Disciple: New, Notable & Newsworthy
Dismantling Racism: Course Dates Available for All Ages
In 2020, the diocesan Racial Justice and Reconciliation Committee updated, redesigned and renamed “Seeing the Face of God,” the previous diocesan anti-racism training program. A partnership among diocesan staff, the Racial Justice and Reconciliation Committee and notable consultants such as Dr. Catherine Meeks of the Absalom Jones Center in Atlanta, the new “Dismantling Racism: Reclaiming Our Baptismal Promise” is an interactive workshop designed to deepen spiritual commitment to dismantling racism as participants in the Jesus Movement. Through presentations, prayer, story sharing, videos and small group discussion, participants explore how the sin of racism impacts all lives.
There is currently no cost to register for the Zoom workshops. Available registration links can be found on the event calendar
Upcoming training dates include:
- November 12, 5-8 p.m., and November 13, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., via Zoom. Register.
- January 29, 2022, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., via Zoom. Registration is not yet open.
Also in 2020, the diocesan youth department adapted Dismantling Racism for middle and high school-age youth and are offering a session November 5-7 at Haw River State Park. The cost is $15 per participant. Details and registration will be shared soon in all diocesan communication channels and at episdionc.org/events and episdionc.org/youth-events.
Faith & Blue Weekend: October 8-11, 2021
Faith and Blue is a nationwide invitation born of a collaboration between the United States Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and MovementForward, Inc.’s OneCOP initiative. MovementForward is, per the Faith & Blue website, “a bridge-building, solutions-focused human and civil rights organization based in Atlanta, Georgia,” and OneCOP seeks to “pair together officers at the beat or precinct level with local houses of worship.” Faith and Blue Weekends aim to “recalibrate police-community relations through solutions-focused, in-person, socially distanced and/or virtual activities that are organized jointly by faith-based or other community groups and law enforcement agencies.” The weekends are celebrated across the United States with events spanning a wide range of offerings, including prayer services, special masses, community meals, service days and block parties.
The Diocese of North Carolina is answering the call to join the 2021 efforts to help build bridges between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
The hope is that congregations across the Diocese will host events, inviting parishioners, members of local law enforcement and residents in their surrounding communities. Events can be online or in person. A Faith and Blue Planning Toolkit is available, and a great many resources can be found at faithandblue.org. Additional information about hosting an event can be found here.
At the heart of Becoming Beloved Community is relationships. Please join us in this invitation to build, strengthen and reimagine the relationships that we hope, in time, will become new friendships and partnerships.
The Rev. Jemonde Taylor Nominated to Bishop Slate in Upper South Carolina
The Rev. Jemonde Taylor, rector of St. Ambrose, Raleigh, and diocesan Standing Committee president, has been nominated to the bishop slate in the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina.
“The Rev. Jemonde Taylor is a leader of exceptional gifts and capacity,” said the Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman, bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. “His voice in this diocese as rector of St. Ambrose, as president of the Standing Committee and as a member of the Mission Strategy Task Force has been invaluable as we chart a course that prioritizes the health of our congregations and justice for all God’s children, in seeking to become beloved community. We pray for him and his family in this exciting discernment with the people of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina.”
Taylor made diocesan history earlier this year when he became the first Black person elected as president of the Standing Committee. His role on Standing Committee is not his first service to the Diocese of North Carolina, as he previously served on Diocesan Council and the Pastoral Response Team Disciplinary Board and currently serves on the Mission Strategy Task Force.
The special Convention to elect the IX Bishop of Upper South Carolina will take place on September 25.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Sally French Named Canon for East Regional Ministry and Collaborative Innovation
The Rev. Canon Dr. Sally French, interim east regional canon, has been called to serve as the canon for east regional ministry and collaborative innovation. This new position provides continued care for the congregations and communities of our east region—the Durham, Raleigh and Rocky Mount convocations—with the goal of developing increased collaboration and engagement among clergy and laity. Additionally, French will work with the Rev. Canon David Sellery, canon for congregational mission, to develop strategies and initiatives to engage congregations and communities further, enhance vitality and expand leadership capacity at all levels.
“We are excited that Sally will continue to serve on our diocesan team, providing support and guidance to our congregations for an extended time, even as we continue to adapt and evolve in our understanding of Becoming Beloved Community,” said the Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman, bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. “Her effective and responsive leadership has helped chart the course for our diocese as we develop our priorities for mission in the new normal of church in, through and beyond the pandemic.”
French has served as the interim east regional canon since November 2020. Since joining the diocesan staff, she has worked collaboratively with the team of canons and missioners to enhance congregational vitality and secure additional funding for new initiatives. Working with Sellery, French co-authored three substantial grant proposals, securing support from Trinity Wall Street, the Episcopal Preaching Foundation and the Roanridge Trust, all of which furthers our work to support congregations and communities within the Diocese of North Carolina.
