The V. Rev. Allen Pruitt to Preach on "Day 1" Radio

News from “Day 1”® 
The V. Rev. Allen Pruitt, rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in LaGrange, GA, is the featured preacher for the fourth Sunday in Lent, March 11, on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at Day1.org.  

Pruitt has served as rector of St. Mark’s since 2010. He is also dean of the Chattahoochee Valley Convocation in the Diocese of Atlanta. Earlier he served as assistant rector at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls, Va. A graduate of Shorter College in Rome, Ga., Pruitt earned his M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. 

“There Is Enough,” Pruitt’s sermon for March 11, is drawn from the story in Numbers 21:4-9 of the serpents plaguing the complaining Israelites in the wilderness. “We are afraid there isn’t enough, that there isn’t going to be enough,” he says. “As if the God who brought the world into being couldn’t provide food enough for the people.”

The program includes interviews with Pruitt conducted by Wallace, who is also executive producer. 

“Day 1” has been broadcast every week for 73 years, formerly as “The Protestant Hour.” Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, “Day 1” is currently distributed to more than 220 radio stations across America and overseas. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, based in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, call toll free 888-411-Day-1 or check the program’s website, http://day1.org.

ECF Grants Small Acts of Charity Grants for First Quarter of 2018

ECF-Logo-Main-300ppi (1).png

The Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia (ECF) announces two Small Acts of Charity grants to Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit (Cumming) and Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta, Inc. in partnership with St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church (Smyrna).

“This quarter each of our Small Acts of Charity support strong parish-based ministry efforts that have been active for many years,” said Lindsey Hardegree, Executive Director for ECF. “Our financial assistance is able to stretch far due to the long-term dedication of Episcopalians in each of these parishes who have carefully stewarded their resources and relationships to make a difference with the poor and oppressed in their communities.”

ECF’s Q1 Small Acts of Charity 2018 recipients:

  • Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit will receive a grant of $4,990 to support Wendy’s Place Pantry Ministry, which provides non-food items to members of the community who are on a fixed income, have no or reduced employment, or other financial limitations. This effort not only helps maintain the dignity of daily life by providing toilet paper, toothpaste, and other basic necessities that are not covered by food assistance programs, but also creates a robust service opportunity for the Church of the Holy Spirit community.
     
  • Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta, in partnership with St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church (Smyrna), has been offered a $5,000 challenge grant to support the house that will be built by the Cobb Interfaith Habitat Coalition (CIHC). With rising costs for building materials and land, ECF will match any new funds raised towards this build by March 31, 2018 (up to $5,000). ECF hopes that this incentive will encourage others in the community to support the increased expenses for St. Catherine’s build.

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 Q2 Small Acts of Charity are due March 15, 2018, and General Grant Letters of Intent for Fall 2018 are due March 31, 2018. 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.

A Journey to A Sacred Place

On October 28, 2017, the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing made a pilgrimage to honor 56 martyrs who were lynched in Clarke County, Georgia. The day’s activities included a Liturgy for Martyrs at Chestnut Grove Baptist Church where the Rev. Naomi Tutu preached. Following the service was a screening of the documentary film 13th, as well as a tour of the Chestnut Grove School (founded in 1887) and the cemetery containing graves of slaves.

The Center, which opened in October 2017, offers a model of prayerful education that forms and reforms individual and collective action: a defined curriculum, thoughtful training, pilgrimages, and dialogue. Guided by faith and led by intention, the Center will continue its important work until our work is no longer needed. We seek the beloved community and the rewards of living life in that community - free of racism.

"We cannot get well racially, in the United States of America, until we tell the truth. Until we own the truth. Lynching is a part of our history, a part of our truth. We keep on trying to get to justice without doing the work." – Dr. Catherine Meeks

The Center is an inter-generational, faith-based organization providing curriculum, activities and experiences for those engaging in the daily work of dismantling prejudice and ending systemic racism. Learn more about this important work

Meet The Rev. Canon George K. Neequaye

Meet The Rev. Canon George K. Neequaye (“Father George” or simply “George”).  The Venerable Dr. George Kotei Neequaye arrived in Atlanta on January 22nd as an initial step in a broader relationship established by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta with Ghana.  A few months ago, the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta established a sister relationship with the Diocese of Cape Coast, one of Ghana’s Anglican dioceses.  This initiative, under the leadership of Bishop Robert C. Wright, is already creating exciting experiences and opportunities for all Episcopalians in the Diocese to interact with Father George and to learn more about Ghana. To this end, the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta has partnered with the Candler School of Theology in hosting Father George as a Visiting Scholar during his sabbatical in Atlanta, which will help jumpstart the Diocese’s global mission with Ghana.  Adds Father George: “I will like to make a lifetime connection between [the Diocese] and my Church and the people of Ghana.”

