July 1, 2020
Volume 10, No. 43
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New In-person Worship Guidelines 
Begin Today
Last week, Bishop Logue announced Phase 1 guidance that will permit rectors (and priests-in-charge) and vestries to make a decision for whether some in-person worship following strict guidance is right for their community at this time. In-person worship may last no longer than 40 minutes. There will be no singing, all participants must wear masks at all times, and keep more than six feet away from persons not in their own household. As of today, July 1, this Phase 1 guidance is now in effect.

These guidelines have been developed through extensive discussions with fellow bishops from across the country, the diocesan insurance companies, and research from top health experts.  Please know that while nothing we do will eliminate the chance of contracting the virus when attending worship and anyone attending needs to understand he or she is assuming that risk, everything we are doing is to lower that risk.

The guidelines have been distributed to church leadership as we move forward to resuming in-person worship. For the full recommendations and explanation of returning to in-person worship, visit the diocesan website.
The Rev. Lucius Curtis Johnson, Jr. (1947-2020)

The Diocese of Georgia mourns the death of the Rev. Curtis Johnson who died at home on Saturday evening under Hospice Care. Bishop Logue will officiate a private committal service this Thursday together with the clergy of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta.

Born in Cuthbert, Georgia in 1947, Johnson was a graduate of Macon County High School, Montezuma, Georgia. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Georgia and did his graduate studies at the University of Tennessee. Johnson worked as a chemist at Savannah River Site for 22 years, retiring in 2011. 
Confirmed by Bishop Albert Rhett Stuart at Christ Church, Cordele, Johnson was ordained to the diaconate in February 1999. His diaconal ministry was through Epiphany Ministry, a ministry to teens in youth detention that works much like Kairos Prison Ministry with a first weekend experience followed by ongoing monthly meetings. The Diocese later discerned a call to the priesthood with him and Bishop Henry I. Louttit, Jr. ordained him a priest in 2009. He served part-time on the staff of Good Shepherd, Augusta, while serving as the Vicar of Good Shepherd, Swainsboro, and Christ Church, Augusta. Johnson also served as an Education for Ministry (E.f.M.) Mentor and as co-coordinator of the E.f.M program for the Diocese of Georgia.
"In Curtis, I found a scientist with a keen mind ready to engage in serious theological study, who also had a pastor's heart" Bishop Frank Logue said. "Curtis was not the person to take center stage and yet his steady pastoral presence changed the lives of teens in detention and then parishioners in the churches he served. He will be sorely missed." The prayers of the Diocesan community are requested for his wife Martha and their family.
Who is my Neighbor? 
Diocesan Vacation Bible School allows children to explore the Neighborhood
across the Diocese and beyond! 

Watching Bishop Logue during 
story time.
Last week, the Diocese of Georgia held its first ever Digital Vacation Bible School for children across the Diocese of Georgia and beyond! Over 100 people registered for VBS, which was designed both to offer participants a chance to gather together at set times, and to allow those who chose to do so to view the VBS resources on their own. The online gatherings took place last week each day at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. An average of 50 households logged in each morning, and many of those households had two or more siblings viewing one screen.

Morning gatherings included music, games, a story video, and age-based small groups for reflection. Participants were then invited to do a particular art response on their own using the provided video for guidance. A second meeting took place at 11:30 each day, which offered participants the chance to show off their work, or talk about their morning.
Making some high-fives to pass around to our neighbors

Participants in the Zoom calls reported that the week was both fun and fulfilling. Some said their favorite part was the silly songs, while others named small groups and art responses as their favorites. One parent offered that "the kids were pumped every day afterwards!"

Songs are always better with 
hand motions!
VBS Leaders were deeply thankful for the participation of so many children and their parents from across and even beyond the Diocese. As Canon Varner said to the children, "we can get things ready, but you make Vacation Bible School happen."

It is still possible to participate in Vacation Bible School from the Diocese of Georgia. All videos, including all stories, all crafts, and many songs, are available on the  Vacation Bible School Page of our Diocesan website. Take ten minutes, watch a story with your children, talk about what your favorite part was, and do a craft together! Adults may learn something themselves as well, as we seek to Love God and Love Neighbor.

