Episcopalians Take Stand for Humane Treatment at U.S. Border

Episcopalians were among hundreds of Georgians who gathered July 12th at vigils protesting the treatment of children and families seeking asylum at our nation's Southern border with Mexico.

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The Georgia Lights for Liberty vigils were among those held on five continents and in nearly 600 locations.

The Rev. Fabio Sotelo of St. Bede’s Episcopal Church said he and others helped organize the vigils because they are “outraged that migrant children have been denied the most basic of necessities and that these egregious violations of their human rights have gone unchecked.”

One of the largest Georgia events was held in Chamblee at the Plaza Fiesta Shopping Center where more than 300 heard speakers demand humane treatment of asylum seekers.

Juan Sandoval, Archdeacon at the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, and Catherine Meeks, Director of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing, spoke at the Plaza Fiesta vigil. Both urged those present to demand that immigration officials follow the examples and teachings of Jesus to welcome the downtrodden.

“Remember that our objective is to do the work that Our Lord Jesus Christ has shown us and has given us the example to follow,” said Sandoval, who had traveled to the border to assist migrants.

Meeks, who earlier this month gathered clergy and laity at the Absalom Jones Center to plan actions to assist immigrants, urged the crowd to donate gasoline debit cards to El Refugio, a ministry of hospitality that gives families lodging for visiting loved ones at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.

Meeks and Sandoval were among more than 20 speakers at the event organized by The Rev. Tom Hagood, Chair of the New Sanctuary Movement of Atlanta.

Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Unitarian-Universalist clergy, led prayers for detained immigrants and advocates for immigration reform said those at the event have the power to change unjust systems.

Teresa Tomlinson, former Columbus mayor, and Ted Terry, Clarkston mayor, decried current government policies. Both Tomlinson and Terry are Democrats taking on incumbent U.S. Senator David Perdue in 2020.

“Asking for asylum is not a crime, being a child immigrant is not a crime,” Tomlinson said. And noting that ICE raids on migrant families are expected to begin on Sunday, July 14, Tomlinson asked people to pray for peace, justice and for mercy.

Terry said being the mayor of a city with one of the highest number of refugees in the country makes Clarkston a “stronger, safer and more compassionate” community. The administration has made it their business to take on the weakest and most vulnerable among us,” Terry said

Episcopal clergy and laity from several parishes attending the Chamblee event included Christ Church, Norcross; St. Patrick’s, Dunwoody; St. Teresa’s, Acworth.

The Atlanta Resistance Revival Chorus, which included the Rev. Licia B. Affer of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, sang We Shall Overcome as the event transitioned from rally to a silent candlelight vigil, symbolically bringing light into the darkness of U.S. immigration policies.

In Macon, the Lights for Liberty event drew several dozen to the steps of the Macon-Bibb County Government Center. Among those speaking were Episcopal Archdeacon Janet Tidwell and other clergy and activists from Middle Georgia.

A smaller, but enthusiastic crowd gathered in Alpharetta, which included several Episcopalians. Among them, Archdeacon Carole Maddux and Deacons Victoria Jarvis and John Ray.

Other Georgia events were held in Clarkston, Cumming, Holly Springs, Lawrenceville, Athens, Blueridge, Columbus, Dahlonega, Madison, Macon, Savannah, Statesboro and Watkinsville.

Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin, a co-founder of Lights for Liberty, said the idea for the vigils began with a series of tweets which “shared the horrors that one of our co-founders, attorney Toby Gialluca, had seen inside the camps.

“Since then, we’ve watched thousands of ordinary people come together to organize events and fight back worldwide,” McLaughlin said. “We intend to be here for as long as it takes, until every last detainee, in every last camp, is free.”

Information on future events can be found at lightsforliberty.org.

Diocese Co-Organizes Book Drive for Georgia's Imprisoned


Can you imagine being shut up in a cell without anything to occupy your mind? While several studies show that access to books in prison contributes to lower recidivism rates, many of Georgia's prison libraries have a limited number of books for inmates. And, after years of zero funding from the state for literacy programs of any kind, most of the books already in stock are quite damaged.

Several parishes across the Diocese, along with some local book clubs and the Smyrna Toastmasters, have teamed up to organize a book drive for the state's prison libraries. Together they have collected close to 1500 books and magazines which will be distributed to the neediest libraries.

Books will be picked up this Friday, July 12 from St. Benedict's Episcopal Church in Smyrna.

For more information, please contact Kristine Anderson at 770-435-0208.

Nowhere to Lay Our Heads

A young migrant girl sits on the floor as her father, recently released from federal detention with other Central American asylum seekers, gets a bus ticket at a bus depot on June 11, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by LOREN ELLIOTT/AFP/Getty Images.)

A young migrant girl sits on the floor as her father, recently released from federal detention with other Central American asylum seekers, gets a bus ticket at a bus depot on June 11, 2019, in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by LOREN ELLIOTT/AFP/Getty Images.)

By Don Plummer

Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta the Rt. Rev. Robert Wright addressed the crisis at our southern border in his weekly For Faith devotional on Friday, June 28.

Wright, who has frequently spoken out on other issues such as gun violence, access to healthcare, and prison reform, said of his devotional message that "the Christian Gospels compel believers to think, pray and act when groups or governments take actions that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth."

In his recent For Faith piece, “Nowhere”, Wright reflects on the Biblical passage in which Jesus says that he and his followers will often be at odds with the values of those focused on their own welfare over that of others.


Jesus remarked he had, “…nowhere to lay his head.” There’s a haunting sadness in that phrase. He said it after being turned away by two villages. He said it to warn his friends that following him would lead to nowhere for them. Recently we’ve seen images of small children sleeping on cold cement floors without blankets or pillows. Some say they deserve “nowhere to lay their head” because they’re “immigrant detainees.” Jesus’ life and teachings offer a window into the mind of God and a critique of the world we’ve created. Therefore, the gospel is always political but never partisan. Always an indictment lying beside an invitation.      

