and clothing missions. We have reached out to those newly arrived on our shores with newcomer education and helped prisoners stay in contact with their families.
In Kajo Keji we built the Bishop’s House, a college consisting of eight classrooms, a library, an administration building, a kitchen-dining hall, two students dorms and three multiple family teachers dorms, and a VSAT satellite connection to the World Wide Web. We have completed and opened 5 primary schools (grades 1-8) and one secondary school (grades 9-12). Every morning when a crimson sun rises through the purple skies above the veldt in Kajo Keji, 2,000 young souls recite their school prayers and read their lessons in the light of the lamp of knowledge lit by New Hope. The lamps so lovingly filled with oil by the bridesmaid known as the Diocese of Bethlehem. On behalf of the hungry, naked and ignorant whom you have given New Hope I ask that God bless you richly and beyond compare. For the parishes that organized and made New Hope part of their parish life, I thank you.
For the many individuals, laity and clergy, who took up the cross of New Hope and functioned above and beyond the call of duty, I thank you.
Fo r the Diocesan staff, Cindy and Bruce for the many financial transactions, Kat and Bill Lewellis for editorial support, Rosie for running the reports and keeping it real, to Ely for the thank you letters, to Anne and Dan for their support, Charles Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow with Bishop Manassah, the first Bishop of Kajo Keji. PHOTOs ProVIDED BY CHARLiE BAREBO who kept me going when my ing working closely with you in away from home promoting our tank was low. To our Archdeacon, this regard. New Hope mission. To you all, my travel companion and the I would like to thank my kids it has been a blessing and the color man in the booth. You mission opportunity of a lifetime don’t make six trips to Africa and wife for their sacrifices, not to represent you, our bishop and with someone and not come only for their complete support diocese in this holy endeavor. to respect them deeply. To our but for the long trips to Kajo Keji New Hope is not a victory for Bishops but particularly Bishop and for the countless weekends the laity or the clergy, but for the Paul, it has been a genuine bless- and evenings when I have been entire body of Christ known as the Diocese of Bethlehem.
Where are we going from here? We have a million dollars in trust to support the schools and college in Africa. Stephen Tomor will remain our rep in Kajo Keji for an indefinite period to oversee maintenance of the schools, distribution of support funds, and implementation of our Best Practices program for the schools and to facilitate communications. We seek to continue Northeast Pennsylvania support by building the trust to $500,000 and beyond, then distributing the income of the trust each year.
If we’re crazy, we've been crazy for Christ. For those who said it couldn’t be done, we’ve exceeded our wildest expectations. We did something people said couldn’t happen. It’s never wise to underestimate God and His people. I don’t think our journey is over; we’ve just completed the first leg.
Big smiles for a new classroom and for the desks to fill it.
Live God’s love: tell what you have seen and heard
We’ve been transformed by New Hope. There’s no going back. We don’t know what God is calling us to do next. But Jesus has more in store for us. Won’t it be fun to find out?
Book Review: The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why How Christianity must Change or Die (Spong, 1999). It didn’t seem to imply “dying” at all. Two quotes from the book jacket grabbed my attention, “The Great Emergence offers a sweeping overview of church history and locates us in a moment of great opportunity and challenge” (Brian McLaren) and “… the most pointed articulation of the church and Christianity that is emerging from the compost of Christendom” (Tony Jones). This sounded like the kind of an articulation that was not afraid of the new evolving self revelation of our God. As I began reading the text I found that there was also vision for the value of some Christian groups earnestly returning to the “old ways.”
