Absalom Jones Episcopal Center Receives Grant

Trinity Church, Wall Street awarded a grant of $400,000 to the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing in early June to serve as a convenor for The Episcopal Church on anti-racism initiatives through providing training to youth, clergy, and lay leaders. 

“We are delighted to be able to support your program, and we look forward to hearing of its progress and impact,” said The Reverend Dr. William Lupfer, the rector of Trinity Church. Through its Grants Program, Trinity Church Wall Street collaborates in mission and ministry with churches and organizations in the United States and internationally. 

The Absalom Jones Center is a faith-based nonprofit organization that invites individuals to open their minds and hearts through a curriculum of experiences and activities that help to dismantle personal prejudice, take down racism, and bring forth reconciliation.

Executive Director Dr. Catherine Meeks outlined the ways in which the grant will be used at the center. Between July 2018 through July 2019, the center will be able to hire a full-time administrative and program assistant, extend daily hours into the evening so students who wish can use the space, and organize and implement more extensive pilgrimages and programs to support its mission. 

The funds will also support the continued work of designing curricular materials for youth and adults, will address racial healing, justice, and reconciliation. Finally, the grant will enable the center to make those materials available to Spanish and Indigenous people.
 

Are you interested in a daytime EfM class?

We at Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA, are looking for a few good men and women who would be interested in an Education for Ministry (EfM) class that meets during the day. 

If you would like to explore your spirituality and develop your personal theology and are unable to attend a night class, email or call Dianne Olson at dolson42668@gmail.com or 770-851-2472, or Ellen Lewis at elewis3000@yahoo.com or 678-546-0844. If there is enough interest (we need at least 6 people) in a day class, we will get started on forming one.

So, if you have any interest, please let us know so we can get to work!

ECF Accepting Applications for All Grant Programs

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The Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia is currently accepting applications for both of our grant programs:

Q4 Small Acts of Charity Grants: due September 15, 2018
General Grant LOIs: due September 31, 2018

Those interested in applying for funding should visit ECFimpact.org/grants for instructions and the link to each application.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Executive Director Lindsey Hardegree at lhardegree@episcopalatlanta.org or (404) 601-5362 with any questions they may have regarding eligibility or their applications.

Recognizing Racial Reconciliation at the 79th General Convention

The 79th annual General Convention, held July 4-13, has been a venue for many conversations over the past week. Along with other topics, dioceses throughout the country have come to share words, wisdom, questions, and challenges facing their communities and Christian at large. Among them all, one message from the Diocese of Atlanta’s own Dr. Catherine Meeks rang loud and clear.

“We are saying, at the Absalom Jones Center, to racism, that your time is over,” Dr. Meeks told the audience one of the TEConversations.

Dr. Meeks is the executive director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. The faith-based organization invites people of all walks in life and religion to come and learn with the curriculum, activities, and deep conversations to uncover and work through their prejudices. The Absalom Jones Center works to help open people’s minds and hearts as the ultimate means of helping to end systemic racism.

Dr. Meeks’s speech is about 10 minutes long and begins at 29 minutes 39 seconds. You can watch her and the full session in the video above or you can view here.

General Convention commits to racial reconciliation and becoming a ‘Beloved Community’

"Efforts that began in 2015 with action by General Convention, when racial reconciliation was identified as a priority of the Episcopal Church, is bearing fruit in work done during the 79th General Convention."

Click here to read the full Episcopal News Service. 

WE ARE UNDERWAY!

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Deputies and bishops from throughout The Episcopal Church have begun reading and preparing fervently for the legislation and events which await us in Austin, Texas, July 5-13, 2018. I am so honored to be one of the deputies from the Diocese of Atlanta, and I am glad to provide a brief description of what is in store for us this summer. 

My favorite description of General Convention is that it can be divided among three equal parts: “part national (or churchwide) legislature session, part local county fair, and part huge family reunion.” 

Surely, one exciting part of convention is the county fair flavor. When I was a child, I loved going to the Coweta County Fair, because the booths and the animals and games and rides were so exciting. At General Convention, some of the animals and games and rides are thrilling; but the booths –from the sublime to the ridiculous-- are truly representative of the church. Almost every church-related or religion-related company sets up shop, selling and marketing their wares and services. And they are really good!

