August 28, 2019
Volume 10, No. 1

Acolyte Festival Reflects on Community and Commitment

Instructed Eucharist at Acolyte Festival
The Rev. Cynthia Taylor celebrates at the Instructed Eucharist
Last weekend more than 45 youth and adults gathered for the Acolyte Festival at Good Shepherd, Augusta! Acolytes came from 10 different congregations on Saturday morning. The intention behind the Acolyte Festival is to provide not just technical skills, but also an understanding of the ministry of Acolytes and their role in liturgy as both servants and congregational leaders. To that end, the event began with an Instructed Eucharist, led by the Rev. Cynthia Taylor and the Rev. Joshua Varner. In the afternoon Acolytes rotated through different workshops. Colors and Costumes of the Church 
Lighting the coals for the thurible
was led by the Rev. Dr. Bunny Williams, Serving at the Altar was led by the Rev. Jim Said, Processions and Posture was led by the Rev. Amy Bradley, and Lighting the Fire in Church was led by the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner. This year's Acolyte Festival also featured a track for Acolyte Leaders, led by Roger Speer, Director of Student Ministries at Good Shepherd and co-author of  I Serve at God's Altar: The Ministry of Acolytes .

On Saturday evening, the entire group went to the Kroc Center for pool and waterslide time, supper, and showers before bed! Sunday morning saw the group gather for breakfast and clean up, and then spend time reflecting on the weekend. The final act of this year's Acolyte Festival was the 11:15 a.m. Eucharist at Good Shepherd. Every Acolyte was part of the extended processions at the start and end of the worship service, vesting and carrying banners from the participating churches.
The Rev. Jim Said leads a workshop.
During the liturgy, all participants were commissioned as Acolytes in the Diocese of Georgia, and  committed themselves to this ministry of service and leadership during the coming year.

The entire event could not have taken place without the support of the clergy and people of the Augusta Convocation, and the energy of the staff of Good Shepherd, particular Roger Speer. Thank you to everyone who made this year's event such a great one!

To view more photos from the Acolyte Festival, visit the Diocese of Georgia Youth Facebook Page.
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This Sunday's Lections
Track 1
Jeremiah 2:4-13
Psalm 81:1, 10-16
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14


Sirach 10: 12-18
or Proverbs 25:6-7
Psalm 112
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14

Go  here for the full text.
Candidates to be announced at 3 PM on September 1
To download a PDF version of the timeline suitable for posting, go here.

The names of candidates for the XI Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will be published at 3 PM, Sunday, September 1, 2019, via an email to those who receive From the Field. Information on the candidates will also be posted then at: 
Please continue to keep the Standing Committee, the Search Committee, the Transition Committee, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and the Candidates in your prayers:

Strengthen Coach Approach Skills at the Clergy Conference

The Fall Clergy Conference to be held at Honey Creek from Monday, September 30, through Wednesday, October 2 will be an opportunity to learn, strengthen and practice coaching skills for ministry. The Revs. Chris Holmes and Walter Hobgood (pictured at right) will teach and demonstrate the core competencies of coaching and assist us in thinking through how these basic skills might strengthen the work of ministry in parishes. Emphasis will be placed on practical application of skills and coaching as a style of leadership which is more "come along side" than some other styles of leadership. Clergy are expected to arrive in time for Evening Prayer at 5:30 PM on Monday. The conference ends with lunch on Wednesday. 

Registration is available through the  Honey Creek website, located here . Please note that there are separate registrations for different lodging preferences, and those registrations are limited by the availability of different types of rooms. 
Bell Ringers lined up at St. Mark's, Brunswick.
Bell Ringing Remembers 
and Honors the First Enslaved Africans
Across the Diocese of Georgia, congregations responded to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's invitation for  Episcopal churches to take part in a national action to remember and honor the first enslaved Africans who landed in English North America in 1619 by tolling their bells for one minute on Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 3:00 PM. From St. Athanasius', Brunswick, to St. Augustine of Canterbury, Augusta, bells tolled  one minute for each of the four centuries that have passed since slavery began on what is now American soil.  The Brunswick News featured two Episcopal Churches in it coverage of the commemoration:  Bell-ringing ceremony to mark anniversary of first slaves landing in U.S.
Hurricane Season: Review Disaster Plans and Be Ready
Whether Tropical Storm Dorian decides to visit the Diocese of Georgia or not, Hurricane Season is upon us and your congregation should review its plans. While the coast is especially vulnerable, we know tornados 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 in the coming week that will alleviate last minute concerns.

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 insure 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 .

While Georgia may once again be spared the catastrophe we have seen elsewhere, we do know that some Episcopal churches will be hit by natural disasters each year. We owe it to one another to prepare.
Racial healing program set for second Fridays on Tybee Island
Racial healing is the goal of a series of Friday evening events All Saints Tybee Island will host starting September 13. A light supper of soup, bread and dessert will be followed by a program with discussion. The evening will conclude with Compline, an evening contemplative prayer service with quiet music. No reservation is needed for the free events.
The gatherings will meet the second Friday of each month from September 13, 2019 through May 8, 2020 in All Saints' Wysong Parish Hall at 804 Jones Ave, Tybee Island. The supper will be at 5:30 PM, with the program starting at 6:00 PM and the evening wrapping up with Compline from 7:00pm to 7:30 PM. Presentations include segments of two documentary films: Slavery by Another Name, created by PBS; and The Long Shadow, by Frances Causey.
For additional information, please contact the Rev. Jamie Maury at (912) 659-8585 or via email at
Register now for New Beginnings #55 in September
Youth Staff and Participants sing together during New Beginnings!

