March 2019 ---
From the Rector
Lent is upon us.

T he season after the Epiphany with themes of the glorious light that shines in the darkness, is giving way. A season of reflection on Christ's journey to the cross awaits us.

W hen I became an Episcopalian, I was really surprised at the number of folks who dreaded Lent, found it depressing, or otherwise unpleasant. As a church musician, I loved Lenten music. It had drama, beauty, depth—all the things that artsy kinds of folks enjoy. The season itself was also dramatic, beautiful, deep—and insists that we ponder the cost of love, the promise, even, of suffering, and the depths to which God will go to redeem and transform us. The journey to the cross is a beautiful—though difficult—story, fulfilling all requirements for a satisfying narrative. There is purpose, tension, sorrow, loss. Without giving away the ending (ha!), the story to the cross is in itself worthy of our attention and engagement.

M ost of us hope to avoid suffering. That's natural. No one should be a friend to pain, though some of us do find it a frequent companion in life. Most of us hope to be happy—or at least content. Most of us hope that, in the end, the balance of our life will reflect more joy than misery.

B ut contemplating suffering—at least Jesus' suffering—is a profound part of our Christian formation. To be authentic in our faith requires that we face even the difficult things, knowing that God's heart receives our suffering and—in ways we can't always understand, predict, or realize—transforms it for our good, and the good of the world.

P eter Marty, editor of The Christian Century once wrote, "We may aim for happiness and pleasure on many days, and these are not entirely frivolous pursuits. But we'd be wise to recognize that our lives are formed most fully through our suffering."

T hat is the truth that we recognize in Lent. Jesus' own life was formed through his suffering. And ours will be too, lovingly, patiently, in the company of God.
Some additional information:

By now, most of you know that I am headed for hip replacement surgery at the end of April. I have appreciated your words of concern and offers of help, and will certainly let you know when I need assistance. I will continue to work full-tome, but will work a lot from home, where I am able to manage pain issues better. I will come into the office frequently, and be at meetings, and at worship services. Please feel free to be in touch with me by email or telephone. Our generous and helpful associate priests, Cliff and Jerry, will help with pastoral duties as they arise.

Several events planned earlier have been postponed: A dinner for Newcomers is still planned, but will probably occur sometime later in March or early April, when (hopefully) the weather begins to warm.

The Children's Fun Festival, A Peaceable Kingdom, is still being planned, but the date for that has not yet been determined. Stay tuned for an announcement about that in the near future. We have many delightful young people in our congregation, and we want to engage them in Christian formation and ministry along with all the rest!

Thanks for your patience and understanding. Life is frequently unpredictable, and, as it turns out, my personal Lenten journey this year immerses me even more deeply in the pain of the world, and in God's own pain born of love for the world.

Peace,
Pam+
Trinity Pastoral Care Ministry Awards
Grants on Sunday, February 17
Jeanne Deets (in choir vestment) and Gloria Tarby present the Bethlehem Area Public Library and Thomas Jefferson Elementary school with grants from the Wilma Lewis Endowment Fund. We were delighted to welcome Josh Berk, Bethlehem Area Library Director and Emma Schwarz, Community School Coordinator for Thomas Jefferson Elementary to worship on Sunday, February 17. The grants, administered by Trinity’s Pastoral Care Committee, were awarded to resolve library fines and lunch debts for students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. (Photo by Pat Sisson)
ANOTHER Soup Kitchen OPPORTUNITY!

The Rev. Dick Ditterline is again organizing a group sales program to benefit the Soup Kitchen. Please come and join him for what has become a Pilgrimage to the Neshaminy Valley Musical Theater production. This year the play is My Fair Lady, and the dates are March 29-31, and April 5-6. Curtain is at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and on March 31. Adult tickets are $22, senior tickets are $20 and students through high school are $15. If you cannot attend, you may still donate tickets for use by Soup Kitchen guests or staff. Call Dick at (610) 838-8206, or email at rcditterline@ptd.net for more information.
A Moment for Stewardship . . .
If it's March, it’s time for Stewardship!
Wait . . . what ?

We have become accustomed to Stewardship issues taking place in the fall, when we plan our budget for the next year, and appeal to everyone to offer an appropriate pledge towards that budget.

But. . . . Stewardship is not about fund-raising. Stewardship is a  spiritual  discipline.
 
We are stewards of all that we have and are. You might ask, What is a steward, anyway? A steward is someone who looks out for the well-being and interests of something that belongs to someone else. Stewardship is the act of preserving and protecting something owned by someone else, or something that is worth caring for and preserving. 

