Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast
August 26, 2020
Together, we are the body of Christ ~ transforming people from members into disciples, moving more deeply into God's call to life and ministry, and extending our mission beyond the status quo.
BayLights Logo

BayLights is the annual diocesan homecoming weekend and fundraising event celebrated at Beckwith Camp and Retreat Center. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, BayLights weekend has been reprogrammed as a Getaway by the Bay for adults and families. There will be no live entertainment Friday night, nor a Diocesan Ultreya or Rock Bottom on Saturday. However, it's still an opportunity for a fun-filled weekend with your friends and family in God's front yard!
Weekend Events

Friday Night
Dinner, campfire and smores

Activities all day, BBQ lunch, football shown in Wilson Hall, live ticket draw down (live on Facebook), a silent auction and low country boil

Live Ticket Draw Down

The last 25 tickets will be pulled live on Facebook. Draw Down ticket winner is the last ticket drawn.

The prize is 1 week in Tuscany, Italy or Antigua for 2 or 4 people or $2,500. Do not have to be present to win. Trips do not expire.

We will be practicing and encouraging social distancing for the health and safety of all. There will be practices and procedures implemented in order to be in compliance with CDC and ACA guidelines. We hope you will embrace a willingness for change and adaptability as we learn a new way together.  

Join us on a virtual trip around the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast! Engage your mind, soul and body, and learn about our diocese and our beloved Camp Beckwith. Our mission takes us about 540 miles from Beckwith and back, highlighting each of our 62 churches along the way.

The cost is $50 per person 21 and over. Cost includes race registration, access to website/app, a great t-shirt designed to celebrate our 50th Jubilee with all parish/mission names included, virtual postcards telling about each parish/mission, and a donation to Camp Beckwith.

The mission runs from BayLights through Convention. Registration opens September 1. More details soon!


Immigration is one of the most divisive political issues of our time. Immigration law and policy in the United States are comprised of a long series of acts of Congress initially instituted as long ago as 1798. With the acts of 1875 and 1882, Congress made a permanent commitment to the principle of federal regulations and responsibility for immigration.

In 1917, lawmakers enacted short-lived legislation that required a literacy test for immigrants over 16 years of age and banned those from what was called the Asiatic Barred Zone.

A 1924 immigration law known as the Johnson-Reed Act imposed a quota system based on national origin. In an interview in The Atlantic published in 2017, Dr. Alan Kraut, a history professor at American University in Washington, D.C. said "The fundamental principle of the Johnson-Reed Act was the principle of exclusion. And the target of exclusion was intended to be the poor workers who were trying to escape their own society for economic opportunity."

Around the Diocese
Rev. Christie Hord and folks at St. John's, Pensacola had a fun time putting together an outtakes video (above) from their Virtual Vacation Bible School - Compassion Camp last month! Hord says of the VVBS, "It was a fun experiment and gave us the opportunity to incorporate new members in a new way." Check out the playlist of Compassion Camp videos on St. John's YouTube channel.
We aren't really sure who or what this curious little friend is, but it sure likes to explore the campus of Christ Church Cathedral in Mobile and finds the most interesting nooks and crannies! You can follow its escapades on Instagram at CCC Mobile.
Have a photo from your church (ministry, program, staff member, service, "behind the scenes," etc.) you would like to see highlighted in our newsletter? Send it to us!

In June of this year, the first class of students graduated from our Diocesan School for Ministry and were ordained to the diaconate. We are happy to announce their following appointments:

  • Mike Ballard will serve Church of the Redeemer,Mobile
  • David Chatel will serve St. Stephen's, Brewton
  • David Clothier will serve St. John's, Pensacola
  • Bob Donnell will serve All Saints, Mobile
  • Rachel Iversen will serve Christ Church, Pensacola
  • Lydia Johnson will serve Trinity, Mobile
  • John Kendall will serve St. Mary's, Milton
  • John Talbert will serve Holy Spirit, Gulf Shores

Please join us in congratulating the new deacons and wishing them many blessings in their call to ordained ministry.

Bishop Russell's Message on the House of Bishop's Meeting with Dr. Anthony Fauci. Watch the video HERE.

Truth, Healing, Justice: Three-part Series with Dr. Catherine Meeks session recordings are available on our website HERE.

Jonathan Myrick Daniels Virtual Pilgrimage recording is available on the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama's website HERE. Bishop Russell offers a brief reflection during the pilgrimage.
Please be sure to direct any mail for the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast to our post office address: PO Box 13330, Pensacola, FL 32591-3330.
From The Episcopal Church

"Cast your vote, not on a partisan basis, not based on your biases, but vote your values. Vote the values of human dignity and equality. Vote the values of the rock on which this country was built. Vote." - Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

The Office of Government Relations, in collaboration with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ, has prepared a guide to help prepare church members to vote and advocate for their communities. The guide also includes a special Prayers of the People.

Our nation election day is Tuesday, November 3. Here are some important dates to remember that are specific to each state:

October 19
Deadline to register online or by mail

October 29
Deadline to request absentee ballot

No early voting in Alabama

October 5
Deadline to register online or by mail

October 24
Deadline to request ballot by mail

October 24-31
Early voting period

Episcopalians are invited to join churches around the world in celebrating the Season of Creation; a time for people of faith to renew their relationship with God and all creation through celebration, prayer, and action. The Season’s roots rise from the Orthodox Christian tradition; the World Council of Churches was instrumental in making the special time a season, extending the celebration from September 1 until St. Francis Day, October 4. The Episcopal Church Office of Creation Care offers Season of Creation and St. Francis Day Resources to help plan.  
"The Season of Creation invites us to think deeply about our ecological, economic, and political ways of living, and to work towards justice and right relationship with God's Creation,” says the Rev. Melanie Mullen, director of Reconciliation, Justice, and Creation Care, “We are thrilled to participate in this global effort."


