SEPTEMBER
Discipleship & Discernment
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 September is Discipleship & Discernment. Spiritual growth is such a priority in the life of our diocese that we have named “Discipleship” and “Discernment” as two of our three initiatives. We want to encourage a culture of discipleship and discernment in every congregation. Wherever stage any individual of any age is on in their faith journey, our goal is that they have access to support and resources that help to form them as a disciple in the image of Christ.

We are now in the “Renewing” phase of our Jubilee timeline, and that means that we need to be intentionally looking ahead and discerning how we are being called to move the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast into the next 50 years. As a group of disciples, we cannot achieve that goal without first intentionally participating and going deeper into our own faith formation.
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. 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!
Encourage participation in our annual Discipleship Day on September 19. See details below.

Share the Discipleship Resources menu with church members, ministry groups or a fr. Discuss what option best suits their needs. View the menu of resources here. 

Upcoming Events
September 19 | 9:30 am to 2:30 pm online
Discipleship Day 2020 with Dr. Lisa Kimball
Marked as Christ’s Own Forever: A Celebration of Living Baptized in Today’s World

Discipleship Day is our annual gathering for a day of fellowship and workshops focused on preparing us as disciples for being the church. This year will be a time to gather online as a whole diocese to investigate ways in which we might become more confident about our calling as the baptized faithful in this fast-changing world.

We will hear from Dr. Lisa Kimball of Virginia Theological Seminary and other leaders as we celebrate the new opportunities and ministries in our diocese such as Baptized for Life. We will also break out into small groups to investigate and discover the challenges before us as citizens of the kingdom. Our time together will be framed by the dynamism of our baptismal covenant and how it is lived out in our own shared stories and witness.
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 October is Evangelism. Evangelism has gotten a bad reputation lately, and we have shied away from it. But really, it can be a beautiful and energizing practice of recalling how Christ has loved us into new life and given us really great reasons to smile. Every baptized Episcopalian has promised to proclaim with our words and lives the loving, liberating and life-giving good news of Jesus Christ. This October we invite you to give Evangelism a new rap. Try it out with new eyes and an open heart, and seek to celebrate Evangelism as spiritual practice of seeking, naming and celebrating Jesus’ loving presence in the stories of all people…and then invite everyone to more!

We will be updating several of our materials for October! Be sure to check them out soon to help with your October planning!

Gratitude
Our thanks to the 50th Jubilee Anniversary subcommittee on outreach, justice and stewardship who put together the discipleship and discernment toolkit: Joy Blaylock, David Knight, Brad Moore and Teresa Phares.
Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast | www.diocgc.org/jubilee-celebration