July 31, 2019
Volume 9, No. 49
2019 Full-Time Priests' Salary Survey

A survey of the compensation for priests serving in full-time positions is posted at right and on the diocesan website to assist vestries as we enter the time of year to plan congregation budgets. This is the ninth year that the salary survey has been published by the Diocese. 
The 34 priests on the two charts are only a portion of those serving our 70 congregations. This reflects the many congregations served by part-time priests, who are often bi-vocational or retired. For comparison purposes, the archived surveys from 2011-2018 each remain online in the Reference Library at the diocesan website.

A Note on Priest's Compensation
The salary listed will appear 15% higher than pay for most other individuals as p riests must pay that amount for SECA (the self-employment version of FICA or Social Security) out of the listed compensation in addition to state and federal taxes. The compensation data in the chart reflects the combined total of salary, housing, and an offset for half of SECA. For clergy in a rectory or vicarage, the value of that provided housing is included in the compensation figure and can lead to a compensation figure that seems out of line with other priests in similar calls. To assist in setting salaries, the diocesan staff works with vestries in a new call to consider salaries in neighboring dioceses around the Diocese of Georgia. We also consider other salaries in the town by comparing to salaries in the school system (available at www.open.georgia.gov). Depending on the complexity of the congregation, the salaries of teachers, assistant principals, and principals with a masters degree is instructive as these are local salaries with similar benefits.

A Note on Benefits
A large factor in determining a congregation's ability to pay a full-time priest is the cost of health insurance and other benefits. The clergy salary survey does not reflect the great range from a priest whose insurance is covered fully by the spouse's employer to those receiving full family coverage through the congregation. The Diocese moved to a standard of a high deductible insurance plan with a Health Savings Account to contain costs as much as possible.

Here are the charts showing this year's survey:
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This Sunday's Lections
Track 1
Hosea 11:1-11
Psalm 107:1-9, 43
Colossians 3:1-11
Luke 12:13-21

Track 2
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23
Psalm 49: 1-11
Colossians 3:1-11
Luke 12:31-21

Go   here for the full text.

  2020 Tithe Letters
The tithe letters for parishes for 2020 have been mailed. If one has not arrived by the end of this week, call the Diocesan House: 912-236-4279.
St. John and St. Mark's, Albany Hosts Breakfast for Teachers
Getting the grits ready.
Monday, July 21st was the 10th anniversary of the Back-to-School Breakfast hosted by St. John and St. Mark's Church for Radium Springs Elementary School faculty and staff. 

Sleepy parishioners began gathering at 6:30 AM in the kitchen. By 8, when the teachers, faculty, and staff began arriving, egg muffins, grits and sausage gravy, smoked chicken-artichoke sausages, pastries, fruit, yogurt cups, juices, and coffee, were waiting to help the teachers get a great start for the new school year.

With food fueling their day, and prayers of blessing offered, the Principal held his first official meeting of the year. Each teacher received a large bag of supplies for their classrooms: tissues, pencils, crayons, glue, notebooks, copy paper, hand sanitizer, all donated by members of St. John and St. Mark's.

The school and congregation are Partners In Excellence, with church members serving year-round as volunteers providing assistance where and when  needed. 
Although currently without a rector, the congregation never hesitated when the school prepared to re-open after summer break. Sharon Stewart, Senior Warden observed, "We know how to do this, and we love it. The congregation's support is overwhelming. It's just another way for us to offer hospitality, give support, build relationships with the school, and show we're committed to the long road."
The teachers at Radium Springs Elementary after breakfast with their gifts of school supplies.
From the Director of Communications
Jesus Said, Visit the Stranger on Mother's Day
The porch swing at Casa Colibri, the hospitality house in Ocilla, Georgia.
I wonder if Jesus felt this way: awkward, quiet, not knowing what to say to a stranger, fighting back thoughts that almost make it past the mental gatekeepers of appropriateness and "keep it positive."

The woman in front of me wore an orange jumpsuit. It was Mother's Day and my daughters were far away. I thought, what better way to spend a day that I had mixed feelings about to begin with, visiting women who, like me, wouldn't see their mother, child or children on Mother's Day. But they wouldn't see them because they were immigrants being held at the Irwin Detention Center. In truth I gave myself a tiny pat on my back, quietly pasted a gold star on my forehead, but I hoped that whatever good I could do would outweigh the sins of privilege, pride and self-righteousness.

