June 19, 2019
Volume 9, No. 43
From the Canon for Children and Youth
Camp Season Underway at Honey Creek!
Last week, Honey Creek's summer camp sessions began with High School Camp! Approximately 50 campers came to Honey Creek from across the Diocese of Georgia and even beyond! They were hosted by Karen Bell, Honey Creek Camp Director, ten counselors, and the rest of the Honey Creek staff. Activities throughout the week included Low and High Ropes Course, Kayaking, Arts and Crafts, Disc Golf, Archery, and more!

For the first time, counselors also offered a Journalism activity time, during which the campers
Click here to read it!
created the inaugural issue of 
Chronicles of the Creek.  Evening activities included Square Dancing, a Pool Party, Game Night, and more! The Program was led by Spiritual Directors, the Rev. David Rose and the Rev. Joshua Varner, and focused on the Gifts of the Spirit, and living in harmony with ourselves, with each other, with Creation, and with God. Music was a large part of program time, of worship, and of ordinary life at camp, and songs such as "Camping Life," "Rise and Shine," and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," made their way into the Creek experience.

At the end of the week, parents and friends were invited to a closing ceremony on Saturday morning. This event, which will take place at the end of each camp session this summer, allowed campers to share a little bit of their experience of camp with their families. Campers reported that Honey Creek is "a place where I can be myself," and "a community of friends." They shared their experiences of feeling accepted and loved "without any of my masks" and both new campers and returning ones talked about how much they look forward to coming back next year!

The Rev. Joshua Varner
Canon for Children and Youth

Youth gather for a "Chapel-House" worship experience on Wednesday night.
"You are the Light of the World"
Youth lit candles together as part of Thursday night's worship

Shenanigans on the last day of High School Camp! The community formed is one of the most important parts of camp. Youth in this photo are from Rincon, Grovetown, Jesup, Savannah, Griffin, and more.

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This Sunday's Lections

I Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a
Psalm 42 and 43
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39
Isaiah 65:1-9
Psalm 22:18-27
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39

Go  here for the full text.
The Search Committee has scheduled web interviews with each candidate and is in the process of conducting those interviews. Interviews will be completed by July 13, when the Committee will meet again at Christ Church, Dublin. 

The Transition Committee met Tuesday, June 18 via WebEx and while they are still reviewing locations for the Walkabouts, the dates have been set: mark calendars now for October 22, 23, 24. 

The next meeting of the Transition Committee is Wednesday, August 21. 

Please keep the Standing Committee, the Transition Committee, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and the Candidates in your prayers:

St. Philip's Hinesville
The Bishop Knocks on the Door;  The Rev. Denise Ronn Retires 

Born out of the revival movement led by Bishop Reeves, St. Philip's was established as a mission church on March 5, 1965 and became a parish on February 12, 1987. It is located near Fort Stewart and the principal city of Hinesville, next to the Atlantic coast with an abundance of coastal streams and waterways.

It has been an outward reaching church and even though the congregation is small, it is growing. The effect of the congregation's ministry can be seen and felt in the community as they participate in the PB&J Drive which provides food for children who won't be getting the guaranteed school meal during the summer; the doll ministry of the ECW which provides dolls to comfort traumatized children. So far the women have made an estimated 3,000 dolls which they have given to area police and fire departments, emergency management services, Helen's Haven, Domestic Violence Center, and the Liberty County Hospital. St. Philip's also holds its annual Blessing of the Animals at the local Farmer's Market.

"Our vision here at St. Philip's is to gather weekly as a Christian community to worship God, to teach the Christian faith, to grow in fellowship and to reach out to our neighbors in the name of Jesus Christ," said the Rev. Denise Ronn, Priest in Charge. "Our spiritual journey together seeks to work closely with other faith communities to assist the disadvantaged and improve the quality of life throughout the region of Coastal Georgia. Our motto is 'Know, Grow and Go with God.'"

Ronn will retire as Priest in Charge at St. Philip's at the end of this month. She will continue her role in the Diocese of Georgia of teaching with the  Church Development Institute, Emotional Intelligence Workshops and serving as a coach in the Peer Coaching initiative.

