February 3, 2021
Volume 11, No. 22
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Virtual Conference brings renewed energy to Christian Formation Educators
Last week, Canon Varner joined with Christian Formation Educators from the Diocese of Georgia and beyond for a week of learning, reflection, and online community for the annual Forma conference. Forma, a ministry of the Episcopal Church Foundation, is the Network for Christian Formation for the Episcopal Church and beyond. Each year the conference brings together speakers and presenters for a week long conference. This year the event spanned three days, all virtual. The theme, Embodying Spiritual Practices, included topics that covered family practices at home, how to teach youth to use social media as an evangelism tool, overviews on new curriculums, how to practice stillness, and more!

Laura Evans of St. Andrews, Darien was able to participate this year saying, " I found attending the FORMA conference virtually to be fascinating. Because we were virtual, alongside the presenter was a chat box with ongoing commentary by participants. The chat was sometimes nearly as rich as the presentation, with ideas, shared experiences, and links that added depth to each workshop. It's as if participants were more fully present than they would have been even in person, because that much chatter couldn't happen while someone was speaking or we wouldn't hear the speaker at all! The workshops I enjoyed the most and that I will carry back to my congregation were about spiritual growth, and how we can share our own spiritual journeys with others, as we follow, walk alongside, or lead each other. To live a life centered on God is to live and move and act with God at all times during the days, weeks, and months. I'm eager to share this with others in my parish."

The Rev. Helen White of Christ Church, Savannah, was looking forward to learning from different speakers and picking up ideas to use in her ministry. "Though the suffering during Covidtide is real, the fact that the annual Forma conference had to 'go virtual' was a true gift. The wonders of technology enabled me to attend multiple workshops, even after the event, thereby gaining more wisdom from the diverse speakers and rich topics that made up the conference. The conference inspired me to seek more collaboration with my lay and ordained colleagues in the Diocese of Georgia and beyond as we engage the ongoing mission of faith formation for all ages. I so appreciate Forma as an excellent source for renewal, community and growth in ministry."

Here are some of the Rev. White's favorite speakers and resources:

If you're interested in learning more about Forma and other resources for Christian Formation, contact Canon Varner at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org.

In 2021 Honey Creek Summer Camp is for Families 
(with and without children)
"How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!" - Psalm 133:1

It's hard to imagine summer camp without thinking about children from around the Diocese sleeping in dorms away from their parents, and having a great time! In a world in which an airborne virus can cause potentially lethal illness, however, bringing young people together and having them stay in the same place is simply too risky. So we are exploring alternatives! 

This summer we are anticipating offering several weekend "family camp" sessions, each led by Joshua Varner, Canon for Children and Youth, and Diocesan staff. Families will come to Honey Creek and stay in lodge rooms, thus reducing the risk of large groups of campers staying in the same place overnight. For families that include children, there will be masked and distanced activities during the day that will allow parents and children some time apart from one another, as well as activities that families can do together.

This type of offering allows us to expand our traditional age range. All families, whether individuals, couples, or families with children are included in our planning. We need your help to shape these offerings! Please fill out the survey below to let us know about your interest in coming to Honey Creek with your family!

Diocese to Offer Daily Reflections in Lent
This year the Diocese will be offering daily reflections during Lent, written by both clergy and laity throughout the Diocese. Monday through Friday will be reflections on the Daily Office readings, Saturday reflections will be focused on a spiritual practice that you may be able to incorporate into your routine, and Sunday will be dedicated to a reflection of a piece of music. These reflections may be used as a resource for your congregation or as a personal guide through Lent.

The reflections will begin on Ash Wednesday and carry through to Easter Sunday. These reflections continue with the theme for November's convention. Jesus gave this image of him 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.

Look for more information about Thriving in the Vine: Daily Reflections for Lent as we move towards Ash Wednesday.

Discussion Guide Available for 1Book1Diocese this Eastertide

Beginning Monday in Easter week, the Diocese of Georgia will offer a 1Book1Diocese read of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times. Picking up on the theme from his sermon for the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Bishop Curry grounds his teaching in scripture and offers experiences from his own life to challenge the reader to make the ethic of love a guiding principle for their lives. Available as a hardback, Love Is the Wayis also an audiobook read by Bishop Curry.

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.

Website Honoring Deaconesses of the Past

The deacons of the Diocese of Georgia are an invaluable resource for our communities and congregations, and they come with a long history of service. The Rev. Patricia Marks, Deacon, of Valdosta, has put together a website, Sisters in Faith, that includes the commemoration of Deaconesses with a brief history of each Deaconess. Recently her website was added to the website for The Fund for the Dianconate as a resource and an easy way to locate the information that Deacon Marks has worked on so diligently. As Deacon Marks continues to find more information about Deaconesses, she will update the website. 

"The loving service of these deaconesses changed more lives for the better than we will ever know this side of heaven," said Bishop Frank Logue. "Preserving their stories is holy work that extolls a variety of ways women faithfully led the way in mission even before the church would ordain them as deacons. I am grateful to Deacon Marks for this important work." 

New Tax Forms

Across the Diocese

King of Peace, Kingsland has been working on an outdoor Stations of the Cross and concrete has been poured!

Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island were able to feed 245 lunches last Saturday at the Manna House, a local nonprofit that works to feed the hungry in their community.

Church of the Holy Comforter, Martinez was able to collect 2000 pounds of food for 143 Ministries, a local organization committed to feeding those in their community who experience food insecurity.

Worship with the Diocese of Georgia in Savannah on Sunday

On Sunday we will stream Morning Prayer at 
10 a.m. from St. Thomas Isle of Hope with Bishop Logue as officiant and preacher, and assisted by the the Rev. Melanie Lemburg.

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

February 7 - 13
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congr
egation in Bainbridge, St. John's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Bainbridge, especially St. Joseph Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Bonao, especially Pentecost (Pentecostes) and St. Joseph of Arimathea (San JoseĢ de Arimatea).

February 14 - 20
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Baxley, St. Thomas Aquinas and for our ecumenical partners in Baxley at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Bonao, especially St. John the Baptist (
San Juan Bautista), and St. Nicodemus (San Nicodemo).

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 online at 10 a.m from St. Thomas Isle of Hope in Savannah. To view the service, visit the Diocese of Georgia Facebook Page or the Diocese of Georgia YouTube page. He will also preach this Sunday for the online service for St. John's, Savannah.
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!

Somebody get her a coat!

Susan Gage, seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary, catches a quick glimpse of the Blessed Virgin Mary in this week's snowstorm at the school

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