EDOLA News | May 2020
Volume 14, Issue 4
Announcements from the Bishop's Office
A Pastoral Note From Bishop Thompson:
"How do we continue?"

Dear Friends in Christ,

We are living in extraordinary times. Society, as we previously knew it, no longer exists. Who could have predicted that we would worship online during Holy Week and Easter? Our daily lives are experiencing remarkable alterations. 

Although we are not able to gather together on Sundays, as is our custom, it is more important than ever that we "be the Church." Thank you for your continued support of our congregations during this time, as well as the many ways that you contribute to our broader community. 

A recent article in  The Atlantic included this comment: "Everyone wants to know when this will end. That's not the right question. The right question is: How do we continue?"

We will continue by listening to our leaders, loving our neighbors and praying for and serving our communities.

You are all in my prayers.


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


Share Your COVID-19 Story With Us

Share your COVID-19 experience with us. How has your faith sustained you through this difficult time? Where have you found God? Tell us about your experience with virtual worship? Were you able to reach out to serve others?

Submissions are open to parishioners of all ages of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana. Help us document this moment in time for future generations.  We will select up to seven stories for the June 2020 issue of Churchwork. Other stories will be placed on the EDOLA website and included  in a special collection in the diocesan archives. 

More information, a list of suggested writing prompts, and a submission link can be found here:  https://www.edola.org/share-covid-19-stories

Ministry Stories
Ministry & Mission in the Days of the COVID-19 Pandemic

[Screenshot from a video on the St. Mark's, Harvey Facebook page] Cars lined up outside St. Mark's in late April as people waited for the St. Mark's food pantry to open.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about immediate unprecedented changes across our globe. The need for assistance became abundantly clear in just a matter of days following the stay-at-home order issued by our local and state government. Here are some of the ways our churches and schools are reaching out in love to assist the community around them.

Christ Church, Covington, is an official collection drop-off site and parishioners are donating food to the Northshore Food Bank. Healthy parishioners have also volunteered as errand angels to assist those in the Northshore area who are unable to leave their homes. Father Winston Rice through his maritime pastoral ministry has been providing meals to those serving on the front line at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. 

Christ Church, Slidell, has continued their ministry to Family Promise. Parishioners are cooking meals for families sheltering in place. 

St. Anna's, New Orleans, is distributing groceries to close to a hundred families each month through their food pantry. Anna's Arts for Kids is continuing to provide virtual tutoring and art enrichment for the children of the Treme neighborhood. They have also loaned laptops to the children enrolled in their programs for remote school work. 

St. George's, New Orleans, has continued their Dragon Cafe feeding ministry. They are seeing an increase in people coming in for Sunday morning breakfast and those bringing meals to those who can't leave their home. 

St. John's, Thibodaux, parishioners are delivering snacks to healthcare workers at Thibodaux Regional Hospital.  

St. Luke's, Baton Rouge, is donating the proceeds from their Mite Box collection to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. The St. Luke's Sewist are sewing masks for healthcare workers. 

St. Mark's, Harvey, is distributing groceries to around 180 families per week through their food pantry.

St. Paul's, New Orleans, parishioners are running errands to assist the vulnerable members of their community. A volunteer technology team is assisting those who need help connecting to their community online.

St. Paul's School, New Orleans, is partnering with Gazebo Cafe to provide meals to front line workers at New Orleans East Hospital. 

Trinity Church, Baton Rouge, is continuing to feed people seeking assistance through their food pantry.

Trinity Church, New Orleans, through their Trinity Loaves and Fishes ministry has partnered with Culture Aid NOLA to distribute food to thousands of people in New Orleans. 

If you have a mission and ministry story to share, please email Karen Mackey at kmackey@edola.org
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 April
Clergy Transitions

Transitions in the Diocese

The Rev. Tommy Dillon has been appointed as dean of the Baton Rouge Deanery. He serves as the rector of St. Margaret's, Baton Rouge.

Transitions Into the Diocese
The Rev. Reid T. McCormick has been called to serve as the interim rector of Grace Church, St. Francisville, effective May 1, 2020. He has previously served in churches located in  North Carolina, Central Florida, and South Central Alabama. 
Deaths in the Diocese
The Rev. Canon William Barnwell died on March 27, 2020. He was 81 years old. He will be remembered for his work in social justice causes, his work with the Kairos prison ministry, and as an author. He served as the canon missioner of the National Cathedral, associate rector of Trinity Church, Boston, associate rector of Trinity Church, New Orleans, chaplain at Chapel of the Holy Spirit, New Orleans, and as a supply priest at St. Luke's, New Orleans. 

The Rt. Rev. James  Coleman died on May 4, 2020. He was 90 years old. Bishop  Coleman was the 20th rector of St. James Church  serving from  1975-1989. He also served churches in Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.  After his retirement in 2001,  he returned to  St. James to serve as bishop-in-residence
Holy Week and Easter 

This was no ordinary Holy Week and Easter. As Bishop Thompson stated in his pastoral note above: " Who could have predicted that we would worship online during Holy Week and Easter?" The clergy and church staff did a remarkable job walking us through the holiest of weeks. Here is a snapshot of what that looked like in our diocese. These are screenshots of the Good Friday through Easter virtual services held by many of our churches. 

Photo of the Month

[Photo and reflection from the St. Paul's Facebook Page] "It surprised me when I saw it. It looked new and unexpected. I didn't even remember there being a blooming plant in that spot." - Father Rob

Hope is a funny thing: it can display itself in seemingly small ways, it can manifest from tragic and debilitating circumstances. Hope can be as simple as a smile from a stranger, or even a blooming flower in an unexpected place. But the fact that we notice these small gestures of the world means that God's hands are present always and just when we need it the most.
More News on the EDoLA Blog:

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