AUGUST
Justice & Reconciliation
We acknowledge that we are in strange and unprecedented times, but also recognize the importance of continuing, as able, to celebrate our anniversary year as something we can do together while we are apart.

This year, the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast is celebrating its 50th Jubilee Anniversary. Each month of 2020, we have chosen a particular focus that honors our life in Christ in very special ways and highlights our theme of Remember, Reorient, Renew. We've also created a toolkit full of resources to help us celebrate together. All of our resources for the year are available on our website at www.diocgc.org/jubilee-celebration.
The theme for August is Justice & Reconciliation. In the words of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, “We made a commitment to live into being the Jesus Movement by committing to evangelism and the work of reconciliation – beginning with racial reconciliation … across the borders and boundaries that divide the human family of God. This is difficult work. But we can do it. It’s about listening and sharing. It’s about God.” 

In June, Bishop Russell called for a recommitment of the people of the diocese to the work of Becoming Beloved Community, an initiative of the Episcopal Church that helps us to grow as reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers in the name of Christ. The diocesan Commission on Racial Justice & Reconciliation continually provides us with resources and ways to accomplish the essential tasks we are charged to carry-out in the words of our baptismal covenant.

The Church also seeks to mobilize Episcopalians on issues of social change, and to build and enhance communities committed to transforming unjust structures in societies, and to accompany and enrich the ministry of Episcopalians working to be catalysts for equality, justice, and transformation. We know this to be more important than ever.
Collect for Our Jubilee Year
Lord God of all creation, fill us with your grace as we remember your kindness and goodness towards us, through providence and through struggle; and let the trumpets proclaim the year of Jubilee, a year of the Lord’s favor, as we dedicate ourselves to reorient our mission efforts to renew your Gospel in our midst. May your Spirit inspire us, we pray in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Options for Participation*
*Due to current restrictions for our in-person worship, modification of the below options may be necessary for online participation. Be creative!
Commit yourself to the work of Becoming Beloved Community. Take the pledge here.

Pray using special collects and prayers for racial/reconciliation. Find materials here.

Use the five-week Civil Discourse Curriculum to better understand and practice civil discourse as it relates to politics, policy, and legislation. This resource will also help folks understand why civil discourse is so important to living out our Gospel call and solving the problems facing our communities, country and the world. Download the curriculum here.

Hold congregational conversations about the death penalty in conjunction with "The Sun Does Shine" by Anthony Ray Hinton book study offered by the Commission on Prison Ministry, found at www.diocgc.org/prison-ministry

Organize a book study for adults and teens on "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson. Find the book study here. 

Participate in one of the Beloved Community: Sacred Conversations workshops presented by the Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation. Details are here.

Initiate a conversation with someone about becoming a registered voter. Learn how here.

Pray for upcoming local and national elections. Find prayers here.

Partner with an African American congregations to watch and have conversations about the movie "Best of Enemies."

Participate in Truth, Healing, Justice: Three-part Series with Dr. Catherine Meeks. Find more information here.
Upcoming Events
August 12, 19, 26 | 6:30 pm to 8:15 pm online
Truth, Healing, Justice: Three-part Series with Dr. Catherine Meeks
We will dive deeper into our “Learn - Pray - Act” commitment by exploring systemic, institutional, and personal racism, and learn what we can do to dismantle it. Breakout sessions for further conversation will be facilitated by members of the Commission on Racial Justice & Reconciliation. 

Using the four quadrants of the Becoming Beloved Community curriculum used by the Episcopal Church (Telling the Truth, Proclaiming the Dream, Practicing the Way, Repairing the Breach), we will continue our long view work to address exigent circumstances in our society.
August 15 | 11 am to 1 pm online
Jonathan Myrick Daniels Pilgrimage
For 21 years the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama has co-sponsored, with our diocese, an annual pilgrimage to Hayneville, Alabama, to commemorate the life and work of Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a martyr of the Episcopal Church, along with other martyrs of the civil rights movement. Thousands have attended the pilgrimage over the years, to march together to the jail where he and others were imprisoned, to the site where he was killed, and then to a worship service in the very courtroom where his killer was acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury for the charge of manslaughter.

This year’s pilgrimage will mark the first time it will be held online. This event is not only a momentous time in this country’s history for discussions about race but also an opportunity to spread widely this story to those who are unable to physically participate and to those who have yet to hear the account of this remarkable man and others killed during the civil rights movement.

The keynote speaker will be Dean Kelly Brown Douglas. Bishop Russell will be introducing the Roll Call of the Martyrs and the Prayers of the People, and offering a brief reflection.
Music for Our Jubilee Year Celebration
Our Jubilee Hymn
Christopher Powell of Christ Church Cathedral in Mobile was commissioned to compose our Jubilee Hymn, and we feel it accurately portrays our diocese and our life together in Christ. We invite you to learn the hymn with the hope that when we can safely sing once again in our churches, that we can proclaim our joyful Jubilee. For now, corporate singing is not allowed in our churches in order to keep everyone safer from the coronavirus; however, we encourage you to learn the hymn on your own, or watch the video of select choir members from Christ Church Cathedral singing the hymn.

Next Month...
The theme for September is Discipleship & Discernment. Spiritual growth is such a priority in the life of our diocese that we have named “Discipleship” and “Discernment” as two of our three initiatives. We want to encourage a culture of discipleship and discernment in every congregation. Wherever stage any individual of any age is on in their faith journey, our goal is that they have access to support and resources that help to form them as a disciple in the image of Christ. We are now in the “Renewing” phase of our Jubilee timeline, and that means that we need to be intentionally looking ahead and discerning how we are being called to move the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast into the next 50 years. As a group of disciples, we cannot achieve that goal without first intentionally participating and going deeper into our own faith formation. 

Gratitude
Our thanks to the 50th Jubilee Anniversary subcommittee on outreach, justice and stewardship who put together the creation care toolkit: Thack Dyson, Ed Richards, Erin Rockwell, Haden Tirey, Cynthia Tucker and Kammy Young.
Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast | www.diocgc.org/jubilee-celebration