We are stewards of all that we have and all that we are. 

All that we have and all that we are belongs to God . Our spiritual discipline is to hold sacred all that we have and all that we are, knowing that it is God's, and should be cared for, and offered back to, God's service.

All that we have and all that we are. No small thing. Yet God trusts us with this. And waits to see what we shall decide.
 
O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.  (Book of Common Prayer)
Upcoming Events
A Peaceable Kingdom
Fun Festival for Children, age 3 and up!

(Postponed until later in the spring)



Trinity's "Artist-in-Residence" Patti Pasda is painting a mural on wall surrounding the stairs down into the Children's Education Wing. Take the opportunity to run down there and see the beautiful and whimsical images Patti is creating of God's Peaceable Kingdom. When the Children's Fun Festival takes place, everyone will be able to help Patti finish the mural!

When the event does occur, all young ones, parents, and any friends you would like to invite will be welcome for an afternoon of fun activities, including painting the mural, songs, other activities, and of course, snacks!

More information will be published in the not-too-distant future.

Photos above by Millard Cook.
A great event planned for Middle School
and High School youth!

Scholarships available!
Look Here!
If Tidings from Trinity seems to end here, or close below, please scroll further down and click on View Entire Message. The whole newsletter will then open up for your reading enjoyment.
Friday, March 22
5:30 p.m.

Come join us in the Parish Hall for potluck Dinner and a Movie!

The movie will be "Places in the Heart," one of Sally Field's Academy Award-winning performances.

Bring a side dish or dessert, and take a break from everything!

Next Potluck Sunday will be March 10.
Sign-up sheet on bulletin board outside Rector's office.

Needed: Work crew to help clean up after each Sunday brunch. The more folks who volunteer for this, the better. More people, less work! If you would be willing to serve in this capacity, please click here.


Potluck Sundays
March 10
April 14
May 12
For the sake of better communication . . .

We have created a new email account for reporting Trinity events you'd like to see publicized either through our newsletter, or other weekly email blasts. The address is: communications@trinitybeth.org. You may also add folks to the prayer list.
Buy Scrip Cards Year Round!
 
Cards are available for many retailers in the area and online. List of cards available at Great Lakes Scrip link. The cards must be purchased with cash or check from Pat Sisson, at rssdbs@aol.com.
Future Events
Tuesday, March 5
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
5:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Wednesday, March 6
"Ashes to Go," 12:00 noon

The Imposition of Ashes and Holy Eucharist, 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 10
First Sunday in Lent

Potluck Brunch after 10:00 service
Palm Sunday, April 14
Sunday of the Passion
Maundy Thursday, April 18
Maundy Thursday Service with Footwashing and Eucharist
Dinner 5:30 p.m.
Service 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday, April 19
Good Friday Service
12:00 noon
Stations of the Cross immediately following
Holy Saturday, April 20
Easter Vigil 7:00 p.m.
Easter Feast afterwards!
Easter Sunday, April 21
The Day of Resurrection!
Festal Services 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.
Parish Breakfast between services hosted by Trinity Vestry
Serving This Month

Lectors, acolytes, intercessors, Altar Guild, ushers, greeters, eucharistic ministers:


Birthdays
Lindsay Weiss, March 5
Samantha Keefer, March 7
Justin Porembo, March 7
Elizabeth Wilson, March 8
Twila Evans, March 11
Roberto Lopez, March 14
Cheryl Schramm, March 14
Mary Ellen O'Connell, March 15
Amedeo DiEdwardio, March 17
Efrain Pastor, March 17
Anne Connors, March 18
Jim Propst, March 20
Natasha Lewis, March 22
Sandy Mesics, March 23
Ann Szmania, March 24
Bob Romeril, March 26
Karen Ernst, March 28
Roleen Schmoyer, March 30
Bill Winterburn, March 30

Anniversaries
Evelyn and George Kondash, March 3
Linda and Roberto Lopez, March 9
Linda Henry and Robert Phillips, March 13
Anmarie and Joseph Roy, March 19
Jane and Francis Frey, March 21
Margie and Frederick Segaline, March 28
44 E. Market Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018
610-867-4741
Saturday Service: 5:00 pm 
Sunday Services: 8:00 & 10:00am 
Office: 9:00am-2:00pm, M-F 
Soup Kitchen: 12:00-1:00pm, M-F