Parish Profile

Who Are the Saints?

Welcome Who Are the Saints? The Saints’ Response to the Gospel The Saints in Fellowship with One Another Our Next Rector The Saints Behind this Profile
 

Our History
 

If you were to look down from the top floor of the Bank of America building, the tallest building in Atlanta, you would see the campus of All Saints’ in miniature. Surrounding the brownstone church, parish hall, children’s center, and other buildings and gardens, are the Georgia Tech campus, an eight-lane expressway, a famous hot-dog joint, a public transit station, a 1929 movie palace, and a sea of office buildings. But in 1903, this lot in the country was vacant. Desiring a church nearer their homes, especially a Sunday school for their children, a group of parishioners from two downtown Episcopal churches petitioned Bishop Cleland Nelson for permission to build a church on the corner of North Avenue and West Peachtree Street. With the approval of the Bishop, Mary Jane Peters gave the land in memory of her husband, Richard. A wooden chapel was constructed, and the Bishop himself named the church and called the first rector.

The Reverend Zebulon S. Farland (1903-1909): Under Farland’s guidance, membership increased from 65 communicants to 350. Beautiful music was established as a priority that has endured in the parish. In 1905 the rector hired Deaconess Katherine E. Wood to help with the Sunday school, pastoral care, altar guild and children’s choir, and with Holy Innocents’ mission. During Farland’s tenure, the present church was constructed in 1906.

The Reverend Dr. Willis Wilkinson Memminger (1910-1937): Eloquent preaching, excellent music, and further growth characterized W.W. Memminger’s era. In 1910, Mary Jane Peters donated a second property to All Saints’, and, in 1916, Thomas Egleston, a generous parishioner and vestry member, bequeathed enough money to build the parish hall.

The Reverend Dr. Theodore St. Clair Will (1938-1944): Theodore Will established the first organized canvass for financial pledges from the congregation, to replace pew-rental as a source of income. His tenure was quiet and sober, with World War II obviously affecting parish life and volunteer groups working for the war effort. On a parish level, his death in 1944 ended an era. We had been a “low” church, dignified yet safe and predictable. But changes were to come.

The Reverend Matthew M. Warren (1945-1952): Warren guided All Saints’ in a new direction, emphasizing education and social responsibility. His ideas were liberal, especially toward people of color; his sermons, often unsettling. Deeply interested in Christian education, Warren reshaped children’s Sunday school so that the curriculum dealt less with memorizing Bible verses and more with teaching children to learn how to love God, their neighbors, and themselves. Warren left All Saints’ in 1952 to become headmaster of St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire.

The Reverend Milton LeGrand Wood (1952-1960): Wood, along with his assistant, The Reverend Frank Ross, signed a “Ministers’ Manifesto” after the Supreme Court decision in 1954 that declared segregation illegal. Though mild by today’s standards, this document was front-page news in Atlanta at the time, urging tolerance and obedience to the law. As rector, Wood continued Matt Warren’s policy of welcoming people of all races to attend services at All Saints’. His was also an era of parish activity and voluntarism, with lay people taking greater roles in ministry and service. The college program was at its height, and the Canterbury Club meeting on Sunday evenings attracted students from Georgia Tech and Agnes Scott College. Milton Wood resigned in 1960 because of a heart condition.

