The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem
Transition Committee

Mission & Ministry

Bethlehem Bishop Search "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”
John 15:8

Ministries of the Diocese

The shared mission and ministry of our diocese is carried out faithfully on the local level by the 12,000 baptized members in our 58 congregations in urban, suburban and rural communities. As our website welcome page states, the landscape of how we are church and where we have been church is shifting and our challenges are real. Our congregational membership and financial resources are shrinking, yet every one of our congregations finds meaning and purpose in carrying out mission and ministry in Christ's name, that is faithful, important and impactful in their communities.

As in all dioceses, there are many different diocesan ministries and committees that undertake the work of the Diocese of Bethlehem. Most of them are led by volunteers, both lay and clergy. Here are some of the ministries that are unique to the Diocese of Bethlehem.

New Hope
Funds, raised in a special campaign across the diocese, assist in diocesan mission projects. The New Hope Campaign has both a global and a local focus.

  • Global
    The Diocese of Bethlehem has established a long-term companion relationship with the Diocese of Kajo Keji, South Sudan. Through the New Hope Campaign, the Diocese of Bethlehem has helped to build a multi building college for seminarians, teachers and adult education, five primary schools (200 – 400 students each), one secondary school that includes a dormitory for those traveling long distances by foot, and a residence and offices for the diocesan bishop. The unfortunate recent violence in South Sudan has forced the people of Kajo Keji into refugee camps. Our partnership continues with them as a New Hope initiative, in partnership with our Diocesan ECW, has been raising critical funds to help establish school programs for children while in refugee camps. We pray daily for the return of these people to their homes and to the schools we have helped prepare for them. For more on the relationship between the Diocese of Bethlehem and the Diocese of Kajo Keji, click HERE.

  • Local
    Funds from the New Hope Campaign allowed for grants to establish and expand local projects, especially new initiatives in serving those in need. Some examples of such were start up funds provided for a food pantry ministry at St. Andrew’s Church in Allentown, a clothing ministry in the undercroft of Good Shepherd Church, Scranton and an emergency housing project at St. Luke’s in Lebanon. New Hope funds are no longer directed locally.

New Bethany Ministries
New Bethany Ministries provides opportunities for a secure future to the hungry, homeless, poor, and mentally ill of the Lehigh Valley by helping families and individuals who are capable to become self-sufficient and live independently. With the help of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem and support from the City of Bethlehem, New Bethany Ministries was founded to coordinate inter-ministry relief efforts like soup kitchens, shelters, a thrift shop, and counseling. For more on New Bethany Ministries, click HERE.

Diocesan Youth Ministry helps to form the youth and young adults as disciples by actively engaging them in events both within and outside the church, including mission trips, participation in EYE (Episcopal Youth Event), and reunions. These events connect the youth throughout the diocese while strengthening the entire community. The ministry also supports spiritual growth through engagement in missionary works. For more on diocesan youth activities, click HERE.

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) organization in the Diocese of Bethlehem empowers and encourages the women of The Episcopal Church by working with organizations, programs, and ministry groups within and outside the church. The ECW has taken leadership in UTO (United Thank Offering) ingathering, has been instrumental in creating a job training program in Kajo Keji, South Sudan, as well as currently helping to raise funds for education of children of South Sudan in refugee camps in Uganda. For more on ECW click HERE.

Diocese of Bethlehem Daughters of the King (DOK) are daughters dedicated to prayer and service for Christ's sake. Currently there are 13 Diocesan chapters offering prayers, services, and evangelism within our churches and the community. For more on DOK click HERE.

Kirby House
Located in Glen Summit Springs, Mountain Top, PA, the retreat and conference center is open April through November hosting numerous non-profit, religious, educational and charitable groups. Over the years, Kirby House has gained an outstanding reputation as a welcoming retreat and unique conference center for educational, charitable, and religious groups. For more on Kirby House click HERE.

Inspired by Trinity West Pittston’s Response to a flood that devastated a number of Northeastern Pennsylvania communities in September 2011, episcopalRELIEFnepa is a mobile ministry ready to respond to disasters large and small across the region. The mission of this ministry is to be ready to respond with tools, supplies, volunteers, and other resources when a disaster strikes. For more on this emergency preparedness effort, click HERE.

Diocesan Staff
We are blessed to have talented and faithful individuals who serve our diocese tirelessly as we pursue mission and ministry together.

Under the leadership of Bishop Sean Rowe, our Bishop Provisional, the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, and staff set about the hard work of preparing for the future good work of our diocese by re-organizing diocesan structures and committees to enable them to function more efficiently, by establishing transparent financial reporting systems and creating a stable financial base, and by re-organizing diocesan staff to align with priorities, functions, and financial resources of our diocese. This hard work gives us confidence that our next Bishop will inherit a sound and well organized operation.

Currently serving in the offices of Diocesan House in Bethlehem are six paid staff members:

  • Bishop Provisional (shared with the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania)
  • Canon to the Ordinary (full time)
  • Assistant for Administration (full time)
  • Senior Chaplain to Clergy (part-time)
  • Comptroller (part-time)
  • Bookkeeper (full time)

For a complete listing of diocesan staff members and their respective responsibilities, click HERE.

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