Time for the Diocesan Picnic at Waldameer!

The Diocesan Picnic at Waldameer is just around the corner! This great opportunity for worship, fellowship and fun will be held on Sunday, June 17, 2018.  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 $24.00 per person (with a $100 maximum per immediate family), which includes food, rides, and the water park (normal price per person would be $39.35). 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 4th.  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 be split into two accounts, with 60% of the proceeds being placed in a scholarship fund for Camp Nazareth and 40% of the proceeds becoming available for youth ministry grants for our congregations (information and applications for this grant are available on the diocesan website).

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!

“Mission Possible” ECW Annual Meeting

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of Northwestern Pennsylvania will hold their annual meeting Saturday, May 7th, 2016 from 9:30 am – 3:25 pm at St. Francis of Assisi in Youngsville, Pennsylvania.  Presenters include the Rev. Melinda Hall, Vicar at Church of Our Saviour in Dubois, PA and Missy Greene, Christian Formation Associate at St. Stephen’s Church in Fairview, PA.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 1.45.48 PMAfter earning her M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, The Rev. Melinda Hall completed a year of Anglican Studies in New York. In her presentation, “Plastic Beads, Presidente, and Preschool: Why Trips to the Dominican Republic Make a Difference,” she asks, “Is our partnership with the Dominican Republic important? What does a Vacation Bible School have to do with early education?” and invites us to “Come with our questions as we explore why building relationships in the Dominican Republic is part of our calling in Christ.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 1.46.43 PMMissy Greene coordinates programs for all ages at St. Stephens. One of those ministries is The Vine, a collaborative youth community among three of the Episcopal Churches in the Erie area. Missy will share the development of The Vine as a model for collaborative ministry among small churches. Missy also participated in the 2015 mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

All are welcome to the ECW annual meeting.  Learn more about the program and get the registration and materials at the ECW page on the diocesan website.

Shalom, Salam, Peace.

This article appeared in the Corry Journal on 3.28.16 and is written by Jordan M. Schrecengost.

The message of peace is universal.

That’s one of the topics that will be discussed at an upcoming interfaith initiative held in Corry by a local deacon.

16969_100564616643449_761487_n“I think the message of love and peace is important, especially when the rhetoric of hate and fear echo so loudly in our world today,” said Deacon Timothy Dyer, who is a clergy associate for pastoral ministries at Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church in Warren and St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Youngsville.

Dyer is the founder of an interfaith initiative known as “The Children of Abraham Project,” which will be making its debut in the city of Corry this weekend.

The Children of Abraham Project will be holding its sixth event since the project’s inception in 2012. The event will be held at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 327 N. Center St., Corry, on April 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. 

There is no cost to attend the event.

“This interfaith initiative is designed to bring Judaism, Islam and Christianity together in open and honest dialogue to discuss their differences, and celebrate their similarities,” Dyer said. “It is our hope that in offering this event to our community that we may bring change and reconciliation to the world — one mind, one heart at a time because we are one human family.”

After the first few events, The Children of Abraham Project began to gain a reputation with the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Dyer said. That led to members of the Emmanuel church approaching Dyer to ask if he could bring the program to Corry. Dyer hoped to hold an event in Corry sooner, but is excited it’s finally happening.

“I wasn’t able to bring the program there as soon as I would have liked, but I am so happy that we were finally able to make the necessary arrangements,” he said. “I honestly believe that we need to hear the message of love and peace over the rhetoric of fear and hate.”

Dyer, who is the event’s Christian representative, will be one of three speakers at the event in Corry. He will be joined by fellow speakers Sam Qadri and Harvey Stone, who will speak on behalf of the religions of Islam and Judaism, respectively.

Qadri is the public relations director at the Jamestown Islamic Society. He’s also a teacher at Jamestown High School and an adjunct professor at the Jamestown Business College. Dyer said Stone is a business owner in Warren and has shared his faith and traditions with many people in Warren area over the years.

The goal of the event is not to convert anyone, Dyer added.

“We come together not to proselytize or convert anyone,” he said. “We come together to listen, to learn, to understand and to hopefully counteract the bigotry, hatred and stereotypical images that inundate our society.”

