Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 29: Feast of the Holy Innocents

We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is on Monday, December 1. GOCARE, our local HIV/AIDS service provider, will host a World AIDS Day remembrance in Forsythe Park (near the bandstand) at 7:00 p.m. The event is open to the public. Come walk the Labyrinth of Remembrance. 

Father Whit serves on the GOCARE Board of Directors and will lead prayers at the event.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve

Just a reminder that this Wednesday evening, Thanksgiving Eve, the Episcopal Churches in our area will join together for Holy Eucharist - 7:00 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe. Please join us!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day

For Heroic Service, The Book of Common Prayer, page 839

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Learned about this great daily devotion site and app today. For more info or to subscribe by email, visit

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Canterbury@U.L.M. Holy Eucharist today at 5:30 p.m. Mother Dawnell will celebrate and Father Whit will preach. We sure hope to see you there!

Bayou Park is the green space on the U.L.M. campus directly across Northeast Drive from the Library and on the Library side of the Bayou. Bring a lawn chair or blanket if you want to sit!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Back!

It's that time again: Across most of the United States,daylight savings time (DST) will end at 2 a.m.
on Sunday, November 2, when clocks will fall back to standard time. Set your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Convention Changes!

Storm Damage responsible for
Changes in Diocesan Convention!

The Site for the 35th Annual Convention has changed. We will meet at
the following location for all events:

Bayou DeSiard Country Club
3501 Forsythe Ave., Monroe, LA 71201

There is also a change in the agenda. Here is a broad outline:


Lunch on your own

1:00 Registration

2:00 Business

4:30 Holy Eucharist

6:00 Silent Auction

7:15 Banquet


Light breakfast provided prior to beginning of meeting

8:30 Business

Noon Adjournment

Lunch on your own
Clergy Spouse luncheon cancelled.

Parking spaces are limited, so please carpool as much as possible.

These changes are a result of the damage wrought by the storm on
Monday. As you may know, Monroe was struck by an F2 tornado on
Monday. The Garden District was hit hardest. Grace Church sits in
the midst of that neighborhood. Access to the area is limited and power is
disrupted. As a result, we are unable to meet at Grace Church.

As the outline above suggests, we will follow a significantly revised
agenda. Given our space and the available time, we will dispense with
workshops, hearings, and vendors. This is regrettable but unavoidable.
Please be on the lookout for a ministry fair day in the future in which
some of these canceled sessions will be held.

Most importantly, let us keep the people of Monroe in our prayers.

Many are enduring the negative impact of this storm. At the same time,
let's also acknowledge the grace and grit of these good people who, in
the midst of trial, have worked quickly and effectively to host our Convention. 

Nothing keeps that Monroe Convocation down!

The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, Ph.D., D.D.
The Diocese of Western Louisiana

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Art & Power of Conversation

Joseph Kisses His Brothers, by Cornelius

So today we talk about talk. Each one of today’s lessons tells us something about the art and power of talk.

And it’s timely. Today’s society seems addicted to talk. We tweet. We post status updates on Facebook and other social media. Our news media provide talking heads 24/7.

Talk, talk, talk. And so often, it seems that, rather than talking with each other, conversing, if you will, we are screaming past each other.

I no longer try to have serious discussion of important topics on Facebook. Too often have I witnessed such talk turn into ugly, personal attacks. These exchanges are more like drive by shootings than conversations, or even arguments—which can be totally civil and useful when done well.

So what does each of our lessons tell us today about the art and power of talk?

The Archdeacon's sermon, last Sunday at St. Luke's Chapel, Grambling, La. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Not a Show-Off God

Last Sunday at St. Thomas' & St. Alban's:

Last spring I attended the triennial assembly of the Association for Episcopal Deacons. Our keynote speaker and workshop leader was Eric Law, an Episcopal priest and author of several book, including “Holy Currencies: 6 Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries.”  

Law has gone from writing books to founding a center for congregational development and stewardship called the Kaleidoscope Institute. Our Bishop has just decided that some of Law’s work needs to be in the curriculum of our Diocesan school of ministry for lay people. So, the St. Thomas’ chapter of the Daughters of the King is a step ahead of everyone else on that because they studied this book together last spring!

To kick off his workshop at the deacon’s conference last year, Law had the assembled deacons—as I recall, around a hundred of us—play a silly little game that ended up making a big point. With the help of the organizers of the conference, a bunch of these bookmarks were handed out. Some people got none, some got 2 or 3 and a few got 5 or 6.

Then, Law said, this game has just two rules. 1) If someone gives you a bookmark, you must take it, and 2) the person who ends up with none.. wins. When I give the signal, Law said, you will have 10 minutes to give away all of your bookmarks.

