November 15, 2017
Volume 8, Number 11
The 196th Convention in Photos
Many thanks to Liz Williams, the official photographer for this year's Convention. To see more photos, go here: http://bit.ly/MorePhotosFromConvention
Bishop Benhase before the procession at Christ Church on Thursday night.
Diocesan staff, from left: Gayle Dawson, Assistant to the Bishop; Anna Iredale, Director of Communications, and Canon for Administration Katie Willoughby.
Carrie Headington led four presentations.

The music band from Christ the King at Friday's Eucharist.
The Rev. Erwin Veale holds up a sign that reflects how the Church has changed him.
The Clergy Spouse/Partner Breakfast on Saturday morning.

The youth, led by the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner, were in charge of Saturday morning's service.
In This Issue
Join Our Mailing List
 
 




This Sunday's Lections
Twenty first Sunday after Pentecost
Judges 4:1-7
Psalm 123
or
Zephaniah 1:7,12-18
Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12
  and
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

Go  here 
for the full text.


The 196th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia met November 9-11 at The Patterson in Valdosta. The theme of the Convention: Fearless Faith, Boundless Love, served as a prelude to the Revival which will be held January 20th at Honey Creek Retreat Center.
 
Actions
The Convention approved the 2018 budget for diocesan operations (including Honey Creek), elected persons to diocesan offices, and after debate and amendment approved on first reading a package of changes to the Constitution and Canons which will change the definition and standing of congregations from parishes and missions to parishes and aided parishes ( see below for a full report). Currently only one congregation qualifies as an aided parish, all others are parishes.

Our Speaker
Keynote speaker Carrie Boren Headington walked delegates through key ways of developing an invitation strategy for their parish with clear next steps toward a plan for their church. For complete information, download Carrie's Convention Packet found below. 
  
References 
Prayers for Bishop Henry Louttit
Jan & Bishop Louttit at Christ Church Savannah on Sunday
We ask your prayers for the Rt. Rev. Henry Louttit, Jr., the ninth Bishop of Georgia (1995-2010). Bishop Louttit was hit by a car as he was walking in his neighborhood on Tuesday. He is in the hospital, underwent surgery today and is now resting. Bishop Benhase and the clergy of Christ Church Savannah are providing pastoral care to the Louttits on behalf of the Diocese. Cards may be sent to the Louttits in care of the Diocese of Georgia, 611 E. Bay Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405. We will make sure that they receive them promptly. It is also possible to send a card through Memorial Health by going here:
O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit and relieve thy servant Henry for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Amended Constitutional & Canonical Changes Approved 
The largest item of business brought to the 196th Convention was a package of constitutional and canonical changes which Diocesan Council worked on for more than 18 months. 

For more than a decade the Diocese of Georgia has rarely used a provision written in our canons granting the Bishop authority to move parishes who can no longer meet the obligations of a "parish" to "mission" status. These differences are about more than mere terminology: this affects both representation to Diocesan Convention and the level of oversight provided by the Diocese. A Task Force of the Council worked on the changes to move the more than 25 congregations labeled as "missions" while being fully self supporting to the status of "parish" as full members of the Diocese.

As the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese used the terms parish and mission to determine representation to convention and a level of financial oversight, the constitutional and canonical changes had to address these items as well. The provisions changing the number of delegates to convention and applying to all congregations the oversight of investment funds already in place for missions receive significant debate during the convention.

Amendments During Debate
The 196th Convention approved on first reading an amended set of changes to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Georgia. The Constitution and Canons as revised by Council (with changes tracked and comments in a side column) are online here: Constitution and Canons as Amended on First Reading.

A friendly amendment proposed by Canon Frank Logue on behalf of the Rev. Nick Roosevelt, who as a new rector not yet canonically resident did not have the standing to make the recommendations, deleted three references to "Missions," which were still inadvertently in the proposed changes. The substantive changes came through an amendment from Ralph Walke of Christ Church Dublin to contract the proposed 1-5 delegates based on the congregation's Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) to 2-4 delegates. His amendment passed. If approved on second reading in 2018, the number of delegates would become two for congregation with 99 or less in ASA, three for those with 100-149 ASA, and four for congregations with more than 150 ASA based on an average of the three previous years reported in Parochial Reports. A chart showing how that change effects each congregation is online here: Proportional Delegates by ASA.

