January 2, 2019
Volume 9, Number 19
Bible Study with the Bishop Begins Next Week!
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase will lead a seven-part Bible study of St. Paul's Letter to the Romans for the entire Diocese of Georgia as part of the Good Book Club, a church-wide Bible reading initiative begun by Forward Movement. 

The Bishop's study will be held on Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 AM beginning next Wednesday, January 9 at St. Peter's Church on Skidaway Island, Savannah. It will also be broadcast each week live here:  www.facebook.com/georgiaepiscopal from January 9 through the last session on February 20. 

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry supports and encourages individuals and congregations to join the Good Book Club as a way to engage in "Learn," one of the seven Way of Love practices for a Jesus-centered life. 

Members of the Savannah Convocation are encouraged to participate in the Bishop's Bible study in person. Space will be limited, so please register by going here:  http://bit.ly/BibleStudywiththeBishop 

The Good Book Club website lists the daily readings as well as resources to support people as they read the scriptures. Spanish resources and information are available at  clubbiblico.org.
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
The Epiphany
Isaiah 60: 1-6
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2: 1-12
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

Go  here for the full text.
Kilian Called to Charlotte Church
The Very Rev. Joan Kilian has accepted a call to serve as the Associate Rector for Outreach and Mission at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte, NC. Her last Sunday as Rector of Trinity Statesboro will be February 3. Kilian said in a letter to her congregation, "I am excited about what lies ahead, but it is very difficult to leave a place and the people who have been home for me for so long. Trinity will always have a large part of my heart." 

Dean of the Central Convocation, Kilian has been the Rector of Trinity, Statesboro, since 2002. She previously served as an assistant at the Church of Our Savior in Martinez. Kilian is a 1980 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She served in the United States Navy rising to the rank of Commander. Following her military service she earned Masters of Fine Arts degrees in Interior Design and Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1989. She followed her call to ordained ministry while a member of Christ Church, Dublin. She graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) School of Theology in 1997 and was ordained a deacon and priest that same year. She has been active in Cursillo in the Diocese of Georgia and previously served on both Diocesan Council and the Standing Committee, including as Standing Committee President.
The Loose Canon
Finding Language to Speak About God
The answer is not found in books. That truth revealed itself to me while in seminary and this adage keeps coming back around. I read quite a lot, usually a book a week, but I have learned that I can't depend on books to give me answers. Books instead tend to give me more perspectives as well as questions I had not yet begun to think through. Lately, I have been following a thread that I think matters quite a bit and I want to share not any answers, but the new questions arising.

Anyone in the church today can see we are undergoing a great change in which younger generations are attending less frequently at best and often not at all. But I have been working through the thoughts of some helpful guides. In his book Learning to Speak God from Scratch, Jonathan Merritt shares how we can no longer assume someone knows what we mean when we use words like "grace" and "gospel". He then begins the work of reclaiming theological language. While I am less sure of the later half of the book, I know he is writing of something critical when he names that we have lost a common language of faith. It is far too easy to end up with buzz words and theological babble. So we have to work on speaking in ways we can be heard if we want to share what it means to us that God became human and lived among us as Jesus of Nazareth.

My friend and fellow Episcopal priest Kit Carlson points to these same issues, while providing a way forward. In her book Speaking Our Faith, she describes how to walk with a small group through constructing their own language for talking about faith. Any short treatment here will not do her book and leader's guide justice. Kit has crafted, tested, and honed a five-week discussion group designed to assist someone in discovering how God has been active in his or her life and then finding language to put this into words. Kit mostly helped me see clearly the very real internal obstacles to speaking about faith at all.

Two other Episcopal priest friends, Melody Shobe and Scott Gunn, write Walk in Love: Episcopal Belief and Practices which walks the reader through the liturgical year and the sacraments of the church to teach the Christian faith from a distinctly Anglican perspective. With straightforward language and in a compelling way, the authors demonstrate how prayer shapes our beliefs and draw us closer to Jesus. This is the perfect companion for newcomers curious about the Episcopal Church and a helpful boost to an adult forum in a church. Their book challenges me to reflect on how formative liturgy and private prayer practices are in shaping my faith.