Luke 9:51-62


Ninguna parte

Jesús comentó que no tenía, "... ningún lugar para recostar su cabeza". Hay una tristeza inquietante en esa frase. Lo dijo después de ser rechazado por dos aldeas. Lo dijo para advertir a sus amigos de que seguirlo les conduciría a ninguna parte. Recientemente, hemos visto imágenes de niños pequeños durmiendo en pisos de cemento frío sin mantas o almohadas. Algunos dicen que no merecen "ningún lugar para recostar la cabeza" porque son "detenidos inmigrantes". La vida y las enseñanzas de Jesús ofrecen una ventana a la mente de Dios y una crítica del mundo que hemos creado. Por lo tanto, el evangelio es siempre político pero nunca partidista. Siempre una acusación al lado de una invitación.

Lucas 9: 51-62

The chosen passage, Luke 9: 51-62, designated to be read in Episcopal Church services and those of many other Christian denominations on June 30, is part of The Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year cycle of weekly Bible readings used to varying degrees by the vast majority of mainline Protestant churches in Canada and the United States.

The Diocese of Atlanta is fully committed to welcoming all, including those fleeing oppression, war or violence, Wright said. “We provide immigrants with direct services and referrals to qualified immigration programs.” For more information, click here.

Wright said an example of sustained action being taken to address the needs of immigrants include regular visits by members of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Columbus and other area parishes to El Refugio, a ministry of hospitality to the families of men detained at one of the nation’s largest immigrant detention centers in Stewart. 

Other examples, Wright said, are the Diocese's partnerships with New American PathwaysPath to ShineNew Sanctuary Movement of AtlantaChattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministries, a dozen thriving Hispanic congregations, as well as free mental health support services for Immigrants.

"Faith without works is hollow and a disservice to the message brought to the world by Jesus," Wright said. "I pray daily that I and others avoid the lure of comfort and pomp that leads us astray from the fingernail dirty ministry that our Savior modeled."

The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright is the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta which is comprised of 118 worshiping communities in middle and north Georgia.

Bishop Wright's weekly For Faith devotional is based on the week’s Gospel reading designated for use throughout the Episcopal Church.

Don Plummer is The Diocese of Atlanta's Media and Community Relations Coordinator. Don can be reached at dplummer@episcopalatlanta.org.

Camp Craddock Arrives at Holy Family's Campus

On June 17, more than two dozen rising second and third graders descended upon the 40-acre campus of the Holy Family Episcopal Church in Jasper, GA, ready for fun, sun and laughter aplenty. For a full week, 37 volunteers from Holy Family joined with Craddock Center staff to ensure a thrilling summertime adventure for these youngsters, as part of a pilot program to bring the regionally beloved Camp Craddock to Jasper. 


For eight weeks every summer, Camp Craddock, based out of the Craddock Center in Cherry Log, GA, propagates its message of “happiness and hope” by way of mobile summer camps for young children who are living in trailer parks and low-income residences in nine counties across north Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

This pilot program in Jasper came to fruition thanks to an innovative partnership between the Boys and Girls Club of North Georgia/Pickens County, the Craddock Center and Holy Family.

Activities for the kids included storytelling, singing, group games, nature walks, puppet shows, delicious meals, and more. Over the course of a week, the pavilion and parish hall transformed into hubs of lively conversation and friendship building, while activity tents galore sprouted up all across the grounds. 

And, over just a handful of days, the camp’s trails got more use than they had all year!

The Craddock Center was founded by the late Dr. Fred Craddock, (Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching and New Testament Emeritus in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University), and his wife, Nettie, after they retired in Blue Ridge in 2001. Their mission is to enhance the lives of children in southern Appalachia through music, storytelling, movement, and a focus on preschool literacy. 

We can safely say that, as far as Holy Family is concerned, that vision was fully realized through the weeklong camp this June.

For more information, visit www.craddockcenter.org, www.bcgng.org, and www.holyfamilyepiscopalchurch.net.

Remembering a Titan: Recollections of Bishop Frank Allan, 1935–2019

By Alexis Hauk

When the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, the Rt. Rev. Frank Kellogg Allan, died on May 24, he left behind him a wealth of stories that could easily take years to collect and distill.

Frank Allan’s roughly half-century career spanned an era of accelerated social progress — including desegregation in the South, and the Episcopal Church’s ordination of women and expanded embrace of the LGBT community. An article about Frank’s life published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on June 2 succinctly laid out the highlights of his bold initiatives, which included setting up a network of safe homes for children during the Atlanta child murders of 1979-1981, starting the Folk School at Camp Mikell, and launching the nonprofit Work of Our Hands.

There’s also the crucial work Frank and his wife, Elizabeth, did upon their arrival in Macon in 1968, a volatile year bookmarked by the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy—a time when the “whole world was watching” as protesters were beaten viciously at the Democratic National Convention, and when the Vietnam War was raging, seemingly without end.

During those challenging times, as rector of St. Paul’s parish in Macon, Frank and Elizabeth “demanded inclusion,” as longtime friend Joni Woolf put it. During the Allans’ nine-year tenure at St. Paul’s, Woolf said Frank strived to remind the comfortable, predominantly white congregation that “there’s a world out there” — and that the church and parishioners should wake up and get to work trying to help that world.

In a testament to the breadth and reach of his impact as priest and then bishop, a post he served from 1989 to 2000, some 450 mourners attended Bishop Allan’s memorial service at the Cathedral of St. Philip on June 1, with countless others tuning in to the livestream from around the world.

Since Frank’s death, Elizabeth has marveled at the outpouring of gratitude and admiration people have shared with her—stories about how her late husband, her partner for more than six decades, changed their lives.

“I’ve been reading a lot of notes with things people said he said or did that I never knew about, because he was very private about that,” she said.

As true of many epics, a dynamo love story lies at the core of Frank’s biography, an intertwining of two souls that spanned just shy of 62 years.

Elizabeth and Frank Allan not only worked as a teacher/minister dynamic duo across Georgia and Tennessee, but they also managed to raise four children together: John, Michael, Libby and Matt — all born in quick succession in five years. And Elizabeth and Frank would later delight in their nine grandchildren.

