It’s summer camp week, and Bishop Sean has flipped the script for this episode of “Ask the Bishop” and is asking the campers questions! Check it out below:
The Diocesan Picnic at Waldameer is just around the corner! This great opportunity for worship, fellowship, and fun will be held on Sunday, June 16, 2019. It is hoped and expected that those coming to the picnic would also attend the worship service at 11:00 AM. Bishop Sean will preach and celebrate.
Tickets are $25 (with a $100 maximum for members of an immediate family). Tickets will be exchanged at the park for a wristband that allows access to any or all of the following: a buffet meal, an all-day pass for riders, admission to the water park. Children 3 and under are free but require a wristband, so should be included in the reservation.
Congregations are once again being asked to gather money and reservations. Ticket sales must be done in advance using only tickets that are obtained from the Diocese. No sale of tickets will be permitted at the park. Reservations from the congregations must be to Vanessa by email or phone (814.456.4203) by noon on Monday, June 3rd. Tickets will then be mailed to the congregations.
Paul Nelson, former diocesan treasurer and owner of Waldameer, is again generously allowing us to keep all proceeds from ticket sales. The proceeds will go towards youth ministry in the dioceses.
On the day of the picnic, registration will be from 10:00 AM until 10:50 AM, and it is there that you will exchange your tickets for wristbands. There will be no registration during the service. Registration will resume and the food lines will open after the worship service is completed. Food will be available until 4:00 PM. You must have a wrist band to eat.
Hope to see you at Waldameer!
Do you like to swim, play sports and games, make crafts, hike, climb a ropes course, or make new friends? If you do, our Diocesan Summer Camp has something for you and more!
Camp is for students who have completed 2nd through 12th grade. Three separate programs are run during the week. Kids Camp is 2nd to 5th grade. Middle School Camp is 6th to 8th grade. High School Camp is 9th to 12th grade.
Camp will take place from June 10 – 16 at Camp Nazareth. The theme this year is “Seek the Truth.” Campers will work in small groups for bible study, discussion, and activities. Worship happens daily.
Camp Nazareth is located in Mercer, PA. It is surrounded by forest with well-marked hiking trails. The camp’s amenities include a pool, basketball court, softball field, high and low ropes course, a chapel, and cabins with showers and bathrooms inside. Each cabin is staffed by adult counselors. Our staff is drawn from volunteers across the diocese.
The cost per camper is $345. However, the first 100 registrations received or postmarked by May 29 will receive a $65 scholarship to reduce the fee to $280.
Registration and deposit payment may be made online at http://dionwpacamp.org/forms/. If registering online, adults will still need to print, sign, and send the consent forms with their child to camp. A camp brochure, consent form if registering online, and printable application form are available to download at the camp website. Please contact Dennis Blauser at 724-699-3747 or email@example.com for more information.
Camp is the best week of the summer! We hope that you’ll be a part of it.
If you know me even just a little bit, chances are you know that I have a slight obsession with the Harry Potter book series. I blame whoever bought my cousin Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for her birthday. I remember picking up the book, reading the summary, and thinking it sounded interesting enough to read. I also remember that it did not take me very long to get through the four books that were published at time, and I was hooked. Fast forward seventeen years, three books, nine movies, Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter trip, owning the books in multiple languages, a ton of merchandise, a couple of trips to the United Kingdom, one Harry Potter themed Winter Vacation Bible School, and so much more later, I am still fascinated by the world created by J.K. Rowling. It certainly helps when you have friends to share an obsession with you.
I met Tricia Lyons during my time at Virginia Theological Seminary, and I have gotten to know her a little better over the last couple of years through a mutual friend, who also happens to love Harry Potter. I have experienced Tricia’s knowledge and love for both the gospel and Harry Potter through a sermon preached at our friend’s wedding and as a part of a Facebook group that was gathered to cheer her on while writing the book.
I am so excited that she has agreed to come and share this knowledge and love with us in just over a week. I believe that both fans of Harry Potter and those interested in how this cultural phenomenon ties into the messages of the gospel will enjoy the event. Please consider joining us to learn more! It is an open event that is ideal for elementary school age and up – yes, adults too!
Harry Potter and Faith
Saturday, October 14, 2017
10:00AM to 12:00PM
at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1070 Dutch Rd. Fairview, PA
This event is for all ages, elementary school to adults!
The Rev. Dr. Patricia (Tricia) Lyons will share aspects of her new book, Teaching Faith with Harry Potter, by exploring the connections that the Harry Potter series has with faith formation for all ages. This event will also include Quidditch, Harry Potter trivia, treats, and more! Please join us!
For more information and to register for Saturday’s event, visit www.ststephens-fairview.org.
Tricia will also preach at St. Stephen’s on Sunday, October 15 at both the 8:00AM and 10:00AM worship services. Come hear how she connects Sunday’s scriptures with Harry Potter.
If you have questions, please contact Missy Greene, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wands, broomsticks, and Harry Potter wardrobe are encouraged. Please leave your cats, rats, and toads at home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Rev. Dr. Patricia Lyons has spent twenty years teaching ethics and theology in Episcopal schools and seminaries. Author of Soul of Adolescence and numerous articles and book chapters on moral and spiritual development theory, her passion for melding pop culture and faith formation has made her a sought after speaker across the Episcopal Church and beyond. She had a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, a Doctor of Ministry from Virginia Theological Seminary, and is the found of the C.S. Lewis Society of Harvard. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia and is the Missioner for Evangelism and Community Engagement for the Diocese of Washington. You can also follow her on Facebook as the Hogwart’s Chaplain.
Missy Greene is the Associate for Christian Formation at St. Stephen’s, Fairview.
Every three years, the Episcopal Church hosts an Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) for high school students. This is an international event, bringing youth, their adult leaders, Bishops, and volunteers from across the world together for a few days of worship, speakers, and workshops. EYE takes place this summer, July 10-14 on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, OK. There is expected to be 1,300 youth present for the event.
Our diocese will be represented by nine students: Sierra Adrover and Mari Holben from St. Mark’s in Erie, Josie Noyes and Paul Hoffer from the Cathedral of St. Paul in Erie, Abby and Sarah Wheeler from Resurrection Church in Hermitage, Aaron and Andrew Scott from St. James in Titusville, and Stephen Covington from Memorial Church of Father in Foxburg. Fr. Denny Blauser and I will be accompanying the youth to the event.
We are looking forward to a great trip! It is our hope that the students will engage in all that the event has to offer, make new connections around the world, and experience God in new and transforming ways.
You can follow what our delegation gets up to in Oklahoma on the Diocesan Formation Facebook and Twitter accounts: @dionwpaformation. You can also follow the National Church’s social media for the event: Facebook, @EpiscopalYouthEvent and Twitter, @episcoyouth.
As always, please keep us in your prayers as we prepare, travel, and participate!
Missy Greene is the Christian Formation Associate for St. Stephen’s, Fairview.
Diocesan Summer Camp is now in full swing for 2017! We’ve already heard from counselor Henry Palattella about his experience moving from being a camper to a counselor, and this week we’d like to introduce new counselor Stephanie Onyeiwu:
“My name is Stephanie Onyeiwu and I attended Camp Nazareth as a camper since I was in 6th grade. I heard about it from Christ Church, in my hometown of Meadville. I graduated last year, and I am now entering my second year in college. I love children, I enjoy spreading the word of God on mission trips, and doing volunteer work. I am most looking forward to helping these kids grow into the best version of themselves. Apart from volunteer work, I enjoy singing, playing the piano, and attending camp – of course! I am eager to see all the new faces I will meet this year, and can’t wait to see what the week will bring! This year will be my first year on staff, and I am interested to compare the week to my prior experience as a camper. I am not really nervous about anything, but mostly excited and blessed to have another camp experience!”
We’ll follow up with Stephanie after camp week to see what she has learned, and how being a counselor allows her to experience God and share His message with others in a new way. Please keep all the campers and counselors in your prayers this week, and watch the diocesan Facebook page for camp updates!
I served as a camp counselor at Camp Nazareth this past summer, and it was an experience like no other. Now, I am not a newbie to Camp Nazareth, as I had attended it the past 11 years as a camper, making countless memories. But this summer was a whole new experience.
The first new experience that I gathered during the week was the method of getting there. Ever since I was in middle school I was always envious of the older kids who could drive themselves to camp, which led to me telling myself that that would one day be me. Well, the day of camp I packed my sister (who is now a freshman in college) and myself into the 2006 Dodge Vibe I had over the summer, and away we went. The changes in my duties were evident as soon as I got there. When I was a camper I could afford to be aloof for most of the week, focusing only the task at hand. That isn’t the case for counselors, however, as not only did we have to focus on planning on the tasks, but we also were in change of keeping track of our campers, which for me meant a group of energetic 2nd-5th graders.
The change was evident from the start, as I had to wake up early to wake up the campers (which was very tough, I enjoy my sleep). I was also introduced to the task of planning events very quickly, as I spent most of the morning on the first day helping Melinda (the kids’ camp leader) plan the day. During the afternoon on the first day was when I truly felt like a counselor, however, as I got to sit back and enjoy the madness of the all-camp activity as an observer, which I didn’t mind at all.
The week overall was one that was filled with new experiences along with new twists on old ones. It was really cool to see an event that I helped plan not only go off without a hitch, but also to see people enjoy doing it. This doesn’t mean that I was an observer in everything, however, as I was still able to participate in the annual Frisbee game (which my team won) and I also helped lead the Counselors to a win in the camper vs. counselor volleyball game, something that I’m very proud of.
Probably one of the toughest transitions that I had to make was the actual transition from camper to counselor. Going straight from camper to counselor meant that a lot of my close friends were still campers, so sometimes it was tempting to go hang out with them, since I had been doing so for most of my time at camp. But luckily, I was busy enough to not have that be a focus.
I hadn’t had any real big contact with kids’ camp in close to 10 years, so everything that I did as a counselor was still relatively new to me. While some of the stuff that we did in teen camp was some variations of what kids’ camp did, it wasn’t the same, so I had some new experiences just like the campers.