 Deputation photo-back row, L-R Vy. Rev. Mary Demmler, Rev. Jeff Jackson, Rev. Cynthia Park, Rev. Arthur Villarreal, Bishop Rob Wright, Raz Schreiber, John Andrews (sorry he got put in the back!) Bruce Garner, Les Callahan. Front row L-R, Beth King, LaFawn Gilliam, Rev. Sharon Hiers, Vy. Rev. Sam Candler, Angela Williamson

Deputation photo-back row, L-R Vy. Rev. Mary Demmler, Rev. Jeff Jackson, Rev. Cynthia Park, Rev. Arthur Villarreal, Bishop Rob Wright, Raz Schreiber, John Andrews (sorry he got put in the back!) Bruce Garner, Les Callahan. Front row L-R, Beth King, LaFawn Gilliam, Rev. Sharon Hiers, Vy. Rev. Sam Candler, Angela Williamson

The General Convention is also one-third family reunion. If one has been at all active in the Episcopal Church, he or she is bound to see someone they know or recognize. Most of the active bishops are present; and the older one gets, the more one knows Episcopalians from around the Church. Every diocese sends four lay deputies and four clergy deputies (that’s over 800 more folks). Add the representatives of Episcopal Church Women (ECW) from every diocese, who meet simultaneously. Then add the hundreds of other church officials and friends. Seminary reunions and special episcopal organizations, who are also meeting. You have then a wonderful church family reunion. 

Finally, of course, legislation occurs. I have no idea how many total pieces of legislation will be considered this year, but the number will probably top 300. Some of the legislation is controversial, some of it is honorable, and some of it borders on the trivial. So goes legislation anywhere.

Having been a Deputy for a number of years, I actually enjoy the legislative work. But please believe me that it is hard work! It takes time and careful, orderly, attention to accomplish successful legislation in the Church. I have chaired the Prayer Book and Liturgy Committee of General Convention several times, often dealing with so much legislative and committee work that I never even entered the Exhibition Hall (the “county fair” element of Convention).

This year, it is my responsibility to have been asked by the “Presiding Deputy” of the Episcopal Church to chair a special legislative committee, the committee which will receive any proposed resolutions having to do with revising the Book of Common Prayer. It will be “Committee 13.”  “Oh my!” people exclaim, “Will we change the prayer book at this convention?” The answer is No; there is no proposed new Book of Common Prayer. But there are good and sound resolutions put forward that have us entering a season of careful revision. That subject will be open for debate and discussion. 

I mentioned the phrase “Presiding Deputy” of The Episcopal Church. We all know, and pray for, the person we know as our “Presiding Bishop.” At General Convention in particular, however, the Church becomes more aware of an equally authoritative house of The Episcopal Church. As the House of Bishops is presided over by a presiding bishop, so is the House of Deputies presided over by a Presiding Deputy – and she has to carefully oversee 800 plus deputies. Again, it takes a lot of attention and work.

Any successful resolution that affects the entire Episcopal Church must be passed, exactly with the same language, by both houses, independently. How does that happen? Well, it’s not magic. It is careful and persevering work. Details and precise words matter!

It can be fun to monitor special events at General Convention, especially resolutions which affect our Prayer Book and our common life. The web site of The Episcopal Church can help you do that. Inevitably, there will be some discussions and resolutions that garner more attention than others. This year, those discussions might include women’s issues, Israel/Palestine issues, budget issues, and –of course- prayer book issues.

However, I also remind Episcopalians that, most of the time, our church work is not at General Convention. Our ministry is our daily work in the world, in our parishes, and in our dioceses, trying our best to honor and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. Being a Christian is a daily affair, not something which commands our attention only once every three years! 

I urge us to remember that the heart and soul of Christ’s work in the world occurs at the local level, at the parish level, at the level where most of us serve in our daily lives – in fact, where the real initiative and creativity of everyday Christianity is. The best decisions that the Episcopal Church makes every three years are those that have already proven their efficacy and truth at the local level, in parishes throughout our communion. So, the best way we can participate in the national church is to pray, serve, work, and study right where we are. May God bless each of our vocations. And pray for General Convention!