BY: ROBIN CACCESE The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. Tickle, Phyllis. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008, 173 pp. The cover of this book is what first attracted my attention. It depicts a changing face of God/Christ from ancient icon to modern representation, with masculine and feminine aspects. In my 65 years of lived Christian experience and practice, the faces of God and Jesus have indeed seemed to be evolving. It has seemed to me that God’s self revelation has never stopped even though some Christian expressions have a somewhat fossilized understanding of what God “should” look like. Also evolving in me has been an anxiety that Christianity may be becoming marginalized in our post modern world. It was this anxiety that drew me to the book title. It did not seem as negative as the title,
Of great delight was how the author utilized a humorous quotation by Bishop Mark Dyer, “… the only way to understand what is currently happening to us as twenty-first-century Christians in North America is first to understand that about every five hundred years the Church feels compelled to hold a giant rummage sale” (p. 16). Tickle continues, again quoting Bishop Dyer, “… about every five hundred years the empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity, what ever they may be at the time, become an intolerable carapace that must be shattered in order that renewal and new growth may occur. When that mighty upheaval happens, history shows us, there are at least three consistent results or corollary events” (p. 16-17). These corollary events include: 1. A new more vital form of Christianity emerges. 2. The older Christian expression is reconstituted into a more pure and less ossified expression of its former self.
3. The faith spreads dramatically into new geographic and demographic areas. In most of the remainder of the book, Tickle does a “sweeping overview of church history,” looking especially at the 500-year times of great challenge. She gives them all GREAT names including: The GREAT Emergence (current), The GREAT Reformation (1500s), The GREAT Schism (1000s) and Gregory the GREAT (500s). Of great interest to me were her analyses and elucidations of the significant persons, events and technological advancements that came into play in each of the historical times of GREAT upheaval. Tickle develops or adapts diagrams to illustrate past social aspects of the role of religion (The Cable)
and ways in which religion is currently evolving. Particularly interesting to me, as one living through The GREAT Emergence, are her diagrams called: The Quadrilateral, The Cruciform, The Gathering Center and The Surrounding Currents.
The final section of the book looks at emerging trends in our North American Christian culture and at significant leaders and their writings for further study. The book is an interesting and quick read.
Reference: Spong, J.S. (1999). How Christianity must change or die: A bishop speaks to believers in exile. HarperOne. Robin Caccese is the editor for newsletter of the Association of Christian Therapists and the Parish Administrator at St. Mary's, Reading.
Grace Montessori to send their children, and GMS grew from seven children and two teachers to more than a hundred children and a staff of sixteen. The school undertook the creation of a $1.3 million, stateof-the-art facility at 814 West Linden in Allentown, dedicated in December 2004. Dr. James Peck, president of the board during planning, fund raising, and construction states, “I believe the work the church and school did to imagine, enact and build the new center for Grace Montessori was extraordinary. Every time I drive by the school, I feel a sense of pride about having been involved, and am grateful that Grace Montessori continues to provide an exceptional early childhood education to children from the neighborhood and around the Lehigh Valley.” Daughter Sophie Kitch-Peck, who attended the new facility, now in high school, comments, “I still think about Grace. The teachers encouraged me to accept my intellect and excel. By the time I left kindergarten I had basic math skills and could read fluently, and I think this really helped me once I changed schools - mainly because Grace taught me how to be responsible for my own learning.” In 2006 Fr. Patrick Malloy, then rector, led a further expansion to include an elementary program (ages 6 to 9), housed on the third floor of the church’s administrative wing. Local
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foundations provided the funding for the classroom, but church and parent volunteers performed work that could be completed using sweat equity.
The newest exciting project will be dedicated this coming spring … a labyrinth (like a maze, but with a single path) donated by the members and friends of CREW LV (Commercial Real Estate Women, Lehigh Valley Chapter), which, according to member Rosalin Petrucci, “is developing a playground labyrinth composed of sustainable materials. Youngsters will connect with nature through the plantings and grasses, which will change over the seasons. Children will enjoy the benefits of the herbs and vegetables planted in the garden and learn about social interaction through activities within. The special CREW initiative is in celebration of Greenbuild, the largest sustainability conference and expo in the U.S. presented by the U.S. Green Build Council in Philadelphia next fall.”
The labyrinth will become an integral part of the school’s curriculum. Students will benefit from the prayer and meditation exercises that experienced there. The children will grow vegetables they will share with children of food pantry clients, some of whom may someday be their classmates.
For more information, contact: 610435-4060.