In this time of national upheaval, outrage, and fear, The Episcopal Church’s Department of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care and the Office of Government Relations have assembled resources to assist individuals, congregations and communities seeking to LEARN, PRAY and ACT. Please use and share these resources, and send your own resources and stories to reconciliation@episcopalchurch.org.


"Part of preparedness is thinking about how disasters affect my neighbors." Episcopal Relief & Development's U.S. Disaster Program invites everyone to engage with their #WhyPrepare campaign, which sheds light on the inequalities in disasters. Help raise awareness by sharing social media posts on diocesan and personal accounts and pointing people to episcopalrelief.org/whyprepare. Visit the site to download a household preparedness checklist and a checklist to help when shopping for others.

Diocesan Resources
Hurricane Season Emergency Preparedness
It is important that we ready ourselves for potential storms, and remain prepared throughout the season. Careful delegation of roles and responsibilities and having a plan in place are key components to a congregation's vitality and ability to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the church, parishioners and surrounding community.

Online and Live Streamed Worship Options
Livestreamed services are being offered by churches across our diocese and beyond.

Visit the Episcopal Asset Map to see the options across the nation.

Visit the list of churches in the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.
Online Giving for Your Congregation
Your financial gifts to your church are of vital importance to support their ongoing ministries to your church community and to the most vulnerable among us. The Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast is providing the ability to give online for congregations that do not have ways to collect an offering or donation electronically.

Diocesan Events [see more dates]
All Diocesan in-person events have been suspended at this time. If you are a member of a commission or committee please check with your chair regarding online meeting options.
Tuesday, September 1, 11am OR 5 pm CDT
Practical Children's/Youth Ministry Planning During a Pandemic

Mystified at what to do to make children's/youth ministry happen through this fall? You're not alone; we're all feeling a little overwhelmed with the unknowns during the pandemic.

"What are we going to do about our Trunk-or-Treat, Fall Festival, Thanksgiving outreach, Nativity pageants, etc?" You need practical plans and you need them fast!

Join this webinar designed to give you ideas, processes, templates, plug-&-play, coaching, etc. Stephanie Caro, Senior Consultant at Ministry Architects, will facilitate an hour-long webinar and question-session. Each church registering will receive one 30-minute free coaching call with Stephanie designed to take the concepts and make them specific to your church's needs, plus you will get access to a Google Drive filled with helpful tools. 
Saturday, September 19, 9:30am to 2:30pm CDT | Discipleship Day Online
Marked as Christ's Own Forever: A Celebration of Living Baptized in Today's World with Dr. Lisa Kimball of Virginia Theological Seminary.

Discipleship Day will be a time to virtually gather as a whole diocese to investigate ways in which we might become more confident about our calling as the baptized faithful in this fast-changing world.

Church & Community Events [see more dates]
All Saints, Redeemer and St. John’s Episcopal Churches in Mobile are founding members of Gulf Coast Creation Care, an interfaith group whose mission is to focus the Gulf Coast community's moral attention on the climate crisis and to mobilize all people toward bold and just action. The group is offering a series of webinars in September to celebrate the Season of Creation, including:

  • September 6 – Transforming Faith, Transforming Lives, with Dr. Robert Gottfried, University of the South, Center for Religion and Environment.
  • September 20 – Creation Care from Varying Faith Perspectives – interfaith panel discussion with local faith leaders, moderated by the Rev. Bob Donnell of All Saints. Panelists will include the Rev. Ellen Sims, Imam Kamal Saleem, Ms. Candice Dunston, Dr. Stephen Wilson, and Mr. Glen Mutchnick.
  • September 27 – We Need Courage – Not Hope – to Fight Climate Change, with Anna Jane Joyner, a local environmental activist of national renown, and the Rev. Michael Malcom, executive director of Alabama Interfaith Power and Light.

Download the flyer HERE. Visit the GCCC website to sign up for all three webinars: https://gulfcoastcreationcare.org/upcoming-events

Contact Lella Lowe at (251) 455-5073 or email info@gulfcoastcreationcare.org to learn more about getting your congregation involved with Gulf Coast Creation Care.

Hosting a church related event that is open to everyone? Submit it below to be considered for publication.
Bishop Russell's Upcoming Visitations

August 30
Epiphany, Enterprise

September 6
Epiphany, Crestview

September 13
St. Cyprian's, Pensacola
Cycle of Prayer [see more dates]
August 30
Epiphany, Enterprise
St. Michael's, Ozark

September 6
Epiphany, Crestview
Diocesan School for Ministry

August 30
Baldwin County Jail, Bay Minette

September 6
Crenshaw County Jail, Luverne
50th Jubilee Celebration
All are invited to participate with us in our 50th Jubilee Anniversary. We've created monthly materials, resources, newsletters, etc. to help us celebrate in a unified way across the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast throughout 2020.

Coastline is a biweekly publication of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

SUBMIT AN ARTICLE - deadlines are 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month

SUBMIT AN EVENT - posted on our website each Friday

Direct questions to communications@diocgc.org