October 7, 2020
Volume 10, No. 57
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Building Community in a Pandemic
At St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's in Darien, this time of year you would hear the squeals of laughter and the quiet questions of the participants of the Community Youth Program at St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's. Instead, you'll see an empty parish hall and and hear the silence echoing in the building. 

As with all things group related, the youth program at St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Community Youth Connection, had to reinvent itself and try to sustain community. Youth Director Laura Evans has been running the program for three years and would typically see up to 40 youth between 4th and 12th grade each week. These days she'll see about 12. "It's hard with school being online and about one-third at home and two-thirds at school, by the end of the day, they're tired of being on a screen," says Evans.

Typically, she and her volunteers would be tutoring 4th graders in the mornings in the school cafeteria, picking up 5th graders in the church van after school for playtime, crafts, and a meal, and meeting up with middle school and high school youth during the week after school and on Sunday afternoons. This year tutoring was delayed and will start in November, the 5th grade program will begin in January, and the middle school groups are meeting over Zoom. By the end of the week, her high school youth are just tired of screens. 

So what's a youth director to do?

Evans quickly took account of the situation and dove right in. She made craft boxes for each of her youth and spent about 4 hours driving around McIntosh County dropping them off at houses. "It was fun because I got more interaction with parents than usual, and the kids were really excited to have a box dropped off just for them." Each box held scissors, glue, animal cut outs, and paperclips. An unseen bonus of having youth group online is that Evans gets to see the parents more, "Usually Mom is sitting near by or with their kid during our sessions, and they get to see what we do each week. They know more about our program this way."

A few youth group members enjoying their Zoom meeting
Going from a 2 hour,
 in-person session to a 45 minute session has had its challenges. "All I can hope is that the community is still connected. They are excited to see each other because they aren't all in the same classes at school so they've been extra chatty, but it's nice to see them together." Her overall philosophy is that no matter the size of the group,  it's just as important, "What we're doing makes a difference. The kids want to be there and I'm just as excited to see 2 as to see 12."

Honey Creek Open for Business
  Honey Creek has been closed since the pandemic, but has now opened it's doors for individual and small group retreats. "Our lodge and cabins are perfect for individuals and families to come spend a few days away. Brunswick is right down the road, and folks can pick up the food of their choice. And with Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island so close, they can spread out their time between Honey Creek and the Islands," say Executive Director Dade Brantley. 

The Lodge rooms and cottages are the perfect getaway in more ways than one, and meet the guidelines to remain socially distant. Each lodge room has a private bathroom, and the cottages include working kitchens. For more information and to book your stay at Honey Creek, contact the office at (912)265-9218 or email Georganne Younger at georgeanne@honeycreek.org.

Down to the Park to Pray heads to the Okefenokee Swamp 
Worship with gators and fellow Episcopalians on the edge of the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp! The next Down to the Park to Pray gathering will be held on Saturday, October 24 at 10am at Laura S. Walker State Park, near Waycross. Registration is required by 10/22 and group size is limited, so register soon! If needed, the Creation Care Commission will add an additional service in the afternoon to accommodate more people. Details and registration can be found here: https://forms.gle/MasQ6gLZ54CHLokT6

Happening Virtual Reunion

Happening, for youth in grades 10-12, is one of the Diocese of Georgia's most successful and long-running youth programs. Many adults in this Diocese and beyond its borders have been deeply impacted by their experiences of Happening weekends. Often groups of youth from the same area have formed Reunion Groups for renewal, to touch base, and to support future weekends.

As with all other Diocesan youth programs this fall, Happening has had to pause in-person gatherings. While we are sad that Happening #104 will not take place in November, several of the staff of Happening #104 are coming together to offer an online Happening Reunion experience instead! The virtue of being online, in this case, is that all Happeners (i.e. - those who have attended a Happening as a Candidate), regardless of their age or physical location, are able to join! 