Finally, Rachel Held Evans once more shares her own journey and struggles in a way that really resonates with me in her Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again. She rises to the challenges named above to reclaim the Bible for herself and along the way helping us see anew the value in the old, old story.

While I haven't found answers in these books, I have discovered some new truths I only held dimly and been challenged to let go of some easy answers when it comes to sharing the Good News of what God is up to in the world, through us and often in spite of us.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
UTO Opens Grant Process
Applications for the 2019 UTO grants are now available online! The deadline for submitting grant applications and the required forms is Friday, March 1, 2019. Each diocese may submit two grant applications, one for a diocesan ministry project and one for a project in conjunction with an overseas companion diocese.

All applications must be submitted electronically and require the Bishop's approval. For more information about the granting process and criteria, visit the national UTO website at www.episcopalchurch.org/utogrants .

The focus of the 2019 grants will be Go--crossing boundaries created by race, culture, and economics to create communities that listen deeply and learn to live like Jesus. This new theme offers exciting possibilities for new and revamped mission projects. For more information on the focus, visit the Way of Love webpage at https://www.episcopalchurch.org/way-of-love

Everything needed for a successful application process is available on the UTO website, including helpful hints, a sample narrative budget, a sample construction budget, and all required forms. 

Webinars will be held on Tuesday, January 15 at 12 noon and 8 PM EST and Wednesday, February 13 at 12 noon and 8 PM EST to answer questions.
Also, please feel free to contact Diane Gabbard, Province IV UTO Coordinator, at dianegabbard@gmail.com or the Rev Canon Heather Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering, at  hmelton@dfms.org .
Around the Diocese

Canon Katie Easterlin and her husband Travis leave the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle flanked by candles. The two married on Saturday, December 29. Katie is the daughter of the Very Rev. William Willoughby III and Mary Willoughby, former Canon at the Diocese of Georgia.

The congratulations of the Diocese go to Rebekah Stewart (left) who married William Hair on December 29. Bekah served at the Diocesan Communications and Events Planning Specialist from 2015-17 and in that time also served for some months as Interim Youth Missioner for the Diocese of Georgia. She is the daughter of the Rev. Bill and Sharon Stewart.

As part of All Saints Tybee Island's Christmas outreach, Santa, elves and other helpers from All Saints brought cheer to the clients at two Tybee Nursing Homes. In addition to joy an songs we gave out candy fruit, socks, stuffed animals, word books, magazines and other this to make Christmas merrier for about 150 clients, many who do not have families.

Members of St, Paul's Albany present the Rev. Galen Mirate with a piece of sacred heart artwork created by the Rev. Nancy Mills, formerly Priest-in-Charge at Good Shepherd, Thomasville, and now retired to Asheville, NC. Mills was Mirate's mentor when she entered the ordination process and introduced her to Sacred Heart devotions. "The gift was not only from someone I love, and whose artwork I've always admired, but it was a gift from the centering prayer group I started at St. Paul's - a thing I could never have done, but for Mother Nancy's huge influence in my life."
Participants in the Christmas Pageant held at St. John's, Savannah.
Happening 101 Scheduled for February 1-3

Gathered outside the Chapel at Honey Creek after the closing Eucharist for Happening 100: (from left) Annabel West, Katie Grant (Rector of Happening 101) and Jo Simmons.

Happening #101 will be held at Honey Creek February 1-3, 2019 and is open to those in grades 10 - 12. Katie Grant from Good Shepherd, Augusta, is the Rector for the upcoming weekend. 

Led by teens for teens, during a Happening weekend, participants worship, play, sing, and talk about God's place in their lives. They make new friends who share similar concerns and questions - a reassuring discovery. A teenager who acts as "rector" leads the weekend with the help of a staff consisting mostly of young people. Some staff members give challenging talks, after which there's time for discussion and activity. Together, the staff and participants share in an exploration of the impact of Christian faith in their daily lives. Happeners who attend a weekend for their first time are called "Candidates." To be a Candidate, one must: 
1. Have completed the 9th grade and have not begun college. 
2. Fill out the application. 
Happening costs $101 to attend, and financial assistance is available. For more information, please visit the Georgia Happening  website

Click  here  to register for Happening! 

