January 15, 2020
Volume 10, No. 21
Join voices from across the Diocese for consecration weekend
The choir for Bishop Benhase's Ordination
The Diocese of Georgia will have a mass choir at both the 11 AM, May 30,  bishop ordination and the 11 AM, May 31, Eucharist in Forsyth Park with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. One does not have to sing on both days to take part. All who take part will need to commit to rehearsing the music in advance. Those in the Sav annah area should attend a rehearsal in advance of the May events to be held in Savannah. Those further afield may rehearse on their own or with members in their church choir. 

For now, we want to collect information on who wants to take part. We are using a Google Form to collect information for Macdowell Fogle who is choirmaster for the ordination on May 30 and Marquese Carter who is choirmaster for the Eucharist in Forsyth Park on May 31:

Join Our Mailing List

Reserve a Hotel Room for May
The planned May 30 ordination and consecration of the 11th Bishop of Georgia will take place the same weekend as graduation for the Savannah College of Art and Design. At present, this presents no challenge for those wanting to book hotel accommodations, but you will want to reserve a room soon. To assist, we offer three blocks of rooms and will be able to secure additional blocks when these are full. 

The liturgy will be held in the Johnny Mercer Theater at the Savannah Civic Center. The service starts at 11 AM. On Sunday at 11 AM, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preach at an outdoor Eucharist in Forsyth Park. The hotels are convenient to both locations. 

Critical information: The block for Friday and Saturday night is cheaper per night, but those rooms are only available at that rate when booking both nights. The hotel will charge the Diocese of Georgia for the additional night for any rooms booked for only one night at that rate.

Rooms for Friday (May 29)
  • Hampton Inn, 603 W. Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah GA 31401 Call to reserve: (912) 721-1600 - $219/night
  • Embassy Suites, 605 West Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah GA 31401 Call to reserve: (912) 721-6900 - $259/night 
Rooms for Friday and Saturday (May 29-30)
  • Courtyard by Marriott, Savannah Downtown/Historic District, 415 W. Liberty Street, Savannah, GA 31401
    Call to reserve: (912) 644-6880 or click here to register online - $169/night

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Events

Tybee Island MLK Program on January 11 honored Priest
The Tybee Island MLK Committee honored Episcopal priest, the Rev. Jamie Maury as a part of their Parade & Human Rights Program on January 11. Maury was named the Humanitarian of the Year by the Committee. Maury is pictured at left above with the Parade's Grand Marshal Richard Shinhoster, a Savannah Civil Rights icon.

St. Matthew's invites Episcopalians to January 20 MLK Parade
The Savannah Convocation, and any other congregations that would like to join in, are invited to participate in the  Savannah MLK Parade on January 20. The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia has a walking group and a trolley for those who prefer to ride. The Parade begins promptly at 10 AM, so please come to St. Matthew's between 9-9:30 that morning to park your vehicle, and a shuttle will drop you off at the starting location near East Broad Street Elementary School. After the Parade, St. Matthew's will host a service of Holy Eucharist at approximately 11:30 AM. They are partnering with their neighbors at Greater Gaines AME Church and featuring their Pastor, the Rev. Kimberly McMichael, as guest preacher. The offering during worship will benefit the newly formed Savannah Area Interfaith Justice Ministry. A lunch reception at St. Matthew's will follow the service.

Interfaith Celebration at St. Paul's, Augusta on January 23
St. Paul's, Augusta, is hosting the most diverse interfaith event in the Central Savannah River Area, including: Baha'is, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Religious Humanists, and Unitarian Universalists. This 13th Annual Interfaith Celebration will be held on Thursday, January 23, 2020 with gathering at 6:45 PM and the service starting at 7 PM. with the Rev. Dr. William Barber II as the keynote speaker and an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Canon Louis P. Bohler, Jr. receiving a lifetime recognition for higher education and civil rights advocacy. The theme for this year's event is "Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King's Message Still Matters." Music will be by the Davidson Fine Arts Chorale and the Augusta Jr. Players will perform "Anne and Emmett".

