From the Field
News & Events of the Church in Georgia
July 16, 2013Volume 3, Number 47
In This Issue
Diocesan Community Update
Prayer Cycle Updated
St. Mary's Augusta
Mission Trip to Ecuador
Hometown Missions
Happening #91
Last chance for Summer Camp
VBS
Web Links
 
 
 

July 21st
Readings
Proper 11C
Track 1 Old Testament
Amos 8:1-12
Psalm 52  
or
Track 1 Old Testament
  
and
2013 Priest Salary Survey 

A survey of the compensation for priests serving in full-time, non-interim positions has been compiled as a working document for vestries to have in hand as we enter the time of year to plan congregation budgets. This is the fourth year in a row that the salary survey has been published by the Diocese. We have made significant gains in the compensation of female clergy when compared to their male colleagues and have caught up most of the gap when comparing salaries to our neighboring dioceses of Alabama and Upper South Carolina. These are important both for fairness and to assist in retaining priests in the Diocese, which has been a significant problem in previous years. A PDF file of the survey is online here: 2013 Priest Salary Survey

 

The chart also does not show the salaries for full-time priest when the compensation is supported by funds beyond the parish budget (such as yoked churches or a grant from the Diocese) as these positions do not offer a comparison for vestries looking at their own attendance, budget and years of tenure. The relatively low numbers of priests on the chart also reflect the many congregations served by part-time priests, who are often bi-vocational or retired. Canon Logue is working with these priests to assure that their compensation is above the diocesan minimum as approved annual by the Diocesan Council. The latest Compensation Standard in found here online.

Diocesan Office Update  

Bishop Benhase is on vacation. 

Canon Logue meets tonight with the vestry of St. Thomas, Thomasville. He is assisting the parish in the search for its next rector. 

Diocesan Community Update  

 

The prayers and sympathy of the Diocese go out to the Rev. Deacon Patricia (Patti) Rhoads Davis, Christ Church Episcopal, Savannah, as she mourns the loss of her father, Walter Daniel Rhoads, Jr. who died last Thursday morning.  He was surrounded by his three daughters. The funeral was held yesterday.

Special Convention to Meet in Dublin  

The special one day convention will be held at The Dubose Porter Center in Dublin, Georgia on November 16. 

The meeting will be for the purpose of electing deputies and alternates to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and for voting on the 2014 Budget for the Diocese. As a called convention, no business may be considered other than that announced in the call for a special convention.
 
As a special convention, delegates are the same as those for the annual convention held this past February in Tifton unless replaced by alternates or otherwise as provided. The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. and is anticipated to complete its actions by 2 p.m. More information, including nomination forms and registration information, will be shared as it is available.

Inaugural Mass for Columba House   

This August begins the program year and the official start of Columba House. To mark the beginning of Columba House as a program, there will be an Inaugural Mass for Columba House at St. Paul's, Savannah on Saturday August 10 at 10am. At this service the Columba House Interns will have finished five days of orientation to the program and their new home of Savannah. The Interns will be commissioned for their year of service. Bishop Benhase will preach and preside. All are welcome to share their support for Columba House and her Interns. 

Diocesan Prayer Cycle Updated 

The Diocesan Staff updated the Prayer Cycle for the Diocese. As with all documents needed by clergy and congregations, the latest prayer cycle is found in the Reference Library at the website. A PDF version is posted online here: 

 

St. Mary's, Augusta 

Hospitality Beyond and Within the Church 

St. Mary's is an inner city and predominantly African-American parish in Augusta with an average Sunday attendance of about twenty-four. The Rev. Andrew Menger has served as priest in charge for almost ten years. Senior Warden Betty Bryant led the way in creating a mission outreach to Ervin Towers; a rent assisted public 

housing facility not far from St. Mary's. Members of St. Mary's have been visiting and leading bingo games, prayers, and hymn sings. On Sunday, June 23, sixteen residents of Ervin Towers visited St. Mary's for the regular Sunday morning Eucharist. It was a unique experience for all, as not a single guest had ever attended an Episcopal worship service. These wonderful guests added much joy in the singing of the hymns and Menger also was treated to a number of rousing "Amens!" during the sermon.


Worship in our church is not always "user friendly" and one of the most moving events occurred when the regulars at St. Mary's left their pews and went to sit with their guests and helped them find the right places in the Book of Common Prayer and in the two hymnals used.

 

After the service the communicants of St. Mary's hosted the visitors from Ervin Towers to a full course meal and fellowship time in the parish hall. One of the ladies who visited commented, "This is the most friendly church I have ever been in and the first that has not asked me for money!"  

Saint Athanasius', Brunswick 

Birthing a New Future  

With the wisdom and humor of his spiritual maturity, the Rev. Canon Julian Clarke, 76, former rector,  provided a day of retreat and instruction to the vestry at Saint Athanasius' Church in Brunswick Saturday, July 13th. Issues addressed were: 1) What are the gifts of an "Old" Church in a new era?  2) Let's take a second look at our Mission Statement -- Is it dated? and 3) Will we let the controversies of the current culture subvert our mission, or will they sharpen our discernment skills?  

 

Also developed were two outreach programs,  "Baby Steps", a Books and reading program to preschoolers, and an evening Vacation Bible School (week of 22 July), both of which, it is hoped, will draw local residents of the Brunswick Public Housing Authority.

 

Pictured clock-wise left to right are vestry members Sherill Young, parish secretary; Yvette Floy, treasurer, Maxine McKenzie, lay reader, Cassandra Oliver, information officer and acolyte mother, Canon Clarke, presenter; Caroline Banks, worship committee member; Brandi Lyde, Sr. Warden; and Virgil Ryals, Jr. Warden.

