News Posts

Youth Worship Night

The Office of Communications in partnership with the Office of Youth Ministry is excited to share a new worship experience with young people. Record live at Camp Mikell in March at a winter youth retreat, they recorded five songs to share with the world.

It’s always wonderful to gather together, but seeing the unbridled joy of worship on our students’ faces made this service unforgettable. – Holle Tubbs

It was a night full of singing, laughter, and coming closer to God and each other. – Kiara, youth from St. Columba’s Suwanee

Over the next five weeks, starting May 18, on Wednesday at 8pm ET, a new song will be released. Share it far and wide and help us make some holy and joyful noise!

Help Emmaus House Keep Children From Falling Behind
Now through June 7, Emmaus House is raising $20,000 to prepare our children for success.

As the summer approaches, concerns are deepening as students may lose up to two months’ worth of learning. This is known as the summer slide, and it accounts for more than half of the achievement gap between lower and higher-income students. For all of these reasons, Emmaus House is overjoyed to resume another summer of Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programming.

After more than a year of virtual learning, their students will once again be on the Emmaus House campus to benefit from all that Freedom School has to offer. The CDF Freedom Schools® program is designed to motivate young scholars to read, build positive attitudes towards learning, and equip them with the educational resources needed to succeed.

Donations will help provide:
– Fellowship, literacy training, social-emotional* learning, and plain old fun to kindergarten through fifth-grade children in Peoplestown and the south side of Atlanta.
– Breakfast, snacks, and lunch to each student. Nourishment is a vital part of the learning experience. We will make sure that children are well-fed so that they can focus on enjoying the summer experience.
– A healthcare assistant on-site each day to take temperatures and address the health concerns of students and teachers. To meet CDC recommendations, students will meet in pods, wear masks, and practice all safety protocols.
*An exciting addition to the curriculum is intentional social-emotional learning led by two licensed school counselors.

In the five years we’ve offered Freedom School at Emmaus House, we’ve seen just how effective the program is. In 2019, 100% of children tested, either maintained or improved their reading ability during the six-week program, and 81% improved.

Invite Your Community To Donate
In addition to making a donation, please invite your friends, family, and neighbors to join in. Sharing the campaign with your community can make a huge impact on our success. To make your own fundraising page, all you have to do is click on “I want to fundraise for this” on the campaign page.

 

About Emmaus House
For over 50 years, Emmaus House has been dedicated to improving the economic and social well-being of the residents of Peoplestown and surrounding South Atlanta neighborhoods. Emmaus House stands for justice and equity, rooted in faith and a deep respect for the dignity of every human being.

GivingTuesday, A Global Generosity Movement | Dec 1, 2020

Since its inception in 2012, GivingTuesday has grown into a global movement that has changed the lives of so many. There are many ways to take action. You can make a donation, volunteer, share your voice (e.g. social media) to be an advocate for an organization or cause, donate your talent, and much more. For resources and inspiration on the many ways to give, visit GivingTuesday’s Ideas For Changing The World webpage.

You can find a GA nonprofit to support on the GAGives website.


We are so proud of the organizations and individuals (some of which are listed below) across the Diocese who are working hard to help others and make a difference in their communities:

– Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing
– Appleton Episcopal Ministries
– Atlanta Airport Chaplaincy
– Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry
– Church of the Common Ground
– Church of the Holy Comforter
– Emmaus House
– Episcopal Community Foundation
– Mikell Camp & Conference Center
– Msalato Theological College Endowment
– Youth Ministries

If would like to show your support to these organizations you can make a donation on their websites (linked above) or donate here.

Pipeline to Possibilities 3-Part Series: Changing the Narrative & Creating the Vision.

A 3-part series featuring experts, activists, and advocates from around the nation.

Tuesday, October 13 at 6 PM

This virtual panel discussion will explore how prosecutorial reform can be implemented to bring an end to mass incarceration.

Prosecutors are the most influential actors in the criminal legal system. Just as there were overseers in the unjust slavery system, prosecutors are the modern-day overseers of an unjust legal system. Like police officers, they are gatekeepers into that system.

However, prosecutors hold a unique role. They are the ones responsible for making decisions about whether to charge someone with a crime and what those charges will be (which largely determines sentencing outcomes). They are also charged with decisions about plea deals and bond recommendations. All of these decisions impact who goes to jail and who is set free.

Prosecutors are mostly elective officials with a sworn duty to work towards justice— not convictions. Many of these elected officials— whether white or of color — conduct themselves in a manner that facilitates racist outcomes. And, when they act in a wrongful and malicious fashion, prosecutors — like police officers — are afforded immunity which makes it more unlikely that they will be held to the same levels of accountability to which they purport to hold others, and less likely that those who are impacted will receive justice.

