General Convention News: Part 3 of 4


We are underway!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  By Vy. Rev. Sam Candler

By Vy. Rev. Sam Candler


Caring For Children is Not Political

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CETLA Graduates Second Class


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A third two-year class will begin on September 15, Canon Rodriguez said. Information about CETLA and other Diocesan Hispanic ministries is at

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

Reading Camp At St. Matthew's

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

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

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

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

Bishop Wright Appoints Congregational Vitality Advisory Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Former Bishop Suffragan of Diocese of Dallas fills in during Sabbatical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diocese of Atlanta Communications Honored by Religious Communication Organizations

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

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

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

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


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

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

Taliaferro County Receives new Health Care Clinic

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

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

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

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

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


For more information on the effort to assist the unserved counties within the Diocese of Atlanta, contact Don Plummer,

Learn more about Asset-Based Community Development. 

General Convention News: Part 2 of 4



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  By Bruce Garner, Lay Deputee

By Bruce Garner, Lay Deputee


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


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

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

The entire exhibition is on view at, and several previous exhibitions may also be viewed at this website, along with a directory of artist members. Membership in ECVA is open to all Episcopal visual artists, and the call for the Fall 2018 exhibition will soon be announced. More paintings in Morgan's new "Anam Cara" series can also be viewed, at

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Elements of a Contemplative Reformation: Contemplative Summer School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episcopal priest has asked for mercy for Georgia death row inmate

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

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

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

 Robert Earl Butts Jr.

Robert Earl Butts Jr.

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

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

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

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

Ecumenical Prayer Service


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

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

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

Episcopal Asset Map: New Look and Enhanced Powers

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Episcopal Relief and Development has launched a new, improved version of the Asset Map. In addition to collecting information about worshiping communities, schools and ministries of The Episcopal Church, site enhancements empower Episcopalians to better share information about their communities. Anyone can add information to the site, but once added information goes through an approval process before it's published. The site collects information and stories (videos and news/blogs) about Episcopal Communities organized around Dioceses and Networks. Go here to check out the map:

All churches, ministries and schools in the Diocese of Atlanta are listed. Please check your listing at:  Make sure that the name, address, services and general information is current and add information about any unlisted resources you may have. 

There are several reasons why this is a valuable tool.

During Disasters
With disaster preparedness and resources listed and up-to-date, it is easy to locate what's needed to help others.

Reaching Out
The site’s robust search engine optimization makes it come up high in Google's rankings for those who are searching for a church, ministry or school. 

Sharing Information
See what other churches, ministries and schools are doing and be sure to share yours!

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SUMMA Theological Debate Camp is Accepting Applications for the 2018 Session


Camp is the cornerstone of SUMMA Student Theological Debate Society, which provides a way for high school students to build their faith through intellectual channels. Founded in the confidence that knowledge and reason are foundational to faith, SUMMA offers fun, friendship, and the opportunity for a deepened and more thoughtful faith.

Held on the campus of the School of Theology at the University of the South—one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States—SUMMA Camp is a college-like atmosphere with challenging lectures and stimulating seminar discussions.

Camp is open to high school students entering grades 9-12 in the fall of 2018, and offers a rich, uniquely meaningful experience, which includes:

  • Tools for thinking;
  • Knowledge of the Christian theological tradition;
  • Skills in public speaking and debate;
  • Cutting-edge engagement with topics such as religion and science, social ethics, and interfaith relations.

Camp is not all work, though! Laughter is resonant in the classrooms and dorms, and there is plenty of time for soccer, basketball, games, movies, and even bowling. Each day begins and ends with prayer and contemplative reflection. “Speaking truth in love” is a practice followed throughout camp.

ECF Grants $88,875 to Fight Poverty and Oppression Locally

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Atlanta, GA, April 17, 2018 — Today the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia (ECF) announces it will grant $88,875 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 Appleton Episcopal Ministries, Emmaus House, St. Alban's Episcopal Church (Monroe), St. Margaret's Episcopal Church (Carrollton), and The Friendship Center of Atlanta at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church.