The Reverend Frank Mason Ross (1961-1980): During Ross’s tenure, change manifested itself in many areas. Some changes were local and simply accommodated congregational needs. For instance, All Saints’ established next to the church building a cemetery for burial of ashes. Some changes originated with the national church, particularly changes associated with the adoption of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer after a series of trial liturgies that All Saints’ used with less fuss than many parishes made. Other changes involved both the church and society more generally. Divorce was becoming more common, and attitudes towards women’s roles were changing, for instance. For the first time, All Saints’ elected a woman to the vestry; Sue Brown Sterne was nominated from the floor at the annual parish meeting in 1961—and won handily. Not long afterwards, Frank Ross appointed Dr. Mary Lynn Morgan as the first female senior warden. Some changes remained difficult, however, and arose from political and social realities that Ross faced directly. He decried the worship of money and our nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Building on Warren’s and Wood’s earlier work, he challenged the congregation from the pulpit to live out its faith in ways that some members found uncomfortable. During these years, despite the departure of some parishioners upset by his preaching against segregation, Frank Ross remained true to himself and to his beliefs. He hailed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from the pulpit. He never backed down or tried to gloss over turmoil. And he was supported by courageous and outspoken laypeople of the parish, who joined him in seeking justice and reconciliation. These lay leaders included Ralph McGill, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, and Elbert Tuttle, chief judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, both of whom left churches that supported segregation to join All Saints’. Ross’s steadfastness, following his predecessors’ courage in decrying racial prejudice, helped All Saints’ make a step in the journey of self-discovery, striving to find our way to serve God in the midst of the country’s angst. Although he did not mince words and risked alienating some parishioners, Frank Ross believed that if we trusted in God, everything was going to be all right. This trust lay at the heart of his sermons. At the same time he challenged the congregation, he could and did speak comfortable words, often saying, “Don’t be afraid.” To him fell the duty of preaching on the Sunday after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, when he manifested the best of his pastoral empathy and Christian courage.

Frank Ross was our first rector to be divorced, at a time when the church was changing its longstanding position against divorce but struggling to accept it. His divorce disturbed many parishioners, and Ross was himself chagrinned at the failure of his marriage and admitted that failure in a sermon. He resigned in 1980, later remarried, and went on to serve a church in North Carolina.

The Reverend Harry H. Pritchett (1981-1996): Harry Pritchett helped to remind us of the joy that can come from the faithful response to the Gospel that Warren, Wood, and Ross had asked of us. When Harry was called, his high energy, uplifting services, and enthusiasm for parish activities ushered in a new buoyancy and optimism. He encouraged the congregation to enter into the changes in church doctrine and discipline reflected in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, such as regarding the Eucharist as the major weekly service and involving laypeople more integrally as lectors, intercessors, and Eucharistic ministers. Harry and his wife, Allison, set the tone for sociable interaction between staff and parishioners by hosting gatherings, often in their own home. In short, they knew how to have fun and build community. All Saints’ progressive direction did not change with the new rector, however. Harry’s preaching continued the liberal message of Warren, Wood, and Ross; Harry Pritchett became another courageous and visionary rector who encouraged us to live out the convictions espoused by his predecessors.

A recurring theme with Harry was that “grace comes in unexpected places. God is a surprise!” Worship services were full of music, thanks to the talents and dedication of organists Ray and Beth Chenault, whom Frank Ross had hired (and who still serve us magnificently today). As the Eucharist became the main Sunday service, ritual changed, and vergers helped make the services go smoothly.

Harry’s years as rector are noted for vital urban missions. Our night shelter for homeless men started in the 1980s, to be replaced by a “Rise and Shine” program and finally the present Covenant Community, a residential program of life stabilization for recovering addicts, housed on the All Saints’ campus. North Avenue Academy, a school on our campus for drop-out teenagers, was sponsored by Communities in School and the Atlanta Public Schools (APS). It was closed by APS after a decade, despite All Saints’ commitment. Our refugee ministry actually started during Frank Ross’s tenure, when we assisted people who fled Cuba in 1962, but under Harry’s leadership and continuing until today, this ministry has of necessity grown to include refugees from many countries. All Saints’ was one of the founding congregations of Midtown Assistance Center (MAC), which in its early years was housed on our campus. Boy Scout Troop 42 mixed boys from a nearby housing project with sons of parishioners. The troop was both racially diverse and diverse as to sexual orientation (regardless of the national scouting group’s position at the time). A particularly needed mission instituted by Harry was our response to the AIDS epidemic, which affected our congregation more than most. By the 1980s, All Saints’ had earned a reputation for welcoming LGBTQ people, and they represented a significant part of our congregation. Quickly recognizing the epidemic’s seriousness both as a medical crisis and a magnifier of prejudice against the LGBTQ population, Harry created a task force to gather information, educate the parish, and minister to those who were ill. He also maintained All Saints’ commitment to including women in leadership, hiring two women priests, Barbara Brown Taylor and Martha Sterne, as assistant rectors. A new building, which included a day-care center and classrooms for children’s formation, was built. The Prichetts left All Saints’ when Harry was called to become the dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. At their farewell party, the new building was named the Harry and Allison Pritchett Children’s Center.

