To equip the saints

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ… 

Eph 4:11-12a

The writer of Ephesians speaks of gifts (in Greek “charisms”) for ministry and their purpose: to build up the body of Christ for the work of ministry in this world. In this section, the focus is on the individual and how the individual gifts come together. Faith communities also have gifts or charisms, particular contributions they make to the wider body of Christ. Urban and rural churches have very different ministry settings, and God gives them different gifts. My previous congregation was located on the campus of a major university and had a particular charism in supporting students and faculty.  

This week, we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the sanctuary (August 6, 1971), I am reminded that the building has facilitated so building up the body of Christ in this place in many different ways.  All Saints’ has long been known for charisms of compassion and service. We have been at the forefront of drawing together diverse people to make a tangible difference in the lives of others, from children in poverty to people who had no place to call home to elders’ needs of assistance in food and housing. This is only to name a few. 

Within the mission of “Disciples Making Disciples for Christ,” we also have a charism in calling people forward and preparing them for ordained ministry. I am aware of Robert Black (Rector, St. Lukes, Salisbury), Sara Palmer (Senior Associate Rector, St. Mary’s Arlington), Alex Viola (Retired, formerly Rector of St. James, Hendersonville), and Jacqueline Whitfield (Deacon Missioner, Cabarrus County) all of whom were raised up for ordination by All Saints’. 

This fall Emily Badgett will begin academic study at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in preparation for ordination as a priest in the Episcopal Church. She has been named a Woodruff Fellow and will have her full expenses covered, including tuition, fees, room and board, as well as a stipend.

Emily grew up in this parish and was accepted as a postulant in the Diocese of North Carolina in January 2020. She began working with our young people in March 2020 when the pandemic closures unceremoniously sent her home from college in the spring of her senior year. In June 2020, Emily began serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as a hospital chaplain, first at Atrium Main and then at Novant Presbyterian, both in Charlotte. We were blessed to have her creativity and passion until hospital duties led her to step down in January 2021.

Though she leaves for Atlanta, Emily will continue to be a member of All Saints’ until her ordination—in fact she has to go before the vestry two more times—so we will have the opportunity to hear from her occasionally over the next three years. I ask your prayers for her as she moves into this next part of her preparation.

If you would like to send a card, her new address is 1968 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, GA 30307.