  By Vy. Rev. Sam Candler

By Vy. Rev. Sam Candler

 

Caring For Children is Not Political

ATLANTA (June 19, 2018) - A Statement issued by The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta:

It’s not being political to say America shouldn't be in the business of breaking up families, it’s Christian. It’s not being political to say America shouldn't be putting children in kennel style cages, it’s Christian.

It’s not political to say that causing children’s tears and mothers’ fear is not the best use of our nations might, it’s Christian. It’s not being political to remember that both Republican and Democratic Presidents previously chose not to separate families while enforcing immigration policy.

Not being political to remind the U.S. Attorney General that quoting the Book of Romans is fine but, “...as you do unto the least of these, you do unto me.” is probably a more apt guidance for this situation.

It’s not Liberal or Conservative to insist that we can have secure borders AND immigration policies that treat people with dignity, it’s being decent.

 Life with God is a covenant for individuals and nations, the Bible tells us. Faithfulness to God, especially in difficult hours, is the measure of faithfulness.

As an American, a veteran and someone trying to follow Jesus it breaks my heart to see so many cheer and jeer as economic and political refugees are treated like sub-humans.

It’s not being a political partisan to say that the abandonment of covenant with God leads to ruin. Inability to compassionately deal with the vulnerable is proof of inability to wield power.

“Pride goeth before a fall.”
-        Proverbs 16:18

CETLA Graduates Second Class

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The Episcopal Center for Theological Education for Latinos (CETLA) has graduated its second class of students.

The June 16, 2018 ceremony was attended by 23 graduates and their families and friends. Certificates of Completion were presented to graduates by The Rev. Alicia Schuster-Weltner, Diocesan Canon to the Ordinary.

The two-year theological training program is open to members of Episcopal Hispanic congregations who wish to deepen their faith. CETLA was developed in 2014 by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta with the approval of Bishop Robert C. Wright.

CETLA operates under the guidance of The Reverend Isaias Rodriguez, Canon for Hispanic Ministries. The first class of 22 graduated in June 19, 2016. Two members of the 2016 class, the Reverends Gregoria Betances and Irma Gerra, will be ordained as Episcopal priests on June 23.

CETLA is grounded upon the concept of the ministry of all believers as outlined in the Episcopal baptismal covenant and the Episcopal identity informed by Holy Scripture, tradition and reason.

Students in the program include people serving in positions of responsibility, such as lay readers, Eucharistic ministers, catechists, vestry, ushers and those with a call to ordained ministry.

Hispanic Clergy of the Dioceses of Atlanta teach CETLA classes, which include Old and New Testament, Liturgy, Ethics and Morality, The Book of Common Prayer, Church history, Spirituality, The Anglican Communion, Ecumenism and others.

A third two-year class will begin on September 15, Canon Rodriguez said. Information about CETLA and other Diocesan Hispanic ministries is at https://www.episcopalatlanta.org/Mission-Work/Hispanic-Ministries-/.

- Don Plummer, Media and Community Relations Manager, The Diocese of Atlanta.

Reading Camp At St. Matthew's

Reading Camp at Snellville, held annually since 2013, will be up and running again this year from June 18-22. It is modeled after the Reading Camp program begun by the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky.

A non-religious, no-fee camp, the camp focuses on campers who are rising 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and who demonstrate a deficit in reading skills. Campers participate in morning learning centers and afternoon traditional camping experiences. Nutritious meals-breakfast, lunch and two snacks are provided.

The 2018 camp whose theme is “Alone and Brave” is an all day camp Monday to Friday, June 18th-22nd. The morning focus will revolve around “The Island of the Blue Dolphins”. The afternoon programing will include a guest children’s author and book signing, gardening, crafts, soda straw rocket making, yoga, cabin reading and a program presented by the Gwinnett Co. Public Library.
Our campers come primarily from the greater metro area, including public, parochial, and home schools. Although the campers are English speakers, many languages are spoken in their homes including Korean, Chinese, Amharic, French, and Creole. Many qualify for free and reduced meal programs.