“Our purpose in the Diocese of Atlanta is to challenge ourselves and the world to love like Jesus,” said the Right Rev. Robert C. Wright, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. “With these extraordinary grants from ECF we are doing just that. Well done!”

ECF’s spring 2018 general grant recipients:
• Appleton Episcopal Ministries has received a grant of $33,874.50 to support outreach ministries in the Middle Georgia Convocation through the purchase of a 15-person van. This van will be utilized by programs at all parishes in the convocation, particularly the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Macon, Path to Shine afterschool programming, and other ministries with low-income students.
• Emmaus House has received a grant of $15,000 to support developing an extensive training program for the fellows of The Road Episcopal Service Corps to better equip them for ministry during their year of service, which will create a viable ministry leadership pipeline for future outreach ministries.
• The Friendship Center of Atlanta at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church has received a grant of $20,000 for start-up costs to offer a third program day at the Center. The Friendship Center has wanted to grow from two to three program days for many years, and its current need has grown as other nearby programs have closed down. This third program day not only allows for feeding program participants on a third day, but also to provide literacy and wellness programming for those who could not previously participate.
• St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Monroe has received a grant of $15,000 to purchase two hoop houses for the garden they maintain with the inmates at the Walton County jail. These hoop houses will create more yield from the garden, which supplies not only the jail’s kitchen but also the local free farmer’s market for the working poor, and also will extend the ability for the inmates and parishioners from St. Alban’s to garden when weather conditions are less than ideal.

ECF’s Q2 2018 Small Acts of Charity recipient:
• St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Carrollton has received a grant of $5,000 to start up their new Loads of Love laundry ministry with those in poverty in their local community. Through this ministry, the parishioners will visit local laundromats with both financial assistance and meals to help their West Georgia neighbors in need.

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, 2018, and LOIs for Spring 2019 General Grants are due September 30, 2018. Those interested in applying for funding should visit 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




The 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church
July 5-13, 2018, Austin, Texas

I get excited and energized during the buildup to General Convention and then going where Episcopalians from 109 dioceses that are in 17 countries worship, work, discuss issues and are together. It is the same for me for our Annual Council, which I hope that those of you who are elected to go feel, and for Province IV Synod meetings. We are a hierarchical denomination, as opposed to congregational, so this structure and polity is important to all of us because it affects the ways that we worship and live out our life together.

July 3: Registration and committee meetings will begin
July 4: Addresses by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jenkins, president of the House of Deputies.
July 5: The first legislative day
July 13: Adjournment

Where did General Conventions come from?
It was established in our original constitution, which was written in 1789. It has grown to be the largest bicameral legislative body in the world.

The Most Reverend Michael Curry, our presiding bishop, leads the House of Bishops, and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings is the elected leader of the House of Deputies. Between conventions, our life together is administered from our church headquarters located in New York City. 

Where do proposed resolutions and canons come from?
There are four types:A, B, C, and D, which are so designated by their origin:
A:  Interim bodies (standing commissions, task forces, and the Executive Council), 
B:  Bishops,
C:  Provinces and dioceses,
D:  Deputies.

What happens to them?
General Convention committees study proposed resolutions and canons, debate them, and at times modify them. Resolutions and canons come out of their assigned committees, read on the floor of the House of Deputies or the House of Bishops with either the recommendation that they be passed, failed, or modified.The debate on each one follows. At times, no debate emerges after the reading, and the vote is immediately taken.

What follows?
It goes to the other house, the one where it did not originate, and that house does the same thing.It votes to either pass, fail, or modify it. A resolution or canon has to pass both legislative bodies in the exact, word for word, format to be passed by GC, the whole body.

