Chaplaincy to Travelers - Rev. Donna Mote

At Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, Rev. Dr. Donna Mote – Missioner for Innovation and Engagement for the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta – serves as chaplain to anyone and everyone. She’s distributed ashes to mark the beginning of Lent, helped direct frazzled travelers to the right terminals, and accompanied those who are grieving. She’s also participated in honor guard ceremonies as the remains of service members are carried home. “I especially pay attention to those people that most folks, including passengers in the airport, don’t really pay attention to – custodial folks, fry cooks, people you only really see if you’re paying attention,” she said. “There’s the world in grief, there’s the world in joy – really, the whole world is passing through there.”

Tired of waiting, Taliaferro County starts its own health care system


Among Georgia's poorest counties is taking health care into its own hands. Starting in October, Taliaferro County is operating a school-board-backed facility to care for the basic health needs of its community. Now, residents won't have to venture outside of town to receive vaccinations, flu diagnoses, and other services.

“We hope that a large part of the community understands that we want them to utilize our services, too. We want them to know that they have convenient, basic health care here,” Taliaferro County School superintendent Allen Fort said in Politically Georgia.



Episcopal Relief & Development is working with affected Episcopal dioceses to provide critical support for local communities impacted by Hurricane Michael.

Through partnerships with the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia and the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, the organization is providing emergency assistance to individuals and families affected by the storm, including food, shelter, generators and other basic supplies.

Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, October 10, devastating areas of the Florida Panhandle and Georgia. The storm is responsible for at least 19 deaths in four states and destroyed homes and valuable infrastructure, particularly in Florida and Georgia. Over 140,000 Florida residents remained without power on Tuesday morning.

Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster team has conducted daily coordination calls with leaders from dioceses impacted by Hurricane Michael since last week to support their efforts to provide relief to affected communities. The team will meeting with clergy from affected dioceses to help them assess needs and mobilize to respond to the most vulnerable communities.

Decatur County in Georgia was one area particularly hard hit. Albany, GA is without potable water, although power has been restored in many areas. Surrounding areas report downed power lines and damage to buildings and homes. The Diocese of Georgia is working to supply water purifiers to provide drinking water. The church is also responding with shelter, food and other supplies.

Photo: Stephanie Fisher Photography

Photo: Stephanie Fisher Photography

The Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast reports that Hurricane Michael caused damage affecting communities from Highway 331 to the Apalachicola River in Florida and from the coast to the Alabama state line. High winds and heavy rains knocked down power lines and trees, damaging at least 10 churches and schools as well as the communities surrounding them. The diocese is providing generators and gas to address power outages as well as cleaning supplies.

“I am encouraged to see how our local diocesan partners have mobilized in response to this devastating hurricane,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “They are deeply embedded in their communities, helping people access other networks and resources.”  

The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick and the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast have invited Mears to visit the affected areas in Florida this week to see the impact firsthand and plan how Episcopal Relief & Development can support ministry in the coming weeks and months.

Please continue to pray for those impacted by Hurricane Michael. Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development respond to this crisis. To circulate the most recent bulletin inserts, click here.

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Journeying the Way of Love: New Advent curriculum and Resources for Way of Love: Practices for Jesus-Centered Living

Recognizing that Episcopalians have been hunting for resources to support our journeys on The Way of Love, the Office of the Presiding Bishop offers this update on what’s available and what’s coming soon at and around the church.

Coming soon: Formation resources

  • Following the Way of Love: 9-session Small Group Guide for groups that seek to reshape their lives around Jesus and his Way of Love. The guide details best practices for organizing small groups and discipleship groups, and then moves participants through reflection, discernment, action and deep commitment around the seven practices. Excellent for small groups, vestries, ministry leadership groups. Available for download on October 12.   

  • Journeying the Way of Love: 4-week Advent Curriculum pegged to readings and themes from the Sunday lectionary. Ideal for Christian formation hour offerings at churches and ministries exploring the Way of Love. Available for download on November 2.