For the 2018 camp we have an adult volunteer staff of 30+ and 6 teen counselors, five of whom are former campers. We are fired up and ready to enjoy a fun week with our 20 campers!

Bishop Wright Appoints Congregational Vitality Advisory Team

On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Bishop Wright convened a group of lay and clergy from across the Diocese and appointed them as the Vitality Advisory Team (VAT).

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The VAT will partner with the Bishop and Canon for Congregational Vitality to increase the spiritual maturity of worshipping communities of the Diocese of Atlanta by:

  • Analyzing parochial reports (plus the 5th page) in order to identify congregation specific vitality initiatives.
  • Producing and presenting reports and other relevant materials on congregational vitality at Annual Council and Clergy Conference.
  • Convening and presenting findings as necessary, to fellow members of the diocese.

TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDE:
The Rev. Mandy Brady (Canterbury Court)
Mr. Mallard Benton (St. Matthew’s, Snellville)
The Rev. Grace Burton-Edwards (St. Thomas, Columbus)
Mrs. Joan Curtis (St. Gregory’s, Athens)
The Rev. Tim Graham (Trinity, Columbus)
The Rev. Jeff Jackson (St. Margaret’s, Carrollton)
The Rev. Simon Mainwaring (All Saints, Atlanta)
The Rev. Tom Pumphrey, Chair (St. Peter & St. St. Paul, Marietta)
Mr. Bob Stecher (St. Aidan’s, Milton)
Mr. Mal Underwood (Ascension, Cartersville)

Parish Fundraising Results in More than $30,000 for Hunger-Related Grant

On February 25, 2018, the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia (ECF) partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and local faith organizations for the 34th Annual Hunger Walk Run. Episcopalians walked, ran, or volunteered for the Diocese of Atlanta, with 45 teams formed in support of ECF. Prior to the 5K walk and run, 150 youth and adults attended a Eucharist service celebrated by The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, with a powerful sermon by Father Ricardo Bailey.

“The Episcopal community showed up in full-force to support those facing food insecurity throughout our diocese,” said Justin Streeter, Board Chair for the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia. “16.2% of the people living in Georgia are food insecure, and when our parishes join us for the Hunger Walk Run, they are demonstrating how this is unacceptable. We're proud to be able to offer these grants to efforts within our community that are tangibly fighting hunger.”

The 2018 Hunger Walk Run was an incredible success, and through the immense fundraising efforts of parishes around the Diocese, ECF has received more than $30,000 to support local hunger-related ministries and organizations. ECF is dedicated to funding opportunities for Episcopal parishes to work with their local community and nonprofits to serve the poor and oppressed. With that in mind, ECF will grant these funds to the following organizations for their partnerships with our parishes:

  • Community Helping Place, who partners with St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church (Dahlonega), will receive a grant of $6,000 to support food purchasing for its clients.
  • Midtown Assistance Center, who partners with All Saints Episcopal Church (Atlanta) and St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Atlanta), will receive a grant of $16,500 to increase its supply of fresh fruits and vegetables for its clients.
  • St. Patrick's Episcopal Church (Atlanta) will receive a grant of $7,593.60 towards renovating the kitchen space of its Malachi's Storehouse food ministry.
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This year, Bishop Wright issued a challenge for the Bishop’s Cup – the parish that raised the most funds for the Hunger Walk Run would receive the coveted award trophy as well as a gift of $3,400 to be used for the parish’s outreach ministries. The competition was particularly fierce, with St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church working to defend their title for a fifth year. However, St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Atlanta) prevailed by raising a whopping $10,931, winning the Bishop's Cup for the first time! St. Bartholomew's came in a close second place with $8,805. Special recognition goes to the following parishes who each raised more than $1,000 to fight hunger in our Diocese: The Church of Our Saviour (Atlanta), St. James Episcopal Church (Clayton), St. Catherine's Episcopal Church (Marietta), Church of the Epiphany (Atlanta), Christ Episcopal Church (Norcross), Emmanuel Episcopal Church (Athens), Church of the Holy Comforter (Atlanta), and St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church (Stone Mountain).