The Reverend Geoffrey Michael St. John Hoare (1998-2016): For the first time, the vestry appointed a committee to create a parish profile to aid the nominating committee in finding our eighth rector. Geoffrey Hoare, with his youth, his beguiling British accent, and his quick sense of humor, accepted our call. Despite Geoffrey’s many strengths, he experienced some difficulties upon arriving. We still thought of ourselves as Harry’s parish and missed him and Allison terribly—not the easiest atmosphere for a new rector to find his way in. As a parish we had to get a sense of ourselves again, and in the early years of Geoffrey’s tenure we worked together at this task, which provided opportunities for us all to grow. Two questions Geoffrey asked were “Who are we?” and “Where are we going?” To facilitate answers, he appointed a long-range planning group that sought input from the congregation. From the resulting long-range plan came several recommendations that the vestry adopted; for example, establishing a new urban ministry to “clothe children with dignity.” Thus began Threads, a store on the campus which offers new and gently used children’s clothes, where shoppers use vouchers obtained through various agencies instead of cash. Soon after, the vestry designated four core ministries: Threads, Refugee Ministries, Covenant Community, and MAC. These ministries were seen as so important that, at the onset of the 2008 recession, the vestry concluded that we must not (as many churches were doing) shut down programs that help people in need. This position was an attempt to be faithful to our duty as Christians—“striving to be more the church,” as Geoffrey put it. With an improving economy, Geoffrey’s leadership, and the backing of the vestry, the parish held a Capital Funds Campaign to renovate various buildings and the courtyard, acquire the remaining parcels of property on the block not owned by All Saints’, and provide programming for youth and young adults in our community, a campaign completed in 2016 after raising more than $9,000,000, a notable increase over the original goal of $7,500,000.

As for worship, our services during Geoffrey’s tenure continued vital, spirited, and often deeply moving (joyous, moving, reflective, as the season or occasion demanded). Sermons remained tied to the events of the day and based in the Gospel. Our strong music program under the Chenaults continued to uplift us. Children’s choirs—always a feature of All Saints’ life as a worshipping community from the time of Deaconess Wood and nurtured by Katherine Whitaker in Harry’s years—grew notably under Karol Kimmell. The children’s choirs have delighted us and proved invaluable training for our youth, teaching both music and responsibility to young people who take their places as contributing members of the church. The All Saints’ concert series, as it brings outstanding performers to the church and welcomes the public to attend, has become increasingly valuable, both to the parish and to the public (for whom it provides a memorable introduction to All Saints’).

All Saints’ took significant steps during Geoffrey’s years as rector to affirm and embrace its long-established commitment to welcoming, worshipping with, and ministering to those whom society ignores, marginalizes, or abuses. For LGBTQ people and their friends, Geoffrey established a group later called Gays and Lesbians of All Saints’ (GALAS). It represents a visible ministry to this community and has developed into a strong affinity group that takes its place among other active groups that work for the good of the parish and the larger city. Establishing GALAs helped prepare for a farther step in All Saints’ open-minded involvement with the LGBTQ community when the vestry, after some soul-searching meetings, declared its interest in implementing any same-sex marriage policies that the bishop saw fit to authorize. Urged by Geoffrey to take a position on same-sex marriage, the vestry made a courageous decision.