There were other visitors on that Mother's Day at the Center: two carrels down a father had brought his four young daughters and toddler son to visit their mother. We had smiled at each other in the waiting room, the boy doing silly tricks that made everyone laugh. But they weren't in the visitation room for long before they were all crying. Their mother was close enough to touch,  but she could only match her hand to theirs on the plastic barrier and comfort them with words spoken through the telephone. Life's even messier than that: for a long time the kids were too distraught to see her hand or hear what she said. Further down the row of carrels was the young woman who had arrived late last night at Casa Colibri from Atlanta to see her mother. Now they were mirrored towards each other, heads tilted against the plastic, voices low.

I imagined since I would be following Jesus' admonition to offer hospitality to the stranger and visit the prisoner, by some Jesus-powered energy I would feel a deep connection and words would come easily, perhaps I would even be moved to pray with this stranger. The image I had almost had us wearing halos by the end of the visit. 

But in reality I am more comfortable connecting to God through prayer, on my knees, in a church. By following Jesus' admonition I was out on a proverbial limb, the one that talks about loving the stranger. There was a lot of praying going on that day but it was more me asking for direction than anything else. 

When we ran out of things to say I kept thinking, just be a witness, just be there with her. Jesus only said, you visited me in prison. He didn't say you made a deep connection when you visited me in prison, here's your gold sticker. 

I realized I was looking for some kind of transformation for myself through this visit: to be a better person, one who can talk easily to strangers, form deep bonds quickly, make a difference in someone else's life when in reality all I could really do was listen.

So for an hour on Mother's Day I spent time with a woman who wasn't with her four year old daughter and hadn't seen her for more than a year. She was the same age as my younger daughter. In the beginning it wasn't easy for her or for me, there were awkward silences but they passed quickly--she needed to talk about her daughter. There was a lot to tell me and I was there to listen. Just listen. And feel the beginning of a transformation, even if it wasn't the one I had in mind.

Anna Iredale
Director of Communications

For information on volunteering at Casa Colibri, the hospitality house in Ocilla headed up by the Rev. Leeann Culbreath, Deacon, contact Leeann at deaconleeann@gmail.com.
Learn Something New at This Year's Acolyte Festival
Acolytes from St. Matthew's Savannah
Acolytes from across the Diocese will gather at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta for
 the  Acolyte Festival on Saturday, August 24 through services on Sunday, August 25. The time together will be framed by formation, music, and play. A highlight this year will be Acolyte Lead Training and workshops for Acolyte Masters presented by Roger Speer, Good Shepherd's Director of Student Ministries and the co-author and illustrator of "I Serve at God's Altar," the new Acolyte Training manual by Church Publishing. Participating churches will each receive a copy of "I serve at God's Altar" for their libraries.

There will be multiple workshops led by local leaders for acolytes of every age from grade three through 12. Workshops take place Saturday in the early afternoon and include instructions on how to swing a thurible, how to serve at the altar, what all the different vestments are and mean, and lots more! A highlight will be a late afternoon fun activity, and joining the Church of the Good Shepherd's worship service on Sunday, August 25.

Participants arrive on Saturday morning, August 24 from 9-10:30 AM. Bring your vestments for Sunday and a congregational banner for Sunday's festival procession. Come prepared to sleep on the floor Saturday night by bringing a camp mattress or an inflatable mattress, sleeping bag, toiletries, and clothes to change into for Sunday morning.

Congregations who send a group of acolytes also register and send adults who are willing to engage with the activities and with the acolytes throughout the weekend!

Please contact Canon Joshua Varner at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org for more information, or to request scholarship assistance. Click this link to register now at http://bit.ly/AcFest2019
Around the Diocese

Children from St. Mark's and St. Athanasius, Brunswick at Camp St. Mark.
St. Alban's, Augusta hosted Creative Impression's Summer Music Workshop for young people in the Augusta area. "This year, like all the years before, was fantastic," said the Rev. Billy Alford. The workshop was led by Artistic Director Trey McLaughin and Judith Fennel Ruffin, Organist at St. Alban's. This year the students studied vocal music and dance. 
Parishioners from Our Savior Martinez participated in "A Place to Dream" program of the Family YMCA of Greater Augusta which provides children from low income families with beds, sheets, pillows, blankets, stuffed toys and a Bible. 
Parishioners at St. Paul's Augusta worked in the Manna Pantry.
Readying donations of school supplies for distribution into the community at Christ Church, Savannah.
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.