PHOTO and Architectural layout PROVIDED BY LIBBY HOUSE
Children and parent's gather for a special Mother's Day program at Grace Montessori. The school celebrates 20 years of educating children in the heart of Allentown November 3, 2012.
Live God’s love: tell what you have seen and heard
Diocesan Convention a resounding success By all accounts, the 141st Diocesan Convention, held at Church of the Good Shepherd, Scranton October 5-6 was a resounding success despite the absence of Bishop Paul Marshall due to health concerns. Canon Andrew Gerns, rector of Trinity, Easton and President of the Standing Committee, filled in for Bishop Paul as the convener. Good Shepherd did a fantastic job despite this being their first time as a site host. Charlie Barebo, Development Missioner and Chair of the New Hope Campaign gave a heartfelt and wonderful sermon during the Eucharist Friday night outlining the accomplishments of the fifth year of the New Hope Campaign and all the diocese has done to help those in need. Canon Elizabeth Geitz was the dinner speaker and talked about her experience in Africa and about her book I Am That Child. Small groups were the focus of Saturday morning which concluded with Canon Anne Kitch's resolutions of courtesy at the close of the business meeting before lunch. Please see our web site for more on the resolutions. The following are the resolutions that were passed during the convention. Resolution A: Resolution on the Budget of the Diocese of Bethlehem
Be it Resolved, That the Assessment Rate applied to Line A, Normal Operating Income (NOI), of the 2011 Parochial Report shall be 12% in 2013; and be it further
Resolved, That Supply Clergy be reimbursed for travel at the current IRS rate.
compliance with Canon XIV; Section (e) of the Canons of the Diocese;
1 Sunday Service or 1 Saturday $130.00; 2 Sunday Services $160.00; Mid Week Service $80.00
Whereas the cost of a professional audit has become burdensome for smaller churches with limited operating budgets and which are without large endowments;
Resolved, That the Proposed Mission and Ministry Budget of the Diocese as it is presented to the Convention be adopted.
Resolution C: Resolution for a Diocesan Wide Disaster Preparedness Initiative.
Resolution B: Resolution of the Personnel Committee Regarding the 2013 Salary Schedule
With awareness that disasters of many types can and have affected the parishes of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, and in acceptance of our Christian responsibility to both assist those affected by disasters and to be good stewards of or own church resources by protecting them from the effects of disaster where possible,
Be It Resolved, that the Salary Schedule for Clergy for 2013, be as follows with no Cost of Living increase, and be it further Resolved, That the no Cost of Living increase applies to lay employees. Parish Index - Clergy Salary Range 1-99 $36,800.00
100-250 - Medium $33,925.00 $50,165.00 250-399 - Large $40,600.00 $62,500.00 400 – above - X-Large $54,790.00 - $88,715.00 Be It Resolved, That the Clergy Supply Schedule for 2013, be as follows, and be it further
Be it resolved that each parish in the diocese will develop a disaster preparedness and response plan in accordance with the guidelines provided by Episcopal Relief & Development (ER&D) and have it on file in their parish and the diocesan offices no later than January 1, 2014. Resolution D: Resolution to Amend Canon XIV (Business Methods in Church Affairs); Section (e) of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem Whereas a large percentage of the churches in the Diocese are not in
Diocese of Scranton Continued from Page 3
our parish communities – asking them to collaborate with neighboring parishes and to evaluate their communities in light of the overall mission of our Church – encouraging them to dream a bit and vision for their future. They did – and what we have today, by and large, is exactly what they proposed. … In short, the process gave our people a great sense of ownership for the future of their communities. Underlying the process, however, was a profound effort to remind our people that the Church – is not a building – is not made of bricks and mortar – but is a people – created in the image and likeness of God – a people given life and hope through a relationship with Jesus – a reality understood in theory but not always embraced. … So in restructuring our Diocese, our goal was and is to strengthen our people – our parish communities – for mission. By peeling away some of the excess in terms of buildings and structures that distracted us from our true mission of proclaiming Jesus, we would begin to experience faith communities far more vibrant and life giving than before. The last piece to our restructuring efforts was the articulation a vision for our local Church – based upon all that our people had shared in the process of restructuring. That vision was articulated in a pastoral letter that I offered to our people on Pentecost Sunday, 2012. It’s title is Wounded and Loved,