Like Frank Ross’s, Geoffrey’s life included divorce; he and his first wife divorced shortly after he became our rector (arousing some displeasure among parishioners). We all had some growing to do as we sought to respond to these difficulties. Geoffrey later married again, and his wife, Sage, became an important part of the parish family. His service of eighteen years, one of the longest of any All Saints’ rector, saw us grow to love and respect one another deeply. He stepped down from his position as our rector, to follow his wife and their blended family to Washington, DC, where Sage’s career took her. He has recently been appointed interim rector of the Church of the Epiphany there.

One of our long-standing traditions is for the
Rector to set the beat for our July 4 celebration.
Here’s Martha cutting loose.

The Reverend Martha Sterne (2016-): Martha is capably serving as our interim rector. She is a long-time and beloved friend of the parish, having served as an associate rector at All Saints’ from 1989-1999. With Martha, the Reverend Timothy Black serves ably as associate rector for youth and young adults, and in mid-September 2016 we welcomed the Reverend Kimberly Jackson, who joined us as our second associate rector.

All Saints’ has shone on many occasions, but we also, of course, have faults. We are sometimes too proud of our past good works and our current successes, and not always willing to listen to people whose ideas we disagree with or don’t understand. We do not always explain the basis of a pending decision or give everyone a chance to be heard. We can speak dismissively of someone, even of a rector, when we should be forbearing. But we have grown in recent years, perhaps increasing in love and patience, giving a new meaning to the word “progressive.” We pray that we continue to progress in our own sense of ourselves as children of God and brothers and sisters of one another. When we succeed, we succeed with God’s help, as we act together to further God’s kingdom.

The rectors of All Saints’ demonstrate a variety of gifts that have defined our parish and moved us forward. Laypeople likewise have worked, prayed, and given to form and transform the parish over the century and more of its existence. In one sense All Saints’ is firmly fixed where it was at its founding: the church has never moved and remains committed to its neighborhood and its city, as Mary Jane Peters and the other founders expected it to be. In another sense, All Saints’ has moved, not to change its location but to respond to the changes and chances of life that it has faced during the decades since 1903. All Saints’ faithful response to the Gospel, as circumstances challenged our comfort, has been encouraged by a series of courageous and devoted rectors who had strength and vision to lead us, often away from comfort and towards a commitment to the difficult but life-giving task of loving God and neighbor. Despite our flaws, we hope to remain faithful to this task, and we expect our next rector to continue to lead and strengthen us as we go forward together.

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Our Clergy and Staff
 


“Mass in B-Flat Major”, Haydn; All Saints’ Adult Choir

The All Saints’ staff—clergy and lay—currently consists of thirty-four full- and part-time employees who take care of the day-to-day operations of the church and are engaged in parish-life and formation-development programs. Specifically, we have three part-time and twelve full-time lay staff members and five part-time and two full-time sextons. We have six part-time security staff. Our clergy staff at the moment comprises three full-time clergy and has ranged up to five. We also have seventeen affiliated clergy who call All Saints’ home. During the interim several affiliated priests are helping with pastoral duties and occasionally serve in liturgical and formational roles.

Staff tenure runs anywhere from one to forty years. Nine members of the staff have been part of the All Saints’ community for over a decade, and our staff stability provides a firm foundation for our ministries and other activities.

Approximately 350 events take place on the All Saints’ campus each month so seamlessly that most of the parish has no idea of the busyness on our block. In a single week we can have five or six worship services (sometimes more), twenty-plus adult classes, ten-plus classes for children and youth, six choir rehearsals, a Wednesday night supper, plus outside groups such as ten weekly twelve-step programs meeting here regularly. Threads volunteers and clients come and go, as do members of groups like the altar and flower guilds. In addition, we are a polling place. Our staff helps facilitate all these and other activities, responding to both routine and urgent situations swiftly and efficiently. We have a calm, creative staff that can think on its feet.

All Saints’ staff members routinely interact with those of Covenant Community and Bright Horizons, which are housed on our campus. Covenant Community is a residential life stabilization program for men in early recovery from addiction. Bright Horizons is a day-care and pre-K center that serves 140-plus children whose parents work in the midtown area. Their staffs have mailboxes in the church offices, and both organizations sometimes use our space for large events such as graduations, parties, or recitals.

