January 13, 2021
Volume 11, No. 19
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An Update from the 
Community of St. Joseph
by Casey Lavin, Missioner for the Community of St. Joseph
Community of St. Joseph worship before COVID-19
In "normal" years, every Sunday our various church communities gather together in common worship of a living God. We bring our hopes, fears and petitions and leave them at the altar amongst friends and loved ones.  Often, we enjoy a coffee or muffin after service and commit to praying for each other in the week to come before we go back into the world and live our lives.  Similarly, for the past five years the Community of St. Joseph (CSJ) has gathered on the west side of Savannah on Sunday mornings.  The homeless residents, comprised mainly of those in the "Camp 2" neighborhood, typically begin arriving around 8:30am on Sunday mornings at the end of Rothwell Street in an open field.  The standard "good morning, great to see you" is shared with genuine smiles among these parishioners as they make their way towards the coffee table.  Many of the congregants find their own way to contribute to the service by assisting with setting up chairs, passing out worship packets or bringing their own instrument to sit in with the band led by Ben Austin. For those that visit, it is easy to forget that this Church has no door, no walls and no steeple yet somehow has an eerily familiar feeling that all of us are used to in our own parish families. It is clear that this space, mere feet away from a portable toilet and taped together tents, is holy ground.
This past week, the approximately 30 residents of Camp 2 and CSJ were told that they will need to move by March, some as soon as January 31st , as the city continues development of the Canal District adjacent to the new arena. While this was an inevitability, many were caught unprepared by the timeline and are scrambling to seek alternative shelter. Some will be using this as an opportunity to leave the city, some will be moving to other camps in Savannah and others are still trying to determine their path forward.  
At this past Sunday morning's service, amid the uncertainty and fear of the recent news, the 'Church's one foundation' strongly stood firm as virtually every resident asked where the Community of St. Joseph will move and offered their commitment to make sure it not only survives this transition, but prospers. The Community of St. Joseph will continue to meet through February at the end of Rothwell Street on the second and fourth Sunday's of the month at 8:30am - all are welcome. In the meantime, together with the Homeless Authority and and input from a few of our congregants, we will be identifying the next site to continue this tradition that the Rev. Jaime Maury and the Diocese of Georgia began in 2015.  
Many from across the Diocese have reached out in an effort to help. If you feel called to contribute to this particular ministry, here are five key ways to do so:

1. For those that would like to give, we are seeking donations to assist with the transition. Raised funds will go towards assisting residents as needed in their transition as well as establishing the next site for this ministry in the city of Savannah. Donations can be made directly through the Diocese of Georgia, reference CSJ.  

2. Those interested in volunteering for homeless camp clean up days, morning worship services or other needs are asked to contact Casey Lavin at caseytlavin@gmail.com.    

3. Musical talents are always appreciated, especially on a consistent basis. If you feel compelled to contribute to this service with your musical gifts, please reach out to Ben Austin at steed.austin@gmail.com.

4. The Emmaus House welcomes gifts of food (cans or boxed), camping gear or clothing. Please deliver Monday through Friday from 8am-12pm.  

5. Above all, your prayers are needed for this community and the entire homeless community of Savannah.  
God of Compassion, your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus, whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable and ended in isolation of the cross. We hold before you those who are homeless and cold, especially in this winter season. Draw near and comfort them in spirit and bless those who to provide them shelter, food and friendship. We ask this in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Second Round of PPP Funds Available January 13th

Churches will continue to qualify for PPP funds through the CARES Act. 
Congregations that didn't apply during the first round and carry payroll costs and other permissible forgiveness uses, please consider submitting an application. The first step is to reach out to your bank to make a connection on their process for receiving applications. For guidance on preparing an application, please visit: http://georgia.anglican.org/docs/SBAPaycheckProtectionProgramApplicationGuidance_EDOG_ONLINE.pdf
If a congregation received funds during round one, they could apply for a second round of funds if they can demonstrate a 25% loss in revenue through a one quarter comparison from 2019 to 2020, for example, comparing Q2 2019 against Q2 2020. 
They following highlights include: 
  • First round of lending is going out through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). Determine if your bank falls into those categories. The larger banks do not. 
  • Approved use of funds and conditions for the loan and forgiveness remain the same
  • Calculation still 2.5X average monthly payroll costs
If you feel, your congregation is interested in applying and meet the qualification, please reach out to your banking contact immediately. You'll need to pull together financial reports and submit the application as soon as possible before the funds are dried up. 
For questions or support, please reach out to Canon Easterlin (keasterlin@gaepiscopal.org).

Adapting COVID-19 Guidelines
We have not heard many major reports in the news about the spread of COVID-19 through worship services. However, this is partly due to the difficulty of proving that someone contracted the virus in worship and not, for example, at a restaurant. Even though it has not attracted major attention, we have seen many cases of transmission of the virus occurring in congregations that have tried to offer worship as usual.

To date we have been fortunate in the Diocese of Georgia in preventing major outbreaks in our congregations. This updated guidance is offered in response to changing circumstances in our communities. Together we can make it through this pandemic demonstrating our love for our neighbor by not overloading our hospitals and keeping vulnerable persons safe.

