Harry Potter and Faith

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, missy@ststephens-fairview.org.

Wands, broomsticks, and Harry Potter wardrobe are encouraged. Please leave your cats, rats, and toads at home.


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.

Mischief Managed!

Missy Greene is the Associate for Christian Formation at St. Stephen’s, Fairview. 

Episcopal Youth Event

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.

DioNWPA EYE group, 2014

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. 

One Church Presentation at ECW Annual Meeting

“One Church” was the message presented by the Reverend Melinda Hall at the ECW Annual Meeting in Youngsville, May 7.  Members of the diocesan Dominican Republic team each spoke of their mission to the church in Santiago De Los Caballeros and the children as they assisted in the Vacation Bible School.  This coming year will be the second time the team travels there.  Recently,  Melinda requested support from our diocesan churches by way of crafts and financial support for “treats” for the children.  On hand at the ECW Meeting,  Gloria McIsaac, President of the ladies guild of Emmanuel Church, Emporium was able to present two crafts to the team.  Supplies for bead bracelets and flower pens.  Melinda pointed out that the ten member team was a collaborative effort from our diocese as no two people were from the same church.  Missy Greene also shared her role working with The Vine, a youth ministry in the Erie area.  The Episcopal Church Women offer their prayers and support for these two outstanding efforts.


Pictured from left to right: Missy Greene (Erie), Sue Frontino (Brookville), Valerie Marshall and Gloria McIsaac (Emporium), Tina Mills (Hermitage) and Rev. Melina Hall (Dubois)

“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.

Enid Bishop – A Faithful Servant

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In early January the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania lost a vital member and stalwart women of faith.  Mrs. Enid Bishop, a winner of the Bishop’s Cross, inspired many by her faith.  You can read Enid’s obituary at GoErie.com.  Her granddaughter, Missy Greene, has written a post, below, describing the influence that her grandmother had on her.

In the field of Christian Formation, we often talk about the importance of modeling faith for others. It is, in fact, a crucial part of our life-long faith development, especially at an early age, but really spans throughout a lifetime. How do we learn to do things if they are not modeled for us first? It is true for all aspects of our life, which is why being in community with other people is so important. In every interaction you are being formed. This is why the vocabulary has shifted from Christian Education to Christian Formation, because it encompasses more than just the formal retaining of information from expert to learner. It’s about the fullness of being formed into a disciple of Christ through everything that we do, formally and informally, intentionally and unintentionally.

226337_10101101302248354_5123029_nI am fairly certain that I would not have obtained a Master’s Degree in Christian Formation in order to work for the church if I had not first been formed by the people around me. There are plenty of people who have had a hand in that, but if I had to pinpoint people, it would start with my grandma, Enid Bishop – and, of course, my grandpa, Don. It is hard to talk about one in this respect without talking about the other, as they were both faithful servants that dedicated their lives to God and the church.

Scan0001As a family, church is just what we did – every Sunday. Church was an extension of our family. The Sunday service was always followed by a meal at my grandparents’ house, crowded around the dining room table. I always got stuck on the corner next to my grandma… always.

But it was not just about attending church and sitting amongst the crowd at St. Mary’s. We were active. Grandma was in the choir, a lector, an LEM, on altar guild, and Bishop’s Committee. Grandpa was an usher and helped with upkeep of the property. Stand. Sit. Kneel. Pray. Sing. It was all modeled by those around us. The message was pretty clear: we come here every Sunday and worship God because it is important and meaningful to us. The grandkids, of course, fell into the roles of acolyte, attended Sunday School faithfully, and did all manner of other things that we were told to do.

Examples of faithful living were not limited to Sundays or inside the church. My grandparents were also very active at Brevillier Village. I have great memories of helping grandpa at the little store on their campus and attending Wednesday Eucharist with grandma. I saw first-hand their willingness to serve others in a place outside the walls of St. Mary’s.

Scan0001 (4)In partnership with Brevillier, Enid set-up a monthly meal program at St. Mary’s that not only served food, but also created a community for those who attended. I remember doing the place settings, checking in the guests, riding in the van that picked up the guests, serving plates of food, and sitting with the people, getting to know them. Each of these opportunities, and so many more, is what helped form me as I grew into my own understanding of faith and service to God, but these opportunities would not have happened for me without the encouragement from my grandparents and parents to be involved.

12419180_1236519759697248_2020819922215803415_oOver the last two months, I have been able to see just how far my grandparents’ ministry reached by all the love and support shown to our family during this difficult time. We are so thankful for all the stories and pictures that have been shared with us from both family and friends. Enid lived a full and happy life, modeling the love of Christ until the very end. I have no doubt that the passion Enid and Don had for serving God and the church will continue to live on through the ministries of their children and grandchildren, as most of us are active members in our church community, and also in those they encountered and ministered to.

It is because of this strong model of faith that I hope to do the same in my own ministry. We are all constantly being formed by every interaction, just as we are forming others by our own actions, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It is important to consider how you will model a life of faith for those around you, so that good news of Jesus Christ can be seen and imitated.

Missy Greene, Christian Formation Associate, St. Stephen’s, Fairview, PA