September 23, 2020
Volume 10, No. 55
IN THIS ISSUE
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Celebrate All Saints' Day with a
Diocesan Choir
All Saints' Day is one of the Principal Feasts of the Church. On this day we remember all the saints, known and unknown, and we are reminded of our own participation in the Communion of Saints. 

This year, we will be celebrating our connections with all the saints through music. As we did for Bishop Logue's Ordination, we will be creating a Virtual Choir. This time we  will sing Hymn 287, "For All the Saints." This hymn has options to sing harmony on some of the verses but all are welcome to sing melody for the entire song if preferred.

In order to sing in this choir, 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 Sunday night, October 18 in order to incorporate it into the final choir.

In order to participate, you need the full instructions, which can be found here: http://bit.ly/ForAllTheSaintsChoir. The instructions include links to guide tracks, rehearsal tracks, an example video, 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!

Open Enrollment to Begin October 12

Annual Enrollment for Health Insurance is open October 12 - October 30! Start making a plan today for any changes or additions.

Please find the details for Annual Enrollment below on prices and resources to review plans on the Diocesan website here. Premiums increased 4-5.5% across all available plans. The national average increase for 2021 is 5.3%. Note that 86% of our rates are 0-9% below the Medical Trust average. The Diocese of Georgia is in line with national increases due to participation and usage of CDHP health insurance plans, however, we could see improvement on the use of preventative health care visits across our enrollees. The Diocese receives data on health trends for our participants and we continue to track at lower costs for common diagnoses, meaning our folks are going to the doctor when needed and getting earlier care.

If you are enrolled, or need to enroll, read the details in entirety and make your changes by October 30th. If you do not desire to change your existing coverage, you are not required to take action and your plan will roll over into the coming year.

If you are turning 65 in 2021 you will become eligible for the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Plans. It is recommended that you make the shift into the corresponding PPO plan to speed up the transition to the corresponding MSP plan. However, this is not required. Further guidance on the MSP plans is below. Please be in contact with Canon Easterlin for any questions at keasterlin@gaepiscopal.org.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Members will access the Annual Enrollment website with the same credentials (username and password) they created to access their benefits information on MyCPG Accounts. It is important for all members to create an account on MyCPG Accounts prior to Annual Enrollment, if they have not already done so. For assistance, employees may contact CPG Client Services at (800) 480-9967, Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM ET, or email mtcustserv@cpg.org.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with Cigna Behavioral Health  

In addition to the health plans, we offer a stand-alone EAP with Cigna Behavioral Health that you and your related entities may offer to employees who opt out of medical coverage. (Employees who enroll in Medical Trust health coverage are automatically enrolled in Cigna EAP benefits.) 

Enrolling for the First Time?

Eligible employees and dependents who are not currently enrolled in a Medical Trust plan may enroll during Annual Enrollment for the 2021 plan year. Please submit an enrollment form to me as this process must be handled by the plan administrator.
 
For any questions please reach out Canon Easterlin (keasterlin@gaepiscopal.org) or Daniel Garrick (dgarrick@gaepiscopal.org).

The Rev. Becca Stevens Visits Epiphany Tonight
Social entrepreneur, Episcopal priest and a CNN Hero of the Year for 2016, will be with Epiphany, Savannah, this evening, Wednesday September 23 at 6:00 pm, for their Wednesday evening Zoom. Becca is the founder and president of Thistle Farms in Nashville, Tennessee. Thistle Farms' mission is to heal, empower, and employ female survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.

The Rev. Michael Chaney, Priest-in-Charge of Epiphany, said of her visit, "Becca brings an exciting message about the hope for transformation through God's redemptive grace.  The story of Thistle Farms is as engaging as it is inspiring.  In this time of anxiety and division Becca's work shows how we can build bridges of reconciliation." 

To join the Zoom call, click here.

For more on Thistle Farms visit: https://thistlefarms.org.



Diocesan Online Godly Play this Sunday
Godly Play is a Montessori-based curriculum that focuses on telling stories using physical materials and allowing participants to play and work with the stories at their own level. 

This coming Sunday, September 27, Canon Joshua Varner will present The Great Family during which children (and their associated adults) can gather to hear the story of Abraham and Sarah and reflect on it together, sharing their ideas, and wonderings. These sessions are appropriate for young people of all ages, and many adults find that the Godly Play method allows them to think about stories they have known for a long time in new and different ways.

