October 17, 2019
Volume 10, No. 8
From the Canon for Children and Youth
Young People at the Walkabout Sessions
Next week the candidates for the next Bishop of Georgia will go 'on walkabout' around the Diocese. At five different meetings, people from across the Diocese will have an opportunity to meet, engage with, and ask questions of these people. As Canon for Children and Youth, I will be present in person at the sessions in Augusta, Savannah, and Valdosta, in order to facilitate youth participation in the process. I will be available beforehand to offer some general information about the process. During the session, youth who would like to do so will gather together in one of the breakout rooms so that they are not the only teenager in a room full of adults. Children and Youth are welcome and encouraged at all of the Walkabout sessions!
As you move through the next week, here are a few suggestions about how you can help your young people take part in the process, whether you are a clergy person in a congregation, a parent who wants to encourage your child, or a youth leader who wonders what might be most helpful to your teens:
  1. Help your youth become familiar with the Bishop Election Process in the Episcopal Church. Most of our teenagers were anywhere between three and eight years old the last time the Diocese of Georgia elected a Bishop, and it's very possible they lived somewhere else or were part of a different denomination at the time! So teens may not know what's going on, or why we're doing what we're doing! Take time to help them become familiar with our process, including the pieces that are already complete.

  2. Make sure they know who all five of our Bishop candidates are, and know something about them. Ideally, our youth will read all the materials and watch all the videos themselves. But life is busy, and they have homework. So help them at least know something about each of the candidates.
  3. Ask your youth what they want to know about the Bishop candidates, and what they would like to ask them. Youth may feel comfortable asking their own questions, but if they prefer to submit them in writing, there will be an opportunity to do so. They can also ask a colleague to ask the question on their behalf!
  4. Encourage them to come to the Walkabout Session nearest them and help them prepare (see all the above suggestions). Our young people's presence at these sessions will give them a chance to participate in the process. It also helps make sure that our candidates see the youth for themselves! If they can't attend a session in person, encourage them to join the Facebook Live stream on either Wednesday night, October 23, beginning at 6 PM, or Thursday morning, October 24 at 11 AM Questions for the candidates can also be submitted through Facebook Live.
  5. After the Walkabout Session, ask them for their response. It's important that adults who work with youth not impose their own personal responses on young people. They may have a different perspective than we do! Ask them for their thoughts, but don't ask leading questions, like "Didn't you think that...?"
  6. Encourage them to come to Convention! Youth in Grades 6-12 can be part of the Youth Presence at Diocesan Convention. This event starts on Friday morning, November 15, includes a lock-in at Trinity, Statesboro, and finishes with the conclusion of Convention on Saturday. Their presence at Convention itself is extremely important as Diocesan delegates make decisions that will affect these young people for a long time to come. Register now at http://bit.ly/2019ConventionYouth

    Please contact me with your questions about youth participation in the Bishop Election Process, or more generally about Diocesan Convention. I look forward to seeing you and your youth at the Walkabout Sessions next week!

    The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
    Canon for Children and Youth
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This Sunday's Lections
Track 1
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

Track 2
Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 121
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

Go  here for the full text.
Leaflets Help Get the Word on Walkabout Out!
Help get the word out on the Diocese of Georgia's search for the 11th Bishop with  these leaflets designed to be used either as an insert for 5.5 by 8.5 inch bulletins or as individual flyers to keep on hand for distribution before and after services, at events and whenever two or three are gathered in your church.
The Search and Transition Committees encourage all to attend a session of the Walkabout, a handy schedule with locations is included in  this handy PDF, as well as information and photos of the five candidates!

Childcare Offered at Walkabout Locations
Spread the word: free childcare will be offered at the following Walkabout locations: Christ Church St. Simons Island; St. Thomas's Isle of Hope; Good Shepherd Augusta; and Calvary Americus. The leaflets above have been updated to reflect this addition.

The 198th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will be held at the Nessmith-Lane Building on the campus of Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, from 2 PM Thursday, November 14 through 11 AM Saturday, November 16th. This convention will serve as an electing convention for the 11th Bishop of Georgia, while also conducting the usual business of the annual meeting including approving budgets and electing persons to diocesan offices.

Presenters: Creation Care Commission, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL), Botanic Garden at Georgia Southern University
Location: Botanic Garden at Georgia Southern University, 1503 Bland Avenue, Statesboro. The workshop will begin at 2 PM at the Heritage Pavilion and will be mostly outdoors. Arrive early to explore the gardens; admission is free! 

One of the best ways to heal and restore God's creation is to plant trees. This hands-on workshop will explore how trees heal creation and teach successful tree planting and tending techniques. Experts from the Botanic Garden will demonstrate tree planting, and participants will go home with a tree to plant on church grounds or in their community. The workshop will conclude with a brief prayer service and refreshments. Sign up for  Planting Trees to Heal Creation  here

Godly Play is one of several Montessori-based ways to approach Christian formation. Godly Play assumes as its starting point that children have their own spirituality, defined as "an initially natural capacity for the awareness of the sacred quality to life experiences" (Rebecca Nye, Children's Spirituality: What it is and Why it Matters. Church House Publishing, 2009, p. 6). The task of adults and children together, then is not to implant spirituality, but to enable that spirituality to grow and develop, in both children and adults, by learning to experience and use "classical, Christian language" (Berryman, Jerome, The Spiritual Guidance of Children. Morehouse Publishing, 2013, p. 1). Godly Play approaches this challenge through the medium of story, play, and wonder. Godly Play stories come from the Bible, from Christian history, and from our liturgical tradition. 

In this workshop, participants will hear and reflect upon a Godly Play story together and as individuals. They will then have the opportunity to discuss both the theological underpinnings of Godly Play and some practical aspects of working with Godly Play in individual contexts. Come to hear a story, to listen for the Spirit, and to find out more about this particular approach to Christian Formation.

Canon Varner has been working with Godly Play since 2006, and has attended both Core and Advanced Trainings offered by the Godly Play foundation. He has experience with Godly Play in both large and small congregations, and has had success using Godly Play stories and methodology outside of congregational settings.  Sign up for Godly Play in the Congregation by going   here.

Opportunity to learn about the structure of the Board of the Corporation and current investments through Private Bank (formally USTrust). The session will include highlights on administrative components, sub fund accounting,and the Private Bank's investment practices. 
Led by : Canon Katie Easterlin and Private Bank Representatives 

Church Communications 101
Don't let the size of your congregation prevent you from getting the message out about your church!
Often it is a matter of figuring out your audience and the best way(s) to reach them. We'll briefly cover the basics of church communication, including social media, bulletins, websites, and media outreach and help determine which tools belong in your church's toolbox. It is hoped that participants will leave inspired and enthusiastic about this important ministry!
Led by: Director of Communications Anna Iredale
Run for Office
In addition to electing the 11th Bishop of Georgia, the 198th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia is charged with electing persons to serve on the Board of the Corporation, Diocesan Council (at large), Disciplinary Board, Sewanee Trustee, Standing Committee, and delegates and alternates to the 2021 General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

While nominations for all offices remain open, by the canons of the Diocese, until the floor of convention, the deadline to be included in the official printed book was Tuesday, October 8. Bios and photos will be still available on the website after that date, but not in the book.

Liz Williams of All Saints Thomasville is the Nominations Chair and will oversee the nominations for the offices up for election other than diocesan bishop.