Asked for a reflection upon her ministry, she responded with the following:
In reflecting on my soon-to-be 15 years of ordained life, I think back to August 11, 2004, where in the beautiful church of Christ the King, Valdosta, I was ordained a priest. God has blessed me abundantly as a priest in this diocese. What a privilege and honor to be allowed to enter people's lives in so many different ways, from the high points to the most difficult times as well. From celebrating the Eucharist and praying for the needs of the community each day, to baptizing a child, to walking with a couple preparing for marriage or sending loved ones to be with the Lord--as a priest I have had the privilege of being an instrument of God's grace for others.

Many people speak of the sacrifice of becoming a priest and yes, there are many; however, I have found that God has graced me in so many different ways and I am often found saying to others that I have "the best life in the world." With the support of my spouse, children and so many wonderful friends, I have been able to live my life to the fullest. One of my favorite scriptures is "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4. God has shown me and guided me into so many "desires of my heart" that I did not know existed. My heart is so full of gratitude for all the opportunities that came my way and for all the wonderful Godly people that have guided me.

As I move into retirement, ministry for me will continue to be meeting people and loving them for whose they are, namely God's beloved. There is plenty of need with the unchurched everywhere we go and so many are hungry for someone to care. May God continue to call us to be the most loving people ever.

Ronn was ordained a deacon and then priest in 2004 through Christ the King, Valdosta. She served as the Vicar of St. Barnabas' Valdosta, from 2008-2016. During her tenure the church enlarged the parish hall building to expand and update the kitchen, while adding a handicap accessible bathroom, and three classrooms.

In September 2009, Bishop Henry Louttit called Ronn to serve as the first female dean of a convocation in the Diocese of Georgia. She served as dean with distinction through 2016. Ronn completed her doctorate degree in human services during this time. Her research study for the degree dealt with the relationship between role stress and spiritual wellness in clergy.

Within the Diocese, Ronn has proven key to our Leadership Development programs. She and her husband, David, have two grown sons and five grandchildren. They will be relocating to Cartersville, Georgia.

Following the Bishop's Visit on Pentecost Sunday: from left, front row: the Rev. Denise Ronn, Leota Norvell with Gabriel Norvell, Curtis Beard, the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase, Tristen Cribb (crucifer), Justin Norvell with Kensie Beard, and Caley Cribb.  Back row, from left: Marquise Morgan, Deacon Cathy Henderson, Hubert Anderson and Michelle Ricketson
Charlotte Snyder with King.
Crossing for a Cure
Charlotte Snyder is the 14-year-old daughter of vestry member Jess Snyder at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, where, with her older sister Lexi and father Jason, they are active parishioners. It's safe to say that Charlotte, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was six months old, has twice been the source of inspiration for two paddle board challenges.

In 2017, my son Harrison and I paddle boarded 111 miles over seven days from Key Largo to Key West and raised $10,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation.

This got us on the radar of Crossing for a Cure. Crossing for a Cure is also a CF event, benefiting Pipers Angels Foundation.

Harrison and Alan Akridge  
Crossing for a Cure has grown from four paddlers in 2014 to over 200 this year. It's a race from Bimini in the Bahamas to Lake Worth, Florida. 80 miles. Across the ocean. All in one day.

Harrison and I asked the executive director, Travis Suit (whose daughter Piper has CF) if we could split the funding we raised between CF and cancer because four of our own parishioners are battling lung, brain, breast, and tail bone cancer and Charlotte is still battling CF. When Travis agreed to let us split the fundraising...we were in it!

As of this past Monday, our team has surpassed our goal of $8,000 and are at $8,665.00!

We are back safely and wiped out, but changed forever for the better, and grateful. We are still fundraising until the end of this month and would love to strike a $10,000 blow!

The Rev. Alan Akridge
Rector of St. Mark's Church, Brunswick
To read an article about the Akridges' adventure in the Brunswick News, go  here. 

The team at the finish line. From left: Meghan Healy, Jack Cox, who has CF, his father Paul; Harrison Akridge; DJ Barker, James Kirkham, Kathleen and Evie Akridge and Reynolds Wolf.
The back of this year's DR Mission Trip t-shirt honors those who participate.
Mission Trip Season Begins
The Dominican Republic mission team sponsored by Christ Church Valdosta arrived in the Dominican Republic this past Monday, June 17, and is working on several projects at the Dominican Episcopal rural conference center near the city of Jarabacoa--the Dominican diocese's equivalent of Honey Creek.

