July 4, 2018
Volume 8, Number 45
Hello from General Convention!
 
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase and deputies who have arrived in Austin gather following the opening address earlier this afternoon. From left: Molly Stevenson, Jody Grant, the Rev. Kelly Steele, the Rev. Cynthia Taylor, Bishop Benhase, the Rev. Ted Clarkson and the Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Deputation Chair. At the same time, two deputies and an alternate were waiting at the Atlanta airport to board their flight to Austin: from left, Dr. Clemontine Washington (deputy), the Rev. William Willoughby (alternate) and Mary Willoughby (deputy}. More news from the General Convention will be featured in next week's From the Field and can also be found at
  
Diocese of Georgia Youth play a circle dancing game with children from Iglesia Monte de Sión.

One Body: Diocese of Georgia Youth in the DR


From the Rev. Joshua Varner
Canon for Children and Youth
Thirteen high school youth and three adults recently returned from the Dominican Republic, where they participated in the life of three separate conngregations. The group was hosted by the congregation of San José, located in Boca Chica, and attended worship there on Sunday June 23. Then for the rest of the week we assisted with Vacation Bible School at Santo Tomás in Gautier in the mornings and at the new congregation of Monte de Sión in the afternoons. Parishioners from Santo Tomás led the morning VBS and parishioners from the larger congregation of San José worked with parishioners from Monte de Sión to lead the afternoon program. Our youth provided assisted with crafts and lessons, sang songs, played games with children, and both offered and received love all week!

Our theme for the week was "One Body" (1 Corinthians 12:27) and each night, as the 16 of us gathered together for worship, music, and reflection, we wrote and talked together about the presence of Christ in our midst throughout that day, and in our lives. In experiencing a new culture and a new part of the Episcopal Church, our understanding of the Body of Christ and our place in it was deepened and expanded.

Callie Cranford, a rising sophomore from Trinity, Cochran, wrote this about the trip:

Here's to dancing, to singing, to having Spanish lessons, to coloring with kids, to cutting circles in 300 paper plates, to swimming in the rain, to tossing children in the air, to dominating in four square, to chanting cheers, to thinking we were ghostbusters and to schooling each other in basketball. These past 8 days were full of joy, laughter, beauty, new faces that became wonderful friends, smiles, and funky crafts. I am so happy I got to share this experience with some of my closest amigos. My heart is so full of happiness from all these happy kids that taught us the best version of rock-paper-scissors, so much spanish, and that love itself is a language. #weareonebody #téamo
Sarah Bianco, far left, a rising senior from St. Thomas, Savannah, wrote this:

This past week was such an amazing experience working with our fellow Episcopal Diocese in the Dominican Republic. Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love. God is so good and my spiritual cup has been filled.

In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10:
Psalm 48
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Mark 6:1-13

or
Ezekiel 2:1-5
Psalm 123
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Mark 6:1-13


Go  here for the full text.
Christ Church Valdosta Completes 19th Mission
Christ Church's team on the playground equipment that they refurbished on this, their 19th trip.

By Julia Ariail
Co-Chair of the Companion Diocese Commission
The Christ Church, Valdosta, mission team of 14 returned home on Saturday, June 30, after spending a week in at the rural Episcopal conference center in El Pedregal, Dominican Republic. This is the 19th year the church has sponsored a team. What a week it was!

The missioners divided the tasks and accomplished an amazing amount of work as well as entertaining excursions. Their main mission was to share the love of God with church members and villagers. They taught Vacation Bible School, repaired and repainted the playground the team built in 2014, painted Noah's Ark and animal murals in the kindergarten center, repainted the school logo on the exterior wall of the church/school complex, taught sewing to village women, taught bracelet making and made God's Eyes with the local teens, and entertained over 150 children and teachers for a splash party complete with music and lunch.

Mary Jeannette Pringle de Quezada, wife of the Dominican Bishop, served as the 14th member of the team for the entire week, teaching sewing, teaching VBS and translating for the team. Dayamo Ramirez, director of the DR Natural Resources Department in Jarabacoa, talked to the children at VBS about the importance of water in life. A wonderful accident of timing allowed the group to be in El Pedregal when the young woman who has served as a translator for the group for many years gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Brithany Sofia. The entire mission team went to the hospital for a "welcome to the world" and congratulations.