New Beginnings, a retreat for youth in Grades 7-9, is set for September 6-8 at Honey Creek. Participants in Grades 7-9 are invited to come together from across the Diocese to pray, play, listen, and talk about God's unconditional love in their lives. Youth who are on staff, usually high schoolers, give talks on different aspects of their life with God and with each other.

New Beginnings starts on Friday evening at 7 PM (after supper) and ends on Sunday with a Closing Eucharist around 12:30 PM. Friends and Family are encouraged to attend the Eucharist to support their youth and hear about the weekend firsthand!

Waverly Brown, Lead Teen for New Beginnings #55
Waverly Brown, from Christ Church, Frederica, is the Lead Teen for New Beginnings #55. The Rev. Katie Knoll-Lenon, also from Christ Church, and the Rev. Yvette Owens, Deacon at Christ the King, Valdosta, will serve as the Spiritual Directors for New Beginnings #55. Annabel West, of Good Shepherd, Augusta, will be the Lead Teen for New Beginnings #56, which takes place March 27-29, 2020. Allen Lamb and Karen Bell are the New Beginnings Coordinators. Please keep all the staff in your prayers as they prepare for an amazing weekend next month!

New Beginnings #55
September 6-8, 2019
Grades 7-9
Honey Creek
Participant Registration:
Cost: $125 after August 16
Around the Diocese

This past Sunday, August 27 , Grace Church in Sandersville honored the new teachers in Washington County by inviting them to a Breakfast at the Church at 9:30 AM.  Those attending included the Superintendent, and a number of Principals, as well as teachers. This is a restart of a tradition at Grace Church  that was held for many years under the supervision of Joe Cummings, a former educator herself.

The food crew from King of Peace Kingsland is pictured sharing the meal at Missions for Camden, a local para-church group serving those in need with the assistance of churches.

This school year, the Christ Church Frederica Backpack Buddies is packing weekend food bags for over 500 children in Glynn County. They pack twice a month in the Parish House.

Youth from St. Paul's Augusta are pictured at their End of Summer event at Camp Gravatt in South Carolina.
Know Your Delegate Count for 198th Convention
From the Standing Committee  Regarding Delegates to the Diocesan Convention  and Election of the XI Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia:

T his is a reminder that the new Article III, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Diocese of Georgia will be in effect at the upcoming Convention and Bishop Election of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia on November 14-16, 2019. This Article states that the calculation of each congregation's READ MORE
Diocesan Office Update and News
T he Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase,  10th Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, makes his next visitation on September 8, when he will be at St. Anne's Tifton at 10 AM, Sunday, September 8. The Bishop's full schedule can be found  here. 

The Rev. Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary, will serve this Sunday at Holy Comforter, Martinez.

The Rev. Joshua Varner, Canon for Children & Youth, will be preparing for New Beginnings #55, for youth in grades 7-9. The event takes place September 6-8. Register at

Anna Iredale, Director of Communications, is on vacation through Labor Day. Please send news to the From the Field email address as items sent to Anna will not be in next week's newsletter.

The Rev. Melanie Lemburg,  Rector of St. Thomas' Isle of Hope, will officiate at the Thursday, noon service at Saint Anna Alexander Chapel, Diocesan House.

Diocesan House will close at noon Friday (for the last time this summer) and remain closed through Monday, September 2 in observance of Labor Day.
Daughters of the King (DOK) Assembly Set for September

The DOK Fall Assembly, a gathering of celebration and prayer, will be held Sept 20-21, 2019 at Honey Creek. Diocesan Chaplain Amy Bradley will be the guest speaker. 

The Assembly is open to all daughters, with organizers hoping that as many chapters as possible in the Diocese of Georgia can be represented.
For an agenda, go  here.
To register, download this form .  
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 52 weekly prayers are available in one document  found here. 

August 25-31
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Francis of the Islands and St. John's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially the Lutheran congregations of Redeemer and St. Luke's. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in San Francisco de Macorís, especially El Buen Samaritano (the Good Samaritan),  Jesús Nazareno (Jesus the Nazarene), and La Natividad (The Nativity).

September 1-7
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, St. George's and St. Michael and All Angels. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially the Catholic congregations of Blessed Sacrament, Resurrection of our Lord, Sacred Heart, and St. James. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for San Pablo y San Lucas (St. Paul and St. Luke) in San Isidro.

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 .
Ready to Lead

Acolytes at St. Athanasius' Brunswick relax before last Sunday's Eucharist. We give thanks for the acolytes all across the Diocese of Georgia who assist in leading us in worship.

New Beginnings #55
September 6-8
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Register by going here

Diocesan Council
September 13-14
St. Peter's, Savannah

The DOK Fall Assembly
Sept 20-21
Honey Creek Retreat Center 
For an agenda, go  here.
To register, download this  form .
Cursillo #126
October 17-20
Honey Creek
Go  here for more information.

Walkabout with Candidates for the XI Bishop 
6 PM Tuesday, October 22: Good Shepherd, Augusta
6 PM Wednesday, October 23: St. Thomas, Isle of Hope (with live Spanish interpretation)
11 AM Thursday, October 24: Christ Church, Frederica
6 PM Thursday, October 24: Christ Church, Valdosta
6 PM Friday, October 25: Calvary, Americus

198th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia
November 14-16
Georgia Southern University
To register, go here.

Diocesan Convention Youth Presence (for grades 6 to 12)
November 15 (all day) through November 16
Hosted by Trinity Church, Statesboro

Winter Youth Retreat
January 10-12, 2020
Honey Creek
For students in grades 6 to 12

Happening #103
Thursday, February 20 (for staff, participants arrive Friday) to Sunday, February 23, 2020
Honey Creek 
For students in grades 10 to 12

New Beginnings #56
March 27-29, 2020
Honey Creek Retreat Center
For students in grades 7 to 9
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