Constitution & Canons

The Constitution and Canons are the rules governing the diocese and of the Episcopal church.

Diocese of Bethlehem Constitution effective September 30, 2017

Diocese of Bethlehem Canons effective October 1, 2022

2022 Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church


Standing Committee

The Standing Committee is the body of lay and clergy members of the Diocese elected by the annual Diocesan Convention and authorized by the Canons of the Episcopal Church as the Bishop’s Council of Advice. The Standing Committee advises the Bishop or gives consent in matters of the disposition of property, ecclesiastical discipline, the election and consecration of Bishops, and in matters involving candidates for ordained ministry. In the absence of a Diocesan Bishop, the Standing Committee is canonically authorized to act as the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese.There are four lay and four ordained members of the committee, all of whom are elected for a four-year term.  No one so elected shall be eligible for re-election after having served two consecutive terms until after the expiration of one year.

Class of 2023

  • The Rev. Earl Trygar – Retired *
  • Liza Holzinger – St. Andrew’s Church, Allentown*

Class of 2024

  • The Rev. Jane Bender – Retired *
  • Carol C. McMullen – St. Luke’s Church, Scranton *

Class of 2025

  • The Rev. Douglas Moyer – Retired, President *
  • Lynne Graham – St. Paul’s Church, Montrose *

Class of 2026

  • The Rev. Rodney Conn – Nativity Cathedral, Bethlehem
  • Charles Dickerson – Trinity Church, Easton

*second term


Diocesan Council

The Diocesan Council is the executive agency of the Convention of the Diocese in between meetings of the Convention. Its responsibilities include developing a Diocesan mission strategy, developing and maintaining programs to implement the mission, reviewing the strategy and reporting to Diocesan Convention, preparing the Diocesan budget, and setting policy for the diocese.

Members are elected by the Convention for a three-year term. No one so elected shall be eligible for re-election after having served two consecutive terms until after the expiration of one year. The Rt. Rev. Kevin Nichols- Bishop

Class of 2023

  • The Rev. Andrew VanBuren – St. Gabriel’s Church, Douglassville
  • The Rev. Dr. David A. Zwifka – St. Luke’s Church, Lebanon
  • Melissa Amator – Trinity Church, Easton
  • Ross Mangina – Trinity Church, Bethlehem

Class of 2024

  • The Rev. Dr. Sidnie Crawford – Christ Church, Stroudsburg
  • The Rev. Michelle Moyer – St. Alban’s Church, Sinking Spring *
  • Wayne Evans – St. James & St. George Church, Jermyn
  • Sara McNelis – Grace Church, Kingston*

Class of 2025

  • The Rev. Susan Treanor – Trinity Church, Mt. Pocono
  • The Rev. Bryce Wandrey – Christ Church, Reading
  • Joan Duckloe – Christ Church, Stroudsburg
  • Rick Wolf – Christ Church, Reading

Ex Officio

  • The Rt. Rev. Kevin D. Nichols
  • Elizabeth House – Diocesan Treasurer

*second term

Commission on Ministry

The Commission on Ministry (COM) assists and advises the bishop in the design and oversight of the process for those discerning ordained and lay ministry; in implementing Title III of the canons of the Episcopal Church; and in the development and support of the ministry of all baptized persons. COM will consist of 12 members, 6 of whom will be elected at the annual Convention (3 clergy and 3 lay) for a term of three years. No one so elected shall be eligible for re-election after having served two consecutive terms until after the expiration of one year.  The other 6 members are appointed annually by the bishop.

Class of 2023

  • The Rev. Christine Sutton – Prince of Peace Church, Dallas *
  • Paul Barnwell – Trinity Church, Pottsville

Class of 2024

  • The Rev. Rodney Conn – Nativity Cathedral, Bethlehem
  • Patti Alleger – Christ Church, Stroudsburg*

Class of 2025 – (effective 2023)

  • The Rev. Bruce Gowe – Christ Church, Stroudsburg
  • Vacant

Appointed by the Bishop

  • The Rev. Timothy Alleman (Chair)- St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral & Holy Cross, Wilkes-Barre
  • The Rev. Rebecca Barnes- St. Luke’s, Scranton
  • The Rev. Dan Gross – Grace, Kingston
  • Andrea McQueen –  Christ, Stroudsburg
  • Laura Drum- Nativity Cathedral, Bethlehem
  • Maggie Niles- Grace, Honesdale

*second term

General Convention Deputies 

The General Convention Deputies sit in the General Convention’s House of Deputies as part of the eight-member deputation form the diocese. They prepare through study and prayer to vote on legislation and, if called, participate in the legislative committees. They attend and vote at all the legislative sessions and report back to the diocese after General Convention. The 81st General Convention will be held in July, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Clergy: Deputies Clergy: Alternates
1. The Rev. Jane Arrington Bender 5. The Rev. Susan Treanor
2. The Rev. Rebecca Barnes 6. The Rev. Jay O’Rear
3. The Rev. Dr. Margaret Pendergast 7. The Rev. Bruce Gowe
4. The Rev. Tim Alleman
Lay: Deputies Lay: Alternates
1. Cathy Bailey 5. Charles Dickerson
2. Judie Dickerson 6. Jaina Nortey
3. Jay Miller
4. Cynthia Nortey