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​2015 News

Open Enrollment Closed

Nov. 9, 2015

Open Enrollment for Active Employees closed at Midnight on November 6th. If you have not yet made your selection for open enrollment or need to make changes to your selection, please contact Lucy Amerman or Mark Klinger as quickly as possible.

Clergy Colleague Group

Oct. 30, 2015

Dear Clergy Brothers and Sisters,
In conjunction with the Middleton Center, the Diocese is forming facilitated clergy colleague groups. These groups may be interfaith or solely Episcopal colleagues. The structure will be the case study method, with participants taking turns bringing a case study or situation to be discussed at each meeting. Our facilitators for the first group will be Beth Toler, M.Div., Th.D., LMFT (Middleton Center and Neumann University) and Rev. Wally Fletcher, D.Min., NCPsyA, Psychotherapist, Coach and Consultant, who will work together. In the event you’d like to start your own group, or be part of one we are organizing, let me know and also let me know what day works best for you. In my role providing pastoral care to clergy, I have become aware that we as clergy are not very good at self-care, and our tendency is to struggle alone, not reaching out to others for support or help. This is an opportunity to connect with others.  The cost of facilitating the groups we are proposing, and the cost of any necessary childcare you may need during the group meeting time frame will be covered by the Diocese through health and wellness grants being made available for this purpose. The number of groups will depend on how many people are interested and what days are convenient for you. Please let me know if this is something in which you would like to participate, and whether day or evening would be better for you (215-627-6434 x 109; or 215-834-8482).  If you are interested, I will call you as soon as I have an idea of how this is shaking out, i.e., how many people there will be, groups forming, and possible dates for beginning. The responses I receive will be confidential, but will help shape the formation of the group(s), so let me know your preferences.   I am anticipating that we will begin this effort in January.

Faithfully yours,

The Reverend Canon Lucy S. L. Amerman,
Canon to the Ordinary
for Pastoral Services and Administration

Open Enrollment for Active Employees

Oct. 2, 2015

Open enrollment for employee benefits is swiftly approaching. For all the information pertaining to this, including changes to our plan array, please visit the benefits tab.

Holy Aging Discussions

Oct. 1, 2015

Please join us for Holy Aging: The Stewardship of Our Later Years, a four-part panel discussion series with regional experts. Free and open to the public, Holy Aging is sponsored by the Montgomery Deanery of the Episcopal Diocese of PA and Episcopal Community Services.
Mark your calendar with the dates below, and please visit www.ecsphilly.org/holyaging to register for free!

Fall is Soon to Fall!

Sept 14, 2015

This morning, as I walked to my car to head into the office, a chill in the air nipped at the exposed skin on my arms. The thermometer in my car told me that it was only 50 degrees out and while I rubbed my cold arms to warm them, I could not suppress my excitement. Autumn is my favorite time of the year. For me it’s a time when it seems like God pulls out God’s painter’s pallet and really starts to change up the colors. The air has a different smell; the trees change color, bon fires and hayrides. All of which are small joys that lead us through this beautiful time. There are however, dangers that are present in fall, especially in the Philadelphia area.

A lot of our city’s pathways and walk ways are made up of unlevel slate which will so be damp and coated in fallen leaves. In order to avoid falls, be mindful of the ground beneath you and also remember to clear your section of sidewalks. It’s also a great idea to ask your parish’s sexton or other staff members if the church needs help clearing leaves off of its sidewalk. It should only take an extra few moments, but it makes our worship spaces so much more welcoming when there’s a clear path in.

Also, many of us will be starting up our furnaces and boilers for the first time. Make sure you have checked the appropriate air filters and have an operational carbon monoxide detector.

Little things help make the fall much more enjoyable.
The Conversation Goes Live!

Aug 6, 2015

In our continuing effort for wellness in our Diocese, we have launched “The Conversation”, a blog and comments portion of this website to host continuing conversations about what each one of us are doing in the battle for wellness. To check out “The Conversation”, click here.

ANTHEM DATA BREECH!

