We are proud to announce our very own Bishop Robert Wright was recently inducted to Atlanta Magazine’s inaugural 500 most powerful business leaders list. This first-of-its-kind guide celebrates the metro area’s top executives and influencers in a myriad of industries. This guide includes local experts in a variety of fields that are making an impact in the metro Atlanta area. To compile this list, editors at Atlanta Magazine have consulted dozens of experts in various fields, studied corporate and community boards, gathered relevant data and relied on their own institutional knowledge. Atlanta Magazine has a long and storied history at the center of Atlanta’s business community with humble beginnings in 1961. The Magazine, started by the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, was created for the sole purpose of driving business and commerce to the Atlanta area.
The LGBTQ+ community in Atlanta observes Pride activities in October of each year. This year Pride Weekend is October 13 and 14, 2018. This observance provides us, as part of the Jesus Movement, the opportunity to reach out to those who have suffered at the hands of organized religion. We have a chance to try and literally redeem the church to so many who need a place to reconnect with a faith community and do so just as they are. The Diocese of Atlanta is known as a welcoming community to LGBTQ+ folks and is an official sponsor of Pride. Please join us in this ministry. You are welcome regardless of your race, age, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, sexual orientation, economic status, or any of the factors that often divide us.
As a prelude to the weekend’s activities, Integrity Atlanta will host its 30th Annual Pride Eucharist on Thursday, October 11, 2018. The Eucharist will take place at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 634 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308 and will begin at 7:30 pm. The preacher for the service is the Reverend Dr. Horace Griffin, Associate Priest, St. Luke’s, Atlanta. The celebrant is the Reverend Kimberly Jackson, Associate Rector, All Saints’, Atlanta. We will also welcome the musical talents of Trey Clegg and the Trey Clegg Singers to lead music for the service. All truly are welcome!
Sign up to help staff the Diocese of Atlanta information booth at the Pride Festival in Piedmont Park on Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14 by going to this link: https://preview.tinyurl.com/2018-Pride-Booth-Sign-Up . Meet people and tell them about The Episcopal Church’s welcome of them whoever they are and wherever they are on their journey. Help us draw the circle wider.
The Diocese of Atlanta will have a float and a walking contingent in the Pride Parade on Sunday, October 14. Sign up to carry a parish sign in the parade by going to this link: https://tinyurl.com/2018-Parade-Sign-Up. The Pride Parade is one of the largest parades in the city. The Episcopal Church always gets a very warm and rousing reception from the crowd. They also appreciate the handouts (aka beads) we give them as well. The parade begins at noon and steps off from the Civic Center MARTA Station about two blocks south of All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Carry a parish sign or just come walk with us!
Members from St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia, embarked on a spiritual pilgrimage to a lynching memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. Pilgrims began the 340-mile round trip to visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice to experience the story of more than 4,400 people who were lynched in this country. The 82 travelers also visited the nearby Legacy Museum, which draws a connection from slavery to mass incarceration in our country.
According to Catherine Meeks, founding executive director of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta, pilgrimages like this demonstrate that “the work of racial healing and reconciliation in the church will be done most effectively at the parish level. It delights me to see a parish taking the initiative to do this work, and I am deeply grateful to Rev. Dr. Angela Shepherd and the St. Bartholomew pilgrims for making this important trip.”
The travelers encountered many barriers throughout the trip that symbolized, to many, the discomfort of spiritual change. The pilgrims faced issues with the transportation company and travel delays, which allowed travelers ample time to consider the history of racial violence – even while stranded roadside on 1-85 on a hot summer day.
“The fact that we went as a church, a community of faith, amplified, almost prism-like, the ferocity of getting as close as we possibly could to the evil reality of lynching,” trip organizer Scotty Greene added. “Our shared faith in Christ got us down that road to do that. For me, this pilgrimage was functioning as Ken Wilber described religion, ‘not a conventional bolstering of consciousness but a radical transmutation and transformation at the deepest seat of consciousness itself.’ As another pilgrim shared with me, I’ll never be the same.”
