February 24, 2021
Volume 11, No. 25
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New Solar Panels Installed at the Diocesan House

A project that began during the episcopacy of the 10th Bishop of Georgia, the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase, has finally come to fruition. The clean energy project is made possible by a $20,000 Solar Moonshot Program grant, managed by Hammond Climate Solutions and funded by Left Coast Fund, in partnership with Fellowship Energy and Rockbridge Energy.

The solar panels used for the rooftop solar system were produced in Dalton, Georgia, at the new Hanwha Q Cell factory, which reduces emissions from the transport process typically involved in shipping materials to the project site. This factory supports clean energy trends in Georgia, which has seen a 100-fold increase in solar power generation in recent years and is now home to more than 76,000 green energy jobs.

This solar project will allow for an estimated $35,000 savings over the lifespan of the system, allowing the Diocese to reinvest the savings back into their community and support the essential services provided by the Diocese.

Canon Katie Easterlin has been working on this project from the beginning, and to see it completed is a great accomplishment, "This project was a pleasure! While it was challenging to navigate all the moving pieces, working with everyone was rewarding. The cost savings from the project speak for itself. However, I gain satisfaction from the knowledge the Diocese is taking tangible steps to be part of the broader conversation of climate solutions and learning how we can help our congregations do the same."

The ribbon cutting will be livestreamed on the Diocesan Facebook page on Wednesday, March 3 at 2:00pm.

Daily Reflections for Lent - online or as a book
The Diocese's daily reflections during Lent, written by both clergy and laity throughout the Diocese is well underway online and a print copy of the devotions is now available as well. The reflections began on Ash Wednesday and carry through to Easter Sunday. These reflections continue with the theme for this past November's Diocesan Convention: "Thriving in the Vine." Jesus gave this image of himself as the vine and us as the branches to his followers on the night before he died, as he knew they would face tremendous hardships and he wanted them to see how life-giving connection to him is for each of us.

The Diocese of Georgia's social media pages (FacebookInstagram, and Twitter) will post a piece of each day's reflection, along with a link to the PDF with the full reflection. 

To view and download the reflections, click here.

Lent devotions available as a book
A few people have said that they would like to have these devotions as a book, and we now offer that option for $3.60 each plus shipping. You can order copies from the print on demand website Lulu.com by following this link: Purchase a book

Tax Resources for Congregations and Clergy
For Congregations
Each year, Church Pension Group (CPG) releases a guide for administrators on Federal reporting requirements. You can access the document here.

The document provides information on payroll guidance, health insurance, guidance for clergy pay structure, and other important federal reporting and documentation. 

For Clergy
CPG has also published the 2021 tax guide for 2020 tax returns. You can access the document here .
The guide is presented in two sections:

1) section on tax highlights addresses recent tax changes;
2) question-and-answer format addresses key tax issues, and information provided in the guides and how it specifically applies to clergy of The Episcopal Church.

For clergy preparing using a 3rd party to file, please provide the latest version of this document as guidance.

During Lent, Prepare an Easter Virtual Choir Celebration!
Most of our in-person singing is still restricted this Lent. So instead, I invite you to join your Diocesan community in singing the Easter hymn "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" together virtually!  Don't worry that this recording will have you singing "alleluia," a word the Church traditionally abstains from during the season of Lent. One of the challenges for musicians in ordinary years is that during Lent they rehearse music for Easter! This year, you can live into the Mystery of Easter by singing in joy and hope, trusting that your music will come together with others' offerings, and through the grace of the Holy Spirit, will create new life! 

In order to sing this hymn, all you need is a pair of earbuds, a computer, and a smartphone that can record video. You will download the appropriate guide track and then sing along with the guide track in your earbuds while you video yourself using your phone. 

We need your submission no later than Monday, March 22,  in order to incorporate it into the final choir.

In order to participate, you need the full instructions, which can be found here: https://bit.ly/JesusChristisRisenTodayVirtualChoir. The instructions include links to written music, guide tracks for melody, various harmony parts, and descant (if desired), and instructions on how to submit your video once you're done. Many thanks to Kathleen Turner, Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church, Frederica, for creating these tracks.

Please read the instructions carefully before you record anything! Contact Canon Varner at  jvarner@gaepiscopal.org with your questions.

Please note that while singers sometimes feel like they are singing a solo during this process, and therefore choose not to participate, your offering will be mixed with others, creating the sound of many voices singing together through the miracle of technology. So go ahead and sing and submit your music. Your song will join with everyone else's offerings to create something glorious!

