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Diocesan Digest: July 2020

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Dear Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Central PA,

We may be in the middle of Summer, but the ministry of our diocese does not take a vacation. Please scroll down to read the many events, activities, and resources that are available for you. A topic list is provided below.

  • Honest Conversations about Race
  • Summer Webinar Series
  • Black Lives Matter Sermon/Essay Collection
  • Healthy Eating Webinar
  • Calling all Church Musicians
  • Fall Convocation Meetings
  • Racial Justice and the Body of Christ Course
  • The Rev. Dr. Tricia Lyons Webinar
  • Need masks?
  • Virtual Liturgies
  • The Great EpisGORace
  • Youth Leaders Zoom Gathering
  • Executive Director Position
  • Diocesan Convention
  • Missional Stewardship Course
  • Fall Courses with the Stevenson School for Ministry
  • Focus Groups
  • Shaped by Faith Zoom meetings
  • Virtual Summer Camp
  • Heeding God’s Call Virtual Service
  • UTO Grants
  • Hotspots for sale
  • Doing Politics Through the Lens of Faith Course
  • Fundraising Workshop

Honest Conversations about Race
July 23, 7:30 PM

Join Bishop Scanlan on Facebook Live with special guest, Dr. Drew G.I. Hart. As part of the Bishop out of the Box event series, Bishop Scanlan and Mr. Hart will speak about race and institutional racism in our local context.

Dr. Drew G.I. Hart, professor at Messiah College, theologian, blogger, and activist, will discuss his book The Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism (2016) and will offer ideas and practices for those who seek solidarity with the oppressed and are committed to racial justice.

To join, click here. The event is on Facebook live and is available for viewing, even if you do not have a Facebook account.

Is your parish in need of masks?

Ed Robertson, Diocesan Disaster Coordinator has notified us that we have received a gift of 2-3000 masks from the Masonic Disaster Relief (not officially affliated with the masons).

The masks will be stored at the diocesan office. If your parish is in need, please coordinate a parish volunteer to schedule a contactless pickup in Harrisburg.

Masks come 500 to a box, and boxes are the same size as a case of copier/printer paper.

To schedule a pickup or for questions, please contact Carolyn Patterson,

Theology and Ecclesiology Task Force Focus Groups

Thank you to all who participated in the survey! The committee will be writing a report that will be released in the next few weeks. Focus groups were created for opportunities to explore survey themes in a more intentional, focused way. To learn more, click here.

Session I is an opportunity to ascertain how our churches responded faithfully during COVID-19 in the areas of Worship, Pastoral Care, Christian Formation, Children & Family, and Youth. Please see the dates and signup links below.

Final Session I Focus Group for the Northern Tier and Southern Convocations
Thursday, July 23, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.

Click here to register.

Session II is a deeper dive and theological reflection on the issues, concerns, and opportunities raised during our first Focus Group sessions. Choose either date by clicking on the links below.

For questions regarding focus groups, contact task force chair, the Rev. Canon Dan Morrow,

The next Shaped by Faith Summer Webinar will be offered tonight, Wednesday, July 22, at 7 PM.

To join by Zoom, click on the following link

Click here for more information.

Summer Virtual Liturgy Offerings

  • Sunday, July 12 & 26
  • Sunday, August 9 & 23
  • Sunday, September 13 & 27

During the months of July, August, and September, your Diocesan staff is offering virtual worship on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. Liturgies will be posted on Friday mornings and will be about 35 minutes in length, including sermon, lectionary readings, music, and prayers. You can find all our liturgies here.

We have Shaped by Faith Meetings scheduled with three of our Convocations during the last week of July.

Lancaster Convocation
Sunday, July 26
2 – 3 PM
Mtg ID: 950 3647 7956
Passcode: 189955

Altoona Convocation
Monday, July 27
6 – 7 PM
Mtg ID: 968 2983 5725
Passcode: 328813

Southern Convocation
Thursday, July 30
6 – 7 pm
Mtg ID: 917 8156 1780
Passcode: 429405

Three diocesan Clergy included in the Preaching Black Lives (Matter)
Sermon/Essay collection

The Rt. Rev. Nathan Baxter, The Rev. Shayna Watson, and The Rev. Rebecca Myers, are all featured in the anthology that asks, “What does it mean to be a church where Black lives matter?”

This collection of reflections is an incisive look into that future today. It explains why preaching about race is important in the elimination of racism in the church and society, and how preaching has the ability to transform hearts. While programs, protests, conferences, and laws are all important and necessary, less frequently discussed is the role of the church, specifically the Anglican Church and Episcopal Church, in ending systems of injustice.

Order your copy at the following link .

The Great EpisGORace
The Rev. Jim Strader-Sasser, Christ Memorial Episcopal Church

The United Thank Offering is running a “virtual marathon” from July 24th to August 1st, “The Great EpisGOpal Race.” The United Thank Offering will use proceeds from this race to provide resources to persons and communities in need of support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can participate in a variety of ways , including fundraising, if you choose. Jim has created a team – the Christ Memorial Calorie Churners – Our motto is to burn some calories and transform our lives while offering compassion and charity for the lives of those affected by COVID-19. You become a churner by signing up for our team here.

Are you missing Summer Camp experiences?
Go VIRTUAL with Camp Mount Luther
July 28- August 4

Details will be shared soon about our Virtual CML that will be coming later this month. Join us from July 28-August 4, as we provide online camp activities for you. There will be both prerecorded and live videos as well as sharing of
resources of things you can do at home. Our summer staff arrives on July 15 to prepare for Virtual CML as well as do leadership training and service work.

