February 15, 2017
Volume 7, Number 24
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Fifth Sunday After
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Diocesan Council
Input on Changes to Canons Sought
Diocesan Council reviews the proposed changes to the Canons at the February 3 meeting held at St. Francis of the Islands.

When Diocesan Council met on February 3rd, 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 will 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. 

Click here for a larger image of the Timeline.
Diocesan Retreat for Deacons
Disaster Preparedness, Spiritual and Physical, the Focus  

Given recent disasters in the Savannah and Albany areas, the focus for this year's Retreat for Deacons held at Honey Creek Retreat Center February 10-12 was disaster preparedness. "The reason was twofold," said Archdeacon Sandy Turner, "The Diocese has stated that each parish review their own ability to respond to disaster and also recently many of our parishes have had their own personal experiences with disasters."

Planting a camellia in memory of the Pat Gohman, a member of St. John's and St. Mark's, who was killed in the tornado.
The Rev. Deacons Leeann Culbreath, Ridenour Lamb and Joy Davis led a program utilizing materials gleaned from the Episcopal Relief and Development website, traveling through the life cycle from pre-disaster, event to the various stages of recovery. 

Personal stories from all over the diocese were shared: from ice storms in the northern tier to hurricanes on the coast and then the tornadoes and floods in the west. Culbreath and Lamb had traveled to the Gulf Coast in October to help with mold eradication following the flood, only to find themselves engulfed in their own crises not two short months later. They noted that they had experienced five disasters in six months' time. 

"Deacons are a vital link for the parish to the community at large," said Turner. "Many, due to their vocations, can access health care agencies and kno w community leaders.

"These deacons fearlessly entered homes of parishioners to offer love and support
while waiting for help from 'first' responders," she said. "Many challenged community leaders to open shelters and offer services when help seemed to come slowly. As the aftermath of a disaster looms large deacons offer discretionary funds an d call for help of food, clothing, bedding and muscle power to everyone who needs it.

"And always they are there to offer prayers, love and support for the community as it recovers each day," she said.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue spoke with the group during the discussion on Disaster Preparedness and Spirituality and then officiated at the Saturday evening Eucharist. On Friday evening Bishop Scott Benhase led a discussion on Formation for the Diaconate. Several persons preparing for ordination as vocational deacons also took part in the retreat. In addition, the group spent some time during the weekend on clean-up at Honey Creek. 
Note: the photo in the banner is of the attendees ready to do some clean-up at Honey Creek.
Youth News
Registration Opens for New Beginnings #50 
New Beginnings #50, a retreat led by youth for youth in grades seven to nine, will be held March 24 to 26 at Honey Creek Conference Center. 

Participants go through a journey of discovery about themselves, their faith and learn how to live out their faith in daily life. Songs, skits, talks given by teens, videos, games, worship and conversation are all a part of New Beginnings.

The cost is $110 and scholarships are available upon request and usually divide the cost evenly between the participant's family, home congregation and Diocese of Georgia. Contact the Rev. Joshua Varner, Diocesan Missioner for Youth at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org or 912-236-4279. Go here for more information and to register. 

Lead-Grow-Share Campaign Nears Completion

The Campaign for Congregational Development ends on Shrove Tuesday, February 28th. We have raised $2,231,727.33 of the goal of $3,000,000.

There is still time for you to make a difference with a gift to this campaign. Your gift will affect our outreach to youth and young adults, whether we plant new churches, our educational development program and support of some parishes.
To make your donation to the Campaign for Congregational Development online, go  here ; text to give EDOG at 73256 or by mail to the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, 611 E. Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31404.  For a tutorial led by Katie Willoughby on how to give online go here.

Thank you! 
Mission Team Home from the Dominican Republic
The mission team sponsored by the Southeastern Convocation returned safely to the United States on February 8 after a week of working in two villages in the
Dominican Republic: El Carretón, west of Santo Domingo on the southern coast, and Jalonga, northeast of Santo Domingo in the east-central part of the country.

In El Carretón, the team visited community members that they had worked with in past trips to the Episcopal school and church at that location, drilling a water well, installing solar panels to operate a water pumping system, and sealing the roof of the school.

In Jalonga, they activated a set of baking equipment that had been stored for several years in a building next to the community's Episcopal church, including two convection ovens, a stove, refrigerator, freezer, mixer, proofer and a generator. They hired an electrician, plumber and a mason to install sinks and make a work table from tile and cement. The group helped clean and paint the equipment, and they built a display case to sell the bread. They also contacted the local electric company to install a 220-volt electrical power line and bought the tanks for the gas.

As the culmination of their time in Jalonga, they baked bread for communion and celebrated with the community members, who are very happy that the bakery is ready for business to support local employment and the ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic. 

This SE Convocation team is the second to work in the Dominican Republic in 2017. The first was from St, Peter's (Savannah) in January. In March the St. Anne's (Tifton) team is scheduled to go, and in June the team from Christ Church (Valdosta). To learn more about this companion diocese relationship and about the projects of all four teams, go here.

Loose Canon
Checklist and Resources for Invite-Welcome-Connect
The tools of Invite-Welcome-Connect exist to assist congregations in more faithfully responding to Jesus' call to reach our neighbors with the Gospel. If you are wondering how your congregation might answer this call to make a gracious invitation, to welcome others as welcoming Christ, and to assist long term parishioners and newcomers alike in more fully connecting to Christ's Body, the Church, there is a single resource that captures the wisdom and challenge of this approach. Use the 20-page Invite-Welcome-Connect Booklet to launch your journey of discovery. 

