April 29, 2020
Volume 10, No. 34
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Feeding Others
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 23:22

If you've been to St. Mark's in Brunswick recently, you may have noticed things look a little more colorful than expected. Thanks to the love and care of parishioners Linda Dorsey and Edith Gross, the Giving Garden is bursting with life. An idea that began five years ago as a means to turn an empty lot into something more fruitful has now grown into a working garden that has given away 1400-1500 pounds of food a year. 

The Giving Garden aerial view.

Recipients of the Giving Garden all have one thing in common - they  need food. Dorsey noted that other community gardens sell their produce in order to raise funds for different causes, but the Giving Garden is all given away. For free. The produce of the garden has made its way to Grace House , St. Mark's Towers , The Well , and the local fire department. The produce isn't always given away in such an organized way, either. Says Dorsey, "We give the homeless as many vegetables as they can carry."

The Giving Garden isn't just a two woman job. Many times there are special helpers!
Dorsey and Gross have cultivated the Giving Garden as a great resource for Brunswick, and already have plans in place to help other churches in the Diocese of Georgia replicate their success. Thanks to the 2020 Roanridge Trust Grant through the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church USA, they will be mailing every church in the diocese a brochure about the garden. Soon there will be instructional videos to accompany the printed materials on how to start a donation garden.  The grant is awarded to only one recipient per state  to develop teaching and training methods to assist the needy and spread the love of Christ throughout smaller rural churches throughout the United States.

Reflecting on their success so far, Dorsey is ready for what is next and how they can help churches spread the Gospel in such a tangible way, " This is a very exciting time for us especially in light of this crisis, as we have provided much needed food to those who do not have enough."

For more information about the Giving Garden, visit their website, YouTube Channel,  or contact Linda Dorsey.
Guidance for Church Leadership in Planning
As announced last week, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will not move to in-person worship for the foreseeable future. When we can safely return to in-person worship, it will be important to have worked through what this will mean for each congregation. To assist this work, Bishop Benhase and Bishop-Elect Logue created a document (linked below) with input from the Chancellor and Deans. The document stakes out the regional thresholds we need to achieve before returning to in-person worship. The Bishop's Office contacted the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, the Lutheran (ELCA) Southeastern Synod, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and have their assurance we are pursuing a similar path to them.
The rest of the document helps clergy and lay leaders in each parish think through how to return to in-person worship once we have achieved those regional thresholds. Our guidance is not meant to be exhaustive, but a framework to help congregational leaders think through and plan for how they will work this out in their own context.

A Different Kind of Summer  
The Rev. Joshua Varner, Canon Missioner for Children and Youth

Way back a long time ago, in March, I remember wishing that by April things would be back to normal and we could forge ahead and hold our beloved Summer Camp at Honey Creek, just like always!  
But as we have learned more and more about this particular virus, including the need for social distancing, the current scarcity of safe and reliable testing, and about how dangerous the virus can be, it has become clear that we cannot safely hold summer camp the way it has always been. In order to get ready for camp to begin in early June we would need to know now that the capacity for testing would definitely be in place and that we would not need to maintain social distancing, to name just two things. Right now, we just can't promise that.  
Therefore, we are announcing that the Diocese of Georgia will not hold any in-person camps in June 2020. In addition, if it is possible to meet in-person in July 2020, those sessions will look very different from any camp the Diocese of Georgia has ever offered. In the meantime, we are looking at what can be offered in virtual space to foster connections between campers and with Honey Creek. We are trying to think creatively, and hope that you will join us!  
As we move forward we will be asking for feedback from parents about what conditions would need to be in place, both in the outside world and at Honey Creek itself, to help them feel comfortable sending their children to camp. This survey will come out in multiple venues, so be on the lookout starting next week.  
Honey Creek and Diocesan staff will be in direct contact with families who have already registered their children for camp regarding refunds.   
Honey Creek holds a special place in the heart of this Diocese in part because it is a safe place for our children. This decision about camp has been made with that safety in mind . Please know that every current and former and future camper is in our prayers now and in the weeks and months to come. We are all "waiting with eager longing" (Romans 8:19) for the time when we can gather together in person.  
Please contact me at   jvarner@gaepiscopal.org  with your questions.  

Neislar Ordained a Deacon
The ordination of Ranie Neislar to the transitional diaconate on Sunday afternoon was not unlike other ordinations, except for the different form of participation. Viewers were able to watch the ordination livestream while a small number of people made up the physical presence at  St. Paul's Augusta. 

The Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase with newly ordained deacon, the Rev. Ranie Neislar.

The Rev. Amy Bradley preaches and Bishop Benhase examines Neislar according to the ordination rite.

