December 2, 2016

Serving the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania
3717 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104          215-627-6434
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Photos from the Consecration of 
The Emily Norris Carey Learning Center
at St. Thomas' Church, Whitemarsh

Gladwyne Gives Blanket Drive

The 2 nd annual Gladwyne Gives Blanket Drive is underway! Now that the cold weather is upon us, there is a critical need locally for donations of new (or gently used and laundered) blankets or sleeping bags. The blankets will be sorted and delivered to St. Mary's Church in Chester - and Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia - , two institutions providing hands on care for poor adults and children every single day. An astounding 200 blankets were collected during our inaugural drive! We hope to exceed that number through a blanket for blanket matching program made possible by a generous friend of Gladwyne Gives.
There are several ways to donate. Feel free to drop off blankets at St. Christopher's Church, 226 Righters Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035 - 610-642-6920 - If you would like to make a monetary donation, please mail or hand deliver to the Church a check payable to "St. Christophers Church". Please write on the check and/or the envelope "Gladwyne Gives Blanket Drive" and blankets will be purchased with the collected funds. We hope to be able to accept online donations in the future. In the meantime, NorthEast Fleece, a Massachusetts based blanket manufacturer, has a charitable program called "Fleece for Peace" . Blankets can be purchased online at a 25% discount and shipped for free directly to St. Christopher's.
We will be collecting donations from now thru December 31st, so we can get the blankets to those who need them as soon as possible. Please email questions to
Thanks for supporting Gladwyne Gives!

A collaboration among local individuals and organizations created to provide outreach and volunteer opportunities to make life better for those in need.

Stewardship Focus Shifts to Year-Round Giving,
Community Building
by Pat McCaughan

This year,  St. Bartholomew's  parishioners posted notes to a "Giving Wall" in the sanctuary, sharing the reasons they give to the Poway, California church.
One of the many Post-It notes on the Giving Wall at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Poway, California. Photo: St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church

"Because I so easily 'fall in love' with money," wrote one Post-It respondent. "Giving, even though it scares me, forces me to notice when materialism is driving me more than trust in God."

The invitation to link church members' money lives to their faith lives transforms the totality of their lives, according to the Rev. Chris Harris, St. Bart's curate.

The Giving Wall, like the money autobiographies and simple-living classes he offers, are spiritual exercises and are part of the church's year-round formation efforts - not to be confused with seasonal pledge drives.

The focus and emphasis of traditional stewardship campaigns are changing, according to Richard Felton, executive director of  The Episcopal Network for Stewardship , or TENS, which partners with and offers resources to dioceses throughout the Episcopal Church.

Gone are traditional seasonal money pitches. Big red thermometers with dollar-and-cent signs inching upward have been replaced by budgets detailing ways staff and office hours translate to mission and ministry.

The once church-wide dinner galas marking stewardship campaigns have been replaced by smaller potluck meals, and more intimate opportunities for conversation and deeper relationship in members' homes, according to Felton.

Gone also are pleas for assistance with campus repairs from finance-minded parishioners. Instead, parishioners hear personal stories of transformation, of deepening faith and ministry that, said Harris, when "authentic and vulnerable, end up building community in a way that giving flows from that."

The new stewardship focus includes stories like the one Joyce Vidal recently told Sunday morning worshippers at  St. Barnabas on the Desert  about her shift from being a "reluctant churchgoer under the radar" to gratitude for "the opportunity to serve, to grow in faith and in my relationship with God and to experience the healing presence of Jesus."

After participating in the choir and various ministries, the eight-year member of the Scottsdale, Arizona, congregation said she began to understand that "this community is such an expression of discipleship on so many levels.

"I belong," Vidal said. "The more I participate at St. Barnabas, the more my gratitude grows."

The church's mission: making disciples

"Making disciples is the church's mission," said the Rev. Jim Clark, St. Barnabas' rector.

"People give to cancer research because it's clear to them what the mission is and people value that; they give to the mission of a university because it's clear what the university is doing," Clark told the Episcopal News Service. "Other people give in a very particular way because they believe in what is being accomplished.

"But the church has not done a good job of (communicating the) great value in making disciples of Jesus. That is the church's mission."

He said the church's mission "is not to be a soup kitchen or a food bank. If disciples go out and do all those things, that's the genius, but the charism, the unique thing the church has to offer the world, is to make people like Jesus. It is worthwhile, perhaps the most important thing any human being can do to support one another."