Cost for Winter Youth Retreat Goes Up After Friday!
After Friday, January 4th, the cost to attend the Winter Youth Retreat, January 11-13, increases from $115 to $125, so register now!

This retreat for those in grades six to 12, held at Honey Creek and coordinated by the Rev. Amy Bradley and Canon Joshua Varner, will offer time to relax, time to tell and listen to stories, and time to play together. Contact your priest and/or our Canon Missioner for Children and Youth, the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner for scholarship assistance: jvarner@gaepiscopal.org

Plan Now for CreekFEST this February 15-17
CreekFEST began with a mission to get all those of us around the Diocese who appreciate and love The Creek together. We worship, play games, eat yummy food, sing, tell stories, relax, and enjoy time together, all while celebrating the place that brings us joy and peace. This is still the mission of CreekFEST, and we hope you will consider making this weekend a family event, so mark your calendars! 

Registration includes lodging, meals, a 
t-shirt, and events. 

This year, we'll be entertained by the Dusty Roads Band on Saturday evening.

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. 

December 30 - January 5
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our Bishop, Scott Benhase and our retired bishop, Henry Louttit. We pray for our ecumenical partners, especially, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and their Bishop, Gregory Hartmayer; and for the Evangelical Lutheran Church's Southeast Synod and their Bishop, Julian Gordy. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for their Bishops, Moisés Quezada, and retired bishops, Julio Holguin, Telésforo Isaac, and William Skilton.

January 6 - 12
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Albany-St. John & St. Mark's , St. Patrick's, and St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Albany, the Lutheran Church of Our Savior and St. Teresa Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. James the Apostle (Santiago Apóstol) in Angelina.

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
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase will make his annual visitation to St. Richard's, Jekyll Island at 8: 30 AM, Sunday, January 6. The bishop's  full schedule is available 

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue will preside and preach at St. Paul's Albany on Sunday, January 6th.

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner will preach at St. Mark's Brunswick on Sunday, January 6th.

Varner will also serve at the Thursday Eucharist at Diocesan House which will begin at 11:30 this week.
Marked as Christ's Own

The joy of the Christmas season was made fully manifest on the evening of the third Thursday of Advent at Grovetown Episcopal Lutheran Mission. The church plant gathered to witness and welcome five newly baptized souls including two children and three adults. The Rev. Thomas Barron also celebrated Holy Eucharist where a majority of the people experienced their very first Anglican communion. Grovetown Mission has been sharing the Gospel to the community of Grovetown Georgia through a number of service projects and festivals since January of last year.  They began meeting weekly on Thursdays nights at Liberty Park Community Center in the city of Grovetown in June. Together they gather to break bread, share a meal, discuss various topics of spirituality, and explore different models of prayer and meditation
Samantha McKean Ordination
Saturday, January 5, 10:30 AM
Christ Church, Savannah

Bishop's Bible Study
Wednesdays 10 to 11 AM beginning January 9th and ending February 20th
St. Peter's Savannah or online at
Register for the in-person sessions by going here:   http://bit.ly/BibleStudywiththeBishop

Winter Youth Retreat
January 11-13, 2019
Honey Creek

Diocesan Council 
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Annunciation, Vidalia

Happening #101
January 31 (for staff) through Sunday, February 3
Staff register here , candidates 
Honey Creek Retreat Center

February 15-17
Honey Creek Retreat Center

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

Happening #102
Thursday, April 11 (for staff) through Sunday, April 14, 2019
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Diocesan Council

May 17-18

Diocesan Youth Mission Trip
July 13-20, 2019
Happening #103
Thursday, August 22 (for staff) through Sunday, August 25
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Diocesan Council
September 13-14
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