The Presiding Bishop is Coming to Western Louisiana!

Mark your calendars now: the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will visit our diocese September 20-22, 2024. His agenda will include a diocesan-wide event, a gathering for clergy only, and preaching at Sunday morning worship.

Given his recent health issues, keep in mind that his itinerary will be limited to what is appropriate for his energy levels and continued well-being, and his travel will be restricted to the diocesan see (the Alexandria area).

We are very excited Bishop Curry will be with us, and we will provide more details about his visit as they become available.

Diocesan Events

Sign Up for Camp Hardtner's 2024 Season Today!

Summer is right around the corner, and it’s not too late to sign your child up for an experience like no other at Louisiana’s premier Episcopal summer camp!

Selected as one of “America’s Best Summer Camps 2023” by Newsweek, Camp Hardtner isn’t just about games; it’s about making memories, finding joy, and discovering new things about yourself.

Campers will find an experience that will stick with them all year long and possibly for life. An experience of relationship, community, belonging, and self-worth–all built upon the foundation that God’s love surrounds us and transforms our lives.

You can sign up by clicking here.

Diocesan Calendar

Have you seen the calendar of events on the new diocesan website? Find diocesan events for various categories: Bishop's Visitation, Youth Events, Christian Formation Workshops, and more. Explore the diocesan calendar of events by clicking here.

Around the Diocese

St. Paul's in Abbeville Gives Back to Community

St. Paul's in Abbeville recently gave back to their community in two different ways.

First, the St. Paul's Easter Bunnies delivered 15 Easter Baskets to Faith House in Abbeville. These baskets went to children who have been displaced from their homes as a result of violence.

And secondly, St. Paul's continued the tradition of their Chicken Salad Sale. All proceeds go to the outreach program which helps those in need in our community.

Photo (Above): The employees at Faith House graciously accepted the Easter Baskets.

Photo (Below): The parishioners of St. Paul's prepare the chicken salad.

St. Barnabas in Lafayette Heads Up 'Food Rescue Team'

'Food rescue team' transports Festival International meals to community fridges

St. Barnabas in Lafayette is so grateful for community organizer Leo Juarez and members of our food pantry ministry for their work recently.

Volunteers collected surplus food from vendors at Festival International, packaged meals in the St. Barnabas kitchen, and distributed them to four local community fridges. 

This is how we live our mission: to be a beacon of love in our community. The St. Barnabas Food Pantry is open 24/7 for anyone in need.

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Western Louisiana is Represented at Episcopal Communicators Conference

From April 16 to April 19, the 50th annual Episcopal Communicators Conference was hosted in Portland, Maine.

Erika Cannon, the Parish Administrator from St. Paul's in Shreveport, and Thomas Stodghill, IV, the Diocesan Communication Officer, attended the conference.

During the conference, they got to meet fellow communicators from across the country, eat lobster, and explore the city.

The conference's annual awards show was hosted on the last night, and Erika received an honorable mention award for Best Short-Form Video (pictured above). She filmed a video of St. Paul's Christmas Pageant.

You can learn more about Episcopal Communicators by clicking here.

Photo (Right): The Rt. Rev. Thomas Brown, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, and Thomas Stodghill, IV smile at St. Luke's Cathedral.

Ascension in Lafayette Welcomes Archbishop Idowu-Fearon

Ascension recently welcomed Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon as a special guest preacher. He spoke at both Ascension School and at the church.

His message to the Upper School students was, “We are all children of God; our differences should not separate us.” Growing up in Nigeria, Idowu-Fearon knew even when he was young that he was called to be a bridge-builder and a witness for Christ.

Photo: Archbishop Idowu-Fearon speaks to the upper class students.

Christ Church in Bastrop Honors Graduates

Christ Church in Bastrop recently honored graduates from their congregation. Pictured with the Rev. Gregg Riley are Susan Files, William Reid Messinger, and Caleb and Zoe Tugwell.

Graduates who were unable to attend included Matt Christian, James Patrick Christian, Catherine Files, Mary Ellen McDonald, and Cooper Stephenson.

45th Annual Convention Meets in Alexandria

On May 3-4,  clergy and laity from across the diocese gathered for the 45th Annual Diocesan Convention. The event theme, "Live the Gospel, Spread the Gospel," provided the basis for engagement among attendees and was the cornerstone of the sermon delivered by guest preacher Rev. Dr. R. Timothy Jones at the opening Eucharist. Here are some highlights from the weekend: 

Grace Tatem (pictured to the right) was recognized by Bishop Owensby for her 38 years of dedicated service and ministry to St. Luke's Chapel in Grambling.

A new mission, St. Francis Episcopal Church for the Highlands in Shreveport, was voted into the union of convention. 

Camp Hardtner shared an update on camping ministry and raffled off an RTIC ice chest (congrats, Matthew Lovejoy!). 

Resolutions CC-44-001 and CC-44-002 were passed by the convention body to make constitutional changes.

Click here for the full Convention recap. 

Photo (Above): Bishop Owensby and the Rev. Dr. R. Timothy Jones smile in the sacristy of St. James in Alexandria.

Photo (Below): St. Francis for the Highlands is welcomed to our diocese.

Church of the Redeemer in Oak Ridge Hosts Rogation Sunday

Church of the Redeemer in Oak Ridge hosted its annual Rogation Sunday Service this past week. During the service, they say prayers for farmers and the fields they work in. They also bless wooden crosses that will be placed in fields and gardens. Due to the weather, the service was all held inside the church.

Photo: The Rev. Dawnell Stodghill blesses the people before blessing the crosses.

Sacred Ground Meeting

Are you part of a Sacred Ground Group? If so, you are invited to a Zoom gathering at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 23. At this meeting participants will:

  • Share stories of your own Sacred Ground experience and listen to those told by others;

  • Describe follow-up activities that your group has initiated and/or participated in;

  • Brainstorm ways to encourage others to participate in Sacred Ground and promote racial reconciliation.

Advance registration is required and can be found here.

Have a question? Contact the Rev. Dawnell Stodghill or Joy Owensby.

Want to see your congregation or organization featured?

Share your ministry stories, announcements, and events with us through the Digital Hub on the diocesan website.

Outside the Diocese

From Episcopal News Service

San Francisco church offers space for 'sacred sleep,' support services every weekday

Every weekday at 7 a.m., the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist in San Francisco, California, opens its nave to people who need a safe place to rest - what it calls “sacred sleep.” Those who come are unhoused neighbors in the city’s Mission District, and they find a place of welcome without judgment.

“We love having our space open, almost recklessly open, for the neighborhood,” the Rev. Kevin Deal said.

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Resources & Formation

Eastertide Series from Bishop Owensby

Bishop Jake is offering a weekly Eastertide Devotional “The Meaning of the Resurrection” at his newsletter “The Woodlands.” Subscribe for free by clicking here. You will receive a meditation in your email inbox each Wednesday morning.

While the written version is available to everyone who signs up, paid subscribers can also listen to the audio version and will receive additional offerings as well. (Proceeds from paid subscriptions are used for alms. If a paid subscription is not for you right now, but you would like access to the audio, just shoot Bishop Jake an email.)

In addition to the Wednesday devotional, all subscribers (free and paid) receive a reflection on Holy Scripture each Friday morning along with occasional special offerings.

From Bishop Owensby

Joy and Friendship

"For a friend is the sharer of your soul."

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The Episcopal Church Newsletter is handled by Thomas Stodghill, IV. Click here to submit a story.