The Rev. Leeann Culbreath Ordained to the Priesthood
On Saturday, June 27th, the Rev. Leeann Culbreath was ordained as a priest in the Diocese of Georgia. As with previous ordinations since the pandemic, the crowd was small, but the Spirit was mighty!  Viewers were able to watch the ordination livestream while a small number of people made up the physical presence in Tifton. The Rev. Lonnie Lacy's rousing and inspiring sermon is online here: God is on the move.

Photos by Stacey Beckham
The Revs. Bob and Jeanette Reese Returning Home
The Rev. Dr. Robert E. (Bob) Reese and the Rev. Jeannette Reese, Deacon will be returning  to the Diocese of Georgia to serve at St. Mark's, Woodbine beginning on July 12. Bob received his B.A. in Philosophy from Sewanee in 1971, and his M.Div. (1974) and D.Min. (1998) from Virginia Theological Seminary. After ordination in the Diocese of Western North Carolina in 1974, Bob served as Rector, St. John's, Sylva for seven years before serving as a Chaplain in the United States Army from 1981 until 1989. Following his ministry in the armed forces, Bob served in the Diocese of Georgia for fifteen years as Rector, St. Marks, Brunswick (1989-99), and Rector, St. Andrews & St. Cyprians, Darien, 1999 - 2004. While serving in Georgia Bob was a Cursillo & Happening spiritual director, Member and President of the Standing Committee, Discernment Committee Chairman for the Commission on Ministry, and Chairman of the Board for the Diocesan Conference Center at Honey Creek.

Bob retired in 2004 after 30 years service as a priest. During retirement, Bob has served in the Diocese of Western N.C. as interim rector at St. John's, Sylva, NC, and interim at St. Thomas, Burnsville, NC.; and for the the past 10 years on the staff at Grace Church, Asheville.

The Rev. Deacon Jeannette E. Reese was ordained by Bishop Shipps in 1993. At that time she was Admistrator of St. Marks Towers, Brunswick. Deacon Jeannette has served at St. Marks, Brunswick, St. Andrews & St. Cyprians, Darien; she served the Diocese as Chairman of the Commission on Aging, and Safeguarding God's Children; Cursillo and Happening Staff. For the past eleven years, Jeannette has served as Deacon at Grace Church, Asheville.

Jeannette has a background in marine biology, wholesale cottage industry, and massage therapy. She and Bob enjoy playing guitar, fiddle and banjo together; hiking and grand parenting.
Clergy Spouses Honor Kelly Benhase
The plaque in front of Kelly's Dogwood tree
The Diocese of Georgia Clergy Spouses were able to gather just before the pandemic made its appearance in March and was a retreat unlike any other. The weekend was full of emotion as we prepared to say farewell to one of our own, Kelly Benhase. Kelly insisted that we continue with our plans for the retreat even though we knew that COVID-19 was becoming a realization. We took all the necessary precautions by keeping our distance and sanitizing every surface as well as constantly washing our hands. It was wonderful to see each other, but awkward that hugs and handshakes could not take place. Our spouses were still able to show gratitude and affection by reminiscing on good times and sending Kelly off to her next adventure.

Kelly with her newly planted Dogwood tree

Our theme for the weekend was "Deep Roots and Strong Branches." The Rev. Helen White, our Chaplain,
did a fantastic job creating a spiritual program that focused on our own community and expanding ourselves like branches with the deep roots we create amongst each other. During our time at Honey Creek, the spouses took a 'prayer walk' around the beautiful campus and a few spouses were assigned to share a prayer or devotion at a particular location. Our final location was by the pool where a Dogwood Tree was ready to be planted in Kelly's honor. Kelly took it upon herself to dig up the Honey Creek dirt and plant the tree while we all took turns watering it! The next time you visit Honey Creek, walk by the pool and take a look at the fast-growing Dogwood, think of Kelly, and say a prayer.

The clergy spouses at the retreat.

Submitted by Jay Lacy
Worship with the Diocese of Georgia on Sundays
The Vaughn Family of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Augusta, singing one of this Sunday's hymns

This Sunday, we will stream Morning Prayer at 10 a.m. from St. Mary's, Augusta, with music from other Episcopal Churches in Augusta. The Sunday service will continue at least through Labor Day.

