February 20, 2019
Volume 9, No. 26
Thank You Happening Coordinator Jody Grant!
Happening, a Christian experiences presented by teenagers for teenagers, is one of the strongest parts of the Diocese of Georgia's ministry with youth. While each individual Happening weekend is led by a teenager, called the Rector, the program overall has been led by our Happening Coordinator, Jody Grant, a parishioner from Our Savior, Martinez, since 2002.

Happening #101, which took place in early February, was Jody's final one in that role. Through those years he has touched countless lives, both directly and through the ministry of those he has influenced. In addition to serving as Happening Coordinator Jody has served as a Deputy to General Convention for the Diocese and continues to work for Our Savior, Martinez, all while teaching physics and being husband to his wife Mendy and father to their four children.
At the Closing Eucharist of Happening #101, Jody was presented with a paper cut image of the Christus Rex in the Chapel at Honey Creek. In addition, a pitcher and bowl, used for footwashing, were given to Honey Creek in Jody's honor. Jody's ministry with Happening has been a gift and his ongoing presence in the Diocese continues offer a vision of how we can, in the words of the Happening #101 theme, "Love others as [Christ] has loved you."

Sarah Brittany Sandbach (top photo, standing) of St. Paul's, Augusta, is the incoming Happening Coordinator. She has been involved with Happening and with the Diocese of Georgia Youth programs for years, both as a young person herself and as an adult who works with children and youth. She served as a camp counselor at Honey Creek, has participated in congregational and Diocesan Youth Programs. We asked Sarah Brittany to tell us her thoughts on taking on this new role. She writes:
I will never replace Jody Grant. I don't believe anyone can. He was every bit of what this Diocese needed to grow the Happening program. Jody allowed the Holy Spirit to work for him for the last 17 years with Happening. He is incredibly hard working and dedicated not only to the Church but to his family as well as his career in education. Jody says at the end of each Happening weekend that "God has no other hands but ours. God uses us to change lives." This program would not be what it is in our Diocese without Jody.

I hope to continue to grow this program and help shape and set the path for the youth in our Diocese toward Jesus. This program has molded me into who I am and has been a crucial part of my journey with God. All youth deserve the opportunity to experience a weekend like this. They deserve to know and feel the love that Jesus has for all of us! I am looking forward to what God will use me for in this role. I pray that the program continues to change lives and reach those who need Jesus the most. I will do everything in my power to support, encourage, and "coordinate" the Happening program.

We are deeply grateful to Jody for his years of dedicated service, and to Sarah Brittany for her willingness to answer the call to take on this new role!
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7th Sunday After Epiphany
Genesis 45:3-11, 15
I Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50
Luke 6: 27-38
Psalm 37:1-12, 42-42

Go  here for the full text.
Honey Creek Hosts First Yoga Retreat
Women in mid-life across the Diocese of Georgia, including all who are new to yoga and those who have been practicing for awhile, are invited to settle their souls at the newest event at Honey Creek, a Mid Life Women's Yoga Retreat. Hosted by Yogi Gabriele Stauf, this two-day event (arrive Friday evening) will include yoga, mindfulness, a look at the spiritual yoga practice and end with a Eucharist. Optional massages and one on one yoga instruction are also available. Space is limited so sign up soon! Click here to register. 
The Bishop Knocks on the Door
St. Mary Magdalene, Louisville
Four families met in the living room of the Brewton home in 1977 to discuss and plan the founding of an Episcopal church in their small town of Louisville, Georgia. Forty-two years later, the Brewtons' daughter, Rev. Terri Degenhardt, would be called as Priest-in-Charge. 

Established in 1975 as a mission church and led by The Rev. Judson Mayfield, St. Mary Magdalene shared worship space with St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church. Rather than a church, the members of St. Mary Magdalene decided to build a day care center to serve the larger community. Mayfield also established The Congregation of the Holy Trinity which included Good Shepherd in Swainsboro, Grace Episcopal Church in Sandersville, and St. Mary Magdalene. These three churches maintained their individual identities while two priests rotated among the churches. The congregations met together every fifth Sunday, alternating at each church, a pattern that continued successfully for a number of years.

