November 18, 2020
Volume 11, No. 11
IN THIS ISSUE
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Phase 1 Guidance Update
The cases of COVID-19 are increasing across the country and predictions are that the spread of the virus will spike this winter. Yet our experience with the guidance in place since July 1 is that we can continue to offer an array of options for priests and vestries to decide what is right for their congregation. To that end, I issued revised Phase 1 Guidance for in-person worship in the Diocese of Georgia last week and have shared that guidance with all clergy and senior wardens.
 
Though I have no training in public health, I have been on regular calls with the Office of the Presiding Bishop and Episcopal Relief and Development where safety precautions have been discussed in depth. We have heard from a number of respected subject matter experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci. Beyond this, the Rev. Canon Loren Lasch and I met by phone with two physicians in public health who have experience working with COVID-19 patients and assessing risk connected to the pandemic within our Diocese. They provided direct input to possible revisions. The resulting revised guidance is not as carefree as many would like, while still being too risky for others. 
 
My staff and I know of multiple incidents where someone in one of our in-person worship services later learned they had COVID-19 while attending. Canon Lasch and I have been told by health experts that, while such events are not often publicized, churches gathering for in-person worship are a significant source of new COVID-19 infections. All of this strongly influences our decisions as we can't completely avoid risk when meeting during a pandemic, but we can mitigate that risk in some ways.
 
Congregational singing is now possible outdoors if all those present are wearing masks during the singing and there is at least 12 feet of space between individuals, or a family or pod and others. While congregational singing is still not permitted indoors, a soloist (or family or pod) may sing masked and 25 feet away from all other participants, provided all singers have a COVID test within four days of the service and receive a negative result. A pod can be any group in close contact with one another who is limiting contact with others. In our smaller buildings, a soloist just outside the doors to the nave can assist in accomplishing this distance.
 
Additional changes described in more detail in the guidance permit Books of Common Prayer back in the pews, allow individually portioned food to be served outdoors, and for third party groups to use the church building. 

Priests and vestries will meet regularly to assess the spread of the virus in their area and may decide to pull back from some of these if they determine that is best for their community. So many of the specifics of a given building, age of parishioners, and local experience with the virus mean the decisions are best made at the church level.
 
Worship is at the heart of what we do as Christians and I am concerned about the spiritual health as well as physical health of all we serve. I want to offer guidance that permits us to worship together. The revised guidance will continue to allow us to offer a range of options from online services to in-person worship outdoors and indoors even as we await a vaccine.
 
Yours in Christ,
+Frank


The Rev. Tar Drazdowski to Retire
The Rev. Tar Drazdowski has been an active member of the Diocese of Georgia for over 40 years.  She attended the Vancouver School of Theology in Vancouver, British Columbia where she earned a M.Div. Before she was ordained to the priesthood, Drazdowski worked in public education. During her time in public education, she worked as a teacher, behavior disorder consultant, a guidance counselor and a behavior intervention specialist. She is married to Jim Drazdowski and they have two adult children and four grandchildren.

She served Christ Church, Valdosta as an assistant as a 
bi-vocational priest and then as an assistant for six years.  
Drazdowski was a Chaplain to Valdosta State College and oversaw the church's pre-school. While working at Christ Church, she served the diocese as the Chair of the Companion Diocese Committee. She served as Bishop Benhase's representative on the Board of the Dominican Development Group.  Drazdowski also represented the Diocese of Georgia as a four-time deputy to General Convention.

While at Christ Church in Sidney, Nebraska, she also facilitated mission in South Dakota and the Dominican Republic and continued to serve as Bishop Barker's representative on the Board of the Dominican Development Group.

Drazdowski's most recent call was to Christ Church, Cordele. While serving in Cordele she was also appointed Dean of the Albany Convocation and served on the Bishop's Search Committee and as chaplain at the Crisp County Sheriff's Office. 

Looking back at all the years of her ministry in this diocese, Drazdowski remembers the most, were her years working in the Youth Programs. She is so proud to see that many of our youth have committed themselves to the ministry and mission of the Diocese of Georgia. She believes she has been blessed with many wonderful opportunities in ministry as a lay person and a priest.  Drazdowski  said, "The ability to spread God's love is the greatest gift of all."