Come Away by Yourselves and Pray A While
For Youth, Week Two
In our Ash Wednesday service, we are invited to the observance of a holy Lent through, among other things, prayer. But for many of us, personal prayer is not something we have ever thought about. Prayer comes in many forms, and what deepens and enriches one person's relationship with God may not do so for someone else.

Next week, the Diocese will offer youth the opportunity to participate in a three-week series on prayer. Next week will be the second of the three. The Tuesday nights are built as standalone events and youth are not required to attend all three sessions. The series will introduce a few different types of prayer, both active and contemplative, and will offer a chance to practice each one. We will gather on Zoom at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, and March 9. Each meeting will last no more than an hour.

This series is a chance to set aside an hour each week to ground yourself, to explore different forms of prayer, and to connect with others who are able to take part. If you (or any young person you know) are interested in participating in this offering, please fill out our registration at https://bit.ly/WaystoPraySignUp or contact Canon Varner at  jvarner@gaepiscopal.org with your questions.

Come away during this season of Lent, and pray for a while.

Bishop Curry will read you his latest book this Eastertide

Beginning Monday in Easter week, the Diocese of Georgia will offer a 1Book1Diocese read of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times. While you may enjoy reading the book yourself, the audio book version is read by Bishop Curry is an enjoyable way to hear experiences from his  life to challenging us to make the ethic of love a guiding principle for our lives. 

Book Discussion Guide Now Available
A book discussion guide for the Diocese of Georgia's 1Book1Diocese read of Love is the Way is now online here: Discussion Guide PDF

Bishop Curry to meet with us online
We will offer a discussion guide for groups that want to meet online for a discussion at the congregation level. Individuals may also read the book and then join us for online meeting with Bishop Curry to discuss the book. 

Look for more news on this study in upcoming issues of From the Field and at the Diocese of Georgia's Facebook page.

You're Invited to the Grand Ultreya!

All are welcome to join the Grand Ultreya for our Diocese, virtually via Zoom, on Sunday, March 14, at 1 p.m. There will be music, special guests: our Bishop Frank Logue, Patrick Andersen, president of Episcopal Cursillo Ministry,and Rob Richardson, Southeast district representative for ECM. You will hear a Lay Witness Talk and responses, and more Cursillo music. Experience the Love of God alive in the Cursillo Community in Georgia!  Watch for our email to you with the login information to join our Zoom gathering.  If you need to get your new email address to us, contact Rose Wilson at rosewilson50@gmail.com.

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.

Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday Across the Diocese

James Israel (left) and Gail Walker (right) brought the Shrove Tuesday spirit to Grace, Waycross' Pancakes-to-Go.

The Rev. Charles Todd, rector, officiates as Trinity, Statesboro, held their Ash Wednesday service under the lights of the church portico.

At left, The Rev. Melanie Lembury, Rector, and the Rev. Aimee Baxter, Deacon, get ready to hand out Lent-in-a-Bag with some Shrove Tuesday fun at St. Thomas Isle of Hope, Savannah. 
Holy Comforter, Martinez (right) included candy hearts in their version of Lent-in-a-Bag.
The Rev. Walter Hobgood is interviewed by the local news as he administers Ashes-to-Go in downtown Albany.

Trinity, Cochran prepares for their Ash Wednesday Ashes-to-Go.

Sara Collins Jackson of Christ Church, Savannah (left) was very excited to receive her Lent-in-a-Bag!
At right, the Rev. Michael White, Rector, sprinkles ashes in a liturgy on the porch at Christ Church, Savannah.

Kim Ribbens of St. Peter's, Savannah participates in the Ash Wednesday service from her home.

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Waynesboro on Sunday

On Sunday we will stream Morning Prayer at 
10 a.m. from St. Michael's in Waynesboro with Bishop Logue as officiant and preacher.

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

February 28 - March 6
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Brunswick, Good Shepherd, St. Athanasius', and
St. Mark's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Brunswick, especially St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and
St. James Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Church of the Holy Name (El Santo Nombre) in Catalina. 

March 7 - 13
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Cochran, Trinity and for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Cairo. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Gabriel (
San Gabriel) in Consuelo.

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 Sunday, Bishop Logue will officiate and preach Holy Eucharist online at 10 a.m from St. Michael's in Waynesboro. To view the service, visit the Diocese of Georgia Facebook Page or the Diocese of Georgia YouTube page. 
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!

Star Wars or Parochial Report?

The Rev. Galen Mirate has either switched to the Dark Side or she's working on the Parochial Report.....

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