This year's parish fundraising efforts were truly incredible! Special thanks to the following individuals who each raised more than $500 and were a part of the Hunger Walk Run Champions Circle:

  • Shirley Lee, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (Atlanta)
  • Belinda McIntosh, St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Atlanta)
  • Connie Bergeron, St. Catherine's Episcopal Church (Marietta)
  • Christopher Miller, Church of Our Saviour (Atlanta)
  • Ben Ehlers, Emmanuel Episcopal Church (Athens)
  • Heather Dickenson, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church (Stone Mountain)
  • Jan Nash, St. James' Episcopal Church (Clayton)
  • Cynthia Allen-Peterson, St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Atlanta)
  • Mary Sommers, Church of Our Saviour (Atlanta)
  • Ashley Erwin, Church of the Holy Comforter (Atlanta)
  • Robert Rosenzweig, Church of Our Saviour (Atlanta)
  • Sharon Hiers, Church of the Epiphany (Atlanta)
  • Beverly Lloyd, St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Atlanta)
  • Ginny Parrino, St. Benedict's Episcopal Church (Smyrna)
  • Veronica Ridenhour, St. Augustine's Episcopal Church (Morrow)
  • Kristie Bradford-Hunt, St. Julian's Episcopal Church (Douglasville)
  • Max Chesnut-Anne, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (Atlanta)

For more information about the Hunger Walk Run, including how you can create a team to support the event in 2019, please contact Lindsey Hardegree at 404.601.5362 or LHardegree@episcopalatlanta.org.

Former Bishop Suffragan of Diocese of Dallas fills in during Sabbatical

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Paul E. Lambert was elected the seventh Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Dallas on Saturday, March 29, 2008 at The Cathedral of St. Matthew’s, in Dallas.  For the previous six years he had served as Canon to the Ordinary in Dallas under Bishop James M Stanton. For fifteen years prior to his becoming Canon to the Ordinary he served as Rector of St. James Episcopal Church, in Texarkana.

Lambert was born in Reno, Nevada on May 19, 1950 and spent the first 10 years of his life in Reno and Fallon, Nevada. For two years his family lived in the Lake Tahoe, California area before moving to Oxnard, California where he graduated from high school. He then attended Ventura Community College for one year before transferring to the College of Sequoias in Visalia, California. Upon completing his studies he transferred to California State University, San Francisco where he graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts.

Lambert then attended Nashotah House Theological Seminary, where he graduated with a Master of Divinity. Two days later he married Sally Lynne Nicholls before moving to his first Cure at St. Paul’s in Modesto, California and St. Matthias in Oakdale, California. Their twin daughters, Claire Marie and Rebecca Anne were born in 1976. The family then moved to Taft, California, where Lambert served as Vicar of St. Andrews. Two years later, he was called as a Curate at the Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas, Texas.

In 1978, Lambert was called as Rector of St. John’s, Great Bend, Kansas and later yoked St. Mark’s, Lyons, Kansas. After three years, he was called as an Assistant for Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Plano, Texas. It was from there he was called as Rector of St. James, Texarkana, Texas, in 1987, serving until 2002, when Bishop Stanton called him to serve as Canon to the Ordinary.

Lambert has served the Diocese of Dallas as a member of the Standing Committee for two terms including as President; Member of the Executive Council; President of the Ecclesiastical Authority; Member of Committee for the Nomination of a Bishop; Strategic Planning Committee; Cursillo Spiritual Director; and other commissions in the diocese. In addition to these, he has served as a deputy to General Convention and as Chair of the Deputation. He also served on the Interim Committee on the State of the Church for the House of Deputies, and as a member of the Committee on Social and Urban Affairs for the House of Deputies.

Paul and Sally have three children: Claire Marie, Rebecca Anne and Megan Elizabeth. They have five grandchildren, two boys and three girls.

