April 15, 2020
Volume 11, No. 32
Join Our Mailing List

Creativity Emerges in Unprecedented Week
Holy Week 2020 was like no other, and you made it work! You had Agape meals at home, watched services with your family, and provided assistance to those in need in your community. Here are some of the new ways parishioners of the Diocese engaged with Holy Week.

Members of Calvary, Americus, have been leading and live-streaming Compline once a week through Calvary's Facebook page. Members have also set up a phone tree to call each other during the week to stay connected. 

While nothing can replace gathering in your church building to worship, taking on practices in the home can help deepen the experience of every Holy Week. That was all the more true this year with no in-person worship. The Diocese offered resources at our website for worship in the home and congregations encouraged not just watching online liturgies, but also taking on new practices to mark the days of Holy Week at home. At left, the Blue family of St. Matthews, Savannah, turned last Thursday's dinner into an at-home agape meal on Maundy Thursday. 

Wimberly House in Waynesboro had planned a spring break day camp, but with the shelter in place rules, plans had to be adjusted.  Wimberly House and St. Michael's packaged up the supplies and snacks acquired for the camp, as well as instructions for craft projects and games to do at home. St. Michael's partnered with local law enforcement to distribute the "camp to go" boxes for all of the children registered.  Additionally, they prepared over 100 Easter goodies bags which were also distributed by local law enforcement.

At the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta, the congregation already had several hundred stuffed eggs, but couldn't hold  their traditional Easter egg hunt this year. They got creative and delivered stuffed eggs to families with egg-hunt-aged children. The "Easter Bunnies" would hide eggs in the yard and leave a sign letting the the family know "You've been egged!" with a count numbering how many eggs the kids could find hidden in their yard. These are just some of the creative ways you, the Diocese of Georgia, responded to a Holy Week unlike any other.
Bishop's Eastertide Bible Study   
Bishop Benhase will lead a diocesan-wide Bible Study during Eastertide. It will be available on both  the Diocese's Facebook page and our YouTube channel each Wednesday at 11 a.m. Each session will be pre-recorded, so there will not be an opportunity to ask questions in real time, but the Bishop encourages folks to ask questions on the Diocese's Facebook page and he will respond to them following each session. Below is the schedule. Please join us!  
April 22  - Introduction  
Greeting   (1:1-2)  
Paul's Prayer for the Philippians  (1:3-11)  
Paul's Circumstances  as he writes the letter   (1:12-30)  
April 29  -  Our call to  Imitat e  Christ's Humility  (2:1-11)  
We are lights s hining in the World  (2:12-18)  
Paul's Fellow Laborers  (2:19-30)  
May 6  -  Nothing in the  Law  can  save us  (3:1-11 )  
Pressing towards the Goal , which is Christ (3:12-4:1)  
May 13  -  Closing  Exhortations  (4:2-9)  
Acknowledgment of the Philippians' Gift  (4:10-20)  
Benediction  (4:21-23)  

Transitions Around the Diocese
Restrictions in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 have stalled or postponed most congregations in the calling process for priests as on-site visits and interviews are not currently possible. There were some search processes far enough along to finish up in the last few weeks. Bishop Benhase, working with Bishop-Elect Logue, recently approved four clergy transitions:

The vestry of St. Athanasius, Brunswick, announces that they have called the Rev. DeWayne Cope as their Rector. Cope was most recently a curate at St. Paul's in Rock Creek, Washington, DC. Cope went to Virginia Theological Seminary from St. Matthew's, Savannah. He remained in the area so his daughter could graduate from high school and is now returning home to Georgia to serve.

The vestry of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Richmond Hill, announces that they have called the Rev. Dwayne Varas to serve as Rector. Varas has served St. Thomas, Thomasville, as rector for 6 years.

The vestry of St. Andrew's, Maryville, Tennessee, announces that they have called the Rev. Amy Bradley as their new Rector.  Bradley is currently the Associate Rector at St. Augustine of Canterbury in Augusta, with her last Sunday as May 10. Bradley has also served as the Chaplain to Augusta State University. 

