May 22, 2019
Volume 9, No. 39
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. All rooms at the Hampton Inn have sold out, and as it is a football weekend, they won't be releasing any more. 

At the Comfort Inn, they have released an additional 23 rooms to our block. Call 912-681-2400 to make reservations there. 

Home 2 Suites (which is owned by the same corporation as the Hampton Inn) has reserved a block of 20 rooms which can be reserved by calling 912-259-1900.
Join Our Mailing List

This Sunday's Lections
Acts 16:9-15
Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
John 14:23-29
or John 5: 1-9
Psalm 67
Go  here for the full text.
Update from the Search Committee:
While the Nomination and Application process remains open through June 7, the Search Committee is at work on the next phase of the discernment process. Our next two meetings will take place from 10 AM to 5 PM, June 11 and July 13, both at Christ Church, Dublin.

In between those meetings, teams from the committee will hold phone/video interviews with each of our prospective candidates. From those interviews we will select a group of candidates whom we will invite to our Discernment Retreat, held August 11-15 at Honey Creek. Following that retreat, we will present a slate of candidates to the Standing Committee for approval. We anticipate publishing the slate on Sunday, September 1. Names, photos, and a brief biography of each candidate will be posted on the search and diocesan website at that time.

After the slate is announced, a ten-day petition period begins, during which additional candidates may be added to the slate by petition. Petitions require the endorsement of one lay person and one priest or deacon from each of our six convocations. Additional information and forms for the petition process will be available on the search website soon.

Please continue to hold us and all those being considered for election in your prayers. As always, you can contact the search committee directly with questions or concerns at

Update from the Transition Committee:
The Transition Committee has announced that the consecration of the XI Bishop for the Diocese of Georgia will be held at 11 AM, Saturday, May 30, 2020 at the Johnny Mercer Theater in Savannah. 

The committee has met several times and divided up responsibilities related to the Transition. Look for more news in upcoming issues of From the Field.
CDI Graduations held at Augusta, Honey Creek
The ninth year of CDI in the Diocese of Georgia was a banner year.  "Armed with a new manual and revised curriculum, we had excellent participation and some great opportunities for experiential learning and projects," said the Rev. Walter Hobgood, CDI.

The CDI program built on the following core values:  Anglican Spirituality;  Shared Leadership;  Planned Change;  Experiential Learning;  Community Building;  Lifelong Formation
The program consists of 8 weekends (from Friday at noon through Saturday at 3 PM) over a two year period. 

This year, the re was a total 52 participants (29 at Honey Creek and 23 in Augusta) representing 15 parishes. for a combined total of 27 graduates.

Last weekend the graduates were recognized for their commitment to learning over a two year span of time, their leadership in their parishes and in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.

Honey Creek Graduates
Donna Becton
Diane Hall
Linda Kidd
George Ann Inglis
Casey Lavin
The Rev. Becky Rowell
George Munro
Mary Helen Moses
Aristotle Rivera
Paul Tobler
Ralph Wade
The Rev. Ashton Williston
Vicki Worden

Augusta Graduates
Lydia Bliven-Smyth
Nina Creech
Mollie Baldwin
Allan Andrews
The Rev. Jim Said
The Rev. Amy Bradley
The Rev. Deacon John Warner
Adelaide Vaughn
The Rev. Deacon Rosalyn Panton
Patricia Solomon
Joyce Brown
The Rev. Erwin Veale
Montine Mize
Mary Andrew

A special thank you to the trainers for their time, energy and faithfulness in leading this important ministry: t he Rev. Denise Ronn;  Carey Wooten; t he Rev. June Johnson;  Kelly Evans; t he Rev. Guillermo Arboleda; t he Rev. Lonnie Lacy, and Rev. Walter Hobgood. The next class will begin in December 2019 in Augusta (at St. Augustine of Canterbury) and at Honey Creek.

