September 25, 2019
Volume 10, No. 5
Annual Enrollment 2020 Open Oct 6th-25th
Please find the details for Annual Enrollment below on prices and resources to review plans. Premiums increased 4-4.5% across all available plans, which is slightly above the national average of 3.9%. If you are enrolled, or need to enroll, read the details in entirety and make your changes by October 25th. If you do not desire to change your existing coverage, you are not required to take action and your plan will roll over into the coming year.

If you are turning 65 in 2020 you will become eligible for the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Plans. It is recommended that you make the shift into the corresponding PPO plan to speed up the transition to the corresponding MSP plan. However, this is not required. Please be in contact with Canon Easterlin for any questions at

What You Need to Know About Annual Enrollment
During the Medical Trust's Annual Enrollment period:
* Current plan members may change their plan selections for the following year
* Eligible non-participating employees have the option to join a plan
* Eligible non-participating dependents may be added to a member's plan and participating dependents     may be removed from a member's plan without the need to demonstrate a qualifying event

Medical Plan Costs
To find more information about the cost of plans, see below or visit the Diocesan website here. 

Dental Plans
We will continue to offer the following Cigna dental plans through the Medical Trust:

Currently Enrolled Employees
Please inform your currently enrolled employees (plan members) that they will receive a mailing from the Medical Trust approximately one week before their Annual Enrollment period. This mailing will provide them with a link to dedicated content on, where members can clearly view and evaluate their 2020 plan options, and link to the Annual Enrollment website, where they will make their 2020 plan elections. In your communications, encourage your employees to begin reviewing their options and to research plans early.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Members will access the Annual Enrollment website with the same credentials (username and password) they created to access their benefits information on MyCPG Accounts. It is important for all participating employees to create an account on MyCPG Accounts prior to Annual Enrollment, if they have not already done so. For assistance, employees may contact the Client Services Team at (800) 480-9967, Monday to Friday, 8:30AM to 8:00 PM ET, or email

Non-participating Employees
Existing employees who qualify for health coverage but are not currently participating in one of the Medical Trust plans are eligible to enroll themselves and/or their eligible dependents during Annual Enrollment for the 2020 plan year. As we do not mail materials to these potential members, please send a communication to these employees informing them of this option as well as the plans and rates available to them and all applicable legal notices and Summaries of Benefits and Coverage. The Summaries of Benefits and Coverage, Annual Enrollment Guide, and Regulatory Notices are available at

Plan Documents
2020 Summaries of Benefits and Coverage and Plan Document Handbooks containing more information about the available plans may be found on the Church Pension Group website at Please remember that you are responsible for providing newly eligible employees with a copy of all applicable Regulatory Notices and Summaries of Benefits and Coverage.

No Changes to Current Plan Selections
Please note that there are no changes to our current plan options for the coming year. However, members should still be encouraged to go online during Annual Enrollment to check their information (name, address, dependents, plan selection, etc.) and make changes if necessary.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with Cigna Behavioral Health
In addition to the health plans, we offer a stand-alone EAP that you and your related entities may elect to offer to their employees who opt out of medical benefits coverage. (The EAP is already included as part of each medical plan offering.)

Note: If the EAP is offered on a stand-alone basis, the employer must pay for the EAP-only coverage. Requiring employees to contribute towards the cost of the EAP-only coverage would violate the Affordable Care Act and the employer could be subject to significant penalties. Eligibility for the stand-alone EAP program is limited to qualified non-members (e.g., an employee who is on a spousal plan and has opted out of medical coverage). Since these employees will not have the ability to select the EAP on a stand-alone basis during Annual Enrollment, enrollments must be completed by the group administrator with MLPS access.

Episcopal Diocese of Georgia Health Insurance Policy
To comply with the diocesan clergy minimum compensation standard, a congregation with a priest working at least 30 hours per week is required to assure insurance coverage. For those who do not otherwise have medical insurance provided through a spouse or an existing plan such as Tri-care, this means selecting at least the lowest cost option from the plans above.

For those in a High Deductible Plan with a Health Savings Account, the Diocese expects the employer will pay $200 per month or $2400 per year into the HSA for those electing the single HDHP and $400 or $4800 per for the plus one or family plan in the first year of coverage and to continue to pay $150 per month for Single HDHP and $300 per month for plus one, and $400 for family plans in subsequent years.