Moved to News on Aug 6, 2015
Original post Feb. 25, 2015

As many of you already know, Anthem (our medical insurance provider) was the target of a massive data breech on Feb 2, 2015. As a result Anthem’s CEO has released a statement which you will find here at anthemfacts.com. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at our office at 215.627.6434 or contact the Episcopal Church Medical Trust at 866.802.6333.

UPDATE! Feb. 25, 2015

It is becoming apparent that some of Anthem’s clients may be receiving emails claiming to be from Anthem. While some communications are legitimately from Anthem, some are not. The following is from Anthem regarding the possibly fraudulent emails. The full article from Anthem can be viewed at anthemfacts.com.

You should be aware of scam email campaigns targeting current and former Anthem members. These scams, designed to capture personal information (known as “phishing”), are designed to appear as if they are from Anthem and the emails include a “click here” link for credit monitoring. These emails are NOT from Anthem.

  • DO NOT reply to the email or reach out to the senders in any way.
  • DO NOT supply any information on the website that may open, if you have clicked on a link in email.
  • DO NOT open any attachments that arrive with email.

Anthem is not calling members regarding the cyber attack and is not asking for credit card information or Social Security numbers over the phone.

Faith and Spiritual-Based Counseling Workshop!

July 9, 2015
The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services has partnered with the Community College of Philadelphia to offer a fifteen session certification workshop for Faith and Spiritual-Based Counseling.  The cost of the workshop is $275 for additional information you can visit the website by clicking here.

Policies and Procedures

June 17, 2015
As many of you know, the Diocese of Pennsylvania has recently complete a major overhaul of its policies and procedures manual. It was our goal to make a manual that could not just serve the Church House staff but could also be used as a template for the parishes around our diocese. We initially started circulating the new manual in November of 2014, but we’ve also been busy keeping it up-to-date with the ever changing business landscape. Now that we have our most current copy in circulation, we want to share it with the rest of the people in our diocese. Click here for the new manual.

Winter Safety Tips!

Feb 2, 2015
Some Winter Safety Tips

~Keep Your Eyes Open for Ice!
-This applies both for when driving and when walking! (Advice that some of the people in our office should take more to heart!) Also keep your eyes peeled for ice hanging down from the eves of buildings, trees, and powerlines. A falling icicle can be more dangerous than ice on the ground.

~Shovel Properly!
-Sure, it doesn’t look like we are going to break any snow totals this winter, but that doesn’t mean that the snow that’s out there isn’t heavy. When you are shoveling, make sure you are lifting the snow properly. Never lift with your back, you could throw your back out, strain a muscle or worse!

~What to Wear!
-Make sure you bundle up! These arctic temperatures are wicked. In some instances it can be only a matter of minutes before exposed skin suffers frost bite. Make sure you are wearing an appropriate coat and scarf, gloves and a hat!

-Children and infants are even more susceptible to the extreme cold! Make sure to keep them in layers! Thin layers will help keep them dry as well as warm! A good rule of thumb is: For children and older infants, dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear for the same conditions!

~Breathe Easy
-The winter season is a great time to kick up the furnace or light a fire and settle down under a comfy blanket and read, but the furnace or the fire could be a source of Carbon Monoxide, a colourless, tasteless, odorless, toxic gas! Make sure you have a working Carbon Monoxide detector in you house and keep it away from drafty areas! This will help to warn you if there is a problem so that you can get out in time and call the fire department

Follow these and other steps for a safe winter and enjoy the snow!

Medicare Secondary Payer!!!

Jan 21,2015
As many people in our Diocese know, for our employees who are Medicare eligible, it may be possible to get your health insurance cheaper by having it paid in part by Medicare. Here at the Diocesan offices we are still learning incredible amounts about the MSP almost daily but to help you figure out if you are eligible click here for the MSP fact sheet provided by the Episcopal Church Medical Trust. 

Benefits Alert!!!