To view the full service, visit the St. Paul's of Augusta Facebook page.
Bishop's Eastertide Bible Study   
Bishop Benhase will lead a diocesan-wide Bible Study during Eastertide. It will be available on both  the Diocese's Facebook page and our YouTube channel each Wednesday at 11 a.m. Each session will be pre-recorded, so there will not be an opportunity to ask questions in real time, but the Bishop encourages folks to ask questions on the Diocese's Facebook page and he will respond to them following each session. Below is the schedule. Please join us!  
April 29  -  Our call to  Imitat e  Christ's Humility  (2:1-11)  
We are lights s hining in the World  (2:12-18)  
Paul's Fellow Laborers  (2:19-30)  
May 6  -  Nothing in the  Law  can  save us  (3:1-11 )  
Pressing towards the Goal , which is Christ (3:12-4:1)  
May 13  -  Closing  Exhortations  (4:2-9)  
Acknowledgment of the Philippians' Gift  (4:10-20)  
Benediction  (4:21-23)  

For a full outline of the sessions, click here.
PPP Update and Resources
As the second round of applications for the Payment Protection Plan (PPP) has closed and disbursements have begun to be distributed, the diocesan staff is working to make sure that you have the resources and information about reporting and forgiveness as you to move forward. If you have not reported your PPP updates to Canon Easterlin, please make sure you contact her this week. 

Canon Easterlin is diligently following all updates on the PPP and will have more resources and guidance available to clergy and vestries soon. If you have any questions, contact Canon Easterlin at keasterlin@gaepiscopal.org

Diocese of Georgia Continues  Livestream
Bishop Benhase will preach this Sunday
The clergy and staff of the diocese are continuing to provide Evening Prayer Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Morning Prayer on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. 

These liturgies are stored on both 

Find Livestream Worship 
There are a lot of options each day for Episcopalians in the Diocese of Georgia to worship online and now they are listed in one place. The Livestream Services calendar tells the time, location, and which liturgy the congregation offers for the whole Diocese. Click the image above or this link: Livestream Services Calendar.
Upcoming Ordinations
As we have seen across the board, despite changes in how we worship, the Church remains one.
In that spirit, we announce the following ordinations:

Transitional diaconate
May 2, 2020 -Victor Moreno

Vocational diaconate
July 24, 2020 - Rita Spalding

May 9, 2020 - the Rev. Kevin Veitinger and the Rev. Nathan Wilson 
June 27, 2020 - the Rev. Leeann Culbreath

All ordinations will comply with the guidelines and recommendations of public officials and healthcare professionals. You can still participate in each service by watching the livestream through each respective Facebook page. To view the livestream ordination of Victor Moreno, click here for the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle's Facebook page.
Youth Games and Gathering on Friday
Come and play games together!
Since March youth have been gathering on Tuesdays and Thursdays for Compline on Zoom. This coming Friday, that offering will expand, youth of the Diocese are invited to join together on Zoom to play games, check in with one another, and maybe even sing some songs together! This less formal gathering will allow young people more time to visit with one another than our worship services provide.
Youth are encouraged to join on a computer, if available, and have their phone with them for use during some of the games! Joining through via the Zoom app on a smartphone will also work.
The Zoom Meeting ID is available on the Diocese of Georgia Youth Facebook Page. Please contact Canon Varner at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org for the password to the meeting.
Around the Diocese

A member of St. Augustine's Augusta participating in worship from the comfort of their hammock and morning coffee.

A behind the scenes look at the Rev. Ashton Williston leading worship for Christ Church Frederica.
It seems someone is curious about Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island's online service schedule.

Compline with the Rev. Lonnie Lacy and Family has a new look on St. Anne's, Tifton's livestream.
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

April 26 - May 2
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our Grovetown Episcopal-Lutheran Mission, and our ecumenical partners in the Catholic churches in Cuthbert and Donalsonville - St. Luke's and the Church of the Incarnation. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Christ the Liberator (Cristo Libertador ) in Hato Mayor.

May 3 - May 9
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Hawkinsville, St. Luke's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Mark's Catholic Church in Eastman. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Jesus the Messiah ( Jesús Mesías) in Imbert.

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

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! Staff e-mails can be found here.
Let Us Know!

What are you doing to keep community right now? Are you gathering for virtual coffee hours, delivering groceries to your neighbors - let us know! Send any updates or photos to our Communications Manager Liz Williams at lwilliams@gaepiscopal.org. We want to hear from you!
Social Distancing, Honey Creek Style
When you encounter wildlife at Honey Creek and you're glad for social distancing.
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