Regathering the Scattered. The letter faces the reality of change and the pain associated with it, realizing that we can’t run away from it or pretend it away. But the letter also sets forth a pledge – supported by the efforts of our reorganized Office of Parish Life – to offer tangible help to our parishes as they move forward – supporting them in what we see are the pillars of evangelization: the proclamation of the Word of God; true and authentic worship; the development of a community of life as Christians; and service – rooted in the example of Jesus. This is where we are today, after five long years of work. (And I should note that we are implementing an ongoing planning effort in our Office of Parish Life in order to avoid in the future such a massive and unsettling process that we engaged in 2008.) While I must be honest and tell you that the process probably sounds far simpler and problem free that it actually was, the fact remains that we have survived it reasonably well. … Yet we will only survive if we keep at the heart of our complicated lives and parish structures that which is at the heart of the Year of Faith that I described earlier – our relationship with Jesus. For Roman Catholics – and particularly Roman Catholics in the Diocese of Scranton – the Year of Faith with its focus on Jesus – gives us hope as we move forward following a challenging time of
Live God’s love: tell what you have seen and heard
growth. … For all of us gathered here today, that same relationship with Jesus affords us the means of giving new impetus to our work of growing in mutual trust and friendship, despite the difficulties that still exist between us. With great hope for the future, I share the concluding words of Communion in Mission, the Anglican-Roman Catholic statement issued in the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000: “The shape of full visible unity is beyond our capacity to put into words. God will always surprise us … God cannot be understood through our human system or correspond to our positive or negative predictions for the future ... In our ecumenical efforts we should keep in mind that one day we will rub our eyes and be surprised by the new things that God has achieved in his Church.” During this Year of Faith, may God surprise us with new opportunities to deepen our ecumenical relationship. As you gather for your diocesan convention, please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers, as well as those of the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton. In all your deliberations and decision-making, may God strengthen you and bring your work to fulfillment. May hope accompany your journey through these days and may God's abiding presence be with you always. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forever. Amen!
Whereas it is imperative for fiscal control and accountability that an audit of the accounts of each parish or mission be performed annually;
Whereas the Title I. Canon 7. Section 1 (f) of the Canons of The General Convention reads:
All accounts of Parishes, Missions or other institutions shall be audited annually by an Independent Certified Public Accountant, or independent Licensed Public Accountant, or such audit committee as shall be authorized by the Finance Committee, Department of Finance, or other appropriate diocesan authority.
Be it Resolved, therefore, that Canon XIV, section (e) of the Diocese shall be amended as follows (amended language found below in bold italics):
e). All accounts shall be audited annually by a Certified or Independent Public Accountant, or by such an accounting agency, or by an audit committee of the parish following the guidelines in the Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs as shall be permitted by the Department Diocesan Council. An audit committee from another parish may conduct the audit.
Resolution E: Resolution to Amend Canon XIV (Business Methods in Church Affairs); Section (d) of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem
Whereas the ability of parishes and missions and the Committee of Finance of Diocesan Council to evaluate the parish or mission’s financial status is dependent upon producing and providing financial reports in a manner that meets professional, unified accounting standards;
Whereas many churches in the Diocese are not using professional accounting software in preparing financial statements for review;
Be it Resolved, therefore, That Canon XIV, section (d) shall be amended as follows (amended language found below in bold italics):
(d). Books of account, including a double-entry general ledger and a balance sheet with assets and liabilities, shall be so kept using professional accounting software application as approved in writing by the Controller, so as to provide the basis for satisfactory accounting.
Be it Further Resolved: That the Diocese will make efforts to secure professional accounting software to be made available through a Diocesan-wide license so as to allow churches and parishes to purchase such software at a reduced cost.