 

Canon Clarke, who lives most of the time in Tortola visits every summer to celebrate Saint Athanasius' annual anniversary festival in June.    


Julia and Taylor Domenick of St. Paul's Jesup are currently in Quito, Ecuador as a part of a youth mission trip made up of Episcopalians from around the Southeast US.

 

Diocese Represented on Province Youth Trip 

Twenty five Youth and leaders from Province IV of The Episcopal Church are now in Quito, Ecuador for a youth mission trip. Julia and Taylor Domenick are part of the team that is also led by the Rev. Abi White Moon, who was a seminarian from the Diocese of Georgia prior to her first call to Tallahassee, Florida. After an in-country orientation, the group got right down to work at the Episcopal Church Buen Pastor where they are scraping, plastering, and painting. Saturday, the group took part in a diocesan youth event which concluded with worship in the cathedral in the evening. The next morning, they were back in worship at Buen Pastor where they will continue to work and assist with a Vacation Bible School this week. 

 

Julia writes from Ecuador, "It is so hard to try, in the midst of the mission, to summarize our experience so far. This is a mission experience and not a "trip" as many fruits of our labor have already been shown to us. Micah 6:8 shares with us what the Lord requires of us. "Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God."
Relational ministry is a chance to truly get a glimpse into heaven and hell. As we are in the midst of our experience, we have seen utter poverty, hunger, and sadness. This, to me, is a glimpse into hell. We have been embrace in love by the wonderful new family members in Ecuador. 

We have worked side by side, laughed, struggled through the language barrier, and shared meals...a glimpse into heaven. God has been present as the vine and we have been the branches. God's masterpiece is in front of us right now. We are the brushes...some older, some younger, different sizes, different languages. All of us in our quirky imperfectedness are doing our best to add to the canvas God has provided. As one of the youth said this evening..."Love wins." Please continue to pray for our group as we continue our mission experience. Thank you!" The mission team returns this Friday.  You can follow them at their blog http://pyequito2013.blogspot.com/  

Diocesan Youth Programs

Hometown Missions This Saturday

Hometown Missions 2013 work day is Saturday July 20 at Columba House, and is open to 6th through 12th graders. There is no cost associated with this Hometown Missions work day. Food will be provided. 

 

Hometown Missions is helping prepare Columba House for the young adult Interns, who will be living as a intentional community and begin their year of service this August. Hometown Missions is a event that allows participants to engage in small-scale, mission-focused projects in and around a selected church in the diocese. Participants are divided into work groups according to ability/age. 

 

It is not too late to take part

If you can get to midtown to Savannah to work this Saturday, you can still be part of the fun and see what is taking place with our Columba House community. For more information on Hometown Missions 2013, please email Liz Williams at lizmaywilliams@gmail.com.

 

Click here to register online for this event.

Diocesan Youth Programs

Register for Happening #91

The next Happening weekend will be held at Honey Creek August 2 - 4. This is a retreat open to those in grades 10 - 12. During a Happening weekend, participants worship, play, sing, and talk about God's place in their lives. They make new friends who share similar concerns and questions - a reassuring discovery. A teenager who acts as "rector" leads the weekend with the help of a staff consisting mostly of young people. Some staff members give challenging talks, after which there's time for discussion and activity. Together, the staff and participants share in an exploration of the impact of Christian faith in their daily lives. Happeners who attend a weekend for their first time are called "Candidates." To be a Candidate, one must:

Happening costs $113 to attend, and financial assistance is available. For more information, please visit the Georgia Happening website. 

 

 Click here to register online for Happening #91


Last Chance for Summer Camp this Season  

The Summer Camp season remains underway with Camp St. Joseph & Mary II taking place this week. The remaining camp sessions still have some limited spaces available: 
  
July 21 - 27, 2013 / Camp St. Peter II (completed grades 6-8)  

 
Scholarship Assistance Available

Scholarships remain available for camp. Generally, the Diocese expects even when a scholarship is granted that a third of the fee will come from the family, a third from the church and a third from the Diocese. But because of the generosity of others we can, in some cases award first come, first serve scholarships even in cases where the need is greater. 

 

Full information is online here: Honey Creek Summer Camp  With any additional questions, contact Summer Camp Director, Elizabeth Burns by email at  elizabeth@honeycreek.org    

Kids at the St. Michael and All Angels' VBS in Savannah pose for a photo on the boat the church has on its playground. A second photo from St. Michael's is just below alongside the text.

 

Vacation Bible Schools Across the Diocese 

We want to share your Vacation Bible School with the Diocese in photo album collecting pictures of our kid-friendly catechesis taking place around the Diocese this summer. We have a diocesan photo album collecting pictures of our kid-friendly catechesis taking place around the Diocese this summer. Send photos from your congregation's VBS to newsandevents@gaepiscopal.org

  

The photos will be added to a VBS album and used at the diocesan website. You can visit this summer's VBS album online. Some of the photos will be shared here in From the Field. If you create a Facebook or other online album, you may also just send a link to that album to the address above and our online photo gallery curator, Julius Arial, will copy the photos to the diocesan album.

A Harry Potter themed Vacation Bible School is meeting each evening this week at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah. The participants are shown at the Hogwarts Dining Table in the picture above.
Guide us waking and guard us sleeping 

The moon shines behind the steeple of St. John's, Bainbridge. The headline is an antiphon from the night office of Compline, "Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace."
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Sincerely,                                      
            

Diocesan Staff                                
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia