Diocese of Cape Coast Confirms Official Diocesan Relationship

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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



Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing Video

The Diocese of Atlanta is proud to be home to a new resource for the worldwide Episcopal Church. Located at the Atlanta University Center among Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta campuses on the Westside of Atlanta, the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing will provide parishes and dioceses around the world with the support to address racism head-on through racial reconciliation and healing. The resource and training center is housed in what was known as the historic Absalom Jones Episcopal Center and Chapel building. The creation of the Center aligns with The Episcopal Church and our Diocese’s commitment to reach across the borders and boundaries that divide the human family of God.

Learn more at http://www.centerforracialhealing.org/


Bishops Visit Diocese to Dedicate New Resource for The Episcopal Church

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The Diocese of Atlanta is proud to be home to a new resource for the worldwide Episcopal Church. Presiding Bishop The Most Rev. Michael Curry was on hand for the Oct. 11 ribbon cutting for the new Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing.

Located at the Atlanta University Center among Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta campuses on the Westside of Atlanta, the center will provide parishes and dioceses around the world with the support to address racism head-on through racial reconciliation and healing. The resource and training center is housed in what was known as the historic Absalom Jones Episcopal Center and Chapel building. The creation of the Center aligns with The Episcopal Church and our Diocese’s commitment to reach across the borders and boundaries that divide the human family of God.

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“We shall either learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or we will perish together as fools. The choice is ours, chaos or community,” said Presiding Bishop Curry echoing the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “This center really does seek to address the polarities and divisions occasioned by our racial history, but also the polarities and divisions that are either directly or indirectly related to that.”

“I thank you and your Bishop together for what you are doing here in Atlanta that is typified by this Center,” Curry said. “I thank God for that leadership because we need it. Not only in our church but we need it in our country.”

Dr. Catherine Meeks is the founding executive director of the Center and chair of the former Diocese of Atlanta’s Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism. The Center will replace and expand upon the work of the Commission within the Diocese of Atlanta. It will provide training and help bring energy and enthusiasm to the work of racial reconciliation.

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She hopes that people from parishes across the country and world will visit the center to begin the work of learning how to create brave spaces in their own communities. The idea is to foster environments where people can feel comfortable talking about their experiences with race – both good and bad. Meeks says that it is only through conversations and learning about our history and acknowledging our own prejudices that we can discern and decide how we want to shape our present and future together.

The Center will suggest book studies, film screenings, and planning pilgrimages to sites that are historically significant within the context of racial reconciliation. Among the first events to take place at the Center will be a gathering of people from Southeastern dioceses in January. Following that, representatives from all of the Church’s 99 dioceses will be invited to Atlanta in the spring.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony our bishop, The. Rt. Rev. Rob Wright, spoke frankly about the importance of addressing racism as Christians and Episcopalians.

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“The Episcopal Church lent the institution of slavery its support, justification, and after slavery was abolished, continued to support segregation and discrimination. These are the facts,” he said. “In the words of Rabbi Heschel, however, we gather here to say some are guilty, but all are responsible. So, we repent of our complicity in systems of slavery and repression, and to commit ourselves to opposing the sin of racism in our personal and public lives, and to strive for the ongoing creation of the Beloved Community.”

That community is a vision Dr. King spoke about in which racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. As Episcopalians, we can undertake this work through the lens of living into our baptismal promise. Also on hand for the celebration was Bishop Victor Atta-Baffoe, Bishop of Cape Coast in the Anglican Diocese of Cape Coast.

To read more about work being undertaken at the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing and across the Diocese of Atlanta, pre-order your 2017-2018 edition of Pathways magazine today. Issues will be delivered in late-November.


The Diocese of Atlanta Launches Pathways Magazine

We are pleased to announce that the 2017-18 issue of Pathways magazine is now available for pre-order. This award-winning publication shares inspiring stories of people that are challenging themselves to love like Jesus. Magazines will be delivered in late November.


Prayer is A Prelude: A Letter from Bishop Wright on Las Vegas

Prayer is a prelude.

Good Evening Brothers and Sisters, in the aftermath of the horror of Las Vegas, I am heartened to know that you’re gathered to remember and pray for the souls of those who have died, including Mr. Paddock. I am heartened that you have gathered to comfort one another with the comfort we find in Christ Jesus. Were I not traveling today, I would be blessed to be with you. Holy Scripture reminds us that we are to “…rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Tonight we weep. Tonight is an important part of what makes us human. Even
though Las Vegas is more than fifteen hundred miles away from Georgia, we are nevertheless connected with the men and women struck down and the loved ones the left behind by our ability to empathize and have compassion.

