Disciple: New, Notable & Newsworthy
The Rev. Canon Dr. Sally French Elected 13th Bishop of New Jersey
The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina offers congratulations and blessings to the Rev. Canon Dr. Sally French, diocesan canon for regional ministry and collaborative innovation, upon her election as the 13th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. French was elected on the third ballot during the special electing convention, held Saturday, January 28, in a hybrid gathering via Zoom and at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, New Jersey.
The Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, added his congratulations. “I join with those across the Church in offering my congratulations to Canon Sally French on her election as the 13th Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey,” he said. “Sally has been a faithful leader in this diocese in a variety of capacities—as a parish priest, as president of the Standing Committee, and more recently, as a member of our diocesan staff. Her insight and creative capacity have helped us rethink the ways we support our congregations and our clergy and lay leadership.”
French has served in the Diocese of North Carolina since 2013, first as vicar at All Saints’, Hamlet, and then as associate priest at St. Philip’s, Durham. Before joining the diocesan staff in 2020, she contributed on the diocesan level through her time serving on the Standing Committee and her leadership roles on Holy Land pilgrimages.
“As Sally begins this next chapter on her journey of pastoral leadership in the Church, we send our prayers and blessings with her and to the people of the Diocese of New Jersey,” said Rodman. “We also hold in our hearts her husband, Clarke, and their children, Jack and Libby.”
French will be consecrated and ordained June 24 in Trenton, New Jersey. Her last day on diocesan staff will be March 20.
HUGS Camp Applications Now Being Accepted
HUGS Camp is a favorite annual event in the life of the Diocese of North Carolina, and this year it is taking place July 10-15 at Haw River State Park.
HUGS is a unique camp for unique people, bringing together young people of diverse abilities and overcoming the barriers of real and imagined differences to build bridges of understanding. HUGS is about acknowledging the good creation in each of us and more fully knowing and loving our God through it. The great differences among campers and staff help all of us learn to appreciate and celebrate our diversity as we recognize our common ground.
Applications are now being accepted for campers, buddy campers and staff. Buddy campers must be 14 years old by August 31, and staff must be rising college sophomores. Learn more and download the applications.
The Rev. Emily Parker to Serve as Executive Director of Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte
Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte (GMEC) announces the Rev. Emily Parker as their new executive director effective March 1. Parker’s background as deacon at Christ Church, Charlotte, combined with her deep passion for service to local governments across the greater Charlotte region over the past 14 years, will help to further the mission of the organization that celebrated its seventh anniversary last year.
“We feel very lucky to have found Emily and look forward to a successful and invigorating future with her at the helm,” says the Rev. Robin Sands, board of directors chairperson. “She will bring experience, enthusiasm, great communication skills and fresh air to our organization.”
Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte works with their Program Partners to provide direct services such as English as a Second Language classes, food access, skills education, health fairs and more to refugees, immigrants, migrants and neighbors in the East Charlotte area. The ministry serves more than 700 people every month.
Parker will manage all day-to-day operations of Galilee Ministries, overseeing the programs with Loaves and Fishes, Community Kitchen, Catholic Charities and Central Piedmont Community College. She will also lead fundraising programs, as well as marketing and community engagement initiatives.
Parker shares, “I am a native Charlottean, resident of east Charlotte and a cradle Episcopalian who grew up at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church. I was ordained as a deacon in our diocese in January 2020. I have worked in service to local governments in a range of places from as large as Charlotte to very small communities of 400 people in more rural neighboring counties. Through my experiences in public service and community engagement, I have learned the importance of listening first [and] about the slow work of building trust, trying to ask good questions, being organized, clear communication and trusting my intuition.”
“When I think of GMEC, I envision an active, sacred space that is a beacon of hope and light for refugees, immigrants and the local community,” she says. “It is a place that fosters hospitality, growth, learning and the love of God. My vision for GMEC is not only that the beacon stays bright, but the light shines stronger and brighter for years to come.”
“Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte continues to move forward as a vibrant and important local resource, and with our new executive director in place, the organization can excel for the benefit of our entire community for years to come,” says Sands.
Parker succeeds interim executive director Faith Hamilton, who assumed the role in January 2022 after the retirement of Toni Hagerman.
Diocese Invites State Legislators to Take Part in Advocacy Day
Led by the diocesan Council of Advice on Public Policy (CAPP), the Diocese of North Carolina is working to coordinate its first-ever Advocacy Day, to take place this spring. The goal of the day is to invite state government legislators into relationship and conversation around a number of ministry areas, specifically gun violence prevention, affordable housing, creation care and the expansion of Medicaid. The day is intended to include an early morning breakfast followed by meetings with various representatives. There is no public component at this first event.
