Disciple: New, Notable & Newsworthy
Your Voice is Needed: The Diocese of North Carolina’s New Brand
The Diocese of North Carolina is undergoing a year-long rebranding process to bring into alignment who we are today and who we hope to continue to become.
The seal of the Diocese of North Carolina is one of its most recognizable visual symbols. However, what the design of the seal represents no longer reflects the values of the diocese today. Adopted in 1890, the seal reflects its times, with symbols of colonialism and hierarchical authority, a far cry from our journey of Becoming Beloved Community.
While there will certainly be a new visual representation of the diocese, the rebranding process goes much deeper than that. As part of the process, the diocese is inviting as many voices as would like to be part of the early process. Your thoughts are needed and wanted, and you are invited to take part in a diocesan-wide survey. It doesn’t take long to complete, but what you share can have a long-lasting impact.
The Rev. Canon Franklin Morales Joins Diocesan Staff as Canon Missioner for Latino/Hispanic Ministries
Earlier this summer, the Diocese of North Carolina welcomed the Rev. Canon Franklin Morales as the new canon missioner for Latino/Hispanic ministries.
A native of Venezuela, Morales is a priest ordained in the Lutheran (ELCA) tradition, a denomination with which The Episcopal Church is in full communion. Prior to joining the diocesan staff, he served two congregations: St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, as the associate pastor, and the La Sagrada Familia community in Langley Park, Virginia. Before serving at St. Luke’s and La Sagrada Familia, Morales was first an ordained priest in the Catholic Church, where he served for more than four years before his faith journey led him to seek ways to serve that were as open and inclusive as a community can be, and, as he wrote in “A Venezuelan’s Personal Reformation and Journey of Faith,” to “preach a Gospel that would establish a personal relationship with Jesus, through serving others and the creation itself.”
[Image: The Rev. Canon Franklin Morales]
“Franklin has the experience, the energy, the training and the passion we have sought to support our thriving Latino ministries,” said Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, assistant bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. “His pastoral sensitivity and gentle sense of humor, and his focus on relationships and formation, help to open hearts to Christ and his church. Franklin is going to help our diocese fall deeper in love with the rich spirituality and cultural diversity of our Latino siblings, bringing us together to build beloved community. We are thrilled!”
The canon missioner for Latino/Hispanic ministries is not a new position for the diocese; it has been a key role in our diocesan mission since it was first created in 2018 to serve the work of the ever-growing number of worshiping communities and outreach ministries addressing the needs of North Carolina’s Latino/Hispanic population. It is a natural fit for Morales, whose work with La Sagrada Familia included, in addition to community building alongside spiritual nurturing and formation, care for at-risk children through after-school programs, ESL classes, and advocacy for equality and social justice. That work “has been a blessing to our lives,” he wrote.
In addition to his work with our worshiping communities, Morales will help guide the diocese in its ongoing journey to advance the cultural competency needed to be the body of Christ in North Carolina’s multicultural state. He is working closely with diocesan governing bodies, churches across the diocese and the entire diocesan staff. He reports to Brooke-Davidson.
Morales began his tenure July 1.
Diocese Announces Sale of 200 West Morgan Street
The Diocese of North Carolina announced in June the sale of the Diocesan House office building at 200 West Morgan Street in Raleigh.
The building and property have been sold to Convexity Properties of Chicago, a real estate development firm with a noted track record of mixed-use projects. Per their website, their projects are community-centric, working “closely with local governments and communities to ensure our vision matches theirs.” The expectation is that the current building will be dismantled to allow for the new vision.
[Image: The 200 West Morgan street property in downtown Raleigh. Photo by Lynn Hoke]
The sale was overseen by Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL), a professional services company specializing in real estate and investment management.
The property was listed for sale in September 2022 after a three-year discernment process about what to do with the building following the departure of longtime tenants in 2019. The decision to sell the building was reached by a task force comprised of members from across the diocese and its governing bodies. Every option was examined and measured by how it might allow the diocese to further the work of our mission priorities and call to ministry. Ultimately, the decision to sell followed a recognition of the changing commercial landscape in Raleigh, along with a shift by diocesan staff to a more remote workforce during the pandemic.
