Nativity Cathedral
Cathedral Church of the Nativity
321 Wyandotte Street • Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone: 610-865-0727
Nativity Campaign

Reaching Up and Reaching Out Nativity Campaign News!

Update for August 2022

Nativity Campaign Sign

The Cathedral Church of the Nativity has been thriving while in transition. That sounds a bit funny, but true. We have welcomed our Interim Dean, Barry Harte while we actively search for our new Dean and Rector. We have called a new Curate, Maryann Philbrook. Our children and youth have kept the century-old tradition of Nativity Youth Camp, while our teens and adult mentors ventured on a pilgrimage to Navajoland, Arizona. And of course our parish life of worship, pastoral care, fellowship, outreach and stewardship continued, thanks to you and our clergy and staff.

Many of you are eager to know more about our “Campaign for Nativity, Reaching Up, Reaching Out.” While we had hoped to be further along in our campus renovations, we were not immune to the supply chain crisis or the explosive building environment.

However, here we would like to present areas concerning the Campaign where work has been done this year: Support for the Fountain Hill Grocery Partnership and building a food pantry facility; work on the replacement/modification of the Cathedral front steps, a new Cathedral campus sign; and, of course, the Campaign Financial Status.

Fountain Hill Grocery Partnership

As part of the Campaign, we highlighted our desire to support our surrounding neighbors in the South Side of Bethlehem. We are acutely aware of the growing food insecurity of families in our neighborhood. Concurrently with the Campaign last fall, we were approached by the Fountain Hill Elementary leadership with a request for us to co-sponsor a significant expansion of their food pantry program. In March, a 501c3 non-profit, the Fountain Hill Grocery Partnership (FHGP) was founded, with partners of Bethlehem School District, Nativity, Lehigh University, and Second Harvest to serve not only the Fountain Hill Elementary community, but also the broader South Side.

The FHGP now has commitments of approximately $200,000 for constructing and equipping the pantry facility. None of this would have occurred without the $100,000 lead gift from the Campaign for Nativity. Construction has begun! Operation of the FHGP pantry facility should begin in November.

Nativity members Richard Sause, Joe Tramontana, Meg Storm, and Cara Slusser are active leaders both on the FHGP board and in the trenches. We are grateful to these volunteers and all parishioners who support the food pantry with donations. Boxes in the back of the church are regularly filled with nonperishable food donations. Thank you. We hope that you agree that feeding the hungry children and families in our Cathedral neighborhood was an immediate need.

Cathedral Front Steps and Expanded Patio

The continuous deterioration of the front steps made replacement or remediation a priority in our plan. You may have noticed that the steps have been smoothly patched to address the immediate need. Due to this hyper construction market, no proposals to replace or modify the steps were received. The present plan is to combine the front step project and the expanded patio project with the hope that the expanded project will attract a qualified contractor/mason. To date, we have not received any bids for the front stairs project even though initially we had several contractors express interest. We also have been addressing some of the challenges associated with being in an historic district and doing construction under current conditions.

Nativity Campus Sign

For several years, we have not had a major sign at the corner of Wyandotte and 3rd streets to identify the Cathedral. We’re excited to announce who and where we are! Working with a landscape architect, a design has been developed, and put out for bid. Contracts for construction, masonry, and electrical for the New Sign Project were signed in May, with construction to begin in the next few weeks. Our many thanks to Dick Guyer who volunteered to manage this project.

Financial Status

More than 3 million dollars have been pledged! We are most grateful for the many parishioners who have contributed and/ or are fulfilling their pledges. At the end of July, Campaign Cash in hand was $1,490,345. 2022 contributions through July were $81,808.

In the coming month we will continue to update the parish on the progress of the campus project. The clear objectives of the Capital Campaign remain sound, and they remain a critical priority for the Vestry and the Nativity community.


Nativity Campaign Sign
Siobhán McC. Ardizzon
Vestry, Senior Warden

Nativity Campaign Sign
Thomas Edwards
Vestry, Junior Warden

Our Prayer

O God our help of ages past, of present, and of future...
...fill our hearts anew, as you filled the hearts of our forebears who dreamt of this sacred space and, in faith, placed it on this hill - so that generations might live, love, and serve. Watch over us as we stand on their shoulders in faith, and seek to renew our sacred spaces, so that we might reach out and welcome in all of your people. Inspire our generous spirits and fill our imaginations so that we might hear and see the voices and prayers of those in future generations. It is in your name of Love we pray.

Easter Special

Nativity Cathedral
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