Whatâ€™s happening... NOVEMBER Nov. 1: Clergy Bible Study 1, Nativity, Bethlehem 2:00 P.M. Nov. 1: Clergy Bible Study 2&4, St. Stephen's, Whitehall 2:00 P.M. Nov. 2-3: Planning for Tomorrow and Enriching Your Retirement, Church Pension Group, Bethlehem, (location to be announced). Nov. 2: Finance Committee Meeting, Diocesan House, Bethlehem 10:00 A.M. Nov. 2: Sesquicentennial Celebration for Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bach Choir (at Nativity) Evensong 6:00 P.M. Nov. 2: Sesquicentennial Celebration for Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Celebration Dinner, Lehigh University Mountaintop Campus, Bethlehem 7:15 P.M. Nov. 3: Simplifying Life Benedict's Way, Church of the Good Shepherd, Scranton 9:00 A.M. Nov. 3: Sesquicentennial Celebration for Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Cathedral Choir Performs Mozart's Requiem (at Nativity) 5:00 P.M. Nov. 4: Sesquicentennial Celebration for Cathedral Church of the Nativity, All Cathedral service with Breakfast 10:00 A.M. Nov. 4: Bishop Jack, St. James' and St. George's, Jermyn Nov. 6: Clergy Bible Study 6, Holy Cross, Wilkes-Barre 2:00 P.M. Nov. 8: Clergy Day, St. Luke's, Scranton 8:30 A.M. Nov. 9-11: Happening, Kirby House, Mountain Top. Nov. 9: Incorporated Trustees Meeting, Nativity, Bethlehem 10:00 A.M. Nov. 10: Bishop's School, St. Stephen's, Whitehall 9:00 A.M. Nov. 10: Fresh Start, Grace, Kingston 9:30 A.M. Nov. 10: Fall Bazaar, Trinity, Easton 10:00 A.M. Nov. 11: Bishop Paul, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre Nov. 11: Joint Eucharist with United Methodist Church, Asbury United Methodist Church, 1533 Springhouse Road, Allentown, 4:00 P.M. Nov. 13: Clergy Bible Study 7, St. Mark's Moscow 2:00 P.M. Nov. 15: Insurance Committee Meeting, Diocesan House, Bethlehem 2:00 P.M. Nov. 17: Bishop's School, St. Stephen's, Whitehall 9:00 A.M. Nov. 17: Renewal Assembly VI, various locations around the diocese 9:00 A.M. Nov. 18: Bishop Jack, North Parish, Church of St. John, Ashland
Nov. 18: Peace Commission, Conference Call 2:00 P.M. Nov. 18: Concert by Stephen Williams, organ and Nora Suggs, Flute, Trinity, Pottsville 4:00 P.M. Nov. 20: Clergy Bible Study 3, St. Alban's, Sinking Spring 2:00 P.M. Nov. 20: Archdeacon's Visit, St. Andrew, Allentown 6:00 P.M. Nov. 22: THANKSGIVING Nov. 26: Congregational Renewal Committee, Grace, Kingston 7:00 P.M. Nov. 27: Clergy Bible Study 8, Christ, Towanda 3:00 P.M. Nov. 27: Archdeacon's Visit, Grace, Allentown 6:00 P.M.