unnamed.jpg

Highpoint Episcopal Community Church (“HECC”) is honored to serve as the host church and home-away-from-home for Father George during his stay in Atlanta. Thanks to the behind-the-scenes efforts of Canon Lang Lowrey, Father George is residing in a newly constructed, residential apartment (which George longingly refers to as his “flat”) located in a former classroom of HECC. George quickly settled into to his flat and life in America.  To help him ease into his new situation, George spent his first two nights in the nearby Sandy Springs home of a long-time HECC couple before moving into his flat.  During his first week in Atlanta, in addition to his orientation and research at the Candler School of Theology, George has led Adult Formation at HECC, preached at HECC’s Holy Eucharist, joined its popular Monday Supper Group, enjoyed a tour of the Atlanta History Center and an evening of entertainment at the Shakespeare Theatre.  The Rev. Ruth Pattison is serving as the liaison for Father George with the Diocese, where she is coordinating his schedule among interested Diocese churches to make certain that everyone knows of his schedule and availability to teach and preach . . . and just hang out. A member of HECC is serving as the tour coordinator for George to ensure that he will visit many of the sights of metro Atlanta and experience its vibrant sports and entertainment scenes, while another member has provided an automobile to meet George’s daily transportation needs.  Says George:  “I will be in Atlanta as part of my continuing scholarship. But if possible, I will love to explore the tourist attractions in Atlanta and elsewhere. As you know, ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.’” Many other members of HECC have contributed their time, food and furnishings to his flat to make George’s stay in Atlanta memorable.

Dr. Neequaye has traveled to Atlanta as a Visiting Scholar on sabbatical from his hometown of Accra, Ghana so that he can study and research at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. During his seven-month stay in Atlanta, Dr. Neequaye will continue his research in moral philosophy, with an emphasis in African traditional ethics and Christian ethics, areas in which he is a well-known expert in his field of study.  He also intends to complete writing his current two books, which explore these and other subject areas.  Father George comments that the quietness of his flat is an excellent place for him to study, read and write.

Father George has pastored numerous churches in Ghana, has been a member of many important religious committees and has served in leadership positions in the Anglican Diocese of Accra. He teaches African Traditional Ethics, Christian ethics, African Traditional Religion, Liturgics and Worship at the Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, where he has been the Vice President, Dean of Students, Chaplain and currently, the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Father George is also the Archdeacon of Accra Northeast and Chaplain of Christ Church, University of Ghana, Legon.  He is on leave from his 350-member church in Accra.

George is married to Esther, who works for Delta Airlines in Accra.  He is hopeful that Esther will be able to visit him once or twice in Atlanta.  George and Esther are the proud parents of two sons, George S. and Alan, and one daughter. Sharlene. George S. is 26 years old and is working toward his master’s degree in Parsons School of Design and Technology, New York. According to Father George, their oldest son is an IT guy, who might also visit Father George while he is in Atlanta.  The second son, Alan, is 24 years old and sings gospel music in churches, which is his passion. Alan completed his degree in Business Administration last year and is now working to complete his National Service in Accra. Alan wants to go into interior design.  Daughter Sharlene is 13 years old.

Why is Father George’s research important?  Why does his work deserve our support?  Simply stated, Dr. Neequaye will establish a lifetime connection between the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, the Candler School of Theology, and the people of Ghana.  Community work and education will be his focus. While in Atlanta, Dr. Neequaye will teach others about the true meaning of racial reconciliation.   Through his community teachings and discussions, Father George will be part of the Diocese’s larger initiative to connect the United States to Ghana, where slave castles (dreary dungeons for the recently captured Africans) dotting its coastline served as the point of departure for many slaves destined for the British colonies in America. Over 40% of African slaves reaching the British colonies before the American Revolution passed through South Carolina and almost all of these slaves entered the colonies through the Port of Charleston, before being sold in Charleston's active slave markets. Dr. Neequaye teaches modern-day racial reconciliation and responsibility, explaining that the stain of slavery is a collective responsibility, shared by the Ghana kings and slave merchants, who captured and sold Africans to the British and Dutch slave traders, who, in turn, sold these enslaved peoples to the plantation owners living primarily in our Southern states. In addition to his scholarship, research, writing, and teaching, Dr. Neequaye’s trip to Atlanta could be aptly labeled as a journey to explore how a Ghanaian connection might help our own community lead the way to more racial reconciliation, harmony, and healing in the African American community.  His teachings will benefit young and old alike in Atlanta and its environs.

