February 7, 2018
Volume 8, Number 23
St. Anne's Also Has a Talent Raising Funds!
St. Anne's Got Talent, the sixth annual mission fundraising event produced by the congregation in Tifton, raised $26,000 this past weekend--enough funds to finish the Church of Espiritu Santo in Las Carreras, Dominican Republic, a focus of their yearly mission trips for the past seven years.

In response to a $10,000 matching grant given by an anonymous donor, the congregation played music, sang and danced the way to their goal. " It's always fun to see the variety of acts that our folks come up with (music, dance, magic, stand-up comedy, artwork)," said the Rev. Lonnie Lacy, Rector at St. Anne's, "Plus the wide range of ages and longevity (newcomers and longtimers) means folks get to know others in a fun way that they might not otherwise have been able to. It's truly one of the most joyful nights of the year at St. Anne's." Parishioner Pam Leonard coordinates the event.

The final amount raised includes generous donations from many, including folks from St. Patrick's Albany. St. Patrick's started work on the Church of Espiritu Santo eight years ago, and St. Anne's has continued it for the last seven.

"Not only will these unexpected funds allow us to see the church (finally!) finished and consecrated within this calendar year," said  Lacey, "but they will also allow us to dream big with the people of Las Carreras about what comes next." St. Anne's Mission Team to the Dominican Republic leaves February 25 and returns March 3. 
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
Last Sunday
After the Epiphany
2 Kings 2: 1-12
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Mark 9:2-9
Psalm 50:1-6

Go  here 
for the full text.
12 Reasons to Come to CreekFEST!

1. Meet people from across the Diocese of Georgia
2. Low stress competition
3. Fun for all ages
4. Enjoy the grounds of our beloved Honey Creek
5. It's a diocesan-wide "Parish Retreat" with no expectations
6. Build relationships among your fellow youth groups/adult groups/vestries
7. Families come together without the distraction of electronics
8. Re-laaaaaaax!
9. Share meals and worship together in a safe, holy place
10. Get to know Honey Creek!
11. There's something for everyone: 5K, square dancing, games/competition, worship, and quiet time. It is all available to EVERYONE in one weekend.
12. Nothing beats a weekend with lots of Episcopalians! 

And then there's this:

Vicki Schuster Named ECW's Distinguished Woman
The Episcopal Church Women's Board for the Diocese of Georgia is proud to announce that this year's Distinguished Woman is Vicki Schuster,  long-time member of St. Francis of the Islands Church. 

A founding member of St. Francis of the Islands Episcopal Church, she serves both as head of the Altar Guild and as a charter member of that chapter of The Order of the Daughters of the King®. 
Schuster served at the diocesan office for 17 years as office administrator before retiring in 2017.  Prior to that, she w as the church secretary at St. Francis for 17 years. 

Distinguished Woman recognition is given at every ECW Triennial Meeting which is held at the same time as the General Convention. Every diocese is encouraged to select one woman for this honor whose Christian principles are lived out in both her secular and sacred communities.  The Distinguished Women for the 2015-2018 Triennium will be recognized at a luncheon to be held in July 2018 in conjunction with the General Convention in Austin, Texas.
The Rev. Jim Parker to Retire this Sunday
Following decades of service to the Diocese and its congregations, the Rev. Jim Parker will celebrate on February 11 his last Sunday with St. George's, Savannah, where he has served since 2001.  He offered his considerable gifts in a variety of Diocesan capacities including past member and President of the Standing Committee, member and past chair of the Youth Commission, and has served on the staff of several Happening and Cursillo weekends. As a consultant in parish redevelopment and also in media relations and public communications to the diocese, he furthered the mission of the diocese. He will continue to serve as a priest of the diocese following retirement.

Parker was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah, on August 24, 1982, and served as a vocational deacon for 16 years. In 1990 he was assigned to work with the Rev. Paul Hoornstra in planting St. Peter's Savannah.

In 1991, Parker served in the Persian Gulf as a part of the Kuwait Emergency Recovery Office. While serving in the Gulf, no Anglican Church was available, but the local Roman Catholic bishop was pleased to find a deacon. Parker sang the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Family of the Desert in Kuwait. He would write from the desert, "Seeing pain, suffering, and destruction on an awesome scale leads me to believe that much of what we argue about in the Episcopal Church diverts us from the real Gospel mission of seeking and serving Christ in all people."

As a deacon, Bishop Shipps assigned Parker to the diocesan office. He travelled with the bishop on some occasions, served as the master of ceremonies for diocesan convention services, and handled publicity around the Christ the King Valdosta Confirmation Eucharist on Easter night 1990, when the whole congregation came into the Episcopal Church. 