At the Bishop's Visitation last Sunday, from left: the Rev. Terri Degenhardt, confirmand Dot Wilmoth, the Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase, and Hulet Kitterman
St. Mary Magdalene later bought what was once a flower shop in town and worked with an architect to convert it into the present church building. Much of its furnishings have been donated by sister churches including the pews which are from Grace Church.

For the last 20 or more years, St. Mary Magdalene has been served by a number of different supply clergy--most notably from the Convent of St. Helena. During that time, it relied heavily on its lay leadership. However, in keeping with Mayfield's heart for outreach, the church has maintained its focus on serving the community. 

In addition to starting a day care center, the church sponsored two Vietnamese refugee families, teaching them English and job skills until they could be assimilated into a larger community; it initiated an integrated AA group as there was no group for African Americans to participate in. Understanding the importance of the fine arts, the church purchased the adjoining property and created a studio and workshop space for the local Arts Guild. At various times the church has worked with the local technical college and with the local hospital providing financial assistance for those who cannot afford the cost of GEDs, mammograms, diabetic supplies, and other basic needs.

Today St. Mary Magdalene sponsors a needs-based scholarship for a student each year from the local high school who is entering a technical college. Additionally, the church is a significant supporter of the local food pantry; each year the church designates $12,000--upward of 35% of its income--towards community outreach. 

During this Advent season, members worked on deepening their spiritual life through developing a Rule of Life and making Anglican Rosaries. The extra rosaries made were given to a women's prison ministry in Augusta. 

Living fully into their faith, this small but determined congregation understands the importance of building bridges, community and social justice.
Team from St. Peter's Serves in the Dominican Republic
Dr. Emily Carr examines a patient; Dave Howell stands behind her.
On Saturday, the 24 members of the optical clinic mission team sponsored  by St. Peter's Savannah return from their work holding a clinic at the Dominican Episcopal medical facility in the city of San Pedro de Macorís. 

During this clinic, the missioners examine patients and provide both prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses as needed. They also screen for eye diseases and make appropriate referrals to local Dominican optical professionals. For patients needing cataract removal procedures, their companion team of ophthalmologists
arrives tomorrow to carry out those procedures in a local Dominican hospital. 

The team has imported a large quantity of equipment needed for those cataract operations, and will eventually donate that equipment to the local Episcopal health clinic once that clinic has been renovated to house that equipment properly. The missioners have been in the DR since February 14th; the surgical team returns on February 28th. For more information on the work of the Diocese of Georgia's mission teams in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, go here.
ECW/Daughters of the King Welcome Thistle Farms 
This year the Episcopal Church Women's Annual Retreat in Augusta's theme is The Way of Love. Participants will learn about sharing God's love for those in recovery from the sex trafficking trade. The Rev. Becca Stevens, well known advocate for women, especially women leaving the trade, will be the keynote speaker. Stevens and women from her ministry, Thistle Farms, will be at the retreat throughout the weekend.

The Saint Ruth Byllesby Chapter of The Order of the Daughters of the King® will be sponsoring a bra drive to benefit Free The Girls, an international non-profit that helps women leaving the sex trafficking trade, especially in the poorest areas of the United States, to gain financial independence and social reintegration.

By donating new or gently used bras, participants provide a chance for change. These survivors of human trafficking start their own businesses selling bras in their local second-hand clothing markets while they recover and build a new life. "We accept both new and gently used bras of all sizes and styles, including sports bras, nursing bras, and camisoles."

For more information and registration please go to: www.ecw.georgaepiscopal.org
Final Bible Study with Bishop
The final Good Book Study with Bishop Scott Anson Benhase was held today at St. Peter's, Savannah.

Watch recorded versions of all of the sessions (there are now seven) on Facebook and on YouTube  here.  For more information on the series, go  here
Around the Diocese
Two models wave from the runway at the Thrift Shop Fashion Show held at St. Thomas' Isle of Hope (left.) St. Augustine of Canterbury's ministry connects kids with books and travels to local outreach events as the StoryBox (above). 

The Rev. Lonnie Lacy blesses the house of a parishioner from St. Anne's Tifton.
After a visit from the local pediatric dentist and the Tooth Fairy, St. Thomas (Thomasville) Day School Teacher Cindy Coates (top, left) worked with her four-year-old students on a service project to benefit other children. They assembled and decorated toothbrush bags that will be distributed to children visiting the St. Thomas Clothes Closet. Other adults s
hown in the photo (from left): Nancy Benson School Director and Lily Anne Robinson, Clothes Closet Co-Director. 

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 17-23
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).

February 24-March 4
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Blakely, Holy Trinity, and for our ecumenical partners in Blakely, especially Holy Family Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Cornelius ( San Cornelio) in Cabarete.

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
On Sunday, February 24, Bishop Scott Anson Benhase  will make his annual visitation to St. John and St. Mark's Albany at 10:30 AM. His full schedule is available here. 

The Rev. Helen White, Associate Rector of Christ Church, Savannah, will serve at the noon, Thursday Eucharist at Diocesan House this week.
Hey, It's Honey Creek!

If you look closely, you can see Honey Creek's logo from our "Take Me Back to the Creek" shirt that was stitched onto a stole made for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and presented to him at the Episcopal Church and Camp Centers conference in Indianapolis, Indiana this year.
Bishop's Bible Study
Wednesday, February 20
10:30  to 11:30 AM 
At this final Good Book Club, Bishop Benhase 
will also be the officiant and celebrant  at the Eucharist afterwards.
St. Peter's Savannah or online at  facebook.com/georgiaepiscopal

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Southwest Convocation
7 pm, Thursday, February 21
All Saints' Thomasville

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Bishop Scott Anson Benhase
Saturday, February 23
10 AM Annunciation Vidalia
Search Committee members and Bishop only

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Diocesan Staff
1 PM Tuesday, February 26
Diocesan House

2018 Parochial Reports Due to Diocese
March 1 

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Central Convocation
10 AM, Saturday, March 2
Annunciation, Vidalia

Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee Weekend
March 8-9
Diocesan House, Savannah

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Southeast Convocation
2:30 PM, Sunday March 10
St. Mark's, Brunswick

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Augusta Convocation
2:30 PM Sunday, March 10
Good Shepherd, Augusta

Search Committee Meeting
10 AM, March 16
Trinity Statesboro

New Beginnings #54
For Youth in Grades 
March 22-24
Honey Creek
Contact the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner for more information:

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Youth
Time TBA, Saturday, March 23
Honey Creek Conference Center

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Albany Convocation
3 PM, Sunday, March 24
St. Patrick's Albany

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Clergy
10 AM Tuesday, March 26
St. Anne's Tifton 

Clergy Spouses Retreat
March 29-31
Honey Creek
A Listening Session for XI Bishop Search led by the Search Committee for clergy spouses will be scheduled during the retreat.

Listening Session for XI Bishop Search, Savannah Convocation
3 PM, Sunday, March 31
St. Paul's Savannah

Weekend Retreat for Youth Summer Mission Trip
April 5-7
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Holy Week Chrism Mass
11 AM Monday, April 15
Christ Church Valdosta

Holy Week Chrism Mass
11 AM Tuesday, April 16Trinity Statesboro

Diocese of Georgia Episcopal Church Women Annual Retreat
Daughters of the King Spring Assembly
April 26-27
St. Augustine's  and  the Church of Our Savior, Augusta
For information: fayrelight@aol.com or psolom@aol.com

Spring Clergy Conference
April 29 at 5:30 PM to May 1 at 1 PM
Honey Creek
here .

Dedication of Saint Anna Alexander Chapel
11 AM, May 3
Diocesan House
18 E. 34th Street, Savannah

Toil 'N Sweat
May 3-5
Honey Creek
Register by going here: http://bit.ly/ToilNSweat2019

Diocesan Council
May 17-18

Nominations for XI Bishop Close
Friday, May 31

Diocesan Youth Mission Trip
July 13-20
To register: 
Thursday, August 2 (for staff) through Sunday, August 4
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Diocesan Council
September 13-14
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