Concludes Father George: “I’m sure I am in for a great treat of my life!  I promise to do whatever I am asked to do to support [the] ministry [of the Diocese] and in Candler.”


Sewanee Contemplative Exchange

Sewanee Contemplative Exchange.jpg

The deadline for registration will be April 15 in order to arrange for meals and lodging, but space will fill up quickly.  

APRIL 29, 2018 - MAY 2, 2018

The Sewanee Contemplative Exchange - Bridging the Gap Between Contemplation and Compassionate Action: The Creative Encounter of Howard Thurman

We live in a world saturated by dualisms, categories in which we place people and things in order to grant them worth and priority. We separate ourselves from each other-and God from ourselves-resulting in persistent tension and frustration, pain and grief. For too long we have separated-even if in our minds-the spheres of contemplation and action, of silence and embodiment, of prayer and reconciliation. When these two vital aspects of our lives are pulled apart, our contemplation easily becomes an insular escape and our compassionate action becomes reactive and driven by anger.

We are invited to integrate ourselves, to seek wholeness in our spiritual practice, In Christ, we see a reconciliation of all aspects of our being. In his personhood we see the potential for an authentic religious practice in which silence nurtures justice. We encounter a space where contemplation and compassionate action are no longer competing with each other; rather, they exist in a circular relationship in which silence grounds action and justice leads us to further prayer. We find hope and wholeness in our union with God and with one another.

Leadership for this event comes from a collaboration of colleagues from:  The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Washington D.C.; The Beecken Center of the School of Theology, The University of the South; St. Mary's Sewanee:  The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development; Mary and Martha's Place, Atlanta, Georgia; Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville, Georgia; and a consortium of clergy from The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and beyond, community and seminary leaders, spiritual directors, and teachers. 

Special Guest:  Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown, Ayse I Carden Distinguished Professor Emerita of Psychology, Agnes Scott College, will lead a series of guided meditations on the writings of Howard Thurman, weaving times of silence and prayer with reflection and a pilgrimage to the historic Highlander Folk School.

For questions and information, please contact: The Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham: stuart@gracechurchgainesville.org or Rebecca Parker: rebecca@maryandmarthasplace.com

When: Sunday 5:00 PM - Wednesday 10:00 AM
Fee: St. Mary's Hall: $305.00 (Single), $260.00 (Double), The Anna House: $425.00 (Single), $370.00 (Double), Commuter: $150.00 (Single)

ECF Accepting Applications for All Grant Programs

Jan Feb March 2018 Reminder Graphic.png

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

  • General Grant LOIs: due March 31, 2018
  • Q2 Small Acts of Charity Grants: due March 15, 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 with any questions they may have regarding eligibility or their applications.

Bishop Wright Named to GA Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children

Bishop Robert Wright has been appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee on Justice For Children. Wright is the only faith leader on the 29-member committee charged with improving justice for children and families involved in Georgia’s juvenile courts.

Formed in 1995 to apply data-based improvements to Georgia’s child dependency cases, the Justice for Children (J4C) committee expanded its scope of work in 2017 to include the full spectrum of juvenile court cases.

The J4C lists its top priorities as:

  1. implementing nationally recognized best practices
  2. providing child safety, permanent placement, and judicial process measurements to juvenile courts
  3. improving foster care placement stability and decreasing the time children spend in foster care
  4. improving outcomes for children in delinquency and status-offense cases
  5. advocating for improvements in juvenile law and policy
  6. ensuring compliance with federal grant requirements

“The list is long, but the work is vital,” Wright said, following his appointment to J4C. “I’m committed to leveraging my experience and perspective as an adopted child, the parent of an adopted child and chief pastor to thousands of families facing the crisis of broken ties in my work on the committee.”

Wright was appointed to the J4C January 11, with two other new members;

  • Virginia Pryor, interim director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
  •  Talley Wells, executive director of the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice

Georgia Supreme Court Associate Justice David Nahmias, who chairs the committee, said he was impressed by Wright’s real-world experience and leadership qualities.

“Bishop Wright is a passionate and eloquent advocate for children, and for the special needs of foster children in particular,” Nahmias said. “We look forward to the experiences, ideas, and contacts he will bring to the Supreme Court’s Justice for Children Committee as we seek to improve the justice system for Georgia’s children.”