Dates for CDI weekends are in December, January, March and May and can be found on the Diocese web site. Contact the Rev. Walter Hobgood if you are interested in participating as part of a parish, convocation or diocesan team. (

Front row from left: Mollie Baldwin, the Rev. Bunny Williams, Nina Creech, the Rev. June Johnson, Patricia Solomon
Second row from left: Montine Mize, Hulet Kitterman, Joyce Brown, Amy Bradley, Margaret Jordan, Bob Thompson
Back row from left: John Warner, the Revs. Erwin Veale and Jim Said, Mary Andrew, the Revs. Terri Degenhardt, and Thomas Barron, Lydia Blevin-Smyth, Allan Andrews, Billy Bullard

Front row from left: the Rev. Ashton Williston, Mary Helen Moses, George Ann Inglis
Middle row from left: Lamon Brand, Ralph Wade, Kristi Baranko, Donna Beckton, Kathy Hodges, Marilyn Griffith-Creavy, Paul Tobler, Vicky Worden, Beryl Brooks, Deb Baber, Linda Kidd
Back row from left Rick Lantz, Casey Lavin, the Revs. Melanie Lemburg, Nick Roosevelt, Guillermo Arboledo and Tar Drazdowski; Lesia Irvin, the Rev. Walter Hobgood, George Monro
St. Peter's DR Eye Team Looks to the Future
The St. Peter's Savannah Eye Mission Team to the Dominican Republic celebrated its sixth clinic in San Pedro de Macoris by preparing for its seventh. 

On May 12, members of the St. Peter's Savannah mission team reported to St. Peter's congregation details of the successful February 2019 mission to the Dominican city of San Pedro de Macorís. The health team was joined by the surgical team from the Georgia Eye Institute and celebrated the mission's combined efforts. The missioners, working at La Clínica de Esperanza y Caridad, examined over 900 patients and distributed over 1,500 reading glasses, sun glasses and prescription glasses. The surgeons removed over 90 cataracts. 

On May 14, 14 team members met again at St. Peter's to focus on the future. They spent the day employing a traditional business exercise of analyzing the mission's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. They concluded that the project's greatest strength was the "relationship and partners in the Dominican Republic." Its greatest weakness was a lack of structure and the lack of a succession plan. Their conclusion: there's work to do.

The session benefited from the attendance of Rev. Milquella Mendoza from San Esteban and La Clínica, who also participated in the Eucharist at St. Peter's earlier in the week. She reaffirmed the importance of the annual mission to the people of San Pedro de Macorís. Participants in the day-long planning session ( photo above ) also included Dave Sweeterman, Randy and Val Stolt, Jim and Haydee Toedtman, Dr. Hank and Suzanne Croci, Bruce Fischer, the Rev. Kelly Steele and the Rev. Guillermo Arboleda, Jurgen and Ximena Dinger, Judy Kenney, and the Rev. Hunt Priest. 

The team is looking for professional volunteers and bilingual (English/Spanish) talent for the next mission trip on January 26, 2020. For more information, contact Jim or Haydee Toedtman, 912-598-5012.

The planning group front row, from left: the Rev. Kelly Steele, Suzanne Croci, Judy Kenney, Haydee Toedtman, La Reverenda Milquella Mendoza, David Howell, Bruce Fischer. Second row: The Rev. Guillermo Arboleda, Jim Toedtman, Dave Sweeterman, Dr. Hank Croci, Jurgen Dinger, Valerie Stolt, and Randy Stolt.

Leslie Dellenbarger called to St. John's Bainbridge
The Rev. Leslie Dellenbarger, second from right, with family at her ordination to the priesthood: from left, her brother-in-law John Moody, brother Lynn Dellenbarger III, sister March Moody and spouse Alta Holton
St. John's Bainbridge, has called the Rev. Leslie Dellenbarger to serve as Priest-in-Charge. Dellenbarger completed her theological studies through the Alternative Clergy Training program (formerly know as the Non-Degree Theological Studies Program) offered through the School of Theology at Sewanee-University of the South. Ordained as a transitional deacon in May, 2017 by the Rt. Rev. Scott A. Benhase, she was ordained as a priest by Bishop Benhase in December, 2017. She served as a transitional deacon as well as assisting priest at St. Thomas' Thomasville with the Rev. Dwayne Varas, and the Rev. Scott Mithen, Deacon. In addition to serving as an assisting priest at St. Thomas', Dellenbarger also served as a supply priest to St. John's Bainbridge.

Dellenbarger is a bi-vocational priest, as in addition to her duties at St. John's, she has secular employment with the Florida Department of Children and Families where she serves as the Psychological Services Director for the Division of Mental Health Treatment Facilities, Policies and Programs within the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Dellenbarger received her undergraduate degree in psychology at Georgia Southern University, her master's degree in applied psychology at Augusta University, and her doctor of psychology degree at Florida Institute of Technology.

Dellenbarger and her spouse, Alta Holton, reside in Bainbridge. 
The Bishop Knocks on the Door
Christ Church, Augusta

Christ Church's building was the original home to Church of the Good Shepherd Augusta. When Good Shepherd outgrew it in 1881, it was moved "down the hill" using mules and logs, to the Harrisburg mill community of Augusta. The building was moved in 1881, set up, and consecrated for use as an Episcopal Church in 1882. It is the oldest Episcopal Church building in the Augusta Convocation.

Many of the current members were "raised" coming to Christ Church, and although they no longer live in the Harrisburg community, they drive in from various distances to attend the church.

The main outreach for Christ Church is providing food for the economically-depressed Harrisburg Community. Two other Episcopal Churches, Good Shepherd and St. Augustine's, are involved with "Community Meal."  This program provides a meal each Saturday for 125 - 150 people. The church also provides a food pantry every third Thursday of the month, and normally 100 or more people are served through this ministry.

Members of Christ Church Augusta serving at Community Meal. 
Bishop Scott Benhase with from left, the Rev. Curtis Johnson, Priest in Charge and Courtland Hooper at Sunday's Visitation

Time to make your summer plans...which means it's time to sign up for summer camp at Honey Creek. Pull up our website and go to the SUMMER CAMP tab to book your spot. Grab a friend and come to The Creek this summer!
Around the Diocese

The Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta, marked its 150th Anniversary! For more photos, go  here. 
Saint Paul's Augusta honored graduating seniors this past Sunday.
The Rev. Lonnie Lacy, fifth from left, gave a blessing for the workers and their work at Tifton Quality Peanuts.
Administrator's Corner
Summer Time Calls for Audit Season
The Diocese is currently preparing for its 2018 audit. Additionally, it is time for congregations to pull together resources and plan for its financial review. While audits are an annual canonical requirement, it is critical that every congregation get its audits submitted to the Diocese prior to Diocesan Convention for the election of the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia. Audits, along with parochial reports, are required for voice and vote at the annual Diocesan Convention. We had 100% submission rate of parochial reports this year. 

The Diocesan Canons require audits/financial review of congregation financial operations. If the annual operating budget is greater than $500,000, a full third party audit is required. If less than $500,000, the Diocese has a 36-question internal control checklist that parishes can use for individuals, not associated with financial procedures, to review records and procedures.

All audits are submitted for final report to the Diocesan office by September 1st. Many congregations partner each year to review and conduct checklists for submission. You can find the checklist here.

