Volume 8, Issue 1
February 14, 2014
From the Bishop's Office

177th Convention of
the Diocese of the
Episcopal Church of Louisiana

March 14 & 15, 2014

Hosted by:
Episcopal High School of Baton Rouge
3200 Woodland Ridge Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA

Registration details and more information online:

Convention Hotel Reservations:  
  • Wyndam Garden Hotel - 5600 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70809 - Code "Episcopal Church Convention Group" for Friday night, March 14th.  
  • Room rate is $99 per night and includes breakfast for two adults. 
  • www.wyndham.com (225) 293-1199
These rooms will be available at this rate until Friday, February 14th. After this date rooms may be available, however there is no guarantee.  

Who, What, When Where 
A Look at the Communication Strategies of the Diocese of Louisiana
Over the past month a committee has reviewed the communication strategies of the Diocese of Louisiana in an effort to ensure the information and news sent to you is easily accessible, timely, and beneficial. You might have already noticed a few tweaks here and there but the following are the changes you should expect to see over the next few months:

We have split the EDOLA e-newsletter into two categories:
  • A weekly EDoLA Events- In this email you will receive a listing of events inviting you to Bible Studies, music concerts, special worship services, retreats, workshops, and many of the other exciting opportunities for sharing, learning, and growing with our sisters and brothers across the Diocese.
  • A monthly (sometimes more) EDOLA News- Here is where we will share important news and take a look back at what has happened. We will periodically send important breaking news announcements.  

Customize which email you receive. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update Profile/Email Address. 



You will see a slight change in the format. We will include more thought provoking reflections on seasonal and topical issues, news of historical importance, and spotlights on the ministries and the people making a difference in the Diocese of Louisiana.


The Website 

Look for a more resource rich website building on the content already available. Go to www.edola.org 


Social Media

Join the conversation on Facebook, follow prayers and live events on Twitter, and much more to come soon.   


If you have news or events to share, email [email protected].


We are looking for people willing to contribute their writing and / or photography skills. Contact Karen Mackey: [email protected]  

National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend
March 13-16

On March 13-16, faith communities across the country will participate in the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. We join over 50 national faith denominations and organizations in urging congregations to pledge participation at www.marchsabbath.org. Participating is as easy as incorporating a prayer, hymn, reading or educational activity into your already planned service. We know that in the 16 states where background checks are required for all handgun sales, fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partner, fewer people kill themselves with guns, and fewer law enforcement officers are killed with handguns. In seven of these states, even more lives are saved due to an additional safeguard in the form of fingerprint-based background checks. The problem is that many people don't know about these success stories and may be starting to lose hope. We can't let that happen! Your participation can help recommit your congregants to the cause and educate them that gun violence prevention laws do save lives. For event ideas and sample materials, visit www.marchsabbath.org.

For questions, contact Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence through http://marchsabbath.org/contact/
Clergy Transitions
The Rev. Harry Arthur Roark, III
Ordained Priest, St. Paul's, Riverside, CT

The Rev. Harry "Hal" Arthur Roark III was ordained a priest on December 10, 2013, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Riverside, CT, by Bishop Laura Jean Ahrens on behalf of Bishop Morris K. Thompson, Jr. Fr. Hal is serving as Curate of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. 

The Rev. Stephen Howard Crawford
Ordained Deacon, St. Alban's Chapel, Baton Rouge

Stephen Howard Crawford was ordained a transitional deacon at St. Alban's Chapel, Baton Rouge on December 28. He is completing his last semester of seminary at Duke Divinity School.
The Rev. Edward Thompson
Priest-in-Charge, St. Luke's, New Orleans

On January 1, The Rev. Edward Thompson accepted the call to serve as part-time Priest-in-Charge of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, New Orleans. Fr. Ed will continue to serve as Vicar of All Soul's Episcopal Church & Community Center, New Orleans.
The Rev. G. Nelson Tennison
Resigned, St. Matthew's, Bogalusa

The Rev. G. Nelson Tennison resigned as Priest-in-Charge of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Bogalusa effective January 1. Fr. Nelson has been added to the list of those priests available for supply work.
The Rev. Katherine Thomas Sharp McLean
Ordained Priest, Grace Memorial Episcopal, Hammond

Katherine Thomas Sharp McLean was ordained a priest at Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, Hammond on January 4. Mother Kit is serving as Curate of the Church of St. Michael & St. George, St. Louis, MO.
The Rev. Richard B. Easterling
Installed as Rector, St. George's, New Orleans

On January 5, The Rev. Richard B. Easterling was installed as the 22nd Rector of St. George's Episcopal Church, New Orleans.
The Rev. Canon Jervis Burns
Priest-in-Charge, St. Matthew's, Bogalusa

On January 20, The Rev. Canon Jervis Burns was called to serve as Priest-in-Charge of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Bogalusa. Canon Burns is licensed out of the Diocese of Mississippi. Recently, he served as supply priest at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Bayou du Large.
The Rev. Dennis Ryan
Interim Rector, Christ Church, Covington

The Rev. Dennis Ryan has accepted the call to serve as Interim Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Covington. Fr. Dennis comes to us from the Diocese of Mississippi where he most recently served as Rector of St. John's, Pascagoula.  He began his work at Christ Church on January 26. We welcome Fr. Dennis and his wife Susan to the Diocese of Louisiana.
The Rev. George Kontos
Died, February 1, 2014

We mourn the loss of The Rev. George Kontos who passed away on February 1. Fr. George was serving as Priest-in-Charge of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Innis. He also served at St. James Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge for 12 years where he developed the St. James Center for Spiritual Formation. Memorial service for Fr. George was held at St. Stephen's on February 6.  Please keep his wife, Terry, their family, and all those who grieve his loss in your prayers.
In this issue
:: 177th Convention of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Louisiana
:: National Gun Prevention Sabbath Weekend
:: Clergy Transitions
:: Episcopal Asset Map
:: From the Episcopal Archives
:: Funding Opportunities
:: News from Around the Diocese
Ordination Anniversaries
February 2014


February 1 

The Rev. Canon Chad Jones - Deacon 


February 2 

The Rev. Sharon Alexander - Deacon 

The Rev. John Craft - Deacon  

The Rev. Mary Anne Heine - Priest 


February 12 

The Rev. Roy Mellish - Priest  


February 23 

Deacon Michael Hackett - Deacon  

Deacon Louis Ogle - Deacon  

Deacon Kathy Comer - Deacon  


February 24 

The Rev. Susan Davidson - Priest 


February 28  

The Rev. Jefferson Millican - Deacon

The Rev. Edwin Webster - Deacon 


 Episcopal Church News
The Episcopal Asset Map


Episcopal Relief and Development's U.S. Disaster Program developed an invaluable tool that can be used for outreach ministry development as well as disaster preparation and response efforts. The Diocese of Louisiana was chosen by Episcopal Relief and Development to pilot the Asset Map Program. 


Some of the features you will find when you visit the Asset Map:

  • Map on the homepage showing the location of the churches, schools, and other facilities of the Diocese of Louisiana
  • Filters that allow the user to search for a specific ministry type
  • Each church / school has a designated page with a listing of their outreach ministries
  • A page dedicated for churches seeking volunteer assistance for their ministries
  • If a disaster should strike, the map would display information about the status of the churches and other facilities and post disaster relief details such as volunteer opportunities.
From the Episcopal Archives

The history of contributions to the Episcopal Church by its black clergy and black congregations is long and inspiring. To learn more about the legacy of black Episcopalians, visit "The Church Awakens: African Americans and the Struggle for Justice," an online exhibit of the Archives of The Episcopal Church:http://www.episcopalarchives.org/Afro-Anglican_history/exhibit
Funding Opportunity: United Thank Offering Grant 

UTO Logo"The Gospel of Love Proclaimed by Jesus Christ"

In recognizing the Five Marks of Mission, especially, to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation, the United Thank Offering is seeking to address the current culture of violence by supporting the mission of peace as expressed in the Gospel. The Gospel of Love-of Joy, Hope and Grace-proclaimed by Jesus Christ is the focus for the United Thank Offering Grants during the 2014 -2015 period.


Through the love and peace Christ promised, violence may be overcome. The United Thank Offering motto is "Our Change Changes Lives." During the coming granting season the United Thank Offering seeks to change lives in new ways.


More information about the UTO Grant guidelines and the program funding areas can be found here:


Grant applications are due to Bishop Thompson's Office for consideration on Friday, February 21, 2014.

Funding Opportunity: VTS Missionary Society Grant  

Established in 1835, The Missionary Society of Virginia Theological Seminary provides a link between those in the mission field and members of the seminary community.

The funds for the Missionary Society grants are received from weekly offerings during the worship life of the Seminary community. In the recent past, grants have averaged between $2000 and $3000. Grant requests, including both the application form and the project description should be received by February 28.

The VTS Missionary Society will select the projects to be funded by April of that year. All applicants will be notified as to whether or not they will receive a grant. The Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia grants funding for certain missionary projects. To be eligible for consideration, grant applications MUST be able to demonstrate that the Project includes spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ by word or deed as an important part of the overall effort and that the project has well-defined goals and state clearly how funds will be used. In addition, applications must be complete, which includes being approved and signed by the bishop or other appropriate authority, as determined by the Mission Council. Grants will not be made to the same program or site for more than two consecutive years nor will they be awarded directly to any individual for personal use.

For more information: http://www.vts.edu/podium/default.aspx?t=131982

News From Around the Diocese
Seeking Christ in All People: A Service of Commitment to Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation

by Lee Crean, Chair of the Racial Reconciliation Committee of the Diocese of Louisiana

On January 18, 2014 at Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans, people from all parts of our Diocese gathered for an historical service that recognized the need for all people to address the pervasive effects of racial discrimination. The Service of Commitment to Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation was a landmark reaffirmation by the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana of its continuing dedication to the elimination of all forms of race-based inequality in Southeastern Louisiana. And, while it served as an exclamation point on the end of the 2013 Year of Reconciliation, it is even more noteworthy as an important step in the Diocese's continuing aggregation of outreach, education, meaningful dialogue and positive community action endeavors that will be undertaken in the years to come.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori witnessed the service and delivered an inspirational sermon. One of the largest diocesan choirs was formed, led by conductor Dr. Caroline Carson (Director of Music, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, New Orleans) with organist Jarrett Follette (Canon Precentor, Christ Church Cathedral); pianist Victor Atkins;  soloists Tyrone Chambers and Erica Flowers; and Maria Elliott on oboe.

Text from the Presiding Bishop's sermon can be found here
Audio of the sermon here.

Audio from the entire service, including the soul stirring music, can be found here.

The service leaflet can be found here.

Photos from our Facebook Page can be found here.


WWNO report by Laine Kapplan-Levinson can be found here.  


PBS Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly to air a report in February. Check our Facebook page and weekly EDoLA events email for air date.  

Jericho Road's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

On Monday, January 20th, Jericho Road staff members didn't have a day OFF for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but rather a day ON.  Along with residents from the Faubourg Livaudais Neighborhood Association and outside volunteer groups including First Street Peck Wesley United Methodist Church, United Saints Recovery Project, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jews Pursuing Justice, Anshe Sfard Synagogue of New Orleans, Greater New Orleans Islamic Community, Hands On, Coast Guard, Sigma Gamma Rho, local school and community groups, members of our staff participated in a various service projects throughout Central City. These included the maintenance and beautification of specific lots and sprucing up a community park, both projects targeted by the Faubourg Livaudais residents as important work toward the revitalization of their neighborhood.  Staff also continued vacant land management strategy on a lot in the Saratoga Square Development implementing a technique to retard growth of weeds in an effort to bring more value to the lot and the neighborhood.


Altogether, we had a challenging and rewarding day in service honoring the very man who taught us that "One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. "  


Thank you, Dr. King.


The Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative is ministry of Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans.  


Grand Opening of the St. Paul's Senior Center
The St. Paul's Homecoming Center transforms to serve the elderly in the Gentilly Neighborhood of New Orleans.