Jan 16, 2015
As you probably know by now our medical provider changed names from Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. It has been brought to our attention here at the Diocese that not only did they change the name (as we were told to expect) they also changed many (if not all) individuals “Subscriber Numbers”. This will cause those people’s healthcare providers to be told that they are no longer covered. This is in error. They simply can’t find your coverage with the old number. If you are using the Anthem Insurance card you received in December there should be no problems. If you have lost your new Anthem card, or are being told that your coverage has been terminated, please call Mark Klinger or Lucy Amerman to get this corrected.

Church House is Home!

Jan. 5, 2015
Today is our first day in our new offices! Our last year at Lutheran has all been building to this, our new space. We are all busy unpacking and getting settled into our new digs but while we are settling in, we are still here doing the business of our diocese! If you need anything from any of us here at Church House, don’t hesitate to get a hold of us. We hope that you all get the opportunity to see our new home!

2014 News

A New Home for the Diocesan Office!

Dec. 12, 2014
With the Christmas holiday quickly approaching, and Advent halfway through, the Diocesan Staff is preparing for yet another move. We are closing our offices on the 19th of December for the holiday season and for our move. Friday the 19th will be the staff’s last day at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. When we reopen our offices on the fifth of January, that will be our first day in our new offices next to the Cathedral. We are thankful for the hospitality shown to us by to good folks here at Lutheran and are looking forward to settling into our new digs
.

Fall Fitness Milestone!

Nov. 4, 2014
Today, we broke the 1,000th mile in our Diocesan Fall Fitness Challenge. That’s right, our eight participants have walked a grand total of 1,008 miles! For a matter of perspective that’s like walking around our diocese almost four times! We will continue logging miles through the end of the month so get out there and keep walking!

Open Enrollment Closed

Oct. 30, 2014
Today is the last chance for active employees to log onto the CPG website and verify their open enrollment benefits information for the coming year. During the month of November we will be holding our Open Enrollment for retirees. Remember, if you have no intention of making any changes, you needn’t log on, but if you are making changes active employees will have to log on to make those changes by the end of today.

Fall Fitness Milestone!Oct. 27, 2014
Today, our Fall Fitness Challenge reported its 800th mile. Over the last month 8 people in our diocese have walked, ran, or biked a grand total of 819 miles so far. We will continue to walk, run and bike our way through to the Clergy Conference at the beginning of December so keep on going! We’ve got a full month still ahead of us so keep exercising your way to a healthier diocese!

Clergy Conference 2014

Oct. 20, 2014
On December 1st through December 3rd, the Diocese will host its annual Clergy Conference. This year the conference will be hosted in Cape May, NJ. It promises to be a great time and very informative. For more information, or to register, 
click here. The deadline for registration for the Clergy Conference is November 3, 2014. Discounts go to the first 140 registrants and we are at 135! See you there!Diocesan Fall Fitness Challenge!Oct. 13, 2014
As many of you know, the Fall Fitness Challenge is in full swing. For those of you who don’t know about it, click here for more information. With each passing day the total mileage rises! Today we passed our 750th mile walked by those who are participating! Everyone keep up the awesome work and keep walking, running and biking!

Benefits Page Now Online

Oct. 9, 2014
With open enrollment for 2015 benefits underway in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, we took to opportunity to use this great new website as a way to help you understand you benefits. The Benefits Tab at the top will lead you to a letter that should help you to understand the roll out of benefits for the 2015 calendar year. You will also find there the rates as well as plan comparisons. Also the new HDHP Rates are posted on the Benefits page. These updated rates are corrected from a previous miscalculation. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the Diocese at 215.627.6434. Either Lucy or Mark will be happy to help you to understand what is available to you. You can also email them at the following addresses.

The Rev. Canon Lucy Amerman: lucya@diopa.org

Mark Klingermarkk@diopa.org
DioPA Wellness Launch Pad Goes Live!

Oct. 9, 2014
After months of work, writing and re-writing, researching, making changes and finally making a decision, the Wellness Launch Pad for the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania went live today! The site will be a great tool for Episcopalians all across our Diocese!