He was then assigned to St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Richmond Hill. During several years of serving the congregation as deacon in charge, his gifts for the priesthood became ever more evident to all around him. The congregation grew from 28 on a Sunday in 1993, to 75-80 per week in 1997. Parker discerned that call together with the Diocese and was ordained to the priesthood on November 16, 1998, following study at Sewanee. The next year, he married  the former Leslie Ware of Augusta, Georgia, a past president of the Diocesan Episcopal Church Women. The two have six children and ten grandchildren between them. 

Parker has since served Holy Angels, Pooler (later renamed St. Patrick's) before moving to St. George's in February 2001 as Interim Rector and then Rector in January 2004. 
He holds a BA degree from Augusta State University and an MS degree from Boston University. He moved from Boston to Savannah to work for WTOC radio before beginning a career with the Corps of Engineers. As a bi-vocational deacon and priest for many years, Parker also served as the Chief of Public and Legislative Affairs for the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until retiring in November, 2003 after 30 years of Federal Service.
Consider the Children and Youth
Offering an Invitation to the Season of Lent
As we approach the season of Lent, many preparations happen at church. New altar hangings are brought out, new music is prepared, and often there are special programmatic offerings, whether Bible studies, book studies, or special worship services. These extra offerings, and of course the personal tradition of a Lenten discipline, are based on the understanding that Lent is a season that points beyond itself, a season of preparation. As we approach the Mystery of Easter, we are invited, by the grace of God, to turn aside from the sin that separates, and to turn toward God.

For children, the language of "giving up something for Lent" may not be helpful, especially if it feels forced on them by someone who has power over them. However, there are other ways to invite children into the experience of Lent. A few are listed below:

1. Invite children to notice the Liturgy.
Children are often aware of the rhythms and patterns of our Sunday worship. Ask them what they notice that is different, including color, language, music. Be open to the possibility that they may notice something you have not! You do not have to know all the answers as to why particular things are different. Sometimes the best response to a question you don't know the ans wer to is "I don't know. What do you think?"

2. Help children find a way to experience wonder.
One of the simplest ways to invite young children into a pattern of reflection is to ask them to think about something that was "wonder-ful" about their day. This might be simply something that was very good, but it might also be something that literally called them into an experience of wonder. It might be a sunset, or a cloud, or perhaps an appreciation of their favorite meal, or a chance to play games on the computer. Invite them to be thankful for that particular moment or experience. This develops the practice of wonder and of gratitude, which is, ultimately, one of the most appropriate responses to the Mystery of Easter.

3.  Use particular physical objects to spark reflection
In the last few years the practice known as "Lent in a Bag" has become a way for congregations to provide materials that parents can use at home. These materials, which include simple items such as stones, candles, stick figures, can be used to help us reflect on different aspects of our Lenten journey. A brief overview of one way to do this is found here.

However you choose to invite your children, or the children of your congregation, to experience Lent this year, be aware that the invitation is perhaps the most important aspect. By inviting children to observe Lent, we convey the message that Lent is for them, not just for adults, whatever they choose to do with that invitation at a given time.

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
Missioner for Children and Youth
Around the Diocese

The Rev. Ted Clarkson, the wardens and building committee of St. Andrew's Church, as well as the contractor and architect, broke ground last weekend for a new parish house!

Augusta native Russel Joel Brown will be the guest singer this Sunday at St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church. A graduate of Morehouse College, Brown has appeared on Broadway and toured with Disney's "Lion King," "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and "Smokey Joe's Cafe." As a bass soloist at New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, he sang for the state funerals of Dizzy Gillespie, Arthur Ashe, Cab Calloway and Thurgood Marshall. Today Brown combines his love for the theater and for children by teaching drama to 441 kindergarten through sixth graders at the School for Arts Infused Learning in Augusta.

Family,and friends gather around Isabella Louisa Giddings on the occasion of her Baptism Sunday Feb. 4 at St. George's Savannah. Come Lord Christ. Fill the hearts of your faithful people. Kindle in us the fire of your love.
The Bishop's Visitation

The Bishop's annual visitation to St. John's Bainbridge was the occasion of the parish's 150th anniversary. Also in attendance were clergy who have served and continue to serve at the church. Shown, from left: the Revs. June Johnson, Judy Jones, Leslie Dellenbarger, Jim Clendinen, Scott Mithen and Rick Buechner.
Lent Madness Bracket Features 2 Saints of Georgia
The fun Lenten Devotional is back for the ninth year and this time, the Diocese of Georgia has not one, but two saints in the Lent Madness bracket of 32 saints. Not familiar with the phenomenon? Lent Madness was the creation of Episcopal priest Tim Schenck who later teamed up with Forward Movement, the publishers of Forward Day by Day, to offer a tournament-style single elimination bracket of 32 saints. Bloggers educate the church on the 32 saints who face off in votes for the top pick of the day resulting in one saint winning The Golden Halo. A Diocese of Georgia priest has won before, when Charles Wesley took the top honors.