The All Saints’ staff, working together, manages a campus covering a city block, a rich offering of weekly services, and a busy calendar of activities throughout the week, as well as coordinating ministry to individuals in need whenever need occurs. Without its committed and competent staff, All Saints’ could not be what it is, and do what it does, to further God’s kingdom.

Learn more about our clergy.
Learn more about our staff.

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Our Campus
 


“Organ Concerto in D minor”,
Handel; Jefferson McConnaughey, organist

The All Saints’ campus occupies a city block with ten buildings. The church and chapel are our main worship spaces. We use the Egleston Building, parish house, and Tate Hall for office space and ministry-related events. The Pritchett Center’s first floor houses the Bright Horizons’ Children’s Center, which offers day care for working families in the neighborhood. Our youngest Saints share this space on Sundays. The Pritchett Center’s second floor provides dedicated space for our K-fifth-grade Saints. The recently renovated third floor, The Attic, gives our middle- and high-school-aged Saints a place to gather. Covenant Community, our life-stabilization program for men with substance addictions, uses another building on the block. We also lease four properties to small businesses and a billboard company, an arrangement that generates approximately $128,000 annually.

Since our $9 million capital campaign in 2013, we have upgraded these facilities by restoring and refinishing our stained-glass windows, floors, and pews in the church; completely renovating the parish house; constructing a large group-meeting space in Tate Hall; building out The Attic; and redesigning our exterior courtyard.

 

In addition to our capital campaign renovations, we have updated and automated portions of the church, chapel, and Pritchett Center HVAC systems; replaced the roofs on the Egleston and Pritchett Center buildings; and replaced the windows and sealed and waterproofed the skin material at the Pritchett Center.

Together with our full-time facilities manager, the Buildings and Grounds Committee oversees all properties operation, upkeep, and preservation.

And fortunately, our staff and volunteers have more responsibility! As a result of the Saints’ recently completed Buy-the-Block campaign, All Saints’ has acquired, without debt, the remaining properties on our block: one occupied by a small restaurant; a separate, roughly 5,000-square-foot building, with two storefront addresses, suitable for rental; and an empty lot suitable for tenant parking. Our new rector will need to help us decide how we can best use this new space to God’s greater glory.

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Our Finances
 

The Saints have a proud tradition of generous support and responsible stewardship in their budgeting and spending. Thanks to generous pledges, endowment distributions, and revenue-generating properties on our campus, All Saints’ operates on a budget of approximately $3 million each year. And thanks to the efforts of our fulltime director of finance and a highly capable finance committee, we Saints live within our means, and usually reach a small annual budget surplus.

We undertook a major capital campaign in 2013 to fund facilities renovations and targeted future-growth initiatives. The capital campaign was extremely successful, raising $9 million in pledges against an original goal of $7.5 million. All of the capital projects associated with the capital campaign have been completed and are described in “Our Campus.”

We Saints have also recently purchased the remaining properties on our Midtown block. While we originally funded this project with debt, a successful “Buy the Block” campaign in 2015-16 raised $1.7 million in six months, which will allow us to retire the outstanding debt of approximately $500,000 over the next few years.

The church has additional debt of approximately $600,000, incurred for the exterior refurbishment of our Pritchett Center. Lease income from Bright Horizons, which operates a day-care center on that building’s first floor, services this debt.

In 2015, All Saints’ operating budget was $3.1 million, of which $2.7 million was received from annual canvass pledges. A variety of sources, including open-plate collections and endowment income, provided the remaining $400,000. In 2015, All Saints’ had an accumulated budget surplus of approximately $100,000. The average pledge in 2015 was more than $3,250 per family, with pledges ranging from $60 to $60,000.

The graphs below depict the number of pledging units and the total pledges received in the last decade:


Click image to view larger resolution.

