EDOLA News | February 2020
Volume 14, Issue 2
Announcements from the Bishop's Office
Join us for These Lenten Book Studies

This coming Lent I want to introduce to the Diocese two books that have caused significant reflection.  The first is Bowing Toward Babylon by Craig M. Watts.  The second selection is Care for Creation (a Franciscan spirituality of the earth) by Ilia Delio, O.S.F., Keith Douglass Warner, O.S.F., and Pamela Wood.

"Bowing Toward Babylon is not simply another book about civil religion...Watts powerfully argues that Christian nationalism undermines the identity of the church by emphasizing our bonds to other Americans rather than our intimate connections to Christians, of whatever nation, in the one body of Christ."

As scripture points out, we cannot serve two masters.  Watts challenges us to be honest in identifying whom we follow.  The answers may not be that easy.

The second book also speaks to matters at hand.  Drive south to Cocodrie and beyond the natural beauty of the area, you will notice that erosion is threatening properties held by families for generations.  Because of our thirst for natural resources and our lack of interest in conservation, we have thwarted the care of the earth's soul.  We are paying the price now for the sins of our fathers and this will continue until we re-enter a relationship with the Creator.  This book focuses on ecology, theology and reflective action and the authors give us tangible insights that encourage conversation and action.

Each week I will send out a reflection meant to give our Diocese something to ponder.  It is my hope that small groups will gather to explore how thoughts are being provoked and questioned.  I encourage you to ask: where is God in the midst of our discovery?

The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana

Subscribe  here to receive the reflections by email every Wednesday morning during Lent. You can also follow on our Facebook page  here or view on our website  here.

Join the Environmental Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana for a Lenten Study on Environmental Justice. We will read  Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth . Every week during Lent, a member of the Environmental Commission will reflect on two chapters. To follow along, you can sign up  here  to receive the reflections by email, follow on our Facebook page  here , or read the reflections on the EDOLA blog  here .
Week 1 on March 3: Chapters 1 and 2 with reflection questions.    
Week 2 on March 10: Chapters 3 and 4 with reflection questions   
Week 3 on March 17:  Chapters 5 and 6 with reflection questions   
Week 4 on March 24:  Chapters 7 and 8 with reflection questions   
Week 5 on March 31: Chapters 9 and 10 with reflection questions   
Week 6 on April 7: Chapters 11 and 12 with reflection questions
About the book: Three of the greatest minds in Franciscan theology, Ilia Delio, O.S.F., Franciscan Keith Douglass Warner, O.F.M., and Pamela Wood, come together to discuss one of the greatest crises of our time-the destruction of the Earth. This book takes both a theological and practical approach to developing a Franciscan spirituality of the earth. Four sections highlight the distinct relationships creation has with the world: incarnation, community, contemplation and conversion. In this meticulously researched book, the authors propose ways in which we can all understand our own roles in relationship to the Earth and ways in which we can make it better.
UTO Grant: Bless

The focus of the annual grants UTO is Bless: Share faith, practice generosity and compassion, and proclaim the Good News of God in Christ with hope and humility. How is your congregation Walking the Way of Love and being a blessing to the community around them?

Deadline to submit a 2020 UTO grant: Applications must be submitted to Bishop Thompson's office by February 16. Email completed application to Cassandra Reiger at creiger@edola.org

Application information and forms are available  here
Upcoming Diocesan Events

February 7-9
Senior High Youth Rally
Solomon Episcopal Conference Center, 54296 Highway 445, Loranger
February 28-March 1
Lenten Silent Retreat
Solomon Episcopal Conference Center, 54296 Highway 445, Loranger

March 6-8
Men's Retreat
Solomon Episcopal Conference Center, 54296 Highway 445, Loranger
March 7 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Stepping Stones Retreat
St. Alban's Chapel
LSU Campus , Corner of Dalrymple Dr & Highland Rd, Baton Rouge
March 20-22
Happening #84
Solomon Episcopal Conference Center54296 Highway 445, Loranger

April 6 at 11 a.m.
Chrism Mass
Christ Church Cathedral
2919 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans
April 24-25
Inclusive Louisiana Retreat: Living the Way of Love
Solomon Episcopal Conference Center

Upcoming Bishop Visitations:  Click here for the schedule
News from The Episcopal Church
Top Headlines from the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs

Here are the top headlines from the Episcopal Church Office Of Public Affairs. To view all press releases,  click here.

Out and About in January
Clergy Transitions

Transitions in the Diocese

The Rev. Ralph Howe announced his retirement as senior associate of St. James, Baton Rouge, effective the end of July 2020.  
The Rev. Jerry Phillips is no longer serving as priest-in-charge of St. John's, Kenner. He will continue to serve as chaplain of St. James Place, Baton Rouge.
The Rev. Seamus Doyle has been called as priest-in-charge of St. John's, Kenner, effective February 2020. He will continue to serve as permanent supply priest of St. Timothy's, LaPlace. 
College of Presbyters

[photograph by the Rev. Canon John Kellogg] The priests of the Diocese of Louisiana gathered at the Solomon Episcopal Conference Center at the beginning of January for the College of Presbyters. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Karoline M. Lewis, Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary.
Evensong Gaudet

[Photograph by Karen Mackey, Diocese of Louisiana] On January 12, St. Luke's, New Orleans, held an Evensong to celebrate the feast of Blessed Frances Joseph-Gaudet. During the service, the recipients of current Gaudet grants and scholarships were acknowledge. Music was provided by a combined choir from St. Luke's and St. Paul's, New Orleans. The Rev. Rob Courtney delivered a homily and the Rev. Canon Ron Clingenpeel celebrated. 
Stewardship Summit

[Photograph by Karen Mackey, Diocese of Louisiana] Thank you to all those who came out to the Stewardship Summit at St. Augustine's, Metairie, on February 1. The keynote speaker was Kristine Miller of Horizons Stewardship. 
50th Earth Day Tree Planting Project
by the Rev. Robert Beazley, St. Michael's, Mandeville

This year's Earth Day will be its 50th and it is my hope that the Diocese of Louisiana will plant trees on at least 50 sites to commemorate the anniversary. Windmill Nursery has partnered in this venture to supply three types of trees - Maple, Red Bud, and Live Oak at $50 each. These trees can be planted in memory or in honor of a loved one or in honor of a milestone in the life of your parish i.e. all the newborn members of the parish, newly baptized, the graduating class of school,  A record of all trees and recognitions will be kept. Email  the Rev. Robert Beazley for any questions and follow this link for the order form:  EDOLA Tree Project

Photo of the Month
Festival of Lights

[Photograph from the St. Francis, Denham Springs Facebook page] Celebrating the Festival of Lights during a Taize service at St. Francis, Denham Springs. 
More News on the EDoLA Blog:

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