Team Deaconess
This year both Deaconess Anna Alexander and John Wesley are in the 32-saint bracket. While you can and should vote for whoever you wish, your bishop and diocesan staff are on Team Deaconess for 2018. We hope that the education we began with the Revival about the life and legacy of Deaconess Anna Alexander can spread across the church with Lent Madness. In the first round, bloggers share the basic biographical information, but the longer a saint stays in the voting, the more we learn about them. We hope you will join Team Deaconess!

A Fun Devotional
Media have shared stories on this Lenten devotional on NPR and FOXNews, and in the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated and many more. Lent Madness started to show that it can be fun to learn about our faith and Lent, and, while penitential, need not be dreary. As the Lent Madness website puts it, "If this helps people connect with the risen Christ during this season of penitence and renewal, and have a bit of fun in the process, then it continues to be worthwhile." The goal is to have fun.

How to take part
Go to LentMadness.org and sign up for the daily email, or visit the website daily in Lent. You may vote once a day for the saint you want to win the match up. Do note, that while it may seem that you can vote more than once, please do not. Not only does their software find and eliminate double votes, stacking the deck in favor of a saint is not, well, saintly. Want to spread the word in your congregation? Download and print the free bulletin inserts

The first vote for Deaconess Alexander is on February 19. You can make sure you never miss a vote with the Match Up Calendar. But don't miss the day by day fun. Check it each day, read and learn, vote, and enjoy the process.

Go Team Deaconess!
Join Episcopalians Across the Church in Lent-Easter Study
The Episcopal Church is journeying together this Lent through the story of Jesus life and ministry and then in Eastertide will read the story of the earliest years of the Jesus Movement. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry announced last fall that the Good Book Club will begin February 11 with Episcopalians encouraged to daily readings in the Gospel of Luke and then the Acts of the Apostles.

Why read the Bible?
Daily scripture reading is proven to be the most reliable way to deepen your faith. RenewalWorks, an initiative of Forward Movement has surveyed a half million Episcopalians and worked with efforts to engage those persons in their faith. Engaging with the scripture is the most reliable way to strengthen the life of faith.

Why Luke and Acts?
This two-book set, written by Luke the Evangelist covers the sweeping story from before Jesus birth beyond the resurrection, to the early spread of the new faith. The single author of the two volumes crafts a compelling story of the Holy Spirit at work.

How does this work?
The Good Book Club divided Luke and Acts into 50 daily readings (found here)
of a few verses a day. Forward Day by Day will follow this same pattern for Lent and Easter 2018, with short daily reflections on those readings.

Free Resources Available
Everything your congregation needs is available for free at the Resource page of GoodBookClub.org. Onthat same page of the website, individuals may sign up for a daily email in Lent and Easter or download the smartphone app. Two weekly podcasts, a weekly video series and more are also linked from the resources page.
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. 

February 4-10
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Augusta, especially, St. Augustine's, St. Mary's, and St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Adel, and St. Ann Catholic Church in Alapaha. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregation in Boca Chica  Grace (De la Gracia), Mount Zion (Monte Sión), and St. Joseph (San José).

February 11-17
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Bainbridge, St. John's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Bainbridge, especially St. Joseph Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregation in Bonao, especially Boca de Yuboa (Boca de Yuboa) and Pentecost (Pentecostes).
Diocesan Office Update and News  
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase's full schedule is available   here. 

The Rev. R. Kevin Kelly, Rector of St. Michael and All Angels Savannah, will officiate at the noon Thursday service in St. George's Chapel at Diocesan House. 
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.  

Clergy Spouse Retreat
February 9-11
Honey Creek 
Register here. 

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

February 23-25
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Register here.

Cursillo #124
March 1-4
Honey Creek Retreat Center
For Team Registration, go
here.  For Participant Registration, go here.
Summoning the Congregants to Share in the Spirit
The Rev. Canon Frank S. Logue waves Epiphany Savannah's flag prior to officiating at their service this past Sunday.
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