It can be a daunting task each year for administrators, clergy, and volunteers to get themselves organized for a review. The following are some best practices to consider when preparing:
  1. Keep detailed records - Each year, the vestry should review the record keeping practices of its parish/organization. Whether it is paper or electronic, detailed records of account payables, receivables, endowments, assets, and other detailed financial transactions should be kept in a well-organized and effectively searched method
  2.  Maintain security - Many records hold sensitive information. Please ensure that files are either password protected, on a secure network, or kept in lockable file cabinet
  3. Make a checklist - Many professional audit firms will provide a detailed checklist of items to gather and review. Checklists are a great way to organize yourself for record pulling and review. Review the internal controls checklist to determine what files and reports help answer audit questions. Your checklist can also help administrators and volunteers divvy up tasks and take ownership or reporting information
  4. Determine recommendations - Each year should result in recommendations for improvement of procedures, policies, and reporting--even if it is small improvements and determining best practices for financial controls
  5. Report and communicate - Once an audit is complete, make sure to supply reports to vestry members and communicate impacts of reports to congregations. This helps to support budget and annual stewardship campaigns
Audits are designed to help churches manage its resources. It is also a great opportunity for vestries to learn detailed administrative requirements. Many people get nervous around this time-period, but it can be a wonderful learning opportunity for your leadership and community.

For any questions, please reach out to me.

Katie Easterlin
Canon for Administration
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
On Sunday, May 19, Bishop Scott Anson Benhase will make his annual visitation to St. Athanasius, Brunswick at 11:15 AM and the Bishop will officiate at the Requiem Mass for the Rev.  Iane Sastré at King of Peace, Kingsland at 4 PM that afternoon. 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, Canon for Children and Youth, will visit Grovetown Episcopal Mission this Thursday evening to talk about summer camp at Honey Creek and share the Parable of the Good Shepherd.

The Rev. David Rose, Rector of St. Luke's, Rincon, will officiate at the noon Thursday Eucharist in the Chapel of Saint Anna Alexander this week.
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. 

May 19-25
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Jesup, St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Jesup, especially St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Mount of the Transfiguration (Monte de la Transfiguración) in Jarabacoa.

May 26-June 1
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Kingsland, King of Peace. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Folkston. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Jimaní, especially St. Paul the Apostle (San Pablo Apostól), St. Titus (San Tito), and St. Ignatius (San Ignacio).

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 .
Parish Communicators Meeting
A conversation on Liturgy/Bulletin, Bulletin Announcements, & Worship Copyright, presented by Episcopal Communicators at 1 PM Monday, June 10, is geared for parish communicators and volunteers who want to talk about the best ways to more easily put together church bulletin, announcements, and learn the basics of copyright in regards to your bulletins. Share what works, what doesn't, ask any questions, and more. Sarah Martinez, Communications Manager for Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, Texas will be the call facilitator.

To join the Zoom Meeting:; to dial by location
+1 646 876 9923 (US); Meeting ID: 816 848 452
Well Hello History!

The Rev. Weed (Jim Price) and Artemas Gould (Whatley Bush), key figures in the founding of Church of the Good Shepherd Augusta, showed up at the celebration. For more photos from this event, go  here.  
Ordination to the Priesthood for the Rev. DeWayne Cope, Deacon
St. Matthew's Savannah
6:30 PM, Wednesday, May 22
Women's Mid-Life Reset Retreat
May 24-26
Honey Creek
Information and to register, go here .

Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate for Bradley Varnell, Brad Bates, and Kyle Carswell
Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah
10:30 AM, Saturday, May 25

EfM (Education for Ministry) 
3 PM Thursday, June 6 through 3 PM Saturday, June 8
Honey Creek
For more information, contact Rita Spalding, 912-270-2725 or email  
Nominations for XI Bishop Close
Friday, May 31

Ordination to the Priesthood for the Rev. Arthur Jones, Deacon

St. Thomas' Thomasville
10:30 AM Saturday, June 29

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 Samantha McKean
Christ Church, Savannah
10:30 AM, Saturday, August 17th

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

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.
Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Instagram
The Diocese of Georgia posts photos from our churches as well as diocesan events at
Follow Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Twitter
The Diocese of Georgia also shares news 140 characters at a time through Twitter  @GA_Episcopal
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  View our videos on YouTube The Diocese of Georgia also has a  YouTube Channel  where you can watch past videos and subscribe to get updates when new videos are posted.