The Children of Abraham event will begin with an English prayer by Dyer, an Arabic prayer by Qadri and a Hebrew prayer by Stone.

“I will also give a brief history of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, and demonstrate how all three religions share a common ancestor,” Dyer said. “I will then speak to what the purpose of interfaith dialogue is about and what we hope to achieve — understanding, peace and compassion for our fellow human beings. I will finally show how the golden rule of loving your neighbor is prevalent in all three religions.”

Stone will give a history of the Jewish people’s experiences throughout history and how they have contributed to the advancement of the world. Qadri will speak about the history of Islam to generate a basic understanding of its tenets and beliefs, and will highlight what it shares in common with Judaism and Christianity. He will also share stories of discrimination that he has witnessed and speak to the relevance of people’s perceptions.

The Children of Abraham event will conclude with a question and answer segment with all three speakers.

“No question will be out of bounds; any and all questions are welcomed,” Dyer said. “I will admit that many of the questions are directed at Sam because many of their concerns are around understanding Islam.”

Qadri said they’re there to answer the hard questions, though.

“Racism, prejudice and violence are all-too-common in our society,” Dyer said. “Finding love and peace within our communities cannot be successful without each of us working together to counteract hatred, injustice and the stereotypical images that permeate our society.”

The interfaith initiative was developed in the summer of 2011 after Dyer studied the Episcopal Baptismal Covenant.

“While each question struck a chord within me, there were two that particularly stood out,” he said. “Those questions were: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”

The first Children of Abraham event was held one year later at St. Francis in Youngsville.

“Our first event was very similar to the event we will have in Corry,” Dyer said. “I explained how The Children of Abraham Project came to be and was inspired by my need to answer questions in the Episcopal Baptismal Covenant.”

Dyer said he chose the name because Judaism, Islam and Christianity all trace their history back to Abraham.

“We are considered the three Abrahamic faiths; thus we are children of Abraham,” he said. “From Abraham came Isaac, from whom the Hebrew line and eventually Christianity came, and Ishmael, from whom Islam traces its history.”

Dyer also explained that the word “project” is in the Children of Abraham name because it’s a continuous effort to eradicate the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding different religions of the world.

“It is a project because this is an educational initiative that should not end; it’s a continual effort,” Dyer said. “It’s a collaboration that brings the three major religions of the world together for a common goal: Peace, understanding and love.”

Dislocated Workers Focus of Prayer Service at St. Mark Episcopal Church

AR-130419938.jpg&maxW=960St. Mark Episcopal Church, 4701 Old French Road, is hosting a public prayer service for dislocated workers and their families on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 4 p.m. 

The service will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Donald Baxter, St. Mark’s vicar.

Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, an internationally known author and lecturer on issues related to justice and peace, will deliver a reflection at the service.

Baxter noted the recent announcement that Erie’s General Electric plant will cut 1,500 jobs plus news of other recent layoffs in the Erie area make it necessary to bring people together for prayer.

“Workers and their families are hurting and looking at uncertain futures. We want to provide them a place to gather for prayer and support. By putting the Gospel of Jesus Christ into action, we trust the service will bring them a measure of healing and hope,” he said.

The Rev. Baxter said Sister Joan will provide a needed perspective for those who have lost sistertheir livelihood or are facing a loss of employment. 

The service will include music, Scripture readings, reflection and prayers for healing.

All are invited to attend.

For more information, call 868-9704 or contact Craig Dressler, St. Mark’s Associate for Parish Life, at cdressler@saintmarkserie.org

Upcoming Event: Following Jesus in the Seasons of the Soul

Following Jesus in the Seasons of the Soul

Saturday, December 5, 2015 – 9am-12pm

St. Mark’s Church, 4701 Old French Road, Erie, PA

Light refreshments provided

No Cost to Attend

Click here to register

Nancy 0804 SmilePlease join Nancy Beach and our diocesan family as we enter Advent Season and explore how, as One Church, we grow in our discipleship through the seasons of our soul: restlessness, loss, new beginnings and abundance. In every season there are lessons to be learned. Besides a faithful Christian life, Nancy brings with her many years as Arts/Worship Leader and Teaching Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. She currently coaches and consults with congregations and communities around the world. Her purpose with our diocesan family is this: we desire to grow as disciples and leaders and she can, in the anticipation of Advent and with God’s Grace, open our hearts and minds to the Spirit’s work in the everyday of our very human lives. Come join us on December 5 as we follow God and Bishop Sean’s vision of One Church.

