July 29, 2020
Volume 10, No. 47
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Staying Connected Provides 
Virtual Community
Some of the prayers from Friday night.
The first ever 
digital  youth event, Staying Connected, provided the opportunity for youth across the diocese and beyond to reunite with friends, make new ones, and offer a safe space to talk about their faith in this unprecedented time. 

The staff was made up of youth, with a few adults sprinkled in for good measure, and facilitated by Canon Varner. Each night opened by singing songs that were familiar from youth events and summer camp, which set the tone for the rest of the night. Much like other events, youth presented two talks each of the three nights covering home, technology, prayer, justice, relationships, and transitions. After the talks, the large group was broken up into small groups through the breakout rooms, where they would be able to discuss the talks and respond together.

The second night provided the time for a coffee house! After talks and small group time, the floor was open for the group to share their talents with their friends. We heard songs, poetry, and saw some beautiful art. The night ended in Compline, where groups contributed prayers they had written during their small group time. 

The last night provided the time to reflect on how relationships had changed since the pandemic since they weren't face to face with their peers each day anymore. Many commented on how their friendships has evolved into stronger relationships, or that they were able to get away from toxic situations, which provided relief. The last activity in the small groups was to offer encouragement to someone they knew. If they had one thing to say to someone, what would it be? Participants wrote their messages on paper and showed them to the group during Compline. 

Staff member Camille Cook of St. Thomas, Thomasville said, "I loved the event because it was very eye opening, not only for participants, but also for the staff. It helped bring everyone together as if we were back at Honey Creek." Callie Cranford of Trinity, Cochran agreed: "The event was an awesome way to bring Honey Creek to people in a virtual way and allowed for people of all ages to experience Christ, bond with friends, and share experiences through love." 
Hurricane Season in the Time of COVID-19
 As you have prepared your congregation for new guidelines for worship in the time of COVID-19, you need to also begin planning for hurricane season. While the coast is especially vulnerable, we know that tornadoes spawned by a storm heading up through Georgia or even western Alabama can be just as devastating. There are some critical steps you can take that will alleviate last minute concerns. 

Here are the recommendations for those in the path of a storm.  
  1. Monitor evacuation announcements and establish plans to evacuate as necessary. Many counties and organization have apps to send push notifications to your phone- consider downloading them
  2. Communicate your evacuation plans with another individual 
  3. Secure and travel with all important documents (i.e. health records, social security card, passport and other critical files)
  4. Video and photograph the contents of property and rooms in your dwelling 
  5. Back up IT equipment and travel with small and manageable valuables
  6. Travel with food, water, medication, and back up chargers for your phones
  7. If evacuations are not called, secure 3-4 days' worth of food that does not require cooking and water. Ensure you have an emergency hand-crank or battery operated radio to hear updates and announcements in the event of loss of power 
  8. Review Ready.gov for more best tips on disaster preparedness https://www.ready.gov 

In the event of a voluntary or mandatory evacuation, the Diocesan House will close. A status of the office will be posted to our social media channels. If you have any additional questions, or in the case of emergency, contact Canon Rev. Loren Lasch at llasch@gaepiscopal.org

Hurricane Preparedness for Your Congregation 
In the case of an incoming hurricane, there are steps you can take to prepare your congregation, both the members and  your physical space. These suggestions are not an exhaustive list, but a good start. For more information, visit  our website for the Disaster Preparedness Manual at the bottom of our resources page. 

Make an Inventory List
Forms like this set of  Church Inventory Forms   offer a way to get down serial numbers for your more expensive office equipment and other key data that will assist if the church suffers damage. Once forms are completed, make a few hard copies to share among leaders. The best practice is also to scan the forms and place as a Google Doc, in DropBox, or another online storage site so they can be accessible from any computer once the storm has passed. In addition to these paper forms, record a smart phone video of church offices, narrating the equipment, and get photos of the church organ or other high cost items and place these at an online storage site. These will be of invaluable assistance in making an insurance claim.