While there is no cost for the Happening Reunion, registration is required. This lets the staff know approximately how many participants to expect and what ages. If you register before November 1, you can order a special Happening "The Best is Yet to Come!" T-Shirt at a reduced cost! 

Registration now open at http://bit.ly/GAHappening!

Disc Golf Tournament Held at Honey Creek 

Nominations for Diocesan Convention

The following have been nominated and are up for election at Diocesan Convention. Full biographies and photos will be in tomorrow's Thriving in the Vine newsletter.

To nominate yourself or someone else, click here.
If you have been nominated, fill out your information here.

Board of Officers of the Corporation (1 lay person)

Church Disciplinary Board (1 clergy & 2 lay persons)
Phillip Davies
Bill Bruce
The Rev. David Lemburg

Diocesan Council ( 1 lay person or clergy)

Standing Committee (1 layperson & 1 priest)
The Rev. David Rose
The Rev. David Lemburg

Trustee of the University of the South (1 priest)
The Rev. Tom Purdy

Diocesan Online Godly Play this Sunday
Godly Play is a Montessori-based curriculum that focuses on telling stories using physical materials and allowing participants to play and work with the stories at their own level. 

This coming Sunday, October 11, Canon Joshua Varner will tell the story of Exodus. This story will be shared on Sunday on the Diocesan Facebook Page .These sessions are appropriate for young people of all ages, and many adults find that the Godly Play method allows them to think about stories they have known for a long time in new and different ways.

The video will be on the Diocese of Georgia Facebook Page on Sunday morning. Please contact Canon Varner at  jvarner@gaepiscopal.org with your questions.

Thriving in the Vine Deadlines

Registration deadline for delegates is October 21.

Registration for the 199th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, Thriving in the Vine, is now open. Due to safety concerns for large public gatherings, the 199th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will meet online on the evening of November 6th and the morning of the November 7th.

Registration and additional information will be available online at http://convention.georgiaepiscopal.org and through the Thursday convention newsletter. 

Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis Across the Diocese
We've seen how creative our parishes have gotten during the pandemic, and rejoice in that creativity!

The Rev. David Rose at St. Luke's, Rincon with a very attentive parishioner (left), and the Rev. Ashton Williston and a parishioner provide a blessing for her new four legged friend (right).

The Rev. Cynthia Taylor from Church of the Holy Comforter blesses her furry friend (left), and the Rev. George Muir at St. Paul's, Augusta blesses one that's not so furry (right).

The Rev. Ted Clarkson of St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's makes his way down the line (left), and the Rev. Walter Hobgood and the Rev. Deacon Ri Lamb bring out all the stops for their pet blessing (right).

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in 
St. Simons Island on Sunday

This Sunday, we will stream Morning Prayer at 10 a.m. from Christ Church, Frederica with Bishop Logue officiating and preaching Morning Prayer.

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

Have you adjusted your livestream schedule? Let us know! We have a running calendar that you can find here. Check to see if your schedule is correct, and if there are any changes, email Administrator Assistant Daniel Garrick at dgarrick@gaepiscopal.org.

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

October 4 - 10
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Statesboro, Trinity. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Statesboro, especially St. Matthew
's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for The Annunciation (La AnnunciacioĢn) in Santiago.

October 11 - 17
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Thomasville, All Saints, Good Shepherd, and St. Thomas and for their work at the Oak Street Episcopal Mission. We also pray for 
our ecumenical partners in Thomasville, especially St. Augustine's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Luke (San Lucas) in Santiago.

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

Sunday, Bishop Logue will officiate and preach Morning Prayer from Christ Church, Frederica offered online at 10 a.m. To find the service, visit the Christ Church Frederica Facebook page or the Diocese of Georgia YouTube page.

Throughout the remainder of 2020 Bishop Logue will continue to record Diocesan worship from different congregations across the Diocese. To see the calendar for the remainder of 2020, click here.

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!

Have Peanut Butter, Will Feed
The Ladies of Love group (pandemic version) at St. Paul's, Albany continues to serve their community and provides up to 75 bags a week to their neighbors.

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