August 19, 2020
Volume 10, No. 50
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All is Quiet at Honey Creek
A reflection by Executive Director Dade Brantley

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."Frederick Buechner
We all know too well these days the old saying associated with south Georgia weather..."if you don't like it, wait 5 minutes and it will change". Only we're not talking about the weather, we're talking about school, work, restaurants, CHURCH. This one is open today, but that one is was open for a week, now it's closed again. The one constant is that God is always with us. God is protecting us, and the entire natural world. 

Every summer, Diamondback Terrapins come to Honey Creek to lay their eggs. They dig a hole, drop in their eggs, and leave. It takes about 2.5 months for the eggs to hatch, unless other animals find them first. For years we've tried hard to spot a nest and mark it so we can protect the eggs, but animals always find a way to get to them. Last week we were fortunate to watch freshly hatched terrapins dig their way out of a nest that we marked in June. It was amazing! 

Honey Creek has been very quiet far longer than any other time in its history, however no one told nature that we were closed. The natural world hasn't stopped, in fact, it's thriving. There's a Great Egret that GeorgeAnne named, Slim, that walks around inspecting the lodge buildings every morning. He walks his rounds on the sidewalk, making sure everything is as it should be. The baby Terrapins and Slim are those beautiful things that Buechner wrote about. The world keeps moving. Schools will reopen, your favorite restaurant, and church will be like you remember, maybe even better. Providence is real, you only have to recognize it when you see it.
Weekly Youth Compline Resumes This Sunday

In March, as in-person events were shutting down, youth from across the Diocese began to gather regularly on Zoom to pray Compline, to share individual prayer concerns, and to support one another. After a July/August break this worship service resumes with Compline #31 this coming Sunday, August 23, at 8 p.m. While our common worship is led by youth and geared for youth, it is open to any who wish to log in and pray together. Words are shared on the screen, including songs, so you can fully participate even if there isn't a Book of Common Prayer in your house.
The Zoom Meeting ID Number is 476 108 815. Please contact Canon Varner at for the meeting password or with any other questions. See you this Sunday at 8 p.m.!

Congregation Audits Due September 1
The Diocesan Canons require audits/financial review of congregation financial operations. If the annual operating budget is greater than $500,000, a full 3rd party audit is required. If less than $500,000, the Diocese has a 36-question internal control checklist that parishes can use for individuals, not associated with financial procedures, to review records and procedures. 

All audits are submitted for final report to the Diocesan office by September 1st. Many congregations partner each year to review and conduct checklists for submission. You can find the checklist here:

It can be a daunting task each year for administrators, clergy, and volunteers to get themselves organized for a review. Especially now under special restrictions. The following are some best practices to consider when preparing: 

1. Keep detailed records- Each year, a vestry should review the record keeping practices of its parish/organization. Whether it is paper or electronic, detailed records of accounts payables, receivables, endowments, assets, and other detailed financial transactions should be kept in a well-organized and effectively searched method 

2. Maintain security- Many records hold sensitive information. Please ensure that files are either password protected, on a secure network, or kept in lockable file cabinet 

3. Make a checklist- Many professional audit firms will provide a detailed checklist of items to gather and review. Checklists are a great way to organize yourself for record pulling and review. Review the internal controls checklist to determine what files and reports help answer audit questions. Your checklist can also help administrators and volunteers divvy up tasks and take ownership or reporting information 

4. Determine recommendations- Each year should result in recommendations for improvement of procedures, policies, and reporting -- even if it is small improvements and determining best practices for financial controls 

5. Report and communicate- Once an audit is complete, make sure to supply reports to vestry members and communicate impacts of reports to congregations. This helps to support budget and annual stewardship campaigns 

Many of these task can be handle online or electronically. Audits are designed to help churches manage its resources. It is also a great opportunity for vestries to learn detailed administrative requirements. Many people get nervous around this time-period, but it can be a wonderful learning opportunity for your leadership and community. 

