Dear friends,

It is good to be with you after a wonderful two weeks in Italy. We went nonstop, walking 8-10 miles a day, and we only scratched the surface of things to see and do there. It was good to spend that time with Joseph Henry and good to be in a place that was so important in Joe’s life. And it was good for us to change our Christmas routine.

This Sunday we will be back to our regular schedule of services at 8:30 and 10:45, with Sunday School at 9:30. In Sunday School we will be looking at the writings of the apostle Paul. In many more liberal circles Paul is dismissed at misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic (among other things). We’ll be looking at these accusations to see if there is a way to reclaim Paul as a Christian leader and theologian whose words are still relevant for us today.

The calendar for January and February is full of special events that may be of interest to you. Here are some of them:

This year marks the 50h anniversary of the ordination of the first women priests in the Episcopal Church. The ordination of the Philadelphia 11, as they were called, was a faithful act of civil disobedience at a time when the Church had yet to approve women’s ordination (that came in 1977). A new documentary, The Philadelphia Eleven, tells the story of the courage and bravery of these women, and the men who put their own careers on the line to support them. 

The North Atlanta Convocation (St. Dunstan’s, St Anne’s, Holy Innocents, St. Martin’s, Emmaus House, and Holy Comforter) is sponsoring a viewing of the film on Sunday, January 28, at 5 p.m. at St. Anne’s. Attendance is free, but an offering will be taken to fund scholarships for women seminarians. There will be a light reception following the viewing.

I hope that many of you will be able to attend, Every woman who wears a clerical collar is indebted to these trailblazers.

This is the month for documentaries about the Episcopal Church. A new film, A Case for Love, is being released this month. Here is the promo information about it:

Our society is more divided than ever. Many have moved into tribal corners, seeing the world from an “us versus them” point of view. The teachings and writings of the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, most well-known for his passionate sermon about “The Power of Love” at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, inspire A CASE FOR LOVE. This feature-length documentary examines the question of whether or not love, specifically—unselfish—love, is the solution to the extreme societal and political divide facing the world.

In the documentary, our film team travels the U.S. searching for people living their lives selflessly and interviews them about how that way of living affects others and themselves. We also interview random people on the street, discussing where they’ve witnessed unselfish love and where they’ve seen its absence. We also learn what well-known figures, including Pete Buttigieg, Al Roker, Sam Waterston, John Danforth, Becca Stevens, Jon Meacham, Russell Moore, Kelly Brown Douglas, and Jim Clyburn, have to say about the topic. Finally, Bishop Michael Curry places all we’ve seen into context. Read more at

A Case for Love will be shown in AMC Theaters for one day only, January 23. A screening at Phipps’ Plaza, sponsored by the diocese, is already sold out, but there are several other theaters showing it, including:

  • AMC Parkway Pointe, Cobb Parkway — 4.p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Merchants’ Walk in East Cobb — 7 p.m.
  • Studio Movie Grill, Alpharetta — 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Phipps Plaza — 4 pm. and 7 p.m. (sold out)

Finally, looking ahead a bit, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14, That means we will have our annual “Shrove Sunday” pancake breakfast on February 11 (one service at 10 a.m. that day).

In past Lenten seasons we have done Stations of the Cross (following the last steps of Jesus) on our nature trail. That stopped with the pandemic, but several people have expressed interest in doing it again. To do that we need some new crosses. If you’re interested in making a cross or in learning more, let me know. There are still a few crosses on the nature trail for you to look at. And the large wooden cross in our Memorial Garden was Toby Raper’s offering several years ago.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

With love,


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