How do people, like you or me, become deputies?
After every General Convention, the triennial meeting cycle begins anew.
– Parishioners—that’s you and me—elect people to their vestries.
– Vestries, along with parish rectors and priests, select people to be delegates (people who represent the parish in their deliberations) to their annual councils.
– The delegates elect their diocese’s General Convention deputies (people who vote based on their knowledge and consciences): four clergy and four lay people in addition to four alternates in each order. 
– Deputies work on preparatory responsibilities and then go to General Convention. 

What do deputies do?
Deputies have the responsibility of attending its provinces’ meetings, called synods, which meet before General Conventions.  Ours, Province IV, meets twice, once the year before and once the year of General Convention. Deputies attend the House of Deputies plenary sessions where they listen to addresses and debates, and vote. About one third of the deputies work on committees. They network and attend dinners, such as seminary ones and their diocese’s. They caucus frequently within their deputation. During the legislative days’ business break times, they can visit with one another and peruse the exhibits. There are a lot of them and they fall into two categories: ministry and marketing.

And what better networking can there be than at worship when prayers are offered, the word is heard in Bible readings and through preachers, and beautiful music is sung and heard. I find the worship superb and very meaningful.  

What is the typical General Convention work day like?
Worship, legislative sessions, workshops, adjournment. Evening legislative sessions happen toward the end of General Convention as resolutions and canons come out of committees. (Sounds like our GA legislative process, doesn’t it?) Committees will meet at various times that could be from early morning to night.
What can you do?
Follow the happenings via the Virtual Binder by typing https://www.general Click "Legislative Information" and then click "Virtual Binder." It is already live with a small amount of information under "Resolutions" and "Constitution and Canons". The content will grow exponentially leading up to and during General Convention.

Pray for the deliberations that the Holy Spirit will fill the hearts, minds, and work of every deputy.

May God bless you in whatever way you contribute to our wonderful Episcopal Church.

  By Angela Williamson, Lay Deputy

By Angela Williamson, Lay Deputy


Your deputies to General Convention
Elected at 2016 Annual Council

The Very Rev. Mary Demler, St. James’,         
The Very Rev. Sam Candler, St. Philip’s,     
The Rev. Sharon Hiers, Epiphany,                    
The Rev. Jeff Jackson, St. Margaret’s,              


Georgia Mountains
Mid Atlanta
East Atlanta
West Georgia

Ms. Beth King, Deputation Chair, St. Philip’s      
Ms. Angela Williamson, St. Martin’s            
Mr. John Andrews, Grace Calvary      
Mr. Bruce Garner, All Saints                   


Mid Atlanta
North Atlanta
Georgia Mountains
Mid Atlanta

Your alternates

The Rev. Cynthia Parks, Grace                       
The Rev. Patricia Templeton, St. Dunstan’s    
The Rev. Deacon Arthur Villarreal, Christ        


Georgia Mountains
North Atlanta

Mr. Raz Schreiber, St. Bartholomew’s       
Ms. LaFawn Gilliam, St. Luke’s                          
Mr. Les Callahan, St. Anne’s                         


East Atlanta
Mid Atlanta
North Atlanta

Creation Story Quilts at St. James, Marietta


Last summer we began planning the first unit of study - Creation- for the upcoming year in children’s Christian Education at St. James, Marietta. An idea began to form after a discussion with St. James parishioners Cari Edwards and Alice Heilker, both experienced quilters. The children, with the ladies’ help, would design and make a series of quilted wall hangings, one for each day of creation.  

Last fall, as the children were immersed in Bible study of creation, they were also busy pondering, planning, and implementing our project.  Everyone had a voice in the design, in what living things would be included, and in preparing the pieces.  Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Heilker, along with quilters at nearby Red Hen Fabrics, spent the winter appliqueing, quilting and hemming the wall hangings.  The children’s names and the applicable Bible verses were added to each panel, and the wall hangings were finished!

On Sunday, April 8th, the lovely completed hangings were presented to our parish family by our proud children, blessed by Father Roger and Fr. Daron, and will soon take a place of honor in our Christian Education wing.