On the heels of two successful capital campaigns, our pledges for 2016 still increased to over $3,372 per pledging unit, an increase of $122 from 2015. Thanks to these increases, the total amount pledged as of June 2016 was $2,866,256—an increase of approximately 4%. The strength of the church’s stewardship lies in the initiatives taken by our fulltime director of stewardship, which include using audio/video appeals during the announcements period of our larger Sunday services and in weekly email videos featuring a cross-section of the parish. In 2016, 100 annual canvass volunteers hand-delivered pledge cards to the majority of their fellow parishioners.

We Saints have also funded the Centennial Endowment, which as of earlier this year reached approximately $6.5 million. The Cornerstone Society, comprising Saints who have made provisions for All Saints’ in their wills, has 190 members.


Click image to view larger resolution.

Between 2009 and 2014, the average number of active, baptized members was 3,079. In 2015, that number fell to 2,782. This drop was due mostly to an audit of the church rolls and removal of those members who had moved away or died.

The Saints’ financial solidity, and the stability of our membership, is of course a source of great pride and thankfulness. We believe, however, that we must continue to wean ourselves from the notion of transactional giving and work toward a more profound understanding of giving as a spiritual discipline and a joyous response to what God has given us. We aspire to become a truly transformational force in our neighborhood and the world, and recognize that these goals will demand our treasure as well as our time and talent.

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The Saints in Midtown Atlanta
 

Although All Saints’ began on the outskirts of a still-young Atlanta, today our campus lies in Midtown, just one mile from Five Points, the traditional center of Atlanta.

Our journey from suburban to urban parish has challenged our commitment to our neighborhood. After a decline in the 1960s and 1970s, Midtown began to rebound with the city’s approval of the Midtown Blueprint in 1997, just after the 1996 Olympics. The Blueprint has guided Midtown’s growth and development, including the following developments:

  • The expansion of Georgia Tech eastward, across an interstate highway to within two blocks of All Saints’ campus;
  • The growth by over 40% of Piedmont Park, Atlanta’s iconic green space;
  • The expansion of the Woodruff Arts Center, home to Atlanta’s symphony orchestra, leading theatre company, and art museum;
  • The development of Emory Hospital Midtown into a large and growing health complex; and
  • The addition of corporate headquarters for Equifax and NCR to established neighbors like Georgia Pacific and The Coca-Cola Company.

The Midtown area now includes the 50,000 students of Georgia Tech and Georgia State Universities to the west and south, a large and growing health-care-oriented complex to the south, and both historically affluent and gentrifying residential neighborhoods to the east.

Our campus lies on Midtown’s southern end. A block away are the historic Fox Theater and the diet-busting Varsity Drive-In (a central component of our Youth Ministry). We are adjacent to a MARTA rail transit station, and two blocks from a stretch of Peachtree Street that has achieved the pedestrian-focused live/work/play ideal being sought in many other places in our city.

Slightly farther afield, nearly 169,000 people reside within three miles of our campus, and Midtown’s anticipated development is expected to add another 12,000 of God’s Beloved in the next five years – a growth rate that exceeds both the national and state trends. The household size within this area is small (1.83 persons per household); the average income is high (almost $85,000 per household); and the average home value is over $400,000. Not surprisingly, the population is young (median age about 31) and racially diverse (48% white and 41% black – with the Asian population actually the fastest growing), highly educated (59% with at least a bachelor’s degree), employed in white-collar occupations (almost 80%), and never married (about 67%).

Our comparable parish statistics show that All Saints does not draw in significant numbers from its neighborhood. The Saints are older, whiter, more likely to be married or partnered with children, more affluent, and passing up at least one other Episcopal parish to get to All Saints’ each Sunday morning. We suspect that the demographic differences between our immediate neighborhood and our parish present a challenging but real opportunity – one which we have not yet fully seized – to share the Gospel with those not yet known to us.

