How will you challenge yourself to love like Jesus? Representatives from our diocese’s 114 worshiping communities were asked that at the 111th Annual Council, hosted by the Northeast Georgia Convocation, Nov. 10-11 at First Baptist Church in Gainesville. In his speech to attendees, our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright, put forth ideas for how to go about living into this part of our diocesan purpose statement.
“We must look at every tradition and convention we have adopted as ministry groups, vestries, individual churches and clergy and ask ourselves and one another, does our current practice and reality square with what Jesus actually said? What he taught? How he loved?” Bishop Wright said.
Council began with Holy Eucharist. The Rt. Rev. Daniel G.P. Gutiérrez, bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, was guest preacher and the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright celebrated. After the service, the 111th Annual Council convened to determine new members of diocesan leadership groups and consider four resolutions to help establish and strengthen partnerships and raise awareness about important issues.
Lay: Tracie Jenkins
Clergy: Lauren Holder
Mikell Board of Governors
- R17-1 Establish a Companion Diocese relationship with the Anglican Diocese of Cape Coast, Ghana
R17-2 Reunification of the Episcopal Church in Cuba with the Episcopal Church
R17-3 HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education
R17-4 Strong recommendation parishes and worshiping communities of the Diocese of Atlanta post the Georgia Anti-Trafficking Poster
After Council, activities concluded for the day, and attendees had the opportunity to participate in a service project. Partnering with Rise Against Hunger, our Council delegates worked together with a goal to feed 30,000 people.
Attendees also had the opportunity to sample BBQ from around our diocese at the Episcopal Community Foundation’s BBQ Competition. The winning teams won cash prizes for parish outreach. The winners included the following:
- First place: The St. Elizabeth Holy Smokers, winning $5,000
- Second place: The Smokin’ Cats from St. Catherine’s, winning $2,500
- Third place: BBQ Is A Noun from St. Bartholomew’s, winning $1,500
This year’s Council theme echos our diocesan purpose statement, “We challenge ourselves…” Attendees reflected on the ways in which we challenge ourselves in our daily lives. Bishop Wright challenged attendees to find new ways to love like Jesus.
“If we’re going to love like Jesus, we’re going to have to tell our real stories. Be curious rather than defensive. Forget perfection. Try new things. Acknowledge loss. Be more courageous. Reach deeper. Laugh from our bellies. Talk less. Sing louder. And trust God more. So there it is, “nos desafiamos a amar como Jesús.” We challenge ourselves to love like Jesus.” Bishop Wright said.
Bishop’s Cross Recipients
The first Bishop’s Crosses were awarded to two members of each convocation – one lay and one clergy – who embody the diocesan purpose statement. Recipients were nominated and recommended to the Bishop. The crosses were made from the Dogwood tree by Andy Schuyler, a member of St. Patrick’s parish.
NE Georgia Convocation
Lay nominee: John Andrews
Clergy nominee: Mary Demmler
Chattahoochee Valley Convocation:
Lay nominee: Martin McCann
Clergy nominee: Sandy McCann
North Atlanta Convocation
Lay nominee: Dr. May C. Brown
Clergy nominee: Ruth Pattison
Lay nominee: Angela Mankin
Clergy nominee: Hazel Glover
Lay nominee: Tahir Murray
Clergy nominee: Mary Wetzel
East Atlanta Convocation:
Lay nominee: Claudia Fedarko
Clergy nominee: Jenna Strizak
NW GA Convocation
Lay nominee: Lola Thomas
Clergy nominee: Janice Bracken Wright
Middle Georgia Convocation
Lay nominee: Julie Groce
Clergy nominee: Ben Wells
Northeast Metro Convocation
Lay nominee: Luis Ramos
Clergy nominee Nancy Yancey
Lay nominee: Stephanie Timm
Clergy nominee: Lesley Ann Drake
The Rev. Herschel Atkinson Honored
The Rev. Herschel Atkinson received a standing ovation from Council as Bishop Wright thanked him for his many years of service as Secretary of Council and announced that a scholarship at the Sewanee School of Theology is being created in his honor.
Contribution made payable to The School of Theology with a notation “Herschel Atkinson Scholarship” should be sent to:
The School of Theology
335 Tennessee Ave
Sewanee, TN 37383
Donations may also be made through the Sewanee website. Be sure to complete the In Honor Of line near the bottom of the On-Line Giving Form.
Annual Council Photos
View the photo slideshow to see more photos and highlights from the 111th Annual Council.