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.
The Rev. Lynn Anderson Fund Reaches 3rd Anniversary
The Rev. Lynn Anderson, Deacon
Deacon Anderson had a servant's heart and those are the kind of people the Church is looking for to be deacons in the Church. The deacon's primary ministry is outside the church walls and property, serving those in the community who are lonely, lost, or left out. The training to become a deacon requires many accomplishments before ordination, including academic work around Scripture, Church theology and ministry, and the role of a deacon in the life of the Church. In addition to classroom learning, those in the process get contextual training in the community. All of these training programs cost money and not all candidates for the diaconate can afford these costs.  
In 2017, after Deacon Anderson's death, generous donors contributed to a fund in her honor. The fund, previously housed in the Bishop's Fund, crossed the threshold of donations to be developed into a small endowment fund entitled, "The Deacon Lynn Anderson Fund for Deacon Formation" and invested in the Board of the Corporation. It will take a few years for growth, but the fund will be used to provide grants and financial support for those training for the diaconate. 
If interested in making additional contributions to the fund, please make checks payable to the Diocese of Georgia and note Deacon Formation Fund in the memo to:

    Bishop's Fund 
    Diocese of Georgia 
   18 E 34th Street 
    Savannah, GA 31401 
Around the Diocese

Children's formation at St. Paul's, Augusta has a new (Zoom-ier) look!

The Rev. Michael Cheney on tech support for the Rev. Leeann Culbreath's ordination (left),
while the Rev. Joy Davis hangs out with Bishop Logue before the service (right).

Members of the St. Anne's, Tifton Adopt-a-Mile team after cleaning up their section.
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

June 28-July 4
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Pooler, St. Patrick's. We also pray 
for our ecumenical partners, especially Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Garden City and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Port Wentworth. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Mary, Full of Grace ( Santa María Llena de Gracia) in Mao.

July 5-July 11
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Richmond Hill, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Richmond Hill, especially Spirit of Peace  Lutheran Church and St. Anne's Catholic Church. In our companion  diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Mary the Virgin ( Santa María Virgen ) in Monte Llano.

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

On Thursday, Bishop Logue will officiate the burial office for the Rev. Lucius Curtis Johnson together with the clergy of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta. The Rev. Andrew Menger will offer a homily at this committal service. 
This Sunday, Bishop Logue will officiate and preach Morning Prayer from St. Mary's, Augusta for the livestream on the Diocese of Georgia Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

The Rev. Canon Loren Lasch begins her position as Canon to the Ordinary today. She may be reached at llasch@gaepisocopal.org.

Maggie Lyons, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, will be on vacation next week, July 6-10. All phone inquiries will be forwarded to Assistant Administrator Daniel Garrick.

The diocesan staff will have Friday off in observance of July 4.

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!

The Last VBS-ers Standing

Some of the adult volunteers at the end of VBS last week.

Many thanks to the following folks who helped VBS go off without a hitch:

Story Videos were created by:

The Rev. Helen White and family
The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
The Rev. David Rose and family
The Rev. Katie Knoll-Lenon
The Rt. Rev. Frank Logue

Song Videos were created by:

The Rev. Aimee Baxter and family
The Rev. Helen White and family
The Rev. Katie Knoll-Lenon

Music was led by:
The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
The Rev. David Rose
Benjamin Varner

All art videos were created by Roger Speer, Director of Student Ministry at Good Shepherd, Augusta.

Many thanks to all of the adult volunteers who assisted with each session, small groups, and tech support:

Liz Swords, St. Michael & All Angels, Savannah
Cait McDaniel, St. Luke's, Hawkinsville
Mendy Grant, Our Savior, Martinez
Ayn Colsh, Holy Comforter, Martinez
The Rev. Helen White, Christ Church, Savannah
Millie Johnson, Christ Church, Valdosta
The Rev. Katie Knoll- Lenon, Christ Church, 
St. Simon's Island
The Rev. Guillermo Arboleda, St. Matthew's, Savannah
The Rev. David Rose, St. Luke's, Rincon
Shayna Cranford, Trinity Cochran
Liz Williams, Diocesan Communications Manager
Roger Speer, Good Shepherd, Augusta
Ben Varner, Epiphany, Savannah

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