March 11, 2020
Volume 11, No. 28
Upcoming Ordinations Approved
At their meetings this past Friday and Saturday in the Parish Hall of St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien, the Commission on Ministry recommended and the Standing Committee approved six persons for ordination as deacons and priests.

The groups approved Victor Moreno from San Pablo, Savannah, and Ranie Neislar from St. Paul's, Augusta for ordination as deacons (transitional) as they continue their preparation for ordination to the priesthood. Bishop Scott Benhase will ordain them on May 2 at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah.

The Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee also approved Rita Spalding from St. Mark's, Brunswick, to be ordained a deacon (vocational). Bishop Elect Frank Logue will ordain Spalding in June. Details will be in From the Field when the arrangements are complete.

The groups also approved for ordination to the priesthood the following deacons (transitional): The Revs. Leeann Culbreath, Kevin Veitinger, and Nathan Wilson. Veitinger and Wilson's ordination by Bishop Scott Benhase is set for May 9 at St. Michael and All Angels, Savannah.  Bishop Elect Frank Logue will ordain Culbreath on June 27. Details to follow.

Bishop Benhase is shown here ordaining Kevin Veitinger and Nathan Wilson to the diaconate (transitional) beneath the statue of John Wesley in Savannah's Reynold's Square.
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Honey Creek
Sign up for the best summer ever!
Summer Camp at Honey Creek offers youth a chance to get away from the constant push to achieve, to accomplish, to make the next grade, or get the next gold star. During the week at The Creek, campers can just be themselves, free from expectations, or obligations. And spiritual directors at each session give campers a chance to enter more fully into the love God has for them in a setting away from their family and church home.

The registration fee of $495 covers all expenses for a week of age-appropriate fun at Honey Creek.  Tuition covers room and board, special activities, art supplies, camp photo and camp t-shirt. Scholarships are available to defray the costs of participating in camp. For kids active in the churches, cost should never be a barrier to taking part in Honey Creek Summer Camp.

The Parent & Child sessions run during the Camp St. Joseph & Mary sessions (Sunday through Tuesday).  They serve as an introduction to camp culture for both the parent and the child (K-2).  Parent and child are invited to participate fully in all camp activities as much (or as little) as they are comfortable.

The dates for this summer are:
  • High School Camp (Completed grades 9-12): June 7-13
  • Camp St. Joseph & Mary I (Completed grades 3-5): June 14-20
  • Parent & Child session I (Completed K-2):  June 14 - June 16
  • Camp St. Peter I (Completed grades 6-8): June 21-27
  • Camp St. Joseph & Mary II (Completed grades 3-5): July 5-11
  • Parent & Child session II (Completed K-2): July 5-July 7
  • Camp St. Peter II (Completed grades 6-8): July 12-18
For complete information or to register online, go to
An Update on Responding to COVID-19

"Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." 

Jesus said these words to the disciples as he walked toward them on the surface of a storm-tossed Sea of Galilee. In all our times of doubt and uncertainty, the Holy Trinity is present with us as Jesus said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." This remains true even as we are inundated with news about the COVID-19 virus.  

In this time of uncertainty, how do we respond?
First and foremost, the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization guidelines are clear and should be followed. These include the oft repeated counsel to wash your hands frequently, clean all frequently-touched surfaces, and stay home if you are sick. The complete information is online here:

CDC's updates:   

Epidemiologists agree that COVID-19 is here to stay. This new virus will infect the entire country to a greater or lesser extent in time. The goal for now is to slow the spread of the infection so as to not have our health care system overwhelmed. Bishop Benhase says, "The most important point for all clergy in charge of congregations: You do what you think is best for your people. I trust your respective judgments."

Common Concerns in Episcopal Congregations
As we have received questions at Diocesan House and monitored online concerns, it has become clear that there are several overall concerns shared by many Episcopal congregations. Here are some reflections, keeping in mind Bishop Benhase's statement above.

The Common Cup
There is anxiety about sharing the common cup despite clear scientific studies supporting that this is not a means of spreading the illness. Somewhat counterintuitively, intinction is more of a concern than sipping directly from the cup, because someone's possibly dirty fingers can dip into the wine. Intinction should only be done by a eucharistic minister who has sanitized their hands.

