News Posts

Bishop Rob Wright on Pride and Juneteenth

I am something beautiful because a beautiful God made me just the way a beautiful God made you. I am complex. I am full of flaws and so are you. And at the same time we are the possessors of an amazing belovedness that comes through not only our own Christian scriptures, but the Jewish scripture and most other holy books. And so if we zoom out, we can say that there’s something about being human.

Bishop Rob Wright

In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation about Pride Month and Juneteenth and how both of these holidays call us to know every beautiful human being as beloved. Every ism gets in the way of knowing that we are all made in God’s image and are one human family. Listen in for the full conversation.

For People Celebrates 100th Episode

For People Centennial | Part 1 of 2

In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright look back on the journey to the 100th episode. They discuss how it started, innovation along the way, and reflect on six excerpts from For People special guests. Excerpts included are from Barbara Brown Taylor, Diana Butler Bass, Sheffield Hale, Dr. Gregoy Ellison II, The Rev. Natosha Reid Rice, and Bishop Will Willimon. The episode will be available at 5am ET on April 29th.

Since its launch in March 2020, the podcast has been downloaded more than 120,000 times for an average of 1,100 downloads per episode.

In each episode Bishop Wright and occasional special guests include listeners in conversations at the crossroads of faith and life, exploring the challenges of living in an ever-changing world. For People with Bishop Rob Wright and his weekly blog, For Faith, draw inspiration from the life of Jesus to answer 21st-century questions.

Since its inception, the series has continued adapting to the new realities of life and how people experience community, family, and faith. People from more than 4,200 cities in 102 countries have responded by listening and subscribing.

For People with Bishop Rob Wright | Special Guest Dr. Gregory Ellison II

Faithfulness with Special Guest Dr. Gregory Ellison II

In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with special guest Dr. Gregory C. Ellison II on the movements of faithfulness and neighborliness in our lives as people of faith. They speak to Howard Thurman, his teachings, and Dr. Ellison even gives his own definition of a mystic. Want to hear it? Listen in for the full conversation.

An Atlanta native, Dr. Ellison is associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He earned his undergraduate degree from Emory, and holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees in pastoral theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Ellison is author of Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice and Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men and founder of GE II & Associates and Fearless Dialogues.

Imagine Church — Next Service on September 19

On September 7, Imagine Church gathered at All Saints’, Atlanta, for its first-ever live, in-person recording — a Eucharistic service that included a mix of traditional music and liturgy, together with gospel and contemporary music, a meditation from Bishop Rob Wright, and communion in the round.

The congregation gathered under an outdoor tent with approximately 75 people in attendance, representing the Episcopal Church and many other denominations.  The service was recorded in real-time, utilizing professional-grade video and audio equipment and production software.

Begun in August 2020, Imagine Church is an expression of online worship and digital evangelism in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.  Until now, Imagine Church has never filmed with more than a handful of people behind the camera.

The Rev. Zack Nyein, Imagine Church Director of Worship said, “This experiment seeks to innovate out of our cherished traditions while celebrating the God-given diversity present among the people of God. Imagine Church is native to this season of COVID and racial reckoning and seeks to be a bridge from isolation to connection. We see video as an art form, not just a content delivery mechanism. So we’re leaning into the technology, even when it scares us a little.”

The recording of the service will premiere publicly on September 19 at 7 PM ET on the Imagine Church YouTube channelFacebook page, and website.

For People with Bishop Rob Wright | Special Guest Rev. Natosha Reid Rice

Stories of Belonging with The Rev. Natosha Reid Rice

In this special guest episode of For People, Bishop Wright is joined by The Rev. Natosha Reid Rice. They talk about their journeys to belonging and self-love; both bi-racial, black in America, and abandoned by their mothers. They share their stories of trauma, forgiveness, healing, and love. It is a beautiful thing when brokenness becomes ministry.

