April 5, 2017
Volume 7, Number 32
Spring Clergy Conference
Peer Coach Training Network Expands
The Diocese of Georgia remains at the forefront of the church with our coaching network. With support from the Campaign for Congregational Development, which ended February 28, every new priest to the Diocese receives coaching each month from a International Coach Federation (ICF) trained coach. The Diocese will expand the network once more starting with the Spring Clergy Conference, April 30-May 2, where every clergy participant will receive the first round of coach training. This will enable clergy to set up peer coaching for those who are not new to the Diocese. In addition, some clergy will be identified as gifted in this work and will receive training leading to ICF certification. These new coaches will then add to the network of coaches in the Diocese.

"The peer coaching program serves as a helpful mirror to reflect on how to be a better, more effective leader," said the Rev. Dwayne Varas, Rector of St. Thomas, Thomasville. An experienced priest, Varas has enjoyed the benefit of a coach. He added, "Accountability is key, and taking the time for self-reflection enables me as a spiritual leader to apply lessons learned within my community.

The Very Rev. Billy Alford, Rector of St. Alban's, Augusta, is one of our certified coaches. He noted that, "We are an expansive Diocese, and as a priest, it can often times be isolating. The peer coaching relationships enable us to come together and seek insights and lesson learned from each other."

The Rev. Ellen Richardson, Associate at St. Anne's, Tifton, said, "Coaching is part of the larger gift the Bishop has given us. An opportunity for participants to examine their goals, strengths, weakness, and be held accountable by coaches for successes and development areas."

Coaches are required of all seminary graduates as well as priests moving into the diocese for their first two years. We are finding that those clergy extend the relationships as they see the value in having a coach. The program is also available to clergy no matter how long they have served and to other lay leaders.

Coaches are able to take a more general idea like "I want to improve our Christian Education program" and assist the priest in breaking down this goal into manageable tasks and next steps and then holding the priest accountable for taking those steps. So whatever identified goal the priest sets will become action items with follow up. This process and its built in accountability is a benefit not just to the priest or deacon, but also to the congregation she or he serves.

The diocesan website describes further the benefits of coaching at our Coaching Page

Register for the Spring Clergy Conference
The Spring Clergy Conference starts April 30 at 5 pm. That evening, the Bishop will host a conversation with clergy and give updates on the diocese. The coach training will take place Monday and Tuesday and then on Tuesday after lunch, the Church Pension Group will be at Honey Creek to brief clergy on changes to the pension fund. The conference will conclude at 3 pm on Tuesday, May 2. To register online, click here: Register for Spring Clergy Conference

Peer Coaching Video
Take a look at a video that explores the Diocese of Georgia's Peer Coaching Program in depth.
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
Sunday of the Passion
Palm Sunday

Applications for internships for those aged 21 to 35 at our Episcopal ministry center in Savannah have a priority deadline of May 1, 2017 and a final deadline of June 1, 2017.

Living in an intentional community, interns pray daily, attend local events, go on retreats, and serve the neighborhood in which they live. We encourage participants to find and test their own gifts, strengths and interests with the support of mentors. Applicants are matched to a local nonprofit that fits their interests and skills. This is the perfect opportunity for young adults seeking a sense of purpose and direction while also strengthening leadership skills.
 For information go to
A Visit from the Dominican Republic
St. Peter's Hosts La Reverenda Milquella Mendoza
As the sponsoring church for one of the most successful mission teams working in the Dominican Republic, on April 2 St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Savannah, welcomed La Reverenda Milquella Mendoza, Vicar of Iglesia Episcopal San Esteban (St. Stephen's Episcopal Church) in the Dominican city of San Pedro de Macorís. At the 10 AM worship service, she celebrated the Holy Eucharist with the Rev. Hunt Priest, rector of St. Peter's, and attended a presentation in the parish hall about the 2017 optical clinic conducted by team leader Dave Sweeterman and the St. Peter's missioners. 
This year's optical clinic, the fo urth conducted by the team, took place in a medical facility operate d by the Diocese of the Dominican Republic and supervised by La Reverenda Mendoza. The 2017 team had members from seven churches representing three denominations.  Each successive year the optical team has grown in team members and numbers of patients examined. In 2014 with a nine-member team they saw 500 patients and dispensed 650 glasses. In 2017 the 22-member team came close to doubling the number of patients, examining 964 people and dispensing 1,492 glasses. 