Marcia Shetler, executive director of the Richmond, Indiana-based  Ecumenical Stewardship Center , said the most successful stewardship happens in churches that offer year-round formation and that practice generosity as a spiritual discipline, as "part of what God calls us to do as Christians."

At the same time, the ESC director said, a pledge drive is also necessary because "it's the way to show and to practice what we are planning to do" especially if churches present mission-based budgets detailing how giving impacts various ministries of the church.

ESC offers resources and educational opportunities to 20 North American denominational partners, including the Episcopal Church and TENS, an associate partner.

But a huge challenge is our culture's reluctance or inability to talk about money, and that often spills over into church life, she said.

Unlike the early church where members pooled financial resources to help one another, "the challenge for us in North America in general is this attitude of secrecy about money, that our finances are a private matter, not really something we should talk about in church," Shetler said.

And for those heavily in debt, "it becomes a matter almost of shame, and the last thing they want to do is share their finances with their sisters and brothers in Christ, unfortunately, because the church has not always done a good job of creating safe space for them."
The Giving Wall at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Poway,California, is filled with parishioners' reasons for why they commit to giving to the church. Photo: St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church
Harris, a former attorney, agreed that money talk is a challenge. "Take a look at social media. We put all kinds of stuff up on Facebook. We share our love lives, our health, if our dog dies, but how often do you see a post where someone says, 'Anyone know a good bankruptcy attorney? I'm getting worried about my debt.' "

And yet, says Harris, 47, most Episcopalians are statistically three paychecks away from having a concern about whether or not they will be able to make their next mortgage or rent payment. "It's hard to preach about abundance when people are living in that reality," he said.

"There's a reason Jesus talked about money as often as he did," added Harris. "It is a complete disservice in this hyper-consumer culture we live in when we don't talk about it. If money was one of the major distractions to our relationship to God 2,000 years ago, tell me it's not a thousand times more so today. Besides sex, it's the other reason our relationships break up.

"If we don't want to talk about money and we're nervous about that, then you really need to talk about it."

Or, he said, if money talk prompts eyes to start rolling and people are hoping we'll get back to spiritual matters and off this money talk, "pay attention - because that's ground zero of what Jesus was trying to get us to notice," Harris said. "That whole notion is false - that I can let Jesus into part of my life but not my lifestyle, not my pocketbook, (because) I don't want to change that much."

Often rectors, too, are uncomfortable with money talk - St. Barnabas' Clark acknowledges he once was.

But he realized that "making disciples is not just about money ... it is about the much bigger picture - of my whole life in response to God's goodness, abundance and generosity to me, God's grace - and what is my response to that?"

With 455 pledging households, St. Barnabas' three-pronged financial pledging campaign this year included sharing stories of parishioners' growth in faith, presenting to the congregation a mission-based budget, and a series of potluck meals in homes to share gratefulness for the church.

"We had conversations. We told stories. We put it on Post-It notes on boards positioned around the campus," Clark said. "Everybody said it is one of the most meaningful things we've done. It changes people's lives. It's a mission worth giving to."

Shetler said another challenge results from churches' reluctance to adopt acceptable philanthropic practices, such as using legacy programs and endowments. "Many church members make big gifts to their alma maters and to other charities but somehow the church isn't looked at in the same way," she said. "And the majority (of churches) do not encourage folks to consider leaving a legacy through their will to the church."

But she said there is hope - and help. The  Lake Institute for Faith and Giving , a research and educational arm of Indiana University, offers assistance and resources for religious fundraising.

TENS' Felton said perceptions about stewardship have evolved from being a dreaded seasonal task to "teaching and inspiring generosity in all sorts of ways. That is what the church should be about, generosity - not just in money but in how we forgive people and how we welcome strangers."

The organization's "Living Generously" stewardship resources offered assistance to member partners for 2016.  An annual conference, "Journey to Generosity," is planned for May 18-20, 2017 at St. Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis.

St. Barnabas' Vidal said she still isn't all that comfortable talking about money, but "I am comfortable talking about my gratitude for St. Barnabas that includes my commitment to pledge ... and how this gratitude is manifested in my pledge.

"Writing my check is an act of prayer for the mission of St. Barnabas," she said in her remarks to parishioners. "Dropping that check in the basket, seeing it raised and blessed reminds me that God is blessing my gift of gratitude."

-The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.