The story will be streamed at 11:00am after the morning worship on the Diocesan Facebook page. Please contact Canon Varner at  jvarner@gaepiscopal.org with your questions.

Thriving in the Vine Deadlines


Ministry reports are due to Liz Williams (lwilliams@gaepiscopal.org) by October 1.

Registration deadline for delegates is October 21.

Registration for the 199th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, Thriving in the Vine, is now open. Due to safety concerns for large public gatherings, the 199th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will meet online on the evening of November 6th and the morning of the November 7th.

Registration and additional information will be available online at http://convention.georgiaepiscopal.org and through the Thursday convention newsletter. 

Register Today: Down to the Park to Pray on Saturday
Downtothepark Appling

The next Down to the Park to Pray gathering will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 10am at George L. Smith State Park, near Statesboro. Registration is required by 9/24 and group size is limited, so register soon! If needed, the Creation Care Commission will add an additional service in the afternoon to accommodate more people. More information and registration can be found here: https://forms.gle/NjZDb4r4ZUMwZ97k9.

Virtual event to strengthen faith

Whether you have been to a Cursillo Retreat or not, the Cursillo Community of the Diocese of Georgia wants to strengthen your faith even while gathering in person is not possible. Cursillo is hosting an online gathering on Sunday, October 4, at 1 p.m. 

The Cursillo leadership team says they know that there is not a safe way to have a Cursillo weekend during Phase 1 restrictions on gatherings.  The group prayed and talked and God led them to offer a fun time of music, fellowship and encouragement. An Ultreya, a Spanish word, derived from the original Latin, meaning Onward, is the name given in Cursillo to gathering together groups from a particular region and this Grand Ultreya is offered to the whole Diocese of Georgia community.

To view the invitation, click here.

Spalding ordination this Saturday at 11 a.m.
God willing and the people consenting, Bishop Logue will ordain Rita Spalding to the Sacred Order of Deacons at 11 a.m. on September 26 at St. Mark's, Brunswick. She is an attorney and a Glynn County Magistrate Judge long active in the the community. She currently serves as the Education for Ministry (EfM) Coordinator for the Diocese of Georgia. 

All ordinations will comply with the guidelines and recommendations of public officials and healthcare professionals. You can still participate in the service by watching the livestream. To view the ordination of Rita Spalding, visit the St. Mark's, Brunswick Facebook Page.

Churches finding ways to safely worship and serve their community in pandemic
We've seen how creative our parishes have gotten during the pandemic, and rejoice in that creativity!




      Christ Church Dublin held it's first outdoor service with the Rev. Gary Abbott presiding (left),
while families enjoyed stretching out in the garden. Church is much more comfortable on a picnic blanket (right)!



St. Francis of the Islands, Savannah (left) used sidewalk chalk to help spread out the congregation for their second outdoor service. The Rev. Jim Elliott at St. James, Quitman (right) upgraded his typical Sunday gear for a raincoat for last Sunday's rainy outdoor service.
 

Holy Comforter, Martinez installed a Little Library since the local library has had to reduce their hours (left), and All Saints', Thomasville assisted in the Pep Wall at the local hospital (right).

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Louisville on Sunday
This Sunday, we will stream Morning Prayer at 10 a.m. from St. Mary Magdalene in Louisville with Bishop Logue officiating and preaching Morning Prayer.


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 2020 one year prayer cycle is now online here: 2020 Prayer Cycle

September 20 - 26
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Paul the 
Apostle and St. Bartholomew's Chapel. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially the Catholic congregations of St. Frances Cabrini and Saints Peter and Paul as well as St. Paul's Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Christ the Savior (Cristo Salvador) in Santiago.

September 27 - October 3
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Swainsboro, Good Shepherd. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Swainsboro, especially Holy Trinity Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Emmanuel (
Emmanuel) in Santiago.

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 Friday, Bishop Logue and most of the diocesan staff will meet with Diocesan Council. This pre-convention meeting is always an important one and will give Council members to use the online platform that will host our online convention in November.

Sunday, Bishop Logue will officiate and preach Morning Prayer from St. Mary, Louisville. To find the service, visit the Diocesan Facebook page or the Diocese of Georgia YouTube page.

Throughout the remainder of 2020 Bishop Logue will continue to record Diocesan worship from different congregations across the Diocese. To see the calendar for the remainder of 2020, click here.

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!

Team Meeting
Honey Creek had a team meeting full of active participants!

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