After the presentation, which included projected photographs and comments on various aspects of the mission by several team members, the team enjoyed lunch together and planned their 2018 mission trip, tentatively scheduled for January 20-27, 2018.
For an album of photographs from this worship service and team meeting at St. Peter's, click hereFor more information about the four Dominican Republic mission teams sponsored by the Diocese of Georgia and our diocesan companion relationship with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, click here. For more information about all four DR teams, click here.
Diocesan Youth
Summer Hometown Missions in Albany 
Participants made a star--and were stars--during the Hometown Missions held in Thomasville in 2015.
This summer the Diocesan Youth Program will be offering our annual Hometown Missions in a new way. Rising 9th graders through just graduated 12th graders are invited to gather in Albany for a three-day program, June 4 to 7, that will reach out to children in Albany, many of whom are still impacted by the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the city earlier this year.

Hometown Missions participants will help prepare programs in advance and also lead children in games, songs, stories, and more. Evenings will be dedicated to reflection, worship, and fun activities, as well as preparing for the following day!

The event begins on Sunday evening ends on Wednesday afternoon. The cost for this three day event is $90 and financial aid is available as needed. Come and help us reach out in mission to our Home Towns here in the Diocese of Georgia! For information, contact the Missioner for Youth the Rev. Joshua Varner at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org.
Bishop's Visitations

Bishop Benhase made his Visitation to Holy Nativity on Sunday. In the photo at left he is shown with the Rev. Thomas Townsend (left) and the Rev'd Deacon Karulynn Kolliker (right). In the photo at right, those received into the church on Sunday stand in the front row: from left,  Judee Brooks, Patricia Belcher, Sandra Bonilla, and John Hartland.
Two members of the Community of St. Joseph in Savannah were baptized during the Bishop's Visitation there Thursday. Shown from left, the Rev. Jamie Maury, Stephen George Facea, Bishop Benhase, Joseph Clarence Scott, and the Rev. Deacon Susan Hill.
Episcopal Church Women's Annual Retreat 
Nourishing our minds, bodies, and spirits with food, fellowship, and fun!  All of the women of the Diocese of Georgia are cordially invited to join your Diocesan Board for our Annual Retreat.

This year an expanded meeting of the Episcopal Church Women is being hosted by Saint John's, Bainbridge, April 20-22. This promises to be a time of great inspiration and fun. Don't miss out!
Our keynote speakers are Julius and Julia Ariail from the Companion Diocese Commission. Our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase will be joining us for our Friday night banquet as well as our worship on Saturday. We will be joining with The Order of the Daughters of the King® for this retreat. Each parish is entitled to have three  delegates to the business meeting of the ECW. Daughters will be having their Spring business meeting during this retreat too.
Hotel accommodations are discounted at the Hampton Inn of Bainbridge ($109.00) if you call ahead and ask for a room with the ECW. The deadline for registration is April 17th
More information is available on our web site; www.ecw.georgiaepiscopal.org or www.facebook.com/edogecw and your Convocation Coordinator. 
Administrator's Corner
Major Gifts Campaigns: Step 5 
"The Ask "
Major gifts campaigns seek to raise funds to support new ministries or projects outside the standard operational budget of the parish. Many congregations in the Diocese of Georgia have held building campaigns, but campaigns can also be held for new church plants, new ministry project needs, or funds to support new mission goals of a congregation. The Project Resource training defines an eight-step process to begin a relationship with potential donors to your congregation's campaign. To learn more about the eight-step process, please consider attending our next training session this weekend, April 8th at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Savannah. Go here to register. 

In this column I'll talk about the fifth step in the process, "the ask." Most people consider this step as the most nerve racking task in the process. However, the Project Resource authors argue if an individual or team is well prepared and mindful of the whole eight-step process, it is possible to reduce the anxiety level towards this interaction. Project Resource stresses the importance of relationships and how the following tips are important to consider when meeting with an individual to request a contribution to the campaign:

  • The ask should never be the first time you are meeting with the potential contributor.
  • Requesting a gift to a campaign is not selling. Consider asking yourself the following questions:
    Are you seeking gifts or a relationship?
    Is not getting the "ask" meeting a "loss" for you?
    Are you trying to impose your will on the donor?
    Are you willing for the conversation to take a turn towards pastoral care and away from the gift?
Listen to the needs of the donor. This is not about selling your church's need. It is about linking the donor's needs to give with your vision for making mission.  It's important to highlight the importance of silence after requesting the gift to allow the donor to inform the continuation of the conversation.

Consider preparing for the conversation with the following document.   More tips and tricks? Here is a document highlighting 31 recommendations.

Remember the most important consideration during "the ask" is that the relationship in communion together in the church is essential and should drive the conversation. 

Katie Willoughby
Canon for Administration
Around the Diocese   
Devoted Women of God: Strengthening Our Walk with God Through Prayer, Stewardship and Service, the Episcopal Church Women of St. Athanasius' Brunswick Lenten Tea was held March 25th with the Rev. J. Sierra Wilkinson Reyes, Associate Rector of Christ Church, Savannah as the guest speaker. Above, Winifred Herrington addresses the gathering. At right, Darlene Whitfield holds her granddaughter, Jordan Bianca Whitfield who is also the granddaughter of Gladys Lyde and daughter of Brandi and Jonas Whitfield. 