Read the full article from ENS to learn more.
Campus Missioner for Macon Colleges | Dena Douglas Hobbs
Dena Douglas Hobbs was born and raised in the Macon area. She was active in campus ministry during her years at UGA and has continued to support campus ministry throughout her life. After serving as United Methodist clergy for six years, she left parish life to raise her two children and move back to the Middle Georgia area. Dena became an Episcopal layperson ten years ago and is an active member of St Francis Episcopal in Macon. She is excited to begin this new ministry with Episcopal and Lutheran students at the Macon Colleges. She also blogs at denadouglashobbs.com.
Campus Missioner at the University of Georgia | Clayton Harrington
Before moving to Atlanta in August of 2014, Clayton earned a BA in History and Religion from Campbell University in North Carolina (May 2014). He is a graduate of Candler School of Theology, having earned a Master of Divinity with a Certificate in Episcopal Studies (May 2017).
Clayton formerly was Program Coordinator for Youth Ministry at the Cathedral of St. Philip, from June 2017 to June 2018. He was also the Seminarian of the Cathedral from August 2015 to May 2017. There he served in various ways, including assisting in worship, pastoral care, and Christian education.
Clayton is excited about the potential of Christian community, worship, and service to empower young adults of UGA to continue to grow into the people that God has made them to be. In Athens, he is also the Rector’s Associate for Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
Clayton also is an aspirant in the process of discernment for ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Atlanta.
There’s an innate desire in each person to want to understand their place in Christ’s body as baptized Christians. A large part of the Education for Ministry journey is discovering one’s own ministry/spiritual gifts. Members of an EFM group are reminded the best way to discover spiritual gifts is in the small group.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will host EFM on Monday evenings from 7-9:30 pm. beginning on September 10th.
For more information and registration, contact:
Every baptized person is called to lay ministry and as lay people it can become a daunting task. EFM helps in that ministry call through a cirriculum designed to help you discover and exercise your varied gifts in the places where you live and work.
The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation will host EFM on Sundays from 2-5 beginning September 9th.
For more information and registration, contact: Katie Dunlap, 404-444-6874 or email@example.com.
In partnership with the United Nations Special Envoy for Education, the Tutudesk Campaign provides the answer to the classroom desk shortage crisis experienced in schools in developing countries. Over 95 million children in schools across sub-Saharan Africa have no access to a classroom desk making functional literacy - the ability to read and write - impossible to acheive. Tutudesk offers children their very own workstation creating immediate, high impact and positive change in an instant, under any learning conditions. Tutudesk is a proven solution to a literacy development and general infrastructure crisis.
Donations should be made to the Diocese of Atlanta with the notation TuTu Desk Campaign and mailed to the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. One desk per parish is available to be picked up from the Center for Racial Healing so contributors can see what they are purchasing.
Non-profit organization Cool Girls celebrated 200 girls for their hard work in school last year at a special event hosted by the St. Peter and St. Paul Episcopal Church in Marietta. For more than 25 years, the Episcopal church has supported the organization’s mission to instill confidence, self-respect, and leadership to hundreds of second through eighth-grade girls in nine metro Atlanta Title 1 elementary and middle schools.
The event included activities such as face painting, hip-hop dancing, Chick-fil-A lunch, and shopping in the church’s boutique. The girls received a new book bag full of school supplies, toiletries, a New Testament, and other provisions to give them a strong start for the new year. More than 100 volunteers from the church and surrounding community helped to make the event a fun way to honor what the girls have accomplished so far and to prepare them for a successful new school year.
Read the full article from the Marietta Daily Journal here.
Our deputation from the Diocese of Atlanta proudly represented our church family in Austin at General Convention. Now they would love to come and share with you their experiences and answer any questions you might have about our time there, legislation discussed, the peripheral and worship offerings at GC, or anything else that interests you. See the list below of deputies and their availability to visit your parish.
