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Diocese of Pennsylvania
Diocesan Monthly Newsletter

September 2011

Bishop's Address

September 1, 2011

As we commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I recall that on September 11, 2001, our diocesan clergy were at Morning Prayer at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, Chestnut Hill, when someone scribbled me a note saying that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. Ironically, we had just recited in the Psalter's only profane work, Psalm 45, these lines:

Strap your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior, in your pride and in your majesty. Ride out and conquer in the cause of truth and for the sake of justice. Your right hand will show you marvelous things; your arrows are very sharp, O mighty warrior.

When days later I read in the New York Times a verbatim of an Arabic manual found in the luggage of Mohamed Atta, one of the organizers of the 19 hijackers, which did not make it onto Flight 11, the language felt eerily similar to the psalm's in its bellicosity. Here's a sample:

Clench your teeth, as did [your] predecessors, God rest their souls, before engaging in battle. If God grants any one of you a slaughter, you should perform it as an offering on behalf of your father.

The difference between the Biblical text and that resonating with Koranic piety, I would say, is that the psalm's warrior, unlike Mohamed Atta's, fights for justice and truth. But, then, mine is a Judeo-Christian, not a Muslim, perspective, and who doesn’t root for the home team? So, before rushing to judgment, I might better ponder the warning from Samuel Miller, my seminary dean, that "the line between healthy religion and unhealthy religion is very thin, indeed."

All of us, whatever our religion, are heirs to the violent, murderous rivalry between Cain and Abel, described in Genesis 4 as our original condition in paradise lost, east of Eden. Socially-constructed hierarchy based on various criteria – family of origin, birth order, school, wealth, class, race, gender, sexual orientation, looks, height, weight, intelligence, talent, whatever – is inevitable, and when and where it occurs, insidious envy and mimetic desire pervade. If we cannot raise ourselves up to collapse the differential between others and ourselves, we are tempted to tear others down.

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Judge Rules in Good Shepherd, Rosemont, Case

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On Friday, August 26, the Honorable Stanley Ott issued an Order stating that David Moyer, a Bishop in the Traditional Anglican Communion, and two other individuals no longer have any right or authority to serve as rector or on the vestry of the Church of the Good Shepherd, located in Rosemont Pennsylvania. Read more…

Call to Convention 2011

August 24, 2011 | The Feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle | Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I call you to assemble as a Council of the Church for the 228th Diocesan Convention to be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Saturday, November 5, 2011. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the Opening Eucharist will be at 8:30 a.m. Read more…

List of Open Positions for 2011 Diocesan Convention

The Nominating Committee is seeking lay and clergy candidates to stand for election at Diocesan Convention, 2011. You may propose yourself or someone else as a nominee. Read more…

Safe Church Administrator's Training

Dear Clergy, Parish Administrators, and Program Coordinators, The diocesan Safe Church Training program is now fully online. In order for your parish to participate, a Safe Church Training Administrator needs to be designated for your parish to authorize access to the program and track your parish's data. Read more…

Prayer Gathering of Memory and Hope on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

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Please join the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia for a prayer gathering of memory and hope on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Read more…

Ray Suarez: Jerusalem: Center of the World

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Friday, October 7, 2011 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. St. Peter’s Church, 313 Pine Street, Philadelphia Free, and open to all. No reservations are needed. The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is co-sponsoring this event with Philadelphia Theological Institute, The Middle East Study Group and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Read more…

Antiracism Training on Columbus Day Weekend

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Oct. 8-10, 2011 | Clergy and lay leaders are especially encouraged to attend. Note that this workshop meets canonical and diocesan antiracism training requirements for clergy and lay leaders, helps satisfy continuing education requirements for clergy of the Diocese of Pennsylvania and may be eligible for financial support from the Diocesan Continuing Education Fund. You must be in attendance for the entire workshop. Read more…

Resources for Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

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The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have had a profound effect on us as both as a nation and as individuals, especially for those whose loved ones died in the attacks, or who were involved in recovery efforts. As we approach the 10th anniversary of the attacks, we have an opportunity to remember those who died, to seek healing for those still affected, and to work for reconciliation and peace, between people, nations, and religious traditions. Read more…

2011 Clergy Conference

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A gathering for Clergy to build up community among clergy of the Diocese | Christianity After Religion: Questions Shaping a New Spiritual Awakening, Featuring Diana Butler Bass. Monday noon – Wednesday noon, November 28-30, 2011. Read more…

2012 Intercessions Prayer Calendar

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July 24, 2011 through January 21, 2012 | In an effort to eliminate printing costs and paper waste, the new edition of the Intercessions Prayer Calendar is being emailed to everyone who has access to email with hard copies being printed out by request only. Read more…

Congregations now in the transition process

Advent, Kennett Square
Status No Longer receiving names
Position Rector
Contact Ms. Bryan Bente at
Address 201 Crestline Drive, Kennett Square, PA 19348
All Saints' Torresdale
Status Receiving names until Sep 15 2011
Position Rector
Contact Judith Winters at
Address 9601 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114
Holy Trinity, Lansdale
Status Receiving names
Position Part-time priest
Contact Canon Jill Mathis at
Address 407 North Broad Street, Lansdale, PA 19446
St. Christopher's, Oxford
Status Receiving names
Position Rector (3/4 time)
Contact Canon Jill Mathis at
Address 116 Lancaster Pike, Oxford, PA 19363
St. Mary's, Ardmore
Status Receiving names
Position Rector
Contact Julia and R. G. Solmssen at
Address 36 Ardmore Avenue, PO Box 86, Ardmore, PA 19003
St. Mark's, Honey Brook
Status Receiving names
Position Part-time Interim
Contact Canon Jill Mathis at
Address 1040 Chestnut Tree Road, Honey Brook, PA 19344
Status Receiving names until October 1, 2011
Position Rector
Contact Mr. Charles Hannum at
Address 317 Oreland Mill Road, Oreland, PA 19075
Trinity Church, Solebury
Status No longer receiving names
Position Rector
Contact Helen Montgomery at
Address 6587 Upper York Road, PO Box 377, Solebury, PA 18938

Applicants who are interested should submit their
profile and resume to Jill Mathis at

Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania | 240 South 4th Street | Philadelphia, PA 19106 |

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