Upcoming Diocesan Office Closure

The Diocesan Office will be closed Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day. Normal operations will resume Tuesday, September 5.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Released From Hospital, Scheduled for Surgery

The Most Rev. Michael Curry is resting at home following a hospitalization to address a reoccurrence of internal bleeding. He will undergo surgery to remove his right adrenal gland and attached mass on Friday, September 8.

His surgeon estimates his recovery period will be two to three weeks, after which Bishop Curry is expected to resume his regular work schedule. Please pray for Bishop Curry, his family, and his entire medical team.

O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to your servant Michael the help of your power, that his sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

You can read the statement by clicking here.

Maui Wildfire Relief

The island of Maui has been dealing with the worst wildfire in the history of Hawaii.

A Cup of Cold Water (pictured), a ministry of The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii, would appreciate monetary donations.

Click here to go to their page.

You can also donate to Hawaii Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, or VOAD. Donations can be used to purchase supplies locally and it is always needed.

Click here to learn more.

Do You Know Any Students Heading to LSU This Fall?

Centrally located on the campus of Louisiana State University, St. Alban’s Chapel is focused on our mission to welcome, encourage, prepare, and support LSU students. They are eager to receive any students looking for refuge, encouragement, friendship, and a hot, free meal.

St. Alban’s Chapel offers Sunday services at 10:30 (Holy Communion) and 6:00 (Compline). Their recharge! service (Sunday evenings), is an expanded service of Compline with music. The service is led by students and features familiar music, candlelight, intentional spaces of silence, and prayerful reflection on the scriptures.

They also offer bible studies and other events for students.

You can learn more by going to their website.

Photo: LSU students enjoy a crawfish boil.

Update From The Bishop's Office

In late Advent, Bishop Owensby’s Executive Assistant, Holly Davis, will be departing for maternity leave. The bishop and staff are preparing now for Holly’s time away with her first child. Some of Holly’s duties will be on hold during her leave and tasks that must continue will shift to other staff members.  

Please make note of the following:  

  • From October 15, 2023, to April 1, 2024, new applications for the Diocesan Ordination Process will not be accepted.  

  • The bishop’s 2024 visitation schedule will be announced on September 1, 2023. The ability to download materials for visitations will be available via the diocesan website.  

You will continue to be informed on how to interact with the diocese as processes unfold.

Stay tuned!  

Newsletter Schedule

The newsletter will be ramping up production as we go into the busier fall months. Beginning September 7, the newsletter will come to you every week. We look forward to sharing more stories and news.

Diocesan Events

Bridging The Gap: Truthful Conversations & Racial Healing

Join us on Saturday, October 14, to hear the remarkable story of the Rev. Avery Hamilton and Mr. Dean Woods, two men from different backgrounds who have come together to honor the legacy of the Colfax Massacre. The massacre, a shocking event in American history that occurred in 1873 in Grant Parish, Louisiana, resulted in the deaths of over 60 Black men who were asserting their constitutional rights. Up until now, it has largely been forgotten in the retelling of our history.

The Rev. Avery Hamilton, a Black man and the great-great-great grandson of Jesse McKinney, the first man killed in the massacre, is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Colfax. He grew up in Colfax without knowing about his family's past or the events that took place there. Dean, a white man in Houston and the great-grandson of Bedford Woods, a man who participated in the massacre, grew up in Louisiana without knowing about his family's connection to the event.

Avery and Dean’s talk will highlight how they have worked together to establish the Colfax Memorial Organization to correct a false historical narrative and offer a place of remembrance and reflection. They will also share their vision to continue to make a difference in their community and the world and provide a model of transformation and healing across racial and historical divides.

All are welcome to participate in this informative and inspirational event! Questions? Contact Joy Owensby.

Diocesan Convention Update

In response to feedback from congregations, and due to administrative changes in the Diocesan Office, the bishop has moved the date of the 2024 Annual Diocesan Convention to May 3-4. Location will still be in the Alexandria/Pineville area. Specifics about the venue will follow in due course.