She and Jim enjoy living in Cordele and have decided to make it their home. They especially love living on Lake Blackshear and the serenity the water provides.

The Rev. Ted Clarkson Called as Interim Rector
The Vestry of Church of the Good Shepherd has called the Rev. Ted Clarkson to serve as the Interim Rector effective January 1, 2021. Rev. Clarkson comes to Augusta from Darien, Georgia where he has served as Rector of St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's Episcopal Churches since 2006. St. Cyprian's is one of the historically African-American parishes in the Diocese.
 
Rev. Clarkson grew up at Good Shepherd where his father, the Rev. Alan Clarkson, was Rector from 1942-1979. After graduating from Wofford College, he earned his law degree from the University of Georgia and practiced in Augusta with Knox and Zacks from 1983-2003. He left the legal profession to pursue ordination and earned his Master of Divinity degree from the University of the South in Sewanee.
 
In making the announcement, the vestry noted its gratitude to have as their Interim Rector someone who knows, understands, and loves Augusta, Good Shepherd, and the Episcopal Day School and who will provide steady leadership for the Parish and School as Good Shepherd begins the process of transitioning to new leadership.
 
Rev. Clarkson has been married to the former Allison Horton for 40 years and they have three grown sons, Ted, Jr., Robert and Allen.

The Rev. Karen Barfield Called to St. Patrick's, Pooler 
The vestry of St. Patrick's, Pooler, has called the Rev. Karen C. Barfield to serve as their priest. She has been ordained 17 years, serving a variety of congregations from campus ministry and a mission congregation to parish and cathedral staff. Most recently, she served as the Vicar of St. Joseph's, Durham, since 2008.  Her greatest joy is walking alongside folks on their faith journeys through liturgy, pastoral care, spiritual practices and issues of justice.  She serves as a spiritual director and has completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training.  

Barfield enjoys gardening, cooking, sewing and taking long walks.  She moves to Savannah with her husband, Ray. They have two grown children and one grandchild.  She is excited to learn about the Savannah area as she continues to follow the movement of the Spirit.

Barfield will begin her call on December 1. 

Disc Golf Fundraiser for Honey Creek
Spots are beginning to fill up for the Honey Creek Open for December 12, 2020! Honey Creek joined forces with Innova and Camden Disc Golf to provide an excellent event that will also serve as a fundraiser for Honey Creek and Camber Disc Golf's club. To kick off the event, on Friday, December 11, you'll get to enjoy Glow Disc Golf! 

For more information about the event and how to participate, contact Executive Director Dade Brantley at dade@honeycreek.org. If you'd like lodging information, contact Georgeanne Younger at georgeanne@honeycreek.org.

For the event flyer, click here.

Across the Diocese

 
The Hands and Feet of Christ group from Grace, Waycross assisted a parishioner with new steps into his home (left) and filled a dumpster with debris (right).
St. Anne's, Tifton held their first Mass on the Grass (shot from above by Stacey and Chris Beckham).


The Canterbury Club at Augusta University held a Drive Thru Food Drive to support the Open Paws Pantry at the university. They collected over 230 items for the pantry, which helps ensure food security for students.



Trinity, Cochran (left) held a campus clean up day, and St. Paul's Albany (right) held their annual Youth Sunday.


Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Blakely on Sunday

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



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

November 15 - 21
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Vidalia, the Church of the Annunciation. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Vidalia, especially Sacred Heart Catholic Church and for 
St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Reidsville. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially St. Peter and St. Paul (San Pedro y San Pablo).

November 22 - 28
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Waycross, Grace Church. We also 
pray for our ecumenical partners in Waycross, especially St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially St. Ann's (Santa Ana).


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 Trinity, Blakely offered online at 10 a.m. To find the service, visit the Diocese of Georgia Facebook Page Facebook page or the Diocese of Georgia YouTube page.

On Sunday Canon Lasch will celebrate, preach, and meet with the vestry at Christ Church, Cordele.

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!

Thank You!

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