Diocesan Digest



February 29, 2012

Wardens and Vestry Leaders Conference

Registration remains open for the spring Wardens and Vestry Leaders Conference, which 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.


Renewal of Vows

The Very Rev. Ian Markham, Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary, will preach at the Renewal of Vows on April 3 at 10 a.m., St. Stephen's Cathedral, Harrisburg.  View more details about the event or download Dean Markham's curriculum vitae.

ECW Lenten Retreat

Register now for the Episcopal Church Women Lenten Retreat, March 21-23 at Camp Hebron. This year's ECW Lenten Retreat will focus on the monastic prayer practice of "praying the hours." The community will gather several time a day to "pray the hours," which will include simple Taize chants with Lenten themes. The retreat will open and close with short Holy Eucharist services. 

The hands-on project throughout the retreat will be time set aside for the creation of banners based on the simple but creative designs from Sally Beck's "Banners on Favorite Bible Verses." Supplies for the banners will be provided. The scheduled meditation/discussion sessions will explore and expound on what it means to possess a faith worthy of a banner proclamation: acknowledging challenges and doubts as well as certainty and courage as part of the Christian reality. Ample free time will be given on Thursday afternoon as well as in the evenings to encourage rest and reflection.

Attendees may choose to register for the entire retreat or one day only (Thursday, March 22).  For more details, visit the website.


2012 Convention Resolutions

Two resolutions have been submitted for consideration at the 2012 Diocesan Convention:

For up-to-date information on the Diocesan Convention, visit the website.

Views from the Pews, February 2012

St. Benedict's Outreach Program, New Freedom, is featured in this month's Views from the Pews video.  Vestry member Marsha Chilcoat is the Outreach Coordinator and appears in this video.  View this and other Views from the Pews videos.

Seminarian News

We are very proud to announce that three of our seminarians have been nominated by their seminary to attend the 2012 Preaching Excellence Program of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation: Henry McQueen (who will be graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary this year); Becky Zartman (also at VTS); and Elaine Thomas (who attends Berkeley Episcopal Seminary at Yale).

Each year 60 to 70 students from Episcopal and other seminaries gather at a central location for a week of preaching, worship, workshops, lectures, and fellowship under the leadership of the EPF director, Episcopal seminary faculty members, and guest speakers. More than one thousand priests and deacons of the Episcopal Church, including the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, are PEP alums. This year’s conference will be held at the Roslyn Conference Center of the Diocese of Virginia, outside Richmond, from May 27th to June 1st with the theme "Preaching Paul."

Please pray for our seminarians throughout the year, but especially during the time of the conference, as they continue to prepare themselves for ministry.

Save the Date: Bishop's Cup Golf Tournament

This year's Bishop's Cup Golf Tournament will take place June 11 at the Links at Gettysburg. For the tournament this year, Bishop Baxter advised that he has designated The Episcopal Home to share in the net proceeds. The costs of running a facility like the Home can be staggering in light of available resources. The average age of residents 30 years ago was 74; today it is 90. Few people at this age have sufficient financial resources available to them for personal care services.

At their March, April or May meetings, each parish vestry is urged to approve a donation of at least $100 (or more) in sponsoring the tournament this year. Last year, some parishes and individuals exceeded that amount by one or two hundred dollars. Our prayer and hope is to surpass last year’s net proceeds by a third. But we cannot do it without greater participation from within the Diocese. So, we solicit your support for worthy causes.

For more details, visit the website or contact John Stevenson or Mark Wivell, event co-chairs.

Thank You From Mary Ellen Baxter

I was so pleased to see the wonderful turnout from the diocese at my mother, Catherine Duncan Walker’s funeral. Thank you so much for your love and support. I also received many cards and notes and phone calls and especially prayers from a host of you. It is impossible to explain just how good it all made me feel. However, know that with the support that was shown, my husband Nathan and the rest of my family will be able to continue with just the wonderful memories of our mother. Thank you.

Love and Peace,
Mary Ellen Baxter

Remember in Your Prayers

Our Seminarians: Henry McQueen (a graduating senior at Virginia Theological Seminary); Rebecca Zartman (VTS); Elaine Thomas (Berkeley Divinity School at Yale); Sarah Ginolfi (Berkeley/Yale); Diana Scheide (Sewanee School of Theology).


Margaret "Maggie" Greg, mother of the Rev. Rowena Gibbons, who is recovering from heart surgery and is undergoing treatment for congestive heart failure.


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 recovering from debilitating health challenges and now is considering long-term health care in California.


Carol Anne Oldberg, Susan’s sister, who is primary caregiver for Sara and whose treatment for adenocarcinoma (lung cancer) is now intensifying. 


The Rev. Deacon Barbara Hary continues doctors' care for heart-related issues.


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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