The vestry of All Saint's, Briarcliff Manor, New York, called the Rev. Kevin Veitinger as their Rector. Veitinger was ordained a deacon in 2019. His ordination to the priesthood is planned for May 9. He has been serving as the Missioner for the Community of St. Joseph in Savannah, a community dedicated to working with the homeless population in Savannah.
Update on Paycheck Protection Program and Legislation Resources
The Diocese has been supporting a number of congregations as they prepare their applications for the  Paycheck Protection Program through the CARES Act. To date, fourteen congregations have applied to the program, with a some still preparing applications for submission. We hope these funds will provide direct relief to our churches as they navigate the coming months. 
In addition to the Paycheck Protection program, the Diocese has developed guidance on the legislation enacted. Many parishioners are feeling the impacts of the pandemic through job loss and illness. To learn more about the Families First Coronavirus Act and Cares Act please visit our  summary of the new legislation with some analysis and recommendations to work with our congregations and employees.
For more information please visit our COVID-19 resources page or reach out to Canon Easterlin for direct questions.
Diocese of Georgia Holy Week Livestream Round Up
Bishop-Elect Frank Logue celebrating the Easter Vigil.
Beginning on Holy Wednesday, the Diocese provided services for each day of Holy Week. 
To view these liturgies, visit our Facebook or YouTube page (links below).  

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.
Virtual Choir, Holy Week Edition
One of the ways the online worship of the Diocese has brought us together in a time of sheltering in place is to use video editing to bring together a choir with each person singing in their home. During Holy Week, we again asked members of our diocese to join voices for multiple hymns for our services. Thank you for sharing your talents!

He is Risen Virtual Choir
He is Risen - Virtual Choir

You can find more of our virtual choirs at the Diocese of Georgia YouTube Channel.
Diocesan Youth Compline 
Keeping community is more important now than ever. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8 p.m. you can find our Canon for Children and Youth, the Rev. Canon Joshua  Varner, rallying the youth of the diocese for evening Compline. Each service is led by a youth from our diocese and participation ranges across all ages!

For more information on how to participate, contact Joshua at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org.

Holy Week Around the Diocese   

Cecilia Vanoteghem of St. Patrick's, Albany, enjoying the Diocesan Easter service.
Deacon Leann Culbreath participating in Easter Vigil worship....while watching herself sing the Exsultet in the Easter Vigil.

Bertice Berry of Christ Church, Savannah, along with friends and family, made and distributed close to 1000 facemasks to healthcare workers, law enforcement, and other first line essential workers.

At the Church of Our Savior in Martinez, photos of Facebook showed parishioners the church was ready for Good Friday, while St. Mark's, Brunswick, still had an impressive Easter altar display.

The Day family from St. Anne's, Tifton, giving a new look to the story of Jonah for St. Anne's Easter Vigil.

St. Philips of Hinesville (left) made sure the Easter lilies were still present while St. Paul's of Albany (right)  flowered the cross for all to see.

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

April 12 - 18 
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Dublin, Christ Church, and for our ecumenical partners in Dublin, especially Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Thomas ( Santo Tom├ís) in Gautier. 

April 19 - 25
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Fitzgerald, St. Matthew's, and for our ecumenical partners in Fitzgerald, especially St. William's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Haina, especially St. John the Evangelist ( San Juan Evangelista) and St. Mark ( San Marcos).

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 .
We all know that this time is different than we've ever experienced, and when you add in Holy Week, it's a whole new ball game. Clergy are trying to figure out how to still be your priest when they can't be with you in person each week, church staff are finding ways to make sure that admin tasks are still able to get done, and parishioners are figuring out how to do church from home. 

We at the diocese saw how we could be a resource during Holy Week, and we hope that it was helpful to you. 

So again, thank you.
Diocesan Office Update and News

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19,  Diocesan staff will be working remotely until further notice. Email will be the quickest way to get in touch with the staff, although you are still welcome to call us on the phone! Staff e-mails can be found here.

The Diocesan Council meeting scheduled for this week will now meet on June 5 at a location to be determined. 
Have Zoom, Will Sing

Albany's Beer & Hymns have taken their event to the next level - Zoom!
Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Instagram
The Diocese of Georgia posts photos from our churches as well as diocesan events at 
Follow Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Twitter
The Diocese of Georgia also shares news 140 characters at a time through  Twitter  @GA_Episcopal
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  View our videos on YouTube The Diocese of Georgia also has a  YouTube Channel  where you can watch past videos and subscribe to get updates when new videos are posted.