The Peace & the Offertory
More significant issues exist in passing the peace, passing the plate, and in the coffee hour than in the Eucharist. Avoid hand shaking, hugging, and kissing at the peace. A smile and a verbal greeting, a solemn bow, and many other non-physical contact options are perfectly acceptable. If the disease is present in your area, passing a collection plate hand to hand should be discontinued until any imminent threat subsides.  Ushers, who have sanitized their hands, can offer the plate to individuals.

Coffee Hour & Food Service
Fasting from coffee hour in Lent is one possible change congregations might make to reduce risk in areas where the virus is present. If you need to serve food in a soup kitchen or other ministry, serving food served into individual containers by food servers wearing gloves will assist in reducing the risk. Wash all dishes in a dishwasher rather than by hand, as the water heats to higher temperatures and use paper goods if you do not have a dishwasher in the church.

General Thoughts
We should, of course, encourage ourselves and others to stay home if we feel at all ill or if we have been near an infected person. Wash our hands more often and cover our mouths and nose when sneezing and coughing.  The CDC has easily printable posters that encourage hand-washing available here. Consider printing a few of your choice and placing them in likely locations! 

None of these suggestions are radical departures from what has already been stated, but we need to consider next steps as the virus enters our communities. This may include cancelling worship if directed to do so by health authorities in your area. Unless and until that occurs, there is no reason not to continue to gather for worship. Live-streaming your worship can assist those who are at risk in staying in community, as will phone calls from clergy and parishioners. Information on how to livestream is offered here by the Diocese of San Diego: 

Looking Beyond the Current Uncertainty
One key consideration is to make sure the clergy and vestry think through how your congregation will end any changes in practice even before you put them in place. Revisit any restrictions during Holy Week and then decide when you will next review them. This virus will remain with us once introduced into the population. Ending communion before any cases of COVID-19 are present in your community will make it difficult to begin anew once the threat is lower, but still present. We have learned to live with other communicable disease risks and need to be thoughtful, and prayerful, before making significant changes in our practices.

As Bishop Benhase has said, "Let's love one another, pray for one another, and not give into anxiety."
Last Chance to Sign Up for E.Y.E.!
Registration Closes on Friday, March 13
Youth in Grades 9 through 12
July 6-14, 2020

The Episcopal Youth Event takes place July 6-14, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. This gathering of youth from across the entire Episcopal Church is an incredible way to experience the breadth and depth of our particular part of the Christian tradition. E.Y.E. 2017 had over 1200 youth participants, and this year it is anticipated to be just as large. The music and worship is incredible, and the chance to meet youth from across the Church occurs only once for most high school students. After E.Y.E. itself, our group will join with others from the southeast to stay for a few days in the D.C. area and do some outreach work before returning home on July 14.

The total cost for our nine day trip is $1000, which includes all costs except personal shopping. To register, visit If cost is a concern, or if you have any questions, please contact Canon Joshua Varner immediately at
Bishop's Visitation to Holy Trinity, Blakely

Bishop Benhase gathers with the congregation of Holy Trinity, Blakely, as he made his final visitation
to the congregation as the 10th Bishop of Georgia. 
Clergy Spouse Retreat: Deep Roots and Strong Branches

Join us March 13-15 for our annual retreat at the beautiful Honey Creek! All Clergy Spouses are invited to a time of fun, rest and renewal. Our theme evokes the image of a tree- reflecting the spirit of the clergy spouse community here in the Diocese of Georgia. We are deeply rooted in our families and faith, but we also have strong branches connecting us one to another.

During our time together we will deepen our connections through fun shared activities, worship and spending time outdoors. And there is always plenty of free time in the schedule! Come strengthen your roots and grow your branches as we enjoy time together (and celebrate Kelly Benhase, too). Email to request a scholarship.

Online Registration is currently Closed.

To inquire about availability, please call Honey Creek at (912) 265-9218

Click here  for the weekend agenda.
Click here for the suggested packing list.

