January 3, 2018
Volume 8, Number 18
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
First Sunday
After the Epiphany
Genesis 1:1-5
Acts 19:1-7
Mark 1:4-11
Psalm 29

Go  here 
for the full text.

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Let it Snow!

Snow hasn't
accumulated with any significance in southeast Georgia in a very long time. Here are a few snow--and ice--photos taken today. Above, the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah; St. Michael's and All Angels Savannah at right. Below, at left, Christ Church Savannah and the view from its portico (below at right). And finally, Honey Creek!

Plan Now for CreekFESTFebruary 23-25
The Honey Creek Commission invites you to CreekFEST II! Come down to Honey Creek for a weekend filled with team events, worship, and good times with the Honey Creek family. Join in on the fun with your fellow brothers and sisters all throughout the Diocese of Georgia. We have a bunch of stuff planned including a silent, a 5k, field day events, square dancing, and the global sensation that is Honey Creek Fried Chicken. So grab your people, assemble your team and register today! 

Volunteers are Needed
Wanna help? We can always use your help. Contact CreekFEST headquarters ( creekfest@gaepiscopal.org) to join the host team. 

Register for CreekFEST Online
Get yourself and the rest of your team registered here.
Vestry Papers: An Invaluable Resource
Bishop Benhase encourages members of vestries to subscribe to the Vestry Papers produced monthly and offered electronically by the Episcopal Church Foundation. With articles such as "Vestry Covenants," "Five Things Every Vestry Member Should Know," and "Top Ten Resources for Vestry Members," it will prove helpful to vestry members, new and old. Subscribe here.

You Can Be Part of Happening #100 
Graham Hummel from Christ Church Frederica is the Rector for the 100th Happening.
Happening, January 12-14 at Honey Creek, is an experience of God's love in action, presented by teenagers and for teenagers in grades ten to 12, and sponsored by the Episcopal Church. During the weekend the participants experience God's love through worship, prayer, and the ministry of peers and adults, both lay and clergy. Cost: $100. Registration closes January 5th.

For more information, visit georgiahappening.com
To register for Happening #100, follow this link 

Happening Reunion During Happening #100
It's been 99 Happenings in the making!!! Join us as we celebrate the many lives God has touched through this ministry and look ahead to the next generations of Happeners!

Saturday, January 13, 7 PM
Reunion -- Fun, Fellowship, Singing, Refreshments
The Reunion will conclude with a Eucharist

Sunday, January 14, 2:30 PM - Closing Service
A reception will follow the Closing service

Reunion only -- $10 (requested donation) Register here
Reunion & Lockin -- $30 early registration, $35 after Jan. 5
(reunion + lockin fee includes a lock-in tshirt)
#100 Celebration Tshirt -- $15 ($5 extra to have shirt mailed)
If you are unable to attend, but would like to order a shirt, click here .

Some earlier Happenings are featured in this promotional piece for Happening #100.

Apply Now to Work at Honey Creek
Want to work on Holy Ground? We have the jobs for you.

Our Honey Creek Retreat Center is receiving applications for a full-time, year-round Campus Coordinator who will also serve as our Summer Camp Director. 

We are also hiring our Summer Camp Staff. You can apply online at:  http://honeycreek.org/staff/ (Scroll to the bottom of that page for applications). 
Around the Diocese
On Christmas Eve, Grace Waycross celebrated the 20th anniversary of Organist and Choirmaster Mike Taylor.

