December 7, 2016
Volume 7, Number 14
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Third Sunday of
Isaiah 35:1-10
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11
Psalm 146: 4-9
Canticle 15 [or Canticle 3] 
here for the full text.
Join Our Mailing List
CDI Offers Programs in Augusta
This video explores the Church Development Institute and its impact on participants.

Now in its eighth year, the Church Development Institute is expanding to include training in Augusta. Since its inception in 2009, more than 100 clergy and lay people from the Diocese of Georgia have participated in the Church Development Institute (CDI), the leadership development program designed to help participants manage change in our culture and bring the Lord Jesus Christ to our congregations. 

According to the Rev. Walter Hobgood, Director of Leadership Ministries for the Diocese, CDI began as an early initiative of Bishop Benhase. "The Bishop saw the goals and aspirations of the diocese as focused on leadership. CDI came  into being t o achieve those goals."

Robert Davenport-Ray, a proponent of the program, said that CDI "takes people who may already be trained in leadership...and ties into the Christian liturgy and the helps you to see that there really is a organization to God's plan for you and it strengthens you as a leader."

2016 saw 15 persons graduate from CDI. The other leadership development ministries which Hobgood oversees also continue to thrive. In the most recent intensive workshops ten participants took the Emotional Intelligence (EQHR) Workshop with 12 in the Conflict Management Workshop. There are now nearly 40 clergy in active coaching relationships.

In addition to CDI being offered in Augusta and Honey Creek on January 20-21; March 17-18; May 19-20; June 23-24 with the location still to be to be determined, EQHR will be held at Honey Creek the week of June 5-6 and a redesigned Conflict Management Workshop will be held the week of October 2-5. Also in the works are a refresher on clergy coaching planned for the Spring. To register for these programs go to  
Campaign Tops $2 Million 
As Canon for Administration Katie Willoughby stated at Convention, "If each of the 6,000 Episcopalians in our diocese contributed just $6.00 a month we would meet our goal." Have you made a donation to Lead-Grow-Share, the Campaign for Congregational Ministries? Today we passed the $2 million mark!

We've added a nifty feature to the Campaign's website, a meter that's updated with the amount given so far. Today the meter rests at $2,022,730. Go here to help us make
the meter go even higher!
The Administrator's Corner
Parish Administrators:
Sign Up for Your HSA Health Equity Portal Today! 
As a reminder, the Episcopal Church Medical Trust changed the Health Savings Account (HSA) funding process, and all employers currently using HealthEquity must create a new online portal.

If you have not already done so, please contact HealthEquity now to set up your portal. You will not be able to fund your employees' HSA accounts until you register. Additionally, the method used to previously fund accounts through the remittance form the CPG will no longer be available. Those checks will be returned immediately upon their receipt.

CPG has updated the 2016-2017 HSA Fact Sheet for Administrators for all employer groups who currently offer a Consumer-Directed Health Plan (formerly referred to as a High Deductible Health Plan) /Health Savings Account (CDHP/HSA). This Fact Sheet has been revised to include important information on direct funding of member accounts using the online portal maintained by HealthEquity, our HSA vendor. Please be sure to read it thoroughly.

Once you signed up for the online portal, you can review the HealthEquity Portal Guide to learn how to fund the accounts for each employee. You can conduct online transactions for employee and employer contributions. You can find that guide here. Funding can occur through ACH payments or mailing a check.

If you have any questions or if you have not yet registered your Health Equity employer portal, HealthEquity's Client Services team will be pleased to assist you. You may reach them at (866) 382-3510, Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 7 PM EST.

Several of you have noticed a monthly invoice and service fee being sent to the parishes. Please ignore these invoices, they will be paid for and covered by CPG.

Please note: if you do not use HealthEquity as your group's HSA vendor, this new process will not affect your group. In this case, funding of HSAs should continue as it is done now.

Katie Willoughby
Canon for Administration
Around the Diocese
Christmas Tree Sales!
St. Michael and All Angels supports its Food Pantry and other outreach ministries through the annual sale. 

 (Most of) the hardy bunch running St. George's Christmas Tree sale this year. All of the proceeds go to charities in the Savannah area along with a generous donation to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund.
Diocesan Office Update     
Bishop Benhase travelled to Columbia, SC today where he meets through lunch Friday with the other bishops in Province IV. This Sunday, he will make his visitation to St. Athanasius', Brunswick, in the morning, and to St. Thomas Aquinas, Baxley in the afternoon. For the Bishop's complete visitation schedule, go  here. 