DECEMBER Dec. 1: Trinity Yuletide Revels, Trinity, Bethlehem 5:00 P.M. Dec. 2: Bishop Jack, Prince of Peace, Dallas Dec. 2: Bishop Paul, St. Andrew's, Allentown Dec. 3: Standing Committee, Diocesan House, Bethlehem 2:00 P.M. Dec. 3: Stewardship Commission Meeting, St. Anne's, Trexlertown 6:30 P.M. Dec. 4: Ryan Breneman Memorial NYC Trip to Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, Fairgrounds Square Mall, Reading 6:30 A.M. Dec. 4: Clergy Bible Study 6, Holy Cross, Wilkes-Barre 2:00 P.M. Dec. 6: Clergy Bible Study 1, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem 2:00 P.M. Dec. 8: Bishop's School, St. Stephen's, Whitehall 9:00 A.M. Dec. 8: Commission On Ministry Meeting, Trinity, Mt. Pocono 10:00 A.M. Dec. 9: Bishop Jack, Grace, Allentown Dec. 9: Bishop Paul, Christ, Indian Orchard Dec. 11: Clergy Bible Study 7, St. Mark's, Moscow 2:00 P.M. Dec. 13: Clergy Bible Study 2&4, St. Stephen's, Whitehall 2:00 P.M. Dec. 15: Bishop's School, St. Stephen's, Whitehall 9:00 A.M. Dec. 16: Peace Commission, Conference Call 2:00 P.M. Dec. 16: Trinity Concert Series, Trinity, Bethlehem 3:00 P.M. Dec. 18: Clergy Bible Study 3, St. Alban's, Sinking Spring 2:00 P.M. Dec. 19: Clergy Bible Study 8, Christ, Towanda 5:30 P.M. Dec. 20: Insurance Committee, Diocesan House, Bethlehem 2:00 P.M.
Dec. 20: St. Andrew's Dinner, St. Andrew's, Allentown 5:00 P.M. Dec. 21: Ordination, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem 7:00 P.M. Dec. 23: Bishop Paul, Trinity, Easton Dec. 25: Christmas
JANUARY Jan. 1: Bishop Jack, Christ, Reading Jan. 8: Archdeacon's Visit, Good Shepherd and St. John's, Milford 6:00 P.M. Jan. 12: Commission On Ministry Meeting, Conference Call 10:00 A.M. Jan. 15: Archdeacon's Visit, Christ, Stroudsburg 6:00 P.M. Jan. 18: Trinity Concert Series, Trinity, Bethlehem 7:00 P.M. Jan. 20: Bishop Paul, Good Shepherd and St. John's, Milford Jan. 20: Bishop Jack, St. Stephen's, Whitehall Jan. 20: Peace Commission Meeting, Conference Call 2:00 P.M. Jan. 20: Trinity Concert Series, Trinity, Bethlehem 3:00 P.M. Jan. 22: Archdeacon's Visit, St. Luke's, Scranton 6:00 P.M. Jan. 27: Bishop Paul, Christ, Stroudsburg Jan. 28: Renewal Commission Meeting, Grace, Kingston 7:00 P.M. Jan. 29: Archdeacon's Visit, St. Andrew's, Alden/Nanticoke 6:00 P.M.
FEBRUARY Feb. 1-2: Bishop's Nightwatch with Youth, Philadelphia. See more this issue. Feb. 3: Bishop Paul, St. Margaret's, Emmaus Feb. 3: Bishop Jack, St. Luke's, Scranton Feb. 5: Clergy Day, Church of the Good Shepherd, Scranton 8:30 A.M. Feb. 7: Clergy Bible Study 1, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, 2:00 P.M. Feb. 8: Finance Committee Meeting, Diocesan House, Bethlehem, 2:00 P.M. Feb. 9 Commission on Ministry Meeting, Conference Call 10:00 A.M. Feb. 10: Bishop Paul, St. Andrew's, Alden/Nanticoke Feb. 10: Youth Council, Trinity, Mt. Pocono 1:00 P.M. Feb. 11: Archdeacon's Visit, St. Peter's, Hazleton 6:00 P.M. Feb. 12: Clergy Bible Study 7, St. Mark's, Moscow 2:00 P.M. Feb. 13: Ash Wednesday Feb. 13: Bishop Paul, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
Feb. 14: Clergy Bible Study 2&4, St. Stephen's, Whitehall 2:00 P.M. Feb. 15: Trustees Meeting, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem 10:00 A.M.
Feb. 16: Renewal Assembly VII Multiple locations in the diocese Feb. 17: Bishop Paul, St. Peter's, Hazleton Feb. 17: Bishop Jack, St. George's, Hellertown Feb. 17: Peace Commission Meeting, Conference Call 2:00 P.M. Feb. 19: Clergy Bible Study 3, St. Alban's, Sinking Spring 2:00 P.M. Feb. 19: Clergy Bible Study 6, Holy Cross, Wilkes-Barre 2:00 P.M.