Working with CAPP on invitations and meeting development are the chairs and members of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, the Bishop’s Committee on Affordable Housing and the Chartered Committee on Environmental Ministry. The hope is that this Advocacy Day will be the first of many to come, where the Diocese can add its voice and faith perspective to the many issues that affect the members of our beloved community and build relationships with those who represent them in their various governing roles.
Look for a recap of the event in diocesan communications channels. Until then, learn about all the areas in which the Diocese is engaged in advocacy, in addition to our mission strategy priorities, here.
Diocese Calls for Volunteers for New Network of Support
The Diocese is facilitating a new network of support of “churches helping churches.” The pilot iteration will focus on supporting small churches that need assistance completing annual audit reports, a canonical requirement for every diocesan parish, mission and institution.
Needed for the network are active or former church officers—or parishioners with gifts to share—with relevant qualifications or previous experience completing the diocesan audit report process, using either the long or short form.
Specifically, the Diocese is seeking:
- certified public accountants,
- bookkeepers, especially those familiar with church accounting,
- former vestry members with experience in the audit reporting process and
- others involved with the completion of church audit reports (such as treasurers).
“Accounting and audits may not be the first things that jump to mind when you think of our mission strategy,” said Maria Gillespie, chief financial officer for the Diocese of North Carolina. “But it’s a wonderful opportunity to see how churches can help other churches. The audit process is a canonical requirement, but it’s also a source of stress for some of our congregations that don’t have staff or professional resources to help them complete it. This new network can help alleviate that stress. It’s a tangible example of how all the people in our churches can help and empower each other. And when that happens, all of our churches can thrive and focus on the work of Becoming Beloved Community.”
The call for volunteers to serve in this network is open through April 30. In May, network members will receive an orientation and any training needed on the diocesan audit process, after which they will be partnered with churches that have requested assistance. Members will work with their partner churches throughout the summer to meet the report submission deadline of September 1.
Serving in the network will be on a volunteer basis. No stipends are available with this first call, though any expenses, such as mileage, incurred by network members will be reimbursed.
Find more information, express an interest in serving, or request support for your church here.
“To Differ is Divine” Offers Lenten Series
“To Differ is Divine,” the new diocesan podcast featuring the Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman and Rabbi Raachel Jurovics, diocesan rabbi-in-residence, is offering a special Lenten series following the podcast’s debut earlier this year. “To Differ is Divine” invites both the curious and the skeptical to explore the idea of spiritual permeability. It is an invitation to devotional friendship between souls on different paths, including those who do not follow a particular religion. Our hosts explore the texts and practices of their respective faith traditions as a conversation between different expressions of God. This exploration of spiritual permeability is a way to enrich one’s own practice while contributing to a world without religious prejudice or fear. The Lenten series explores the ideas of sacrifice, repentance, confession, forgiveness and reconciliation across four episodes.
The Rev. Dr. Alicia Alexis Elected Vice President of Interim Ministries in The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Dr. Alicia Alexis, interim rector of St. Titus’, Durham, has been elected vice president of Interim Ministries in the Episcopal Church (IMEC), an association comprised of clergy engaged in transitional ministry that provides support and resources to congregations in the midst of change. She was elected on November 2, 2022, and will serve throughout 2023.
History Day and Celebration of Blessed Henry Beard Delany
The annual diocesan History Day will take place on April 15. Co-sponsored by the diocesan office of Black ministries and our history & archives committee, this year’s gathering honoring the Rt. Rev. Henry Beard Delany will take place at St. Luke’s, Salisbury, the site of the 1918 Annual Convention where he was elected.
Diocesan historiographer the Rev. Dr. Brooks Graebner will highlight the significance of Delany’s election in the context of The Episcopal Church’s 40-year debate over how best to provide bishops for Black congregations in the South during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Attendees will celebrate Bishop Delany’s feast day with a festive Eucharist, with the canon missioner for Black ministries, the Rev. Kathy Walker, preaching.
After lunch, the Rev. Robert Black, rector of St. Luke’s, will describe his parish’s considerable recent efforts to address its local racial history, followed by a tour of St. Luke’s, the nearby city cemetery for enslaved people, and the lynching memorial recently erected by the Equal Justice Initiative. Attendees also will be encouraged to see other historic sites, including the former site of St. Philip’s, the historically Black congregation in Salisbury, and St. Andrew’s, Woodleaf, one of our diocesan historic properties.
Those wishing to stay for lunch will be asked to register for the event. The $15 registration fee helps to defray the cost of lunch and refreshments. Look for more information in Please Note in the weeks ahead.
Tags: North Carolina Disciple