So, we pray. We reach to God in familiar words to remember the dead and send our positive psychic and spiritual energy to those still in shock and who will grieve for years to come. But let us remember also, Jesus was a man of prayer and of action. Prayer, for us, is a prelude to action. Prayer with no corresponding action is a useless and vain exercise. Most importantly, prayer without action is not the faith Jesus practiced!

My sincere prayer is that the lives of those killed in Las Vegas will not be in vain. I still have the audacity to believe that America is a great country! I still believe we can accomplish great things together. I believe we can affirm the Second Amendment, protect the rights of hunters and sportsman and enact common-sense gun laws and put into practice intelligent safety measures.

This is not a partisan sentiment. Morgues and cemeteries are not divided by political affiliation. And families do not cry red or blue tears. This is about coming to the realization that moments of silence and prayer will not, of themselves, make our culture safer. What will make our culture safer is ordinary people like you and I, from every political stripe, finding the courage to act.

Jesus often asked men and women he encountered, “What do you want?” As you are gathered to pray and remember tonight, I put his question to all of us, What do you want? I want an America where we are less afraid and more neighborly. An America where it is more difficult to get a semi-automatic weapon or high capacity magazines than it is to get a pack of Sudafed or Nasonex. I want an America where special interests like the NRA don’t control our elected officials with campaign donations and render them spineless.

I want an America where law enforcement officers are better equipped to keep us safe than criminals are equipped to do us harm. These are not Democratic dreams or Republican dreams, this is an American dream that can save us from our present American nightmare. What makes these kinds of dreams a reality is when you and I, by prayer and strengthened by the Sacraments and our fellowship together, take seriously the words our post Communion prayer:

“…Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart"

You are always in my thoughts and prayers, please let me be in yours.

Your brother and bishop,

Robert C Wright


Help Those Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey has devastated the lives of millions of people in Texas and Louisiana. Hear from our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on ways to help those impacted.

Long ago the prophet Malachi taught that we are all children of God by virtue of our creation by the same God. "Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us," he asked (2:10). Jesus taught the same thing when he told a story about a Good Samaritan. We are indeed all the children of God. And if we are all God's children, then we are all brothers and sisters.

In our recent days, we have watched and witnessed the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  Our brothers and sisters in Texas and Louisiana need our help.

As our fellow Episcopalians minister to those in need they need our help not just now or in the short term, but for the long haul. Our support of Episcopal Relief & Development is a tangible, practical, effective and reliable way to do that, keep in your prayers for the people in Texas and Louisiana whose lives have been forever changed by Hurricane Harvey.

Episcopal Relief & Development reminds us not to send food, clothing or other items because affected dioceses have limited or no capacity to receive, store or distribute goods. It is more efficient and better for the local economy to make a donation.

Together we are the human family of God and our efforts in times like these truly help bring God's love and ours to our sisters and brothers in great need.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church

Hear more from our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
 
 

 
 
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Head of School Installation Ceremony

Brookhaven, Ga. -- St. Martin's Episcopal School celebrated the formal installation of Dr. Luis A. Ottley as its third Head of School on Sunday, Aug. 27 at St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church in Brookhaven.  The installation was presided over by the Right Rev. Robert C. Wright, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, and Ottley's father the Right Rev. James Ottley of Miami.  Dr. Luis Ottley began his tenure with St. Martin's in early July. 

Dr. Luis A. Ottley and his wife, Carrie Eagles, along with the Right Rev. Robert Wright.
 (l-r) the Right Rev. Robert C. Wright, Dr. Luis A. Ottley, the Right Rev. James Ottley


New Campus Missioners

Transitioning into college is hard - really hard. We support all of our young adults whether they choose to go to college or do something else. The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta believes in giving every young adult the best opportunity to stay connected during this transition. Campus Missioners are here to help guide young adults during this new phase of life. Meet our newest Campus Missioners. 

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Rebecca Land-Segrest

Rebecca is a cradle raised Episcopalian and has always been active in serving her Church, active growing up in her Diocese and parish in South Georgia, and she continues her involvement in the Episcopal Communion through Canterbury Club and knows firsthand the significance of having a strong Christian community. Rebecca is thrilled now serve as the Campus Missioner for the Canterbury Club of Northwest Georgia and plans to continue the strong traditions already in place while looking for new opportunities to serve our students. Contact Rebecca. 

