July 18, 2018
Volume 8, Number 47

79th General Convention Follow Up on Liturgies
The 79 th  General Convention ended in a flurry of business on Friday, June 13. Your bishop and deputation are all home and ready to help the Diocese of Georgia understand what did and did not happen through the 515 resolutions considered in the triennial meeting. Below, are some of the key resolutions of the convention concerning liturgies, none of which have immediate effect. Bishop Benhase will be discussing these matters with the Standing Committee at their September 1 meeting and then with the clergy during the Fall Clergy Conference, September 24-26. Liturgical changes take effect on the First Sunday of Advent, December 2, while Constitution and Canon changes take effect on January 1, 2019. Photo above shows Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves during the Litany of Lamentation service.
Prayer Book Revision
Deputies and alternates during a break at the House of Deputies.
The General Convention said no to Prayer Book revision while still moving forward with some experimentation with possible future liturgies taking place within our church. The resolution passed by convention (online here) "memorialized" the 1979 Book of Common Prayer to ensure its continued use. The present Book of Common Prayer remains the standard and the 1928 Book of Common Prayer may be used in some congregations with the permission of the Bishop. The convention also approved the creation of a Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision, constituting a group with leaders who represent the expertise, gender, age, theology, regional, and ethnic diversity of the church, to include, 10 laity, 10 priests or deacons, and 10 Bishops. The resolution urges the creation of liturgical commissions in each diocese, which are to report to the Task Force in advance of the General Convention meeting in 2021. The most important work authorized and funded by convention is work on a better translation into Spanish and French Creole of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer for the many congregations in Central America, the Caribbean, and across the United States who worship in these languages. The bottom line is that the 1979 Book of Common Prayer without revision remains the norm.
Expansive Language
While some news reports read like the Episcopal Church was changing our language for God, the resolution passed for trial use a set of options which make only slight changes to the Rite II Eucharists A, B, and D. No changes were made to the cornerstones of our liturgies, the Nicene Creed and the Lord's Prayer. The optional texts are available for use starting on the First Sunday in Advent this year. No congregation need use these texts in their worship.
Marriage Rites for All
The General Convention approved full access to two trial-use marriage rites for same-sex and opposite-sex couples approved by the 2015 meeting of General Convention in resolution B012. While the goal is to give all Episcopalians the ability to be married by their priests in their home churches, the resolution continues the practice, as is true of other sacraments, of leaving to the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to solemnize or bless any marriage.
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
Ninth Sunday after
2 Samuel 7:1-14a 
Psalm 89: 20-37
Ephesians 2: 11-22
Mark 6: 30-34, 53-56

Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 23
Ephesians 2: 11-22
Mark 6: 30-34, 53-56

Go  here for the full text.
General Convention Wrap Up
The Presiding Bishop preaching at the Hutto Center.

While not a theme for the 79th General Convention, The Way of Love, as preached passionately by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry formed an important frame for the legislative work. More than 1,000 bishops, deputies, and alternates met July 5-13 in Austin, Texas, to work with a record-breaking slate of resolutions. These covered approving a $134 million budget for 2018-2021, readmitting the Episcopal Church in Cuba as a diocese, legislation and a task force to respond to sexual harassment and assault in the church, offering evangelism resources, deciding on investment in Israel-Palestine, and immigration. Here is where you can find out more about these key pieces of legislation in articles by the Episcopal News Service:

Beyond this legislation, as mentioned in last week's From the Field, the Presiding Bishop also called on Episcopalians to engage in spiritual practices and to assist this, he offered resources:


Deaconess Alexander is in the Calendar of Saints
During the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which concluded Friday, Deaconess Anna Alexander, who began her ministry at Good Shepherd in Pennick Georgia, was named added to the calendar of saints. This completes a process that began in 1998, the requisite 51 years after her death, and sees the Deaconess added to a calendar which includes the apostles and St. Francis among the 183 saints. Above, deputies and alternates celebrate the vote that added Deaconess Alexander to the calendar of saints.