Frank and Elizabeth met during summer school at Emory University.  Elizabeth Ansley was a student at Agnes Scott College, the women’s school in nearby Decatur, and decided, almost on a lark, to enroll in some summer classes because “a coed school might be kind of fun.”

She sat down on the first day of her modern Russian history class at Emory, and almost immediately a dapper young man dressed snappily in a white dress shirt took the seat next to her and struck up a conversation. About halfway through their chat, he asked her out. That man was Frank Allan, an English major with a penchant for history, a perfect yin to Elizabeth’s yang as a history major with a voracious appetite for literature.

Their Russian history class turned out to be less a tutorial in what was then the Soviet Union, and more a look back on the works of Dostoevsky — a romantic atmosphere primed for this flourishing new love. And yes, Elizabeth added with a smile, “I had read the textbook and Frank hadn’t, so I made an A and he made a B.”

Before too long, Frank had worked enough hours at his afternoon teaching job with a nearby elementary school to save up for an engagement ring.

Although they had both grown up Presbyterian, Frank had begun to feel drawn to Episcopalianism. Despite his early ideas about becoming a lawyer after graduation, he decided to pursue seminary at the School of Theology at The University of the South, and together, Frank and Elizabeth pivoted into living through faith on a more tangible level.

Their wedding at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur took place almost exactly one week after Elizabeth graduated from college. It was a simple affair, with the ceremony at 7 p.m. followed by a brief reception with fruit punch, wedding cookies, and green and pink mints. That’s just how things were done then.

One of the first of many moves in response to Frank’s calling, Elizabeth remembers, was a summer seminary post in Interlachen, Florida, where Elizabeth taught Vacation Bible School. It was a tiny, dusty town where alligators glided “back and forth across the sandy road.” 

Not born to stay put, they then moved Dalton, where all of the Allan kids were born. Then up to Tennessee. Then finally to Macon, where destiny stepped in.

Rev. Martha Sterne, the first female priest Bishop Allan ordained after becoming bishop, delivered the homily at his funeral. Don’t call it a “eulogy,” she explained, because of the grandiose, overwrought speeches of glory Frank felt that particular word implied.

The winking wit and humor evinced in Martha’s words about her dear friend and colleague — “Frank stories,” as she put it — evoked the complexity, depth and warmth inherent in encounters with him.

She remarked: “He opened new doors for women. He could not carry a tune in a bucket -- and didn’t seem to know that. He showed up at parishes when the going got rough… He learned from his dogs. He preached and taught spaciously, not prescriptively. He could laugh at himself. This worked best if he laughed first.”

With Work of Our Hands, Martha Sterne wrote, “He and Elizabeth found together that making art stirs the holy and creative spirit in thrilling ways that cross all boundaries and walks of life.”

One of the greatest difficulties during the last few years of Frank’s life, as he struggled with illness, was the erosion of autonomy. He was used to simply getting things done — even down to cutting his own hair for most of his life.

Of course, he didn’t just do things himself but motivated others to act with the same autonomy and conviction. Joni Woolf, the parish secretary when Frank started at St. Paul’s in Macon, sums up his legacy this way: “He was prophetic.”

Part of his ability to get things done, and to urge those around him to follow suit, may have derived from his gift of language. “He was, for many of us, and I’ve never heard anybody contradict me on this, the best preacher I’ve ever heard,” Joni said. “He never preached a bad sermon. Never.”

“He wasn’t a touchy-feely person at all, but he was so righteous. Without being self-righteous,” she said. “He was willing to be almost spit-upon to do what he believed was right. When somebody’s that committed, you say, he must believe in something bigger than himself.”

That commitment to something bigger — call it the Gospel — led him to welcome refugee families to community in the name of Christ and to encourage the leadership of children and youth in church. (Such as the “folk mass” Frank held with youth in the community, complete with banjos and guitars and even tie-dyed robes.)

St. Anne’s in Buckhead is where Andy Smith first encountered the Allans when Frank transitioned there from Macon in 1977. Andy’s wife, Glenna, was Frank’s parish administrator at the church and then continued to work for him when he became Bishop. The Allans and Smiths over the years became steadfast friends.

But their first interaction as priest and pastor wasn’t run-of-the-mill. It occurred under high-stakes circumstances, when the Smiths’ second daughter, born with a septal defect of the heart, was undergoing life-saving surgery. Frank joined Andy and Glenna at Egleston Children’s Hospital during the agonizing early morning hours when their infant’s life hung in the balance. He stayed with them, prayed with them, and ached with them.

“That’s when you really get to know someone,” Andy Smith said. “As a parent, you’re just scared to death. And he greatly comforted Glenna and me. He stayed the whole morning she was in surgery.”

Andy and Frank later worked together on building Saint Anne’s Terrace, a 100-unit residence for the elderly which took seven years to turn into a reality — from 1980 to 1987, when the facility finally opened, after multiple proposals and town hall meetings and architectural plans and interactions with HUD and financial backers and zoning issues.

The process could often get depressing, Smith said, but Frank maintained that all the effort would be worth it. Andy said, “He always had this notion that things are going to get brighter. It might seem dark now, but it’s okay. This is the way it happens. I think he figured out a way to make what was seeming like punishment into reinforcement. And he was right — it always worked out.”

Once Frank retired in 2000, he and Elizabeth had the chance to travel more. They bought a Volkswagen Eurovan and drove along the Lewis and Clark Trail, following the path of the Missouri River and making friends along the way. They traced their family roots across Europe.

Their symbiotic partnership had always been founded, Elizabeth said, upon a general understanding that they were on the same page; they were a team: “It was basically ‘say yes as much as you can,’” she said.

In fact, when asked to recall what they argued about, Elizabeth said the biggest squabble in her memory occurred during their honeymoon: “We had this big discussion about praying—either sticking to the prayers from the prayer book or just having a little spontaneous prayer — and I was for spontaneous prayer.” She stops and laughs. “Kind of boring, isn’t it?”

Elizabeth and Frank Allan, courtesy of Elizabeth Allan.