 

 

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The Rev. Joseph Shippen

Joseph served as a parish priest for eleven years before being called to campus ministry at Mercer University in 2017. A graduate of Mercer, he is excited to be back at the University, as Campus Missioner for the Diocese of Atlanta and as an adjunct professor in the Religious Studies Department. Joseph joined the Episcopal Church as a student through Mercer’s Canterbury Club. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce others to the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement by leading the same ministry that made such an impact on his life. Contact Joseph. 


Diocesan Day on Immigration

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Amid all of the public turmoil about immigration, how do Christians respond in a way that allows them to live into their baptismal promise to respect the dignity of all persons and the imperative from Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves?

That is one of many questions participants will wrestle with during an August 30 discussion at The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, N.E, Atlanta, GA 30305. The session, scheduled for 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live at stphilipscathedral.org/stream

The event will include presentations by priests and Christian lay leaders from the Atlanta area actively involved in responding to the needs of our immigrant neighbors. Episcopal bishops Robert Wright of the Diocese of Atlanta and Jose McLoughlin of the Diocese of Western North Carolina will provide theological guidance and practical ways Christians can respond to this hotly debated issue. There will also be information on accessing resources for immigrants and how people of faith can best use those resources. This event is free and open to the public. To learn more about the Diocesan Day on Immigration, click here. 

 

El obispo le da la bienvenida

Es chocante ver a Jesús llamar tonto a un emprendedor de negocios. Considera su vida: pequeños campos se convierten en grandes, pequeños graneros en más grandes. Lucas 12: 13-21 ¿Cómo le llamarías? ¡Jesús le llama tonto! En su búsqueda de MÄS este hombre no consulta a nadie sino a sí mismo. Nunca se detiene a dar gracias a Dios por la cosecha que llena sus graneros. Sus obras no se basan en la gratitud. No desarrolla un plan para compartir la riqueza con los que recogen las cosechas o construyen los graneros. No considera nunca que a su muerte la riqueza no podrá ser transferida a la siguiente realidad. No aprendió nunca que la riqueza es un don y que debemos ser co-constructores del reino de Dios. ¿Jesús socialista? No creo que Jesús se preocupe de un sistema económico o de otro. Para Jesús, se trata siempre del corazón. Se trata siempre de que seamos ricos en Dios. —Obispo Roberto Wright

 

Agenda

12:40 PM Registration Opens

1 PM Opening Prayer and Introductions
The Reverend Canon John Bolton, Diocese of Atlanta

1:05 PM Bishop’s View on Immigration in the Diocese of Atlanta
The Right Rev. Robert C. Wright, Bishop of Atlanta

1:20 PM Bishop’s View on Immigration and Sanctuary
The Right Rev. Jose McLoughlin, Bishop of Western North Carolina

1:50 PM Recent Actions on Immigration in the Diocese of Atlanta
The Rev. Caroline Magee, St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta
The Rev. Fabio Sotelo, Iglesia de San Beda, Atlanta

2:10 PM Current Legal Proceedings Regarding Immigration
Danielle M. Claffey, Esq., Partner, Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, Atlanta

2:35 PM Questions

2:50 PM Resources for Immigrants and Those Ministering to Immigrants
Archdeacon Juan Sandoval, Diocese of Atlanta

2:55 PM Closing Prayer
The Rev. Canon John Thompson-Quartey, Diocese of Atlanta


atlSERVE

 

During the week of June 24-30, 50 youth representing 14 congregations served communities all over Atlanta. Some of these communities were Crossroads Ministries of St. Luke's, Holy Comforter, and Church of the Common Ground. Our youth did many acts of service during the week, and among these was feeding over 2,000 people. Our middle and high schoolers experienced what it means to serve and be served by others by seeing God in every person we encountered. God continues to show us why youth ministry remains such an important part of the work we do in our diocese.

Click here to learn more about Youth and Young Adult Ministries. 


Bishop Wright Appoints Four New Convocation Deans

The Right Rev. Bishop Rob Wright has appointed new deans for four convocations within the Diocese of Atlanta.