Bishop Lambert will visit the following parishes while Bishop Wright is on sabbatical:
Sunday, June 24: St. John's, College Park
Sunday, August 12: St. Mary's, Montezuma
Sunday, August 26: St. Barnabas, Trion
Sunday, September 9: St. James, Cedartown
Sunday, September 16: St. Luke’s, Fort Valley
Sunday, October 14: St. Alban's, Monroe
Sunday, October 21: Mediator, Washington

Diocese of Atlanta Communications Honored by Religious Communication Organizations

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The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta is honored to have received awards for communication, marketing, and design again this year by both the Episcopal Communicators and the Religion Communicators Council. 

“These awards indicate we are on the right track in how we communicate the key message of our purpose statement:  ‘We challenge ourselves and the world to love like Jesus…’ Through multiple channels and media, we seek to engage those within and outside our membership,“ Canon Bonnie Burgess said.

Held at Kanuga in North Carolina in April, Episcopal Communicators presented our diocese with ten Polly Bond Awards, including two awards of excellence. Marketing for the Absalom Jones Center received two, and Pathways magazine received three awards. 

The communication efforts for the diocese, such as the new design of Pathways magazine, videos, social media, and web presence are managed by Green Gate Marketing. The socially conscious Atlanta-based agency has partnered with the diocese since 2016 and serves as the diocesan design and communications team. Green Gate Marketing founder and CEO, Katherine Branch, traveled to Kanuga to receive these awards from Episcopal Communicators for work done on behalf of the diocese.

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The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and Green Gate Marketing were also recognized by the Religious Communicators Council (RCC) at its annual convention, which was held April 5-7 in Atlanta. Pathways magazine earned six awards, including two Best of Class.

“We are humbled and honored to have received these awards from two such reputable organizations, and even more, we are grateful to work on projects like these which, at their core, are about sharing love, kindness, and inspiration,” said Katherine Branch.

Taliaferro County Receives new Health Care Clinic

 (L-R) Diocese of Atlanta Archdeacon Carole Maddux, Dr. John O'Shea, Taliaferro County Commission Chair Charles Ware, Community Health Care Systems CEO Carla Belcher, The Rev. Loree Reed, Taliaferro School Superintendent Allen Fort, Bishop Robert C. Wright, Ga. Rep. Trey Rhodes open the Taliaferro County Community Health Clinic.

(L-R) Diocese of Atlanta Archdeacon Carole Maddux, Dr. John O'Shea, Taliaferro County Commission Chair Charles Ware, Community Health Care Systems CEO Carla Belcher, The Rev. Loree Reed, Taliaferro School Superintendent Allen Fort, Bishop Robert C. Wright, Ga. Rep. Trey Rhodes open the Taliaferro County Community Health Clinic.

On May 8, Bishop Rob Wright, Archdeacon Carole Maddux, and the Rev. Loree Reed participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for a brand new, health care clinic in Taliaferro County. This clinic is the first fruit of a call in 2016 by Bishop Rob Wright to identify and help meet pressing needs within the counties of our diocese without an Episcopal presence.

Using the Asset-Based Community Development model developed by Episcopal Relief and Development, a small group of volunteers studied the counties, made contact with local leaders, and worked with them over the past two years to identify and accomplish their goal.

The most pressing need identified by Taliaferro County residents was access to primary health care. A partnership of county, city, and school officials was formed that developed a plan to create and support this health clinic. Located on Taliaferro County School property, the clinic will serve uninsured children and adults from Taliaferro County's population of 1,700.

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For more information on the effort to assist the unserved counties within the Diocese of Atlanta, contact Don Plummer, dplummer@episcopalatlanta.org.

Learn more about Asset-Based Community Development. 

WHERE DO GENERAL CONVENTION RESOLUTIONS COME FROM AND WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM?

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Our General Convention (GC) is a legislative body. It consists of the House of Bishops (HOB) and House of Deputies (HOD). It operates like most legislative bodies in how it does its business as required by our constitution and canons. Every three years, we gather to handle some items of business required by our governing documents. The triennial budget is a good example. Even that comes to the GC as a resolution. Beyond those business items mandated for the GC, we also receive and act upon resolutions on a variety of topics. So what happens to all of them?

