Flooding in Texas and Louisiana

Flooding in Texas and Louisiana

Dear Friends, Our hearts have been rent by the images and stories of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction in Texas. Many in our Diocese fear for family and friends in the storm’s path. Responses from our congregations have been swift and generous, whether through Episcopal Relief and Development or other services. Now Harvey has turned toward Louisiana. Schools and offices have been closed in several of our parishes. Floodwaters are encroaching on some homes and businesses in the south and west. We wait together not only to see what this storm brings but also to discern how to be most helpful to those in need. Our Disaster Relief Coordinator Deacon Lois Maberry has been hard at work for days preparing and coordinating responses and providing resources. I have been communicating with clergy in charge of our congregations to stay informed about all of you. You are in my prayers for safety. Together we will get through this and bring aid to those in need. We have received notes and phone calls of support from around the Church. The Presiding Bishop, my fellow bishops, and fellow Episcopalians around the country are praying for us and offering their support. I’m sure you share my gratitude. May our holy and gracious God guide, guard, and comfort us through this storm. And may our common hope sustain us in the weeks ahead as we begin the work of recovery. Blessings…. +Jake The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD 4th Bishop of Western Louisiana Dear Friends, As many of you are aware, Hurricane Harvey has brought catastrophic devastation to the Texas Gulf Coast and now...
It’s Ice Cream Churn Time!

It’s Ice Cream Churn Time!

Bring your ice cream maker for an “ICE CREAM CHURN OFF” to the parish hall on July 30th for the next 5th Sunday Fun! The Ministries Committee loves ice cream, and realizes that we ALL do . . . so why not a CHURN OFF?    Participants are invited to bring your own ice cream maker and favorite ice cream recipe to make ice cream. On July 30th after the 10:30 a.m.service, we will be enjoying pizza while we wait for the ice cream to finish churning. Yum!   For more details, please download the registration form from this Link or pick up a form at Church on Sunday.   ~Faith and Fun...
DIME: Delving Into the Mystery of the Eucharist

DIME: Delving Into the Mystery of the Eucharist

DIME: Delving Into the Mystery of the Eucharist – Children & Eucharist At what age should my child receive Communion? This is a question many parents ask as they are striving to raise their children in the Episcopal Church. Once we are baptized, regardless of our age, we are welcome to receive Communion. Our Book of Common Prayer (p. 858) indicates that, at the time of Baptism, we receive the inward and spiritual grace of union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family (the Church), forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit. Once a child is born into God’s family, that child is welcome to participate in Communion. This represents a change for many of us as parents since we may have had to wait until Confirmation or other instructional opportunities before taking our first Communion. What caused this shift? The General Convention of 1970 resolved that “children might be admitted to communion before confirmation.” In 1971, the House of Bishops stated, “Confirmation should not be regarded as a procedure of admission to the Holy Communion.” How does my child learn about the Eucharist? First and foremost, children learn from attending church. Here they can see and be a part of the service and begin to understand the sacrament they are seeing. Additionally, from your actions and discussions with your child, he/she sees that Communion is important and that participating in Communion is something you do on a regular basis. Children recognize your reverence at the altar from your body language (kneeling, placing your hands one over the other). For them to...
Camp Hardtner Summer Camp 2017

Camp Hardtner Summer Camp 2017

Camp Hardtner summer camp registration has begun.  2017 summer camp registration is in full swing and we are very excited to report that Camp Able is the first session to sell out! With this in mind, we are putting out the call for youth volunteers and adult staff to help make this session come to life.  If you are at least 16 years old, and would like to serve in this very special ministry, visit www.camphardtner.org  or check out our Facebook page for more information and the online application.            First Camp, Grades 2 & 3, with parent* $200 each    June 2-4               Primary, Grades 4 & 5* $460                                   June 8-13              Senior High, Grades 11, 12, & recent grads* $690     June 17-24              Junior High 1, Grades 6 & 7* $575                            June 28-July 4              Junior High 2, Grades 7 & 8* $575                            July 11-17              Middle High, Grades 9 &10* $575                              July 21-27              Camp Able, Age 9 & up with special needs  August 2-6 SOLD OUT                                                                     *Grade based on 2017/18 school year.  Register for Hardtner Summer Camps...
The Great Vigil of Easter

The Great Vigil of Easter

April 16: The Great Vigil of Easter – St. Augustine first introduced the phrase, “The Paschal Mystery.”   One theologian describes the Paschal Mystery as the saving event by which God in all times and in all places saves the human race. Epiphany will celebrate the Easter Vigil with a Sunrise Service beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning. During the Easter Vigil, we recount the following sequence of events.   *The kindling of the new fire and the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) Candle. *The recounting of Passover/Exodus from Egypt, and the entrance into the Promised Land. *The service of Baptism and renewal of our own Baptismal vows. *The First Joyful Eucharist of Easter.   Following the Easter Vigil, Epiphany will celebrate Easter with a delicious breakfast. We will then conclude our three great days of celebrating the Paschal Mystery with the 10:30 a.m. Easter Sunday Eucharist during which the children flower the cross of our redemption. After the service, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt and refreshments for both the children and adults. Since Maundy Thursday, we have been involved in an extended liturgy which is brought to conclusion at Epiphany’s principle service. This is the day of the Passover of Christ from death into life. It is also the celebration of our own pass-over in Holy Baptism, in which “we were buried with Christ in his death and raised with him into new life.” Fr....