April 8, 2020
Volume 11, No. 31
Honey Creek Brings
New Meaning to its Mission
As Executive Director Dade Brantley and the staff of Honey Creek were processing the news that the Honey Creek campus had to shut down for the foreseeable future, Office Manager Georgeanne Younger said, "What if we could help people?" This one thought got their creative juices flowing and Dade made a phone call to Coastal Health District Emergency Management Agency (EMA) offering Honey Creek as a place of respite and recovery for the homeless population who are symptomatic or in the early stages of a COVID-19 diagnosis.  By the end of the day, Dade had lined up on-site meetings for not just the EMA, but also the Health Department, police department, and the fire department. 

Typically, if someone is able to recover at home after a diagnosis of COVID-19, the hospitals will discharge the patient to their house. When it comes to the homeless population, there is no home to recover. Honey Creek is uniquely situated to provide that space of recovery. There are 40 lodge rooms with individual bathrooms which would mean that patients would be able to be completely quarantined during their stay.  Health professionals will be on staff to provide care, and if a patient gets sick enough to need to go to the hospital, it's a short ride to either Glynn or Camden County hospitals. Patients will also enjoy the signature cooking of Ms. Linda for their meal times, which is always a delicious part of any Honey Creek stay. Once the last patient leaves Honey Creek, a full campus-wide exit cleaning will take place in order to be ready for regular activities to resume.

Honey Creek has always been a place for renewal, and now they're able to offer a different type of renewal to those who are most in need of rest and recovery.
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Experience Holy Week
while Sheltering in Place
Engaging in worship in your home, in addition to watching livestreamed worship will deepen your experience of Jesus' passion and resurrection. To assist every parishioner of the Diocese in participating in worship at home, we offer Holy Week 2020 resources at the diocesan website. Here are two experiences that an individual or family can use to worship at home:

Click the link above to get a simple service for one or more people of any age to enjoy an agape style meal with the story of the Last Supper shared around the table. This service draws from the Eucharistic tradition, but it is not a sacramental meal. Rather, this is a way to combine typical blessings for food and drink with readings from scripture to create a different way to experience Jesus last meal with his disciples.

Good Friday Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross offer a way anyone can experience the passion anew. This service originated in Jerusalem as a way for pilgrims to engage meaningfully with Jesus' passion by walking the same path Jesus took from standing before Pontius Pilate to being laid in the tomb. Stations of the Cross spread to Europe thanks in large part to a woman named Egeria who made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the 380s and wrote to a circle of friends back home. Those who could not travel to Jerusalem began to follow the practices they discovered through Egeria and other pilgrims in their churches and homes. We offer a booklet to print double sided and a smart phone version of a set of meditations and prayers written by Bishop-Elect Frank Logue, and his wife, Victoria. You can sit and read through the Stations, or even print a set of stations to put up around your house or in your yard ( Stations of the Cross artwork). 
Churches Can Qualify for SBA Loans
The CARES Act was signed into law last week. The main features for small businesses are emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. There are also changes to rules for expenses and deductions meant to make it easier for companies to keep employees on the payroll and stay open in the near-term. Religious institutions and 501c3s are eligible to take part in this program.

Forgivable Loans
There is $350 billion allocated for the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10 million per business. Any portion of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books or pay for rent, mortgage, and/or servicing other existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June. 

Standing Committee Resolution
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Georgia met via Zoom on April 2 to consider this program and approved a resolution the next day.  They found that good cause exists for blanket approval of PPP loans funded by the SBA provided certain conditions are met. The resolution requires t hat all congregations applying for such a loan provide to the Canon Administrator a true and correct copy of its Payroll Protection Program Application Form together with all supporting documentation. They further stated that  all congregations receiving loans shall provide the Canon Administrator with a true and correct copy of all paperwork submitted to the SBA, its agents and lenders for the forgiveness of said loans, and confirmation whether all or part of the loan has been forgiven.

Next Steps
The steps a congregation must take to apply as well as additional resources are at the COVID-19 Resource Page at the diocesan website.
Diocese of Georgia Holy Week Livestream
Beginning on Holy Wednesday, walk with us as we make our way through Holy Week. Along with your diocesan office clergy, join others from across the diocese as we prepare, mourn, and rejoice in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

These liturgies will stream on both 

Service Bulletins:

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 Choirs Bring the Diocese of Georgia Together
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. On Palm Sunday, singers from across the Diocese joined together to create the processional hymn, "All Glory, Laud, and Honor." You can view the completed video below!
We are putting another Virtual Choir together for Easter and we encourage you to join in! We will be singing the Easter Hymn, "He is risen, he is risen!" Complete instructions on how to record yourself are available here. Please submit your video according to the instructions no later than Thursday, April 9, at noon. We hope you'll join us and make music together!

All Glory, Laud, and Honor - Virtual Choir
All Glory, Laud, and Honor - Virtual Choir

You can find more of our virtual choirs at the Diocese of Georgia YouTube Channel.
Spot the Scam      
We've seen an increase, in recent years, of scammers pretending to be the Bishop, the Diocese, churches, or a priest to solicit money from individuals through scams. Just this week we've received reports of an email address pretending to be the Bishop requesting funds for an individual impacted by COVID-19. Using a "masking" technique this email can appear like it is an official email from the Bishop requesting such funds, and the scammers are getting smart in the language that they use to request money from you. In times of crisis, like a global pandemic, scammers will leverage the chaos to target individuals seeking to donate funds in support of relief efforts. Therefore, to avoid such occurrences, please follow these best practices:  

These are just a few recommended best practices. For more information and tips, please view the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website for guidance related to  scams associated with the coronavirus. There is even scam BINGO! Please feel free to contact Canon Easterlin for questions at  keasterlin@gaepiscopal.org. 
Around the Diocese
Ted Riddle of St. Anne's Tifton (left) and Evie and Ella Rose Briones of St. Thomas Thomasville (right)
 get ready for Palm Sunday.

Church of the Holy Comforter Martinez had some special guests attend services.

At left the Church of the Good Shepherd held Good Morning Good Shepherd! before Palm Sunday worship. The  talk show format gave the priests a chance to talk about Holy Week, the pandemic, and take viewer questions. At right, the Rev. Al Crumpton IV turned his study at home into recording studio for online worship. Not every congregation is creating online worship or needs to do so. Others are staying connected through phone calls and mail. We are seeing the Body of Christ respond with each person using the gifts God gave them.
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 5 - 11 
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Douglas, St. Andrew's and for our ecumenical partners in Douglas, especially St. Paul's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for The Ascension ( La Ascensión) in El Seibo. 

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 Tomás) in Gautier. 

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 .
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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.

This Easter Sunday,  Bishop Scott Benhase will preach for a livestreamed worship service. We will offer this liturgy via Facebook live on the Diocese of Georgia's Facebook page and also on the the Diocese of Georgia's YouTube Channel, both at 10 a.m. See the article above for the full schedule of Holy Week worship online.