Please note that this letter is provided for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as an offer of coverage, legal, medical, tax, or other advice. Please consult with your own professional advisor for further guidance. In the event of a conflict between this letter and the official plan documents, the official plan documents will govern. The Church Pension Fund and its affiliates retain the right to amend, terminate, or modify the terms of any benefit plans described in this letter at any time, for any reason, and unless required by law, without notice.

The Plans are church plans within the meaning of section 3(33) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and section 414(e) of the Internal Revenue Code. Not all Plans are available in all areas of the United States, and not all Plans are available on both a self-funded and fully insured basis. The Plans do not cover all healthcare expenses, and Members should read the official Plan documents carefully to determine which benefits are covered, as well as any applicable exclusions, limitations, and procedures.
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This Sunday's Lections
Track 1
Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16
I Timothy 6:6-19
Luke 16:19-31

Track 2
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Psalm 146
I Timothy 6:6-19
Luke 16:19-31

Go  here for the full text.
Honey Creek Commission 
Ready for Another (Successful) Silent Auction!  
Jay Lacy announces the names of those who bid the highest at last year's Silent Auction. 
It's silent auction time again for Honey Creek! For the past four years, the members of the Honey Creek Commission (HCC) have prepared, planned and successfully raised funds for our Future Fund to help support Honey Creek at Convention.

Last year, the auction items sold for more than $4,200 and it could not have been done without your help. HCC hopes to reach a new goal of $5,000 and in order to do that, they are counting on you to participate. If you or your parish would like to contribute, HCC is asking for a minimum contribution of $50. Once received, our HCC members will purchase the auction items and display them at Convention.

Items that are included but not limited to are Yeti coolers/accessories, Pandora jewelry, Sports memorabilia, Hand crafted art work, Honey Creek souvenirs and so much more! All contributions will need to be mailed or delivered directly to Honey Creek no later than  November 8th Honey Creek,  299 Georgia Episcopal Center Road, 
Waverly, GA 31565.
For more information, please email Jay Lacy at or Dade Brantley, Executive Director at or call Honey Creek at 912-265-9218.
125 Years in Pennick
Good Shepherd Celebrates Anniversary, Saint Anna Alexander
It was standing room only at the Church of the Good Shepherd this past Sunday
The Rev. Jabriel Ballentine was the guest preacher and also conducted a workshop afterwards. The church's Priest in Charge, the Rev. John Butin is also pictured.
afternoon when the congregation gathered with friends, family and supporters to mark the 125th Anniversary of the church where, as a Deaconess, Saint Anna Alexander lived such a vital role and founded a school.

The Rev. Jabriel Ballentine was the guest preacher and led a workshop, Getting Serious about Becoming the Beloved Community, following the dinner-reception. To see Ballentine's sermon, Tone Yourself Up for God, go here.  For more information on Saint Anna Alexander, go here

Good Shepherd was filled to overflowing with parishioners, Episcopalians from St. Athanasius and St. Cyprian's as well as clergy from neighboring churches and pastors from area churches.

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.

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.

Nominations so far include: 
For Sewanee Trustee, Lay Person
Ned Murray, Good Shepherd, Augusta

For General Convention Delegate, Lay Person
Molly Stevenson, Christ Church Valdosta
Elizabeth Williams, St. Thomas Thomasville
Jody Grant, Our Savior Martinez
Cissy Bowden, Good Shepherd, Augusta

For General Convention Delegate, Deacon or Priest
The Rev. Kelly Steele, St. Peter's Savannah
The Rev. William Willoughby III, Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah 
The Rev. Cynthia Taylor, Holy Comforter, Martinez
The Rev. Tar Drazdowski, Christ Church, Cordele

For Standing Committee, Priest
The Rev. David Lemburg, St. George's Savannah
The Rev. Tar Drazdowski, Christ Church Cordele
The Rev. Kelly Steele, St. Peter's Savannah

For Standing Committee, Lay Person
Pat Leslie, St. George's Savannah

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. If you are a nominee and have not submitted your bio and photograph to Anna Iredale, please do so. Go  here  to read more about specific offices and to submit a nominee or nominator's form.

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:
Attendees are also encouraged to car pool to GSU from hotels or area churches.

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.