The team has 14 members, including Mary Jeannette Pringle de Quezada, the wife of the Rt. Rev. Moisés Quezada, the Bishop of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. The team's projects include building a concrete-block bedroom for a villager, teaching sewing to teenagers and adults, forming a "teen team" with eight local teenagers and two of the team's teenagers to work side-by-side on service projects for the conference center plus crafts and sewing projects, examining and vaccinating about 100 dogs at a local animal rescue shelter, and hosting a "splash party" for about 150 local village children on the front lawn of the center. The team is scheduled to return home on Monday, June 24. The team and the DR diocesan staff are aware of the current need for heightened security for visitors, and will be taking appropriate safety precautions.
This trip marks the 19th year that the Christ Church team has worked at this location. One of the team's ongoing projects is to raise scholarship funds for children to attend the local Episcopal K-8 school in partnership with Trinity Episcopal Church in Statesboro and the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Dothan, Alabama. Last year 89 children received full scholarships at this school, and funds are currently being raised to send to the school in July for use in the 2019-2020 academic year. Each scholarship costs US$350, and donations for this purpose can be made online securely on Christ Church's website here .  
For more information on the Diocese of Georgia's ministry with its companion Diocese of the Dominican Republic, please click here. 

Don't miss out on camp at Honey Creek this summer, sign up by going to the Honey Creek website and go to the SUMMER CAMP tab to book a spot. Grab a friend and come to The Creek this summer!
First Paver Installation Deadline!
The first installation of bricks and pavers at Honey Creek, marking the path from the Chapel to Stewart Hall, will be completed in August, 2019!

Pavers are an excellent way to mark graduations, anniversaries, births, retirements, any of life's important milestones and to celebrate a person--particularly a camper or counselor!

To be included in this inaugural setting of stone, forms must be filled out and mailed along with payment by July 15th. Go  here to get started.

Be a part of the first wave of bricks and pavers to be added to the path at Honey Creek! Go here to get started!
Reserve Hotel Rooms for Convention Now!

If you haven't already reserved hotel rooms for the 198th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia we encourage you to do so now.

We have partnered with the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott in Statesboro for a block of rooms. The rate is slightly higher than at the other hotels, but as it is a football weekend, rooms are becoming less available.

At the Comfort Inn, there are only a couple of rooms left in our block. Call 912-681-2400 to make reservations there. For accommodations at Spring Hill Suites, call 912-489-0000.
Around the Diocese
St. Patrick's Albany threw Gabriel and Casey Perkins-Lawrence a going away party Friday night to say goodbye as the couple transitions to seminary at Sewanee this fall. As a part of the going away party, an announcement was made that an outdoor stage recently built to be used for music performance on church grounds was given and dedicated to honor their ministry at St. Patrick's. Seen in the photo are, from left: Yvette Armstrong who planned the party, Gabriel and Casey Perkins-Lawrence.

Two Saints Cafe opened in the new parish hall of St. Cyprian's and St. Andrew's Churches in Darien. 

The newest St. Paul's Albany graduates of Education for Ministry provided through the School of  Theology at the University of South, Bland Cleesattle, left, and Lynne Thomas Parks, right.
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
Diocesan Office Update and News
The Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase,  10th Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, will  make his annual visitation to Grace Church, Waycross at 10 AM, Sunday, June 23. The Bishop's full schedule can be found  here.  

The Rev. Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary, is on sabbatical through July 15.

The Rev. Joshua Varner, is preparing for the upcoming Diocesan Mission Trip and supporting summer camp at Honey Creek.

The Rev. Michael White, Rector at Christ Church 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. 

June 16-22
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Moultrie, St. Margaret of Scotland. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Moultrie, especially Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Holy Spirit (Espíritu Santo) in Las Carreras.

June 23-June 29

In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Quitman, St. James. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Jude Catholic Church in Glennville. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the St. Peter the Apostle (San Pedro Apostól) in Los Conucos.

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 .
Happiness is...

Watching the St. Anne's Tifton Softball Team play while holding a warm puppy.
Ordination to the Priesthood for the Rev. Arthur Jones, Deacon
St. Thomas' Thomasville
10:30 AM Saturday, June 29

Candidate for XI Bishop Interviews Conclude
Search Committee Meets
Saturday, July 13

Diocesan Youth Mission Trip to Tennessee with Appalachia Service Project
July 13-20
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.  

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

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

Search for the XI Bishop Walkabouts
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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