The team awarded special Dominican helpers with team t-shirts and crosses at the farewell party and donated 14 Luci lights (solar) and money for the purchase of 72 sheet sets for children's summer camp to Padre Ramón Canela, priest in charge of the Campamento. For the 2018-2019 school year parishioners from Christ Church, Holy Trinity, Statesboro, and Holy Nativity, Dothan, AL are donating 70 scholarships ($24,500) for the village children.
"Ask the Bishop" From General Convention
A special edition of Ask the Bishop will be on Facebook Live Friday, July 6th at 10 AM. The Bishop will be between legislative sessions so it will be about 20 minutes long. Questions answered will only be those submitted ahead of time to newsandevents@gaepiscopal.org
Go here to see the livestream:
Training for Licensed Lay Ministers
St. Michael's is hosting a training for licensed lay ministries this Saturday at 9 AM. There will be training for Eucharistic Ministers, Eucharistic Visitors, and Lectors (even though no license is required for Lectors). It's open to all congregations in the Savannah Convocation. To attend this free training, email office@saintmichaelsavannah.com by Thursday. 

The Administrator's Corner
Ah Summertime, When Thoughts Turn to Software
Summertime is an excellent time to sit back and reflect on what could be better organized within a church or organization. It's a time when I will often get questions asking for recommendations of accounting, payroll, and other systems for day to day business administration. When looking for a new system, I often have a series of questions and similar recommendations for each church. When considering a new software it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
  1. What are the needs of the parish? - Are you looking to manage payroll? Contributions? Bank reconciliation? Event planning? Have a clear idea of the different business needs of the church. Some software programs can integrate several features into one tool. Challenges can arise when you use several different programs for different tasks. However, if you are looking for basic needs, getting a multi-functional software can be expensive and a waste of resources.
     
  2. Who will be doing the work and what is the level of effort? - Many of our congregations have wonderful volunteer support to conduct the administrative needs of a church. Is your software user friendly? Can you switch users easily when someone new steps into the position? Do you have a full-time employee who can learn a new complex system? Answering some of these questions can help drive you towards a tool that meets the needs of the person doing the "work" itself. 
     
  3. Is it secure? - Does the software have strong backup and security measures? Is it cloud based? Can anyone login? It is critical to understand the protection and security measure for a software to protect sensitive data. 
     
  4. What is the budget? - Some software programs are a one-time fixed cost while others can be an annual or monthly fee service. Calculate the associated costs against the above questions. Sometimes the more expensive fee based program can save time, resources, and errors, which can to amount to other cost savings for the church. 
     
  5.  Does it update? - Technology is changing at a rapid clip. Does your software update? Can you upgrade for a fee with new features? It is important to know if your software/program can adapt to the growing needs of your church, and become easier as newer features come out. 


These five questions are just a starting point. The business needs of a church can vary widely. If a vestry is considering a change, start with these questions and expand to the specific needs of your organization. If you have questions about available software recommendations, please feel free to reach out to me at kwilloughby@gaepiscopal.org.


Katie Willoughby
Canon for Administration
Bishop's Visitation
Bishop Benhase's Annual Visitation to Christ Church, Cordele included worship on the water or WOW as it is known in the parish. 
Around the Diocese

The Rev. Robert Magoola (shown with his wife Monica) after his first service at St. Athanasius' Church, Brunswick.
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 1-7
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Pooler, St. Patrick's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Garden City and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Port Wentworth. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Timothy's Church ( San Timoteo) in Nizao.

July 8-14
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Richmond Hill, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Richmond Hill, especially Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church and St. Anne's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. John the Evangelist ( San Juan Evangelista) in Piedra Blanca. 
Registration Opens for Acolyte Festival
The Acolyte Festival will be held August 11-12 at St. Anne's in Tifton! This event, which is open to young people in Grades 3-12 begins on Saturday morning and concludes after Sunday worship at St. Anne's. Participants will get a chance to learn about vestments and the church year, to explore the church buildings, to learn how to carry the cross and torches, how to serve at the Altar, how to swing a thurible, and much more! On Saturday afternoon we will play together, and then on Sunday morning we'll gather to make a giant procession as part of the worship service. Acolytes should bring their vestments and church processional banners, if they have them.

Register early! The early registration cost is $50, but after August 1, the cost goes up to $60 per person! Churches that are sending more than three children are asked to send an adult with them to help make this great event happen.

Please contact Joshua Varner, Canon for Children and Youth, with any questions about the event.  

Go here to register.
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.
Events 

General Convention of the Episcopal Church
July 3-13 in Austin, Texas
News from the Diocese of Georgia Deputation will be reported in From the Field and found online at  gc2018.georgiaepiscopal.org

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

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 
here. 

Fall Clergy Conference
September 24-26
Honey Creek

197th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia
November 8-10
Albany, Georgia
For information go here: 
Happy 4th of July!
...with a little help from our friends at Calvary Church Americus!
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