The other amendments were to the new Canon 12, which applies a previous rule for mission to all congregations so that those with financial assets exceeding one year's Normal Operating Income, as defined in their annual parochial report, shall either invest such excess funds with the Board of the Corporation of the Diocese or obtain a waiver (lasting three years) from the Finance Committee of the Diocese. The new Canon 12 was amended twice by the convention to add more specifics making the process clear (as proposed by the Rev. Gavin Dunbar of St. John's Savannah), while also opening a path for congregations with the Board of the Corporation to move out of that fund (as proposed by Brad Jackson of All Saints' Thomasville). The text with amendments is on page 32 of the Canons as amended on first reading. 

No Changes Until 2018
Constitutional changes require a vote of two successive conventions approving identical changes, while canons may be amended at a single convention. In order to keep the Constitution and Canons in agreement with each other, convention approved all the changes on first reading, with no provisions going into effect until voted on by the 197th Convention meeting in Albany in November 2018. While changes to the Constitution as amended must be passed in identical form to go into effect, the canonical changes could get further amendment at the next convention and still go into immediate effect. Diocesan Council will receive a full report on where the changes stand as of now and will propose a means of receiving additional input in the coming year.
Convention Awards
Each year, the Diocese of Georgia honors Episcopalians for their service to the community, the church, and the Diocese through three awards. 

The Servanthood Award, which is given by the deacons of the Diocese to a lay person who has served their community for many years, went to Linda Bargeron of Holy Comforter, Martinez. With her most notable service through Kairos Prison Ministry, Bargeron exemplifies the way in which all baptized Christians are to serve others as serving Christ.

The Deans' Award, which is given by the convocation deans to a lay person who has served their congregation for many years, went to Sam Spells of Christ the King, Valdosta. A founding member of Christ the King, Spells' ongoing work within his congregation was clearly on view during the convention as he assisted his church in hosting the Diocese.

The Bishop's Award, given by Bishop Benhase to lay persons who have offered many years of service to the Diocese of Georgia, was awarded to John and Phyllis Hiers of Christ Church, Valdosta. Through their commitment to the Diocese--shown in many ways including their love of Honey Creek, Phyllis' work with Summer Camps, and John's years of service to the Commission on Ministry--the Hiers dedicated years of service to the Diocese of Georgia.
Help Make Next Year's Convention Great!
In preparation for planning next year's convention, November 8-10 in Albany, please participate in our feedback survey. This survey is helpful for the Diocese to adapt and improve our future conventions. The below survey can be completed in under 5 minutes. Thank you again for your participation!

Here's the link: 
http://bit.ly/ConventionSurvey
December 8-10 at Honey Creek
Register Now for New Beginnings #51
New Beginnings, a youth retreat led by youth for youth in grades 7-9, is coming
Lead Teen Madi Cook of St. Thomas' Thomasville, right with Sarah Bianco from St. Thomas' Isle of Hope.
up in just a few weeks! During this weekend youth talk about family, friends, God's love, and more. More importantly, they experience God's love firsthand, though the ministry of other teenagers, as well as supporting adults. Throughout the weekend there are times for play and prayer, for music and worship. This weekend will be led by Lead Teen Madi Cook, from St. Thomas', Thomasville, with Garrett Shoemake, from St. Paul's, Savannah, serving as the Shadow. Garrett will lead New Beginnings #52 in the spring. The New Beginnings Coordinator for the Diocese of Georgia is Maggie Bloodworth, from Hawkinsville.

Registration is available for all youth in grades 7-9 at http://bit.ly/NB51SignUp! The cost is $115 for the weekend, but cost is never an obstacle to participation in youth events: for scholarship assistance, please register, pay the 1/3 deposit, and contact the Rev. Joshua Varner, Canon Missioner for Children & Youth at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org.
A group photo from last year's New Beginnings.
 Bishop Visitations

During Bishop Benhase's visit to Saint Mark's Brunswick on Sunday, November 12 he confirmed, reaffirmed and received 20 parishioners from St. Mark's and St. Paul's, Jesup.
Shown are (foreground, from left) Rev. Dee Shaffer, St. Paul's; Owen Dorsey; Rev. Alan Akridge, St. Mark's; Linda Dorsey, Maria Martinez, Rosalind Crowder, Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase, Cheri Taylor (partially hidden), Kelsie Olivares, Luis Olivares, Beverly Dembowcyzk, Ralph Dembowcyzk, Dcn. Willetta McGowen, Shirley Redanz, and R.V. Cate, postulant. (Back row) Jonathan Underwood, Edith Gross, Martha Dekle, John Gross, Steve Crowder, Jessica Faurote, Judy Allcott, Gareth Allcott, Carolyn Morgan, and Jeff Chandler, St. Paul's.

