Thursday, August 30, 2012

Labor Day Collect

Hope all are safe and dry this Labor Day!

The Collect for Labor Day:
Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I spent the summer of 1979 as an exchange student in Spain and took this photograph of "our daily bread" in my Spanish mother's cupboard.

In the summer of 2009, I traveled for 10 days in Central Europe and once again, loved the fresh bread!

You've probably noticed that we have spent that last few Sundays reflecting on Jesus' statements in John's Gospel about being the Bread of Life. So my sermon for the good folks at Christ Church in St. Joseph for August 12 begins with my experiences eating bread in Europe, and I used the above photo to illustrate that sermon on my sermon blog.

You can read the entire sermon here:
Archdeacon Bette

A Special Message from Bishop Jake

Dear Friends, 
With the help of The Weather Channel, I've been tracking Tropical Storm Isaac as best as possible. You are all in my thoughts and prayers as this storm heads in our direction.
Tomorrow and Thursday we have scheduled General Convention Wrap Up Conversations in Alexandria and Monroe Convocations, respectively. Given the unpredictability of the storm's path and it's possibly destructive effects, I have decided to postpone these meetings for another time. A new schedule will be available soon.

Rescheduling these meetings will also allow us more time and flexibility to respond pastorally to the needs of those affected by the storm. The Rev. Liz Ratcliffe is our chair for disaster relief. Her successor in this ministry is the Rev. Mitzi George. Both have spoken with me and with each other in anticipation of the storm's arrival.

Our Interim Camp Director Jason Ezell has notified me that Camp Hardtner is prepared to receive evacuees. Should these measures be needed, Mtr. Liz suggests an excellent way to help. In order for Camp to offer hospitality to guests, supplies of diapers, soap, shampoo, playing cards, and art supplies for children would be very helpful.

Please share this email with people in your parishes. Let's continue to pray for those in the storm's path and offer ourselves as the hands of Christ in the ways that present themselves to us.

Blessings to you all.
In Christ's Love,

The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, Ph.D.
The Diocese of Western Louisiana
P. O. Box 2031, Alexandria, Louisiana 71309-2031

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our Deacon, the Archdeacon

Our deacon, The Rev'd Dr. Bette J. Kauffman, has been appointed by Bishop Jake Owensby to the position of Archdeacon. Her title can be either "The Venerable" or "Archdeacon." Bette has elected to use the title - Archdeacon Bette J. Kauffman, Ph.D., which recognizes her new position and still acknowledges her doctorate. As Bette said, "Somehow "the Venerable" just makes me feel old!"

Congratulations Archdeacon!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Plumb Line of Love

Foucault's pendulum at the Panthéon, Paris.
Here's a sermon I preached at Christ Church in St. Joseph a few weeks ago. It is based on God's call to Amos the prophet to be a plumb line in the midst of the Israelites. Of course, Amos was one of a long line of solely human prophets that ended with John the Baptizer. Jesus the Christ is the ultimate plumb line whose life and teachings proclaim God's love for all as the true measure of humankind.

Link to the full text of the sermon:

Best Game in Town: Interfaith

Interfaith celebrated its 10th birthday a few years ago with a skit.

I recently wrote two articles about Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith. The first tells some history about my finding Interfaith and what it means to me, as well as attempts to summarize what Interfaith does and how. Your questions and feedback are always welcome!

Here's a link to the article on my commentary blog:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thoughts from Bishop Jake for August 15, 2012

Dear Diocesan Family,

Let’s commit to staying connected. That’s what families do. And we are a family through more than genetics and lineage. Our common faith in the one Christ makes us brothers and sisters in an eternal sense. Nevertheless, staying connected is important.

Worshipping with the Book of Common Prayer keeps us spiritually connected. That is the gift of our Anglican heritage. Each Sunday we pray together in the same ancient forms from many different geographical locations. Different places. Same prayers. Same Jesus Christ.

We read the same scripture passages from the Revised Common Lectionary. God speaks the same words of love and grace in different tones with different cadences to the gathered believers in every place. The words are the same, and yet somehow God crafts the message for each and every heart. God’s word keeps us connected.

The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ slake our thirst and quell our hunger each Sunday. Each of our different Altars is a finite perspective on the one true Altar where Christ is both priest and sacrifice. Or, to us the image of the Table: the Holy Table in each congregation is a different glimpse of the one true Table at which Jesus is host and feast. The Sacrament connects us to God and weaves us into one Body.

In our polity, bishops serve as a symbol of our deeper unity in Christ. When I visit a congregation, my presence as bishop reminds everyone that the entire diocese, in fact the entire Church, gathers as one in worship.

As aids in remembering our unity and keeping us connected, I post pictures of my visitations on Facebook. Additionally, you can read each week’s sermon at Pelican Anglican ( and listen to it at my Bishop Jake Owensby site (

Please consider friending me on Facebook (just look for Jake Owensby) to check out the latest pictures and updates. Also, visit my blog and consider subscribing by email or RSS feed. You can also subscribe to my audio sermons. (There is a link from Pelican Anglican to the audio sermons if that’s more convenient for you.)

Several parishes have touched base with me about book signings. Please feel free to let me know that you would like for me to come, and we will work something out. I will be happy to do a brief class and bring some copies for purchase and signing. If you already have a copy, just bring it along. Connecting the Dots is now available in a number of places, including Amazon.

I am so proud to be your bishop. Your faith and love fill me with joy and encourage me in my own walk with Jesus. I love you all and look forward to seeing each of you face to face.

In Christ’s Love,

The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, Ph.D.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sunday School Prep

If you can spare a half hour, an hour or more, please come! We will organize classrooms, sort supplies and get ready for Sunday School to kick off after Labor Day. All skills needed, from teaching to crafts, snacks and more! What can you contribute to make this a success?

Lady's Night Out

Deacon Bette holds the primatial staff as the Most Right Rev. Katharine Schori begins the examination of Bishop Jake.

The women of St. Thomas' will dine together at the Olive Garden Wednesday, 8/15/12, at 6:30 p.m., following the Wednesday evening Eucharist. Deacon Bette will reflect on her experiences as chaplain to the Presiding Bishop while she was in Shreveport for Bishop Jake's consecration and installation.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jane Wayman Schlatter Burial

A celebration of the life of Jane Wayman Schlatter will be held on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. Jane's obituary can be found at this link. Online condolences may also be left for the family there.

The Rev'd Dawnell Stodghill will officiate using The Burial of the Dead: Rite Two with Holy Communion, assisted by the The Rev'd Dr. Bette Jo Kauffman, Deacon. Special music will be provided by Deborah Chandler accompanied by Julian Jones and by the Praise Band. All are invited to attend.

A reception will follow on the Sun Porch.