The Rev. Jeff Jackson
Most days except Fridays
Most days and some Sundays
The Rev. Cynthia Park
Check for availability
Dcn. Arthur Villarreal
Most Saturdays and Sundays
Check for availability
The Rev. Mary Demmler
Most weeknights and some Sunday evenings
Most weeknights and no Sundays
The Rev. Dr. Sharon Hiers
Most days except Fridays
Trinity Church, Wall Street awarded a grant of $400,000 to the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing in early June to serve as a convenor for The Episcopal Church on anti-racism initiatives through providing training to youth, clergy, and lay leaders.
“We are delighted to be able to support your program, and we look forward to hearing of its progress and impact,” said The Reverend Dr. William Lupfer, the rector of Trinity Church. Through its Grants Program, Trinity Church Wall Street collaborates in mission and ministry with churches and organizations in the United States and internationally.
The Absalom Jones Center is a faith-based nonprofit organization that invites individuals to open their minds and hearts through a curriculum of experiences and activities that help to dismantle personal prejudice, take down racism, and bring forth reconciliation.
Executive Director Dr. Catherine Meeks outlined the ways in which the grant will be used at the center. Between July 2018 through July 2019, the center will be able to hire a full-time administrative and program assistant, extend daily hours into the evening so students who wish can use the space, and organize and implement more extensive pilgrimages and programs to support its mission.
The funds will also support the continued work of designing curricular materials for youth and adults, will address racial healing, justice, and reconciliation. Finally, the grant will enable the center to make those materials available to Spanish and Indigenous people.
We at Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA, are looking for a few good men and women who would be interested in an Education for Ministry (EfM) class that meets during the day.
If you would like to explore your spirituality and develop your personal theology and are unable to attend a night class, email or call Dianne Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-851-2472, or Ellen Lewis at email@example.com or 678-546-0844. If there is enough interest (we need at least 6 people) in a day class, we will get started on forming one.
So, if you have any interest, please let us know so we can get to work!
The Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia is currently accepting applications for both of our grant programs:
Q4 Small Acts of Charity Grants: due September 15, 2018
General Grant LOIs: due September 31, 2018
Those interested in applying for funding should visit ECFimpact.org/grants for instructions and the link to each application.
Applicants are encouraged to contact Executive Director Lindsey Hardegree at firstname.lastname@example.org or (404) 601-5362 with any questions they may have regarding eligibility or their applications.
The 79th annual General Convention, held July 4-13, has been a venue for many conversations over the past week. Along with other topics, dioceses throughout the country have come to share words, wisdom, questions, and challenges facing their communities and Christians at large. Among them all, one message from the Diocese of Atlanta’s own Dr. Catherine Meeks rang loud and clear.
“We are saying, at the Absalom Jones Center, to racism, that your time is over,” Dr. Meeks told the audience in one of the TEConversations.
Dr. Meeks is the executive director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. The faith-based organization invites people of all walks in life and religion to come and learn with the curriculum, activities, and deep conversations to uncover and work through their prejudices. The Absalom Jones Center works to help open people’s minds and hearts as the ultimate means of helping to end systemic racism.
Dr. Meeks’s speech is about 10 minutes long and begins at 29 minutes 39 seconds. You can watch her and the full session in the video above or you can view here.
General Convention commits to racial reconciliation and becoming a ‘Beloved Community’
"Efforts that began in 2015 with action by General Convention, when racial reconciliation was identified as a priority of the Episcopal Church, is bearing fruit in work done during the 79th General Convention."
Click here to read the full Episcopal News Service article.
Archdeacon Juan Sandoval, who leads the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s immigration support programs, talks about how this issue places America at the intersection of compassion and politics. Fast forward to 42:33 to hear the discussion.
You can also listen to the audio recording on WABE's website.
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!
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!