Elizabeth and Frank Allan, courtesy of Elizabeth Allan.

Wooden bowl & fruit, made by Frank Allan.

Wooden bowl & fruit, made by Frank Allan.

Hispanic Youth Event A Huge Hit in Austell

On Saturday, May 18, Spanish-speaking congregations from around the Diocese teamed up to hold a fun event for Hispanic youth in our community. 

Held at Iglesia del Buen Pastor (Church of the Good Shepherd) in Austell, GA, more than 30 youth participated in the event. Throughout the day, these young parishioners spent time singing, playing games, and working in small groups to discuss the Diocesan Youth Purpose Statement: “Forming disciples through the all inclusive and unconditional love of Jesus Christ.”

We all had a wonderful time, and the best part was getting to see these enthusiastic smiles at the end of the day!



Bishop Paul Lambert, former Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Dallas, will be assisting both Bishop Wright and Bishop Wimberly for Sunday parish visitations. His full schedule will be posted after July.

About the Bishop

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.

Holy Cross celebrates its 65th Anniversary

Holy Cross Episcopal Church at 2005 S. Columbia Place, Decatur, is celebrating its 65th anniversary with a series of events, most of them free, open to the public to showcase what has become one of the most multicultural and multinational congregations in South DeKalb.

Founded June 20, 1954, as a mission of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Decatur, the parish has evolved with the changes in the area, but is still marked by a unique campus with a modern octagonal sanctuary with an altar in the center and a cross that is suspended from the high ceiling above.  The sun pouring through the sky light above creates a worship space that can carry an emotional impact.  An addition for Christian Education and administrative offices was completed within the last decade. Two years ago, the campus was used for the filming of “Boy Erased“ based on the book of the same name starring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman.

“Holy Cross has a unique congregation within the Episcopal church in Atlanta,” said the Rev. Dennis Patterson, its pastor. “At any given worship service, you will hear the accents of the American South and New York as well as those of the Caribbean and several African nations. We have counted as many as twenty-one nations in the origins of our parishioners, a diversity that probably accounts for the welcoming nature that our visitors often comment on.”  South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, worshipped regularly at Holy Cross several years ago when he lived in Atlanta while teaching at Emory University.

The church has been home to a community food bank which it has operated for more than twenty years in collaboration with the Atlanta Food Community Bank.   The most recent ministry, established by the congregation in the fall of 2017, is a mentoring program for primary school aged children. 

The following is a schedule of anniversary events for June: Community Bingo at 7:00PM on June 21, 2019 which will be a free event and a Gospel Concert at 7:00 PM on June 22. The weekend will end with a worship service at 9:30 AM on Sunday, June 23. The Right Reverend Phoebe Roaf, Bishop of the Diocese of West Tennessee will be the guest preacher.  

Episcopal Youth Event 2020


Owen Snape, a rising senior from St. Catherine's Marietta, has been selected to serve on the Planning Team for EYE 2020. EYE, Episcopal Youth Event, is the triennial gathering of Episcopal Youth and Youth Leaders from across the Episcopal Church. No less than 1,500 people gather for 4 days of worship, fellowship, and formation. EYE 2020 will take place at Howard University in Washington D.C. 

Owen is incredibly involved in his parish and in diocesan youth ministry. He currently serves on the Diocesan Youth Commission, and he attended EYE 2017 a  part of the Diocese of Atlanta delegation. Keep Owen and the rest of the EYE 2020 planning team in your prayers as they prepare for a spirit-filled event.

Something Fresh and Fun in Adult Christian Education

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Dr. April Love-Fordham has authored The Disorderly Parable Bible Study Series for use in personal and group study and would love to volunteer her time teaching or speaking at your church or gathering.

The Disorderly Parables are not your ordinary Bible studies.  Each book is a parable – a modern day story – wrapped around a biblical commentary. These stories will make you think about ancient scripture in new ways, provide insight into what is happening in the world today, surprise you with laughter as you catch a vision of the journey ahead, and energize you to live out your faith on paths you never anticipated taking.

April often gets asked about the name, Disorderly Parables. Well, Jesus used parables—stories of everyday people and things—to illustrate spiritual truths. His parables were not nice tidy stories. They were disorderly and subversive.  They were meant to dismantle ideas the listener thought were truth, but were not. With the Disorderly Parable books, you will learn like Jesus taught, through stories of everyday people and things. You will walk away with both a story that will challenge you and a thorough understanding of the scripture. The books contain a discussion guide designed for groups who want read the book together, as well as spiritual practices to explore.

At this time there are three books in the series and they can be read in any order. 

James in the Suburbs, awarded five stars by the Reader’s Favorite Review, uses the antics of a soul searching, fun loving, suburban Bible study group of men and women living in the suburbs of Atlanta whose lives were turned upside down by the teachings of the Epistle of James. 

Dismantling Injustice uses the story of an African-American congressman coming of age during the civil rights movement to illustrate the Song of Solomon. He learns that love is the one thing that can transform both the oppressed and the oppressor.

St. Francis and the Christian Life uses the mystical life of St. Francis, as uncovered by April on a hundred mile pilgrimage hike to Assisi, to illustrate the lesson of how to live guided by the Spirit rather than by a set of religious rules – the teaching found in the Epistle to the Galatians.

April was ordained in the Presbyterian Church and pastored three churches, but when she began writing full-time six years ago, she unexpectedly and joyfully found her way home to the Episcopal Church.  Read more about her and her books at aprillovefordham.com. The books are available at the Cathedral Bookstore and any on-line bookstore. April can be reached at loveford@gmail.com.

Contemplation and Community: A Gathering of Fresh Voices for a Living Tradition

The Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham, rector of Grace Church in Gainesville, is a co-editor and contributor to the forthcoming volume Contemplation and Community: A Gathering of Fresh Voices for a Living Tradition.  The book is being published by the Crossroad Publishing Company.  