Feb. 24: Bishop Paul, St. Luke's, Lebanon Feb. 24: Trinity Concert Series, Trinity, Bethlehem 3:00 P.M. Feb. 25: Renewal Commission Meeting, Grace, Kingston 7:00 P.M. Feb. 26: Clergy Bible Study 8, Christ, Towanda 3:00 P.M. Turkey & Israel in the Footsteps of Paul with St. John's Episcopal Church, Palmerton
February 6-23, 2014 Visit: Ephesus, Patmos, Pergamum, Istanbul, Galilee, Capernaum, the Mt. of Beatitudes, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea. Price per person in a double room: $5,595 Price per person in a single room: $6,695. Deposit due 12/31/12. Price Includes: round-trip bus from Whitehall to JFK Airport, round-trip airfare and departure taxes, 16 nights of accommodations & most meals, airport transfers in Turkey and Israel, 15 days of touring in a private bus with licensed, English-speaking guides and site entrance fees, baggage handling, local taxes and service fees plus tips to guides and drivers. Contact: Rhonda Bastian at Sail Away Events & Travel 484.433.1592 // firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's Note: This is our last issue of Diocesan Life. Due to increased postage costs and declining resources, we regret to inform our readers that we will no longer be able to mail a copy of Diocesan Life to each household. This decision was not taken lightly and we know the impact will be felt. We will be moving to an online paper during the month of January and will be expanding our electronic newsletters to better serve you in a timely manner. Please check our website: www. diobeth.org for the latest news and information.
Live Godâ€™s love: tell what you have seen and heard
Diocese of Bethlehem www.diobeth.org November 4: St. Alban’s, Sinking Spring: The Rev. Karl L. Kern, Rector and The Rev. Charles L. Beem, Associate Priest Social Ministries Committee November 11: Christ, Stroudsburg: The Rev. Douglas Moyer, Rector Standing Committee November 18: Please pray for Bishop Jack Croneberger, Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem November 25: Calvary, Tamaqua: The Rev. Robert K. Gildersleeve, Supply December 2: Christ, Towanda: The Rev. Maureen Atlee Hipple, Rector and The Rev. Lawrence Holman, Deacon December 9: St. Anne’s, Trexlertown: The Rev. Canon Michael F. Piovane, Rector, The Rev. Judith U. Snyder, Associate Priest; and The Rev. Bernice Reichard, Deacon December 16: St. Paul’s, Troy: The Rev. A.J. (Han) van den Blink, Priest-in-Charge December 23: St. Peter’s, Tunkhannock: The Rev. Lou Divis, Priest-in-Charge December 30: Incorporated Trustees Evangelism Commission Anglican Communion www.anglicancommunion.org November 4: Bermuda (ExtraProvincial to Canterbury): The Rt. Rev. Dr. Patrick White November 11: The Lusitanian Church (Extra-Provincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury): The Rt. Rev. Fernando Soares November 18: The Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain (ExtraProvincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury): The Rt. Rev. Carlos
LÃpez-Lozano November 25: Falkland Islands (Extra-Provincial to Canterbury) December 2: Kebbi - (Kaduna, Nigeria): The Most Rev. Edmund Akanya December 9: Kigezi - (Uganda) The Rt. Rev. George Katwesigye December 16: Kisangani - (Congo): The Rt. Rev. Lambert Botolome December 23: Koforidua (Ghana) (West Africa): The Rt. Rev. Francis Quashie December 30: Kuching - (South East Asia): The Rt. Rev. Bolly Lapok Assistant Bishop of Kuching (South East Asia) The Rt. Rev. Aeries Sumping Diocese of Kajo Keji www.kajokeji.anglican.org November 4: Andasire: The Rev. Cosmas Lodiong; The Rev. Nora Pita and The Rev. Michael Aboi and for the MES Department: Duesuk Alex and Moro James November 11: Motongo: The Rev. Mary Kajoggo November 18: Sera-Jale: The Rev. John Loboka and Deacon Emmanuel Diliga November 25: Lito’ba: The Rev. John Liri Amuja and Deacon James Sekwat December 2: Jolimo: Deacon Moses Lo’buri Youth Department: Abigo Manson and Committee December 9: Woro: Deacon Simon Kwiyansuk Lupai December 16:Emmanuel Cathedral: The Very Rev. Pianilee Samuel and the Rev. Anna Poni December 23: Lori: The Rev. Eunice Kiden and Deacon Luka Longok December 30: KaTEP: The Rev. Canon Henry L. and Committee
