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Giving Thanks to the Community of Episcopalians in the Recovery Efforts of the Hurricanes of ’05

  “We give thanks for the community” is our mantra here in the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana as we reflect on the 10th anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina on August 29th and Hurricane Rita on September 24. Weighing heavy on our hearts though is the grief of all the people who suffered (still suffering) unimaginable loss and for whom this anniversary brought back nightmarish memories. At this anniversary we want to give thanks to the people across our diocese and across the world who came together to shine the light of God on all those suffering. Relief efforts began immediately after the storm and a few of the programs born in the wake of Hurricane Katrina are still operating today. We applaud all those who gave of their time to bring our storm ravaged diocese back to life and provided hope to so many. Thank you to all those, especially the churches in the northern parts of our diocese, who received and cared for the hurricane evacuees. Thank you to the 15,000+ people from around the world who volunteered with us to gut flooded homes, float drywall, paint, serve meals, offer prayer and support, held our hands and listened to our stories. Thank you to all those who made donations to help us rebuild our churches, our community, our homes. We give thanks to Episcopal Relief and Development for being an early partner in our recovery. You stood by our side throughout these years and we are truly grateful. Listed below is a look at the relief work of our churches starting from the first early days after the storms through around 2007. The information was complied from Churchwork, Episcopal Community... read more

A Letter to The Episcopal Church From the Presiding Bishop, President of the House of Deputies

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have issued a letter calling on Episcopal congregations to participate in “Confession, Repentance, and Commitment to End Racism Sunday” on September 6. The letter follows: September 1, 2015 Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ: On June 17, nine members of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, were murdered by a white racist during their weekly bible study. Just a few days later at General Convention in Salt Lake City, we committed ourselves to stand in solidarity with the AME Church as they respond with acts of forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice (Resolution A302). Now our sisters and brothers in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church have asked us to make that solidarity visible by participating in “Confession, Repentance, and Commitment to End Racism Sunday” on Sunday, September 6. We ask all Episcopal congregations to join this ecumenical effort with prayer and action. “Racism will not end with the passage of legislation alone; it will also require a change of heart and thinking,” writes AME Bishop Reginald T. Jackson. “This is an effort which the faith community must lead, and be the conscience of the nation. We will call upon every church, temple, mosque and faith communion to make their worship service onthis Sunday a time to confess and repent for the sin and evil of racism, this includes ignoring, tolerating and accepting racism, and to make a commitment to end racism by the example of our lives and actions.” The Episcopal Church, along with... read more

Out of Deep Waters: Jericho Road expands from house building to community building

[Episcopal News Service – New Orleans, Louisiana] Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative grew out of the ruins on Hurricane Katrina and is going strong 10 years later, albeit with a bigger mission. Eighty percent of the residents of Central City, the neighborhood behind Christ Church Cathedral, which faces the upscale Garden District, were renters when Katrina struck. Landlords received no government assistance to rebuild. “Low-income folks in this neighborhood didn’t have any homes to come back to,” said Holly Heine, Jericho Road’s director of operations and communications. Executive Director Nicole Barnes said Jericho Road has realized that “you can’t just build houses; you have to build a community.” That community building includes not only forming neighborhood associations that help residents get to know their neighbors and learn how to advocate for themselves, it involves reclaiming blighted properties and it also involves helping the many first-time homeowners develop the skills that will allow them to sustain their ownership for as long as they desire, Barnes explained. “The arc of ministry has been amazing,” said the Very Rev. David du Plantier, Christ Church Cathedral’s dean. This video is the fifth in a weeklong series of Episcopal News Service coverage. Other videos and stories are here. – The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg and Matthew Davies are editor/reporters for the Episcopal News Service. Source: Episcopal News... read more

Out of Deep Waters: Bishop says New Orleans ministry keeps evolving

[Episcopal News Service – New Orleans, Louisiana] It was clear to Diocese of Louisiana Bishop Morris Thompson Jr. when he began his episcopate in 2010, five years after Hurricane Katrina, that the storm had “deeply wounded” the people of the diocese. “I could be in a meeting and say ‘Tell me your experience’ and it would just flow out,” he said. “There’s still areas of New Orleans that are devastated,” said Thompson, adding because of New Orleanians’ ongoing needs, the diocese’s ministries that began in Katrina’s wake have continued to evolve 10 years on. This video is the fourth in a weeklong series of Episcopal News Service coverage. Other videos and stories are here. – The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg and Matthew Davies are editor/reporters for the Episcopal News Service. Source: Episcopal News... read more