“For two years, we demonstrated we could continue to serve our churches in every way without a central office,” said Bishop Sam Rodman, bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, at the time of the announcement to sell the building. “And that was a gift. It allowed us to release any doubts about letting go of our current building and instead get excited about looking forward to how reducing overhead costs of our administrative home may provide more resources for ministry.”
With the sale of the building completed, the conversation has turned to how to invest the net proceeds of the $9.1 million purchase price into diocesan ministry. That discernment is once again led by an advisory board formed of representatives from across the diocese and its governing bodies.
Finding the next location of Diocesan House has also entered an exciting phase. The staff is able to remain in its current location for the next year, and the exploration of possible new locations is underway.
“It is an exciting time for the Diocese of North Carolina,” said Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, assistant bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. “We are blessed to have this opportunity to explore how we will use this gift of resources to take us further on our journey to Becoming Beloved Community. We are deeply grateful to all those who helped us get to this next stage of our journey—the discernment task force members, our governing bodies, our Raleigh neighbors, our partners and consultants, and all those who prayed and shared their thoughts to help guide us. The completion of the sale of 200 West Morgan Street gives us the opportunity to consider new mission and ministry initiatives, and we look forward to this next phase of exploration and discerning our collective diocesan call.”
‘Roundtables on Race’ Goes to Summer School for Season Three
“Roundtables on Race,” the diocesan podcast that invites conversation around the effects of race on many facets of society, is back for its third season with an exploration of the intersection of race and education.
Hosted by the Rev. Kathy Walker, diocesan canon missioner for Black ministries, “Roundtables on Race” focuses on only one topic per season, with each episode delving into a different element of that topic. The result is a multitude of voices going deeper than traditional conversations usually allow.
Season three’s exploration of race and education include episodes on critical race theory, a look at the history of Black education, the teaching of racial history, the funding of education, an exploration of curriculum and texts, faith-based education and more. Guests include several voices familiar to the diocese, including Professor Irving Joyner, Dr. Joseph Graves Jr. and Dr. Catherine Meeks.
Find all episodes, including the first two seasons, and links to subscribe to the podcast here.
Fall Dates for ‘Introduction to Dismantling Racism’
If listening to “Roundtables on Race” (page 10) leaves you wanting to deepen your understanding of systemic racism and what can be done to counter it, “Introduction to Dismantling Racism” is an encouraged next step.
“Introduction to Dismantling Racism” is an interactive workshop designed to deepen our spiritual commitment to dismantle 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 of our lives. The work is grounded biblically and sacramentally by the renewing of baptismal vows—to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of all human beings.
“Introduction to Dismantling Racism” takes place via Zoom, and registration is open for the fall course offerings:
- Sept. 29, 5-8 p.m., and Sept. 30, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Register.
- Nov. 10, 5-8 p.m., and Nov. 11, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Register.
2023 Global Mission Gathering: ‘It Takes the Whole World to Know the Whole Gospel’
The Chartered Committee on Global Mission is hosting the Third Annual Global Mission event on September 16, 10 a.m.-4:15 p.m. at St. Mary’s, High Point.
The event includes keynote speaker Bishop Todd McGregor, retired bishop and former missionary to Madagascar and Kenya, now a Missions coach, discipler and mentor with Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders (SAMS); a Holy Eucharist, where Bishop Sam Rodman will celebrate; and several breakout sessions throughout the day from which to choose. Lunch will be provided.
There is no cost to attend, though donations will be gratefully accepted. Register.
Help Your Recent Grad Find Their Next Faith Community
As young adults begin new chapters in their lives, help them connect with a campus or young adult ministry wherever they will be. There are a couple of quick and easy ways to do this:
- You may fill out The Episcopal Church’s online campus and young adult ministry referral form, which can be completed by or on behalf of the graduate. The relevant campus or young adult ministry will then be informed so that they can reach out to the graduate. (This is the form the diocese will use going forward.)
- If your graduate is staying in central North Carolina, you also may fill out the Just One Thing form on the diocesan website. (This legacy system will be retired after this summer.)
- For those who will be attending a college or university in the Diocese of North Carolina that has a campus ministry, you may also contact the relevant campus ministry directly.
Those who work in campus and young adult ministry find that the sooner we can make these connections following graduation, the better. You can find all the forms here.
[Image: Students in the UNC-Chapel Hill campus ministry reach out on campus. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Mary Cat Young]
Tags: North Carolina Disciple