ATLANTA (June 19, 2018) - A Statement issued by The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta:
It’s not being political to say America shouldn't be in the business of breaking up families, it’s Christian. It’s not being political to say America shouldn't be putting children in kennel style cages, it’s Christian.
It’s not political to say that causing children’s tears and mothers’ fear is not the best use of our nations might, it’s Christian. It’s not being political to remember that both Republican and Democratic Presidents previously chose not to separate families while enforcing immigration policy.
Not being political to remind the U.S. Attorney General that quoting the Book of Romans is fine but, “...as you do unto the least of these, you do unto me.” is probably a more apt guidance for this situation.
It’s not Liberal or Conservative to insist that we can have secure borders AND immigration policies that treat people with dignity, it’s being decent.
Life with God is a covenant for individuals and nations, the Bible tells us. Faithfulness to God, especially in difficult hours, is the measure of faithfulness.
As an American, a veteran and someone trying to follow Jesus it breaks my heart to see so many cheer and jeer as economic and political refugees are treated like sub-humans.
It’s not being a political partisan to say that the abandonment of covenant with God leads to ruin. Inability to compassionately deal with the vulnerable is proof of inability to wield power.
“Pride goeth before a fall.”
- Proverbs 16:18
The Episcopal Center for Theological Education for Latinos (CETLA) has graduated its second class of students.
The June 16, 2018 ceremony was attended by 23 graduates and their families and friends. Certificates of Completion were presented to graduates by The Rev. Alicia Schuster-Weltner, Diocesan Canon to the Ordinary.
The two-year theological training program is open to members of Episcopal Hispanic congregations who wish to deepen their faith. CETLA was developed in 2014 by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta with the approval of Bishop Robert C. Wright.
CETLA operates under the guidance of The Reverend Isaias Rodriguez, Canon for Hispanic Ministries. The first class of 22 graduated in June 19, 2016. Two members of the 2016 class, the Reverends Gregoria Betances and Irma Gerra, will be ordained as Episcopal priests on June 23.
CETLA is grounded upon the concept of the ministry of all believers as outlined in the Episcopal baptismal covenant and the Episcopal identity informed by Holy Scripture, tradition and reason.
Students in the program include people serving in positions of responsibility, such as lay readers, Eucharistic ministers, catechists, vestry, ushers and those with a call to ordained ministry.
Hispanic Clergy of the Dioceses of Atlanta teach CETLA classes, which include Old and New Testament, Liturgy, Ethics and Morality, The Book of Common Prayer, Church history, Spirituality, The Anglican Communion, Ecumenism and others.
A third two-year class will begin on September 15, Canon Rodriguez said. Information about CETLA and other Diocesan Hispanic ministries is at https://www.episcopalatlanta.org/Mission-Work/Hispanic-Ministries-/.
- Don Plummer, Media and Community Relations Manager, The Diocese of Atlanta.
Reading Camp at 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!
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).
The VAT will partner with the Bishop and Canon for Congregational Vitality to increase the spiritual maturity of worshipping communities of the Diocese of Atlanta by:
- Analyzing parochial reports (plus the 5th page) in order to identify congregation specific vitality initiatives.
- Producing and presenting reports and other relevant materials on congregational vitality at Annual Council and Clergy Conference.
- Convening and presenting findings as necessary, to fellow members of the diocese.
TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDE:
The Rev. Mandy Brady (Canterbury Court)
Mr. Mallard Benton (St. Matthew’s, Snellville)
The Rev. Grace Burton-Edwards (St. Thomas, Columbus)
Mrs. Joan Curtis (St. Gregory’s, Athens)
The Rev. Tim Graham (Trinity, Columbus)
The Rev. Jeff Jackson (St. Margaret’s, Carrollton)
The Rev. Simon Mainwaring (All Saints, Atlanta)
The Rev. Tom Pumphrey, Chair (St. Peter & St. St. Paul, Marietta)
Mr. Bob Stecher (St. Aidan’s, Milton)
Mr. Mal Underwood (Ascension, Cartersville)