The basic concept is simple: all three of these areas are essential for successful newcomer ministry in any church. Do one or two of these well, but miss others, and you will still fall short of your expectations. But work on all three essentials together and you will find more people coming to worship, discovering an engaging welcome, and being offered the means to fully connect to the ministry. Because these are the essentials of newcomer ministry, you must address all three areas. In smaller congregations, one team can work on all three areas. Churches with more than 50 people in attendance on Sunday will benefit from having one small team (1-4 people) working on each of three essentials.

The best way to begin is getting a group together to watch Mary Parmer's introductory videos found at invitewelcomeconnect.com. Give one, hour-long meeting a week for each essential. After watching the video, work through the checklist and resources for that area of the materials in the booklet linked above. Following those three weeks, the group can divide into smaller teams to begin working on the initial plans made as a group. 

I spoke today with the Rev. Galen Mirate who is taking the steps outlined above at St. Patrick's, Albany, and with the Rev. David Rose at St. Luke's, Rincon, who has a group working on Connect and is working to get groups working with the Invite and Welcome essentials. As you begin this work, stay in touch with us so that we can share how this work is going with others around the Diocese.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
A Free Video to Promote Lenten Activities   
With Lent fast approaching, Canon Logue and his colleagues in the Acts 8 Movement are offering two ways to promote this season of preparation. The video above can be used as is or those with the ability to edit the video may download a version with a longer ending suitable for adding your congregation's name or logo and listing your website address. Use this video to advertise any special Lenten programs. You may download the video to share on your congregation's Facebook page from this link:

The group still offers last year's  Ash Wednesday video  for those who want a means to advertise that liturgy. That video includes many people from the Diocese of Georgia and can be found here.
Diocesan Office Update and News     
Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Luke's Hawkinsville at the 10 AM service Sunday. The Bishop's full schedule is available here.

Canon Logue is teaching this weekend at Kanuga's Church Leadership Conference

Canon Logue will officiate at the noon Eucharist to be held at St. George's Chapel at Diocesan House on Thursday.  
Share your news in From the Field
Send your news, events and photos to  newsandevents@gaepiscopal.org ,
so we can feature them in upcoming issues of From the Field. Deadline for submissions each week is Monday at 4:30 PM.  
Community of St. Joseph's Lenten Program
There will be a special Lenten Program every Thursday beginning March 2 from 4 to 5:30 PM in the Emmaus House dining room, which is on the ground floor of the Christ Church Parish House on Reynold's Square in Savannah. A meal is included with soup by Chef Freda and bread. Worship and a study of the Way of the Cross, focusing on two stations each of seven weeks will round out the evening's program. Bishop Benhase will visit with the Community on March 30th.  Please note that the Community of St Joseph will not have a Third Friday Service for the next three months. 
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. 

February 12-18
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Bainbridge, St. John's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Bainbridge, especially St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregation in Bonao, especially Boca de Yuboa and   Pentecostes ( Pentecost).

February 19-25 
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 San José de Arimatea (St. Joseph of Arimathea), San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist), and San Nicodemo (St. Nicodemus). 
More than $40,000 Raised for Albany!

The Rev. Dcn. Joy Davis with the chainsaw purchased with funds from a grant through Episcopal Relief and Development. All told the Diocese of Georgia has raised more than $40,000 for relief in Albany with donations to the Bishop's Discretionary Fund. Thank you thank you thank you!
Calling all Clergy Spouses
Register Today for A Most Excellent Annual Retreat!
A Clergy Spouse Retreat several years ago.

Explore the dreams of Mary and Joseph on the eve of becoming the Holy Family. Ponder the challenges and hopes of your own holy dreams and holy households. Gather for worship in the mornings and evenings, including a Sunday morning Eucharist with the youth going on the summer mission trip.
Theme: Fear Not: God's Gotcha.
Guest Speaker and Worship Leader: The Rev. Lauren Flowers Byrd (St. Francis of the Islands, Savannah) 
When: March 10-12, 2017
Where: Honey Creek 
Other Activities: bonfire, painting activity, Pilates, late breakfasts, and lots of free-time. 
Golf: David Ronn is organizing a golf outing at Sanctuary Golf Club for Friday, March 10th at 11 AM. Email David if interested: dlronn47@yahoo.com
Happening #98, February 17-19
Honey Creek
Registration cloeses February 10
Go here for more information.

Cursillo #122, March 2-4
Honey Creek
Go here for more information.

Project Resource Stewardship Training, March 4
St. Anne's, Tifton
Go here to register.

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

Trainings for Vestries, Administrators and Communicators, March 12
2-5 PM
St. Patrick's Albany
Register here

Church Development Institute
 (CDI) March 17-18
Honey Creek
Go   here for more information.

Church Development Institute (CDI) Augusta  March 17-18
Our Savior, Martinez
Go   here for more information.

Lenten Prayer Retreat, March 24-25
Led by the Rev. Liam Collins, the Rev. Canon Frank Logue and Victoria Logue
Honey Creek
Go here for more information

Trainings for Vestries, Administrators and Communicators, 
March 26
2-5 PM
St. Michael and All Angels, Savannah
Register here

New Beginnings #50
, March 24-26
Honey Creek
Go here for more information.

Project Resource Stewardship Training, April 8
St. Peter's Savannah 
Go here for more information. 

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 www.missionalvoices.com.

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

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