Downloadable, print-ready resources available from the Episcopal Church website (free):

Print resources available for purchase from Forward Movement:

Downloadable resources from Episcopal dioceses or affiliated organizations (free)

Faith communities, dioceses, and organizations following The Way of Love are invited to share their stories and resources using #wayoflove or send to

For more information or to share your story or resource, please contact or 212-716-6102.

On the web:
Journeying the Way of Love: New Advent curriculum and resources for Way of Love: Practices for Jesus-Centered Living

Episcopal Priest Barbara Brown Taylor Releases First Children’s Book


New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest, Barbara Brown Taylor recently released her first children’s book, Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story!

Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story is a beautiful retelling of the Nativity story. The book offers readers new perspectives of the three wise men, King Herod, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, and helps teach that sometimes the most valuable gifts are the most unexpected. Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story features breathtaking artwork by illustrator Melanie Cataldo and the book is ideal for children ages 6-10.

“Barbara Brown Taylor has a way with words,” said Kathleen Long Bostrom, award-winning children's book writer of What Is God Like? and Stories from the Bible. “She has long been known for the eloquence of her sermons and books for adults, her ability to delve into a biblical text and to carefully examine and uncover the deeper meaning, layer by layer. In Home by Another Way, Taylor brings her skills to the world of children's literature.”


About Barbara Brown Taylor 

Barbara Brown Taylor is a New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. In 2014, TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; and in 2016 she received The President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. For more information, visit

Rev. Austin Ford of Emmaus House memorialized as a fighter for justice

Austin Ford with his friend – Marie Nygren. Marie Nygren, her husband Steve Nygren and their three daughters were regulars at Austin Ford’s Christmas Eve dinners (Special: Ali Harper Photography)

Austin Ford with his friend – Marie Nygren. Marie Nygren, her husband Steve Nygren and their three daughters were regulars at Austin Ford’s Christmas Eve dinners (Special: Ali Harper Photography)

By Maria Saporta

A great cross-section of Atlanta came to the Cathedral of St. Philip on Saturday, Sept. 22 to pay tribute to Rev. Austin Ford – a civil rights leader who devoted his life to helping the poor and disadvantaged.

When he was in his 30s, Ford moved to a dilapidated house in the predominantly black community of Peoplestown near the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. That’s where Ford, an Episcopal priest, founded Emmaus House in 1967 – a refuge for people in need. He was director of Emmaus House for more than three decades.

Ford died on Aug. 18 at the age of 89, and he was remembered with fondness and reverence during his memorial service, which attracted a combination of religious leaders, long-time civil rights and community activists as well as business executives and close friends.

The Cathedral’s Rev. Samuel Candler officiated the service – noting that Ford had once picketed in front of the Cathedral against some action by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.

Candler described Father Ford as a man of great sensitivity, wisdom with a direct ministry to the common man and woman.

“His witness of social justice for all people was disarming,” said Candler, remembering how the Emmaus House had fine silver and antique furniture as well as a garden. “’Beauty belongs here,’ Austin often would say.”

That was one of the dichotomies that existed with Austin Ford. He devoted his life to helping the poor, but one of his closest friends was Anne Cox Chambers, a billionaire whose father was James Cox, the owner of the Atlanta Journal, the Atlanta Constitution and WSB-TV and radio.

Search consultant Veronica Biggins spoke of how they met and became friends.

On the front steps of Emmaus House, Father Austin Ford and his dog, Cleopatra, visit with some of the children in the ministry’s pre-school (Photo by Ann Borde)

On the front steps of Emmaus House, Father Austin Ford and his dog, Cleopatra, visit with some of the children in the ministry’s pre-school (Photo by Ann Borde)

“I remember the first time I ever heard your name,” said Biggins, as though she was talking to Ford. “I was an executive with the then-C&S Bank, and you called me to discuss the bank’s obligation to the broader community. You invited me to lunch. Who knew that invitation would lead to a long and deep friendship.”

At the time, Veronica and Franklin Biggins were living in a handsome house in Grant Park. When they decided to sell it, “Austin was the first to call. The house was perfect for him,” Biggins said. “He knew he was losing his sight, and he wanted to settle into his own home.”

Biggins said she and Ford often argued. But they did agree that they wanted Barrack Obama to be elected president in 2008.

