April 21, 2021
Volume 11, No. 33
Join Our Mailing List

Augusta Parishes Support Campus Ministry
The Canterbury Club at Augusta University has been actively reaching out to students at Augusta University and helping to provide for their basic and spiritual needs. Two churches in the Augusta Convocation have partnered up to help meet the needs of the students. Thanks to the volunteer efforts from St. Augustine of Canterbury in Augusta and the Episcopal Church of Our Savior in Martinez, several hundred pounds of food were raised for the university's Open Paws Pantry in the early Spring. 

More recently, both churches delivered a good number of Final Exam Care Packages filled with snacks, stationery, and encouraging messages to students in this critical time of their academic life. In this time of uncertainty and great need in our communities, the collaborative efforts of churches as One Body of Christ can be a positive force to bring hope and comfort to those who are in need, whatever the need might be.

The Rev. Jim Said of St. Augustine and the Rev. Al Crumpton of Church of Our Savior delivering the Care Packages to Shelley Martin, Missioner to
Augusta University.

Martin is grateful for the community support, saying,"With the help of these two churches, Canterbury Club has been able to expand our campus impact exponentially. In ministry, impact can be difficult to quantify, but what is certain is that we have helped many, many students meet their immediate needs -- a weeknight meal for themselves or even for their families, a quick snack on a day that is packed with classes, or a kind and prayerful presence on campus when assignment deadlines are looming and college life becomes overwhelming. This is our work, a mission that takes many hands, and I couldn't be more grateful to the parishioners of St. Augustine's and Our Savior!"

CARES Act Update
Under the Cares Act, congregations could leverage either Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans or the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) but not both. Under the updated legislation passed in December 2020, this limitation was removed, and the ERC can be used through 2021 and retroactively in 2020. This is a credit worth investigating for all our congregations, particularly those who had a hard time applying for PPP loans. 
What is the ERC? 
Eligible employers can claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. The maximum ERC amount available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 in 2021.
The credit is available for employers whose operations were fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19-related order or significant reduction in gross receipts. The ERC can be claimed up to three years from the date in which your quarterly payroll return was filed.
No double dipping
Retroactive to the March 27, 2020, enactment of the CARES Act, the law now allows employers who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to claim the ERC for qualified wages that are not treated as payroll costs in obtaining forgiveness of the PPP loan. An employer must handle the two sources carefully to not jeopardize the forgiveness of PPP funds. 
Claiming the credit
In order to claim the new Employee Retention Credit, eligible employers will report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns, which will be Form 941 for most employers, beginning with the second quarter. The credit is taken against the employer's share of Social Security tax but the excess is refundable under normal procedures.
Small employers (under 100 employees) can request the credit in advance through the submission of a Form 7200. 
For more info
Detailed FAQs can be located on the IRS website here. 
Detailed guidance here. 
High-level explainer article here .

1Book1Diocese Underway - Read Chapters Four and Five

This week the Diocese of Georgia continues a 1Book1Diocese read of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times. We are currently reading Chapters Four and Five for discussions this week. 

A book discussion guide for the Diocese of Georgia's 1Book1Diocese read of Love is the Way is now online here: Discussion Guide PDF. Some congregations are holding discussions of the book on Zoom, but you can create your own group as well by asking a friend or two to discuss the book with you each week. 

Discussion Questions for this week:
Desmond Tutu and Dolly Parton are examples given for keeping the faith at midnight, when love's vision fades. Who is an icon for you of holding on to hope in dark times? 

Which of the Ten Commandments of Nonviolence spoke to you? Did any seem unnecessary?

 Being fully yourself in any environment is not easy. When have you found it difficult to be true to who you are, what you believe, and what you stand for? 

Vocation, meaning "calling", is using our God-given abilities and interests for God's purposes. This can be lived into at every age and in any profession. How can you live more fully into love's call for you where you are now?

FEMA program assists with the cost of COVID Funerals
If you know a family that had someone die from COVID-19 in the United States, a new program can assist them with the costs. We are passing this along to assist the congregations of the Diocese of Georgia in providing pastoral care to those in need. The program is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Episcopal Relief and Development has put all the information you need online here: FEMA Funeral Assistance

Diocesan Sunday livestream to end on Pentecost
Pentecost will mark the last of the online services provided by the Diocese on Sunday at 10 am. With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more available and worship guidelines continuing to change, the Diocese will end the weekly offering. 

We will still provide the online calendar with livestream offerings from churches around the Diocese for those who would like to continue to experience an online service. 

At left, Canon Loren Lasch preaches her Palm Sunday sermon at Trinity, Statesboro.

Middle School New Beginnings Event Online Next Week
April 26-27, 6-8 p.m. on Zoom. Register Now

We are all looking forward to gathering together in person as soon as we can do so safely! In the meantime, some of our high school youth have come together to offer youth in grades 6-9 a small taste of one of our favorite middle school events!