Well, I don’t remember if anyone won that game. And I don’t remember how many bookmarks I ended up with, but I’m pretty sure it was more than I started with. I got down to zero a couple times, but no sooner had I done so than someone would come along and thrust a bunch into my hand.

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, duh! The rules of the game were set up to make sure that happens!” And, indeed, they were. The value of the game was not that it was a “fair” or “objective” test of anything. The value of the game.. was in what it revealed about how humans think!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Looking for God in All the Wrong Places

Last Sunday in Mer Rouge:

So.. what do a Baptist church in Pollock, La., and the Washington Monument have in common?

No idea?

The Baptist church in Pollock sits on the west side of Highway 165. You pass it every time you go to Camp Hardtner. Like most Baptist churches, it has a steeple. But unlike most churches with steeples, it does NOT have a cross on top.

Anyone happen to know what is on top of the steeple? It’s a hand with one finger pointing heavenward.

Now the Washington Monument does not have a hand on the top! It has a 4-sided aluminum cap, each side containing an inscription. Three of the inscriptions have to do entirely with the building of the monument: names, dates, etc.

The fourth inscription says what? It says, “LAUS DEO,” which is Latin for “Praise be to God.”

Now, a quick side story. The inscriptions on the cap of the Washington Monument are not visible from inside the monument. They are visible only to those who might be hovering in mid-air over the peak of the monument, in other words, people in helicopters and, presumably, God.

So the National Park Service created a replica of the cap that is on display inside the museum at the base of the monument. A few years ago, in the mid-2000s, the replica cap was moved to a tent on the grounds while the museum was renovated. When it was moved back indoors, instead of being placed catty-corner to the wall so that all four sides could be read, as it had been before, it was placed with the LAUS DEO side against the wall, which prevented visitors from seeing it.

An uproar ensued. The Park Service was accused of being ashamed of the Christian foundations of our nation. On you can find a letter from the head of the Park Service stating that it was an accident, they had meant no offense and that it would be fixed. Since the letter is dated 2007, I assume the problem has long been corrected.

One interesting thing to me about that story, however, is that no one seems to notice or mention that “Praise be to God” is much more common as an expression of Muslim piety than it is as an expression of Christian piety.

Of course, Muslims typically say “Praise be to Allah,” and they routinely say it often: in times of gratitude and in times of distress, before beginning an important task and at the end, and on and on.

But if you accept that the God of all three of the Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Islam and Christianity—is one and the same God, then “Praise be to God” sounds much more Islamic than Christian. Christians are more likely to be heard saying, “Praise the Lord,” or “Thank you, Jesus!”

But whatever the builders of the Washington Monument had in mind when they inscribed “LAUS DEO” on the top of the monument, they, like the builders of a Baptist church in Pollock, La., were looking for God in all the wrong places.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Welcoming Wandering Evangelicals

Pelican Anglican: Welcoming Wandering Evangelicals: If you read Rachel Held Evans ' blog, you know that she started her faith life in the Evangelical tradition. Though still respectful of ...

Revised: What needs changing in your neighborhood?

Collective Leaders Meeting
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
3706 Bon Aire Dr.
Monday, July 21
One-on-one Fellowship 6:30 - 7
Meeting 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Who we are, where we've been, where we're going, how to be part of transforming our communities and state. Come and see!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Something need changing in your neighborhood?

Collective Leaders Meeting
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
3706 Bon Aire Dr.
Monday, July 21
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Where we've been, where we're going, how to be part of transforming our communities and state. Come and see!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Independence Day Weekend

Have a safe and happy Independence Day on the 4th of July and join us for worship at any of our churches on the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ordination in Lake Charles

What a joy to participate in the ordination of the newest priest in the Diocese, Mthr Boo Kay.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

#Episcopal – “Social Media Sunday” a Digital Invitation

While in church this Sunday or when you get home, get out your smart phone. Facebook a selfie, live-tweet a prayer, blog an idea, video the hymn-singing, Instagram photos, Pinterest fun images, Foursquare a location — and use #Episcopal — so “Social Media Sunday” goes viral.

Social Media Sunday is an invitation to Episcopalians to share faith in the digital universe, according to Carolyn Clement and Laura Catalano, church social media administrators, who came up with the idea. “It’s a way of saying this is what’s going on in [the] church.”

“People can take a selfie, or a picture of stained glass in their church or something fun going on and post them on Facebook, or Twitter. It’s a neat way to get an idea of what’s happening across the church.”