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cal form for blessing same-sex couples. Those to items were hardly news. The Church of England already declined to accept the covenant months before we met. Regarding the second item, I approved blessings when they were made optional in 2009, and some of our parishes have celebrated them. What is different for us now is that there is one liturgy to be used uniformly. Rectors and vestries contemplating a first use of this rite are still required to be in touch with me before proceeding. While one might expect those two actions to have garnered press comment, we took a surprising beating in the press because of the prayers adopted for blessing or grieving the loss of animals. This strikes me as odd, even given that it was a slow news week. Most of our parishes will indeed bless animals in the coming days or week, and we do so in the name and spirit of the great St. Francis of Assisi. I do not think his was a spirit of sentimentality or pandering—we find that he was a rather tough cookie once we get past the statue of him with the bird. Much rather, beyond his reforming zeal, the spirit of Francis was and is a spirit of unity with all of God’s creation. We need more, not fewer, reminders that we share this planet with God’s creatures. At the very least, the act of blessing is a change in how we perceive and relate to what or whom we bless. Perhaps if more living things and the earth itself were more often blessed in our prayer, the creation would groan just a little bit less. We have honored guests representing Moravian, United Methodist, and Roman Catholic traditions, and Canon Maria Tjeltveit will introduce them to us. You will note that our third speaker will take a little more time. This is my doing. I have asked Bishop Bambera, who so ably leads the Diocese of Scranton, to share a bit about the process his Diocese has adopted for making strategic change in our contemporary situation. The Diocese of Scranton has faced issues that all traditional religious groups are facing today, and it is always better to have a plan than a reaction. I am grateful to all of our visitors for their time and witness.
We have a tradition of not having formal banquet speakers on Friday night. The last one we had was about twenty years ago. Without setting a precedent, I make an exception to that policy today because earlier this year I read a very moving book, and have asked the author to share her work with us. Canon Elizabeth Geitz, whom you know from Good Shepherd and St. John in Milford, has written I am that Child, a captivating work that offers reflection on how the dominant culture in this country formed her and how she and many others have been transformed by encounter with the faith alive in the two-thirds world. She tells a heart-warming and at times sadly gut-wrenching story of ministry to the most vulnerable members of the West African population, and the work of a remarkable nun. I don’t want to steal her story, but must say that I am in absolute awe of the energy that Elizabeth has put into bringing her message to the whole church, indeed the whole country. We have much to learn from her on many levels. Please buy her book, read it, and respond as God calls you.
I want to thank those who have pitched to help reorganize and sustain four churches now, churches which would otherwise have closed. They are largely members of the Standing Committee, Council, the Renewal Committee, and my staff. Most of them are truly doing double-duty, and the results are tangible as well as spiritual. I think that as you read the State of the Church Report, you will see signs of recovery and progress. I visited a church not too long ago that realized, almost in passing, that they hadn’t needed to drawn down assets this year to continue operations. God willing, that will be both our financial pattern and a mark of increasingly productive ministry. We have a much more crowded convention agenda than is usual, so I will not prolong these remarks, except to pray that God will lead and direct our next year’s work as richly as we have experienced in the last twelve months. Thank you.
PHOTO BY Stephen Tomor
Live God’s love: tell what you have seen and heard