From the publisher’s description: “All around the world a resurgence of Christian contemplative living is creating a new framework for spirituality inside and outside of formal religion. Building on and expanding from the thoughts and works of such as Richard Rohr, Thomas Keating, Tilden Edwards, Laurence Freeman, and other founders of the modern contemplative movement, a new movement carries on the work of their mentors. This collection brings together the diverse voices who have emerged as new leaders of the contemplative movement. Exploring a multitude of themes, such as silence, imagination, meditation, embodiment, community and social action, this volume introduces the new voices who reflect globally on the gifts, challenges, differences and commonalities of Christian contemplation today for communities and people of faith.”

Fr. Stuart says, "While this work is by no means exhaustive, it is illustrative of the global community that is seeking to foster a practice of faith that is grounded in an awareness of God’s presence in our lives–and the vocation we are called to embody in the world."

Stuart worked with Dr. Jessica Smith, the Senior Executive Director for Research, Planning, and Spiritual Formation at the Governing Board for Church and Society with the United Methodist Church.  Stuart and Jessie worked with colleagues from four continents, including: Sarah Bachelard, Phileena Heuertz, Thomas J. Bushlack, Matthew Wright, Bo Karen Lee, Kirsten Oates, Leonardo Correa, Sicco Claus, and Mark Kutolowski. Tilden Edwards graciously wrote the forward while Margaret Benefiel, the Executive Director at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, wrote the afterword.  The combined wisdom from these colleagues expresses the rich diversity and importance of the Christian contemplative tradition in the world today.

The book itself is an outgrowth of the August 2017 gathering of the New Contemplative Exchange at St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.  The Exchange was initiated by Fr. Thomas Keating, who had the initial idea of gathering around twenty younger contemplative scholars and practitioners from around the world to discern how the Spirit was inviting the broader community into new spaces of embodiment and partnership.  The collaborative work which has brought Contemplation and Community into being is an example of such a partnership between the various schools or organizations within the broader Christian contemplative tradition.  

The publication date will be September 1.  We will be holding a special Sunday afternoon reading, signing, and conversation on Sunday, October 6 at 3 pm in the Parish Hall at Grace.  
Questions and inquiries to Jessica Voyles at Grace Episcopal Church: office@gracechurchgainesville.org.  

For the wisdom and will to conserve it

By: Kelly Alexander

The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany

Be kind. Be understanding. Be caring. Be forgiving. Treat your neighbor as yourself. These were some of the messages that I learned in my (Episcopal!) household growing up. No one told me directly, “It’s important to care for the earth,” or, to be a good person you must respect the “riches of creation.” But for me, caring for the earth comes naturally. It goes hand in hand with caring for your neighbor, being kind, and being grateful for what has been given to us. 

So. We put things in the recycling bin (don’t get me started on aspirational recycling…).  We take shorter showers. We (sometimes?) drive less. We try not to waste food. We try to remember to bring our own grocery bags to the store. We say “no straw” at restaurants. We turn off the lights when we leave the room.  We don’t leave the car running. We wash clothes on cold. 

But these things are easy. These are things that don’t inconvenience our lives. These things do not move us out of our comfort zone. Why are we so comfortable using, disposing, consuming, polluting, supporting practices and companies that contaminate our air, land and water? Why do we ask for repentance on Ash Wednesday, “for our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,” instead of actually doing something differently? Why don’t we care for those who come after us?

What if we saw caring for creation not as a hippie, leftist or a “green team” thing, but simply caring for God’s creation, as something each and all of us should embrace? Can we all commit to do everything we can to reduce our waste? Can we reduce our use of single-use plastic (or Styrofoam), electricity, gas and water? In addition to caring for the poor, the destitute, the sick and the hungry, as Christians it is also our calling (duty and delight!) to care for “this fragile earth our island home.”

(And if you’re traveling abroad for work, pleasure or a mission trip, email me: kelly.alexander@care.org so you can find out how to make your trip more environmentally-friendly by not using bottled water).

Inside the Ghana 2019 Pilgrimage

Reflections on Faith & Reconciliation Across Troubled Waters

By Alexis Hauk


Ever since she was 12 years old, growing up in Guyana, St. Simon’s parishioner Claudette Seales, now 70, dreamed about visiting Ghana – in part because of the murmurings among family members that this is where her ancestors had originated, before they were forcibly brought to South America as part of the transatlantic slave trade. 

Over the decades of her life, Seales moved to the U.S., started a family with her husband, and worked her way through college and a career. For a long time, that impetus to visit Africa lay dormant — until recently, when she came across a blurb about the Ghana Pilgrimage on the Diocese of Atlanta website and decided to apply.

“It wasn’t something that my church sponsored or talked about or told me about. It was just destiny,” she said. The dream had been reignited.

 Seales was one of 15 faithful travelers from different backgrounds and experiences across the Diocese who embarked on this year’s pilgrimage to Cape Coast, Ghana, a former hub of the transatlantic slave trade at the end of April – fittingly, a week after Easter Sunday, with its themes of deep despair transforming into hope and absolution. The trip also happened to take place during the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship of enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia.

 An annual tradition in the Diocese, the Ghana Pilgrimage offers participants the opportunity to confront one of the ugliest facets of history: slavery, and the devastating repercussions of institutionalized racism for subsequent generations in both Western Africa and the Americas.

For centuries, tens of thousands of human beings were ripped from their families, homes and livelihoods and forced into brutal living conditions to build up the wealth of their captors. The city of Cape Coast, Ghana, was occupied at various points by colonizing forces from Great Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and Holland.



One of the stops on the pilgrimage was Cape Coast Castle, where West African people were held in dungeons before being sold and forced onto ships bound for the Americas.

 “Those dungeons or detentions are still standing there like ghosts, as if they want to tell the story of their own brutalities that men and women suffered,” Seales said.

By all accounts, seeing the castle is a core-rattling experience. During a trip to Ghana in 2009, President Barack Obama described his visit to the castle this way: “I’m reminded of the same feeling I got when I went to Buchenwald with Elie Wiesel. You almost feel as if the walls could speak.”

Smithsonian Magazine included this horrifying note about the site: “Guides tell visitors that the walls bear the remnants of the fingernails, skin and blood of those who tried to claw their way out.”