Going Slow: Winter Youth Retreat takes it easy for a weekend
This past weekend 68 youth and adults from across the Diocese came together for the 2020 Winter Youth Retreat. This retreat offers youth from grades 6 through 12 the chance to come together at the start of the new year to reflect and recharge. This year's theme was "Going Slow." On returning home, one participant reported that "It was amazing. I never want to miss another Honey Creek event. You kind of get a burden lifted when you go there."

Our youth started by reflecting on the potential sources of stress and anxiety in their own lives, many of which are exacerbated by the sense of disconnection from one another that many people often feel. On Saturday morning, they thought about what it means to slow down, and how sometimes we miss things, and lose track of our human connections, when we go too quickly. Youth reimagined the parable of the Good Samaritan and each small group acted it out after discussing the question "what if everyone had gone slower in the story?" 

Saturday afternoon was one of the highlights for many youth, as they worked with members of the Creation Care Commission to plant 25 cypress trees at Honey Creek, and then had
approximately four hours of free time. Since youth turn in their phones when they arrive at Honey Creek, this extended period of time encouraged them to spend their time in other ways. Many of them did arts and crafts together, played board games, and they even organized a large kickball game! In evening program and worship time they reflected on how they had been connected with each other and with God throughout the course of the afternoon.

Kickball Game at Winter Youth 2020
Each youth was given an olive wood cross to take home with them. The crosses were  shared in small groups and the individual group members prayed over each others' crosses. The weekend concluded with a Sunday morning Eucharist in which participants celebrated their connection with God and through God with one another.

David Rose, Rector of St. Luke's, Rincon, and Joshua Varner, Canon for Children and Youth, coordinated this weekend retreat. Many thanks to all the youth who attended the weekend, the parents who made it possible for them to get there, and the adults who spent the weekend with our young people! These intensive experiences of Christian Formation could not happen without each and every one of you! 

For more photos, visit the Diocese of Georgia Youth Facebook Page.
Olive Wood Crosses
Epiphany, Savannah
Worshipping in a Punk Rock Bar to Music by Bob Dylan
God always turns up in unexpected places. This past Sunday, a man walking his dog down Bull Street in Savannah heard what sounded like a bar full of patrons singing a Bob Dylan song together. He entered The Wormhole bar to find a Eucharist underway for the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany and decided to stay for worship. The dingy Savannah bar hosts a lot of punk music, and Savannah's alternative underground scene. This week, Epiphany held worship there with the music of the liturgy all coming from Bob Dylan.
Dylan's music spoke deeply to Epiphany's missioner, the Rev. Michael Chaney, in his formative years as a teenager. During the Wild Goose, a spirituality, music, and arts festival, Chaney experienced an Atlanta Bar Church liturgy using Bob Dylan's music and knew it could be a fit for his congregation. He said, "I thought that Dylan had the potential to transcend generational boundaries." Then added, "I wanted to see if I could make the service more liturgical than how I experienced it."
Sunday at The Wormhole, while the location was very different, most of the Eucharist was very much familiar to the Episcopalians who showed up. The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Table were what any liturgical Christian would expect. The difference was singing Mr. Tambourine Man for a song of praise and Knocking on Heaven's Door forming the refrain for the Prayers of the People. These were not performed by a cover artist, but sung in unison by the congregation.
Epiphany had previously held its Christmas Eve worship at the Wormhole for two years in a row.  The owner, Amy Nick, sees the bar as a real community space, so this fits. A large part of Epiphany's mission is meeting people where they are. There are a lot of people who feel more comfortable in a punk rock bar than in a traditional brick and mortar church building.
The announcements of the worship garnered a lot of interest and fifty-three people gathered in the bar on Sunday at 11 AM for the Eucharist. A typical Sunday for Epiphany has around 30 or so people in worship.
The musicians who joined the usual music crew were not church folk, yet they actively want to come back to do more of this blend of secular into sacred as a way of seeing God anew. Chaney added, "Music not canonized in the hymnal can still offer a window into recognizing how God is present in our lives."

Chaney said, "The worship confirmed my belief that we find God's presence in all parts of our lives, including in popular music. There is not as much a distinction between the sacred and the secular as there is between the sacred and the profane."
Bradley Varnell ordained to Sacred Order of Priests

Bishop Benhase lays hands on the Rev. Bradley Varnell together with the gathered priests in the ordination at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where Varnell serves as a Curate. Varnell served an internship at St. George's, Savannah, during a summer in seminary at Duke Divinity School. That church sponsored Varnell in the ordination process in the Diocese of Georgia.
Around the Diocese

The Rev. Aaron Brewer, Rector of King of Peace, Kingsland, leads singing for the Wednesday evening Eucharist.
Left: Parishioners at Christ Church, Cordele enjoy a delicious lunch following their annual meeting. Right: Young parishioners celebrate birthdays at St. Paul's, Augusta.

     Volunteers at Christ Church Frederica prepare lunches for the Backpack Buddies ministry.

     Bishop Benhase at his annual visitation to St. Luke's, Hawkinsville, this past Sunday. 

Sewanee students of the Diocese of Georgia gathered to break bread this week at Sewanee. Will Priest, Victor Moreno, Leeann Culbreath, Ranie Neislar, Kevin Veitinger, Casey Perkins-Lawrence, Gabriel Perkins-Lawrence, and Ethan White enjoyed dinner together this week. They are students (and a spouse) at the University of the South in undergraduate, Master of Divinity, and ACTS-Alternate Clergy Training programs.
Diocesan Office Update and News
T he Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase,  10th Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, will make his visitation to Good Shepherd, Thomasville, this Sunday, January 19 at 9 AM. To see the Bishop's complete visitation schedule, go here:  Visitations Calendar

Canon Katie Easterlin is currently on sick leave with a limited office responsibilities. Please direct any inquiries normally made to her to Canon Logue.

The Rev. June Johnson from All Saints Tybee will officiate the noon service at St. Anna Alexander chapel on January 16, 2020.
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 2020 one year prayer cycle is now online here:  2020 Prayer Cycle

January 12 - 18 
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Americus, Calvary, and for our ecumenical partners in Americus especially St. Mary's Catholic Church and for St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Plains. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Azua--Reconciliation ( La Reconciliación) and St. George ( San Jorge).

January 19 - 25
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Augusta, especially, the Church of the Atonement and Christ Church. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Augusta, especially Advent Lutheran Church, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and The Church of the Resurrection Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the Church of the Transfiguration ( La Transfiguración) in Banî.

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 .
222 Trees for the healing of the nations

From left, Charlotte Vaughn from St. Augustine of Canterbury, Augusta, and Evoni Lyon from St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien, plant one of the 25 trees planted this past weekend at Honey Creek by participants in the Winter Youth Retreat.

During the 198th Diocesan Convention, the Creation Care Commission launched a campaign to encourage tree plantings across the diocese, on parish grounds and in the community. Inspired by the vision set forth in Revelation 22:2 ("On either side of the river is the tree of life ...  and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."), they set a goal of 222 trees by 2022 for the Grow Healing campaign. 

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

EQHR for Clergy Only
April 27 through May 1
Honey Creek

Clergy Spouse Retreat
March 13-15, 2020
Honey Creek

Spring Clergy Conference
5:30 PM, Monday, May 4 to 1 PM, Wednesday, May 6
Honey Creek

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

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

High School Camp at Honey Creek
June 7-13, 2020
Register  here.

Camp St. Joseph & Mary I at Honey Creek
June 14-20, 2020
For those who have completed grades 3-5

Parent & Child session I at Honey Creek
June 14 - June 16, 2020
For those who have completed Kindergarten thru 2nd grade
Register here .

Camp St. Peter I 
June 21-27, 2020
For those who have completed grades 6-8

Camp St. Joseph & Mary II
July 5-11, 2020
For those who have completed grades 3-5
Register  here.

Parent & Child session II at Honey Creek
July 5-7, 2020
For those who have completed Kindergarten thru 2nd grade
Register  here .

Camp St. Peter II
July 12-18, 2020
For those who have completed grades 6-8
Register here

Episcopal Youth Event
July 6-14, 2020
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Participants must be in grades 9-12
Register by going here:

Conflict Transformation, Clergy Only
October 19-23
Honey Creek 

199th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia
November 5-7
Jekyll Island Convention Center
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