Volume 8, Issue 2
March 14, 2014
From the Bishop's Office
   177th Convention of 
the Diocese of the
Episcopal Church of Louisiana

The 177th Convention of the Diocese of Louisiana is underway. Follow on Twitter and Facebook. Use #EDoLA. You can read Bishop Thompson's Convention Address and the results of the elections in the upcoming Churchwork.

Nominations and Reports: 

Convention nominees and reports are listed on the website. Go to:


Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath: March 13 - 16, 2014   

Your service is already planned, but it's not too late for your congregation to participate in the 2014 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath this coming week and weekend. Two simple and meaningful ways your congregation can participate:


#1 -Hand out the educational one-page flyer that drives home how effective background checks are in the 16 states (and DC) that have them. We know the public supports background checks, but very few people know just how effective they really are. Handing this one-pager out before, during, or after your service not only educates your congregants, but it asks them to use an online "tell a friend" form to educate others. You can also project the handout on a screen or wall, or recreate it in your next newsletter.

A wealth of resources (prayers, sample sermons, hymns and event ideas) for your gun violence prevention service... and more can be found on  Bishop's Against Gun Violence: http://bishopsagainstgunviolence.org/resources/

#2 - Add a prayer for peace to your already planned service. Let your congregants know that this week in 44 states across the nation, congregations like yours are learning, praying and acting in order to save lives through stronger gun violence prevention laws.

Check out sample prayers here. 


If you can commit to do either of the above, please let us and the hundreds of other participating congregations know by pledging participation at:  http://marchsabbath.org.   

In this issue
:: 177th Convention of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Louisiana
:: Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath
:: Lent Reflection
:: News from Around the Diocese
Ordination Anniversaries
March 2014


March 1 

The Rev. Tom Blackmon - Priest  


March 9 

The Rev. Edward Robertson - Priest  


March 20 

The Rev. Bryan Owen - Priest  


March 24 

The Rev. Francis Daunt - Priest  


March 28 

The Rev. David Fargo - Priest  

March 30

The Rev. Walter Baer - Deacon  

 Episcopal Church News
Presiding Bishop's Lent Reflection 
The reality is that the season of Lent, which Christians have practiced for so many centuries, is about the same kind of yearning for greater light in the world, whether you live in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere.  


The word "Lent" means "lengthen" and it's about the days getting longer.  The early Church began to practice a season of preparation for those who would be baptized at Easter, and before too long other members of the Christian community joined those candidates for baptism as an act of solidarity.  


It was a season during which Christians and future Christians learned about the disciplines of the faith - prayer and study and fasting and giving alms, sharing what they have.  


But the reality is that, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, the lengthening days were often times of famine and hunger, when people had used up their winter food stores and the spring had not yet produced more food to feed people.  Acting in solidarity with those who go hungry is a piece of what it means to be a Christian.  To be a follower of Jesus is to seek the healing of the whole world.  


And Lent is a time when we practice those disciplines as acts of solidarity with the broken and hungry and ill and despised parts of the world.


I would invite you this Lent to think about your Lenten practice as an exercise in solidarity with all that is - with other human beings and with all of creation.  That is most fundamentally what Jesus is about. He is about healing and restoring that broken world.  


So as you enter Lent, consider how you will live in solidarity with those who are hungry, or broken, or ill in one way or another.


May you have a blessed Lent this year, and may it yield greater light in the world.


The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

News From Around the Diocese
Churches Take Ash Wednesday to the Streets

by Cecile Torbergsen

On Ash Wednesday, March 5, Christ Episcopal Church, Slidell offered "Ashes to Go," a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, outside the church at 1534 Seventh Street.


Christ Church is part of a new nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to repent of past wrongdoing and seek forgiveness and renewal. 


In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the face at the beginning of that season as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God's forgiveness. Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who have lost their connection to a church, or have never participated before.


Ashes to Go is about bringing the important traditions of our faith out from behind church walls and into the world.   As people get busier and busier, we need the church in new and non-traditional ways. We especially need reminders of forgiveness. The people who accept ashes on the street are often people longing to make a connection between their faith and the forces of daily life, and Ashes to Go helps them feel that connection.


This is the second year that Father Harry Jenkins, Rector at Christ Episcopal Church in Slidell participated in Ashes to Go. Father Jenkins said that over 75 cars stopped to get ashes.  



Christ Church Cathedral Offered Ashes to Go in Three Location in New Orleans


Christ Church Cathedral brought Ash Wednesday to over 300 people in three locations around New Orleans- Audubon Park, Lafayette Square, and in front of the Cathedral along the streetcar line.  




Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace


by Deacon Charles deGravelles  


"Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal Gathering to Challenge the Epidemic of Violence," will be held April 9 - 11, 2014 in Oklahoma City. Episcopalians are invited to  come together to renew their commitment to the Gospel call to make peace in a world of violence. Through deep conversation, prayer, and skill-building, the event aims to empower the Church to address violence and reclaim our role in society as workers for nonviolence and peace.


The event will feature major speakers and workshops covering a wide range of topics related to violence and strategies for peace. Among those many topics are: 

  •          Orphans of Justice: The Generational Cycle of Crime and Incarceration: Lindsay Fry-Geier, MHR, Executive Director of New Hope and Judy Gann, Executive Director Emeritus of New Hope
  •          Respecting the Dignity of Those Impacted by Intimate Partner Violence:  Robin Hammeal-Urban, Canon for Mission Integrity and Training, Diocese of Connecticut, and the Rev. Sarah Shofstall, St. Barnabas Church, Bay Village, OH, Diocese of Ohio.
  •          The Contemplative Life and Non-violence: Brother James Michael Dowd
  •          Welcoming Communities: Preventative Medicine and Antidote to the Epidemic of Violence: Allison Duvall, Program Manager for Church Relations and Co- Sponsorship, Episcopal Migration Ministries
  •          Liturgy after Christendom: the Rev. Paul Fromberg, St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco, CA; Charles Rotramel, Chief Executive Officer of Houston revision; the Rev. Matthew Russell, Duke Divinity School
  •          Laws Save Lives: How the faith community can make them happen: Vincent DeMarco, National Coordinator, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence
  •          Becoming Radical: How to Teach Non-Violence to the Church: the Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis, faith-based organizational consultant


Also scheduled is a panel discussion, Episcopal Responses to Violence, highlighting the unique and varied ways that the Episcopal Church is responding to violence and working to change the culture of violence. Panelists include: Alex Baumgarten, Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations; Brother James Dowd; Matthew Ellis, National Episcopal Health Ministries; Kay Collier McLaughlin, author, Diocese of Lexington; Julia McMahaon, B-PEACE for Jorge from the Diocese of Massachusetts.


Events will include  a service at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and a Eucharist with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preaching.


According to even planners, Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace will focus on four pillars: advocacy, education, liturgy, and pastoral care. These four areas are key avenues that our Church can use to address the culture of violence within and outside of the Church and will be woven throughout all aspects of the event including plenary time, workshops, small group conversations, and worship.


For more information and to register for the event, go to http://epiok.org/reclaiming-the-gospel-info.html, email [email protected] or call Deacon Charles deGravelles at 225-223-0607.


The Rebuilding of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Houma

A few recent pictures of the rebuilding of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Houma. Constructed is estimated to be completed in August 2014.

Double Dog Dare You Crock Pot Cook-Off
Hank Casserleigh, accepting the First Prize Golden Spoon (for his "Beer Basted Ribs") from ECS pres. Rosemary Willis, with Father Harry Jenkins in the middle.

by Cecile Torbergsen


The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of Christ Episcopal Church Slidell held their "Second Annual Double Dog Dare You Crock Pot Cook-off" on Friday, February 21.  Scores of tasters enjoyed sampling from dozens of Crock Pots, and there were no duplicate recipes.  Bluegrass and Country music provided by the "The North Shore Ramblers" added to the festive atmosphere.  People could taste, sing and dance, taste some good food, vote for their favorite dish, and even buy more votes for their favorite!

The Winners with a link to the recipes:
1st Prize Golden Spoon-
Hank Casserleigh's "Beer Basted Ribs"
2nd Prize Silver Spoon-
Viki Taylor's "Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches" 

3rd Prize Copper Spoon- Mary Slazer's "Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Cherry Chocolate Cake" 


St. James Social Outreach Committee Grant Applications


The mission of the Social Outreach Committee of St. James is to dedicate those funds that represent our tithe to the community-at-large to assist those in great physical or spiritual need.


As an integral part of its outreach mission to the local and diocesan community, St. James annually awards small grants to Baton Rouge area and diocesan charitable organizations.


Applications are now invited for the 2014 grant term. Applications must be submitted on the official form available here, (or, in paper copy by request to the parish mail or phone, attn: Outreach Committee) and submitted no later than May 15, 2014 to [email protected].


Read more about the St. James Outreach Committee here, and previous grant recipients, here.