The Loose Canon
5 Things You Need to Know About Yelp
Started in 2004 as a service to assist people in finding a good mechanic, doctor, or hair salon in their area, Yelp now has 142 million active users each month. Here's the top five things you need to know:
1) Google and Siri drive searches to Yelp
I just asked Siri, "What are the top churches in Savannah?" and my iPhone offered me the top three Yelp reviewed churches in the city as an answer. Millions turn to Google and Siri each day. Make sure they find your congregation.
2) Yelp already lists your church
Your congregation is already listed on Yelp. If you don't take the steps below, however, your listing will remain confined to your name, address, and phone number.
3) Churches can claim their listing at no cost
Go to https://biz.yelp.com to claim your church's listing at no cost. You will need to be able to answer a phone call at the listed phone number of your church in order to complete this process, so be in the church office when you start. Log in to the address above and give the street address of your church and you are on your way. Once you claim your listing, you can add hours, a website, and other helpful information. Be sure to add photos. It's free and will greatly improve your listing.
4) You can and should encourage reviews, but...
Yelp encourages you to attract attention to your Yelp page by putting a link to your page on your website, with a link through social media. Encourage people through your bulletin to check-in at your church on Yelp. The caveat is that Yelp stakes its reputation on honest reviews by screening out reviews it deems to be bogus. Because this is their business model, they won't tell you exactly how this works. But there are things you can and should know, so finally... 
5) You can't game the system, so don't try
St. John's Episcopal Church in Savannah encouraged congregation members to review the church on Yelp and what they learned will help other churches. St. John's discovered two key issues:
  • Yelp favors reviews by people who review widely and screens against new users who create a new account and then make one glowing review.  
  • Yelp seems to prefer reviews without religious language (Eucharist, for example).
The best way to deal with this is to engage with Yelp on their very reasonable terms. Let people know through your bulletin that if they review other businesses on Yelp, you would also like their honest appraisal of your church. This may result in candid views from visitors that you don't appreciate alongside reviews that share the love. This is how Yelp works. If you have claimed your Yelp listing, as the "business owner" you can respond to issues named in a review and it's a good thing to do.
It's worth a little effort
You can become one of the top churches listed in your town with just two or three reviews. Even if you're not the top church, visitors searching for a church turn to Yelp and it's one more way to get the good news out about your church. The process is not that difficult and it is free. As search engines are using this data anyway, why not use it to invite people to worship with you?
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary
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. 

December 31-January 6
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our Bishop, Scott Benhase and our retired bishop, Henry Louttit. We pray for our ecumenical partners, especially, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and their Bishop, Gregory Hartmayer; and for the Evangelical Lutheran Church's Southeast Synod and their Bishop, Julian Gordy. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for their Bishops, Moisés Quezada and William Skilton, and retired bishops, Julio Holguin and Telésforo Isaac. 

January 7-13
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Albany-St. John and St. Mark's , St. Patrick's, and St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Albany, the Lutheran Church of Our Savior and St. Teresa Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. James the Apostle (Santiago Apóstol) in Angelin. 
Diocesan Office Update and News  
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase will make his annual visitation to the Community of St. Joseph, Savannah at 9 AM Sunday, January 7, and to Epiphany, Savannah at 4 PM that day. The Bishop's full schedule is available  here. 

The Rev. Lauren Flowers Byrd, Rector at St. Francis of the Islands Savannah will officiate at the 12 noon service in St. George's Chapel at Diocesan House on Thursday.

Given the ice on the roads today, the Diocesan staff are largely working from home, with a smaller crew at Diocesan House. Using email to contact staff may be the most effective way to reach us until the winter weather passes. 

The Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase
10th Bishop of Georgia
Canon Katie Willoughby
Canon for Administration
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
Canon Missioner for Children & Youth
Anna Iredale
Director of Communications
Gayle Dawson
Executive Assistant to the Bishop
MJ Harris
Office Administrator
The Rev. Walter Hobgood
Director of Leadership Ministries
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.  
A Long Winter's Nap

Charlie brought the Christ child into St. Anne's Tifton during the Midnight Mass Procession, but by the end of the liturgy, she had settled in for a long winters' nap. We trust you have all recovered from your joyous celebrations as we continue to journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Diocesan Youth Retreat at the Revival
January 19-21
For more information, go here
Revival: Fearless Faith Boundless Love 
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

Diocesan Council
February 2
St. Barnabas' Valdosta

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

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
For Participant Registration, go here.
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