The Very Rev. Mary K. Erickson, Rector, The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Cartersville was appointed the dean of the Northwest Georgia Convocation. The Very Rev. Mary Erickson was ordained a priest in this Diocese in February 2005 and has served as the rector of The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Cartersville since 2010.  She currently serves as a Consultant for parish transitions, a facilitator for the Diocese's clergy leadership training program called Learning to Lead, and she is a certified Safe Church trainer. Dean Erickson has also served on the Diocese's Budget and Stewardship Committees.  

The new dean of the Mid-Atlanta Convocation is The Very Rev. Arlette D. Benoit Joseph from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Benoit graduated from the General Theological Seminary in New York City, where she also earned her master's degree in Divinity with a certificate in Spiritual Direction. In June 2013, Benoit was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Atlanta.

The Very Rev. Lauren Kuratko from St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church was appointed the dean of the North Atlanta convocation. Kuratko grew up in Montgomery, Alabama and received a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Religious Studies from Rhodes College in 2002. In 2005, she graduated from the Virginia Seminary.

The fourth appointment was The Very Rev. Brandon Duke, Rector, St. Julian's Episcopal Church in Douglasville, to the Southwest Atlanta Convocation. Duke attended seminary at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He then attended Sewanee: The University of the South’s School of Theology to further develop his skills in pastoral care, liturgy, and community life.

The other six convocations within the Diocese of Atlanta are Chattahoochee Valley, East Atlanta, Marietta, Middle Georgia, Northeast Georgia, and Northeast Metro.  View the parishes in each convocation here


Dig deeper into the historical and theological foundations of the Episcopal Church

Dig deeper into the historical and theological foundations of the Episcopal Church through a series of conversations on the Catechism and the historical documents, and consider the question “what’s it all about?”  

Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church, Sundays at 9:15 a.m., through August 6 (except for July 23). Located at: 3098 Saint Anne's Lane, Atlanta, 30327. 

Questions? Contact Scott Miller at smiller@saintannes.com or 404.237.5589.


She learned the way of the KKK but teaches diversity today

Mike Haskey- The Ledger-Enquirer

Mike Haskey- The Ledger-Enquirer

What happens when a woman raised as a fundamentalist Baptist studies a Jew’s book with a bunch of Episcopalians?
 
In an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer in June, Debbie Anderson reflects on her five-decade personal journey growing up with KKK supporter to now teaching diversity and inclusion as the program director of Thompson-Pound Art Program. When Anderson was in eighth-grade, she wore for show-and-tell her aunt’s KKK robe, symbolizing the intolerance she was taught in church and at home. As program director, Anderson teaches 60 diverse children (age 6-11) and 20 teen interns and mentors religious tolerance as they work together to create a unity art piece and performance at The Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry’s free week-long summer day camp.
 
Read the full story here


The Circle: A Gathering of Contemplative Prayer and Study

A Gathering of Contemplative Prayer & Study

The Circle is a gathering of individuals who are seeking to practice and explore the many dimensions of contemplative prayer. The conversations we share are grounded in the ongoing work of The New Contemplatives Exchange, a global network of contemplative scholars and practitioners gathered by Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO, (Contemplative Outreach); Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM (The Center for Action and Contemplation), Fr. Tilden Edwards, Episcopal priest (The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation); and Fr. Laurence Freeman, OB (The World Community for Christian Meditation). The Exchange will meet for the first time in August at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, CO, with twenty participants from six countries.

Fr. Stuart Higginbotham will facilitate the sessions, connecting this group’s work to his experience as part of The Exchange. He will share key articles and reflections from the Exchange group with The Circle members, helping cultivate a wider conversation within Grace Church, The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, the Gainesville area, and beyond.

The Circle takes its direction from the overall vision of The New Contemplatives Exchange:

Awakening a larger embrace and expansion of Christian contemplative understanding and practice as the vital grounding of Christian life, with openness to collaboration with all streams of contemplative wisdom, in response to the urgent social and spiritual needs of our times.

There are many ways in which we can explore contemplative prayer—all of which are grounded in intentional postures of silence. The richness of The New Contemplative Exchange is seen in the dialogue between these different particular practices of contemplative prayer. Individuals may have established practices of contemplative prayer grounded in any of these (or other) traditions or schools. The desire of The Circle is to explore what growth we can share with one another in an appreciative space that is curious about the wider and deeper dimensions of contemplative studies and practice within the Christian tradition. There will be time for shared silence as well as important reflection, reading, and accountability with our daily practice.

If there is a critical mass after four weeks, we will explore maintaining the group for a longer time period.