The work of collaborative innovation will focus primarily on exploring new models of congregational support to increase the impact of congregational development initiatives at the local, convocational, regional and diocesan levels; support members in their lives of discipleship; encourage and strengthen ministry leadership with a focus on lay vocations; and engage congregations and faith communities in the work of Becoming Beloved Community.
“Leadership development work will enhance all areas of our diocesan priorities and is important as a way to engage disciples and support our common mission of Becoming Beloved Community,” Sellery noted. “It requires special focus, and Sally has demonstrated both gifts for caring for our congregations and communities and vision to support our missional priorities.”
French’s new position is effective immediately.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Rhonda Lee Stepping Down
The Diocese of North Carolina announced in August that the Rev. Canon Dr. Rhonda Lee is stepping away from her role as regional canon. She will remain on staff through the end of 2021, continuing her work with racial justice and restitution.
“I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the clergy, laity and others with whom I have walked during my seven years as regional canon, and I hope to maintain those relationships after my departure from the staff,” said Lee.
Lee’s calling in the areas of racial and social justice is long-standing and runs deep. A native of Montreal, Quebec, one of her reasons for moving to the United States was to work in these very areas. Ordained in 2005, she also holds a doctorate in U.S. history from Duke University. Upon joining the diocesan staff in 2014 to serve as canon to the Charlotte and Sandhills convocations, she said, “I’ve long been a scholar of nonviolence, Christian spiritual practices and the struggle for racial justice.” Her ministry both before and since joining the diocesan staff successfully brings together these areas through her practices of prayer and hospitality.
“We are grateful to Canon Lee for her many gifts to, for and with our congregations as part of our staff team,” said the Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman, bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. “Among them are her inspiring preaching, her prayerful encouragement of mission to the community and her deep engagement in developing strong and healthy partnership among clergy and lay leaders. We are thankful for her continuing leadership in our essential work around racial justice and reconciliation through the end of the year, as we continue to build beloved community here in the Diocese of North Carolina.”
Lee’s final day as regional canon will be September 25.
It may seem early to think about Advent, but because the next issue of the Disciple will arrive after the start of that much-anticipated season, we wanted to be sure to start the planning now.
The Diocese of North Carolina will once again participate in #AdventWord, a global Advent calendar celebrating its eighth year in 2021. #AdventWord is a digital offering created to build an international community that together explores the mystery and wonder of Advent. This year marks an exciting next step, as #AdventWord is now part of the ministry offered by Forward Movement.
At adventword.org, participants can subscribe to daily email meditations, follow along on social media or join in the fun. Every day a word is assigned, and participants from around the world share photos, meditations, prayers and thoughts about what that word means to them or where they see that word at play during the holy pre-Christmas season.
The Diocese will participate in and celebrate #AdventWord on our Facebook page as well as our Twitter and Instagram accounts. We hope you will join us!
Happening: October 22-24, 2021
Happening, a renewal weekend for high school youth, is taking place October 22-24 at Haw River State Park. The event, led by youth with clergy and lay adult support, allows young people to encounter Christ in an intentional Christian community. Highlights of the weekend include talks, songs, worship and small groups. Look for gathering and registration details on the diocesan website at episdionc.org/events or episdionc.org/youth-events.
Order Your 2021-2022 ‘Gospel-Based Discipleship’ by Sept. 30
Once again it’s time to help us be good stewards of both material and financial resources by ensuring we print and order the correct number of copies of the 2021-2022 Gospel-Based Discipleship.
As we’ve done the last several years, there will be no automatic distribution of hard copies to churches or to those who have requested them in the past; however, we are happy to supply you with whatever you need.
If you would like copies for your church, or if you are an individual who would like a hard copy for your own use, please place your order with Diocesan House no later than September 30. There is no charge for the 2021-2022 Gospel-Based Discipleship; simply place your order.
Orders will be printed and shipped in early November.
The 2021-2022 Gospel-Based Discipleship will also be available in its entirety as a downloadable PDF on the diocesan website, and its daily offerings will continue to be offered on diocesan social media channels.
To order hard copies, please email the communications department. Be sure to include the address to which you want your copy(ies) mailed.
“Roundtables on Race” is the new diocesan podcast that invites conversation around the effects of race on many facets of society, going deeper than traditional conversations usually allow. Hosted by the Rev. Kathy Walker, each season of the podcast focuses on one topic, allowing every episode to be an opportunity to discuss an aspect of that topic and explore the layers and nuance.
“And Also w/Y’all” is a podcast created for young adults—and enjoyed by all ages—hosted by the Rev. James Franklin, the Rev. Caleb Tabor and Eliza Brinkley. Episodes feature engaging conversations about faith, spirituality, discernment, doubt and everything in between. The hosts and their guests talk frankly about the serious and the ridiculous young adults encounter as they navigate their faith.
Both podcasts are easy to find—listen and subscribe via your favorite channel, including: the diocesan website, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and TuneIn.
Tags: North Carolina Disciple