Pilgrimage participant Peggy Courtright, a board member of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing since its inception in 2017, said she had visited several memorial sites in the U.S. which honor the victims of slavery and lynching. But seeing the legacy of racism and its heinous machinery far across the ocean inspired a different level of understanding.

 “Confronting the capacity of human beings to not only be stunningly cruel but to systematize it, creating a system that will continue the cruelty, abuse and murder – we’ve seen it happen over and over again in history,” she said, adding that she was surprised by “how much healing happened in all of us. In ways that I wouldn’t have imagined, in ways that made me sob.”


The Rev. Jeff Jackson, rector at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Carrollton, said that in contrast to other pilgrimages he’s joined, which involved “basking in the spiritual residue of the goodness of the church” — visiting the home of a holy person, for instance, or a place where miracles were said to have taken place — this trip offered the invitation to delve into something much more challenging: “The chance to stand in the footsteps of my spiritual ancestors who committed atrocities, who committed grave sin.” The church very much participated in, and profited from, the slave trade.

 Rev. Jackson said the image that stuck with him most viscerally was the paradox between the dungeon at Cape Coast Castle – “the mouth of hell,” as he saw it – and the haughty regality of the Anglican chapel looming above it. His first thought was that this was a darkly ironic panorama of heaven and hell.

“But then I thought, no: the people who were up there in the Anglican church praising God and taking communion together, all while human lives were being systematically dismantled and dehumanized and brutally tortured — those people up there were not in heaven. That’s a different level of hell. When you are completely aware of the atrocities of humanity and yet you do nothing about them, and in fact you revel in them, that is a totally different separation from God. It made me ponder, what are the ways that we are knowingly or unknowingly perpetuating other atrocities?”

As a white man raised in the south, Rev. Jackson said his fervent interest in, and commitment to, racial reconciliation and community-building has grown out of a willingness to enter into uncomfortable conversations and confront insidious biases and fears planted during childhood.

He remembers growing up in rural Alabama and being exposed to racist beliefs that he later learned to question: “Once you start tapping at that root, you realize how deep the root goes,” he said. This process of wrestling with the sins of the past has informed his understanding of faith.

 “We are complex people. We are not just all good. Spirituality isn’t about the warm and fuzzies; it’s confronting the sin that we hold and the sins of those who have gone before us,” he said. “And not denying the truth but entering into it. That’s a core tenet of our faith – repentance. . . Through repentance, we’re healed, if we’re honest.”



The haunted places in Ghana today have become a kind of hallowed ground, as people lay memorial wreaths and pay tribute to the lives destroyed through the devaluation of humanity. As a group, Seales said, “We thanked God for the strength that he gave us as a group to pray, to share our hugs and share our pain, the tears. I think that’s how we got through it. Our group really connected. There was an understanding, every step of the way, that it was not easy.” 

Courtright said that when she returned home, someone asked her if the trip was “fun.”  

“I said I don’t know how to answer that. Fun wasn’t really the purpose of the trip,” she said. “I expected a lot of pain and anger. But I did not expect that degree of healing, too. We witnessed a lot, and now it’s our job to come back and witness to others.”

These shattering moments of confronting the past and its echoes in the present were intermingled with bittersweet moments of beauty and tenderness –  like venturing down the canopy walk through Kakum National park – as well as the warm, welcoming services the pilgrims attended in local parishes, and the reverberations of jubilant music through the sounds of piano, trumpet, drums and voices joined in song. 

An equally important facet of the annual pilgrimage is planting the seeds of new relationships. The pilgrims visited six parishes of the Cape Coast Diocese, worshiped with seminarians at St. Nicholas Seminary, and learned from the women’s diocesan ministries. The kindness, generosity and hospitality of those they met, even amid astounding levels of poverty, stood out to the Rev. Dr. Angela Shepherd, rector at St. Bartholomew’s in Atlanta.

Like Claudette Seales, Rev. Shepherd had also dreamed about traveling to Ghana – seeking to shadow her ancestors’ path “and bridge the gap in history.” The trip was especially poignant because she was able to share the experience with her adult daughter, who joined the Diocese cohort.


The most moving part of the trip for many was the visit to the Last Bath or River of Remembrance in Assin Manso, where those who had been kidnapped were taken before being sold.

Seales said that she was able to honor her ancestors by leaving a note on the memorial wall at the Last Bath, after which she received her African name, Akua. “When we returned and met at the Bishop’s Chapel, he welcomed me as Akua. How can I ever forget that?’”

Rev. Shepherd brought a portrait of her great-great grandmother, Daphene Scales, who was born in 1836 and endured enslavement. In the picture, Daphene clearly bears the deep physical and mental scars of enslavement. “Her eyes look so sad,” Shepherd said. “I placed the photo against the wall in each place where the women were held in Cape Coast Castle and observed a moment of silence.”

At the Last Bath, Rev. Shepherd stood alongside three other women who had also descended from enslaved people, including her daughter. She unfolded the photo of Daphene and placed it in the river.

“It swirled a bit before being taken under and carried away,” she said. “Part of my mission was to bring her home, and I imagined her eyes smiling and rejoicing then.”

The tears, and the opportunity to honor these relatives, were a profound catharsis for Rev. Shepherd. “I experienced a powerful sense of God’s presence. It was a spiritual moment of reconciliation with history and healing: one that rivals none other in my life.”

The palpable sense of survival, and of the enduring human spirit, followed Rev. Shepherd home. As she put it, “I am a descendant of those who survived the walk to the Last Bath, the transatlantic journey, and chattel slavery. I am because they were. Perseverance was born.”

The steeple on Christ Church Cathedral, Anglican Diocese of Cape Coast taken from the auction room in Cape Coast Castle where slaves were sold.

The steeple on Christ Church Cathedral, Anglican Diocese of Cape Coast taken from the auction room in Cape Coast Castle where slaves were sold.

Walking sacred ground: The path to Assin Manso, to the river where captives were bathed before being sold.

Walking sacred ground: The path to Assin Manso, to the river where captives were bathed before being sold.