The Schedule
The current session is scheduled for four consecutive Sundays: September 17, 24, October 1, and 8. We will gather in the Chapel at Grace Church from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. The Chapel entrance is on Washington Street.

The current schedule is as follows:

6:30 - Gathering and settling in
6:35 - Sharing of Silence
7:05 - Conversation and reflection on articles-notes to think on this week
7:50 - Brief Evening Prayer to close…

Please contact Fr. Stuart at Stuart@gracechurchgainesville.org if you have any questions.


Bread for the World President to Preach

The Rev. Dr. David Beckman, president of Bread for the World, is the featured preacher July 30 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible as a podcast and online at Day1.org. in the Atlanta area tune in to WSB 750 and NEWS 95.5 at 7:05 a.m.

This is the first of two programs on Faith & Global Hunger, updating the acclaimed series from 2010. The Rev. Dr. Barbara Lundblad will preach on Aug. 6.

Beckman is one of the foremost U.S. advocates for hungry and poor people. He has been president of Bread for the World, a U.S. Christian advocacy movement to end hunger, since 1991. He is also president of Bread for the World Institute, which provides policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. He founded and serves as president of the Alliance to End Hunger, which engages diverse U.S. institutions in building the political will to end hunger. Prior to joining Bread for the World he worked at the World Bank overseeing large development projects and driving innovations to make the bank more effective in reducing poverty. 

A Lutheran pastor as well as an economist, Beckman earned degrees from Yale University, Christ Seminary, and the London School of Economics. In 2010, he was named World Food Prize laureate. In 2014, he was awarded the Community of Christ’s International Peace Award and the Rumi Forum Peace and Dialogue Award. His latest book is “Exodus from Hunger: We Are Called to Change the Politics of Hunger.”

Beckman’s sermon, “How God Can Use Us to End Hunger,” focuses on the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of yeast found in Matthew 13:31-33. Beckman says, “In today’s gospel lesson Jesus says that God will use our efforts, however modest they seem, to achieve God’s purposes in ways that we cannot now imagine.” 

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

“Day 1” has been broadcast every week for 72 years, formerly as “The Protestant Hour.” Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, “Day 1” is currently distributed to more than 220 radio stations across America and overseas and via various podcast platforms. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, based in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, call toll free 888-411-Day-1 or check the program’s website, http://day1.org

The national weekly ecumenical radio program produced by the Alliance for Christian Media
Contact: Peter Wallace, 404-815-0258pwallace@day1.org or Ethel Ware Carter, 404-815-0258, ext. 2230ewcarter@day1.org


Bells are Ringing at CEC!

Ever wanted to try your hand at hand bells?  Always harbored a secret desire to ring?  After all, you only need to learn two notes!  Now your dream has come true!

Christ Episcopal Church of Kennesaw, (CEC), has come into a four octave set of English Hand bells and is offering ringing opportunities for both kids and adults in its new bell choir, “Pumping Bronze! ”

At this time, both adults and kids – 6th grade and up – are ringing together in a 3 octave team, performing for special events and holy days at CEC and with our chimes at Wal-Mart for the Salvation Army Bell Ringers during the Christmas season with the Marietta Golden K Kiwanis.

The dream is to gather enough adults and kids to form two bell teams, or one 4-octave team with a rehearsal every week.  Pumping Bronze has been ringing both as a team and as a 2 to 4 ringer malleted bell tree.  We’ve also chimed at church and out in the community and rung weaves as duets.  

We are Semper Gumby (always flexible), interested in new ringers and excited about making music together.  Contact our Ringmaster Deb at 678 777 9027 or geraced@gmail.com and come join us – with bells on! (Sorry - couldn’t resist!)


Rainbow Village CEO Nancy Yancey Announces Retirement at Year’s End

Rainbow Village Chief Operating Officer the Rev. Nancy Yancey announced that she will retire from the 26-year-old nonprofit serving homeless families with children on December 31, 2017. Yancey, 65, who was involved in the creation of Rainbow Village in 1991, has led the organization since 1993.

In a written statement Yancey said she leaves the organization without debt following a successful $8.8 million building program that leaves Rainbow Village staff and board members well positioned to build upon that success as they sustain and further refine the program that boasts a better than 85% success rate in reversing family homelessness.

“I have been blessed to serve Rainbow Village for the past 24 years. I have always tried to follow God’s call for my life and I believe it is now time for me to enter the next phase of my journey. I will retire at the end of 2017 and look forward to spending time with my husband, children and friends,” Yancey wrote.