Wright was born in a Roman Catholic orphanage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was adopted at 9 months of age. After graduating high school, he served five years in the U.S. Navy as a helicopter crew chief and search and rescue diver. While attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he earned degrees in history and political science, Wright worked as a child advocate for two mayors and for the Children's Defense Fund. Wright earned an M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary and has been awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degrees by the Virginia Seminary and Sewanee: The University of the South.

Prior to being elected in 2012 as the 10 th bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, Wright served as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Previously, he was Canon Pastor and Vicar of the Congregation of St. Saviour at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and as chaplain of the Cathedral School.

Since becoming bishop of the diocese, which includes 114 worshiping communities in the northern half of Georgia, Wright has been a vocal advocate for improving the lives of children, prisoners, immigrants and military members and their families. As bishop, Wright has addressed the Georgia legislature, urging passage of sensible gun safety laws, spoken up for Medicaid expansion and has been a vocal and active opponent of the death penalty in Georgia.  His pastoral examples include marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King by praying with City of Atlanta sanitation crews before taking an early morning shift on the back of a city garbage truck. In 2015, Wright was named among the 100 Most Influential Georgians by GeorgiaTrend magazine.


A Case for Life: Death Penalty Discussion and Book Signing

EDA_DeathPenalty_EventBriteHeader.png
“The thing is, Jesus taught compassion for victim and perpetrator. Opposition to the death penalty does not mean lack of compassion for the pain and suffering of the victims or their families.” – The Right Rev. Robert Wright

“The thing is, Jesus taught compassion for victim and perpetrator. Opposition to the death penalty does not mean lack of compassion for the pain and suffering of the victims or their families.” – The Right Rev. Robert Wright

Location
Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church
805 Mount Vernon Highway
Atlanta, GA, 30327 United States (directions

Date and Time
Thursday, February 15, 2018
6–9 p.m. EST

Join community and faith leaders and special guest Sister Helen Prejean for a panel discussion on the death penalty in America. The forum will be followed by a reception and book signing of A Case for Life: Justice, Mercy, and the Death Penalty. This event at Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church is free and open to the public. 

To accompany the authors, Sister Helen Prejean, author of the international best-selling book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, will provide her perspective from the front lines advocating for the abolition of the death penalty since 1981. The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, will also speak on how Catholics are opposing the death penalty. 

Program

  • 6 p.m. Doors open for registration and book sales

  • 7 p.m. Event begins in the Church

  • 7:30 p.m. Sister Helen Prejean will speak

  • 8:10 p.m. Panel Presentation

  • 8:25 p.m. Discussion among panelists with audience Q&A

  • Reception and book signing by Sister Helen, Bishop Wright, Susan Casey and Justice Fletcher to follow

Within the new book, five authors make compelling arguments against the death penalty from their own perspectives – among them lawyers, faith leaders, and a supreme court justice. Their personal experiences with both victims and perpetrators provide a moral case for ending state-sponsored killing. 

The book’s contributors include:

  • The Right Reverend Robert Wright, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

  • Stephen B. Bright, Attorney at Law, Southern Center for Human Rights

  • Susan Casey, Attorney at Law, Appeals attorney for Kelly Gissendaner

  • Bishop C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas

  • Justice Norman S. Fletcher, Retired Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia

Join Bishop Wright and other faith and community leaders for a discussion about the death penalty on February 15 from 6-9 p.m. at Holy Innocents'. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. 


New Facebook Group for Musicians in the Diocese of Atlanta

eDIOatl musicians' FB forum.jpg

There is a new Facebook forum for musicians in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta—a way to keep us connected, allow us to share events, ideas, advice, wisdom, anecdotes, and perhaps even goods and services with each other.  Our Facebook group is "Episcopal DioATL Musicians' Forum." Find us! Join us!

Diocese of Cape Coast Confirms Official Diocesan Relationship

The following resolution was unanimously passed at the Diocese of Atlanta’s Annual Council which met in Gainesville, GA on November 10-11, 2017:

Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta enter into a Companion Diocese Relationship with the Anglican Diocese of Cape Coast in Ghana in West Africa, and that the relationship last for three years, commencing with the approval of such a relationship by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Cape Coast at their quarterly meeting in December 2017. 

 

Subsequently, on Monday, December 4, 2017, we received this notice from the Bishop of Cape Coast, The Right Rev. Victor Atta-Baffoe:

I am pleased to inform you that your [resolution] was read to the Standing Committee at its meeting on November 30, and was received with great joy and affection. We are so grateful. We will hold you in prayer as we journey together in Christian faith and charity. Please be assured that we are holding you all in our prayers and remembering you in our celebration of the Eucharist. We are delighted in the good work God is up to among us!

