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September 14, 2016
Volume 8, Number 2
In This Issue
 
 




This Sunday's Lections
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Track 1 
Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Psalm 14
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10
or
Track 2
Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 51:1-11
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10
Go   here for the full text.
Join Our Mailing List
Register for Convention!
Lead, Grow and Share at the 195th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia November 10-12, 2016 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta. Vote on important diocesan issues; attend workshops to help build your church; learn about exciting projects of the Campaign for Congregational Development, and gather in worship as a diocese.
 
The convention registration fee covers the cost of production; excellent coffee along with a full breakfast on Friday and Saturday morning; a catered lunch on Friday, and the Friday evening banquet.
The diocesan staff is looking forward to the 195th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia!
Go   here to register!
 
For a video featuring Canon for Administration Katie Willoughby on how to register, go  here.
Diocesan Office Off-line on Monday
The diocesan office will be the beneficiary of new upgrades to our telephone and internet service on Monday, September 19 which means these services will not be available during the installation.
Spend a Few Minutes at Columba House

This brief video offers a chance to hear from our Columba House interns and missioners about how our young adult leadership program in Savannah matters to their lives.
Parish Tithes and Parish Reports  Due Tomorrow!
Thank you to all who have sent their parish tithes and reports to the diocesan offices. Both are due Thursday, September 15th.
Deaconess Alexander Celebration
A celebration of the life and legacy of Deaconess Anna Alexander, the first African American Deaconess and a Saint in the Diocese of Georgia, will be held starting at 11:30 AM at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 780 Pennick Road, Brunswick, Saturday, September 24. Refreshments will be served afterwards and tours of the Old Schoolhouse will be available.

Anna Ellison Butler Alexander (1865-1947) was born to newly emancipated slaves on Butler Plantation in McIntosh County. She was set aside as a Deaconess in the Episcopal Church in 1907 and founded Good Shepherd Church in the Pennick community where she taught children to read (by tradition using the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible) in a one-room schoolhouse. She ministered in Pennick for 53 years, leaving a legacy of love and devotion still felt in Glynn County. 

Alexander was named a Saint in the Diocese of Georgia in 1998 with the Feast Day of 24th. The National Church voted to include her in the next edition of
Holy Women and Holy Men and her sainthood by the National Church will be under consideration at the General Convention in 2018.

On September 17, 2018 Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be at the annual celebration for Deaconess Alexander.
Disaster Preparedness Plans Due 10/1
Last spring Bishop Benhase requested that all churches/ministries of the Diocese create or update their Disaster Preparedness Plan using either the Comprehensive Guide or Silver Guide available from the Resource Library on the Episcopal Relief & Development website. 

The deadline to submit completed plans is October 1st. 

When your church/ministry has completed its plan, please  email your status (completed, in progress, etc.) to Fr. Charles Todd at frcharles@stpaulsavannah.org so that your status can be updated at the diocesan office. Please remember that these plans are not merely about taking inventory for insurance, but are plans about how you will minister to the needs of your church family as well as the larger community. Part of the preparation process includes updating your church's information on the Asset Map which helps the Diocese identify groups and resources available to assist recovery in the event of a disaster.  If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Fr. Charles.

Bishop's Visitation

Bishop Benhase is pictured above at Holy Comforter, Martinez, with the Rev. Cynthia Taylor and the two adults baptized and the 19 people either confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church. See Bishop Benhase's 2016-2017 Visitation Calendar
Diocesan Community Update
Roger Speer joined Good Shepherd Augusta's staff as the Director of Student Ministries, on September 1. Roger is a professional youth minister who worked in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Church of the Ascension in Hickory, NC, and most recently at St. Luke's, Rincon, here in the Diocese of Georgia. He has been actively involved in our diocesan youth programs and Honey Creek Summer Camp. Roger is also an Eagle Scout, and a member of the Forward Movement Editorial Board. He is also a published author of several curricular resources for youth ministry. Roger is married to Fran, a therapist specializing in work with children, those with attention deficit disorders, and providing autism spectrum support. They are the parents of Fynn, who is two and loves Matchbox cars, Daniel Tiger, and Elmo. 

The vestry of Our Savior, Martinez, called the Rev. David Perkins to serve as their Priest in Charge. Perkins follows the Rev. John West, Rector of Our Savior since 2011 who is on medical leave. Perkins is an experienced interim minister with his previous three calls in the church serving as a Rector in the Interim. Prior to working in interim ministry, Perkins was the church planter for All Souls in Mechanicsville, Virginia where he worked from 2002-2010 to start that new congregation. A native of Louisiana, Perkins graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a BS in Biology and from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Th.M. and a Th.D. in New Testament Studies. Perkins served as a Baptist pastor in Louisiana, Georgia, and Kentucky and as an Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek at New Orleans Baptist Seminary. He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1997 and a priest in 1998. He has two grown children, Benjamin David Perkins and Leigh Perkins Glaeser. 
Deadline Approaching for Fall Prayer Retreat 
Participants at the fall Lenten retreat held at Honey Creek.
Register by this Friday at 5 PM to take part in the Fall Prayer Retreat at Honey Creek led by the Rev. Liam Collins with Canon Frank and Victoria Logue.