Overall, being a counselor was a great experience, and one that I’m honored to do again this year. It not only taught me a lot about camp, but also a lot about myself.
|This year’s Diocesan Summer Camp runs from June 11-17. You can learn more about camp and register for this year by visiting the new camp website, http://www.dionwpacamp.org.|
Whether you like to swim or play basketball, read or do crafts, challenge yourself on the high ropes, or just be with new and old friends, Diocesan Summer Camp has something for everyone!
This year’s camp is June 11th through 17th, and the theme is “Go!” Be challenged on the ropes course, learn a little Tae Kwon Do, do some acting, worship together, explore nature, play sports, splash in the pool, make art and much, much more. Come and have a great time making new friends, seeing old friends, interacting with caring counselors, enjoying dynamic worship and of course having a lot of fun!
The cost per camper is $345. Scholarships are available: please contact Dennis Blauser at 724-699-3747 or email@example.com.
Creating a Vacation Bible School from scratch may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it! It is an opportunity to flex my creative muscles and work with some pretty fantastic people. It was only a few years ago that I was introduced to the idea of creating my own VBS by Pr. Joie Baker while working with the churches in Sharon and Hermitage. There has been no looking back.
In my last four summers with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Fairview, our VBS participants have been superheroes, spies, sailors, and Olympians. This being an Olympic summer, it only made sense to link this great world-wide tradition with stories from the Bible. Using the values of the Olympics and Paralympics – friendship, respect, equality, courage, inspiration, excellence, and determination – each day we explored them within the stories of Ruth and Naomi, the Good Samaritan, David and Goliath, Nehemiah, and the Parable of the Lost Sheep. The themes are highlighted in a rotation of daily activities: music, science/art, storytelling/snack, and games. We keep our VBSers and volunteers busy the entire two and a half hours they are here.
It is quite amazing to see God at work in this ministry over the last few years, guiding us in steady growth. In 2013, we hosted 27 children and about 13 volunteers. This summer, we hosted 55 children and had 27 volunteers! It is
hard to find the words to express the amazing community that continues to be built around this ministry. We see many of the same families, as well as meet new ones, and it is so much fun to watch the children grow from year to year.
I will be honest, as I really started thinking about VBS back in April, my biggest concern was not having enough volunteers for the number of children that I anticipated. It is all well and good to have an influx of children, but you absolutely need the adults to match it. I was overwhelmed by the response to my plea for volunteers from around our St. Stephen’s community. We had members of the church, Nursery School teachers, parents, grandparents, and teens offer to share their gifts with us for the week. It was a comfort to know that we could handle a significant amount of kids in a fun and safe environment.
Volunteers are the heart of this ministry and, I believe, are the reason for our success. Ministries within the church are about lifting up and sharing the gifts that God has given us for continual building of the Kingdom, which is something that I strive to do within a VBS program. Being able to mold your program to the strengths of the volunteers is one of the benefits of creating your own program. The volunteers have just as much fun as the children who participate. And in the end, VBS is truly a team effort.
While much of our program remains the same, we are constantly evaluating it and finding ways to improve. One of the things that I am already thinking about for next summer is how to accommodate further growth. There is always something to adjust from year to year, but that is part of the fun!
Vacation Bible School is a great ministry that all churches can offer. It is a wonderful way to engage both the church and the wider community. It also brings a wide range of ages together to learn and share with each other about the love of Christ. As I said before, I love Vacation Bible School. It is an important and worthwhile ministry that I am always happy to talk about and share with others.
Missy Greene Christian Formation Associate at St. Stephen’s, Fairview
The Vine is a community for youth in 6th-12th grade and a collaborative ministry of the Episcopal churches in Erie County. The Vine will meet twice a month for dinner, conversation, activities, and prayer. Service, outreach, and mission will also be incorporated during the year, as well as overnights and social events.
WINTER/SPRING 2016 Schedule
Meeting: Sunday, January 10 from 4:30 – 6 pm at the Cathedral
Meeting: Sunday, January 24 from 4:30 – 6 pm at St. Mark’s Church
Meeting: Sunday, February 7 from 4:30 – 6 pm at St. Stephen’s Church
Cooking Outreach Dinner: Saturday, February 20 from 10 am – ? at the Cathedral We’ll be chopping, mixing, baking, making a mess.
Serving Outreach Dinner: Sunday, February 21 from 2:30 pm – 6 pm at the Cathedral We’ll be serving up some grub. Come ready to work.
Mini-Mission Trip: *6th grade – 12th grade only* Saturday, March 12 (probably around 10 am) thru Sunday March 13 (maybe 3 pm)
More info on this soon.
Meeting: Sunday, April 10 from 4:30 – 6 pm at the Cathedral
Meeting: Sunday, April 24 from 4:30 – 6 pm at St. Mark’s Church
Something Fun: Saturday, May 7 (probably around 6 pm – 8 pm)
Meeting: Sunday, May 22 from 4:30 – 6 pm (not sure where)
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