 

2018 Pilgrimage to Cape Coast
We are planning the next pilgrimage of members of the Diocese of Atlanta to Cape Coast.  The dates will be May 18-25, 2018. Please click here to be considered for this year’s trip. Deadline for applications is January 31, 2018. 

Contact The Rev. Dr. Sharon Hiers (sharon@epiphany.org) if you have any questions or would like to receive more information.


Vestry Essentials

ECF.png

The Vocational Vestry
When we think of vestry service as a vocation, we transform ourselves from a group of leaders performing important tasks to an invigorated, fulfilled and transformed group that in turn enlivens the congregation and the community at large. In The Vocational Vestry, Alissa Newton provides three ways to start this process.

Five Things Every Vestry Member Should Know
Are you a new vestry member or a long-time veteran? In Five Things Every Vestry Member Should Know, ECF President Donald Romanik shares ideas based on his experience and observations as a vestry member and warden that will speak to you, no matter where you are on your vestry journey.

Vestry Covenants
Does your church leadership team have a vestrycovenant? In Vestry Covenants, Susan Pinkerton explains why a covenant, created and implemented together, is an essential tool for building trust and fostering community among team members.

Top 10
In Top Ten Resources for Vestry Members, Brendon Hunter lists foundational tools and resources that will greatly benefit any new or returning vestry member, and serve as a handy reference while learning about church leadership and serving on the vestry.

If you find this issue of Vestry Papers helpful to your work and ministry, please subscribe to ECF Vital Practices for upcoming issues, blogs and more. We look to you all for new ideas and stories so we can continue to offer church leaders practical resources and tools to respond to the changing needs of the Church. If you have a story to share, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

To learn more about ECF and our programs, please visit our website.

Popular Blogs and Resources

TOOLS
2018 Church Leadership Conference - Register now!

Are you a congregational leader? Register now for the 2018 Church Leadership Conference taking place March 2 - 4, 2018 at Kanuga in Hendsersonville, NC.

BLOG POST
What We Need Today

Alan Bentrup was asked to share what qualities he thinks priests need to have today and shares what he thinks is true for all Christians, not just those ordained.

BLOG POST
Stewardship Follow-up

Annette Buchanan explores six ideas for a follow-up on the stewardship season.

TOOLS
5 Vestry Retreat Resources

Five resources to help your vestry, bishop’s committee, or other leadership group take a productive and life-giving retreat.

BLOG POST
Church-Think About Technology, part 1

Greg Syler, a fellow technological late-adapter, reflects on how the use of technology in the Church straddles that of the old and the new, between the inherited tradition and an emerging culture.

WEBINARS
Upcoming Free Webinars

Register now for free upcoming webinars on vestry basics, food and housing justice, and grant writing for faith-based organizations.


"Share the Love" to Support Path To Shine

PathToShine Image1A.jpg

Unique small-ratio mentoring and tutoring ministry, Path To Shine announces the kick-off of its 2nd Annual Share the Love awareness and fundraising campaign. 

Supporting this fast-paced, 28-day effort to celebrate February 2018 as the “Month of Love” is quick and easy. You can help in two simple ways.

1. Share by making a quirky donation of $28 ($1 for each day in February).

2. Share again by following Path To Shine on Facebook and Twitter and “liking and sharing” their daily campaign posts. Not on social media? Share Connecting via email with family and friends.

Donate Now

Each week, over 170 elementary students burst through the doors of Path To Shine programs in 14 diocesan locations, eager to reconnect with their volunteer mentors and share stories from the past week. Path To Shine’s desire to draw its circle wide with the Share the Love campaign is rooted in the ministry’s founding belief that elementary school children living in poverty need caring, committed mentors and tutors who encourage them to see their own paths to becoming successful adults.

The ministry strives to inspire underserved children to achieve hope-filled dreams, while motivating adults to volunteer and make a difference in a child’s life. Since launching its first program in 2010, Path To Shine has trained 300 volunteer mentors and provided more than 26,000 hours of caring, adult mentorship. 

“We’ve read hundreds of books, tackled countless pages of math, and shared thousands of healthy after-school snacks,” said Deacon Lesley-Ann Drake, Path To Shine’s executive director. “We’ve giggled, played games, told stories, and witnessed the immense inner pride that shines from within when a child’s lightbulb flickers on and a new understanding is achieved.”

Path To Shine’s Two-Pronged Focus Benefits Children and Volunteers Alike

With an intentional 2:1 ratio of children to adults, PTS’s programs are focused on creating significant impacts by matching children with volunteers whose mentorship becomes a steady and trusted presence in their lives. 

