March 18, 2020
Volume 11, No. 29
Photos of the filming and a view of a parishioner's living room as St. Mark's, Brunswick, live streamed their worship.

A Sunday unlike any other
Enjoying cookies together at St. Thomas
Isle of Hope, Savannah
With news that our congregations would not meet in person on Sunday, churches encouraged their parishioners to tune in online to a livestream of their liturgy or of the Washington National Cathedral's liturgy or another option.  This worship may not have put those gathering in the same physical space, yet the Holy Spirit showed up in empty churches and in our living rooms. Charlean Smith said of watching worship at St. Michael and All Angels online, "Saying the all familiar prayers felt good. Stable, same words we're used to. The familiar background noises, cars, door alarm, were very comforting as well. There is life out there. This was great."

One challenge was that while we could see the worship, we were missing more incarnational moments.  Lela White, from St. Thomas Savannah, told her mother that she was sad to miss all the extra things we do together at church "like eating cookies".   After completion of the Morning Prayer service, the clergy at St. Thomas took out cookies and invited the congregation to join them in eating them together.  Lela is pictured here taking part from home.

The Rev. Tommy Townsend officiates at Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island
Several congregations including Christ Church Frederica on St. Simon's Island and St. George's, Savannah, routinely livestream worship and so there was no learning curve. The online experience did not, however, come together without a hitch. At the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Savannah, they stream Morning Prayer each weekday and so have experience. But the Rev. Lauren Byrd said that this past Sunday, " Our camera at St. Paul's recorded sideways - it felt sideways and upside down to turn toward empty pews. But soon enough the living presence of the missing parish came alive in the saying of our prayers. I remind myself how, in faith, we pray every Sunday to an almighty god we rely on and cannot see face to Face."
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Join Online Evening Prayer tonight at 6 p.m.
The Diocese of Georgia will offer Evening Prayer at 6 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, March 18 on our Facebook page. The video will then remain on the Facebook page for viewing for those who need to watch it later in the evening.

Evening Prayer will be officiated by the Revs. Terri Degenhardt and Donald Holland, but we are minding our physical distancing as they will be in the churches where they serve. Degenhardt will officiate from St. Mary Magdalene, Louisville, while Holland will be at St. Andrew's, Douglas. The reading will be by Caroline Brewer at King of Peace, Kingsland and the sermon by the Rev. Cynthia Taylor from the Church of the Holy Comforter, Martinez. Music will be by Diocesan staff, Canon Joshua Varner and Daniel Garrick, and offered from Diocesan House in Savannah. 

You can download the liturgy to take part in the worship from home: Evening Prayer Bulletin
Honey Creek Shut Down through May 31
Effective today and continuing through May 31, 2020, all activity at Honey Creek is postponed or cancelled. This includes disc golf, fishing, and even strolling along the trail. 

Read a statement by Honey Creek's Executive Director, Dade Brantley, online here: Shutting down Honey Creek through May
Diocesan Staff to Work Remotely 
The Diocesan staff continues to be available to serve the clergy and people of our diocese as we transition to a work from home model. To comply with the CDC guidelines and the Presiding Bishop's Office , we will work remotely until such time as the recommendation changes. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for any support. We can be reached at the following emails:  
The Diocesan phone line will be forwarded to Maggie Lyons who will be able to share messages. Otherwise, please reach out to Canons Easterlin, Logue, and Varner at the following numbers:
  • Katie Easterlin: 912-441-1220 
  • Frank Logue: 912-547-5648
  • Joshua Varner: 336-317-0371 
The Diocesan staff will rotate one business day a week in the office to process mail, receivables, payables, and other administrative tasks as necessary. For updates on Diocesan events and future meetings, please view the Memo from Bishop Benhase.  
If you have any questions, please reach out to Canon Easterlin.  
A Message from Bishop-Elect Frank Logue
A Message to the Diocese from Bishop Elect Logue
Click the image above to watch the video

Given the announcement yesterday of significant changes to plans for the May 30 Ordination and Consecration, Bishop-Elect Frank Logue offer this video to the people of the Diocese. The video and a transcript are also online here for those who prefer to read the remarks. 

Spring Diocesan Youth Events Canceled
Compline Videoconference Online this Thursday at 8 p.m.

In response to the virus spreading around the world, and with a desire to care not only for our young people but for everyone with whom they come in contact, the Diocesan Office has made the decision to cancel all Diocesan Youth Events for the next eight weeks at least. This includes both New Beginnings #56 and Toil 'N Sweat. Registered Participants and Staff for New Beginnings #56 received an email notification of this decision yesterday. To read that notification, click here.

Decisions regarding youth events scheduled more than eight weeks from now will be made as we move forward together. For now, we are making plans for summer camp, Happening, and our fall youth events as well!

In the meantime, Canon Joshua Varner will be offering Compline this coming Thursday at 8:00 p.m. as a videoconference call using the Zoom platform. Participants from any location can join by following this link,  following this link, Alternatively,  you can open the Zoom app on your phone or tablet and enter Meeting Number 422 920 112. Music will be familiar to those who have spent time at Honey Creek, and the entire service will last approximately 25 minutes.
Talking with Children about COVID-19
As schools across Georgia and across the country close to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, children may come to the adults in their lives with questions, worries, and even misinformation that they have heard from their friends or others. The link below is to a 1 minute 29 second video featuring Richard Weissbourd, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He offers his thoughts on how adults can address children's concerns.

For the full article, click here.
Around the Diocese

Deacon Geri Nelson and Carey Wooten, from Calvary, Americus, present a check for $1,500.00 to the board of Americus-Sumter Transitional Housing Ministries.  Calvary's annual art show and sale, held last month, raised the money to donate to this new, multi-denominational ministry in Americus. Parishioners Brooks Nettum and Elise Miller organized the art show, which featured the work of area artists and a sidewalk chalk event open to middle-schoolers-college students.  

Last week, the Manna Pantry crew at St. Paul's, Augusta, was out in force to care for their neighbors.
Diocesan Office Update and News
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Diocesan staff  will be working remotely until further notice. Email will be the quickest way to get in touch with the staff, although you are still welcome to call us on the phone!

T he Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase and  Bishop Elect Frank Logue will meet online with the deacons and priests of the Diocese this Thursday at 2 p.m.

Canon Joshua Varner will be celebrating the Holy Eucharist for the livestream broadcasting from St. Michael & All Angels, Savannah, on Sunday.
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 2020 one year prayer cycle is now online here:  2020 Prayer Cycle

March 15 - 21 
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Cordele, Christ Church and for our 3 ecumenical partners in Cordele, especially St. Theresa Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Dajabon, especially Holy Spirit the Comforter ( Espíritu Consolador) and Holy Word ( Verbo Divina).

March 22 - 28 
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Dawson, the Church of the Holy Spirit. We pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Camilla, and St. Christopher Catholic Church in Claxton. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Michael's ( San Miguel) in Doña Ana and The Grand Commission ( La Gran Comisión) in Doña Lila

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 .
Enjoying  a Livestream with Friends

These Christ Church, Savannah, parishioners show that watching worship online
can be an occasion for dolls to worship with you.
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