Single rooms $288 in Lodge 1 and $266 in Lodge 2.
Double rooms $195 in Lodge 1 and $184 in Lodge 2.
Commuters are $120. 
Church Pension Group to be in Savannah
for Enriching Your Retirement Conference
Monday, May 18, 2020 
The Enriching Your Retirement presentation is a unique opportunity to learn about your pension and medical benefits, the status of the Church Pension Fund, how to protect yourself from fraud, legacy planning, and the programs and services that can support you. Retired clergy, their spouses, and surviving spouses are invited to join us for a four hour program that includes lunch. Be on the lookout for an invitation from CPG via e-mail and snail mail.

Location details to be announced
Youth at New Beginnings #55
Register now for upcoming youth events
Be tween now and summer, we are offering a diverse offering of youth events. 

New Beginnings #56
Grades 7-9, March 27-29, 2020
Location: Honey Creek
Cost: $125 after March 6

Youth in grades 7-9 should register now for New Beginnings #56! This retreat, led by Lead Teen Annabel West of Good Shepherd, Augusta, offers middle school and early high school youth the chance to hear from older teens and from each other on topics that directly impact their lives. The mostly high school staff gathers in advance in order to prepare themselves to offer a message to these young people that they are God's Beloved. Join us for a weekend of worship, music, play, reflection, and joy!

Toil 'N Sweat: Caring for Honey Creek
Grades 6-12, April 24-26, 2020
Location: Honey Creek
Cost: $115 before April 5, $125 after April 5
Register at

Come and care for Honey Creek! On the last weekend in April, youth will come together to care for Honey Creek itself, the location of so many transformational moments in our lives! We will gather on Friday evening and work through Saturday and Sunday morning on various projects that make the life of Honey Creek go more smoothly. Past Toil 'N Sweat gatherings have painted, cleaned, and even unearthed a labyrinth! And each time you return after Toil 'N Sweat, you can point the the difference you have made in the lives of everyone who has come after you.

Hometown Missions in Savannah
Grades 6-8, May 26-29, 2020
Overnight Location: St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Isle of Hope
Cost: $175 before May 11, $200 after May 11

This year's Hometown Missions event brings mission work to Savannah during the week before the Ordination of the XI Bishop of Georgia! At this event, intended for current middle school youth, we will be working at various locations in the Savannah area. In the evenings we will gather together, relax, talk about the day, and worship and play together!

Hometown Missions ends on Friday, May 29 at lunch time, but youth have the option of staying on with their high school counterparts for the Ordination & Consecration Lock-In, also held at St. Thomas. Separate registration is required (see below).

Bishop Ordination Lock-in
Grades 6-12, May 29-30, 2020
Overnight Location: St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Isle of Hope
Cost: $40 before May 25, $55 after May 25

On Friday afternoon, May 29, youth are invited to come to the pre-Ordination Lock-In! Youth will gather in the early afternoon at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Isle of Hope. They will then attend the Ordination Rehearsal at the Johnny Mercer Theater, so that all youth who have liturgical roles will be able to learn their duties. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry intends to spend some time with this group of youth as well!

On Saturday, the youth will attend the Ordination and will sit together, apart from those who are serving liturgically. After the worship service, parents will pick up their children at a pre-arranged location, and will go to the cars to collect their belongings.

Middle school youth can attend this event in conjunction with the Hometown Missions event which takes place Tuesday, May 26 through Friday, May 29. If attending both events, registration is required for both Hometown Mission AND the Lock-In (see registration links above).  

Join us on Friday, April 17th for a celebration honoring Bishop Benhase and Kelly Benhase. The Starland Yard is a food truck park in the historic Starland District of Savannah with rotating food trucks, a pizzeria, and yard games. This is a self-funded event.  

Please let us know you are coming by clicking  here.

Parking is free but limited in the Starland neighborhood, so please plan to carpool or Uber/Lyft if you are able.  Contact Maggie Lyons ( ) with any questions. 
Around the Diocese

Roger Speer leads youth at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta, through a painting exercise.