For any questions, please reach out to Canon Easterlin at Diocesan house at
Livestream Update
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

The Rev. Ned Simmons
June 13, 1923 - August 14, 2020 
The Rev. Ned Allen Simmons, 97 of Quitman passed away August 14, 2020 at the Presbyterian Home Quitman after a brief illness. Rev. Simmons was born June 13, 1923 to the late Charlie Ruben Simmons and Maggie Estell Woodham of Ambrose GA. He received his undergraduate degree in education from the University of Georgia, received his master's degree in Administration and Supervision from Florida State University and completed post-graduate work at Florida Atlantic and Florida International Universities. Rev. Simmons served the educational community in Georgia as a teacher and principal and was a principal and assistant superintendent in Florida before a stint as college instructor for FSU and Appalachian State University in North Carolina. He served as an educational Representative for Holt, Reinhart, and Winston Publishing Company and as a consultant for American Schools in Central America. Upon retirement from the field of education, Mr. Simmons and his wife, Ann returned to Quitman to open Simmons Gift Store. He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1990 and served as chaplain for the Presbyterian Nursing Home. 

Rev. Simmons is preceded in death by his wife of 61 years Ann Booth Simmons. Survivors include his son, Ned A. Simmons, Jr and daughter in law, Nancy Simmons; daughter Fran Simmons Miller and son in law Jack Miller; granddaughters, Heather Simmons of Thomasville, Lexi Masters and her husband Austin of Hahira, and Kelly Miller Ryder and her husband, Matt of Jacksonville Beach Fl.; great granddaughters, Conley Masters, and Kennedy Ryder.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. James Episcopal Church or to the Presbyterian Home.
Streaming Hymns? Don't forget about Copyright.
Even when we are physically apart from one another, music continues to bring us together. Many congregations are streaming music that is assembled digitally, as in a virtual choir, or that is performed by one person or a very small group in the church building or elsewhere.
As your congregation engages in this important ministry, please remember to obtain permission to stream music. While this is an extra step not many of us needed to do until recently, it is important, primarily because through paying for copyright, we are compensating composers for their work! 
In order to obtain permission, you may contact the publishers of an individual hymn directly. In the Hymnal 1982 there is a list of copyright holders in the back of the book. A commonly used system that avoids the need to contact individual copyright-holders every time is the purchasing of a license from one of several different companies. The Diocese, for example, holds licenses with both OneLicense and CCLI. Licenses are usually priced on a sliding scale based on congregation size. Once these licenses, including streaming permissions, are purchased they are valid for one year.
In addition to purchasing the license, each congregation must 1) verify that a given song is covered by the licensing company; 2) give credit to authors and composers, including copyright information, in bulletins, video descriptions, and/or videos; and, 3) report their song usage to the licensing organization. The specific way this reporting is done varies slightly by licensing company but it is a simple process done through the company's website.
Please feel free to contact Canon Varner at with any questions about copyright reporting or song usage.
Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Sandersville on Sunday
This Sunday, we will stream Morning Prayer at 10 a.m. from Grace Episcopal Church, Sandersville with music from other Episcopal Churches in the diocese. 

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.
Around the Diocese

The Rev. Nick Roosevelt at St. Patrick's, Albany, blesses the backpacks for younger parishioners.

St. Thomas, Isle of Hope held a backpack blessing that also came with shaved ice!

Good Shepherd, Augusta's backpack blessing all from the comfort of their own vehicles.
Good Shepherd, Augusta's backpack blessing all from the comfort of their own vehicles.

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

August 16-August 22
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially Christ Church, the Mother Church of Georgia. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially the Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Ascension Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Barthlomew (San Bartolomé) in San Cristobal.

August 23-29
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Francis of the Islands and St. John's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially the Lutheran congregations of Redeemer and St. Luke's. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in San Francisco de Macorís, especially The Good Samartian (El Buen Samaritano), Jesus the Nazarene (Jesús Nazareno), and The Nativity (La Natividad).

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

Bishop Logue is on vacation until August 23. Contact Canon Loren Lasch at for any assistance.

This Sunday, Bishop Logue will officiate and preach Morning Prayer from Grace Episcopal Church, Sandersville for the livestream on the Diocese of Georgia Facebook page and YouTube Channel

Canon Lasch will be the guest preacher at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah on Sunday morning.

Canon Easterlin will be on vacation next week. If you need any assistance, contact either Canon Lasch or Canon Varner.

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 We want to hear from you!
Diocesan  House Choir Ready for Their Close Up

Diocesan staff perform I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light for last Sunday's online service.

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