May 13, 2020
Volume 10, No. 36
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Striving for Justice
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the 
dignity of every human being?  
Baptismal Covenant, Book of Common Prayer p. 305

On May 8, Glynn County and surrounding area church leaders gathered at the Brunswick Courthouse with members of the Glynn County community in a public demonstration against the handling of the case of Ahmaud Arbery. On the day of the arrest of the suspects, 29 local church leaders, including clergy representing all six Episcopal congregations in Glynn County,  issued a joint  statement on Facebook asking for action. "We join together with one voice to demand that justice be done, justice that is impartial and swift."

The Rev. Tom Purdy, who joined the demonstration, wrote  "The shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery has been a terrible occurrence in our community of Glynn County. It does not represent what this community is about." Bishop-Elect Logue shared the Facebook post of the statement, and asked for prayers both for the Arbery family, and for those who committed the crime, saying, "I join with so many others in praying for his family and praying for those who chased and shot him and their families as well in my prayers each morning and evening."

Bishop Benhase, in his most recent eCrozier, wrote, "What's clear and indisputable is that Mr. Arbery didn't deserve this fate. Two white men, acting as vigilantes, killed a black man they thought might be someone who looked like someone they'd seen on a surveillance video."

Episcopal News Service posted an article on the involvement of the Episcopal Church in calling for justice for Ahmaud Arbery. That article can be viewed here.  

A Collect for Social Justice
Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 260)
Glynn County Backpack Buddies Carry On
As we've learned in the time of COVID-19, our churches are figuring out how to continue to serve their communities, with the need for food higher than ever. Member of Christ Church Frederica, Susan Shipman, has lead the charge for the Glynn County Backpack Buddies program for the last nine years. Now an ecumenical effort, in pre-COVID times Shipman led the charge in serving 440 meals to students across the county. When schools were cancelled for in-person classes, students weren't able to get their breakfast and lunch during the week, which meant her meal count has grown to 800. 

Backpack Buddies was created to make sure students who would typically go without meals on the weekend would have food to eat when not at school. Now that school is out, the need has grown. Shipman usually gets her supplies from the local food bank, but with a higher level of need in the county, she's having to find other streams of supplies. Thankfully with every ask she's put to the community, donors have responded and filled the need. "We have many very generous donors who know we've had this program going for a long time, and they've really stepped up when they knew we were going to be packing more bags and serving more children," Shipman said.

Shipman's heart for service has also made it's mark on the Diocese of Georgia. She was a key member in creating that development plan for Honey Creek, working with key diocesan staff members and committees.
Veitinger and Wilson Ordained Priests
The ordination of the Rev. Kevin  Veitinger and the Rev. Nathan Wilson to the priesthood on Saturday, May 9, was similar to many other ordinations, except for the different form of participation. Viewers were able to watch the ordination livestream on Facebook while a small number of people made up the physical presence at St. Michael's and All Angels.

Photos from the ordination are below. To view the full service, visit the YouTube page of St. Michael and All Angels .

The small group gathered in the building for the ordination.

The Rev. Victor Moreno, who was ordained Deacon on May 2, reads the Gospel
The Rev. Kevin Kelly, Rector of St. Michael & All Angels, preaches to the congregation gathered online.

Social distancing congratulations after the service!

From left to right: the Rev. Michael Chaney, the Rev. Kevin Veitinger, the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase, 
the Rev. Nathan Wilson, and the Rev. Kevin Kelly.

Bishop's Eastertide Bible Study   
Bishop Benhase will lead a diocesan-wide Bible Study during Eastertide. It will be available on both  the Diocese's Facebook page and our YouTube channel each Wednesday at 11 a.m. Each session will be pre-recorded, so there will not be an opportunity to ask questions in real time, but the Bishop encourages folks to ask questions on the Diocese's Facebook page and he will respond to them following each session. Below is the schedule. Please join us!  
May 13  -  Closing  Exhortations  (4:2-9)  
Acknowledgment of the Philippians' Gift  (4:10-20)  
Benediction  (4:21-23)  

For a full outline of the sessions, click here.
Augusta University Missioner Announced
The Rev. Amy Bradley with Shelley Martin
As the Rev. Amy Bradley leaves her work as Campus Missioner for Augusta University, the program will have continuity with Shelley Martin taking that new call. Martin has served as an intern with Canterbury Club for the past year . Bradley said of the new missioner,  "I personally can't think of a better person to take this ministry and run with it." She went on to name that Shelley is "warm and compassionate, a good listener, deeply committed to her faith, and she doesn't shrink back from holding administrators and church leadership accountable for their support of young adult ministry."