St. Augustine's of Canterbury in Augusta celebrated six baptisms, four confirmations, three receptions and two reaffirmations
 
Thanksgiving at Honey Creek

Honey Creek will host Thanksgiving lunch at noon on Thursday,November 23rd in Reese Dining Hall. Mealtime is almost a sacrament at Honey Creek, so let us serve your family and friends this year. We'll do the cooking and cleaning, you do the quality time together. Go to honeycreek.org/thanksgiving to book your reservation! #HCthanksgiving #takemebacktothecreek  
"The Church is the only institution that exists primarily
for the benefit of those who are not its members."
-Archbishop William Temple
The Loose Canon
Being a Community of Good News and Blessing
In her four presentations to the diocesan convention, Carrie Headington led delegates and clergy through the Being a Community of Good News, Being a Community for Others, and Being a Community of Blessing as the ways to more fully engage with the Invite essential in Invite-Welcome-Connect

Being a Community of Good News
This work begins with transforming ourselves as we get in touch with the Good News of Jesus in our own lives. Congregations nurture this first step with Bible study and congregational retreats and other means of building followers of Jesus. At the diocesan level this involves Happening, Cursillo, and prayer retreats. 

Headington emphasized the importance of prayer and how every church needs people to gather to pray for their community and the congregation. She named specific free resources any congregation may use, like Sharing Faith Dinners and the Transforming Questions Course, which are also gathered online here: Episcopal Church Resources Online

Being a Community for Others 
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus told the apostles as he sent them out, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to ends of the Earth." Headington challenged the convention to consider the concentric circles of the apostles moving out from their homes in Jerusalem to the surrounding countryside, through the territory of the other to the ends of the earth as an ongoing call to the Church. 

These spheres of influence begin with family, friends, acquaintances, work or school colleagues, volunteer groups, social groups, and hobbies. Pray for people within these groups, asking God to show you how best to love them. Are there three people within these groups that you could invite to the Revival on January 20

This area of being a community for others is where using social media, such as Facebook, so people in these spheres of your influence see your faith as part of your life. Checking in to church on an app, sharing the sermon online, or posting photos from your congregation, are all ways to leverage your existing time on social media to share your faith with others in a non-invasive way. 

For congregations, she recommended that a group within the church look together at the make up of the community around you through a free demographic study already online and then going on a Neighborhood Prayer Walk as described in detail on pages 12-14 of the convention packet

Being a Community of Blessing  
In the last session, Headington summarized the journey so far and then encouraged those at the convention to practice the Art of BLESSing (developed by Leslie Stewart, a church planter in Plano, Texas): 

Be - just be present
Listen - create a listening space where people can share stories
Eat - welcome people to the table, just like Jesus did
Serve - love and care for people's felt needs
Share - share your story and the story of God's love and life 

The tools in the convention packet help make this more real including Hospitality 101 (on pages 14-16), a Hospitality Checklist (on pages 17-18), and Ideas for Turning Your Church into a Center for Blessing (on page 19). 

The links in this Loose Canon give tools you can continue to use as your congregation continues to work with Invite-Welcome-Connect presented by Mary Parmer at our diocesan convention in 2016.

Frank
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
Around the Diocese

St. Thomas' Isle of Hope will be hosting "An Isle of Hope Christmas" Tour of Homes on December 10th from 4 to 8 PM.  The event features seven homes in the Isle of Hope community, a reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres, beverages and entertainment. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling Tracy Edgar at 912-658-9868 or the church office at 912-355-3110.  

A volunteer at Phoebe Putney Hospital's Emergency Center since 1994, Mary Bullion was honored as Volunteer of the Year. Glenn Swanson, Director of the Emergency Center, said "The comforting reassurance, the gentle smile in a sea of serious faces, the understanding presence to needs patients and families don't even realize they have, Mary is all this and more." Congratulations Mary!

A Prayer Vigil in support of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) participants and their families was held at St. Barnabas in Valdosta on October 29. The interfaith service included prayers, clergy reflections, music, DACA stories, and fellowship. During the service, eight candles were lit in support of the nearly 800,000 DACA participants in the United States. 

