April 17, 2019
Volume 9, No. 34
Bishop Nomination Process Set and Search Website Launched
The Bishop Search Committee met each of the last two Saturdays, first in Douglas and then in Vidalia, to continue the work of assembling and editing our diocesan profile. We are making good progress and are pleased with what we have accomplished so far.

The Standing Committee also met last Wednesday and approved the nomination process along with the process for candidates to be added to the slate by petition. That information can be found on the search website, www.georgiabishopsearch.org, along with an FAQ page, contact information for the search committee itself, and - when it has been approved and published - the profile itself. The search website will be our main means of keeping the diocese updated, and you will find it linked from our diocesan website.

If you have any questions for the search committee, you may send them to us at bishopsearch@gaepiscopal.org. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for the committee's work and for our diocese.

The Search Committee  
Bishop XI Search, Diocese of Georgia 
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This Sunday's Lections
Early Service
Romans 6:3-11
Matthew 28:1-10
Psalm 114

Principle Service
Acts 10:34-43
Isaiah 65: 17-25
I Corinthians 15: 19-26
Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18
Luke 24:1-12
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Evening Service
Isaiah 25:6-9
I Corinthians 5:6b-8
Luke 24:13-49
Psalm 114

Go  here for the full text.
Assistant to the Canons Position Available
Looking for a meaningful job working with a great team? The Diocese of Georgia seeks a motivated individual to serve as the assistant to the Canon for Administration, the Canon for Children & Youth, and the Canon to the Ordinary. This position requires a flexible individual with strong communication and technical skills to support the business operations of the Diocese of Georgia. To find out more, click the link below:

Ask the Bishop on Good Friday
Ask the Bishop, an informal conversation with the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase will be held once again this Friday, April 19th at 11 AM.  Submit questions on theology, the teachings of Jesus, or the  mission and ministry of the Diocese of Georgia to newsandevents@gaepiscopal.org  and get your answers live on Facebook on Friday. It will also be possible to post questions in the comments on the day of the livestream. 

Go here on Friday at 11 AM to participate:  https://www.facebook.com/georgiaepiscopal/

Parish Hall Dedicated at St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien
A greatly enlarged Parish Hall for St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's Churches is making expanded ministry possible for the two congregations. The new building hosted Bishop Benhase's annual visitation last week with a baptism and 14 confirmations and receptions. 

The congregations have for years been ministering to the community out of a smaller, concrete block building now part of the new tabby and brick building. The old parish hall served them well, but limited the scope of ministry. From tutoring students from the elementary school across the street as they prepared for standardized tests, the ministry expanded to an after school program and a community youth group. A significant food pantry also operated out of the relatively cramped quarters. The new building is an important addition to the potential for community impact from the congregations.

The Very Rev. Ted Clarkson serves as Rector of St. Andrew's and Vicar of St. Cyprian's. Reflecting on the service, he said, "While the dedication was the culmination of five years of work in discernment, planning, fundraising, construction and more, the dedication actually marked the beginning of renewed and increased ministry in McIntosh County.  We are grateful to be in possession of this marvelous resource, but we understand we are simply stewards of this building for God's mission in McIntosh."

Bishop Benhase confirmed and received eight persons from St. Cyprian's, five from St. Andrew's, and one from St. Paul's, Jesup. The infant pictured above with her mother is Rousey Lee Smith who was baptized in the liturgy.

The Loose Canon
Holy Week and the Silence of God
"Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed." These words are from the Collect for today, Wednesday in Holy Week. This is theologically sound, yet very difficult to embrace. When we are suffering, it can be easy to think that God is absent. Why can we pray and feel nothing but silence when we most want peace?

Holy Comforter, Martinez
On the cross, Jesus feels the depths of abandonment and cries out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me." In so doing, he reveals the length God will go to in order to reconcile all creation to God. And yet we know that God the Father did not abandon Jesus, nor will he abandon us.

On the night before he died, Jesus told his disciples, "I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you" (John 14:18) and after the resurrection he said, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

We know that Jesus died on Good Friday and was sealed in a tomb through Holy Saturday. His followers were confused and scared. All seemed lost. What humans did to God the Son was not unusual, but God's response was world changing. The amazing gift of grace is that while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us, and that is not the end of the story. Spoiler alert, God raised Jesus from the dead, bodily. This is not a metaphor but resurrection. 