The Rev. Natosha Reid Rice is a mother, a wife, an ordained minister, inspirational speaker, life coach, and attorney. She serves as the Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of Habitat for Humanity. In addition, Natosha also serves as the Minister of Public Life at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Natosha is passionate about providing a voice to the voiceless and opportunities to historically disadvantaged communities. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator for community/civic organizations, churches, colleges, and corporate events on the intersection of faith and justice, race and gender justice, leadership development, and community empowerment. She has been actively involved in efforts to pass legislation and policy to protect victims of human sex trafficking in Georgia and provide a fair workplace for women.

For People with Bishop Rob Wright | Special Guest Ga State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver

Public Service with Special Guest Ga State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver

What does faith look like for a person working in politics? And what about tough issues that divide people?

In this episode, Bishop Wright and Ga State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver discuss these very questions and other relevant topics. It is a tall order in doing the tough work of reaching across the aisle to those we disagree with while remaining faithful to the higher call in serving the one we call Jesus. Listen in for the full conversation.

Mary Margaret Oliver is a parishioner at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta. She is a lifelong resident of District 82 in DeKalb County and has served in the Georgia General Assembly in both the House of Representatives (1987-1992) and 2002 – present, and the Senate (1993 -1998). Her past legislative accomplishments have included authoring and passing significant legislation for the protection of children and consumers, including Georgia’s anti-stalking law, along with legislation to protect neighborhood activists from intimidation. Prior to her elections, she practiced law, was an administrative law judge and an Associate Magistrate Judge.

Listen in to hear more.

Before listening, read Bishop Rob Wright’s For Faith.

For People Breaking News Edition on New Georgia Voting Laws

In a special March 31, 2021 Breaking News edition of his weekly For People podcast, Episcopal Bishop Rob Wright of Atlanta explores recently enacted changes to Georgia voting laws with Georgia state senator, The Reverend Kim Jackson.

Bishop Wright and Senator Jackson, who shepherds Atlanta’s homeless as Vicar of Church of the Common Ground, discuss the immediate and long-term impacts of SB 202, which has both drawn applause and provoked outrage.

In the age of information overload and fake news, Wright and Jackson get to the heart of Georgia’s new law that has drawn worldwide attention to the Peach State. They examine flash-point changes like prohibiting handing out food and water to people waiting in line to vote and other, less well-known provisions, that will challenge equal access to absentee and in-person voting.

Listen as Bishop Wright and Senator Jackson dig into how Georgia’s new election law affects Georgia voters and challenges people of faith in this special Breaking News edition of For People.


For People, is a weekly conversation with Bishop Rob Wright, spiritual leader to the more than 50,000 people in the 117 worshipping communities of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. In this podcast, Bishop Wright meets listeners at the crossroads of faith and life to explore the challenges of an ever-changing world. Listen in to find out how For People expands on Bishop Wright’s For Faith devotional, drawing inspiration from the life of Jesus to answer 21st-century questions.

For People with Bishop Rob Wright | Special Guest Bishop Andy Doyle

Saint Mary and Christmas with Special Guest Bishop Andy Doyle

Mary has a thing or 2 to say about God in her song/poem/rap the Magnificat. In it, Mary talks of a God that topples over conceit and pride. A God that elevates the meek. A God that says the hungry will feast and those that normally feast will learn what it means to be hungry. To some then and now these are dangerous words!

In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright have a conversation with Bishop Andy Doyle about Mary’s words and share their own thoughts on the darkness that surrounds us this year and all years as we approach Christmas. The candles of Advent wreaths around signify much more than a lit candle. They represent a light in the darkness of each of us in our own context and in ways that connect us as a human family. What does this season look like for you with your family? Are you gathering as always or will it look different? For this conversation and more, listen in.