Besides being a fun day, Social Media Sunday “hopefully, will give us some kind of information about how many Episcopalians are out there, actively using social media to share their faith. It’ll be interesting to see,” Clement said. Meanwhile, she added: “We just want to see #episcopal go viral on June 29.”

From an Episcopal News Service article by Pat McCaughan

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless and strengthen our fathers and those who have been fathers to us. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons, daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Eucharist

"All y'all come unto me": Bishop Michael Curry talks about the Eucharist. Come to any of our churches and see for yourself...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

St. Barnabas

Today, the Church remembers St. Barnabas. Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well­being of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Convention Planning Meeting

Diocesan Convention Planning Meeting, Thursday, June 12, 6 p.m., Grace Episcopal Church, Monroe - Kilbourne Hall. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 26, 2014

2014 Diocesan Convention

The Monroe Convocation will host the 2014 convention of the Diocese of Western Louisiana this fall. Lets show off what we can do and make this a rousing good party! Everyone is needed to plan and execute. We're getting underway tomorrow.

Diocesan Convention Planning Meeting
Tuesday, May 27, 6 p.m.
St. Alban's Episcopal
2816 Deborah Dr., Monroe

Friday, May 23, 2014

This Sunday is Rogation Sunday

Remember that this Sunday is Rogation Sunday... Hope we have folks from all our churches there!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jesus, the Way

A sermon at Christ Church, St. Joseph, La., 18 May 2014

My late husband and I were hunting buddies. After he died, I mostly quit hunting because, as I’m sure many of you know, it’s way more fun to hunt with a buddy.

But that’s not the story for this morning. The story for this morning is how we got lost, more specifically, how the one who was always certain she knew where we were, and which way to go, got turned around and got us completely lost because he trusted and followed her.

See, he was born and grew up in a city.., and he had a lousy sense of direction. You could never have told him, “Go east on I-20, then south on Highway 65 to reach St. Joseph,” because he never knew which way was east and which way south. Do I turn right or left, he would ask.

I, on the other hand, grew up in the country, and had and still have a good sense of direction. Tell me that St. Joseph is southeast of Monroe about an hour and a half’s drive, and I’ll immediately have a mental map of going east on I-20 a ways and then south on some state highway, the name of which I might need to look up.

Give me a map, I have often bragged, and I can get anywhere I want to go, and home again! It got a little harder when we moved to Louisiana, where everything this side of the Ouachita is flat and covered with palmettos and… to people from Pennsylvania, looks exactly alike, indeed, seems to have no distinguishing features to help you find your way.



Monday, May 19, 2014

It's shocking!

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world!

Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith Civic Academy


Tuesday, May 20
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Little Flower of Jesus Catholic Church
600 South 16th Street

The purpose of a civic academy is to create awareness, share information and instigate dialogue.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#Episcopal Social Media Sunday

Rogation Sunday in Oak Ridge

May 25, The Sixth Sunday of Easter, is also Rogation Sunday - It is a big day for Church of the Redeemer in Oak Ridge. I hope that each of our churches will send representatives to celebrate with the folks in Oak Ridge!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 11, 2014

Happy Fourth Sunday of Easter and Mother's Day! Worship at one of our churches and give God thanks...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

People of the Way

At the Post-Easter Clergy Retreat, Bishop Jake asked the clergy to read this book. It is challenging, but I promise it will get you thinking in an new way about mission. Might be a good read for our group!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thursday evening!

Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith
invites you to come learn about
Higher Education Funding & the Workforce
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
Thursday, May 1
7 - 8:30 p.m.
The purpose of Interfaith Civic Academies is to provide data and instigate discussion. Come and be part of the dialogue about the important issues of our community!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meeting Cancelled

Tonight's tech meeting for Episcopal Mission of Northeast Louisiana is cancelled due to the burial visitation for the Davenport's grandson, Cal. We will reschedule.

Monday, April 28, 2014

At St. Thomas'...

It's time for St. Thomas' Annual
Back to the Bayou
Fish Fry
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
3706 Bon Aire Drive
Saturday, May 3, 5:30 pm

$8 adults
$5 children under 12
Come for a great meal of fish, hush puppies, fries, slaw, desserts & tea,
PLUS entertainment by the Back Pew Pickers, a cake walk and other fun stuff all for a good cause.

See you there!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Today's sermon: Wounded Healer

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Mer Rouge, La. 

I have a scar on my knee. It’s not actually a very impressive scar. You probably wouldn’t notice it even if I were wearing shorts this morning!

But I enjoy telling the story of getting it anyway. I even think of the story in church sometimes because it involves sheep. In fact, I can’t NOT think of it when scripture reminds us, “all we are like sheep who have gone astray”!