GC Resolutions come from four sources: 
“A” resolutions originate from commissions, committees, agencies and boards of The Episcopal Church. Those have been received as part of the Blue Book, which also contains required reporting from those same organizations. Each has a number. For example, the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music might put forth resolution A022 on some subject. 

“B” resolutions originate from bishops of the church. They also have numbers. One might be resolution B005.

“C” resolutions originate from the dioceses and provinces of our church. Again, they are numbered. Province IV might put forth resolution C034 regarding some aspect of the church’s mission.

“D” resolutions originate from deputies to GC. Deputy Smith might be the author of resolution D009 about some topic of concern to a group of deputies.

These resolutions may be viewed on the website of The Episcopal Church (www.episcopalchurch.org) by going to the pages for GC. New ones will be posted as they are received between now and the deadline established at GC.
Each resolution is assigned to a committee of GC consisting of deputies and bishops. That committee holds open hearings on the resolution, discusses it, and might amend it. Hearings are required for all resolutions. Anyone is allowed to offer testimony on a given resolution. They don’t have to be a bishop or deputy. They don’t even have to be part of The Episcopal Church! It is an open hearing. 

Then the committee votes on whether to send it forth to the floor of the house of origination. While bishops and deputies of the committee meet and discuss together, each votes separately. The combined committee increases efficiency with all involved at the same time.
The committee may send the resolution forth recommending approval, recommending rejection, recommending discharge as having already been acted upon at a different GC, or whatever action they deem appropriate. The HOB and HOD will each receive the resolution and committee recommendation, discuss, debate, etc. They may amend the resolution as well. Each house will then vote on the disposition so that the resolution is approved, rejected, referred to a committee, tabled or whatever the mind of the house decides.

If the house first acting on the resolution approves it, the resolution then goes to the other house for action. BOTH houses must pass the given resolution containing the exact same wording for it to become an official action of GC. Sometimes, the second house decides to amend a resolution so it then goes back to the first house for further action. Usually there isn’t a lot of “back and forth,” so the final action is taken.

Once a resolution has passed both houses, it becomes the position of The Episcopal Church. The same applies to canonical changes, revisions to the constitution, and the Book of Common Prayer. The latter two require affirmative votes from two successive GC’s….again identical wording for both votes.

So, that is what happens to resolutions sent to the General Convention. Keep in mind, however, that like any legislative body, what goes into the committee and what ultimately is reported out for action may look very different. That’s just part of the process. 

After the adjournment of GC, a journal will be prepared that shows the disposition of every resolution that came before that GC. A lot of work takes place at GC’s. So, it usually takes a while for it all to be properly documented in the journal. Once published, the journal is available online through the website of the church.
 

  By Bruce Garner, Lay Deputee

By Bruce Garner, Lay Deputee

 

Diocese of Atlanta represented in "The Jesus Movement" ECVA Art Exhibition

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Art Exhibition: "The Jesus Movement: Loving, Liberating, Life-Giving" 

This national online exhibition of 40 artworks at Episcopal Church & Visual Arts (ECVA) includes a painting by Catherine Jo Morgan, member of Grace-Calvary in Clarkesville. She is the sole artist representing the Diocese of Atlanta in this exhibition, whose timing and theme coordinate with General Convention 2018. The curators are Frank and Victoria Logue, of the Diocese of Georgia. You can view a digital image of Cathy's heart painting, "Anam Cara," at http://ecva.org/exhibition/tjm/exhibit32-CMorgan.html

The entire exhibition is on view at http://ecva.org/exhibition/tjm/index.html, and several previous exhibitions may also be viewed at this website, along with a directory of artist members. Membership in ECVA is open to all Episcopal visual artists, and the call for the Fall 2018 exhibition will soon be announced. More paintings in Morgan's new "Anam Cara" series can also be viewed, at https://heartpainter.com/anam-cara-desk-icons/
 

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Elements of a Contemplative Reformation: Contemplative Summer School

As part of the ongoing framework, Elements of a Contemplative Reformation, Grace Episcopal Church will offer a three-session Contemplative Summer School.  On Sunday evenings, June 24, July 22, and August 19, we will gather from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in the Parish Hall. Together, we will explore core elements of contemplative spirituality as well as ways that our practice can nurture and encourage a compassionate embodiment of Christ's love in the world today.