Nancy Beach

Nancy has always been a passionate champion for artists and leaders in the local church. For over 20 years she served as the Programming Director for Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, building a community of artists who sought to create transformational moments in Sunday morning church services. Nancy also served as a Teaching Pastor, periodically bringing the weekend message. Currently, Nancy serves as a leadership coach with the SlingShot Group, helping church leaders and teams to flourish in life and ministry. Nancy also uses her teaching gifts to cast vision at conferences and workshops, for both artists and women in leadership.   In her book, An Hour on Sunday, Nancy expresses the core vision and values which she believes are foundational to any effective arts ministry. Nancy’s second book is titled: Gifted to Lead: the Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church.

Nancy and her husband Warren live in the village of Barrington, Illinois with their dog, Beanie. Their two daughters, Samantha and Johanna, are both theatrical artists.

Summer Camp 2015

summer campCamp applications are now available on the diocesan website (Click here for applications, a camp brochure and other forms). Summer Camp is June 14-20 and this year, Camp Nazareth is adding a high and low ropes course.  The Diocese is partnering with them in this project by financing the low ropes course.  Please join us at 7:00 PM on Sunday, June 14 (prior to registration), for a brief liturgy to bless the ropes course.

Every summer for over thirty years, young people in grades 2-12 gather at Camp Nazareth, an Orthodox camp, near Mercer, PA, for a week of summer camp.  The camp is staffed each year by a group of approximately 25 adults from around the diocese who are committed to providing the best camp experience possible.  An average of 130 young people participate in activities that include worship, small group discussions, team building, swimming, softball, and a wide variety of other activities.  This summer camp program is one of the most positive experiences offered in our diocese.  It is its own tradition here and has impacted the lives of many of our young people over the years.  More and more we see those who were once campers returning to be counselors.  Diocesan Summer Camp truly encompasses the best of who we are as a diocese: a community knit together by our faith and our shared experience that is Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Diocesan Picnic

DSCN1197The Diocesan Picnic will be held on Sunday, June 21st at Waldameer.  Come and join in on some great fellowship.  Registration  starts at 10:00 a.m. and the Service begins at 11:00 a.m.  There will be a delicious buffet that lasts for four hours from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Tickets are $20 per person (with a total cost of no more than $80 per family).  Tickets are available from your local church.  Waldameer is donating the tickets and food so all proceeds from tickets sales will be placed in a fund for scholarships to youth events such as Summer Camp (at Camp Nazareth) and for local church youth programs. All tickets must be purchased no later than June 8th.DSCN1032

The picnic will take place at Picnic Grove Headquarters, Southern #1 Shelter rain or shine (for a map of picnic shelters click here).  The Waldameer rides rune from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Water World is open from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (swimwear required). There will be plenty of fun for everyone!

Important! Date Change for Grove City Safeguarding Training

The Date for the Safeguarding Training in Grove City has been moved from March 21st to March 14th.  It will start at 8:30.  All other training dates and times remain the same (click here or see below for a list).  Please note that you must bring your own lunch to all trainings.  To sign up for a training contact Julien at jgoulet@dionwpa.org and 814-456-4203.

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February 28, 2015 9am-3pm Led by Missy Greene St. Stephen’s, Fairview Child Care Available

February 28, 2015 9am-2pm Led by Madge Tamber and Donna Billioni St. John’s, Sharon

March 7, 2015 9am-12pm Led by Father Donald Baxter St. Mark’s, Erie

March 14, 2015 8:30am-3:30pm Led by Deacon Patricia Lavery Church of the Epiphany, Grove City

March 21, 2015 10am-4pm Led by Father Bill Ellis Church of the Holy Trinity Houtzdale