The Gospel offers the possibility of metanoia, a change of mind and heart. But how might this occur? The Fall Prayer Retreat at Honey Creek will delve into just how that change happens and to begin to effect that change in mind and heart during the overnight event. Find the deep connections that will permit your life to be lived not out of a sense of never being or having enough, but in the power and presence of God. Come expecting God to be present to you. 

The Fall Prayer Retreat which will begin Friday, September 23 at 5 PM and conclude by 2 PM on Saturday, September 24. 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, Cottage $90, and Campers and Commuters $64. 

Administrator's Corner
Health Savings Account (HSA) Funding to HealthEquity to Change!

Canon Willoughby
A quick change in topic for this week. There was a recent announcement from CPG that there will be a new and improved funding process for HealthEquity Savings Accounts (HSAs). For those parishes funding HSAs, please read the below in entirety. The old process for funding accounts will be disabled October 13th, and all checks sent to the old lock box will be sent back to the parish.
 
New Process
The future process enables employers to transfer contributions directly to their employees' HSAs, replacing the current process in which employers send contributions to The Episcopal Church Medical Trust, which then funds the employee's HSA. Funding HSAs at the employer level has multiple advantages, including streamlined contributions, greater control, and access to detailed account records for the employer.
Over the next few weeks, CPG will be hosting webinars and will send information, both by email and by mail, to affected employers regarding this new funding process. Employers will have access to substantial account set-up support from the HealthEquity team. If you have any questions, please contact me ( kwilloughby@gaepiscopal.org). I will also be going through this process for diocesan staff.
 
Affected employers will begin the transition to a secure online portal, maintained by HealthEquity, between October 18-24.
 
Here's what to expect and when:
9/13 & 9/22   
Employer Portal Training/Funding Webinars [1]
9/20     IBAMS Renewal/Open Enrollment Webinar [2]
9/28     Plenary during Episcopal Benefits Administration Conference (EBAC) (I will be there!)
10/13   Northern Trust bank account (Suite 9623) closed to new contributions [3]
10/18 - 10/24 Groups migrate to HealthEquity portal and begin new funding process
10/18 - 10/24 HealthEquity emails Employer Welcome Kits


[1] Invitations to these webinars will be emailed to the address we have on file for each employer and mailed to the address we have for each employer. A recording of the webinar will be available on the Administrators' Resource Center.
 
[2] A recording of the webinar will be available on the Administrators' Resource Center.
 
[3] Contributions received at the lockbox address after 10/13 will be returned to the employer for funding through the vendor portal.
 
Please note: If you, your congregations, or other institutions do not use HealthEquity as your HSA administrator, this new process will not affect you. Funding of HSAs should continue as it is done now. If you are interested in learning more about HealthEquity's HSAs, please contact your IBAMS account manager (cpg.org/ibams) or contact Canon Willoughby.

Reports Due for Convention 2016!
Annual Reports for the 195th Convention  of the Diocese of Georgia, November 9-12 are due by 5 PM on Thursday, September 29th.

We currently collect reports from the following groups:
  • Board of Officers of the Corporation
  • Honey Creek
  • Campus Ministry -SAV
  • Campus Ministry - GSU
  • Campus Ministry - VSU
  • Chancellor
  • Commission on Ministry
  • Companion Diocese
  • Creation Cares Commission
  • Cursillo
  • Deacon Formation Committee
  • Diocesan Council
  • Education for Ministry
  • Episcopal Church Women
  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • Episcopal Youth and Children Services
  • Integrity GA
  • Standing Committee
  • Treasurer
  • United Thank Offering

Reports are typically two-three paragraphs in length about the prior year (i.e. 2015). When submitting reports, please include your name, position on your council , commission, or committee, the name of your predecessor (if applicable), and any financial reports (if applicable). Examples from last year may be found here: 2015 Convention Book

For more information, contact Rebekah Stewart rstewart@gaepiscopal.org
Share the news about CreekFEST at Honey Creek!

Click here to download the flyer promoting CreekFEST and share with your congregations. Go here for more information about CreekFEST and to register. We hope you and your congregation will join in on the fun!
Diocesan Office Update     
Bishop Benhase will attend the Fall House of Bishops Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, September 15 through 20. To view the Bishop's full visitation calendar, go here. 

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at St. Matthew's, Savannah, for that congregation's 161st Anniversary.

Canon Willoughby will be travelling September 15-20. She will still be available through email.  
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. 

Prayers for September 11-17
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Thomas Isle of Hope, and St. Matthew's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, and St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Sanchez especially Christ the King (Cristo Rey), and St. Simon the Apostol (San Simón Apóstol).

Prayers for September 18-24
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Peter's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially Messiah Lutheran Church and St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Holy Cross (Santa Cruz) in Santa Fe.
Flag Retirement

Scouts from King of Peace, Kingsland's, Troop 226, retired more than 150 American flags in a ceremony that concluded with the scouts burning the worn flags reverently.

Upcoming Events
Happening 97: September 16-18
For more information go  here.

Fall Prayer Retreat: September 23-24
For more information, go here.

Fall Clergy Conference: September 25-27
For more information, go here. 

Diocesan Council Meeting: September 30-October 1
St. Paul's, Albany
 
Cursillo: October 6
For more information, go here.

Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee: October 14-15
Trinity, Statesboro

CreekFEST: October 21-22
For more information, go here.
 
Integrity: October 28-29
For more information, go here.

195th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia: November 9-12

For more information, go here. 
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
Episcopal Diocese of Georgia