The Homecoming Center, opened just after Hurricane Katrina, has shifted its focus from recovery and neighborhood services to a full time senior center. The goal is to transform lives of vulnerable seniors by meeting their everyday needs of a healthy meal, wholesome activities, and depression and isolation prevention. The program will offer seniors the chance to reconnect with their former social lives. Cathey Randolph will serve as the director of the Senior Center. The Grand Opening was held January 20, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

The St. Paul's Senior Center is a ministry of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, New Orleans.

Photos by St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Forma Tapestry Conference, "Forming Faith as an Epic Adventure"
Reflections on the Journey of Christian Formation from Alexandria, VA

by Amelia Arthur, Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for the Diocese of Louisiana


I had the privilege of traveling to Alexandria, Virginia in late January to attend the annual "Tapestry Conference" sponsored by Forma, the Episcopal Organization for Christian Formation. Adelaide Diaz, the Christian Education Director at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Laurie Bailey, who serves as Treasurer of the Forma organization, and I were the attendees from the Diocese of Louisiana. The theme of this year's Tapestry conference was "Faith as an Epic Adventure" and keynote speakers Lisa Kimball and Patricia Lyons did a wonderful job of facilitating a discussion about how we can view Christian Formation through the lens of the classical epic adventure. Referencing stories ranging from Homer's Odyssey to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, the speakers did an excellent job of relating classical tales of adventure to our own lifelong adventure of faith. Describing the journey of faith as an ever evolving arc that spans from birth to death, the speakers, workshops, and small group discussions invited all of the participants to think about how their Christian Formation programs might begin to think of themselves as part of this epic adventure, specific and necessary parts of an incredible whole that takes a lifetime to discover.  


Forma was inspiring to me as someone who serves as a resource for Christian Formation in the Diocese of Louisiana, it gave me great references and tools to use as I help churches in our diocese evaluate their programs, and great ideas about how we can engage individuals in a conversation about their faith. Beginning with God & Guinness in New Orleans on February 11th, the spring topic for God & Guinness in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and the Northshore will be "Faith as an Epic Adventure: Young Adults share what has shaped their faith." The speakers will range in age from 19-35 and will tell the story of their faith and the events that have shaped what and how they believe. If you are interested in more information about this year's Forma conference or the God & Guinness Young Adult program in the Diocese of Louisiana please contact me at [email protected] I also invite anyone who is interested in Christian Formation to join us for the 2015 Forma "Tapestry" Conference in Houston, Texas. For more information about the Forma Organization, the 2015 Tapestry Conference, or membership, please visit www.episcoforma.org, or email me, Amelia Arthur, at [email protected].

Living With Purpose, a Program of the Episcopal Service Corps
Accepting Application for the 2014-2015 Program Year

Our 2013-2014 Fellows
Applications are now being accepted for the 2014-2015 Living With Purpose Program year. The purpose of this program, hosted by Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, is to equip young adults to be effective leaders in our complex world, through hands-on service, community building, and spiritual formation. The Living With Purpose Fellowship is one program containing two houses, one in Baton Rouge and one in New Orleans. Orientation is combined, as are our monthly workshop days, where we get into deeper spiritual formation and social change trainings and seminars. In the course of the year, participants will also engage in discussions, seminars, and trainings designed to add greater depth of understanding of their community, their work, and their faith. The spiritual formation curriculum exposes Corps members to different spiritual practices, and educates through reading books together, journaling, and discussion. At each site placement, participants will develop their leadership potential and gain concepts, skills, and orientations essential for effective community engagement.

LWP welcomes passionate, adventurous applicants between the ages of 21-29. We are looking for those willing to work for social justice by serving those in need, to live in intentional community according to principles of cooperation and simplicity, and to engage in group discussions and personal discernment. We encourage spiritual seekers of all kinds to apply.