Notice of Special Meeting of the 178th Convention

Notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the 178th Convention of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Louisiana has been called and will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 3552 Morning Glory Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 31, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. The business to come before this Special Meeting is as follows: Approval of the 2016 Annual Budget for the Diocese. Approval of the minimum pension base salary for clergy for 2016. Election and appointments for positions required to be filled prior to the Annual Meeting of the 179th Convention in Fall, 2016. Amendment to Canon 6 to provide for election of deputies and alternates to serve at Province IV Synod in conformity with the requirements of Resolution C027 of the 78th General Convention amending Canon 1.9.7 of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Pursuant to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese that the delegates and alternates who were elected or appointed for the Annual Meeting of the Convention held February 27-28, 2015 will serve as the delegates and alternates to any special meeting.  If any of these delegates or alternates will not be able to attend please list their substitutes on the form enclosed with this Notice. This Special Meeting of the 178th Convention has been called this 25th day of August, 2015 by The Rt. Rev’d Morris K. Thompson, Jr. pursuant to Article V.8(a) of the Constitution of the Diocese.       The Rt. Rev’d Morris K. Thompson, Jr. Bishop of Louisiana   More information here: Special Meeting of... read more

Out of Deep Waters: Gulf Coast, Episcopal Church remembers Katrina

[Episcopal News Service – Gulf Coast] It was Sunday; just six days after Hurricane Katrina had ripped a swath of death and destruction across the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. It was time for church. Not matter that Katrina had wiped the building known as St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Gulfport from its Gulf-side lot. The Rev. James “Bo” Roberts had not missed a Sunday service since he became rector of the then-123-year-old church in April 1969 before Hurricane Camille knocked the building of its foundation about the same time in August of that year. And so, on Sept. 3, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, the particle board sign along debris-strewn Church Avenue just north of sand-covered East Beach Boulevard read “Here! Mass 9:30 Bring Chair.” Roberts, a Gulf Coast native, rode out Camille in his home but nearly died. He stayed for Katrina, too. “The reason I stay is because you cannot get back after the storms,” he told reporters that Sunday morning after Katrina. “I wanted to be where I could check on my people and be available to them. Should any of them have died, I wanted to be here for that circumstance also.” Hurricane Katrina hit land along the Gulf Coast twice on Aug. 29, once near Buras, Louisiana, just after 8 a.m. local time with maximum winds estimated at 125 mph, and then near the Louisiana-Mississippi border about three hours later with slightly reduced winds. The storm caused a storm surge of 24 feet to 28 feet along the Mississippi coast and 10 to 20 feet along the southeastern Louisiana coast. In... read more

#KATRINA10- Connecting Communities Through Humble Leadership: A Reflection from Bishop Gray

#KATRINA10 BLOG SERIES ___________________________________________________________ It has been nearly a decade since Hurricane Katrina devastated many states along the gulf coast, leaving over 1,800 dead and tens of thousands displaced. Through the #KATRINA10 Blog Series we will be sharing stories over the next few weeks to commemorate the anniversary of the event and celebrate the progress made to rebuild communities.  We continue our series with a story from Bishop Duncan M. Gray III. ___________________________________________________________________________________ When Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi, we had some preparations in place, but Katrina overwhelmed them all. Both the folks we saw every day in our congregation and those who were not in our natural orbit were in need of help, but it was hard to know where to begin.  The first thing I did after the hurricane was reach out to my father [Bishop Duncan Gray, Jr.], who was a priest during Hurricane Camille. He said our response should first focus on the clergy, to allow them to be anchors for the congregations and, in turn, the congregations to be anchors within the communities. The idea was to infuse natural communities of mission with as much support as possible and make them concentric circles of long-lasting infrastructure for ministry. It just took putting on lenses of faith, to say ‘somewhere within this, there are the resources we need.’ It wasn’t always evident how we would get to the next step, so flexibility and openness were key. People like Carol Borne Spencer were natural connectors, bringing us into relationship with organizations like Episcopal Relief & Development, HOPE Credit Union and envisioning programs like Hallelujah Housing and Camp Coast Care –... read more

Video: Beginning of Construction of the New Diocesan Center

We are so happy to announce we have begun construction on the new home of our diocesan center at the former Grace Church on Canal Street in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans. The Rev. Canon Shannon Manning talks about the project and what is happening right now. Follow the progress here: www.edola.org/tag/new-diocesan-center/... read more

What’s New on Our New Website:

Welcome to our newly designed website. Some of the pages are still in development so if you are looking for something and you know exactly where to find on the old website, click here.

 

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