Empty Bowl Fundraiser for Emmaus House

The Parish Hall at Christ Church Savannah hosts Emmaus House each weekday, a community ministry serving over 40,000 meals to more than 1,000 men, women  and children each year. On November 5th, the same room was full of people supporting the ministry through the 7th Annual Empty Bowl Fundraiser, which invites the community at large to enjoy a delicious bowl of soup in the same dining hall that guests enjoy each day. Artists from all over Savannah generously donate beautiful handmade bowls, Savannah chefs provided 19 different gourmet soups. The event raised more than $25,000.
 
Dan Snyder and his husband, the Rev. Jamie Maury, at left, work closely with Emmaus House in serving the Community of St. Joseph, the diocese's ministry with and for homeless persons. At right, the Rev. Michael White, Rector of Christ Church, is pictured with diocesan Office Administrator and Emmaus House Board Member MJ Harris; and the Rev. Guillermo Arboledo, Priest in Charge of St. Matthew's, Savannah.
Prayers for Weekly Liturgies
Our one-year prayer cycle combines prayers for every congregation in the Diocese of Georgia with prayers for our ecumenical partners and for our Companion Diocese of The Dominican Republic. The 52 weekly prayers are available in one document  found here. 

November 12-November 18
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Valdosta, Christ Church, Christ the King, and St. Barnabas. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Valdosta, especially Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially San Felipe ApĆ³stol (St. Philip the Apostle).

November 19-November 26
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Vidalia, the Church of the Annunciation. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Vidalia, especially Sacred Heart Catholic Church and for St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Reidsville. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially San Pedro y San Pablo (St. Peter and St. Paul).
Diocesan Office Update and News  
Bishop Benhase will visit the Episcopal Day School in Augusta at 8 AM November 17 and make his annual visitation to Holy Cross, Thomson at 4 PM Saturday, November 18. He will make his annual visitation to Good Shepherd, Augusta at 9 AM and 11:15 AM, Sunday, November 19.
The Bishop's full schedule is available  here.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue goes to Saluda tomorrow to close down the Clergy Cottage for the winter. 

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner will be at St. Anne's Tifton on Saturday and Sunday for the New Beginnings #51 Staff Retreat. New Beginnings #51 itself takes place at Honey Creek from December 8-10. Register at http://bit.ly/NB51SignUp.

The Rev. Guillermo Arboleda, Priest-in-Charge at St. Matthew's Savannah, will officiate at the noon service in the Chapel of St. George at Diocesan House this week.
Contemplative Prayer Retreat December 8-9
This prayer retreat will introduce participants to contemplative spirituality through the practices of silent centering prayer, chanting and singing, praying with icons, Anglican prayer beads, Lectio Divina and the Daily Office. We will practice each of those spiritual disciplines as a group, discuss our experience, and encourage each other in our spiritual journey. 

Each discipline will be bookended by the ancient liturgies of our tradition. Participants will discover practices that will enrich their life with God in the season of Advent and beyond.  

The rates for the conference including three meals are: Lodge 1 Single $144, Lodge 1 Double $99.50, Lodge 2 Single $133, Lodge 2 Double $94, Campers and Commuters $64. Click here to register online with Honey Creek. 
Share your news in From the Field
Send your news, events and photos to   so we can feature them in upcoming issues of From the Field. Deadline for submissions each week is Monday at 4:30 PM.  
Two New Potential Saints Baptized
The Rev. Denise Ronn baptizes Vanellope June Locklear on All Saints Sunday at St. Philip's Hinesville. William Stuart Strong III was also baptized into the one holy and catholic church.
Events
A Contemplative Prayer Retreat 
December 8-9
Honey Creek
To register, go here

New Beginnings #51
December 8-10
Honey Creek
For information and to register, go  here. 

Revival: Boundless Love Fearless Faith
January 20
For more information, go here:  www.EpiscopalRevivalinGeorgia2018.com

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
January 27, 9:30 AM to noon
St. George's Savannah
Register 
Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
February 3, 9:30 AM to noon
St. James' Quitman
Register here.

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
February 17, 9:30 AM to noon
St. Mark's, Brunswick 
Register  here .
Like Us on Facebook


Follow Us on Instagram
The Diocese of Georgia posts photos from our churches as well as diocesan events at https://www.instagram.com/episcopalgeorgia/
 
Follow Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Twitter
The Diocese of Georgia also shares news 140 characters at a time through Twitter  @GA_Episcopal
 
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  View our videos on YouTube The Diocese of Georgia also has a YouTube Channel  where you can watch past videos and subscribe to get updates when new videos are posted.