Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast
June 24, 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.
Join us virtually for the ordination to the diaconate of the following candidates: Mike Ballard, David Chatel, David Clothier, Bob, Donnell, Rachel Iversen, Lydia Johnson, John Kendall and John Talbert. Iversen and Kendall will be ordained to the vocational diaconate. Ballard, Chatel, Clothier, Donnell, Johnson, and Talbert will be ordained to the transitional diaconate.
Service will be held Sunday, June 28 at 3 pm at Christ Church Cathedral in Mobile. Due to safe physical distancing practices, the service will not be public. It will be livestreamed here and on Facebook.
It is customary for the offering collected at ordinations to be given to the ordinands' discretionary funds. Since we are unable to attend the service in person, financial gifts may be made through the diocese, here.
Over 140 People Attend Virtual Diocesan Prayer Vigil
On Friday, June 19, people from across the panhandle and beyond gathered in front of their computer screens for a collective time of lament, music, prayer, and witness as an act of solidarity toward racial healing in our communities. The vigil was organized by the Commission on Racial Justice & Reconciliation, and represented an array of voices, both clergy and lay people, from different denominations.

As one of the participants said, "I just needed to sit with it all for a bit, and the presentations are still echoing in my soul. I felt humble in the presence of greatness - the greatness of the truth spoken through so many diverse voices. They seem to come together as a symphony as I reflect on them this morning, a symphony of pain, suffering, anger, faithfulness, learning, awakening, becoming, hope."

The format of the recorded vigil is appropriate to watch and pray along with at anytime. We encourage you to use it, individually or as an online group, as part of your Learn, Act, Pray practice.

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One of the issues of growing old is that it takes more and more pills just to keep growing old. As Grace Slick sings, "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.”

All of these pills, however, “do something.” They have side effects.

The effect of one of mine is that it tends to cause hallucinations. Actually, I take comfort in this knowledge because the other night I had an experience I prefer to regard as a sort of hallucination because, frankly, the alternative is beyond my capacity to tolerate.

I woke up in the middle of the night into total darkness. You would say it was the middle of the night. No. I mean darkness. No light. Void. Black. I could not see the glow from my watch or the shadows from the street light. I could see nothing.

…and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest. - James 5

Like so many others, the St. Mark’s Food Pantry serves as a vehicle to share the overwhelming abundance God has showered on us to a community in need. Thanks to the generosity of parish members, other local churches, and donations from our neighbors, groceries are shared with love and respect to those who come for assistance. It is our intention that they receive food for their physical hunger, and face to face kindness as an act of love.

Since late winter, two additional resources have added to the harvest. A partnership with the Montgomery Food Bank generated a more cost-effective way to fill our pantry shelves. In addition, two of our more experienced agriculturists, Mrs. Ann Hart and Dr. Robert Pullen, crafted a straw-bale garden. Straw bales come to the rescue of low-maintenance gardening by providing a raised and relatively weed-free bed as a safe and organic base to grow produce. After many weeks of conditioning the bales of straw, produce has grown abundant and added to the non-perishables of the Food Pantry.

We do our best, along with so many other food pantries, to follow the words of Jesus as we respond directly to God's love for us, …for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in… Matthew 25:35

Come and see the straw bales of St. Mark’s, Troy. There’s always weeding and picking to help with.
Does your church have a food pantry or feeding ministry? Send an email with details to communications@diocgc.org.
We are thrilled to announce the start of the Central Gulf Coast CDF Freedom Schools summer reading program, the first of its kind for the Pensacola area to join many already established CDF Freedom Schools programs across the nation. Supported by the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, many invested community partners and dedicated leadership who believe reading is the key that unlocks the door to children’s dreams and unlimited potential.

Keep up with this transformative program and its scholars by liking their Facebook page, Central Gulf Coast CDF Freedom School.
Getaway by the Bay is an opportunity for friends, families, couples, and individuals to enjoy Beckwith for a 4 day/3 night retreat in July. Each getaway begins with dinner Thursday evening through breakfast Sunday morning. Come enjoy a change from your own home and experience the peace and beauty of God’s front yard and Weeks Bay. For more information, visit: https://www.beckwithal.com/getaway2020.html
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.
Around the Diocese
Have a photo from your church (ministry, program, staff member, service, "behind the scenes," etc.) you would like to share with the rest of the diocese? Send it to us!
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.

Invitation to Participate in Survey About Sexual Misconduct in The Episcopal Church
Responses requested by: July 1, 2020

[A letter to Episcopalians from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings.]
Dear People of God in the Episcopal Church:

In early 2018, we issued a call for The Episcopal Church to come to a fuller understanding of how it has handled or mishandled cases of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse through the years. That work began to take shape at General Convention 2018 when the House of Deputies Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation submitted more than twenty resolutions and the House of Bishops held a Liturgy of Listening to lament and confess the church’s role in harassment, exploitation and abuse.

More Resources From The Episcopal Church
Diocesan Resources
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 Facebook page, or watch on the diocesan website.

Saturday, August 1 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. Details to be announced.

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.
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

June 28
Ordination to the Diaconate
Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile
Cycle of Prayer [see more dates]
June 28
Trinity, Mobile
Wilmer Hall Children's Home

July 5
St. Mary's, Milton

June 28
Loxley Work Release, Loxley, AL

July 5
Ventress Correctional Facility, Clayton, AL
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