Send in Reports!
Reports for  the year 2018 published for the 198th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, November 14-16 2019  are due by August 15th .
We collect reports from the leaders of the following ministry and groups:  
  • Board of Officers of the Corporation, Canon Katie Easterlin
  • Honey Creek, Dade Brantley, Executive Director
  • Honey Creek Camp, Karen Bell
  • Campus Ministry - Augusta State University, the Rev. Amy Bradley
  • Campus Ministry -Savannah colleges and universities, the Rev. Michael Chaney 
  • Campus Ministry - Georgia Southern University, the Rev. Charles Todd
  • Campus Ministry - Valdosta State University, Stephanie Johnson
  • Chancellor, the Rev. Jim Elliott
  • Commission on Ministry, the Rev. Tom Purdy
  • Companion Diocese, Julius and Julia Ariail
  • Creation Care Commission, the Rev. Leeann Culbreath, Deacon
  • Cursillo, Rose Wilson
  • Deacon Formation Committee, the Rev. Ri Lamb, Deacon 
  • Diocesan Council, Anna Iredale
  • Education for Ministry, Rita Spalding
  • Episcopal Church Women, Cristy Jordan
  • Episcopal Relief and Development, the Rev. Canon Frank Logue
  • Episcopal Youth and Children Services, Cathy Baxter
  • Integrity GA, Clayton Gagne-Thomas
  • Standing Committee, the Rev. Al Crumpton
  • Treasurer, Beth Robinson
  • United Thank Offering, Cristy Jordan
  • University of the South, Sewanee
  • Youth Programs, the Rev. Joshua Varner
Reports are typically two to three paragraphs in length about the prior year, in this case, 2018. 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.   If you feel that you are listed in error above, or for more information, please contact Anna Iredale,  airedale@gaepiscopal.org

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.

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.

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 see what specific offices are open and to submit a nominee or nominator's form.

Register for Convention!
Cost for registration is $75 now through August 15; $85 regular registration 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:  http://bit.ly/Registerfor198thConvention
Attendees are also encouraged to car pool to GSU from hotels or area churches.

Book Your Hotel!
Registration opened earlier than usual this year to encourage those who require hotel accommodations to make reservations as soon as possible, as several other events are being held on the college's campus, including a home football game. 

The Diocese has reserved a block of rooms at several hotels. Make reservations by calling Comfort Inn & Suites, 912-681-2400 or GM.GA380@choicehotels.com; or the Hampton Inn Statesboro, 912-489-8989. 
The Nessmith-Lane Conference Center, site of the 198th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.
Diocesan Office Update and News
The Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase will resume his schedule of visitations on August 18th. Weekly delivery of eCrozier will resume that week also. The Bishop's full schedule can be found  here.
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue will be the Spiritual Director at Happening #102.  

The Rev. Joshua Varner is preparing for the Acolyte Festival, later in August.

The Rev. Kevin Kelly, Rector of St. Michael and All Saints, Savannah, will officiate at the Thursday, noon service at Saint Anna Alexander Chapel, Diocesan House.
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. 

July 28-August 3
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation on St. Simons Island, Christ Church and Holy Nativity. We also pray for our ecumenical partners on the island, especially Lord of Life Lutheran Church and St. William's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for San Bernabé (St. Barnabas) in Pizarrete.

August 4-10
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation on Jekyll Island, St. Richard of Chichester. We also pray for our ecumenical partners on the island, especially Jekyll Island Methodist Church and St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Puerto Plata, especially Cristo Rey (Christ the King), San Francisco de Asís (St. Francis of Assisi), and San Simón Apóstol (St. Simon the Apostle).

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 .
G.G. and Alice Aderhold were the official greeters at St. Paul's Albany on Sunday.
Diocesan Office Closed
At noon Fridays during the summer.

Happening #102
Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4; staff arrives August 1
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Ordination to the Priesthood of the Rev. Samantha McKean, Deacon
Christ Church, Savannah
10:30 AM, Saturday, August 17th

Bishop Search Transition Committee Meeting
St. Anne's Tifton
Wednesday, August 21

Acolyte Festival
Saturday, August 24 (morning) to Sunday, Augusta 25 (after worship)
Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta
Grades three to 12.  
Go here to register.

Constitution and Canons Meeting
September 4
Diocesan House

New Beginnings #55
September 6-8
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Diocesan Council
September 13-14
St. Peter's, Savannah

Search for the XI Bishop Walkabout
October 22, 23 and 24

Cursillo #126
October 17-20
Honey Creek
Go  here for more information.

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