“During President Obama’s first campaign, just about every weekend, Austin and I joined Anne Cox Chambers along with a few others to campaign (for Obama) – knocking on as many doors as possible,” Biggins said. “We traveled to Ohio, South Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. We were a pretty motley crew.”

Biggins and other remembered how Ford had a Christmas Eve tradition when he invited his closest friends to have dinner and sing carols. The evening would end with everyone singing: “Let there be Peace on Earth” with everyone holding someone else’s hand.

So it wasn’t surprising that the last hymn of the memorial service was “Let there be Peace on Earth,” and Candler asked everyone to hold hands in Ford’s memory.

Biggins and Candler both spoke of all the stories that Ford would share – some that were hard to believe.

“Many times I would ask Austin if some story he was telling me was true,” Biggins said. “And he would say: ‘If the story isn’t good enough – embellish.’”

Then in all seriousness, Biggins summed up Austin Ford this way: “His life’s work was seeking justice for all.”

A personal note:

My parents were close friends of Austin Ford – part of that socially progressive cadre of Atlanta citizens who wanted to see racial integration, economic opportunity for all as well as social progress and enlightened leadership in Atlanta.

My fondest memory of Ford was when I was invited to a special dinner at his Grant Park home along with Biggins, Beauchamp Carr of the Woodruff Arts Center, and Anne Cox Chambers. At the time, I was still with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and I felt privileged to have been included to this intimate gathering.

As I drove up. Chambers was stepping out of her limousine with her three mixed-breed dogs, who obviously felt right at home at Ford’s house with his dogs. I realized the special spirit that Ford shared with everyone – no matter how rich or how poor.

I would not be surprised if Anne Cox Chambers had been a key benefactor of Ford and the Emmaus House. But that night, I realized just how close a friendship the two of them shared. Somehow, that made me feel even better working for her and Cox Enterprises.

Read the original article by By Maria Saporta on the Saporta Report.

Hurricane Relief Fund

Episcopal Relief and Development is busy mobilizing resources and responding to our neighboring dioceses in the Carolinas that have been affected by Hurricane Florence. Your donation to their Hurricane Relief Fund ensures that essential items like food, water, and emergency supplies get to those in need right away.

Episcopal Relief & Development works with partners to provide critical support for the most vulnerable communities affected by Hurricane Florence. Through a partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, the organization provides emergency assistance to migrant and seasonal farmworkers including water, food, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, clothing and transportation to safe locations in two counties in eastern North Carolina.

Please continue to pray for those impacted by Hurricane Florence. Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development respond to this crisis.

Diocesan Pride Events 2018

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: . 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: 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! 

Local Parish Fosters Racial Understanding with Pilgrimage to ‘Lynching Memorial’

National Memorial for Peace and Justice.jpeg

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.

New Campus Missioners of the Diocese of Atlanta

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

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.

Have you been curious about Education for Ministry (EFM)?

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:
Leigh Serrie

EFM Classes at The Episcopal Church of Annunciation

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

The Desmond Tutu Tutudesk Campaign

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.

Celebrating 200 Cool Girls at St. Peter and St. Paul


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.

General Convention Deputies Visitations

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

Beth King
Most days and some Sundays

The Rev. Cynthia Park
Check for availability

Dcn. Arthur Villarreal
Most Saturdays and Sundays

Angela Williamson
Check for availability

John Andrews
Check for availability

The Very Rev. Sam Candler
Check for availability

The Rev. Mary Demmler
Most weeknights and some Sunday evenings

Bruce Garner
Most weeknights and no Sundays

The Rev. Dr. Sharon Hiers
Most days except Fridays

Absalom Jones Episcopal Center Receives Grant

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

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

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

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

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

Are you interested in a daytime EFM class?

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

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

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

ECF Accepting Applications for All Grant Programs


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 for instructions and the link to each application.

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

Recognizing Racial Reconciliation at the 79th General Convention

The 79th annual General Convention, held July 4-13, has been a venue for many conversations over the past week. Along with other topics, dioceses throughout the country have come to share words, wisdom, questions, and challenges facing their communities and 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.