Reflecting on this move by the Episcopal Church, its Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who gained notoriety for his sermon for the royal wedding, said, "In a time when the races were separated, she brought people of difference races together,  because she followed Jesus of Nazareth and his way of love. And in a time when black children did not have many opportunities for education she made sure that they received them, because she followed the way of Jesus and his love. And in a time when women were not able to live completely into God's call for them, she lived the fullness of God calling in her life anyway, starting schools starting churches, spreading the good news to any and all regardless of race, class or kind. All this she did because she really followed Jesus and his way of love. She was in her time a living model of a follower of Jesus Christ. And she is that for us in our time. For that reason, the Episcopal Church honors and gives thanks for Deaconess Anna Alexander." The photo shows Presiding Bishop Michael Curry accepting a framed photo of Deaconess Alexander from Walter Holmes and Dwala Nobles during his pilgrimage to Good Shepherd Pennick in January.

T he decision came in the form of votes by both  the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. With this action Anna Alexander is added Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, which provides the calendar of saints for Episcopalians. The lesser designation is because the major feasts include Christmas and Easter.

Born the youngest of 11 children to recently emancipated slaves on St. Simons Island, Georgia, Anna (1865-1947) started a church and school in Pennick Community west of Brunswick. Many remarked on Alexander's holiness of life during her own lifetime as well as for the many lives she changed for the better in raising up the children of the Pennick Community through education.  Her Feast Day remains what it was as a Saint in Georgia, September 24th.
From the Canon Missioner for Children and Youth
And a (Middle School) Child Shall Lead Them
(Isaiah 11:6, gently edited)

"And a little child shall lead them" comes from a reading most often used during the Christmas season, and is part of a series of seemingly impossible things that will come to pass, according to the prophet Isaiah, in the fullness of time. This is one of the marks of the presence of God, that children, often some of the most powerless people, are honored, lifted up. When children take their place as leaders among God's people, all of us are richer.

Last week, at Camp St. Peter II, a group of students who had just completed grades 6 through 8 were asked to reflect on the Magnificat, Mary's song of praise and promise. Samantha McKean, from Christ Church Savannah, the Rev. Amy Bradley, Deacon, from St. Augustine's, Augusta, and the Rev. Hunt Priest of St. Peter's, Savannah, invited them into a process of creation. "We asked them to name the hurts they saw in the world, and in their circle of friends" said Bradley. "They then talked about what it would look like for those hurts to be reversed and healed. They chose the top three from their lists and added them to the Magnificat. We talked about how, like Mary, each one of those campers had a role to play in helping to turn the world upside down."

The Middle School Magnificat, composed by the campers is below. As you read it, I invite you to think not only about the wisdom of these particular campers but also about how we, as adults, can encourage and support youth as they struggle with the hurts and evils in the world and in their own lives, knowing that their leadership, not just some day, but right now, is a sign of God's Kingdom.

The Middle School Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
For he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
The Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He guides those who are misled and protects the wounded.
He brings happiness to those who have been judged,
and he opens the eyes of those who cast judgment.
He has scattered the intolerant; he has educated the close-minded
and provided acceptance and equality to the downtrodden.
He has welcomed the oppressed.
He has made it so we can express ourselves without fear of being picked on or ashamed; he has removed the masks of the insecure.
He has dis-empowered the bullies,
but rescued their victims; he has raised up the kind.
He has cleansed the world of violence and brought peace.
The promise he made to our fathers and mothers, *
To Abraham and Sarah and their children for ever.

The Rev. Canon Joshua
Missioner for Children and Youth
Would you be interested in purchasing a flag featuring the diocesan seal? A minimum order is required to produce them so we are trying to gauge interest. The cost is $35 and includes shipping. Please let Anna Iredale know if you are interested: airedale@gaepiscopal.org; 912236-4279. If we receive 12 orders it's a go!
Tar Drazdowski Named Dean of Albany Convocation
The Very Rev. Tar Drazdowski

The Very Rev. Tar Drazdowski, Vicar of Christ Church, Cordele, has been named Dean of the Albany Convocation. She has been serving at Christ Church since December of 2017. Before moving to Sidney, Nebraska, Drazdowski served Christ Church, Valdosta for six years as the Assistant Rector and was actively involved in the diocese in Cursillo and mission in the Dominican Republic. She has received training through the Church Development Institute, Conflict Management, Emotional Intelligence Human Resources and Peer Coaching.

Drazdowski has served the diocese in many ways including a member of the Diocesan Council, The Chair of the Companion Diocese Commission, served as Bishop Benhase's representation on the Dominican Development Group and a Deputy to General Convention numerous times.