There at the hinge of all human history, we learned how far God would go out of love for us. But we shouldn't jump ahead so fast this week that we fail to see how Jesus is abandoned by most everyone he knew, though the women stayed close to him and were at the cross. If we don't sit with Jesus' abandonment and death, we could miss how much our Savior understands betrayal, alienation, and grief. We don't worship a distant God standing in judgment over us, but a risen Lord who knows our very real sorrows and understands more fully than anyone. 

It can be difficult to see how God is present as we careen toward problems with no view of the Divine ahead of us through our windshield. Yet when we look out the rear view mirror, we find God's fingerprints everywhere. So we know that Jesus has not left us comfortless, but is with us to the end of the age. When God seems absent, we can look back on how God has been present in our lives up until now, knowing that even in the silence, God is there. God loves you completely and has not left you alone, even in that solitude.

Just as the dawn follows the night, light will break through into the darkness you are experiencing, even if it does not come when or how you wish it would. But don't hear me saying this in a way that dismisses the very real pain, for God knows what that absence feels like far too well for us to need to act like the sufferings of this present time do not matter.  And when others around us experience pain and loss, we can be Christ's arms to hold them knowing that the peace that passes understanding is in the midst as you sit with someone in grief or sorrow beyond words to comfort.

The Rev. Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
ECW Annual Retreat/Daughters of the King Spring Assembly

The ECW Annual Retreat and The Order of the Daughters of the King's Spring Assembly with the Rev. Becca Stevens is just a week away--April 26-27. Register online or by mail for this exciting event. To register by mail please go to www.ecw.georgiaepiscopal.org . Under the Events tab find the registration form and the schedule of events. Both can be copied, pasted, printed, filled out and then mailed. Or follow the link on the homepage to register online. 

Bring along any gently used or new bras to donate to Free the Girls (more info on website).
Thistle Farms will be bringing many of their products, skin care, oils, bath products, and books for sale too. Don't miss this fun and nurturing weekend!
The Bishop Knocks on the Door
Epiphany, Savannah
The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany was planted last year as a "free-range" church without walls. "We have no building to upkeep so we can focus on Jesus and God's dream for Savannah," said the Priest in Charge, the Rev. Michael Chaney.

"We pray and worship and promote God's justice, peace, and love alongside our neighbors," he continued. "We offer a playful, contemporary approach to worship while also being steeped in tradition of the ancient Christians."

"We're becoming a church that's truly good news for our neighborhood, and not one that promotes division," he said. Epiphany currently worships at the Savannah LGBT Center on the border of Savannah's Victorian and Starland Districts on Sunday mornings utilizing expansive liturgy. Its congregation is diverse, comprised of families of all ages and sizes, students, singles, and the spiritually curious.

The congregation's mission is to be a radically welcoming, affirming, Christ-centered community to people on the margins, whether that be to families, students, tourists, people questioning faith, and those who have lost trust in the church. They seek to reconcile and rebuild the community with God's love.

Epiphany's outreach work involves a relationship with the homeless Community of St. Joseph, Savannah Pride, and area college students.

"We encourage people to open their hearts to the spirit in all places in their lives," said Chaney. "We are meeting people where they are, even if that's on the sidewalk with a cup of coffee.

"He added, "We're an out-of-the-box experience seeking to discover how all of us can walk the Jesus path in the many, richly textured areas of our community. We welcome you as you are. Roll on in wearing pajamas. We're okay with that."

Bishop Benhase with the congregation of Epiphany, Savannah.

Community of St. Joseph, Savannah
In a field ringed by a tent camp of homeless persons, Bishop Scott Benhase baptized Gary Dixon, sealed him with the Holy Spirit and marked him as Christ's own, forever. While baptisms are more an annual event, worshipping in the field was just a usual Sunday for the Community of St. Joseph. Though preceded by some worship services alongside camps for homeless persons, this worshipping community began on October 4, 2015 with the leadership of founding missioner, the Rev. Jamie Maury. 