The Rev. Father Theo Odametey and the Rev. Canon Dr. Sharon Hiers greet one another.

The Rev. Father Theo Odametey and the Rev. Canon Dr. Sharon Hiers greet one another.

All photos courtesy of the Rev. Canon Dr. Sharon Hiers.

All photos courtesy of the Rev. Canon Dr. Sharon Hiers.

Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia Grants $68,306 to Fight Poverty and Oppression Locally

- ECF Announces Four Local Grantees During Its Spring General Grant Cycle – 
- ECF Announces One Local Grantee During Its Q2 Small Acts of Charity – 


Atlanta, GA, May 14, 2019 — Today the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia (ECF) announces it will grant $68,306 to five organizations that are lifting people from poverty and oppression in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. The grants – which go into effect this month – will be made to Chard Wray Food Pantry at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Milledgeville), Church of the Incarnation (Atlanta), Community Helping Place (Dahlonega), El Refugio Ministry (Columbus), and Path To Shine.

“Our Spring General Grants demonstrate the true breadth of service that Episcopalians in the Diocese of Atlanta have engaged in when it comes to outreach with those in need,” said Lindsey E. Hardegree, Executive Director for the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia. “We are thrilled to support these efforts to expand and improve existing programs working within the beloved community, whether they be hungry, underemployed, uninsured, or at-risk of poverty and oppression.”

ECF’s spring 2019 general grant recipients:
Chard Wray Food Pantry at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church has received a capital grant of $18,000 for improvements to their building which will facilitate a significant programming expansion, including job training (phlebotomy and retail), life skills training, and health checks.

• Church of the Incarnation has received a capital grant of $15,000 for improvements to the parish’s kitchen so that is can be best utilized for community outreach efforts such as Clarence’s HANDS, a hunger-initiative supporting students in the Atlanta University Center, and the After-School Jazz Music education program in Southwest Atlanta.
• El Refugio Ministry, in partnership with St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Columbus, has received a capacity building grant of $20,000 to fund the pilot of a new post-release program which will offer short-term accommodations for those released with asylum from the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA. With demonstrated success, this grant will continue in Spring 2020.
• Path To Shine has received a capacity building grant of $10,306 to continue a grant awarded in 2018 for part-time administrative support and executive fundraising training. These combined efforts will allow their executive director to step away from administrative duties and create a sustainable fundraising strategy for the organization. With demonstrated success, this grant will continue in Fall 2019.

ECF’s Q2 2019 Small Acts of Charity recipient:

• Community Helping Place, in partnership with St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Dahlonega, has received a capital grant of $5,000 for medical equipment for their newly expanded free clinic which provides gynecological services for uninsured women.

About ECF’s Grant Programs:
ECF awards General Grants twice a year and Small Acts of Charity (capped at $5,000) quarterly. Applications for the Q3 Small Acts of Charity are due June 15, 2019, and LOIs for Spring 2020 General Grants are due September 30, 2019. Those interested in applying for funding should visit ECFimpact.org/grants for information regarding both funding opportunities as well as links to the applications. Applicants are encouraged to contact Lindsey Hardegree with any questions they may have regarding eligibility or their applications.

About Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia 
Founded in 1982 as the Episcopal Charities Foundation, the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia (ECF) provides funding, leadership, and resources to enable Episcopal parishes and nonprofit partners to lift up people facing poverty and oppression and to achieve significant, long-lasting impact in the Diocese of Atlanta. Since its inception, ECF has donated more than $4.4 million to promote thriving and spiritually strong individuals, families, and communities locally. Learn more at ECFimpact.org.

About The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta
The Diocese of Atlanta was created in 1907 and serves the cities, towns, and communities in Middle and North Georgia. Led by the Right Rev. Robert C. Wright, it is comprised of 116 welcoming worship communities. Our purpose is to challenge ourselves and the world to love like Jesus as we worship joyfully, serve compassionately, and grow spiritually. Learn more at episcopalatlanta.org.

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New Beginnings 41: Lend Me Your Eyes

New Beginnings offers a chance for middle school youth to reflect on the important relationships in their lives and consider what "New Beginnings" they can take on in their own lives. Often, New Beginnings is the first opportunity for a young person to pause and reflect their life and God.

On March 22-24, New Beginnings 41 was held at Camp Mikell. With the theme Give Me Your Eyes, we focused on putting the world in perspective and looking at life through the eyes of someone else. Our youth spent a busy weekend meeting new friends, playing some games, exploring their faith, and getting to sing songs with the Diocese of Georgia while they hosted their New Beginnings weekend.

The weekend wouldn't have been possible without our dedicated adults, energetic young adults, our always enthusiastic high schoolers serving on team, and most of all the participants. 

United Thank Offering

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This Message is about how to process the Blue Boxes and UTO Envelopes gathered at the UTO In gatherings and where to send the funds.

Parishes collect the Blue Boxes or UTO Envelopes. The Parish Coordinator or Parish ECW Treasurer count the funds gathered and write one check made out to United Thank Offering.  The memo line should have Diocese of Atlanta and the name of the parish.  If there are any individual checks make sure they are made out to United Thank Offering with Diocese of Atlanta and the name of the parish on the memo line.
The check(s) is(are) sent to:
Diocese of Atlanta
Attn UTO
2744 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30305

I , Joy Boyden, am the United Thank Offering Diocesan Representative for the Diocese of Atlanta.  If you have questions on the processing of the donations and where to send them, you may reach me at jjboyden45@gmail.com.  

Georgia, Fulton and Gwinnett Issue Second Chance Month proclamations

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The State of Georgia, Fulton County, and Gwinnett County are declaring April as Second Chance Month this year!!

Fulton County will be proclaiming the month of April as Second Chance Month on Wednesday, April 10th, during a presentation at 10:00 am in the Fulton County Government Center at 141 Pryor Street in Atlanta, GA.

Gwinnett County will be proclaiming the month of April as Second Chance Month on Tuesday, April 16th during a presentation at 2:00 pm in the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA.

