Since the 1920s, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, has been host to an annual ecumenical Lenten series of services and organ recitals for downtown Wilkes-Barre and its surrounding communities. The 2013 Series continues this coming Wednesday, February 20th, with an organ recital at 11:30 AM, followed by an ecumenical Lenten Service at 12:00 PM.
As in past years, the 2013 Lenten series will involve clergy, musicians, and laity from Catholic and Protestant churches throughout Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming Valley. A soup and sandwich lunch is served each week following the Lenten Service, with a suggested donation of $4.00 per person. Members of the participating congregations are the hosts for these lunches. Offerings received at this year’s services and lunches will support the Men’s Homeless Shelter in Wilkes-Barre.
This Wednesday’s Organ Recital at 11:30 AM will be presented by Peter Stoltzfus Berton, a native of Wilkes-Barre who grew up in Lancaster PA. Mr. Berton studied at The University of Michigan School of Music and the Yale University School of Music. Integral to his training as a church musician was serving as Assistant Organist at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Detroit, Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven CT, and Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City. His principal teachers have been David Bartlett, Robert Glasgow, Gerre Hancock, Charles Krigbaum, Walden Moore, Thomas Murray and Carl E. Schroeder. Prior to becoming Music Director of St. John’s Episcopal Church, West Hartford CT in 2010, he held music director positions at All Saints’ Church, Worcester MA, Christ Episcopal Church, Los Altos CA, and Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, Brooklyn Heights NY. He is active as a composer, choral clinician, organ recitalist and recording artist (JAV Recordings), and is a singing member of and organist for Mastersingers USA, a men’s touring ensemble.
The Service at 12 noon will be led by The Reverend Daniel C. Gunn, Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre. The preacher will be The Reverend Dr. Robert Zanicky, Pastor of The First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre. Special music will be presented by Ellen Rutkowski, mezzo-soprano, and led by St. Stephen’s Organist and Choirmaster, Canon Mark Laubach.