“The positive impacts of our mentors’ service are reflected in the actions of the children themselves,” said Deacon Lesley-Ann Drake, Path To Shine’s executive director. “Many of our students join Path To Shine as kindergartners, remain committed and involved throughout their elementary years, and graduate from the program in fifth grade as self-confident, capable young leaders.” 

Path To Shine’s innovative approach places great importance on the volunteer experience. With mentors ranging from high school students and retired teachers to working adults across the wide range of industries, many of the ministry’s volunteers have faithfully served as Path To Shine mentors for three, five, even seven years. PTS provides multi-faceted training for all volunteers, covering topics such as mentoring, effective listening, diversity, and methods for helping children improve their reading skills. 

“This past year, we expanded our programming and trained dozens of new volunteer mentors. One of the things that we learned very early on with Path To Shine is that volunteers need training. Anyone who is going to volunteer for anything needs tools and needs to feel safe and competent,” explained Drake. Deacon Edith W. Woodling, a retired educator, helps PTS with mentor training and program curriculum. 

Path To Shine’s Approach to Whole-Child and Individualized Mentorship

Genuine, effective mentorship of children requires a blend of individualized elements—it’s a web of personal attention, friendly engagement, educational focus and patience, consistency, safe surroundings, and sometimes, gentle encouragement during challenging moments and even failure. 

“Predictability is critical to fostering a sense of trust and safety. For many of our young Path To Shine students, their daily experiences involve very grown-up worries like poverty, hunger, and uncertainty, said Drake. “Through dedicated mentors and thoughtful programming, Path To Shine provides children an opportunity to build the skills, self-confidence, and resiliency needed to chase their dreams.” 

A typical PTS afternoon includes quiet time for volunteers to work one-on-one or in small groups. Mentors work with the same students each week, helping with homework, reading together, or catching up on the week's events. Snack and playtime are also valuable parts of the program. Another key element of PTS is structured group time. Through stories told using books or guest speakers, group time is an opportunity to practice attentive listening and comprehension and learn valuable life skills.

Finally, there is only so much a child can learn in the classroom. A lot of what we learn is outside the school building – experiences and adventures many people take for granted. For Path To Shine children, an outing to a fire station, a museum, or a Braves game offers a rare opportunity to experience something new. Financial support from campaigns like Share the Love enables the ministry to support the local programs to allow enrichment of kids’ lives with fun and educational excursions.

Camp Mikell 2018 Summer Camp Sessions

IMG_0749.JPG

The following camps are now open for registration: 

Mini Camp: May 18-20, Rising 1st and 2nd Graders

Youth Camp: May 27-June 2, Rising 10th-Just Graduated

Performing Arts Camp: June 3-June 9, Rising 4th-9th Graders

Intermediate Camp: June 17-June 23, Rising 8th and 9th Graders

Junior Camp: June 24-June 30, Rising 6th and 7th Graders

Kid Camp: July 8-July 13, Rising 3rd-5th Graders

Work Camp: July 16-July 21, Rising 10th Graders-Just Graduated

Guest Camp: August 31- September 3, Children, Adults, and Families

Outdoor Junior: June 3-June 9, Rising 6th and 7th Graders

Outdoor Intermediate: June 3- June 9, Rising 8th and 9th Graders

Outdoor Youth: June 10-June 16, Rising 10th Graders - Just Graduated


For more information and registration details, go to http://campmikell.com/summer-camp/

The Go Summit: Local and Global Mission in the Diocese of Atlanta

2018 Go Summit Flyer-updated.jpg

If the old Diocesan Ministry Fair and the annual Global Mission Conference had a baby, it would be the Go Summit: Local and Global Mission in the Diocese of Atlanta. This conference will be held February 10 at the Cathedral of St. Philip. Collaborate with Bishop Robert C. Wright, Toxic Charity author Robert Lupton, and those in our diocese working on innovations in both local and global ministries. Please encourage those in your ministry with big ideas, dreams, frustrations, and questions to register and attend. Click here to learn more

Afternoon breakout panel sessions will include:

  • Congregational Connections in Cuba
  • Partnership with Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Freedom School 101
  • Path to Shine 101
  • Stories of Successful Community Ministries
  • Local Ministry Innovations Showcase
  • Identifying Assets for Racial Healing
  • Addressing Immigration Issues in Your Worshipping Community
  • Collaborating with the Community You Serve for Sustainability

 

You can make others aware of your ministry, organization, or idea by setting up a display at no charge on the tables provided in the Cathedral atrium. (Please indicate when you register if you'd like to have a display.) Advance registration is $30 per person and includes lunch and a printed copy of The Go Guide: 10 Steps for Innovations in Ministry from Luke 10 in your choice of English or Spanish.