Find a Hotel
There are 14 rooms for Thursday night at Springhill Suites remaining of the three blocks of rooms the Diocese of Georgia reserved. 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 Bishop Knocks at the Door
St. Peter's Savannah
An aerial view of St. Peter's at dawn
St. Peter's was founded in 1991 by "a group of people enthusiastic for making a difference" on Skidaway Island. The church's congregation  continues to make a difference in its own relationships on Skidaway, in Savannah, and in the wider world.

The parish shares the love of God for all people, and make a difference in our tempestuous world through worship, study, numerous partnerships and two signature outreach ministries: the DR Eye Clinic Mission and charitable trunk show called The Market @ 3 West Ridge.

St. Peter's is currently reflecting on its past, present and planning for its future with a parish-wide visioning process and Invite, Welcome & Connect. We have been working with The Rev. Dr. Eric Law and the Rev. Bill Cruse from Kaleidescope Institute in implementing Holy Currencies on a parish-wide level in order to follow God as we equip, heal and embrace neighbors and each other for the next three decades and beyond!

Those received and confirmed at the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase's Visitation to St. Peter's include, from left: Dick and Charlotte Huey, Tim Yount, Ann Pickhardt, Adrienne Williams, Jen Welch, Edwina Walker, Hunt Priest+, Bishop Benhase, the Rev. Susan Gahagan, Deacon (not visible but standing behind Trevor Walter), Mr. Walker, Kathy Field, Jackie Brasher, Regina Holderness, Ed Field, Danny Edwards, Sid Holderness, and the Rev. Kelly Steele.

St. Peter's Music Academy Summer Camp, left and its Dominican Republic Eye Mission Team, right, are two signature ministries of the church on Skidaway Island
Around the Diocese

The Rev. Jim Said shares information about St. Augustine of Canterbury Augusta at a welcome breakfast for newcomers.
Above: Preparations are underway for St. Thomas' Isle of Hope Holy Crab Festival on September 28th. For more information go  here.
Members of St. Patrick's and St. Paul's Albany participated in Theatre Albany's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma. From left: Melody Sheffield, Chris Hendley, Lindsey Stewart and the Rev. Nick Roosevelt.
  Molly Stevenson, parishioner and volunteer from Christ Church Valdosta, helped out at the Thursday night supper at Grace Cafe. More than 250 students from nearby Valdosta University enjoyed the feast.

At right, one of Grace Waycross' oldest members, Ware County Senior Superior Court Judge Clarence D. Blount (seated) was recently honored by having a courtroom at the Ware County Courthouse named in his honor. His decades-long tenure on the bench have made him a notable and respected member of the local community. Joining Judge Blount at the dedication were Judge Jeffrey Kight, Chief Judge Dwayne Gillis, Retired Judge Michael DeVane, Judge Kelly Brooks and Judge Andy Spivey.

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
T he Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase,  10th Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, will make his annual visitation to Christ Church St. Marys on Sunday, September 29th. He will lead the Fall Clergy Conference next week.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue and Victoria Logue are attending their daughter Griffin's White Coat Ceremony at Midwestern University's School of Veterinary Science this week. Canon Logue will return in time for the Fall Clergy Conference.

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
will be preaching and celebrating this Sunday at St. Francis of the Islands, Savannah. He will also attend the Fall Clergy Conference.

The Rev. Michael White, Rector of 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. 

September 22-28
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Paul the Apostle and St. Bartholomew's Chapel. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially the Catholic congregations of St. Frances Cabrini and Saints Peter and Paul as well as St. Paul's Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Christ the Savior ( Cristo Salvador) in Santiago.

September 29-October 5
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Swainsboro, Good Shepherd. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Swainsboro, especially Holy Trinity Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Emmanuel ( Emmanuel) in Santiago.

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 .
Sprucing Up 
The Rev. Charles Todd and a Georgia Southern student ready the Episcopal Campus Ministry House at GSU for Parents' Weekend.
Fall Clergy Conference 
Monday, September 30 to Wednesday October 2
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Register here.

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
6 PM Wednesday, October 23: St. Thomas, Isle of Hope (with live Spanish interpretation)
11 AM Thursday, October 24: Christ Church, Frederica
6 PM Thursday, October 24: Christ Church, Valdosta
6 PM Friday, October 25: Calvary, Americus

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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