December 16, 2016

Serving the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania
3717 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104          215-627-6434
Articles In This Issue
Quick Links to Diopa Website
Parish Events
Safe Church Training

A Christmas Message from Bishop Gutierrez 

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)
For over 2000 years, in the darkest of nights, Jesus brings light into the world. We are incredibly blessed with the knowing that God sent Jesus into the world for each one of us. A child is born; the incredible and profound realization that God is with us.
During this Advent and Christmas season, let us take the time to hold that feeling close in each moment of the day. Through our prayers, interactions with one another and  lives; walk with hope that this child is born for you. From the stable and into the world we are held with hope and love. You are part of the Christmas miracle. Merry Christmas. 
You are in my prayers and are part our family in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Suzanne, Jude and I wish you a Merry Christmas. May the blessings of God be upon you during this holiest season.   
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2: 10-11).

Pilgrimage to St. Thomas' Church, Whitemarsh


Ordination Photos and Video December 2016

PYE & EYE Registration

The Province III Youth Event (PYE) is a gathering of youth from Episcopal dioceses in the mid-Atlantic region. Province III is made up of 13 dioceses across the states of Pennsylvania; Delaware; Maryland; Virginia; West Virginia; and Washington, DC. PYE is an opportunity for youth to connect with others in their region, building community and exploring faith. 

Join us for a combined High School & Middle School weekend retreat for your youth.   
Friday, January 6-Sunday, January 8, 2017
Bishop Claggett Center in Maryland
Cost: $150/person
Scholarships Available
Visit for more information
EYE Deadline Quickly Approaching: Tuesday, December 20th

The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) is a triennial gathering of high school youth (current 9th-12th grade students). It is an event that celebrates the diversity of the Episcopal Church and invites participants to build deeper relationships with Jesus and with other Episcopalians. The event includes worship, speakers, workshops, concerts, recreation, and other activities. Dorm-style housing and meals are provided on the campus of the host university.

Register today!  Each diocese is limited to taking 24 youth and 6 adults.  Come and experience this once in a lime-time event!
Sunday, July 9-Friday, July 14, 2017

University of Central Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)
Cost: $810/person
Scholarships Available
Visit for more information

Canon Shawn Wamsley's Priest Pulse Podcast on Evangelism and More 

Bomb Explosion in Christian Cathedral in Egypt

A bomb explosion in the Coptic Christian cathedral complex in the Egyptian capital Cairo killed at least 25 people, officials say.  Dozens of others were injured in the blast in a chapel adjoining St. Mark's cathedral during a Sunday service. Many of the victims are thought to be women and children.
Video footage carried by regional media showed the interior of the church littered with broken and scattered furniture, along with blood and clothing on the floor. "I found bodies, many of them women, lying on the pews. It was a horrible scene," said cathedral worker Attiya Mahrous.
The Coptic Orthodox Church is the main Christian Church in Egypt. Copts believe that their Church dates back to around 50 A.D., when the Apostle Mark is said to have visited Egypt. Mark is regarded as the first Pope of Alexandria - the head of their church. This makes it one of the earliest Christian groups outside the Holy Land.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has joined fellow Presidents of Churches Together in England in calling for prayer after the attack on Coptic Christians in Cairo yesterday.
"We heard with deep sorrow and concern of the attack yesterday on St. Peter's Coptic Orthodox Church within the complex of St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo as people gathered to worship. We pray for those who have lost loved ones that they may know God's comforting presence.  As we prepare once more to celebrate the coming of Christ, the Prince of Peace, our prayer is that all people of faith in Egypt, Muslims and Christians alike, may be strengthened in their quest for peace and their rejection of the crude and cruel tactics of the terrorists."