Yellow Level
Fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 people per day in your county and hospitals are at less than 85% capacity
  • 25-50 persons for indoor in-person worship depending on size of space.
  • 75 persons for outdoor in-person worship.
  • Communion in one kind. Parishioners coming by to pick up consecrated host permitted.
  • Some singing permitted.
  • Some food and beverage outdoors.
Orange Level
From 25 to 34.9 cases per 100,000 people per day in your county and hospitals are at less than 85% capacity
  • 25-50 persons for indoor in-person worship depending on size of space.
  • 75 persons for outdoor in-person worship.
  • Communion in one kind. Parishioners coming by to pick up consecrated host permitted.
  • No singing permitted.
  • No food or beverages.
Red Level
From 35 to 59.9 cases per 100,000 people per day in your county and hospitals are at less than 90% capacity
  • No indoor in-person worship.
  • 50 persons for outdoor in-person worship.
  • Communion in one kind. Parishioners coming by to pick up consecrated host permitted.

Dark Red Level
Above 60 cases per 100,000 people per day in your county OR hospitals are at greater than 90% capacity.
  • No in person gatherings. Worship offered online only (livestream, pre-recorded, Zoom, etc.).
  • Livestreamed or pre-recorded worship with a crew of up to 10 persons.
  • Communion in one kind. Parishioners coming by to pick up consecrated host permitted.
  • Singing if soloist or a singers from the same household are the only ones present when recording.

Corrected links for guidance and information are found below.

The guidance is based on the case counts in your county as reported online here:

And the hospitalizations in your area of the state as reported online here:

Once your congregation moves to a more restrictive level, dropping to lower restrictions depends on
both the case counts and hospitalizations staying below the thresholds for 14 days.

Religious Coalition Offers Virtual MLK Celebration

The Progressive Religious Coalition in Augusta is presenting it's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration online this year and is open to all. The speaker for the occasion, Dr. Penial E. Joseph, holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also the founding director of the LBJ School's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD). His career focus has been on "Black Power Studies," which encompasses interdisciplinary fields such as Africana studies, law and society, women's and ethnic studies, and political science.

Prior to joining the UT faculty, Dr. Joseph was a professor at Tufts University, where he founded the school's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to promote engaged research and scholarship focused on the ways issues of race and democracy affect people's lives.

For more information and where to view the program, click here.

Community of St. Mary Offers Racial Healing Virtual Event
The Community of St. Mary is offering a virtual event with Dr. Catherine Meeks on January 30, 2021. 
Racial healing requires us to engage our heads and hearts as we work to liberate ourselves from the stories and structures that cause us to focus more on differences than what we hold in common. This presentation will challenge the audience to explore what they are willing to let go of in order to be racially healed and to help in healing our country as well as exploring concrete practices that can help in exploring the inner community.

Catherine Meeks, PhD, is Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. Prior to the center's opening she chaired its precursor, Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism for the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. A sought-after teacher and workshop leader, Catherine brings four decades of experience to the work of transforming the dismantling racism work in Atlanta. The core of her work has been with people who have been marginalized because of economic status, race, gender or physical ability as they pursue liberation, justice and access to resources that can help lead them to health, wellness and a more abundant life. This work grows out of her understanding of her call to the vocation of teacher as well as her realization that all of humanity is one family which God desires to unite.

For more information and registration click here.

Across the Diocese
Volunteers from Christ Church, Frederica pack food bags for Backpack Buddies.

The Rev. Jim Said officiates at the funeral for Chris Phelps at St. Augustine of Canterbury in Augusta (left), and the Rev. Canon Varner and Jay and Ethan White sing at the Rev. Stan White's funeral in Valdosta, GA (right).

The Rev. Aimee Baxter of St. Thomas Isle of Hope, Savannah, had a special worship assistant for the morning - 
her daughter Isabel!

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Americus on Sunday

On Sunday we will stream Morning Prayer at 
10 a.m. from Calvary Episcopal Church in Americus with Bishop Logue as officiant and preacher, and assisted by the clergy and a lay reader.

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

January 17 - 23
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Augusta, especially, the Church of the Atonement and Christ Church. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Augusta, especially Advent Lutheran Church, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and The Church of the Resurrection Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the Church of the Transfiguration (
La Transfiguración) in Banî.

January 24 - January 30
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Augusta, especially, Good Shepherd 
and St. Alban's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Augusta, especially the Catholic Churches of St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Joseph, and St. Mary on the Hill. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Barahona Jesus the Pilgrim (Jesús Peregrino), Redemption (La Redención), and Lamb of God (Cordero de Dios).

Additional Prayer Cycles (Updated on December 17, 2020)
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 Morning Prayer online at 10 a.m from Calvary Episcopal Church in Americus. 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!

Simply Beautiful

The Psalmist calls us to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness" (Ps 96:9). In our Anglican tradition, we hold beauty to be significant and our creative Flower Guilds and vestment makers are part of that heritage in which we offer God beauty in thanks for the artistry we see all around us in nature and in works created by others. Maggie Lyons, my Executive Assistant, created this minimalist image of the Chapel of Our Savior at Honey Creek. I offer it here as part of appreciating the world in which we live is not just seeing the brokenness, but looking harder to see the simple beauty around us. Then we move from not simply seeing, but seeing what we are seeing and finding God in the process. -Bishop Frank Logue

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