Episcopal clergy reach out to help burned churches

By Don Plummer
Posted Jul 16, 2015

[Diocese of Atlanta] A church arson fire in the central Georgia city of Macon has prompted Episcopal clergy in the area to sponsor a special offering to help rebuild the church and other similarly victimized congregations.

“We are asking all 11 parishes in the Macon Convocation to take up an offering on Sunday, July 26, to show our love and solidarity with these fellow members of the Body of Christ,” said Acting Macon Convocation Dean The Rev. Joseph Shippen.

Since the June 17 shooting deaths of the pastor and eight members at Mother Emanuel Church in SC there have been five church fires across the United States in historically African American churches. Arson is suspect in some of the blazes, including the June 23 fire at God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon. For more on the arsons see this report by CBS News.

Diocese of Atlanta Episcopal Churches throughout middle and north Georgia are asked to participate in the special offering, said Shippen, who serves as associate rector at Christ Church in Macon.

The special collection on July 26 at the 11 Episcopal churches in the Macon Convocation of the Diocese of Atlanta will be distributed to the effected churches by Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) in St. Louis from its national “Rebuild the Churches Fund”.

As of July 14 at least 191 faith communities (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) have committed $176,000 toward fund goal of $250,000.

As of July 14 at least 191 faith communities (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) have committed $176,000 toward fund goal of $250,000. Churches and individuals may contribute to the national fund by sending their checks made out to Christ Church Cathedral. Put “church arson” in memo line. All money collected by this national campaign will be divided among the burned churches. For more information, click here.

The Rev. Scott Petersen, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Warner Robins, issued a written appeal for financial assistance for the burned churches to his parishioners. “Please be generous! Our witness and unity ‘as one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church’ is evidenced not so much in words, but in our acts of love and sacrifice,” Petersen wrote. “May our combined efforts at All Saints, linked in the convocation and to faith communities across the country, be a great light beating back acts of present darkness.”