Schedule

  • 8:30 – 9 a.m. Registration
  • 9 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome and introductions
  • 9:15 – 9:45 a.m. “Why GO!” with Bishop Robert Wright
  • 9:45 – 10 a.m. Break
  • 10 – 12:00 p.m. Toxic Charity author Robert Lupton
  • 12 – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
  • 12:45 – 1 p.m. Break
  • 1 – 1:55 p.m. First-afternoon session
  • 2:05 – 3 p.m. Second-afternoon session

Also available are free Curbside Consulting sessions with the executive director of the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia, which funded more than $200,000 to parishes and ministries serving the poor and oppressed throughout the Diocese of Atlanta in 2017. Discuss challenges your ministry/organization is currently facing and how ECF might be able to help you make a bigger impact through our grantmaking programs. Sign-up at ECFimpact.org/curbside

Please contact the Reverend Donna S. Mote, Missioner for Engagement and Innovation, with any questions at innovate@episcopalatlanta.org or 770-833-2899.

The Art of Teaching Spiritual Discernment: A Listening Hearts Lenten Retreat

unnamed (1).jpg

The Beecken Center of the School of Theology is partnering with Listening Hearts Ministries to offer an intensive, four-day retreat to train participants in the art of facilitating and mentoring spiritual discernment groups using the Listening Hearts approach. Held at the DuBose Conference Center, the retreat will include communal meditation activities; workshops that teach the practical aspects of teaching spiritual discernment; and a series of discernment sessions, each of which is followed by a reflective review to gain insight into the elements that bring forth fruitful discernment.

This Listening Hearts retreat can count as Alternate Mentor Training for Education for Ministry (EfM) mentors. Requirements for Alternate Mentor Training include having completed two Foundations Trainings, being "Formation ready," not having completed another Alternate Training within the last three trainings, and not needing to go back to Foundations after three Formations. Contact Elsa Bakkum, EfM Associate Director for Training, at esbakkum@sewanee.edu for Alternate Training credit.

The program has an “at home” component: for five weeks prior to the retreat (the weeks of Jan. 28; Feb. 5, 12, 19, & 26), participants will engage in short readings, creative meditation exercises, and online sharing of reflections. The assignments will require an average of two hours of work a week, which can usually be broken into several chunks, and include online sharing with a mentor and other members of the group.

  • Tuition: $750
  • Lodging not included. Lodging reservations may be made directly with the DuBose Conference Center using this form.
  • CEUs are available.
  • Registration closes Thurs. Jan. 11.
  • The workshop begins with an informal opening Eucharist at 5:00 p.m., CST, on Tuesday, March 6, and ends at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 10.
  • Register here >>

This retreat is geared to spiritually mature leaders of all ages who are committed to the principles set forth in Listening Hearts, and affords each participant the opportunity to enter into discernment in relation to his or her own life while also learning to train and mentor discernment groups. Participants will work in small groups, each with its own mentor. Silence, song, imaginative engagement with Scripture, creative meditation activities, and contemplative sharing of reflections combine to draw each group into the flow of the Spirit.

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity!

Called to Lead: Leadership Training for Parish Lay Leaders

calledtolead.png

Called to Lead is a day of lay leadership development. Bishop Wright teaches the model of Adaptive Leadership to parish vestries, wardens and treasurers. All lay leaders, including members of finance and stewardship committees, are invited to this workshop.

There will be two opportunities for Called to Lead; the first will be on Saturday, January 20th at St. Teresa’s, Acworth from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here to register. 

St. Teresa's Episcopal Church
5725 Fords Rd NW
Acworth, GA 30101


The second opportunity will be on Saturday, March 17 at St. Andrew's in the Pines, Peachtree City from 9 am to 3 pm. Click here to register.

St. Andrew's in the Pines
316 N Peachtree Pkwy
Peachtree City, GA 30269

Ordinations at the Cathedral of St. Philip

Dec 16 ordination.jpg

Bishop Wright ordained six individuals to the Sacred Order of Deacons. Being ordained as a Transitional Deacon is the initial step toward ordination as a priest, usually about six months later. The ordination service was held at the Cathedral of St. Philip on December 16, 2017.

