March 3, 2021
Volume 11, No. 26
IN THIS ISSUE
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Registration is open
for Honey Creek Family Summer Camp!
"How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!" 
- Psalm 133:1
A few weeks ago we invited you to let us know about your interest in a different kind of summer camp this year, one that is geared toward allowing families of all types to experience Honey Creek this summer. Thanks to the interest expressed, we are happy to announce that registration is now open for three summer Family Camp sessions! These sessions will take place June 4-6, June 18-20, and July 16-18. Cost varies depending on the number of people attending and the number of lodge rooms occupied.

This camp will be supported by Canon Joshua Varner, along with other Diocesan staff and experienced youth and children's ministers from across the Diocese. Families will have activities they can do together, during each weekend, as well as some activities that youth and older children can participate in to give everyone some space. All activities will be structured so as to minimize the potential spread of Covid-19, while still allowing as much of a camp experience as possible!

This type of offering allows us to expand our traditional age range. All families, whether individuals, couples, or families with children are welcome to sign up!
Please contact Canon Varner at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org with your questions! We are looking forward to a different kind of summer camp, including the whole family!

The Rev. Jerry V. Crook, III (1946-2021)

The people of the Diocese of Georgia mourn the death of the Rev. Jerry Vardaman Crook, III  who died on February 26, with his wife, Sandra, at his side in their home in Memphis, Tennessee. He was born on October 10, 1946, in Memphis. He was a graduate of  Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennessee. Crook was a rare legally blind person to navigate seminary, at General Theological Seminary in New York, and the ordination process. He celebrated the liturgy and delivered homilies from his prodigious memory. Crook served churches in the Diocese of Georgia in Albany, Americus, Augusta, Hinesville, and Richmond Hill.

He most recently served in Memphis when he was called by the Bishop of the Diocese of West Tennessee to lead congregations of All Saints, St. Elizabeth's, and Church of the Annunciation. Jerry officially retired in 2019 but continued serving.

Bishop Frank Logue said, "Jerry was so gifted by the Holy Spirit and lit with the light of Christ that his joy naturally overflowed in word and deed. He will be greatly missed."

The Rev. Jerry Crook's burial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 2 at St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Memphis. Live streaming will be available. Details may be found at stmarysmemphis.org.

COVID-19 Guidance for In-Person Worship Revised in Lent

With cases dropping, and every county where we have an Episcopal Church down in the yellow area in our guidance, Bishop Logue announced some slight revisions made possible by experience and input from public health officials. Lengthening the total time present to an hour indoors and 1.5 hours outdoors, adding the possibility of a nursery, and processions indoors (still with no singing in procession) are among the changes. 

Stability in planning for Easter
Given the input from public health officials, this is the guidance in effect through at least Easter and we are hopeful that it will remain in effect as the cases remain down. Here is a simplified copy of the PDF that shows only this guidance in effect now:


What if there is another surge?
The color-coded guidance chart will come back into effect if cases spike again and we face a new surge of COVID-19. The difference will be that, based on experience, the hospitalization numbers will no longer be used as a criteria. If there is a spike of cases in your area, checking the data on your hospital, to take into account if they are overwhelmed, remains prudent. We will no longer use regional hospital data to guide our color-coded system, which will be based solely on case counts per 100,000 people. Revised color-coded chart

New Solar Panels Ribbon Cutting TODAY

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 10th Bishop of Georgia, The Rt. Rev. Scott A. Benhase, pursued the project to model sustainability efforts for other congregations and to demonstrate the importance of clean energy solutions for the community. The Bishop mentioned that this installation will open the door to having conversations about climate action, not only with the congregations in the Diocese, but also in the communities surrounding the churches. 

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.

"We are caretakers of creation, entrusted by God with such great resources. Harnessing the energy of the sun is a wonderful way to use our gifts to lessen our impact on our planet," the 11th Bishop of Georgia, The Rt. Rev. Frank S. Logue said. "We are so grateful for a generous grant that allowed us to be part of a larger movement toward renewable energy."

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

Survey for Leadership Ministries

CDI weekend The Leadership Ministry Team and the Diocesan Council are conducting a review of all our leadership initiatives, primarily to learn what is working well, what is not working, and what improvements can be made. 

How are we doing? This is a question that the  Leadership Ministries Team and the Diocesan Council are hoping you can help us determine.
 
In particular, the Church Development Institute (CDI) a program which falls within the Leadership Ministries of the Diocese and supported financially in part through the Diocese is presently undergoing a review as to its overall effectiveness. 
 
Both committees want to learn how well the program has been in assisting congregations across the Diocese in building leadership and congregational development skills based on best practices, as well as in relation to the program's perceived value as an investment
 
This survey is one means which Leadership Ministries and the Diocesan Council are attempting to gather information to assist in analyzing the overall effectiveness of CDI. If you have been a participant in CDI, please take a few moments to complete the survey in an effort for the Diocese to provide programs based on best practices to both Lay and Clergy of the Diocese which are meaningful, relevant to the needs of the Diocese, and worthy of investment.

To take the survey, click here.

Resources for Lent and Eastertide

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

Beginning Monday in Easter week, the Diocese of Georgia will offer a 1Book1Diocese read of Presiding BishopMichael 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.

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, Final Week
 
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.

The Diocese will offer youth the opportunity to participate in a three-week series on prayer. Next week will be the last 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 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.

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.


Across the Diocese

 
Parishoners from Grace, Waycross puts together "Sacks for Saturday," a ministry that provides meals for students in need at a local elementary school. The ministry costs about $150 per week, but generous donors have given both enough food and money to sustain the ministry for the next six months.
St. Paul's, Augusta gathers after the service on Zoom for "About Your Sermon" with the Rev. Dr. Bunny Williams.

   
The Rev. Aaron Brewer of King of Peace, Kingsland, leads a small group through the newly built outdoor Stations of the Cross.
    
The Rev. Guillermo Arboleda sets up for last Sunday's online service at St. Matthew's in Savannah.

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Savannah on Sunday

On Sunday we will stream Morning Prayer at 
10 a.m. from St. Peter's in Savannah with Bishop Logue as officiant and preacher, assisted by the Rev. Hunt Priest and the Rev. Kelly Steele, and readers from St. Peter's.


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

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.

March 14 - 20
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Cordele, Christ Church and for our
ecumenical partners in Cordele, especially St. Theresa Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Dajabon, especially Holy Spirit the Comforter (Espi╠üritu Consoladorand Holy Word (Verbo Divina).


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. Peter's in Savannah. 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!

The Bishop and His Drone

Bishop Logue getting in some good drone time in preparation for the ribbon cutting for the new solar panels.

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