Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast
February 10, 2021
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.
It is with delight and anticipation that I announce to you that the Rev. Lydia Knizley Johnson has accepted my call to serve as our next diocesan Missioner for Development. I first met Lydia when she was exploring a possible call to ordained ministry. Four years later, I have come to respect greatly the gifts she brings to the people with whom she serves. Lydia possesses an entrepreneurial spirit for ministry that seeks innovative and authentic ways for congregations to engage with the community. Lydia will focus her passion and time to developing a diocesan team to support congregations and convocations in cultivating the spiritual practice of evangelism and extending their mission beyond the status quo.

Lydia began her ministry in the Episcopal Church as the Director of Christian Education at St. Paul’s Church, Mobile in 2011. Accepting the position came with one condition- she could bring a project with her that she had been dreaming up with a local Methodist church. It was the idea for home repair ministry that blends service, formation, and relational development with teams of local and visiting volunteers and some spirited interns. Ten years, over 60 homes and community improvements, 1,000s of volunteers and a million moments of grace breaking through later- it is known as Raise the Roof. In addition to co-founding and leading Raise the Roof, Lydia helped build teams to expand the family and community ministries at St. Paul’s, to include thriving family programs, experimental Vacation Bible School (VBS) models, and a church preschool. More recently, Lydia has been involved in trying new things as the Chair of the diocesan Evangelism Task Force; a graduate of the diocesan School for Ministry; a core team member for a New Episcopal Community; and learning about building online communities with Try Tank, a program out of Virginia Theological Seminary.

Diocesan Convention
February 26-27, 2021, Online
50th Annual Diocesan Convention
The upcoming annual diocesan convention will be held virtually in February 2021. Visit our Diocesan Convention Hub for the latest information and details. The Pre-Convention Meeting recording is now available.

Lay and clergy delegates may still make nominations here for Standing Committee members, and submit general resolutions here until February 15 (deadline extended).

February 26, 6pm-7:30pm CST: Opening Service and Bishop's Address. Everyone is invited to watch via livestream on our website, YouTube, or Facebook.
February 27, 9am-1pm CST: Convention Business Sessions. Convention members (clergy and lay delegates) will join via Zoom. All others are invited to watch via livestream on our website, YouTube, or Facebook.
Evangelism Task Force Experiments with Technology
Authored by: The Rev. Sara Phillips

"Experiments with technology..." Many of us can remember when such words were not a normal part of an Episcopalian’s lexicon. In 2018, the House of Bishops recognized this need for proclaiming the Gospel and declared evangelism to be a key in our church-wide mission. In response to this and at the direction of Bishop Russell Kendrick, our diocese formed an Evangelism Task Force in May of 2018 under the leadership of the Rev. Kammy Young and the Rev. Lydia Johnson. Their mission: “…to engage spiritual practices that seek, name, and celebrate Jesus’ loving presence in the stories of all people and then invite everyone to MORE with God.”

The task force organized for some experimental projects of technology under the guidance of TryTank, an arm of Virginia Theological Seminary. TryTank offered a number of exciting ideas! One suggestion that the task force put into place was a Prayer Hotline during our Jubilee Celebration. We realize that asking for specific prayer is still “cutting edge” for many Episcopalians, yet we believe that as we grow in ministry this discomfort will abate. While the hotline received only a few calls during the Jubilee Celebration, they were significant and allowed the clergy staffing the hotline to minister to the callers and their needs. 

Gulf Coast Creation Care 40-Day Creation Care Challenge

Gulf Coast Creation Care is offering a 40-Day Creation Care Challenge calendar which you are invited to use for your Lenten discipline this year.

Download a printable 8-1/2x11" calendar, or sign up for daily updates and reminders throughout Lent at info@gulfcoastcreationcare.org.

If you would like to receive an editable Word document of this calendar (ex. a couple of the suggested links are specifically for Alabama and you may wish to substitute different links), contact info@gulfcoastcreationcare.org and request the document.

Visit Gulf Coast Creation Care on the web.
Around the Diocese
Have a brief article or 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!
From The Episcopal Church
Life Transformed - The Way of Love in Lent revised for 2021

New and updated Lent and Easter resources for congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith are available from The Episcopal Church, with additional offerings coming soon. Available and upcoming resources include: Updated Life Transformed – The Way of Love in Lent curriculum; Sermons That Work for Holy Week and Easter; a new podcast series, Prophetic Voices: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community. Find resources here.
Diocesan Events [see more dates]
Upcoming Ordinations - Your prayers and virtual presence are requested

The Rev. Deacon Mike Ballard
St. Paul’s, Mobile | Saturday, February 13, 11am

The Rev. Deacon Robert Donnell
All Saints, Mobile AL | TBD
Now - February 25
The Jubilee Way - Virtual Mission

Remember to keep logging your miles! We are taking 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.
April 9-11 | Beckwith

Happening is a Christian experience presented by teenagers, for teenagers with the help of clergy and lay adult leadership. The Happening program is meant to be one of the instruments within the Anglican Tradition of renewing the Christian church in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that the church may more readily respond to its call to spread the Kingdom of God throughout the world. It seeks to achieve this purpose by bringing young persons and adults to fuller personal knowledge of and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and to a deeper level of commitment and apostleship.

For teens in grades 10, 11, and 12. Cost $60, scholarships available. Contact Addie Boyd-Quina at addiequina@yahoo.com.

Church & Community Events
February 13, 9am-11am CST | Online
A Lenten Reflection Day with Brother Luke

The Episcopal Diocese of the Alabama's Commission on Spirituality is sponsoring an online Lenten program with Brother Luke from Society of Saint John the Evangelist, entitle "Touched by Jesus: Embodied Prayer." Cost is $10.

February 17
Ash Wednesday Service Offerings

Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, our churches are engaging in creative and traditional ways of worship to meet the various needs and comfort levels of our people during this time. Please share your church’s plans for Ash Wednesday in this diocesan google doc using THIS LINK or by e-mailing the Rev. Lydia Knizley Johnson at lydia@diocgc.org. This document will be available to all looking for information for Ash Wednesday worship opportunities.
February 21, 4pm CST | St. Paul's, Mobile
Lenten Concert of African-American Spirituals

In celebration of Black History month please come join us for a Lenten Concert of African - American spirituals and Gospel music featuring Joyce Sylvester, vocalist; Enen Yu, violinist; and Peggy Lyden, pianist. The event is free and open to the public but limited to 150 people in person. It will also be streamed on St. Paul's website and YouTube channel. Please call the Church Office (342-8521) to reserve your spot.

Event contact: Peggy Lynden - peggy@stpmobile.com.
Hosting a church related event that is open to everyone? Submit it to be considered for publication.
Diocesan Resources
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.

Bishop Russell's Upcoming Visitations
February 13
Ordination Service at St. Paul's, Mobile

February 14
St. Paul's, Daphne

February 21
St. Anna's, Atmore (am visit)
Trinity, Atmore (pm visit)
Cycle of Prayer [see more dates]
February 14
St. Paul's, Mobile

February 21
Episcopal Relief & Development
Gathering of the Diocesan Convention
St. John's, Pensacola
February 14
Apalachee Correctional Institution, East Unit & West Unit, Sneads

February 21
Bay Correctional Facility & Juvenile Facility, Panama City
2021 cycles of prayer are available on our website at www.diocgc.org/cycle-of-prayer.
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.
Note: This issue of Coastline will be the only one published in February. The next issue will publish on March 10.

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