Participants are encouraged to purchase and read the five key books, which will help contribute to the ongoing conversation all Summer. Key texts from Richard Rohr, Phileena Heuertz, Tilden Edwards, Margaret Benefiel, and John Main will shape our discussions and reflections. Fr. Stuart will lead each conversation, connecting our conversations in the diocese with ongoing global conversations in contemplative studies.  


These Summer School sessions will also serve as a foundation to further work in the Fall with three workshops, featuring the Rev. Dr. Tilden Edwards and the Rev. Dr. Sharon Hiers, the Rev. Dr. Margaret Benefiel and the Rev. Sarah Fisher, and Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM and the Rev. Brian Sullivan.  

St. Timothy's DOK's partnership with Hagar's House Emergency Shelter

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The Daughters of the King (DOK) (Esther Chapter) of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Decatur continues to strengthen its relationship with the Decatur Cooperative Ministry. A check in the amount of $100.00 was recently presented to Ms. Marlene White, Executive Director of the Decatur Cooperative Ministry, to enhance and support the work of Hagar’s House Emergency Shelter for women and children. 


In 2016, the Daughters of the King began its ministry with Hagar’s House by providing hot meals to residents on a quarterly basis. In 2017, the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia awarded a Small Acts of Charity Grant to St. Timothy’s to renovate kitchen space as part of the expansion of its Food Pantry Ministry. The resulting expansion of this Ministry has allowed the Daughters of the King to significantly increase the number of hot meals provided to residents of Hagar’s House in the last two quarters of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. 


The DOK of St Timothy’s is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Decatur Cooperative Ministry and to be of service to Hagar’s House Emergency Shelter.  

Episcopal priest has asked for mercy for Georgia death row inmate

An Episcopal priest has asked for mercy for Georgia death row inmate set to die Thursday.

The Reverend Allan Sandlin asked the Ga. Board of Pardons and Parole, to commute Robert Earl Butts Jr.'s death sentence to life in prison.

Sandlin, a priest at St. Martin in the Fields Church in Atlanta, said he got to know Butts three years ago when another clergy asked him to visit Butts. His visits have continued every month since.

 Robert Earl Butts Jr.

Robert Earl Butts Jr.

"Robert is a remarkable man. From the very beginning of our friendship, I’ve been continually surprised by Robert’s upbeat attitude toward life. Under very the hard circumstances of living on Death Row, he stays positive and manages somehow to lift the spirits of all who come into contact with him," Sandlin said in a letter to the Board. "It surprises me, he surprises me, with how readily he finds and shares hope—and even joy—in the world when his own corner of it is so dark. Every time I see him, I leave feeling better about the world than when I came in. That is, to say the least, not what I expected."

"His is a deeply Christian approach to friendship. Whenever Robert joins us in the barber shop on Death Row for holy communion, I feel grateful to have accompanied him on his journey of faith."

"Robert is also a wonderful artist. .... When I look at [Butts] photos and drawings, and when I think of the kind and gentle person I know, I find it very difficult to believe Robert capable of killing anyone. Robert leads a purposeful life. I’ve witnessed his growing love for Christ through his art, his concern for his fellow inmates, and his care for his family and friends. I hope you will commute his sentence to life, at a minimum, if not pardon him. The God I know would show mercy beyond measure to Robert."

The Board will decide today whether Butts will die for the 1996 murder of Donovan Corey Parks.

Ecumenical Prayer Service

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April 4, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His assassination sent shockwaves reverberating around the world. While his life was cut short, his legacy continues. “Without justice, there can be no peace.” These words are as true today as they were when he wrote them over fifty years ago.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory and faith leaders of other Christian denominations gathered together at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Monday, April 23, 2018, for an Ecumenical Prayer Service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Guest speakers included Lutheran Bishop Julian Gordy, Greek Orthodox Father Panayiotis Papageorgiou, Civil Rights Leader/Baptist Pastor Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley and Episcopal Bishop Don Wimberly.