Panel Moderator
Cynthia W. Roseberry, Deputy Director Policy Justice Division ACLU

Panelist
Chesa Boudin, District Attorney San Francisco, CA
Burrell Ellis, Attorney and Former CEO DeKalb County, GA
Adam Foss, Founder and Executive Director Prosecutor Impact
Jon Rapping, Founder and President Gideon’s Promise
Rachael Rollins, District Attorney Suffolk County, MA

Register Here
This event held via Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook. For more information, contact Joya Schmidt at jschmidt@the-temple.org.
Download Flyer

Future Episodes

Tuesday, October 20 at 6 PM EST: The Impact of Judges on Ending Mass Incarceration

Tuesday, October. 27 at 6 PM EST: Reimagining Public Safety: Policing Vs. Protect and Serve

Learn more about these upcoming events at the Multifaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration’s website impact.org.

Inspiritus Advocates for Social Justice

The Georgia Interfaith Public Policy Center calls for passage of The Georgia Hate Crimes Bill also referred to as HB 426. The Center has released a Statement Against Racism and Violence condemning the use of violence against peaceful protesters and declaring their commitment to achieving racial justice and equality. Bishop Wright along with other community leaders signed the statement and declared their commitment to achieving racial justice and equity in the State of Georgia.

For more information, please read the full statement on Inspiritus.

 

ChurchNext Offers More Free Courses to Grow in Christ at Home

ChurchNext is offering two free (virtual) courses: Bridging the Political Divide with Parker Palmer and Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse, sponsored by the Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church. These courses are aimed at helping us have effective discourse across political and social divisions – modeling Christ’s teaching and instructions for us to be reconcilers.

Parker Palmer is well-known to many people — he is an internationally respected author, teacher, and activist. He is also the founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal. The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations, meanwhile, has been working on civil discourse practices for years.

These courses join another free offering called Prayer and Worship in Our Homes, a free 5-course class open to anyone who would like to take it.

In this course, you will find five classes that teach different approaches to prayer. Some focus on particular types of prayer discipline. Others talk about reaching out and praying with others, even when we’re physically isolated from one another.

You can use these classes remotely in a couple of different ways. You can either:
1. Have individuals within your parish take the course on their own, or
2. Meet in a zoom-style online classroom and take a class together. In that case, you would guide the students through the classes, opening with prayer, watching the videos together, and then offering opportunities for discussion using the course discussion questions.

Courses include:

Everyday Spiritual Practices with Keith Anderson

How to Pray with Christopher Martin

Praying with Saints with Scott Gunn and Tim Schenck

How to Pray Online with Karekin Yarian

Praying the Anglican Rosary with Suzanne Edwards-Acton

United Thank Offering: Submissions for Grants are Now Open

The 2020 United Thank Offering Grant Session will focus on the following: BLESS: Share Faith, practice generosity and compassion; and proclaim the Good News of God in Christ with hope and humility.
The next Grants are due on the following dates:

  • Annual Grant Applications: March 6th, 2020

  • Young Adult: February 7th, 2020

  • Seminarian: February 7th, 2020

If you plan to submit one of these grants, it is urgent that you contact the Diocesan Offices so that the process can be initiated as your grant must be reviewed. If your submission is selected, it will be signed by Bishop Wright.

If you have a grant to submit or questions, please email Joy Boyden at jjboyden45@gmail.com.

American Evangelicalism Exhibition Hosts Upcoming Guided Tours

“Thy Kingdom Come: American Evangelicalism from George Whitefield to Contemporary Politics”

Pitts Theology Library’s spring exhibition pushes against monolithic portrayals of evangelicalism in the media and seeks to show the significance of this movement within the broader American culture. The exhibition is open during regular library hours and is free to the open public. The exhibition will continue until March 20. Guided tours will be held on Jan. 31 and Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. For more information or to sign up for a guided tour, call 404-727-0645 or visit here.

Pitts Theology Library is located at Candler School of Theology on the main campus of Emory University, at 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322.

ReviveATL Ignites and Inspires a Crowd of 2,000 to Put Love Into Action

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry had the crowd rapt at attention throughout his sermon, one of many highlights of an engaging evening..

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry had the crowd rapt at attention throughout his sermon, one of many highlights of an engaging evening.

ATLANTA, GA — Wednesday evening’s ReviveATL proved to be a soul-stirring, inspiring event that brought out spiritual seekers from across Atlanta’s Episcopal community and beyond. People came in droves, some (like a contingent from Canterbury Court Retirement Community) arriving by bus or shuttle. And though it was chilly outside, inside the packed Epps Gym on the Clark Atlanta University campus, nearly 2,000 joyful worshipers made the atmosphere warm and alive.

The event was a huge digital success as well, as the livestream of the revival received 17,313 views throughout the run of the program.

It was a night filled with beautiful music, prayer in English and Spanish, and powerful, emotionally moving speeches, each carefully planned segment focusing on a different area of priority or service for the Diocese — children, veterans, refugees, and prisoners.

