January 18, 2017
Volume 7, Number 20
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Third Sunday After
Isaiah 9:1-4
I Corinthians 1:10-18
Matthew 4:12-23
Psalm 27:1, 5-13
Go   here  for the full text.
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Lead, Grow, Share
Parish Events Add to Campaign's Success
What began as a fundraiser to help St. Luke's Hawkinsville turned into an event that exceeded expectations, producing enough funds to donate to the nearby hospital and Lead, Grow and Share.

The congregation really came together according to the Rev. Aaron Brewer, Rector at St. Luke's. The Starry Night Auction, held in November, offered art, antiques, jewelry, a puppy and a goat!

"The Capital Campaign sustains programs critical to equipping parishes in their ministries," said Mr. Brewer. In addition to St. Luke's contribution of $2,000 to the Campaign, Brewer said that he encourages members of his congregation to give individually, citing the $6/month recurring gift model.

This evening Christ Church, Valdosta will host the Rev. Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary, at a Eucharist followed by a supper prepared by the parish's Men in Blue. Afterwards Canon Logue will give a brief presentation on Lead, Grow, Share. "We've had 65-70 RSVP's so far," said the Rev. Kim Dudley. There will be more about this event in next week's From the Field.

How is your parish contributing to Lead, Grow and Share? Please share your stories! Send them to newsandevents@gaepiscopal.org.
To make your donation 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.  
Thank You for Giving to the UTO!

Thank you for your contributions to the United Thank Offering during this past year. The final amount collected from 21 congregations and from the Diocesan Convention was $8390.73. 

UTO Spring ingatherings should be submitted to Suzanne Harrow, UTO Coordinator, 2508 Sheraton Drive, Augusta, GA 30906 by June 15, 2017. Any questions, please call 706-793-3578 or 706-495-0773 or email sisharrow@aol.com.

Clean up efforts in Albany have brought Episcopalians from five congregations in Albany and Thomasville together for the work.
Episcopalians Join to Aid Albany Clean Up
The work continues in Albany to clean up from the January 2 storm whose estimated 85 mph straight line winds and tornadoes slammed Albany and surrounding communities. While the winds spared our three Episcopal Churches, many parishioners' homes were damaged or destroyed. Parishioners of Saint Paul's, St. John/ St. Mark's and St. Patrick's, all in Albany, and St.Thomas and All Saints from Thomasville provide whatever relief they can offer. The group has worked  at the homes of parishioners suffering storm damage.

Youth News
Gather Round the Fire at the Winter Youth Retreat
More than three dozen participants from Savannah, Valdosta, Albany, Rincon, Pooler and adults from Albany, Thomasville and Augusta have signed up for the Winter Youth Retreat: Gather Around the Fire, January 20-22 at Honey Creek Retreat Center. 

There's still room for more! This retreat is designed for students in grades six through 12 with some programming specific to the different age levels but also with plenty of time to play, talk, work and pray together. To register, go here.

"The commandment we have from him is this: 

those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also."
-I John 4:21

The Loose Canon

Fostering Inward & Outward Journeys of Discipleship

If we only go about being the church for the sake of more people and more money, then God should not bless that effort, and I don't believe that God will bless it. I write that as bluntly as possible so that you understand how strongly I feel that churches do not and should not simply grow in terms of more people sitting in pews on a Sunday or giving more money in offerings. What God actually calls us to is to faithfully follow Jesus. While we know that faithfulness bears fruit, the fruit of our faithfulness varies. Sure, this may mean growth of the kind that can be charted with statistics. Yet, any spiritual growth always starts with the work of the Holy Spirit in human hearts and this slips through the cracks when we become solely data driven.

The Inward Journey

In her now out of print book Journey Inward, Journey Outward (Harper and Row, 1968), Elizabeth O'Conner shared the way The Church of Our Savior in Washington, DC went about being church. She noted that churches had become so concerned about numbers that concern for each individual soul with whom the church came in contact was being lost. She made the case that the renewal of the church "cannot come to the church unless its people are on an inward journey" while holding "with equal emphasis that renewal cannot come to the church unless its people are on an outward journey."

The Outward Journey

To simplify her text, on the journey inward, one comes to see oneself, God and others. This self-knowledge seen through relationship with God and lived into in community with others builds up a person into a disciple of Jesus Christ. In this engagement one's God-given gifts are called forward. The disciple then continues on an outward journey in which one is truly present to others.

There is not an either/or with discipleship and mission or ministry. Without gaining a deeper connection to God as revealed in Jesus Christ, we cannot know ourselves and so can not really see others and be present to them. The inward journey is required. Yet, if we only take the journey inward, we can become like the Dead Sea (pictured here), which is continually nourished, but has no outlet and so is rich in minerals and devoid of life.

This simple concept of churches helping nourish and sustain people on their journeys inward and outward adds to the missional emphasis I often place in this Loose Canon column and most notable in my opening address for our diocesan convention a few years ago which captured much of the outward work of our congregations. A missional outlook is essential for the church as God did not come among us as Jesus to teach, heal, deliver, and then suffer, die and physically rise never to die again in order to start an institution. God came in Jesus to bring us into relationship, a life giving and life changing relationship. And this relationship needs both the journey inward and the journey outward to grow and flourish.

