Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast
July 9, 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.
The first graduates of the Diocesan School for Ministry were ordained deacons in Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile, on Sunday afternoon, June 28, 2020, at three o’clock. The Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. J. Russell Kendrick, was celebrant. The Rev. Dr. Joy Blaylock, Dean of the School and Canon Missioner for Discipleship, was the preacher.

Ordinands and their sponsoring churches were Michael Eugene Lewis Ballard, St. Paul’s, Mobile; David Richard Chatel, St. Luke’s, Mobile; David Michael Clothier, Trinity, Mobile; Rachel Shannon Iversen, Holy Cross, Pensacola; Lydia Knizley Johnson, St. Paul’s, Mobile; John Thomas Kendall, Christ, Pensacola; and John Keith Talbert, St. Paul’s, Foley.

Because of the COVID19 pandemic, attendance was limited to eight guests of each ordinand including their clerical and lay presenters and immediate families. All persons attending the service wore face coverings and were seated somewhat apart.

The ordinands completed a three-year course of study in the Diocesan School for Ministry begun in the fall of 2017 at St. Agatha’s, DeFuniak Springs. Iversen and Kendall were ordained to be the “vocational” or “permanent” deacons. Ballard, Chatel, Clothier, Donnell, Johnson, and Talbert were ordained to be “transitional” deacons who will continue their formation toward the priesthood. Beginning in August, the new deacons will serve for six months in congregations as assigned by the Bishop.

More Stories
A Tribute to the Rev. Ann Johnson, Deacon
From members of the Commission on Affirmative Aging
There is a song entitled "Mother Ann’s Song" by Ana Hernandez and Helena Marie, CHS, from the album "Eternal Spirit" - the tolling of a strong bell is accompanied by a tender spiritual melody. We of the diocesan Commission on Affirmative Aging believe this hymn typifies our departed member and friend the Rev. Ann Johnson, Deacon of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Milton, Florida, who passed away on Monday, April 27, 2020 in Birmingham, Alabama.

For us, Ann revealed herself to be upbeat despite her challenges. In particular, she was loyal and dedicated to her parish during its recent transition of priests. Those close to her call her a true servant of God—a humble, helpful, and faithful clergy member. To many, Ann was a good friend, whose interests were several and various. We are grateful for the time we spent with Ann and for her commitment to the Commission on Affirmative Aging. We, along with many others, will miss her.
Season of Creation - September 1 - October 4
Devotions offered by four leaders

[June 29, 2020] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry and the leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have prepared a series of devotions to observe the Season of Creation 2020, September 1–October 4.

The season, which begins on September 1 with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, is a time to join with the global Christian community in renewing, repairing and restoring commitments to God, to one another and to all of creation. For the four churches, it is also a time for strengthening relationships with one another. Through Scripture, hymns, advocacy and action, the weekly devotions, which are designed to be bulletin inserts for each of the five Sundays during the Season of Creation, begin Sunday, September 6, and invite people to live out their vocation as stewards of creation.

Request for Plant-based Recipes
In the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, we are taking a look at one of the most accessible actions that an individual can take to reduce their carbon footprint and care for our planet – eating fewer animal products.

A team is developing a diocesan-wide e-cookbook showcasing delicious plant-based recipes to help people make the transition away from eating meat and dairy, and hope to have all parishes represented. Submit your recipe below for your favorite plant-based (including no animal products…meat, milk, eggs, or cheese) recipe(s). Please complete the form by July 31. The e-cookbook will give people a tool for making the transition to eating lower on the food chain, thus helping to protect this fragile Earth, our island home. We are looking forward to receiving great plant-based recipes from throughout the diocese!

Use this printable form if you are unable to complete the online form. Print, complete and mail to Lella Lowe at 2609 Shay Court, Mobile, AL 36695. If you would like a form mailed to you, call 251-455-5073.

Around the Diocese
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!
Parishioners from St. John's, Pensacola enjoyed their annual White Island Worship on the last Sunday of June - all while maintaining physical distancing guidelines.
Our Selves, Our Souls, Our Bodies. St. Thomas, Greenville, parishioners donated a weekend at Beckwith’s Getaway at the Bay to their rector, Linda Suzanne Borgen. Pictured are Jean Hancock (Sr Warden), Rev. Borgen, Magoo Hamilton (vestry).
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
The Episcopal Church Becoming Beloved Community Rapid-Response Grants
Rolling Deadline from June 16 to August 15, 2020

The Presiding Officers' Advisory Group on Becoming Beloved Community Implementation is making funds available for groups working specifically to address the racial disparities laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic and for groups working to respond to racist violence and police reform. Across America, COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting People of Color in terms of health outcomes, access to testing and treatment, safe work environments, and more. At the same time, many recognize the pandemic of ongoing violence directed against black people and other people of color, especially at the hands of law enforcement personnel in communities in the Americas and beyond.

Responding to Racist Violence
Learn, Pray, Act: Resources for Addressing Racist Violence and Police Brutality

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. 

More Resources From The Episcopal Church
Diocesan Resources
Stewardship Resources from TENS
The Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast is a current member of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship or TENS which provides the latest training, resources, and support for cultivating and nurturing the ministry of stewardship. Access details are found in the Green Sheet leadership newsletter.
Hurricane Season Emergency Preparedness
With our area having just weathered a tropical storm already, all of us along the Gulf Coast are critically aware that hurricane season is upon us. It is important that we ready ourselves for future 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
Until we can once again gather in person, 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.

Job Postings
Job postings are for paid positions at Episcopal churches, schools or related programs within the geographical boundaries of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

No postings at this time.
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.

Sunday, July 26 Wilmer Hall Sunday, 10:30am CDT
Join us for a virtual service celebrating the life and ministry of Wilmer Hall Children's Home, an agency supported by the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Follow along on Wilmer Hall's or Diocesan Facebook pages, or watch on the diocesan website.

Saturday, September 19 Discipleship Day Online, 9:30am to 2:30pm CDT
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.

Details and registration coming soon.

RESCHEDULED-TBA Event with Dr. Catherine Meeks
Join us for a special event with Dr. Catherine Meeks, executive director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. Stay tuned for new date and details.
Church & Community Events [see more dates]
No events currently posted. Please check with your church regarding options for church events.
Bishop's Calendar [see more dates]
No upcoming visitations

Bishop Russell is currently on vacation.
Cycle of Prayer [see more dates]
July 12
St. Mary's By-the-Sea, Coden

July 19
Chapel of St. Dismas, Atmore (Prison Ministry)

July 12
L.I.F.E. Tech Transitional Center, Thomasville, AL

July 19
Federal Correction Institution & Camp, Marianna, FL
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