Dreams into Deeds


The Reverend Clarence Jordan, PhD (1912-1969), a Georgia native like me, is a personal hero of mine. He got an MDiv from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, as did I. He stayed on to complete a PhD in Greek New Testament.

Clarence Jordan co-founded Koinonia Farms outside Americus, GA, an inter-racial, cooperative farming community that practiced peacemaking and drew persecution in the years of Jim Crow. The affordable housing program begun there evolved into Habitat for Humanity. Read more about Clarence here: https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/clarence-jordan-1912-1969/.

Among Dr Jordan's most notable works are his "Cotton Patch" versions of various New Testament books, including the gospels, rendered in Southern idioms and set in Georgia. He was actually working on his version of John's gospel when he died of a massive heart attack in October 1969. So, we only have eight chapters of John in his rendering.

In his "Cotton Patch" version of the Letter to the Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 1, he writes, "Now faith is the turning of dreams into deeds. It is betting your life on the unseen realities."

This is what we are doing together at St Paul's: turning dreams into deeds.

Our dreams are big and getting bigger. We are testing them out to make sure they are God ideas not just good ideas. We test them not just on our own but in partnership with all kinds of neighbors.

We address the needs that our neighbors have rather than telling them what programs we have dreamed up on our own without their input. In this spirit, you have donated diapers for the Diaper Drive and laundry money for Loads of Love and food staples for Loaves and Fishes and foodstuffs and vitamins for the Diocese of Cuba.

And in this spirit we have together through a matching gift raised another $20,000.00 for the South Florida Haiti Project through the third annual ABC Sale. Thanks be to God and to all of you, of course to our principal organizers of the sale but also to everyone who donated items, set up for and worked the sale, counted money, coordinated pickups and drop-offs, shopped, and contributed cash. This money will turn dreams in Haiti into deeds of compassion that will manifest lovingkindness and care to children and adults in Bondeau.

Are there other dreams you are dreaming of ministry opportunities and community partnership possibilities? What is the Spirit whispering to you? How does it feel to live your faith by turning dreams into deeds? What unseen reality will you place a wager on as you make your way through Lent?

Padre's Blog A la Mote
Posted by The Very Reverend Donna S. Mote, PhD

Our 34th rector, Dr Mote, was installed by Bishop Eaton on Saturday, June 5th, 2021.  Prior to joining St Paul's, she served as the Vicar of ATL (Episcopal Chaplain to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport).  With Bishop Robert C. Wright she authored, The Go Guide: 10 Steps for Innovations in Ministry from Luke 10. Beginning in 2016, Donna served on the bishop's staff as Missioner for Engagement and Innovation in the Diocese of Atlanta, to consult on, coach, strategize, support, promote, and provoke innovations in ministry in Middle and North Georgia.  She was also Chaplain to the Georgia State Defense Force and the 76th Support Brigade.

Donna earned degrees from Shorter College (BA), Southern Seminary (MDiv), and Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion (PhD) and completed Anglican studies at Sewanee: The University of the South. Donna was raised up for ordination by the parish of St Bartholomew’s, Atlanta. She is an Associate of the Order of St Helena.  Donna is married to Rebecca England, and they have two sons, Anderson and Jordan.

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