Now led by Missioner Kevin Veitinger, who is a postulant for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Georgia, the ministry continues to provide worship services by and for Savannah's homeless persons living in the city, approximately 4,200 people. "It has been an incredible year of transition and growth," said Veitinger. "From our transition from the Rev. Jamie Maury to my taking the work as Missioner, to successfully transitioning two of our former transition house residents to their own places, to continual ministry growth."
Reflecting on the Sunday visitation, Veitinger added, "I so very much wanted our time with the Bishop to be outside in our normal context, but all week the forecast called for rain. Fortunately the rain held out and the weather was quite perfect. We were even able to celebrate the baptism of long time community participant, Gary Dixon. 'Twas a great morning." At right are Kevin Veitinger, Bishop Scott Benhase, and Gary Dixon.
The Community of St. Joseph offers worship at Emmaus House on the Third Friday of the month and every Sunday worship on the canal off Louisville Road at Pritchard Street, an area identified with the assistance of homeless persons interested in the Community of St. Joseph. This work is also coordinated with the city's Homeless Authority.

All are welcome to join the worship on third Friday mornings at 7 AM in Christ Church Savannah Parish House at the corner of Abercorn and Bryan Streets. Sundays, the liturgy is at 9 AM following the breakfast at 8  AM. The location is at Old Louisville Road and Pritchard Street near Camp 2 (Four blocks west of Liberty & Martin Luther King Boulevard).  Contact Kevin Veitinger at cosj@gaepiscopal.org 

Bishop Scott Benhase baptizes Gary as missioner, Kevin Veitinger stands by holding the crozier during the bishop's recent visitation to our ministry with and for homeless persons in Savannah.

The Rev. Doris Johnson, Interim Rector of King of Peace, begins the Palm Sunday liturgy in Kingsland.

Holy Week Across the Diocese of Georgia
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the  human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to  take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross,  giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant  that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share  in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives  and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever  and ever.  Amen.
The Very Rev. William Willoughby III, Rector of the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, asperges the congregation.
Palm Sunday on St. Simons Island with Christ Church Frederica at left and Holy Nativity on the right both beginning their liturgies on church grounds.
The Rev. Michael White, Rector of Christ Church, Savannah, blesses the palms with the choir and children gathered around.
The procession out at St. Paul's, Augusta, at left and the altar at St. John's, Savannah, at right.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue prays during the Palm Sunday liturgy at Trinity, Statesboro. 

Julie Ford stands ready to lead the Palm Sunday procession at St. James, Quitman, and the Rev. Amy Bradley, Associate Rector, teaches children through the experience of footwashing at St. Augustine of Canterbury, Augusta.

Musicians play for the Palm Sunday Eucharist at St. Thomas, Thomasville.

The Palm Sunday procession at St. Luke's, Rincon, and the altar on Palm Sunday at St. Alban's, Augusta.

During the Episcopal Campus Ministry's weekly meeting falling in Holy Week, the Rev. Charles Todd, Campus Missioner, and students wash one another's feet.

Priests and deacons gathered with Bishop Benhase on Monday for a meal at the church's Grace Cafe after the Chrism Mass at Christ Church, Valdosta. The liturgy offers clergy a chance to renew their ordination vows and the bishop blesses holy oils for use throughout the year. Below are the clergy who gathered at Trinity, Statesboro, for the Chrism Mass held there on Tuesday.

Creation Care Retreat  at Honey Creek May 17-18
Ora et Labora (Pray and Work) with the Creation Care Commission on retreat at Honey Creek, May 17-18. This one-night retreat will include worship, fellowship, and tending to the Ecology Center, rain barrels, and composting system at Honey Creek.

The event kicks off Friday evening with pizza and an inspiring documentary, followed by discussion and Compline.

On Saturday, the group will pray and work, and work and pray, gathering in between for a potluck lunch. Lodging in the cottages is complimentary and meals will be prepared together, so cost will be minimal. For more information or to register, email creationcarecommission@gmail.com.

EYCS: Episcopal Youth and Children Services
Members of the Episcopal Youth and Children's Services gathered at Diocesan House for a meeting. From left: Lisa Priest, Cathy Baxter, Sally Minis, Pat Glover, Anne Salley, Marie Centgraf, Sarah Jones, Kitty Kastick, Pam Smith, and George Anne Inglis who are members of Savannah Convocation congregations.

