We acknowledge that we are in strange and unprecedented times, but also recognize the importance of continuing, as able, to celebrate our anniversary year as something we can do together while we are apart.

This year, the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast is celebrating its 50th Jubilee Anniversary. Each month of 2020, we have chosen a particular focus that honors our life in Christ in very special ways and highlights our theme of Remember, Reorient, Renew. We've also created a toolkit full of resources to help us celebrate together. All of our resources for the year are available on our website at www.diocgc.org/jubilee-celebration.
The theme for October is Evangelism. Every baptized Episcopalian has vowed to proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ. For us, evangelism is the spiritual practice of seeking, naming and celebrating Jesus’ loving presence in the stories of all people…and then inviting everyone to more!
Right now in this season of social distancing and discord, an unprecedented time when we’re experiencing so much separation, it’s especially hard to imagine how we might build on or deepen our connections with God and each other.

We might assume, on the surface of things, that we can’t “connect” - but we can! There really is so much to which we can invite people, and the reality is that they - and we - might need that invitation now more than ever.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, we invite you to give evangelism a try this October. Try it out with new eyes and an open heart. We know that God is always present even when we may not be meeting in person. Now is a time when we especially need to remember our connections and hear the stories that name and celebrate God’s loving presence and give us all the opportunity to share those stories.
Collect for Our Jubilee Year
Lord God of all creation, fill us with your grace as we remember your kindness and goodness towards us, through providence and through struggle; and let the trumpets proclaim the year of Jubilee, a year of the Lord’s favor, as we dedicate ourselves to reorient our mission efforts to renew your Gospel in our midst. May your Spirit inspire us, we pray in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect for Evangelism
Lord Jesus Christ, you proclaimed by word and example the loving, liberating, and life-giving good news of God, that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, following you in that way of evangelism, may be transformed as we seek, name and celebrate your loving presence in the stories of all people, and strive for more of you and your kingdom; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
Options for Participation*
*Due to current restrictions for our in-person worship, modification of the below options may be necessary for online participation. Be creative!
Be Together with others for a one-hour Storytelling workshop. There are several dates and options to be able to participate virtually or in-person. Find the full schedule and links to register here.

Encourage everyone in your parish to invite a friend to MORE on October 25th. Get some pointers here.

Incorporate the Diocesan Collect for Evangelism (above) at the end of your prayers of the people each week during October.

Invite an Evangelism Catalyst to lead workshops, trainings, coach, consult, and support you in the spiritual practice of evangelism. See list of Evangelism Catalysts here.

Distribute the Evangelism Bulletin insert along with your Sunday bulletins. Here is the bulletin.

Use the additional material found in your 50th Jubilee Celebration Toolkit to deepen your practice of Evangelism.
Celebrate Evangelism in October by joining a Storytelling workshop! 

Everyone, including you, has a story. God is in each story, and it’s worth sharing and listening. In the Episcopal tradition, Evangelism is the spiritual practice of seeking, naming and celebrating Jesus’ loving presence in the stories of all people…and then inviting everyone to more! Your story needs to be told. Other stories need to be heard.

Join us for a one hour workshop to discover your stories, receive the stories of others, and learn to invite others to more! Dates and times are listed below in the Upcoming Events section or click the green button below for schedule and sign-up options.
Diocesan Evangelism Task Force

We are thrilled to announce that the newly ordained Rev. Deacon Lydia Johnson will be taking over as point leader for our Diocesan Evangelism Task Force. Rev. Deacon Lydia brings great leadership and energy to her new role. Contact her to discuss how the task force can help you engage in spiritual practices that seek, name, and celebrate Jesus’ loving presence in the stories of all people and then invite them to MORE with God. Contact Rev. Deacon Lydia.

Evangelism catalysts from the Diocesan Evangelism Task Force are prepared to lead workshops, trainings, coach and consult on all things evangelism!
Evangelism Grant Opportunity

Episcopal institutions can now apply for the next round of the Episcopal Evangelism Grants Program, designed to fund local and regional evangelism efforts in the Episcopal Church. The application deadline is November 15.

