Diocesan Digest



February 15, 2012

Lenten Podcasts

This Lent, several speakers from around the diocese will focus on the theme "Our Trinitarian God, the Model of Diversity and Unity" in short devotional podcasts to be posted weekly on the website.

Topics and speakers include:

  • How is the Trinity a reflection both of unity and diversity? (The Rev. Chris Pyles, rector, St. John's, Bellefonte)
  • Reflect on the Baptismal Covenant as a restatement of the Apostles’ Creed – how do we live out our faith by embracing and reaching out to all diverse peoples? (The Rev. Duncan Johnston, rector, Mount Calvary, Camp Hill)
  • "Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?” How is this lived out in light of the Trinity? (The Rev. Christine Purcell)
  • "Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” – How is our understanding of who God is (in light of the Trinity) lived out in this question? (Elaine Thomas)

Dr. Philip Jenkins, Emeritus Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Humanities, Department of History and Religious Studies, Pennsylvania State University, will respond to the first four podcasts for Lent V. Bishop Baxter will complete the series for Holy Week.

The podcasts will be posted here, together with discussion questions for use in small groups.

Spring Parish Leaders Conference

The Spring Parish Leaders Conference will take place March 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Andrew's, Lewisburg. This year's conference will include a morning presentation on stewardship and an afternoon question and answer period with Bishop Nathan Baxter on the General Convention Resolution regarding same gender blessings.



2012 Diocesan Convention News

Save the Date:


June 8 & 9, 2012
Ramada Inn & Conference Center
1450 South Atherton Street
State College, PA 16801


Again this year, all information for Convention will be listed on the Diocesan website as it becomes available (reports, nominations, resolutions.)

  • IMPORTANT: Resolution deadline - February 15, 5 p.m. (submit to The Hon. Susan Caravaggio, Chair of the Resolutions Committee, at susanc3@comcast.net)
  • Diocesan Executive Staff, Committees, and Commission report deadline - March 1 (submit to Linda Arguedas)
  • Lay Delegate Certification deadline - April 15 (download the form)

Write-in nominations are now being accepted.  Email nominations to the Rev. Stephen Casey.

Middle School Lenten Retreat

The SPARK We Need: A Diocesan Middle School Lenten Retreat for 5th-7th grade will take place March 16-18 at Camp Mt. Luther. Encounter each other, engage the story, respond in mission! For more information, download the schedule or contact Canon Robyn Szoke at 717-236-5959.

2011 Parochial Reports Due

General ConventionBy now, all parishes should have received a mailing from The Episcopal Church’s Office of General Convention containing information about filing the 2011 Parochial Report. This report is required for all parishes and missions in the Church. Diocesan canons require that the parochial report be filed no later than March 1st each year. Moreover, timely filing of the parochial report is required to certify deputations to Diocesan Convention. Failure to file this report in a timely manner may result in loss of vote for Convention business.

Whenever possible, please file the reports online by logging in with the User ID and PIN provided in the material you received from the Office of General Convention. If you have any questions or need assistance in completing the report, please contact The Rev. Dr. David Zwifka, Director of Finance and Diocesan Administration, at your earliest convenience.

Save the Date for Upcoming Events

  • The Renewal of Vows and Luncheon is scheduled for 10 a.m. on April 3 at St. Stephen's Cathedral, Harrisburg.  The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary, will preach. More details coming soon.
  • Spring Convocation meetings will take place as follows:

    April 18 - West Branch & Northern Tier
    April 19 - Altoona & Susquehanna
    April 25 - Harrisburg, Lancaster & Southern
    Locations to be announced.

Remember in Your Prayers

The Rev. Fred VanderPoel (ret.) of Lititz passed away on January 30.  His funeral was held on Saturday, February 10 at St. James, Lancaster.  Please remember Martha, his wife of 60 years, in your prayers.


Mr. Howard F. Murphey passed away on February 2 at the age of 104-1/2 years.  He was the father of The Rev. Canon Bill Murphey and the stepfather of the Rev. Canon William Warne.

The Rev. Ron Lynch is recovering at home following surgery last week.


Ken Pizza, Sr., of Perkasie, PA, the father of Canon Ken Wagner-Pizza’s father, is currently having occupational, physical, and speech rehabilitation after surgery to remove a glioblastoma (malignant brain cancer) tumor removed on Dec. 28th.


Father Nelson Baliira continues his recovery at home following survey in January.


Jane Miller, Fr. Fred Miller's mother, who suffered a stroke.


Sara Oldberg, Susan Hinton’s mother, who has been in hospital in California with ongoing health problems.


Carol Anne Oldberg, Susan’s sister, who is undergoing treatment for lung cancer in Chicago. 


Darcie Ann, daughter of Father Will Lawbaugh, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a recent car accident.


Thomas Kerr, father of The Rev. Lauri Kerr, continues in care for lung cancer.


Maddie Letsche, Acolyte at St. Luke’s, Altoona, who continues treatment and physical therapy for Image Negative Transverse Myelitis.


Bob Rose as he continues cancer treatments.


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Harrisburg, PA 17108

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Harrisburg, PA 17101