Bishop Andy Doyle, ninth Bishop of Texas, describes his six-word autobiography as: “Met Jesus on pilgrimage, still walking.” Bishop Doyle received his M.Div. from  Virginia Theological Seminary after receiving a fine arts degree from the University of North Texas. Previous to his election in 2008, Bishop Doyle served for five years as Canon to the Ordinary. He also served churches in Temple and College Station, as well as being elected deputy to several General Conventions.

Bishop Doyle’s focus for ministry is service, evangelism and reconciliation, planting 15 new churches and more than 50 new “missional communities” in the next five years. An avid reader and fly fisherman, Bishop Doyle has written several books, often mixing references from pop culture’s music and movies with the latest in secular leadership trends in order to reach the broadest spectrum of readers and challenge Episcopalians to move into their communities with the Gospel in word and action.  His writings include: Unabashedly Episcopalian: The Good News of the Episcopal Church, 2012; Orgullosamente Episcopal, 2015; Church: A Generous Community Amplified for the Future, 2015; A Generous Community: Being Church In A New Missionary Age, 2015; Small Batch: Local, Organic, and Sustainable Church, 2016; The Jesus Heist, 2017.

Listen in to hear more.

Before listening, read Bishop Rob Wright’s For Faith.

 

For People with Bishop Rob Wright | Special Guest Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams

Imagining the Bible with Special Guest Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams

What is it about being a follower of Jesus that lends some to study the bible for their own agenda and others to imagine multiple frameworks? If you really think about it, we use our imagination when we read the bible. We transport ourselves in a time machine and enter into an ancient world full of stories written by people with imagination!

“The only way to understand scripture is to exercise imagination. You have to enter into an alternate universe. You have to embrace metaphor, poetry, and symbolical language and recognize the only way we are going to get at God is to use our imagination.” – Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams – author of Holy Imagination: A Literary Theological Introduction to the Whole Bible.

In this episode, Melissa and Bishop Wright sit down with Dr. Judy Fentress Williams and talk about imagination in the bible and the wonder we encounter when we open ourselves up to imagining the bible in a non-linear fashion. What happens when we don’t use our imagination to read the bible and in owe put God into something small that fits our beliefs? God is larger than what we can comprehend and imagine! For thoughts on these questions and more, listen in.

The Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, Ph.D., is Professor of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary since 2002. Her areas of expertise include Hebrew Bible, dialogic interpretation, religious studies, Afro-American studies, and literary criticism. Dr. Fentress-Williams received her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Yale University in 1999. Her dissertation entitled, “What Has Happened to the Son of Kish? A Dialogic Reading of Saul in I Samuel” reflects her interest in a literary approach that celebrates the multiple voices and inter-textuality of scripture. Judy is married to Kevin Williams, M.D. and they have two children, Samantha and Jacob.

Listen in to hear more.

Before listening, read Bishop Rob Wright’s For Faith.

 

For People with Bishop Rob Wright | Special Guest Barbara Brown Taylor

Encountering God in the World with Special Guest Barbara Brown Taylor | Part 2 of 2

What is the image of God we see in our minds and how do we encounter God in this new world we are living in? If we are honest, we might find that we often fit God into a box that works with the way we view the world.

“What if people were invited to come tell what they already know of God instead of to learn what they are supposed to believe? What if they were blessed for what they are doing in the world instead of chastened for not doing more at church? What if church felt more like a way station than a destination? What if the church’s job were to move people out the door instead of trying to keep them in, by convincing them that God needed them more in the world than in the church?” – Barbara Brown Taylor

In part 2 of this 2-part discussion, Melissa and Bishop Wright talk with Barbara Brown Taylor about the Church can learn during the pandemics we face and what a new church might look like. They share their dreams for church and discuss God in the darkness we often experience in life.

Before listening, read Bishop Rob Wright’s For Faith.

Barbara Brown Taylor is a best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2006. Her next two books, An Altar in the World (2010) and Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015), earned places on the New York Times bestseller list. 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. In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received the President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, was released by HarperOne in March 2019.

Listen in to hear more.

 

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