Nominations so far include: 
For Board of the Corporation
Edward Field, St. Peter's Savannah

For the Disciplinary Board
The Rev. Dr. Donald Hands, St. Peter's Savannah
The Rev. Becky Rowell, Christ Church, St. Simons

For Diocesan Council at Large, Lay Person, Priest or Deacon
The Rev. Ashton Williston, Christ Church, St. Simons 

For Sewanee Trustee, Lay Person

Ned Murray, Good Shepherd, Augusta
Isabella Stuart Reeves, Christ Church, Savannah

For General Convention Deputy, Lay Person
Cissy Bowden,Good Shepherd, Augusta
Dade Brantley, St. Mark's, Brunswick
Katie Easterlin, Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah
Jody Grant, Our Savior, Martinez
Molly Stevenson, Christ Church, Valdosta
Elizabeth Williams, St. Thomas', Thomasville

For General Convention Deputy, Deacon or Priest
The Rev. Ted Clarkson,  St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien
The Rev. Tom Purdy, 
Christ Church, St. Simons
The Rev. Nicholas Roosevelt,  St. Patrick's, Albany
The Rev. David Rose,  St. Luke's, Rincon
The Rev. Dee Shaffer,  St. Paul's, Jesup
The Rev. Kelly Steele,  St. Peter's, Savannah
The Rev. Cynthia Taylor, Holy Comforter, Martinez
The Very Rev. William Willoughby III, Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah 

For Standing Committee, Priest
The Very Rev. Tar Drazdowski Christ Church, Cordele
The Rev. David Lemburg, St. George's Savannah
The Rev. David Rose, St. Luke's, Rincon
The Rev. Jim Said, St. Augustine's of Canterbury, Augusta
The Rev. Kelly Steele
, St. Peter's, Savannah

For Standing Committee, Lay Person
Pat Leslie,  St. George's, Savannah
Hughes Threlkeid,  Annunciation, Vidalia

While nominations for all offices other than bishop remain open, by the canons of the Diocese, until the floor of convention, submitting a nomination as soon as possible will assist the Diocese in publicizing the nominees in advance of the meeting. Go  here  to read more about specific offices and to submit a nominee or nominator's form. Go here to see current rosters for offices.

Register for Convention
Early registration ended on August 15, the cost to register now is $85 until October 31 after which registration is $95. The registration fee covers the cost of audio-visual and print production; excellent coffee along with breakfast on Friday and Saturday morning; a catered lunch on Friday, and more. Go here to register: 

Apply for an Exhibit
The exhibit area is a popular destination for convention-goers each year. Are you planning to have an exhibit at the 198th Convention? Fill out this form and send it in to the Diocesan Offices before October 25th.

It's in the Details
Attendees are encouraged to car pool to GSU from hotels or area churches.

Creation Care Commission suggests you bring your own water bottle and mug. Put your name on it!
 Around the Diocese
The Rev. David Rose, center, and acolytes from St. Luke's Rincon at the Acolyte Festival held at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. 
Mary Watanbe McKee and Tim McKee offered a concert of piano and organ music at St. Peter's, Savannah.

"Racial Healing" at All Saints Church, Tybee Island, the second of the congregation's second Friday of the month series. Compline and Taize songs make for a peaceful evening. On Friday, November 8, Ron Christopher, Director of the Beach Institute & King Tisdell Foundation will present the program: The Middle Passage.
The folks at King of Peace Kingsland with their finished scarecrows (above) for the Scarecrow Walk (below) in St. Mary's Historic District.

The ECW at St. Philip's Hinesville held their yearly Apple Festival.

Creation Care Commission members and friends gathered Sept. 27-29 at Reed Bingham State Park in Adel for their annual camp out and service project. The group enjoyed camping, outdoor worship, hiking, kayaking, and delicious meals, and they participated in Your State Parks Day service projects with local volunteers. One evening, they set up a theater under the stars for a screening of the "Paris to Pittsburgh" a climate change documentary (and a few Andy Griffith episodes). Those interested in Creation Care ministry in the diocese should contact  creationcarecommission@gmail.com
Know Your Delegate Count for 198th Convention
From the Standing Committee  Regarding Delegates to the Diocesan Convention  and Election of the XI Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia:

T his is a reminder that the new Article III, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Diocese of Georgia will be in effect at the upcoming Convention and Bishop Election of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia on November 14-16, 2019. This Article states that the calculation of each congregation's READ MORE
Click on the image to register for this event.
Series Starts at St. Peter's 
Click on the image for more information about this series.
Diocesan Office Update and News
T he Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase,  10th Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, will make his annual visitation to St. Thomas' Thomasville at 10 AM, Sunday, October 20th. To see the Bishop's complete visitation schedule, go here. 

