As Christians and Episcopalians, we cherish the Holy Scriptures as one of the primary vessels through which Jesus, the Living Word, is revealed in our lives and in the world. It has been said that we take the Bible "too seriously to interpret it literally." As our children develop in their capacity to wrestle with the biblical texts, we want to endow them with an understanding of faith that is able grow with their questions, doubts, and intellect. This begins with teaching the stories of the Old and New Testaments. Again and again we return to the basic narratives of Jesus and the People of God so that our children might internalize them in their hearts and minds and live them out in their actions.
Our List of "Greatest Hits"
At All Saints' we seek to cultivate a faith that moves from the head, to the heart, and into our hands as we live it out in our relationship with God, with others, and with ourselves.
Our programs are saturated with opportunities to grow in relationship with God through prayer, worship, and arts. The pursuit of holiness through a dynamic relationship with the living God is a distinctive marker for what it means to be Church. We believe the Holy Spirit is the animating force behind every work of compassion, love, and mercy - giving us the sustenance, resilience, and courage to press on in the face of challenges, discouragement, and suffering.
As a downtown church in the heart of the city, the question of the lawyer to Jesus in the Parable of the Good Samaritan is paramount: "Who is my neighbor?" Through experiential learning and exploration on and off the campus, we seek to help our young people know and grow in relationship with their neighbors near and far as they learn to deal with conflict, ask forgiveness and forgive others, work for social transformation and the building of the Beloved Community, and live lives of truth and compassion in the world.
Loving others as one's self does little good if one does not love themself. We seek to endow our young people with a sense of self-worth, self-understanding, confidence, joy, and safety that comes with belonging to a spiritual family that seeks to honor and respect the dignity of every human being - a place where "everybody is a a somebody." As youth grow older, we spend time considering issues of friendships, peer pressure, sexuality, and discernment from a faith-informed perspective as they mature into young adulthood.
Beyond rote participation, we want our young people to understand the meaning and value behind the faith traditions we have inherited, as well as immersion and understanding in the traditions and practices of our neighbors. In the course of the program, children learn about the liturgical calendar, church history, the sacraments and worship, and gain familiarity with Episcopal distinctives such as the Baptismal Covenant and Book of Common Prayer. In addition, we spend time learning about Jesus' Jewish roots, along with the basic elements of other denominations and world religions as we equip our young people with the tools they need for navigating and honoring diversity within in a pluralistic society.
Reaching in Service
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these siblings of mine, you did for me. -Jesus
Proximity. Mutuality. Relationship. Transformation.
Mission is an important part of our program. In the words of the Apostle James, "faith without works is dead." Whether volunteering with our core ministries - Midtown Assistance Center, Threads, Covenant Community, or Refugee Ministries - or participating in a special mission trip or service project, we seek to build meaningful relationships, with an eye towards systemic transformation in all we do. Beyond "missional tourism," or "photo-op service projects," we seek to teach our young people to serve with a sense of mutual respect and genuine compassion as they engage with neighbors in need, whether in Atlanta or across the globe.