Balancing Inward and Outward Journeys

How do you see that balance in your church's schedule of events? Is the inward journey of discipleship being supported with appropriate offerings to nourish the life of faith and to thereby challenge parishioners in helpful ways? Is the journey of service to God through ministry to others just as evident? How is your congregation doing at this balance of the journey inward, journey outward?

As we look to Invite, Welcome, and Connect others to our congregation, we are inviting them to these inward and outward paths of discipleship. Should you add more ways to engage in mission or discipleship? To grow disciples, you need to foster both journeys.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy
On Monday, Episcopalians in several parts of the Diocese took part in marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a part of observances in their communities.

Parishioners at Trinity, Statesboro, gather for a photo prior to marching on Monday 
Parishioners of Grace Church, Waycross, gathered to share bubbles for peace and hope along the MLK Parade route, which passed in front of their church.
Marchers from All Saints' Tybee Island and Musicians from Savannah Beer and Hymns take part in the Episcopal group in the Savannah march.
The Savannah Parade route ends at St. Matthew's Church, which hosted a Eucharist and lunch for the Episcopal group.

Diocesan Office Update and News     
Bishop Benhase' next visitations will be to St. John's Bainbridge at 10:30 AM Sunday, January 22 and to  St. Margaret's Moultrie at 4 PM the same day. For the Bishop's complete visitation schedule, go  here.

Canon Logue will preach at Christ Church, Valdosta, this evening and then talk to a gathering about the work ongoing around the Diocese thanks to the Campaign for Congregational Development. On Sunday, he will preach at St. Paul's, Albany.

Katie Willoughby, Canon for Administration and Anna Iredale, Director of Communications, will be out of the office on Friday.
Bishop's Visitations

Naomi (left) and Rebecca Mason were the acolytes for Bishop Benhase' visit to Good Shepherd Church in Swainsboro.

Bishop Benhase with Dawn Diver (left) and the Rev. Curtis Johnson at Christ Church, Augusta.

Bishop Benhase with members of St. Mary's Church, Augusta,  Front row left to right: Altar Guild chairwoman Betty Mims, Ilyan English, Meshayla Mims, She'ma'ya Roundtree, and Alyssa Anderson.  Back row left to right: Senior Warden Betty Bryant, Betty Tyler, the Bishop, the Rev. Andy Menger, and Junior Warden Robert Hopson.
Church-wide Webinar on Refugees on February 1    
The Episcopal Church Welcomes Refugees, a free, one-hour educational webinar, will be held on Wednesday, February 1 at 4 pm  to discuss the basic root causes of refugee crises and to examine critical questions such as: who is a refugee; how a refugee is resettled to the U.S.; how resettled refugees benefit their communities; and how you can engage with local communities to welcome these new Americans.

Episcopal Migration Ministries and the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations are sponsoring this event.

"Every day, hundreds of community groups, churches, families and individuals work tirelessly to provide a place of safety for those who have had to flee their homes because of war, persecution, or other violence," noted the Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries. "The Episcopal Church's ministry of refugee resettlement is rooted in our nation's longstanding history of serving as a safe haven for those seeking freedom from oppression. With more than 23.1 million refugees around the world, it is now more important than ever for people of faith to continue this tradition."

Leading the webinar will be Lacy Broemel, Episcopal Church Refugee and Immigration Policy Analyst, and Allison Duvall, Episcopal Migration Ministries Manager for Church Relations and Engagement. Registration is required and is available here.  
The webinar will be available on-demand following the event. For more information, contact   Broemel.
Behind This Week's From the Field Banner        
The Savannah Beer and Hymns Group provided a soundtrack for those who marched in the Martin Luther King Day Parade in Savannah.
Register Today for Diocesan Training Series
Dates, locations and registration details have been finalized for the series of trainings to be held throughout the Diocese in the coming months. Please register for the training nearest you by clicking on the appropriate link below!

Trainings for Vestries, Administrators and Communicators
Canons Frank Logue and Katie Willoughby will lead Vestry and Administrators' Training in Albany, Augusta, Savannah, and the Southeast Convocation. 
Sunday, March 12, 2-5 pm at St. Patrick's, Albany 
To sign up for the Communicators' Roundtable, send an email to Anna Iredale, airedale@gaepiscopal.org and indicate which session you'll attend.
Project Resource Stewardship Training
Created by the College for Bishops, Project Resource gathers the best wisdom in our church on annual stewardship, major gifts, and planned giving campaigns. We will hold one training a month from February through April. 

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.  
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. 

January 15-21
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Americus, Calvary, and for our ecumenical partners in Americus especially St. Mary's Catholic Church and for St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Plains. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Azua- La Reconciliación (Reconciliation) and San Jorge (St. George).

January 22-28
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Augusta, especially, the Church of the Atonement and Christ Church. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Augusta, especially Advent Lutheran Church, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and The Church of the Resurrection Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for La Transfiguración ( the Church of the Transfiguration) in Banî.
It's a Tradition!

The Rev. David Rose carries his youngest son, Isaac, in Savannah's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in 2013 (left) and 2017.
Church Development Institute (CDI), January 20-21; March 17-18
Honey Creek
Go here for more information.

Winter Retreat for Youth, January 20-22
Honey Creek
Go here for more information.

Integrity Georgia Meeting, January 28
12 Noon to 2 PM
Christ Church, Savannah
For more information, go here. 

Diocesan Council
, February 3-4
St. Francis' Church, Savannah

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

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

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

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

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