Bishop Benhase, Canon for Administration Katie Easterlin
, Canon to the Ordinary the Rev. Frank Logue, and Assistant to the Canons Maggie Lyons, will be at St. Thomas', Thomasville Friday and Saturday for the Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee meetings.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue
will also preach on Sunday at the closing Eucharist for Cursillo 126 at Honey Creek.

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner will be at the Walkabout sessions in Augusta, Savannah, and Valdosta to serve as an available resource to facilitate youth.  He will also  officiate at the Thursday, noon service this week at Saint Anna Alexander Chapel, Diocesan House.
From Episcopal Migration Ministries 
Supporting Asylum Seekers: A Toolkit for Congregations
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) is offering a new resource for individuals and congregations who wish to welcome and support asylum seekers. Supporting Asylum Seekers: A Toolkit for Congregations is a free resource designed for congregations interested in supporting people seeking asylum.

"Welcoming our neighbors as we would welcome Christ is not a political issue; it is an issue of our identity as followers of Jesus, as members of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement, and as people who made promises at our baptisms," said Allison Duvall, manager for church relations and engagement for EMM.

The toolkit will be updated as new resources, case studies, and information become available.

Click here  to request Supporting Asylum Seekers: A Toolkit for Congregations. The toolkit and additional information and resources will be emailed to you.

Episcopal Migration Ministries is a ministry of The Episcopal Church and is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the United States in partnership with the government. Episcopal Migration Ministries currently has 13 affiliate offices in 11 states. To directly support EMM and its life-changing work, visit www.episcopalmigrationministries.org/give or text 'EMM' to 41444 (standard messaging and data rates may apply).
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. 

October 13-19
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Thomasville, All Saints, Good Shepherd, and St. Thomas and for their work at the Oak Street Episcopal Mission. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Thomasville, especially St. Augustine's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Luke ( San Lucas) in Santiago.

October 20--26
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Thomson, Holy Cross, and for our ecumenical partners in Thomson, especially Zion Lutheran Church in Guyton and Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Lakeland. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially the Cathedral of the Epiphany ( La Catedral de la Epifanía).

Additional Prayer Cycles
We also offer 30-day prayer cycles for those who wish to pray daily for the clergy and clergy spouses:  Diocesan Prayer Cycle and  Clergy Spouses Prayer Cycle .
Blessing of the Animals
One last image of a blessing of the animals: the Rev. Jose Vilar from St. Philip's, Hinesville, blessed animals at the Hinesville Farmer's Market.
Cursillo #126
October 17-20
Honey Creek
Go  here for more information.

Walkabout with Candidates for the XI Bishop 
6 PM Tuesday, October 22: Good Shepherd, Augusta (child care available)
6 PM Wednesday, October 23: St. Thomas, Isle of Hope (with live Spanish interpretation and child care)
11 AM Thursday, October 24: Christ Church, Frederica  (child care available)
6 PM Thursday, October 24: Christ Church, Valdosta
6 PM Friday, October 25: Calvary, Americus  (child care available)

198th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia
November 14-16
Georgia Southern University
To register, go here.

Diocesan Convention Youth Presence (for grades 6 to 12)
November 15 (all day) through November 16
Hosted by Trinity Church, Statesboro
Register here.

Winter Youth Retreat
January 10-12, 2020
Honey Creek
For students in grades 6 to 12

Happening #103
Thursday, February 20 (for staff, participants arrive Friday) to Sunday, February 23, 2020
Honey Creek 
For students in grades 10 to 12

Consecration of the XI Bishop, Diocese of Georgia
11 AM Saturday, May 30
Johnny Mercer Theater
Savannah, Georgia

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Preaches in Forsyth Park
11 AM Sunday, May 31
The Bandshell, Forsyth Park
Savannah, Georgia
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