The following people were ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons:

Gregoria Betances

Irma Nohemi Guerra

Kyle Christopher Mackey

Amy Dills-Moore

Melanie Gibson Rowell

Kenya Angela Thompson


Two of the new transitional deacons, Gregoria Betances and Irma Nohemi Guerra, are “home grown,” the first to be educated in the Diocese Centro de Educación Teológica para Latinos (CETLA), the Theological Education Center for Latinos. The CETLA program provides foundational education for lay leaders in our Hispanic worshiping communities. Further information on the Diocese's Hispanic Ministries can be found here


'Sweatsuit Ministry' Brings Comfort to Invisible Victims of Caribbean Storms

VIevaccueeAid.jpg

Much attention has been rightly focused on providing relief to residents on Caribbean islands wrecked by this year’s hurricanes, but there are many less well-known victims of these storms closer to home.

Hundreds of residents from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico living with chronic illnesses were evacuated to U.S. cities for treatment. About 280 were flown to Atlanta for dialysis and cancer treatments.

After learning that her brother was among the evacuees, Mary Abbot, a member of St. Teresa’s Episcopal Church in Acworth, GA alerted other parishioners to their presence.

Abbot, the wife of a retired Episcopal Priest from St. Croix, teamed up with two other women of the parish to provide culturally appropriate meals to those being housed at metro area hotels. “They are getting the care they need, but miss the foods they are used to,” Abbott said. As they delivered the meals and visited with the evacuees the women soon became aware of another need - sweat suits.

The food was a welcome reminder of home, but these medically fragile islanders are not use to sub-70s temperatures.

They provided sweat suits to as many as the parish desperate needs fund could afford, but there were still many others in need of easy-to-wear warm clothing.

So, Abbott’s small team alerted other parishes in the diocese to the clothing need. Several responded with generous checks. Moreover, priests and parishioners from Episcopal churches near the evacuees began making visits and providing Eucharist.

Armed with the added cash-in-hand the sweat suit brigade kicked back into action. With the help of Public Health Service nurses assigned to the hotels where evacuees are being housed they gathered a list of sizes. Soon, more sweat suits were being bought and delivered.

This improvised personal response to the needs of others is a reminder that there are many ways each of us is called to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world.

Caribbean medical evacuees relocated throughout the nation will be with us for months as island medical facilities are restored. That means there are still plenty of opportunities to meet their need for comfort and care – maybe right in your community. For current needs, email reporterdon@gmail.com.

St. Timothy's Daughters of the King, Support Samaritan's Purse's "Operation Christmas Child"

IMG_1484.JPG

The Daughters of the King (DOK) of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Decatur, spearheaded our partnership with Samaritan’s Purse’s “Operation Christmas Child” project which provides shoe box gifts to boys and girls overseas.    

Seventy-six shoe boxes, each filled with toys, toiletries, and school supplies, were donated by members of the Parish for boys and girls between the ages of two and fourteen years old.
 
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve and to partner with Samaritan’s Purse to spread Christmas cheer to children overseas.

Thank you, St. Timothy’s, for your support of the work of the Daughters of the King.  

2018 ECF Fellowship Application is Now Available

efc1.jpg

Since 1964 ECF has awarded 223 Fellowships to individuals pursuing advanced academic studies and special ministries with the aim of educating and equipping future clergy and lay leaders.

ECF is pleased to announce that the application for the 2018 Fellowship is now open.

Please share this post with an emerging scholar or ministry leader who you think would benefit from ECF’s support. We believe that by supporting individuals at an early stage in their ministries, scholars and ministry leaders can make a lasting impact on the wider Church.

All applicants to the Fellowship Partners Program should bear the following in mind:

  • ECF is committed to strengthening the leadership capability of the Episcopal Church. Applicants to the academic and ministry tracks are asked to describe how they will be developing the next generation of leaders for the Episcopal Church, whether in the context of academia, a local congregation, through a church-wide initiative, or in another setting.
  • An ECF Fellowship provides both financial support and networking opportunities. ECF has typically awarded three to four Fellowships per year. New awards range up to $15,000 for the first year and are renewable for an additional two years. In addition to this financial support, new Fellows join a wide network of past Fellows and ECF partners with them so that they may share their knowledge, experience, and best practices with the wider Church.
  • The selection process for an ECF Fellowship is highly competitive. A strong application requires a significant investment of time and effort and ECF encourages all applicants to begin this process early. Applications are due on March 16, 2018. ECF will announce the 2018 Fellows in late May of 2018.

Please visit the ECF website to learn more about the Fellowship Partners Program, the application process, and be sure to review our list of Frequently Asked Questions. You will find profiles of the 2017 Fellows here and our complete list of all ECF Fellows here. Please contact Brendon Hunter, Program Director, if you have any questions about this program or the application process.