Identify Potentially Vulnerable Parishioners
Identify senior citizens, disabled persons, single mothers, and those living alone. Add any families living in trailers, or in low lying areas prone to flooding. Have a plan for who will contact these persons in order to ensure that they are in safe areas. To the degree we can, the Diocese will assist in identifying locations in safe areas with churches and homes open to those who need assistance. Make sure everyone you assist in leaving their homes has needed medicines.

Update AlertMedia Contacts
The Diocese will once again use the  AlertMedia  system to remain in touch with parish leaders. Clergy, Senior Wardens, and Junior Wardens should always keep the Diocese up to date on email and phone numbers.
The above are a few minimal steps you can take now. If a storm path looks like it could impact your congregation and you don't have a plan, the Diocese of Southeast Florida has created emergency plans with their   11th Hour Checklist. 
Creating a Better Plan
We do have time and this latest storm should serve as a reminder that every congregation needs a Disaster Preparedness Plan. To help in this process, we recommend this guide from Episcopal Relief and Development: Disaster Preparedness Planning Guide.

Livestream Update
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.

Spot the Scam: Giving Edition
Source: Church Pension Group

We have heard that additional emails that look like they are from Bishop Logue or the Diocese are once again making the rounds.  Please remember the Diocese will never ask you for direct payments unless it's through our secure transactions on Vanco or Paypal. We do not ask for wire transfers, gift cards, venmo, or other methods of giving. Always check the email address. If it does not end in @gaepiscopal.org is NOT an email from the Diocese and is being masked by a scammer.

The two most common email scams we see are phishing emails and business emails. They always exhibit a sense of urgency and encourage you to click on a link that is harmful to your computer and your personal information. 

 If ever in doubt about an email sent to you, call the Diocese directly for verification. 
A Toe Tapper of a Song
If you haven't seen it yet, the Rev. Lonnie Lacy took social media by storm by performing a parody of a song from the musical Hamilton, You'll Be Back. His lyrics hit a nerve with folks all over the internet, with over 500k views so far on YouTube. When speaking with WCTV reporters, he said,  " I hoped the words and the sense of joy would get the message across. To me, that's not just an idle hope; it's a promise of my faith."

For the full story on WCTV, click here. To view the video, or just watch it on a loop, click below.

Dancing Priest Does Hamilton | CHURCH PARODY |
Dancing Priest Does Hamilton | CHURCH PARODY | "You'll Be Back"

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Douglas on Sunday
This Sunday, we will stream Morning Prayer at 10 a.m. from St. Andrew's, Douglas with music from other Episcopal Churches in the diocese. 

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.
Around the Diocese - Livestream Continues

The Rev. Nathan Wilson at Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah (left), and the Rev. Dr. Gary Abbott at St. Paul's, Albany (right).

The Rev. Guillermo Arboleda of St. Matthew's, Savannah

The Rev.  Leslie Dellenbarger of St.John's, Bainbridge (right), and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Taylor of Church of the Holy Comforter,  Martinez .
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

July 26-August 1
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation on St. Simons Island, Christ Church and Holy Nativity. We also pray for our ecumenical partners on the island, especially Lord of Life
Lutheran Church and St. William's Catholic Church. In our c ompanion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Barnabas ( San Bernabé ) in Pizarrete.

August 2-August 8
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation on Jekyll Island, St. Richard of Chichester. We also pray for our ecumenical partners on the island, especially Jekyll Island Methodist Church and St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Puerto Plata, especially Christ the King (Christo Rey), St. Francis of Assisi 
(San Francisco de Asís), and St. Simon the Apostle  (San Simón Apóstol).

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 Morning Prayer from St. Andrew's, Douglas for the livestream on the Diocese of Georgia Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

Canon Varner is on vacation until August 3.

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!
Christ Church Masks Up
The Berry family helps with the mask making for Christ Church, Savannah. For the full story of how Christ Church is masking up,  click here.
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