A beaming Bishop Robert C. Wright set up the passing of the peace by addressing the crowd of “men, women, children and feisty seniors” to prepare to “do something a little different” — and find three people you don’t know to welcome.

Representing the youth of our Diocese, Arianna Castillo, a junior in high school and parishioner at St. Catherine’s in Marietta, spoke eloquently and confidently about the calling she felt to become involved with the church, and the unbreakable friendships she had forged through youth trips and Episcopal summer camp.


When the discussion moved to veterans, the Rev. Dr. Donna Mote, recently featured in a Washington Post piece about her chaplaincy at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, spoke about the “hard and holy work” of escorting the remains of soldiers returned for burial from areas of conflict across the world. “I am the companion of the companion of the corpse,” she said.

Ministering to those tasked with returning these soldiers’ bodies to their families, she said, “I hold space for them to get what they need to finish their difficult mission.” Mote will soon begin a new role as the very first Episcopal chaplain of the Georgia State Defense Force, which deals with disaster response and search and rescue.

Anamaliya, a Rwandan refugee, spoke powerfully about survival and forgiveness. When she was 13 years old, her entire family was murdered during the 100-day genocide in 1994. As an orphan and refugee, having just experienced unfathomable loss and despair, and facing great uncertainty and fear, she said, “I didn’t know God yet. But God knew me.”

Taken in by a Christian family, Anamaliya gravitated to words of hope in scripture. She felt moved by the sacrifice made by Jesus. And when she came to the United States as a refugee, she said that, “like Paul, I learned to be content with any situation.” She has dedicated her life now to helping fellow refugees.

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Dock Anderson, organist and choirmaster at St. Margaret’s in Carrollton, told of the profound and radical welcome he felt from the church when he was hired after a long, difficult job search as an addict in recovery who had served prison time for distributing meth.

“They told me my story — rather than being viewed as a liability — should be viewed as a gift,” he said.

The welcome he felt at St. Margaret’s also extended to his identity as a gay man of faith. Unlike some churches he had worked with over the years, which had expressed hostility or discomfort with the LGBTQ+ community, Anderson said “no one batted an eye” at St. Margaret’s when he showed up with his longtime boyfriend.

Three years since he was hired, Anderson prides himself at being part of a place known throughout the community as “the church that helps people.”

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Finally, at the end of the night, the crowd was treated to a boisterous and riveting sermon by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who strode onto the stage opening his arms to the crowd: “Atlanta!” Instantly, people were on their feet cheering. Throughout the night, his allusions to local Atlanta staples drew thunderous applause and stomping in the stands.

Marveling at the size of the crowd, Bishop Curry quipped, “Bishop Wright, you must be doing something right.”

In a sermon packed with references ranging from the Will Ferrell movie “Talladega Nights” to the impeachment trial of President Trump, Curry expertly wove seemingly disparate themes together to illuminate what exactly the Way of Love is all about.

“If it’s not about love, it’s not about God,” he told the audience, which he had earlier deemed to be the “Episcopal brand of the Jesus movement.”

Curry would be a mesmerizing speaker in any setting; but as he blazed through this sermon, moving from point to point in a rapid-fire, get-out-of-your-seats style, while Spanish translator Denora Padro kept pace with him, this was a tour-de-force.

Indeed, the back and forth from English spoken by Curry and Spanish spoken by Padro was like watching an intricate linguistic dance performed by two absolute masters—like watching the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of preaching.

Curry told of taking a sabbatical and trying to learn the violin (“It’s a beautiful instrument,” he quipped, “when IN THE RIGHT HANDS”), adding that his daughter’s rotund cat soon learned to exit the room before Curry even opened the instrument’s case.

Deftly transitioning from the laughter, he recalled what he discovered during the other occupation of his sabbatical: digging into sayings of Jesus that can sometimes make following Jesus so difficult and strenuous—wonderful but challenging statements about peacemakers, about forgiveness, about doing unto others, and about loving God and your neighbors as yourself.

That last commandment should be regarded, Curry said, as the “holy trinity of love.” Love of the neighbor defies political views, he went on, and it knows no nationality or particular religion. “Love your neighbor is Affirmative Action on steroids.”

Delivering his sermon in the round, speaking directly to various audience segments as he pivoted around the stage, Curry referred at one point to Delta, the airline that famously makes Atlanta its hub. At first this was a kind of wry wink to the audience, but it became a means to examine bigger questions about where and when we access faith.

“When I’m on Delta and it gets bumpy, I don’t worry about my bank account. I don’t worry about my weight,” he said, extending his arms out to illustrate the “Help me, God” reaction that often occurs during those panicked moments of turbulence. “Oh, I get right with God quickly,” he said to more delighted laughter and applause.

Just as we trust the unseen pilot transporting us from one part of the world to another, Curry said, so we should place our faith in God’s ability to steer the way, as long as we stay in the Way of Love.

“In the end, it’s a matter of trusting God.”

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