She is married to Jim Drazdowski and they have two grown children, Andy Drazdowski and Amanda Harrell and four grandchildren.
Christ Church Savannah Welcomes Todd Smelser
Smelser (left) with the Rev. Michael White, Rector of Christ Church, Samantha McKean, Aassistant for Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the Rev. Helen White, Assistant for Children and Family Ministries
Last Sunday, Christ Church welcomed the Rev. Canon Todd Smelser as its preacher and the newest member of its clergy team. Recently retired from full-time ministry, Todd will carry the title of Priest Associate at Christ Church. A priest associate is an ordained Episcopal priest who is living as a full participant in the life of an Episcopal Church and periodically shares his or her gifts with the community on a voluntary basis. 

Canon Smelser is a native of Liberty, Indiana. A graduate of Earlham College with an A.B. in music and a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological Seminary, he was ordained deacon and priest in 1974. His first call was as Curate of Trinity Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and then as Vicar and first Rector of St. Alban's Church in Fort Wayne. After a brief stint as Youth and Young Adult Coordinator in the Diocese of New York, he returned to parish ministry, for nine years at St. John's Church in Minneapolis and then for over seven years as Dean of St. James' Cathedral in Chicago. After two years as Interim Rector of St. George's Church, Maplewood, New Jersey, he moved to Atlanta where he served at the Cathedral of St. Philip for 16 years, first as Canon for Worship and Pastoral Care, and then as Associate for Pastoral Care. Canon Smelser was a long-time Trustee of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (now Bexley-Seabury) and, in Atlanta, was Chair of the Board of the Cathedral Book Store and of the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. 

Acolyte Festival 2018!
When: Saturday August 11 - Sunday August 12, 2018
Where: St. Anne's Episcopal Church, Tifton GA
Participants: Youth in Grades 3-12 and Adult Acolyte Leaders
Cost: $50 per person before August 1 ($60 per person after August 1)
Questions? - Email the Rev. Joshua Varner
Canon for Children and Youth
Around the Diocese

The concrete slab for the parish hall expansion at St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's Churches in Darien has been poured.
The congregation at St. Luke's Rincon prays for their Vicar, the Rev. David Rose, on the fifth anniversary of his call to the congregation
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. 

July 15-21
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Rincon, St. Luke's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially the Lutheran churches in Rincon Jerusalem and St. John's. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Barnabas's Church ( San Bernabé) in Pizarette.

July 22-28
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in St. Marys, Christ Church. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in St. Marys, especially Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Puerto Plata Jesus the Messiah ( Jesús Mesías) and St. Francis of Assisi ( San Francisco de Asís).
Diocesan Office Update and News
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase'  full schedule is available  here.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue will preside and preach this Sunday at Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island.

The Rev. Doris Johnson will officiate at the Thursday noon service at Diocesan House.
Share your news in From the Field
Send your news, events and photos to   so we can feature them in upcoming issues of From the Field. Deadline for submissions each week is Monday at 4:30 PM.  
Reserve Time at Saluda Clergy Cottage Today!
Ch eck the Saluda Clergy Cottage website calendar for availability.
To reserve time, please fill out and email/mail the reservation form found here.

Acolyte Festival 
Saturday and Sunday, August 11-12
St. Anne's Tifton
Grades three to 12
To register, go here

Quiet Day Retreat
Saturday, August 11
9 AM to 2 PM
Church of the Holy Comforter
473 Fury's Ferry Road, Martinez
Information: 706-210-1133

Open House and Blessing
Diocesan House
4 PM, Thursday, August 23
18 E. 34th Street

Ordination to the Priesthood
The Rev. Bunny Simon Williams
August 25 at 11 AM
Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta

Happening #101
September 14-16
Honey Creek
Grades 10-12
For information, go 

Project Resource Training with the Bishop
Southeast Convocation
Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island
September 22
9:30 AM to noon

Fall Clergy Conference
September 24-26
Honey Creek
To register, go here: 

Project Resource Training with the Bishop
Albany Convocation
Christ Church, Cordele
Saturday, October 27
9:30 AM to noon
To register, go here:  http://bit.ly/AlbanyProjectResourceWorkshop2018

Project Resource Training with the Bishop
Augusta Convocation
St. Augustine's of Augusta
November 3
9:30 AM to noon
To register, go here: 
198th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia

November 8-10
Albany, Georgia

One Last Look

X Choir, an ensemble of Christ Church Frederica on St. Simons Island, poses for a photo with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry following the closing Eucharist of the General Convention.

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