Friday E-News | August 25, 2023

by Andrew Barnett on August 25, 2023

Dear saints,

This Sunday, we return to our fall schedule, with services at 8:00 a.m. (in the chapel, brief, spoken), 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. (in the church, music with organ and choir), and 5:00 p.m. (The Welcome Table, led by piano in the chapel).

For this week's letter, I want to tell you a story about what God is doing through your ministry of hospitality at The Welcome Table. This past week, we were joined by a gentleman who is putting his life together, having completed his prison sentence 10 days prior. I asked what brought him to All Saints’ and he said, “People say you guys are just so friendly, that the service is beautiful and that there is a delicious meal afterwards.” We headed in to worship, where we sang together, listened to instrumental music in the colorful afternoon light of the chapel, lit candles in prayer, shared communion and reflected on the spiritual gift of reconciliation. 

After church, we had supper, which was his first home-cooked meal in yearsI wish you could have seen his eyes light up after that first bite of Tom Gibbs’ coleslaw. Jill Gossett, our Director of Parish Life, and Reece Johnson, our Head Sexton, were hard at work in the kitchen, embodying that old saying: "Food is love."

I asked Carl Walker to join us. Carl is a long-time parishioner: he is 92-years-old, an awarded Korean War veteran and an activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Carl knew just what to do. He pulled together a circle of friends to offer encouragement and support. We talked about all the ways this community could be helpful, including Recovery Resources of Atlanta, Midtown (RRAM), which offers a variety of day-time services and support.

But above all, we together experienced the presence of God. In that space, our relationship was moving, mutual and respectful. This visitor shared that he feels called to ministry with people who have recently completed prison time. Indeed, he is a gifted and poetic communicator. He said, “You have to get through something to get to something. We might see a mess, but God sees ministry.” 

Carl invited the visitor back to campus the next day to meet with peer counselors at RRAM; and he came back! But this time he wasn’t alone: he had spoken with his wife about reconciling after much time apart. The two walked into the session together.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. 

I want to invite you to The Welcome Table. Please come experience what God is doing in this important new ministry.



Previous Page


Enter your info below to receive our weekly e-news, and stay up to date on all our latest community news and events!