African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir
Wins Best in Gospel Music for 2016

The St. Thomas Gospel Choir 
Directed By Walt Blocker

The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas
6361 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19151
The Reverend Dr. Fr. Martini Shaw, Rector 

PHL LIVE Best In Gospel Music 2016 

The St. Thomas Gospel Choir of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Wins Best in Gospel Music for the 2016 PHL Live Music Awards

After hundreds of applications a panel of 3 experienced professionals in gospel music had 5 finalists perform live on November 3, 2016 at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Mount Airy. After an amazing, spiritual and extremely musical performance of the choirs music ministry the judges overwhelmingly awarded the St. Thomas Gospel Choir as this years PHL Live Best In Gospel Music Winner. 

The Grand Finale and Award Showcase took place at the Trocadero on Thursday, December 8th to a full house of recipients from all genres of music. As this year's winner, the choir will receive a cash prize, studio recording time, a citation from the Mayor's Office from the the City of Philadelphia and other performance opportunities throughout the year at citywide events. Marcus Smith of Radio Station Praise 107.9 formally presented the choir with their award during their Sunday morning service on Sunday, December 11th at St. Thomas Church.

PHL Live Center Stage is a music initiative highlighting Philadelphias top musical talent across 10 different genre categories, bringing diverse musicians together. This initiative stems from Councilman at Large David Oh, The Chairman of City Councils Committee on Global Opportunities and Creative/Innovative Economy.


50 Chairs Available from St. John's

St. John's, Glen Mills has about 50 of these chairs for whomever wants them. They are comfortable armchairs great for a meeting room although a little faded otherwise in good condition. They were a gift to us by the Presbyterian Pension Fund. We are now replacing them with new and they are free. Contact Reverend John Sorensen, 610-389-9278.

Application Deadline Nears for 2017-2018
Young Adult Service Corps Placements

The application deadline nears for young adults (21-30 years old) for 2017-2018 placements in the  Episcopal Church Young Adult Service Corps, commonly known as   YASC.
Through YASC, young adults have an opportunity to transform their own lives while engaging in mission and ministry in the Anglican Communion.
The application for a 2017-2018 placement with additional information and instructions is available  here.
The application deadline is Friday, January 6, 2017.
Currently YASCers are serving throughout the Anglican Communion, working alongside partners in administration, agriculture, communication, development, and education. They are serving in Brazil, Costa Rica, England, France, Haiti, Hong Kong, Japan, Jerusalem, Panama, Philippines, and South Africa.
Among possible placements for 2017-2018 are Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, France, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Japan, Jerusalem, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and Tanzania.
For more information contact Grace Flint, Episcopal Church Staff Officer for YASC Programming, at
YASC blogs available at  here.

DIOPA Resource Guide

  The DIOPA Resource Guide is here!
We have heard your suggestions, compiled them, and we would like to present the DIOPA Resource Guide: a directory of information about the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and how we can best serve you. We encourage you to explore the website at
This website is designed to continue to capture information that is useful and relevant to all members of the Diocese. Please continue to submit your suggestions. Contact J.D. Lafrance at or use our online form:

Download our Diocesan Mobile App "DIOPAConnect"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As part of my promise to better serve you, I am pleased to offer a major initiative from the Offices of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. This mobile directory app will help us all to feel connected, provides useful information about parishes, and enables us to have one more important way to stay informed about everything going on in our wonderful Diocese. We are here to help and to serve you, and this mobile app is an important step in showing the kind of innovation and emphasis that is placed on equipping our congregations to build the Kingdom of God.

The Rt. Rev. Daniel G.P. Gutierrez
XVI Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

To download the mobile application go to the "App Store" icon on your iPhones 
or the "Google Play" icon on your Android Phone  and 
search for "DIOPA" or "DIOPA mobile directory."

Let us know how DiopaConnect works for you. 
 User feedback helps us to tailor our applications to better meet your needs.

Gifts of Stock

As we approach the end of the year, you might want to think about making a gift of stock to the Diocese of Pennsylvania, The Church Foundation or any of the parishes, schools and other institutions within the Diocese.

The Church Foundation is equipped to help facilitate your charitable giving. The process is easy, and offers benefits to both the donor and the recipient.

Visit The Church Foundation website or contact Lori Daniels at 215-220-9886 or Alan Lindsay at 215-621-8310 for more information.

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