Second Chance Month is part of the ongoing work of Prison Fellowship, a ministry partner with The Diocese of Atlanta. Learn more about Second Chance Month at https://www.prisonfellowship.org/

#SecondChanceMonth #RememberThoseInPrison

Church of the Common Ground Summer Internship

Are you interested in exploring ministry? Do you wish to live out your discipleship on the street? Would you like a summer ‘job’ that is very different from ‘work’?

The Internship

  • Full-time, 10 weeks, $2000 Stipend

  • Work with a cohort of young adults (age 18-28)

  • Full participation in the ministries of the church

  • Intentional immersion, supervision, discipleship, retreats

  • Flexible start, but required Leadership Retreat June 12-15, 2019 in New Orleans

  • This internship is funded in part by a grant from the Forum for Theological Exploration and intends to support discernment toward ministry for those who have not yet entered seminary.

Summer Schedule

  • Sunday 11am-3pm Worship and ministry

  • Monday 9am-3pm Morning Prayer, supervision, ministry

  • Tuesday 8am-2pm Common Soles Foot Clinic, debriefing

  • Wednesday 9am-4:30pm Morning prayer, cohort luncheon, Bible Study

  • Thursday/Friday 9am-3pm Alternating days for special ministries/events/formation


  • Depart Wednesday, noon.

  • Conference Thursday, noon, through Saturday, 1pm.

  • Return Saturday by 10pm

Please contact The Very Rev. Monica Mainwaring to express interest to make application at vicar@churchofthecommonground.org.

Church of the Common Ground is a church without walls, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, communicating God’s love to all who are experiencing homelessness in downtown Atlanta: www.churchofthecommonground.org

Campus Ministries Receive Innovation Grants

Campus ministries in Macon and Atlanta are among 21 from across The Episcopal Church selected to receive grants for innovative programs.

In Macon, The Episcopal and Lutheran Campus Fellowship, will use its $4,850 grant to connect international and LGBTQ students at Wesleyan College to the local community, said Campus Missioner Dena Hobbs.

“We will be having a weekly lunch gathering and Bible study on the Wesleyan campus and monthly nights out where we provide money, transportation, and volunteers to take to the students out for movies, dinner, plays, etc.,” Hobbs said. “This is important because half of students at Wesleyan don't have a car and the international students don't know their way around.”

Hobbs said volunteers from St Francis Episcopal Church will make connections with students by providing rides to nights out events and St. Francis’ worship and community events.

At Georgia Tech, Episcopal Campus Missioner Kathryn Folk said the, $14,000 grant will be used to create a program to expand and strengthen the joint Episcopal-Lutheran campus ministry.

“Stepping Toward Wholeness is a multi-year tiered approach to ensure there are people, processes, and systems in place as the staff progresses to each level,” Folk said. “In addition, the program provides a set of checks and balances using a board of advisors to ensure goals are met before advancing to the next level.”

“The grant also allows us to host campus-wide events and training opportunities,” she said.

The Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta provide support for the Tech campus ministry, but Folk said extra funding was needed to reimburse travel for speakers, host events at larger space on campus, and create a host of training opportunities, including for certification as  Professional Christian Life Coaches, Stephen Ministers, suicide prevention and mental health first aid.

The two Georgia grants are among 21 programs from across The Episcopal Church receiving grants from Episcopal Church Young Adult and Campus Ministry. The grants provide funding for dioceses, congregations, and community college/tribal college/university campuses that are engaging or seek to engage ministry with young adults on and off college campuses.
The Diocese of Atlanta operates campus ministries in Athens at The University of Georgia; in Atlanta at Georgia Institute of Technology, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta University Center, Emory University; in Rome at Berry College, Georgia Highlands College and Shorter University; in Macon at Mercer University and Wesleyan College; in Kennesaw at Kennesaw State University; in Milledgeville at Georgia College and State University;  and in Dahlonega at the University of North Georgia.

Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action

Registration is now open for “Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action,” a two-day interactive training for clergy and laity interested in developing or improving their advocacy skills and having the opportunity to advocate directly to members of Congress and their staff about protections for refugees.
Sponsored by the Office of Government Relations in partnership with Episcopal Migration Ministries, “Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action” will be held Thursday-Friday, June 27-28, in Washington, D.C., with the option to attend the One Journey Festival on Saturday, June 29. This day-long festival, held on the grounds of the National Cathedral, celebrates refugee contributions.

Program overview

On Thursday, June 27, the focus is on building advocacy skills, including: intensive and in-depth media and messaging training for advocacy, briefings on current urgent issues affecting refugees, and an Advocacy 101 educational session to prepare for congressional visits on Capitol Hill and advocacy work at home. 
On Friday, June 28, participants will put these skills into action, meeting directly with their senators, representative, and/or their staff to advocate for specific U.S. policies to protect refugees.
Open to both Episcopalians and the Church’s ecumenical partners, this training presents an opportunity to learn from working together, strengthens our ability to influence policy regarding protections for refugees, and builds community and relationships that will continue on after the training ends.

Registration information

To register, please visit episcopalmigrationministries.org/LGLN.  Space is limited, so please submit your registration as soon as possible.  Registration is $75 and includes all training, programming, and materials and lunch on Thursday. Beverages and snacks will also be provided. Participants are responsible for all other expenses including housing and transportation.
Registration deadline is May 17 at 5:00 pm Eastern. Please contact Melissa Coulston, coordinator for Love God, Love Neighbor at: lovegodloveneighboremm@gmail.com with questions related to this training.
The Office of Government Relations represents the policy priorities of The Episcopal Church to the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. This office aims to shape and influence policy and legislation on critical issues, highlighting the voices and experiences of Episcopalians and Anglicans globally. All of its work is grounded in the resolutions of General Convention and Executive Council, the legislative and governing bodies of the church. Connecting Episcopalians to their faith by educating, equipping and engaging them to do the work of advocacy through the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) is a key aspect of this work. 
Episcopal Migration Ministries is a ministry of The Episcopal Church and is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the United States in partnership with the government. Episcopal Migration Ministries currently has 13 resettlement affiliates in 11 dioceses.