The new grant cycle will focus on projects that explore new methods of evangelism during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact the Rev. Deacon Lydia Johnson, chairperson of our Diocesan Evangelism Task Force, or the Rev. Kammy Young, a member of the grants committee, for more information or assistance at lydia.knizley.johnson@gmail.com or kammy@diocgc.org.

You can find a 12-minute informational webinar and the application here at Evangelism Grants. The Grants Committee will consider proposals for up to $2,000 for an individual congregation and up to $8,000 for multi-church, diocesan, provincial and other regional collaborations. Last year, seven of the 56 applications were from the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast and two were recipients: Spiritually Homeless - LGBTQ+ is in Crestview, Florida and CCC - Evangelism 101 is in Mobile, Alabama. We can do it again!

Upcoming Events
October 3
Youth led Evening Prayer Service (virtual) - 6:30pm WATCH IT HERE

October 6
Storytelling Workshops (virtual) - 11am and 5pm

October 10
Storytelling Workshops (in-person) - 10am at St. Simon’s On the Sound, Fort Walton Beach; 10:30am at Grace, Panama City Beach; 4pm at St. James, Fairhope

October 11
Murray House Sunday Worship Service (virtual) - 10:30am WATCH IT HERE
Storytelling Workshop (virtual) - 4pm

October 14
Storytelling Workshop (virtual) - 5:30pm

October 17
Storytelling Workshop (virtual) - 6pm contact Bridgett at (251) 709-6579 for link to join
Storytelling Workshop (in-person) - 2pm at Church of the Nativity, Dothan

October 18
Storytelling Workshops (in-person) - 9am at St. Mary’s, Coden; 1pm at St. Cyprian’s, Pensacola; 4pm at St. Paul’s, Mobile

October 25
Invite a Friend to MORE Sunday
December 3-5 Celebration of Our 50th Jubilee Anniversary Modified to Online Format

We would like to announce that we will hold a series of live virtual events to celebrate our 50 years as a diocese, December 3-5, 2020, in lieu of holding in-person gatherings.

After several months of waiting to see how public health safety and social distancing guidelines would evolve due to the coronavirus (and in consultation with Presiding Bishop Curry, his staff and health safety experts), Bishop Russell, diocesan staff, and the 50th Jubilee Celebration Committee have determined that the best and safest course is to modify our original December celebration.

Instead, we are planning to host several engaging virtual opportunities to celebrate together. These plans include worship, music and live conversation with our Jubilee guests, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bryan Stevenson - all in an online format. We will not gather in-person. We will have specific details available to you soon; until then, continue holding the dates, December 3-5, 2020, to join us online.

We appreciate your understanding and flexibility, and ask for your prayers and support as we plan our 50th Jubilee Celebration event!
Music for Our Jubilee Year Celebration
Our Jubilee Hymn
Christopher Powell of Christ Church Cathedral in Mobile was commissioned to compose our Jubilee Hymn, and we feel it accurately portrays our diocese and our life together in Christ. We invite you to learn the hymn with the hope that when we can safely sing once again in our churches, that we can proclaim our joyful Jubilee. For now, corporate singing is not allowed in our churches in order to keep everyone safer from the coronavirus; however, we encourage you to learn the hymn on your own, or watch the video of select choir members from Christ Church Cathedral singing the hymn.

Next Month...
The theme for November is Generosity & Sharing. Stewardship season typically takes place in the fall for most churches - a time when we ask ourselves how we can offer our time, talent, and treasure. So during this month of our Jubilee year, we hope you will join us in celebrating and cultivating a culture of generosity and sharing. Sometimes it takes an intentional approach from church leaders to help people understand that these are spiritual issues at the heart of every congregation and community.

Our thanks to the 50th Jubilee Anniversary subcommittee on evangelism and proclamation who put together the October toolkit: Mia Jerrems, Salem Saloom, and Kammy Young; with a special thank you to Lydia Johnson for helping the subcommittee.
Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast | www.diocgc.org/jubilee-celebration