This event, led by high school youth for middle school youth, will take place on Monday and Tuesday evenings, April 26 and 27. Our high schoolers will offer some thoughts on Friends, Changes, the Church and Me, and Sharing our Gifts. As they prepare, they are thinking back to their own middle school years and what they wish someone had said to them.

During each night, we will also have music, small groups, games, and a chance to worship together. Register now by clicking this link: New Beginnings Online!

Pearls & Pyjamas: A Celebration of Women's Ministries via Zoom

We can't wait to see you this Saturday!

To join the meeting:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8210028138
Meeting ID: 821 002 8138

Join the Zoom Meeting Saturday, April 24th at 10:00 AM for the Daughters of the King meeting. During the meeting, there will be an in-depth study of the Daughters of the King motto from the Province IV retreat. At 11:00 AM, we will have a card making craft with Cristy. Please email her for materials and more information at cristy@cdrepro.com.
At noon, we'll enjoy our lunch hour together and catch up!

Bishop Logue will join us at 1:00 PM for remarks and worship. Officers will be commissioned for both Diocesan Boards; Episcopal Church Women and The Order of the Daughters of the King. Our keynote speaker, the Rev. Kelly Steele, Priest in Charge of St. Peter's, Savannah, will join us at 2:00, followed by a brief business meeting. The event will end with prayer at 4:30.

Creation Care Celebrates Earth Day this Saturday

Two Upcoming Retreats for Deacons and Priests

Overnight Clergy Retreat in May

Deacons and priests of the Diocese of Georgia are invited to an overnight retreat May 17-18 at Honey Creek. There will be no speaker or program, but the clergy will worship together with the Daily Offices and Eucharist. Registration is now open at the Honey Creek website: Spring Clergy Conference registration.

Deacon's Retreat in June
"Being Changed by the Face of Christ"

The 2021 Deacon's Retreat, scheduled June 4-6 at Honey Creek, welcomes the Rev. Becky Rowell and the Rev. Terri Degenhardt to lead us through a weekend of Icon Writing, Meditations and Music. 

Bishop Frank Logue will be spending some time with us during the weekend to answer any questions, concerns, or thanksgivings we may wish to offer. 

Reservations must be made by contacting our Retreat Coordinator, Deacon Geri Nelson at GLNelson609@Gmail.com  Please RSVP as soon as possible so that we may arrange all the details for your visit. 

If financial assistance is needed please contact Archdeacon Yvette Owens: yvetteowens63@gmail.com.

Clergy Spouse Retreat in October

Registration Open for Family Camp 

For more information, contact Canon Joshua Varner at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org.

Livestream Calendar Update

  We are collecting updates for our newly organized Live Stream calendar. Please list your updated live stream services including any services throughout Lent and Holy Week. For any future updates to the Live Stream calendar, you can send them to DioGAEvents@gmail.com

To update your service schedule, click here.

Across the Diocese

  St. Augustine of Canterbury in Augusta has taken some time to do some much needed cleaning and improvements to get ready for their first in-person service, including cleaning the stained glass windows! Each piece of each window has to be individually cleaned and treated with great care.

The Rev. Samantha McKean (at left) gathers in a square in Savannah with the class of confirmands at Christ Church, Savannah, as they begin their journey toward the sacrament of confirmation.

Youth from St. John's Savannah are pictured here packing items for People of Action Caring for Kids (PACK), a Savannah non-profit that helps to feed area children.

Students from the Canterbury Club at Augusta University and the youth group at St. Augustine of Canterbury, gathered at the Rev. Jim and Kim Said's backyard fire pit for Bonfire with the Bishop on Tuesday evening for conversation and S'mores.

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Jesup on Sunday

On Sunday we will stream Morning Prayer at 
10 a.m. from St. Paul's in Jesup with Bishop Logue as officiant and preacher and joined by the Rev. Nathan Wilson and readers from
St. Paul's.

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

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 2021 one year prayer cycle is online here: 2021 Prayer Cycle

April 25 - May 1
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 2 - 8
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

This week, Bishop Logue will meet with the Clergy on Zoom at 2 p.m. Thursday and with the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) on Saturday. On Sunday, he will officiate and preach Morning Prayer from St. Paul's in Jesup at 10 a.m. To view the services, visit the Diocese of Georgia Facebook Page or the Diocese of Georgia YouTube page. 

Maggie Lyons, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, will be attending the virtual Bishop's Executive Secretaries Together (BEST) this week. She will be available via email only.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Diocesan staff are not all in the office at the same time with some working remotely. Email will be the quickest way to get in touch with the staff, although you are still welcome to call us on the phone! If we miss your call, please leave a voicemail with a detailed message. 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!

Rain Reflection

Andrew Austin of Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta catches the reflection of the church during Holy Week.

Like us on Facebook
View on Instagram
Follow us on Twitter
View our videos on YouTube