The Episcopal Youth and Children's Services Board met at Diocesan House in Savannah last week. The board is the offspring of the Episcopal Home for Girls, a Savannah orphanage established in the early 1800's by 15 women from Episcopal churches in that city.  In the 1960's the orphanage closed as it no longer met the increasing needs and challenges of the time. The proceeds from the sale of the property were placed in a trust by the board of the Home, and Episcopal Youth and Children's Services was established. The new EYCS Board expanded its mandate to include assisting youth of the diocese with educational scholarships. Camp scholarships were added as the diocesan summer camp program became more established. 
Under diocesan canon law, the EYCS conducts an annual Thanksgiving Appeal. Information is sent to each parish and mission in the diocese, and  envelopes (previously gold) are provided for donations. You can donate online at eycs.georgiaepiscopal.org where you will also learn how to apply for scholarships.
Honey Creek ChapelYouth Ministry
Toil 'N Sweat: Caring for Honey Creek
May 3-5, 2019
Grades 6-12
Cost: $125

As any young person who has ever been to a youth event at Honey Creek knows, Honey Creek is a special place. And like all such places, it needs us to help take care of it from time to time! In one month, youth from across the Diocese are invited to come and give back to Honey Creek. During this weekend event, youth will work on projects to help care for Honey Creek, while still taking time to play, pray, and eat together. During last year's Toil 'N Sweat, participants painted the outside of Lodge One, helped clean the Chapel, and cared for plants outside, accomplishing in a weekend activities that the full time staff at Honey Creek don't normally have time to do.

This weekend, in addition to allowing participants to care for Honey Creek, will have more free time than some of our more scheduled programs are able to offer. Come and spend a weekend hanging out and making a difference at this place that is so important to so many.

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.
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. 

April 14-20
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Dublin, Christ Church, and for our ecumenical partners in Dublin, especially Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Thomas (Santo Tom├ís) in Gautier. 

April 21-27
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Fitzgerald, St. Matthew's, and for our ecumenical partners in Fitzgerald, especially St. William's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Haina, especially St. John the Evangelist (San Juan Evangelista) and St. Mark (San Marcos).

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 .
Diocesan Office Update and News
The Diocesan offices will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Bishop Scott Anson Benhase will make his annual visitation to the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah at 10 AM Easter Sunday and at St. Bartholomew's Burroughs at 3 PM the same day. The Bishop's full schedule can be found here. 

The Rev. Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary, will preside and preach this Holy Week at Trinity, Statesboro on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday. His sabbatical, which begins on Easter Monday continues through July 15.

The Rev. Joshua Varner, Canon for Children and Youth, will preach and assist at St. Matthew's, Savannah on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

This Thursday the Chapel at Diocesan House will not have its noon Eucharist
as your staff serves or worships in congregations of the Diocese on Maundy Thursday.
Back Stage at the Passion Play

As noted on the Facebook page for Holy Comforter, Martinez, in posting this picture of Carla Hamill and Jenny Frey: Sometimes you go a little crazy when tying 200 palm crosses. Be gentle to one another this most holy of weeks as many members of the choir, altar and flower guild, musicians, and clergy are working very hard to assist us all in entering more fully into God's presence in our worship.
Diocese of Georgia Episcopal Church Women Annual Retreat
Daughters of the King Spring Assembly
April 26-27
St. Augustine's and the Church of Our Savior, Augusta
To register, click here.
Spring Clergy Conference
April 29 at 5:30 PM to May 1 at 1 PM
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Register here.
Dedication of Saint Anna Alexander Chapel
11 AM, Friday, May 3
Diocesan House
18 E. 34th Street, Savannah
Toil 'N Sweat
May 3-5
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Register by going here: http://bit.ly/ToilNSweat2019 
Diocesan Council
Saturday, May 18
St. Paul's, Augusta
Ordination to the Priesthood for the Rev. DeWayne Cope, Deacon
St. Matthew's Savannah
6:30 PM, Wednesday, May 22
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

Nominations for XI Bishop Close
Friday, May 31
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

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

Diocesan Council
September 13-14
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