“I could never have imagined what a miraculous journey God had in store for me and Rainbow Village during my time here. Rainbow Village has grown from serving two families in 1991 to serving 30 in 2017. The capital campaign which began in 2008 is now complete and the “new” Village with a Family Service Center, 30 apartment homes and Community Center will be at full capacity, serving approximately 100 residents by year end.

“Rainbow Village is well positioned to continue its success over the next 25 years and beyond. I am honored to have developed so many wonderful relationships with investors, volunteers and staff who have loved and cared for our families as I have. I know the support will continue as we now move into sustaining what we have built together.  I am proud of all that has been accomplished and honored to have been a part of the success.

“Rainbow Village can look forward to new leadership to work with the amazing staff and board of directors to continue to fulfill the mission of Rainbow Village. I am sure God has already chosen the one who is to succeed me.  I offer prayers of thanksgiving for the hundreds of lives that have been transformed at Rainbow Village and the ones who are to come. I am certain God will continue to bless each one of us!”

Click here to read the AJC article "Life with Gracie: How an interior designer built a Rainbow Village for homeless."


In Service to Children...Commemorating Our First Diocesan Saints

Appleton Episcopal Ministries held its annual Service of Recognition for The Order of St. Katharine deaconesses, the first Saints of the Diocese of Atlanta, on Sunday, June 4, 2017, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Macon, GA. The commemoration honored the women of the early Appleton Church Home who spent their service caring for girls orphaned from the Civil War.  

“Let us remember together these deaconesses not only as the first saints of the Diocese of Atlanta, but also as pioneering women in ministry and as ministry innovators...serving those on the margins,” The Reverend D. S. Mote, who holds a doctorate in religion, and is Missioner for Engagement and Innovation in the diocese, said in her Homily.

 In November 2016, the 110th Annual Council of the Diocese passed a resolution making these deaconesses the first saints of the Diocese of Atlanta. The office of deaconess is recorded in scripture – a ministry to the poor and the sick, according to The Reverend Mote. She added that the office became largely unused after the Middle Ages until the Lutheran Church and the Anglican Church revived it in the mid-1800’s.

 In 1882, Bishop of Georgia John Beckwith performed the ceremony of setting aside deaconesses for the work of the church at the Appleton Church Home, opened in 1870. The Appleton deaconesses serving between 1870 and 1935 were Sister Margaret, Sister Katherine, Sister Sarah, Sister Mary, Sister Maggie, Sister Louise, Sister Elenor, Sister Kate, and Sister Sophie.

 During the commemoration, attendees visited the burial sites of Sisters Margaret, Katherine, Sarah, Sophie, and Katie at Rose Hill. “The four deaconesses not buried at Rose Hill remind us that life is fluid, and change is constant,” The Reverend Mote said. “Yet every season of service makes a contribution to the whole; each of us is constantly creating our own legacy whether we recognize it or not.”

“The Appleton Church Home has moved through different seasons of service as well. From 1870 to 1990, Appleton was 120 years of all girls. Then in 1991, the residential program ended and after-school and summer programs for boys as well as girls began. Appleton has continued to evolve and to innovate to address the needs of children across the decades.”

This summer, Appleton Episcopal Services opens the second Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School in the Diocese of Atlanta at St. Paul’s in Macon - the legacy of Appleton and the Deaconesses to serve children continues.

Read the full text of The Rev. Donna Mote’s homily here and to learn more about Appleton visit their website here.


Church of the Common Ground Celebration

Church of the Common Ground is a church community on the streets of Atlanta, sharing the Good News that we are all God’s Beloved. 

As a worshiping community of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Common Ground serves the pastoral and spiritual needs of women, men and youth who live on the margins of our city. Some struggle with chronic physical or mental illness, lack of employment, or fractured families. Some have no place to live or experience housing insecurity. Our congregation is a “church without walls.” We can be found in the heart of downtown Atlanta, near to the neighborhoods, shelters, parks, and public spaces where our members live. Common Ground strives to be a faithful and consistent witness to Christ’s love for all people. Sunday services are held each week at 1 p.m. in Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta. Follow us on Facebook. To join, volunteer, or contribute, please call 404-873-7667 or email info@churchofthecommonground.org

View beautiful photos from the Church of the Common Ground Sunday service from May 28, 2017.