Diocesan Calendar

Have you seen the calendar of events on the new diocesan website? Find diocesan events for various categories: Bishop's Visitation, Youth Events, Christian Formation Workshops, and more. Explore the diocesan calendar of events by clicking here.

Around the Diocese

Epiphany in Opelousas Celebrates Confirmation of Parishioner as Lafayette Chief of Police

Epiphany in Opelousas is proud to congratulate Judith Estorge on her confirmation as the Lafayette Chief of Police. Following her appointment in November 2022, she had a one-year probationary period. She was recently confirmed ahead of schedule.

Congratulations on your new position, Judith!

St. Paul's in Abbeville Donates Box Fans to Those in Need

St. Paul's in Abbeville purchased 18 box fans for some of the underserved in their community. The fans will be given out at the Christian Service Center in town. They continue to partner with brothers and sisters of other faith traditions to help those in need.

Photo: The Rev. Madge McLain stands outside of a car filled with box fans.

St. Thomas' On The Bayou in Monroe Hosts Second Annual Blessing of the Academic Year Service

St. Thomas' On The Bayou in Monroe hosted their second annual Blessing of the Academic Year service last week. They invited guests from University of Louisiana Monroe and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine to celebrate the beginning of a new school year. A reception was held afterwards.

They concluded the service with this blessing:

Grant our teachers an abundance of your wisdom. Prepare their hearts to welcome and love our loved ones, and we make sure to show them love and respect in return. Give them grace as they help students who aren't thriving, courage to say what needs to be said, tools and knowledge on how and when to speak love, and strength when they feel weak.

When they feel unseen, remind them that no moment goes unnoticed. They are shaping the future in one million small- yet incredibly important- ways every day. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of learning they share with us and our children. Bless them, Lord, and may they see even just a glimpse of how their faithfulness will forever impact generations to come.

Photo (Above): The Very Rev. Rita Jefferson gives the blessing for the academic year.

Photo (Below): The reception was hosted on the church's sun porch.

Enneagram: Loving Your Neighbor As Yourself

St. Paul's in Shreveport is going to be hosting Enneagram: Loving Your Neighbor As Yourself, a series of discussions held over two weeks. This will be hosted by Dann Wigner, who holds a doctorate in theology. This is free and open to the public.

Want to see your congregation or organization featured?

Share your ministry stories, announcements, and events with us through the Digital Hub on the diocesan website.

Outside the Diocese

World's Religions' Parliament Draws Thousands, Including Episcopalians, to its Chicago Gathering

The Episcopal Church didn’t send an official delegation to the Parliament of the World’s Religions, which took place Aug. 14-18 in Chicago, Illinois, but the Rev. Margaret Rose, the church’s deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations, said one wouldn’t know it, given the number of Episcopalians she encountered during the event.

Throughout the event Rose encountered Episcopalians from across the church, including House of Deputies Vice-President the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, members of Executive Council, and bishops, priests and church members who are connected to ecumenical or interfaith groups.

In total, over 6,500 people registered for the parliament, according to Religion New Service, representing 212 spiritual traditions and 95 countries.

You can read more by clicking here.

Photo: Jonor Lama (right) demonstrates the vibrations of singing bowls to Diane Maltester (left) in the exhibit hall of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Resources & Formation

Project Resource Fall 2023 Webinar Series

Project Resource equips stewardship teams with strategic training and flexible resources to design and execute annual stewardship campaigns which can be replicated and adapted in future years. Project Resource is dedicated to fostering cultural and systemic advancements around stewardship as a ministry in the Episcopal Church.

Project Resource is holding a series of webinars from September 10 through October 8. The course fee is $450 for a team of three members, with an additional cost of $125 per extra team member.

You can register by clicking here.

Bishop Owensby's Latest Blog Post

A Jesus Shaped Life - Jake Owensby

We say who Jesus is by how we live our lives.

Read More

The Episcopal Church Newsletter is handled by Thomas Stodghill, IV. Click here to submit a story.