Parish Notices June 20, 2018
Pastoral Letter to Members of The Church of the Epiphany
" Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength...Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31
Sisters and Brothers of Epiphany,
We simply cannot remain silent. What is happening to the children on the Texas border is a clear breach of our baptismal vow to respect the dignity of every human being. What is happening to the children on the Texas border is not what Jesus taught when he said to love God and love our neighbor. As a community of faith, we must stand with the oppressed, the children, and we must not make peace with injustice. Lord, have mercy on us.
Here are some resources to help you pray, connect, and act.
In God's abiding love,

Sharon+ and Benno+ 
The Rev. Dr. Sharon Hiers, Senior Associate Rector  
The Rev. Benno D. Pattison, Rector

From the Book of Common Prayer

For Social Justice
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Times of Conflict
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From our bishop, The Rt. Rev. Robert Wright, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta
Not political
It's not being political to say America shouldn't be in the business of breaking up families, it's Christian. It's not being political to say America shouldn't be putting children in kennel style cages, it's Christian. Not political to say that causing children's tears and mothers' fear is the best use of our nations might, it's Christian. It's not being political to remember that both a Republican and Democratic President previously chose not to separate families while enforcing policy. Not being political to remind the U.S. Attorney General that quoting the book of Romans is fine but, " you do unto the least of these, you do unto me." is probably more apt. It's not Liberal or Conservative to insist that we can have secure borders AND immigration policies that treat people with dignity, it's being decent. Life with God is a covenant for individuals and nations the bible tells us. Faithfulness to God especially in difficult hours is the measure of faithfulness. As an American, a veteran and someone trying to follow Jesus it breaks my heart to see so many cheer and jeer as economic and political refugees are treated like sub-humans. It's not being a political partisan to say that the abandonment of covenant with God leads to ruin. Inability to compassionately deal with the vulnerable is proof of inability to wield power. " Pride goeth before a fall." Proverbs 16:18
(Copied with permission from Bishop Wright from his Facebook post)

From our presiding bishop, The Very Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church
For those of us who are Christian, the standard of our conduct and the standard of our life is Jesus of Nazareth, probably one of the most compassionate people whoever walk the face of this earth. This Jesus tells us to love God, to love our neighbor, and that that is the fulfillment of all that God intends, fulfills the law and the prophets. And if that is the teaching of Jesus for those of us who are Christians, we're bidden to follow that and separating children from their parents is not loving your neighbor.
(excerpt from interview June 18, 2018 on The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell)
A few links to national events:
  • Action Alert on Family Separation and Access to Asylum, with steps on how to take action
  • June 21 Vigil for Family Unity. The Episcopal Church is hosting this all-day interfaith vigil on Capitol Hill (9 am-9 pm) on the longest day of the year. People can come to Washington DC or organize local vigils. A Virtual Vigil will be held on social media from 12-1 pm - learn more at this Facebook event link.
Local action: 
Start: June 30, 2018 - 10:00 a.m.  
Atlanta City Detention Center
254 Peachtree St SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Phone number for our senators:

Sonny Purdue 202.224.3521
Johnny Isakson 202.224.3643