Rest, Re-Creation and Growth: The Summer 2023 Communiqué

August 9, 2023
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This summer edition of the Communiqué features articles and updates focusing on the interplay between rest, reflection, hard work, and fruit. There’s also a note at the end about a certain kind of increasingly-common email scam.

As we enter the new school year, the Communiqué will soon return to a more regular schedule. To submit something for consideration in the next newsletter edition, the normal deadline is the 15th of the month—please submit by September 15!

On Sabbath Rest and Re-Creation

Bishop Alex Farmer
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I am writing to you between another glorious week at Camp Araminta and my last week of vacation. This year at our Camp, we saw wonderful responses by campers commiting to Christ for the first time, or renewing their relationship to the Lord, or being vulnerable in their place of need. I rejoice that Camp continues to be a safe place. Also, we have as many as fourteen young adult leaders sensing a call to vocational leadership in the Church, praise God!

My last week of vacation will be hiking the mountains of Virginia with my son-in-law, Andy. While this may not seem like a good vacation to you, it will be for me. It is a chance to clear my head and reflect on this first year of my episcopacy. Please keep us both in your prayers. I trust that you understand the importance of re-creation and sabbath and have availed yourself of times of rest and renewal either this summer or …

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No Quick Fixes or Silver Bullets

Fr. Mark Eldredge
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When talking about "strengthening existing churches," it is always good to start out by remembering that there are no quick fixes or silver bullets. If your church is hoping that there is the “one thing” out there that they can do to quickly turn things around, they will be disappointed because, unfortunately, it doesn’t exist! The truth is that change takes time. The church didn’t get to where it is overnight and it won’t turn around overnight. Turning around is totally possible, however …

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Araminta 2023 Recap

Archdeacon Jessica Jones
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Camp Araminta provides the youth of our diocese with a short-term intense experience of Christian community and discipleship. Camp 2023 was no exception! The Araminta community comprised 274 souls from 14 Anglican churches, including our very own Bishop Alex. The discipleship groups covered the five essential topics of Creation, Gospel, Community, Holiness, and Mission with students 4th grade through 12th grade, and our skit celebrated the gift of grace that Jesus offers us all. One of the best parts of camp is when former students roll into the leadership track and give back to campers. This year we also met with 13 camp leaders who expressed a call to ministry. We are grateful for God’s call on so many lives. Most of all, the highlights from camp included personal commitments to Christ and deeper commitments to community together. We are already looking forward to July 22-27, 2024! Click the Load button to see a few photos from this year's Camp!
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Soul in the City 2023 Recap

Comms Dir Samuel Horowitz
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Grace Anglican Church | Fleming Island, FL

Rev. Jack McNeil, Director of Youth & Families

Praise God! Soul in the City at Grace Anglican was a great success in 2023 on a number of fronts. We had more campers, worked at more worksites, logged more service hours (our student and leaders combined for over 1,000 community service hours!), received more donations and local grants (distributing over $2,200 in student registration scholarships), and had more overnight leaders than last year! We also maintained a strong ecumenical presence, made up of a variety of denominations (12 churches, of which 7 were Anglican). We also had over 80 individuals volunteering their time to serve in various capacities (food, security, prayer, cleanup, setup/breakdown, registration, medical, activities/games, worship and transportation). Most of all, we thank God for the many testimonies that were shared by students and leaders, regarding spiritual growth, the strengthening of friendships, and growing in confidence (particularly in the area of serving and the use of spiritual gifts). Thank you for your prayers, help, and financial support. Mark your calendars for Soul in the City 2024, scheduled for June 23-28!

Christchurch | Montgomery, AL

Katherine Akin, Director of Mission and Outreach

Soul in the City expanded to Christchurch (Montgomery, AL) and the Western Deanery this year! Students spent three days in discipleship/formation activities, worship, fellowship, and service to the community. They worked at locations like First Choice Women's Medical Center, the new Flatline Community Advocacy Center, Montgomery Christian School, the Montgomery Area Food Bank, Hope Inspired Ministries, and Reality & Truth Ministries. We are so impressed with this incredible group of teenagers! They had wonderful attitudes and work ethics all week. They got along well with each other, were encouraging, and engaged with our ministry partners. We pray that their gifts and talents continue to be used to glorify God in all they do!

Click Load to show photos from Christchurch's week.

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Guatemala 2023 (Christchurch Montgomery)

Guest Author
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This past June 18-25, five high school and college students and four adults from Christchurch Montgomery traveled on a short-term mission trip to Panajachel, Guatemala. There they reconnected with Joe and Cindy Betsill of Ministerios El Muro for the first time since the outbreak of COVID cancelled Christchurch’s last planned trip in 2020. This was Christchurch’s fourth mission trip to Panajachel, which is located on the shore of the beautiful Lake Atitlan. Christchurch students serve a variety of capacities when working with Ministerios El Muro, including constructing low-income housing, distributing water filters, conducting times of Gospel-oriented fun with the town’s young children, improving community spaces, and assisting local pastors. This year’s group worked with Pastor Anselmo in the neighboring town of Jaibalito, and with Pastor Trinidad Sánchez and his family in San Juan la Laguna, making improvements to both pastors’ worship and community spaces. (Click the Load button to show photos)
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Summer 2023 Email Safety Tips

Comms Dir Samuel Horowitz
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I'm sure by now many of you have received at least one email claiming to be your rector, boss, or friend, asking you to "do a favor" or "a special task." Some have even gone out to clergy claiming to be from Bishop Alex! This kind of scam involve something called "spoofed" email—messages from a scammer that appear by some markings to be from a legitimate sender. Unfortunately, the owners of the spoofed email address are rarely able to do anything about this type of message at a technical level. It's just like if some other person began sending mail with my address as the return address—there isn't much the Post Office could do to stop it.

What you can do is is …

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Cathedral hosts Workshop on Art and Faith

Comms Dir Samuel Horowitz
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St. Peter's Anglican Cathedral recently hosted Kurt Caddy, the founder of Fourwinds Faith and Art. Fourwinds is a ministry inspiring the church to engage with the arts in discipleship, worship, and evangelism. He works to help Christian artists grow in their craft as well as their theology.

At St. Peter's, Caddy led a workshop in the Japanese art of kintsugi, where broken pots are re-created using precious metal lacquers. This process of being broken and put back together in a final form more beautiful than the original serves as a metaphor for the gospel message, and is meant to help Christian artists think about how their own art can serve the glory of God.

(Click the Load button to show photos and view Kurt's contact information)

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