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at St. Luke's, Rincon.

On Tuesday, Bishop Benhase and Canon Willoughby meet with the Finance Committee at Diocesan House.
Update from the Missioner for Youth

New Beginnings #49: An AMAZING Weekend!

New Beginnings #49, a retreat experience for youth in grades 7-9 led by youth with adult support, took place this past weekend at Honey Creek Retreat Center with 83 participants (including 18 staff) from 22 different congregations from all six convocations in our diocese and beyond!

Participants described the weekend in these words: "an AMAZING weekend!" "the best weekend of my life" and one in which "I got very close to God." Staff members described the weekend this way: "I was so happy to be able to share my story with all the participants this weekend and I genuinely hope everyone was spiritually touched by Christ like I was," and "I have never felt so touched by God than I was this weekend." A parent said her children "could not stop talking about how great it was."

Our young people played games, worshiped together, and shared some of their experiences with each other. Talks focused on theological issues, such as the story of Jesus; personal issues, such as how we deal with changes in our lives, and God's presence with us throughout those changes. The youth split up into small groups throughout the weekend to discuss and reflect together and bring their thoughts (and skits!) back to the large group. Gathering together as members of the Body of Christ helped them explore how we follow Jesus in our day-to-day lives.

The Lead Teen for this conference was Grace Tanner, a junior from Christ Church, Valdosta. The Lead Adult was Teresea Martin, from Good Shepherd, Swainsboro, and the entire event was organized by our New Beginnings Coordinator, Maggie Bloodworth. New Beginnings #50 take place March 24-26. The Lead Teen will be Graham Hummel, from Christ Church, Frederica. Plan to join us and send your youth for a transformative experience! 

To see more photos from Happenings #49 go here or visit the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia's Youth Programs Facebook page here:

Sign Up Now for EYE17!

July may seem far away, but the time to sign up for large youth ministry events is now! E.Y.E. (Episcopal Youth Event) is a national youth conference that draws over 1,000 participants from across the U.S. and beyond is held once every three years. This summer it will take place in Edmond, Oklahoma, and our Diocese aims to be well-represented.

The Diocese of Georgia's group will be making E.Y.E. the centerpiece of a broader mission trip. We will drive to Oklahoma over several days and then after the Episcopal Youth Event we will do some service work before coming home. During the trip our young people will get a chance to meet other young Episcopalians from across the country, to worship and play together, and to explore their Baptismal Covenant's commitment to "serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself."

Because this is a national conference the Diocese of Georgia has limited space. The total cost for the event is $1,200, and financial aid is available. 
Apply to participate by filling out our online application by the end of December.
Please contact the Rev. Joshua Varner, our Diocesan Youth Missioner with questions.

Winter Youth Retreat: Gather Around the Fire
In other news, the Diocesan Youth Ministry continues to offer transformational youth events at Honey Creek. Our Winter Youth Retreat: Gather around the Fire takes place January 20-22 and is for grades students in grades six through twelve. There will be some separation of program for older and younger youth as we play, talk, work and pray together. Register for the Winter Retreat here. 

Looking Ahead: Dates Set for Happening #98 and New Beginnings #50
Other Youth events include Happening #98, which takes place February 17-19 for youth in grades 10-12, and New Beginnings #50 takes place March 24-26!
The Rev. Joshua Varner 
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. 
Prayers for December 4 to 10
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Waynesboro, St. Michael's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Waynesboro, especially Sacred Heart Catholic Church and our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Sylvania. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially Santa Margarita ( St. Margaret)

Prayers for December 11 to December 17
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Woodbine, St. Mark's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially the Catholic congregations of Holy Family in Metter and St. Bernadette in Millen. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially Santísma Trinidad (Holy Trinity).
Holiday Parades

St. Luke's Hawkinsville at the Annual Holiday Parade. 
And here's All Saints' Tybee at the island's parade.
Church Development Institute (CDI), December 9-10, January 20-21; March 17-18
Honey Creek
Go here for more information.

Happening #98, February 17
Honey Creek
Go here for more information.

Cursillo #123, March 2-4
Honey Creek
Go here for more information.

Clergy Spouses Retreat, March 10-12
Honey Creek
here for more information.

New Beginnings #50, March 24-26
Honey Creek
Go here for more information.
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Diocesan Staff                             
Episcopal Diocese of Georgia