Bishop Gutierrez's Pilgrimage to St. Paul's, Elkins Park

Forum Will Address Nonviolent, Christian Responses to Evil

What is a Christian response to the reality of evil?
This topic, which has fascinated the Rev. Steven Paulikas for a long time, has become more urgent in the wake of shootings and other violent attacks against people across the U.S., and a particularly acrimonious Presidential election year.
Fr. Paulikas, who is rector of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Park Slope, is examining the Christian response to evil as part of his doctoral degree program. He will be facilitating a community-wide presentation next week titled, The Good Response to Evil: Envisioning a way forward after the election."
Fr. Paulikas is a doctoral candidate in theology at Oxford University. His essay, titled "How Should We Respond to 'Evil'?" was published in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times last summer. This dialogue, that the Episcopal parishes of South Brooklyn are organizing, is a new program exploring the deep spiritual roots of nonviolent resistance. It take place on Thursday, Dec. 8, at from 7-9 p.m. at All Saints' Church, (corner of Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street) in Park Slope. The dialogue will include a discussion of the efficacy of nonviolent resistance to confront evil actions.
Fr. Paulikas told the Brooklyn Heights Press on Nov. 28, "I have a personal fear that political rhetoric about evil is used to perpetuate and incite violence." In his op-ed, Paulikas had written, "These questions led me to the work of Paul Ricoeur, a prolific philosopher whose concerns grew, in part, from his contact with manifest evil in 20th-century France. Ricoeur was orphaned when his father was killed in World War I. 
"While serving in the French military, he was captured by the Germans in 1940 and spent five years as a prisoner of war. Like that of other European intellectual contemporaries whose lives were shaped by the unrelenting violence of their time, Ricoeur's work strives to create channels through which strangers and enemies can observe a common humanity in one another...Because evil exists beyond the limits of reason, what matters for Ricoeur is not that we identify evil, but that we respond to it appropriately," he wrote.
When the clergy of the Episcopal deanery met recently, they wondered "what sort of wisdom and knowledge the Church would have to offer the community at large. We decided we would have this event, so that the people would have the opportunity to discuss this important topic, and begin to coalesce around the values of non-violent resistance which have been so successful in the past, in this country and others, in terms of effecting social good in the world."
Paulikas told the Heights Press that non-violence "is a Christian value, and Christians have used it effectively, especially in the Civil Rights movement. It's very important to us - the Episcopal clergy in the area - that we understand there is a spirituality of justice that enables people to persevere through difficult times, and to give any movement a shape and fold. We're hoping to open up that perspective to the community. And we're also very open to being shaped and formed by the community outside of the walls of the church - outside our own opinions and presumptions."
While the sponsoring parishes - including Ascension Church in Greenpoint - are all Episcopal, the entire community is invited to this forum, which will incorporate food and fellowship, and singing.

From the Toolkit of the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs


Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry joined the leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in preparing Advent Devotions for the upcoming liturgical season. Titled "Liberated by God's Grace" and available here .
* The Episcopal Church is offering resources focusing on Make Ready The Feast. Daily from Advent 1 through Christmas Day Make Ready The Feast, available here will highlight one scripture citation and one recipe with background information on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and the Episcopal Church website.  Videos will also be offered here.

* Evangelism Initiatives, available here, provides an array of evangelism and welcoming resources for Episcopalians, from a Hospitality Audit to Neighborhood Prayer Walking kits; quick links to parish marketing tools and community organizing tips; plus links to websites, books and articles.
* Videos of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, workshops and plenary sessions from the November conference Evangelism Matters , along with handouts and additional resources, are available on-demand at no charge here and here. 

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:

Introducing our new Diocesan Mobile App "DIOPAConnect"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As part of my promise to better serve you, I am pleased to present 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

Our new diocesan directory mobile application has been developed to help members of our diocese have direct access to one another no matter where we are, and to promote connectivity by adding photos, shared experiences and our Twitter feed to the basic data contained in our diocesan directory. This is part of our new initiative to be better servants to our community of faith through effective communications with the goal of using mobile technology to meet the needs of our parishes, clergy and laity.

The new mobile directory app "DIOPAConnect" is now available for download.

DIOPAConnect: The Offices of Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania mobile application, is an app designed for connecting clergy and laity to contact information, parish information, events and social media. This app is free to install.

It will allow you to:
  • Carry the Mobile Directory with you wherever you go.
  • Quickly call or email anyone in the directory
  • Get directions or find the nearest Parish, plus the contact information
  • Keep up to date by staying current with Events Calendar and add reminders for important events
  • Share your experiences on the "Wall"
  • View Photos
  • Follow the Diocese on Twitter

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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