Cookies are sent to Kairos #17 with Love and Prayers from St. Michael's, Mandeville


Parishioners of St. Michael's Episcopal Church baked cookies for Karios #17 being held this weekend at Rayburn Correctional Center. Kairos is a Christian, volunteer, lay-led, ecumenical, international prison ministry in 31 states and in 8 other countries. We are called by God to visit the prisons and share the love of Christ with those impacted by incarceration. Kairos offers inmates the opportunity to receive God's forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ, and to grow in their faith and servanthood in a Christian community on the prison compound. http://kpmifoundation.org/index.php



The Prison Ministry in Louisiana Marks 24th Anniversary with a Reunion and Renewal Celebration


The  prison ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana will celebrate its 24th anniversary with a reunion and renewal celebration at Trinity Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge on Sunday, March 30 at 2 pm. The reunion will feature a keynote address by internationally known Anglican theologian, Professor David F. Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, England. The reunion will also feature workshop speakers Deacon Charles deGravelles, teacher and long-time prison minister, defense attorney Keith Nordyke, a panel of ex-offenders who have served time at Louisiana's Angola prison, and others involved in working and ministering within the criminal justice system.  The reunion is free and open to the public, especially those who have served at any time in prison ministry or who may be interested in serving. The event will close with Holy Eucharist as shared with the congregation of Trinity Church, at 5:00 p.m.

The event will mark Professor Ford's second visit to Louisiana and to Angola prison; he will speak on "The Gospel of John and the Drama of Living Today".  His remarks will focus attention on reading the Bible, inter-faith engagement and discipleship and will have application not just to prison ministry but to the wider effort of the Church to live faithfully in the current day.  Joining Professor Ford will be his wife, the Reverend Deborah Harding, an ordained priest in the Church of England, both of whom also share a keen interest in prison ministry.

As a founder of the Centre for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies at Cambridge and as a founding director of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme, Professor Ford is credited with bringing new energy and perspective to the study of theology.  He is a noted lecturer and author and is perhaps most widely known for his book, The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology in the Twentieth Century (Blackwell, 1997), now in its third printing and a leading textbook in the English speaking world, China and Korea. His latest scholarship focuses on the 'Gospel of John' and is scheduled for publication in October 2014 under the title The Drama of Living: Becoming Wise in the Spirit.

Following their celebration with "outmate" ministers at the Reunion and Renewal Event, the Fords will conduct an intensive three-day workshop for selected inmates at Louisiana State Prison at Angola, bringing the first three chapters of the Gospel of John into theological conversation with the poetry of Micheal O'Siadhail, the diaries of holocaust victim Etty Hillesum, and the ministry of reconciliation as presented in an unpublished manuscript of N. T. Wright.  The Fords' gracious visit to the Diocese of Louisiana provides a rare opportunity for Episcopalians to share in ministry with Anglicans in our own backyard.  

Those interested are encouraged to pre-register by emailing [email protected] ) or calling (225-638-8433), but pre-registering is not necessary to attend.   


All Souls Announces Six Week Summer Camp

by The Rev. Edward Thompson

 This Summer All Souls Church and Community Center offers a six-week summer enrichment program called CAMP S.O.A.R. (Summer of Opportunity & Academic Rigor) for boys and girls ages 5 to 13, which will provide daily: Prayer, Pledge, Get Fit Exercise Regiment, Healthy Food, School/Home Transportation and Weekly Theme-Based Trips. Each week a partner organization plans activities around a theme such as art, music, and cooking. We also provide weekly opportunities for swimming. Our summer camps are much sought after in our neighborhood, enrolling 60 children last summer and 80 the year before that.


I'm writing to offer you the opportunity to sponsor the printing of our Summer Camp T-shirts! For a tax-deductible donation of $50, we will feature your business' Logo and/or Name on the back of 150 T-shirts. Our kids come from low-income families that can barely afford the meager fees, much less the cost of the shirts. That is why we are asking for your support.


The mission of All Souls Community Center is to build and sustain the renaissance of the Historic Lower Ninth Ward. We focus on our most precious resource: the children of this beloved neighborhood. To support their myriad needs, we offer a comprehensive after-school program during Fall, Winter and Spring of the school year. Confronting the direct correlation between literacy and incarceration, our purpose is to break the cycles of poverty and violence by helping children achieve personal and professional development goals. Further, we aim to create the conditions necessary to raise healthy, successful children through parent education, community-building, and strategic partnerships.


If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (504-320-4857) or my staff - Happy Johnson and Carolina Gallop.  Our telephone number is 504-218-8995. Please make your check payable to: All Souls Episcopal Church.  Our address is 5500 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA  70117.   


St. Michael's Youth "Walked" in the Push Mow Parade

Zombies from the St. Michael's Episcopal Church Youth Group participated in the Push Mow Parade on February 22 in Abita Springs. The parade theme was Reality Shows of the Future and the group went as "walkers" for their show: "Zombie/Jersey/Northshore." 




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.