Matthew Hall, left, a member of Calvary, Americus and his friends won first place in the for students in grades 3-5
Georgia Movie Academy's contest.

The Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta, held a Retreat for children to prepare for Solemn Communion. Prior to the celebration, children heard one meditation a week for five weeks, including the Parables of the True Vine, the Found Coin and the Loving Father (also known as the Prodigal Son), and the Rite of Reconciliation. They also made the bread for the Communion (left).

Share your news in From the Field
Send your news, events and photos to  so we can feature them in upcoming issues of From the Field. Deadline for submissions each week is Monday at 4:30 PM.  
Honey Creek Camp 

Spring Break, YES! And what happens after Spring Break? Back to school, yeah there's that. But after that it's Summer!!! Go to honeycreek.org/camps to reserve your spot at Camp Honey Creek! 
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. 

April 2-8
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Darien, St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Darien, especially Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for San Miguel (St. Michael's) in Doña Ana.

April 9-15
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Douglas, St. Andrew's and for our ecumenical partners in Douglas, especially St. Paul's Catholic Church.  In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Santo Tomás (St. Thomas') in Gautier.
Diocesan Office Update and News  
This Sunday, Palm Sunday,  Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Patrick's Albany at 10:45 AM and Holy Trinity, Blakely at 4 PM. The Bishop's full schedule is available here

Canons Willoughby and Logue will be leading the final Project Resource training for this spring on Saturday from 9 AM to noon at St. Peter's, Savannah. Go here to register. 

The Rev. Michael Chaney from the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle will preside and preach at the noonday Eucharist this Thursday in St. George's Chapel at Diocesan House. 
Changes to the Canons
Have You Shared Feedback on Proposed Changes?
When Diocesan Council met in February, they endorsed changes to the Canons of the Diocese following a year of discussion. Now Council seeks the input of the parishioners and clergy of the Diocese of Georgia into these changes.

For more than a decade the Diocese of Georgia has rarely used a provision written in our canons that grants the Bishop authority to move parishes who can no longer meet the obligations of a "parish" to "mission" status. Over time, this has created confusion defining which congregations are "missions" and which are "parishes." The differences are about more than mere terminology: this affects both representation to Diocesan Convention and the amount of oversight provided by the Diocese.

The proposed changes, would if passed:
* reduce unnecessary oversight for more than one third of the congregations,
* acknowledge several of our small congregations as full members of the Diocese,
* result in a representative Diocesan Convention, and
* add an extra level of assurance that endowed funds in all parishes are managed with sound investment practices.
For more information about the proposed changes, please go here for an Executive Summary of the proposed changes, the full canons with the proposed changes shown in color, and a chart showing the current delegates to convention compared to the proposed representation.

The proposed changes are out for comment from now through May 11. A brief survey to collect responses to the canonical revisions can be found here. Diocesan Council will consider the feedback at its May 12 meeting and amend the proposed changes as needed.

The proposed changes as revised at that May meeting will then go to the Committee on Constitution and Canons for their review. The proposed changes as approved by that committee will then go out to the diocese via email to clergy and Senior Wardens as well as notice in From the Field.

The proposed changes will be on the agenda for the November diocesan convention. If approved, the canonical changes will be in effect immediately.

If the changes are voted and approved during convention, then two key changes go into effect with the language related to mission to parish status go into immediate effect, but the proportional representation delegations to convention will require a second vote at convention in 2018 and go into effect in 2019.
Chrism Mass for Clergy,   Western Convocations, 11 AM, April 10
St. Anne's Tifton

Chrism Mass for Clergy, Eastern Convocations, 11 AM, April 11
Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah

Episcopal Church Women/Daughters of the King Annual Retreat, April 20-22
St. John's Bainbridge
For more information go here.

Missional Voices National Gathering
, April 21-22
Virginia Seminary
Leading thinkers from around The Episcopal Church will discuss innovative ministries, missional communities, and how to participate in the mission of God in our neighborhoods. 
More details are available at

own to the River to Pray, April 22
9:30 AM
Reed Bingham State Park
Register  here
Trainings for Vestries, Administrators and Communicators, April 23
2-5 PM
Grace Church, Waycross
Register  here  

Trainings for Vestries, Administrators and Communicators,  May 14
2-5 PM
Our Savior, Martinez
Register here

Education for Ministry, 
June 1-3
Honey Creek Conference Center
Contact Diocesan EfM Coordinator Misty Graham at 352-281-6805 or misty.mcintyre.graham@gmail.com for more information here.
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