Looking beyond Midtown, moreover, one sees a more complex and challenging picture of our community. Atlanta’s economic renewal has not reached large segments of our population. Just over three miles to the south of us one finds large areas of vacant and deteriorated housing, challenged schools, food deserts, and few employment opportunities. In 2014, only two other major cities had an income gap greater than Atlanta’s. Particularly impacted are our children: the Atlanta area ranks 77th among the 100 largest metro areas in the likelihood that a child born in poverty will earn an average wage by age 25. Although our core community ministries have sought to address this need, much work remains to be done within and beyond our immediate neighborhood.

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The Diocese of Atlanta and the Saints’ Place in It
 

The Diocese of Atlanta, the ninth largest of the Episcopal Church’s 110 dioceses, includes metro Atlanta but reaches from south of Macon in central Georgia to Alabama, and north and east to Tennessee and South Carolina. The diocese includes 56,000 members in nearly 25,000 households and 110 worshiping communities, which are organized into ten regional convocations, including our own Midtown Atlanta Convocation.


“O Perfect Love”, Barnby; organist Ray Chenault

All Saints’ clergy and staff have long held leadership positions in the diocese, appropriately for one of its largest parishes. Geoffrey Hoare, our last rector, served on the leadership and insurance diocesan task forces, and played a key role in articulating the distinctive theological purpose for Common Ground, “a church community on the streets of Atlanta, living the Good News that we are all God’s beloved.” Tim Black, our associate rector for youth formation, helped to start ATLserve, a mission week based on Benedictine spirituality, in which youth (grades eight through twelve) live together in intentional community. This past summer ATLserve involved thirty-two middle-school youth from eight parishes, mentored by All Saints’ high-school students. Diocesan Youth Day, hosted at All Saints’, involved over 250 youth and adults. For two years, Noelle York-Simmons, our former senior associate rector, served as dean of the Midtown Atlanta Convocation. Bruce Garner, our head verger, serves on the executive board of the diocese and as a lay deputy to the General Convention, and he has been especially active in diocesan and Province IV organizations addressing LGBTQ- and HIV/AIDS-related ministries.

Our parishioners’ diocesan involvement has not, however, reflected the same commitment offered by our clergy and staff. Our new rector may consider this an opportunity for improvement.

For more information on the Diocese of Atlanta click here.

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  • Looking Forward

    The Saints in
    Midtown Atlanta:

    • Find new and authentic ways to reach out to our neighbors of many demographic groups who work in Midtown
    • Offer engaging worship opportunities to the Millenials who are increasingly choosing to live within walking distance of our campus
    • Work with the diocese to offer new ministries to the large student populations to our west and south
    • Challenge us to explore new relationships with those in our city who are living in the grip of poverty

    Our Finances:

    • Sharpen our understanding that small increases in our pledges are necessary to keep pace with inflation.
    • Challenge our too secular perceptions of giving as a means to get what we want.
    • Remind us of the life-changing possibilities offered in intentional pledging.
    • Celebrate with us all the material blessings that we enjoy.

    “I would like to see us put real concerted effort behind a vibrant Sunday late afternoon or early evening service that would attract students from nearby campuses and apartments.”

    “The Midtown area is continuing to grow, but All Saints’ seems to be missing the boat. What is All Saints’ doing to reach out to these new residents who often are without kids and single?”

    “I am proud of our historical response to tough issues and I would like that kind of challenge to continue.”

    “All Saints’ can’t rest on its laurels. We have much to be proud of in our history, but we must always be alert to current needs and situations as we try to discern how to do God’s work and maintain the vitality of our parish.”

    “A less formal service with less formal or more current music might help us reach some of the tens of thousands of college students and young people who live near our church.”

    “I LOVE being in a building during (or before) a service and praying alongside 400 other people - that is how I connect with God at church.”

    “I think brick and mortar churches will continue to have a place in the future, but we need to be thinking strategically about how to reach folks not coming to church in places where they do go.”

    “I’m concerned about the increased divisiveness in our society, especially regarding race and guns. I see All Saints’ as a place that could have an impact in bringing together disparate voices, and working toward a community where everyone is respected.”


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