To learn more about the Living With Purpose Program or the Episcopal Service Corps, go to:
Mount Olivet Celebrates 160th Anniversary in the "Little Gothic Wood Church"

On February 5 Mount Olivet Episcopal Church celebrated the 160th Anniversary of their church building located on historic Algiers Point. Built in 1854, it is the oldest church building in continuous use on the westbank of New Orleans. This charming house of worship is built entirely of cypress and has withstood two fires and several hurricanes. The congregation of Mount Olivet was formerly organized in 1848 and officially received in the Diocese of Louisiana in 1851.

More photos of the anniversary celebration can be found on our Facebook Page.

News article about the anniversary celebration from The Times Picayune columnist, J. Scott Farrin, can be found here.
Happening #72, "Let Go & Let God"


by Amelia Arthur, Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for the Diocese of Louisiana


Photo: Debbie Eddens 


Over the weekend of February 7-9, 2014 the 72nd Happening Weekend was held at the Solomon Episcopal Conference Center. Happening is a youth led spiritual renewal weekend focused on helping young people engage in conversation about their faith, their relationship with God, and the things in their lives that influence who they are and what they believe. Happening 72 was an incredible weekend, 19 participants, or "happeners", were supported by 23 youth staff members, as well as 22 young adult and older adult chaperones and youth leaders. The theme of the weekend, led by Youth Rector Madeleine Masson from Christ Church, Covington, and Aly Dellinger from Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge, was "Let Go & Let God" and everyone involved truly lived into the theme. From the beginning of the weekend the participants were open to sharing stories about their faith, the highs and lows in their lives, and how they see God being a part of the process. The weekend came together in wonderful ways, throughout the weekend the youth staff and youth participants modeled being ministers to one another, supporting each other in prayer and action during the talks, small group sessions, and worship services. Many thanks to the participants, youth and adult staff, chaplains, and the families of the participants, without your faith and support Happening wouldn't be possible. Happening is held twice a year in the Diocese of Louisiana and is open to all youth in grades 9-12.

Walking in the Footsteps of St. Patrick and the Early Irish Saints 
September 29 - October 10, 2014
From the St. James Center for Spiritual Formation
Visit cathedrals, churches and archaeological sites, tour the Titanic Exhibit in Belfast and the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, see Celtic high crosses and The Book of Kells, and enjoy local Irish music. Led by Fr. Marcus Losack, Anglican Irish priest, author, publisher, pilgrimage leader and teacher.  He has recently published two significant new books on Saint Patrick.The trip package, including all lodging, most meals, tickets to all exhibits and local transportation, is $2950 per person. Air fare not included. Contact Marsha Wade, [email protected], for itinerary and registration form.

Photo: Marsha Wade
St. Philip's, New Orleans, Installs New Church Door

Photo: St. Philip's Episcopal Church
Our "Little Free Library" is Open For Business  
Christ Church Cathedral Installs a Little Free Library

by Travers Koerner, Curator of the Little Free Library and Associate Priest of Christ Church Cathedral


It started with a conversation. Karyn Murphy was in the Parish Office talking to Suzette and Charles. She asked, "Wouldn't a Little Free Library be a great thing for the Cathedral to sponsor?"


And, like many small conversations, it took took off, and contributions came from many to buy it.


On Saturday, February 8, 2014 Rick Muthune installed our Little Free Library on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and 6th Street, and passers-by started looking into it immediately.


I was able to take books from the book exchange shelf in Stuart Hall for filling it for the first time.  The library had to be refilled on Monday and Tuesday.  By Wednesday many books were gone.  A successful start to a new ministry.


I want to stock it with a variety of books to appeal to both young and old. Knowing that we have neighborhood children who live in poverty, I would like for us always to have children's picture books, story book, and books for young adults.  


What is a Little Free Library?
It's a "take a book, return a book" gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. You can, too! Go to www.littlefreelibrary.org to learn more about starting a Little Free Library in your neighborhood.
EDOLA News is published electronically monthly by the Diocese of Louisiana. For more information contact Karen Mackey at 504-895-6634 or [email protected] 

To submit news or events for the EDOLA:  [email protected].  
Submissions for the monthly EDOLA News due by the 25th of each month.
Submissions for the weekly EDOLA Events due by Thursday morning of each week.