For more information, click here.

A Fresh Look at Healthy Eating Webinar
Friday, July 31, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

It can be hard following good eating habits even in “normal” times, without the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. But healthy choices in the kitchen can make a big difference to your physical and mental health. Attend this Church Pension Group webinar to gain new inspiration for finding the balance that works for you.

To reserve a spot, click here.

Youth Leaders
Zoom Gathering
Monday, August 11, 6:30 PM

Mary Ellen Kilp and the Diocesan Youth Committee Invite you to join in a back-to-school check in

All Young Adults Back to School Zoom gathering Wednesday, August 12, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

All Senior High Youth Back to School Zoom gathering Wednesday, August 19, 6:30 – 8:00 PM.

Heeding God’s Call
to End Gun Violence – Virtual Service

Heeding God’s Call gathers people from across the city for interfaith memorial services for those lives lost to gun violence in the Harrisburg area. Because of the pandemic, this time, they sought to provide comfort and inspire commitment via a virtual service.

Watch here.

Are you a church musician? We want to hear from you!

The Rev. Canon Dan Morrow is calling together a group of church musicians to discuss church music during a pandemic. This group will offer collegiality and support, provide a sounding board for innovations, and provide a safe place to chat about the challenges church musicians face navigating this unprecedented time. So that we may include as many musicians as possible, please help by providing the name and email address of your church musicians. (Choir directors, organists, etc.)

Send to

The Pennsylvania Council of Churches (PCC) with offices in Suite 211-A, 900 S. Arlington Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17109-5024 (717-545-4761) is seeking a full-time Executive Director to lead the PCC in addressing the many issues and challenges facing the Christian community today and in the future.

For the application process, click here. The deadline to apply is August 31. For more information, click here.

United Thank Offering 2021 Annual Grants
Two grant cycles offered

Application deadlines: August 14, 2020, and February 26, 2021

The United Thank Offering (UTO) Board is pleased to announce the availability of their 2021 United Thank Offering Annual Grants. Grants are awarded for projects in The Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion, each year with a different focus. For 2021, the focus is Recovering with Love and Gratitude: An Episcopal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Local Contexts. Application information and forms are available here.

For questions, contact the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, staff officer for the United Thank Offering,

Fall Convocation Meeting Dates

Fall Convocation meetings are as follows:

  • Wed. , Sept. 9, 6 – 8 PM
    Harrisburg Convocation
  • Thurs., Sept. 10, 6 – 8 PM
    Altoona Fall Convocation
  • Tues., Sept. 15, 6 – 8 PM
    Northern Tier Convocation
  • Wed., Sept. 16, 6 – 8 PM
    Lancaster Convocation
  • Thurs., Sept. 17, 6 – 8 PM
    Southern Convocation
  • Tues., Oct. 6, 6 – 8 PM
    Susquehanna Convocation
  • Wed. Oct. 7, 6 – 8 PM
    West Branch Convocation

150th Annual Diocesan Convention

Due to COVID-19, the 150th Annual Diocesan Convention will be a ONE DAY event that will be held online with the help of AT&T Web event conferencing on Saturday, October 17, 2020. A detailed convention email to follow by the end of the month.

For all Convention related questions, please e-mail Canon Guszick or call 717.413.7875.

For $15 through Tech Soup and an annual fee of $120 plus $9 shipping and handling, hotspots that run on the Sprint network with up to 50 GB of 4G data service are available. Data is unlimited, but after 50 Gb, it could slow down. At the beginning of July, the hot spots were back-ordered, but you can signup for a waitlist.

For more information, contact The Rev. Rebecca Myers , Rector, The Episcopal Church of Nativity and St. Stephen’s.

New Fall Learning Opportunities for your congregation

Racial Justice and the Body of Christ

Co-taught by The Rev. Dr. Allison St. Louis and Dr. Joshua Davis, Wednesdays at 6:00 PM beginning on September 30.

Using a framework of becoming, connecting, and doing, this module is designed to engage persons of faith in the work of co-creating with God a society in which racial justice is the norm.

Missional Stewardship

Taught by The Rev. Richard Jorgensen begins Monday, August 24, at 6 PM. We are called to bear witness to Christ in all that we say and do. As stewards of the gospel, we use all the gifts which God has given us to proclaim and reflect the reign of God, which is already breaking into our lives and our world today.

This course will equip students to articulate the connections between stewardship of life and the mission as servants of Christ.

Doing Politics Through the Lens of Faith

Taught by The Rev. Matthew Best, Thursdays at 7:00 pm beginning on August 27.

This five-week course will explore politics through the lens of faith. Through real-life examples, stories, and Scripture, students will examine their own beliefs about politics and faith and come away ready to “do” politics in a faith-filled way.

How is God calling us to move forward as Christ’s church?

Webinars: Saturday, October 31, 10:00 a.m. to Noon

The Rev. Dr. Tricia Lyons will lead us in discussions and learning as we wrestle with the work of embracing evangelism in the complexity of our challenging times. Being an evangelistic community in a time of Covid-19 taught us new ways of building discipleship through evangelism and sharing our story. Registration to follow.

For questions, please contact Dean Robyn Szoke-Coolidge,, or Associate Dean Marsha Roscoe,

Resources for: Children | Youth | Young Adults