You see, sheep are not very smart. One day on a small farm in Iowa, I and my brothers were helping my father in the barn when suddenly the skies opened and the rains came down—huge, drenching, rains.

Our small flock of ewes and newborn lambs was grazing in a pasture nearby. “Quick,” my father said, “get the lambs.”

And we all rushed into the pasture, took a soaking wet lamb into our arms and ran into the barn—the mother following us, of course—then back for another and another until all had been saved.

Sheep will stand in a heavy rain until the lambs get cold and water-logged, fall to the ground and die. 

The scar happened because, running to the barn with an armful of wet lamb in a downpour, I failed to see a hunk of barbed wire on the ground and ran into it, ripping open my knee.

No big deal, really. Didn’t even go to the doctor. With no medical insurance, it had to be a lot worse than that to merit a trip to the doctor!

But I enjoy telling the story. It tells you something about me. It gives me a bit of “street cred,” if you will, or I guess “farm cred” would be a better term.

Today’s Gospel story often gets used to talk about things like Thomas’ doubting, his need to get visual confirmation of the resurrection of Jesus, and his ultimate, powerful statement of faith.

I, myself, have used this story to preach about how it is okay to be a bit skeptical, to ask questions and to wait and see. After all, the other 11 also didn’t believe the women when they first burst into the room claiming they had seen Jesus! So Thomas certainly should not take the rap alone!

And the story is about those things..., but I think that focus passes over something very, very important—namely, Jesus showing the disciples his scars, and then breathing the Holy Spirit into them.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Civic Academy

Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith
invites you to come learn about
Higher Education Funding & the Workforce
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
Thursday, May 1
7 - 8:30 p.m.
All are welcome! This will be a good introduction to Interfaith. Civic Academies are one of our important tools for helping people understand the issues that shape our lives. The purpose is not to push a given set of solutions, but to initiate dialogue and encourage people to think critically about solutions.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Saturday at St. Thomas'

Training and fellowship....
Join us... if you want to be a Daughter, are curious about the Daughters, or just want to spend the morning sharing a spiritual journey with other women! This is session 2, but you are welcome whether you attended session 1 or not.

Saturday, April 26
9 a.m. - Noon
Coffee & Light Lunch Provided
On the Sun Porch at St. Thomas'
3406 Bon Aire Dr., Monroe

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! 

Chistós anésti!

God Play, by Bette J. Kauffman

Anésti̱ o Kýrios , prágmati.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Vigil of Easter

St. Thomas' and St. Alban's will celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter
Saturday, April 19, 6 p.m.
at St. Alban's

All welcome!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


All are welcome at St. Alban's, Wednesday in Holy Week, for Tenebrae. The liturgy begins at 6:00 p.m. The name Tenebrae is from the Latin word for “darkness” or “shadows.” The service symbolizes the growing darkness as we move toward Good Friday and the return of the light at Easter. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Episcopal Church on Tumblr!

Morning and evening prayers are offered daily at The Episcopal Church on Tumblr. Holy Week is a good time to join us for our blog devoted to liturgy and prayer.

Tenebrae and The Great Vigil of Easter

St. Alban's in Monroe invites everyone to two special liturgies this Holy Week:

Holy Wednesday
Tenebrae – 6:00 p.m.
Tenebrae symbolizes the growing darkness as we move toward Good Friday and the return of the light at Easter.

and on

Holy Saturday:
The Great Vigil of Easter with Baptism - 6:00 p.m.
This is the Church’s ancient first celebration of Easter. Come and experience this wonderful liturgy with Holy Baptism.

St. Thomas’ will be joining us both nights and we hope you will too 
(but don't miss your church's offerings)!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuesday at Grace...

Fr. Bill Easterling from Redeemer in Ruston gives the meditation for the final Lenten Lunch at Grace in Monroe this Lenten season.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Sermon by Bishop Jake

The latest from Bishop Jake...

Meeting Tonight!

The Planning Committee of the Episcopal Mission of Northeast Louisiana will meet tonight, Thursday, April 3, at 6 p.m. at St. Alban's, Monroe.

Join us for some Gobbler Cobbler Pie, Salad and a very non-Lenten cake! See you there!

To see what we are up to, follow us on facebook at or on our blog at

Saturday, March 22, 2014

This week at Grace....

Grace Episcopal Church's Tuesday noon Lenten Lunch series continues this week with Fr. Richard Norman giving the meditation over soup and salad.

Grace is collecting money for Heifer Project International, a nonprofit that invests in livestock for poor families to develop the ability to feed themselves. Come for lunch with some change in your pocket to "feed the pig[gy]" bank on every table.