Trinity, Statesboro held a bonfire party in the grounds on Saturday, March 7th
cooking hot dogs and s'mores over the fire.
The Rev. Bill Barton offers the invocation for the Weeping Time memorial event at Butler Plantation. Barton is a retired priest of the Diocese of Tennessee who lives in Darien and serves along the coast as a priest licensed to officiate in the Diocese of Georgia. The memorial marked the largest sale of enslaved persons in our country's history.

Groups watch the video series A Spring in the Desert offered by Bishop Elect Frank and Victoria Logue.
At left, is St. Augustine of Canterbury, Augusta. At right, is St. Paul's, Walla Walla, Washington.
The video course is offered at no charge to the congregations of the Diocese of Georgia.
Diocesan Office Update and News
T he Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase,  10th Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, will make his visitation to  All Saints, Tybee Island, this Sunday at 10 A.M. To see the Bishop's complete visitation schedule, go here:  Visitations Calendar

The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops moved its in person meeting this week to a series of online meetings. Bishop Scott Benhase and Canon Frank Logue have daily online meetings of the House of Bishops through Thursday.

Canon Frank Logue will preside and preach this Sunday at St. Luke's, Hawkinsville.

Gayle Dawson is on short-term disability leave as she recovers from knee surgery. Daniel Garrick is monitoring her e-mail, so please send normal inquiries made to her to
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 8 - 14 
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Cochran, Trinity and for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Cairo. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Gabriel ( San Gabriel) in Consuelo.

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 ( EspĂ­ritu Consolador) and Holy Word ( Verbo Divina).

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 .
Glory in Mercy

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for the Second Sunday in Lent. Photo of Honey Creek by Steve Archibald.

Clergy Spouse Retreat
March 13 to March 15, 2020
Honey Creek
Register here.

New Beginnings #56
March 27 to March 29, 2020
Honey Creek
For students in grades 7 to 9

Chrism Mass in Tifton
Monday, April 6
St. Anne's, Tifton
11 a.m. with lunch following. 

Chrism Mass in Statesboro
Tuesday April 7
Trinity, Statesboro
11 a.m. with lunch following. 

Toil 'N Sweat: Caring for Honey Creek
April 24 to April 26, 2020
Honey Creek
For students in grades 6 to 12
Register here or at 

EQHR for Clergy Only
April 27 to May 1
Honey Creek

Spring Clergy Conference
5:30 PM, Monday, May 4 to 1 PM, Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Honey Creek

Church Pension Group Enriching Your Retirement Conference
Monday, May 18, 2020
Savannah - location to be announced

Hometown Missions
May 26-29, 2020
Savannah, Georgia
For students in grades 6-8

Bishop's Ordination & Consecration Youth Lock-In
May 29-30, 2020
Savannah, Georgia
For students in grades 6-12
11 AM Saturday, May 30
Johnny Mercer Theater
Savannah, Georgia

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preaches at Eucharist in Forsyth Park
11 AM Sunday, May 31
The Bandshell, Forsyth Park
Savannah, Georgia

High School Camp at Honey Creek
June 7-13, 2020
Register  here.

Camp St. Joseph & Mary I at Honey Creek
June 14-20, 2020
For those who have completed grades 3-5

Parent & Child session I at Honey Creek
June 14 - June 16, 2020
For those who have completed Kindergarten thru 2nd grade
Register here .

Camp St. Peter I 
June 21-27, 2020
For those who have completed grades 6-8

Camp St. Joseph & Mary II
July 5-11, 2020
For those who have completed grades 3-5
Register  here.

Parent & Child session II at Honey Creek
July 5-7, 2020
For those who have completed Kindergarten thru 2nd grade
Register  here .

Camp St. Peter II
July 12-18, 2020
For those who have completed grades 6-8
Register here .

Episcopal Youth Event
July 6-14, 2020
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Participants must be in grades 9-12
Register by going here:

Happening #104
Thursday, July 30 (for staff, participants arrive Friday) to Sunday, August 2, 2020
Honey Creek
For students rising into Grade 10 through Grade 12

Conflict Transformation, Clergy Only
October 19-23
Honey Creek 

199th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia
November 5-7
Jekyll Island Convention Center
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