Join us (virtually) for the Consecration
Video submission deadline this Friday, May 15

Choir for All Singers

As we prepare for the Ordination and Consecration of the XI Bishop of Georgia, we want to invite you to take part in our worship. First and foremost, you can do this by praying for and with our new Bishop, and tuning in to the Ordination online on May 30 (more details to come).

We are also excited to offer new Virtual Choir opportunities as well! Our Bishop-elect, Frank Logue, has requested that we sing Hymn 370, "I bind unto myself today" as part of a virtual procession. 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 our guide track (along with rehearsal tracks if you would like them) 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 Friday, May 15 in order to incorporate it into the final choir.
In order to participate, you need the full instructions, which can be found here: . 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.

Youth and Youth Progams Alumni Choir
In addition to the processional hymn that all singers can participate in, we are also specifically encouraging youth and youth programs alumni to join together to sing a few songs that have been popular at Youth Events for a long time!
For the Consecration, we would love to have our teenagers and Youth Program Alumni come together to sing "All in All." For the following day, which is the Feast of Pentecost, we would like to invite them to sing "Light the Fire."
The full instructions for youth and youth program alumni to sing are available here: . As with the processional choir, our deadline for submissions is Friday, May 15.

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!

Read the instructions carefully before you record anything! 
Contact Canon Varner at with your questions.

PPP Webinar 

On Monday, May 18th at 2:00 pm, Canon Easterlin will host a webinar for those churches who have received the PPP loan. The webinar will cover tracking and preparing for the forgiveness application. Within our diocese, approximately 30% of churches received a loan. Of the churches who did apply, 100% were approved. To date, the average loan size is $46,000.

If you have any additional questions, including submitting a new application, contact Canon Easterlin.
Farewell Parade
When you're a retiring bishop in the middle of a global pandemic, your farewell celebrations suddenly take on a new look. The Savannah Convocation clergy, diocesan staff, and others in the Savannah area came together to provide Bishop Benhase with his very own parade, with some cars going so far as to blast the Bishop's beloved John Prine. 

Bishop Benhase Farewell Parade
Bishop Benhase farewell parade reactions

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia on Wednesdays and Sundays

The clergy and staff of the diocese are continuing to provide Evening Prayer Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Morning Prayer on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Each liturgy has officiants, readers, and special music from around 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.
Upcoming Ordinations
As we have seen across the board, despite changes in how we worship, the Church remains one.
In that spirit, we announce the following ordinations:

Vocational diaconate
July 24, 2020 - Rita Spalding

June 27, 2020 - the Rev. Leeann Culbreath

All ordinations will comply with the guidelines and recommendations of public officials and healthcare professionals. You can still participate in each service by watching the livestream through each respective Facebook page. 
Clergy Cottage Opening Soon
The Clergy Cottage in Saluda, NC will be available to rent beginning May 23, 2020. Please e-mail Maggie Lyons if you are interested in booking. 

Due to COVID-19, there are significant measures being taken to increase the safety of guests, but please be aware that guests assume some risk in booking:
                - Bookings will be every other week with one week between guests to limit exposure
         - Guests should sanitize upon arrival and before leaving including wiping down surfaces and                     opening windows/doors to air out the space
                - Guests should bring their own linens (sheets/towels/washcloths)

Click here for more information on the cottage.

Click here for the COVID-19 guidance in North Carolina.
Around the Diocese

The Rev. Larry Jesion of St. Michael's, Waynesboro visited parishioners for Mother's Day and gifted them with a rose.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta was greeted by one of their biggest fans (left), and members of St. John and St. Mark, Albany surprised one of their graduates, Blake Thornhill (right), with a parade by his grandparent's house. He will attend Georgia Southern in the fall and major in automotive engineering.

Dr. Marcia Hood, Director of Music and Organist at St. Paul's, Albany, shares hymns from her home. 
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

May 10 - 16
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Hinesville, St. Philip's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Hinesville, especially St. Stephen's Catholic Church . In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Matthew ( San Mateo) in Jalonga.

May 17 - May 23
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Jesup, St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Jesup, especially St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Mount of the Transfiguration ( Monte de la Transfiguración) in Jarabacoa

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

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.
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 We want to hear from you!
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's the Bishop!
Bishop Benhase always trying to find his best angle after the ordinations on Saturday.
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