June 15, 2016
Volume 6, Number 42
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Track One
1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7),
Psalm 42 and 43
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39


Track Two
Isaiah 65:1-9
Psalm 22: 18-27
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39
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Honey Creek Ecology Center Grant
Last week, the United Thank Offering awarded the Diocese a grant to develop an "Ecology Center" at Honey Creek Retreat Center. Honey Creek and the diocese's Creation Care Commission partnered to submit the grant, envisioning a dedicated space on the Honey Creek campus to enjoy, learn about, and care for God's Creation.

The total award of $35,580 will cover the cost of dock upgrades, interior and porch renovation of the "dock study" building, garden expansion, construction of a composting outhouse, and purchase of supplies and gear such as binoculars, cast nets, spotting scope, microscopes, guidebooks, educational materials, and spiritual resources. Dock upgrades will include stabilization and the addition of a partial railing and roof to improve safety and comfort and increase use.

The grant is one of 32 awarded by the UTO this year for a total of $1,161,314.62, all of them for ministry initiatives that advance the Anglican Communion's Fifth Mark of Mission: "To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth." A full list of grant awards can be found here. UTO grants: More than $1 million for Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion mission and ministry 

Honey Creek Executive Director Dade Brantley commented, "We are excited and grateful for the support of the United Thank Offering. The UTO grant award allows us to connect our guests more fully to the unique beauty of Honey Creek. The Ecology Center isn't just about a few structures on campus-- it's a place to experience God in a new way and get inspired to care for God's gifts."

In time, the Ecology Center will be available year-round for all ages for individual exploration, classes, activities, small group retreats, and relaxed porch gatherings.

"At its root, this initiative is about love. We want to help people fall more deeply in love with Creation, the Creator, and their neighbor by spending more time experiencing and reflecting on the natural world," said Deacon Leeann Culbreath, who leads the Creation Care Commission. "Love compels us to care, protect, and worship-and that is what Creation care is all about."

"Yet, you don't love what you don't know," she added, "so a big part of the Ecology Center will be education-learning about specific plants and animals, yes, and also the big picture of the incredible life systems God created and how they interact. As much as possible, that learning will be experiential, with tools and resources that help guests literally 'dig in' to the natural world, actively experiencing the beauty of Creation and God's presence in it."

The United Thank Offering award funds are made possible by offerings from the well-known UTO Blue Boxes distributed annually in congregations across the country. If you would like more information about the Ecology Center or Creation Care Commission, contact Deacon Culbreath (
Diocesan Office Update     

Bishop Benhase is with Canon Logue, Canon Willoughby, the Rev. Kelly Steele, and Dade Brantley in Atlanta for the Project Resource Conference put on by the Episcopal Church's College for Bishops. This conference is designed to teach the team how to teach fundraising in the church including major gifts and annual giving. The conference concludes Thursday evening.

On her return to the office, Canon Willoughby will be preparing for the audit which starts on Tuesday.

Canon Logue continues to assist six congregations with clergy transitions. Several congregations will be calling a priest within the next two weeks.
Praying for those killed in Mass Shooting in Orlando

"Pray for the repose of the souls who have died," Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry said in his video message, Prayers for Orlando, concerning the June 12 shooting in Orlando, FL in which 50 people died and 53 were injured.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York in the Church of England call for solidarity with LGBTI people after the attack in Orlando. "After Sunday's attack in Orlando as Christians we must speak out in support of LGBTI people, who have become the latest group to be so brutally targeted by the forces of evil. We must pray, weep with those affected, support the bereaved, and love without qualification.

"The obligation to object to these acts of persecution, and to support those LGBTI people who are wickedly and cruelly killed and wounded, bereaved and traumatised, whether in Orlando or elsewhere, is an absolute call on our Christian discipleship. It arises from the unshakeable certainty of the gracious love of God for every human being. "Now, in this time of heartbreak and grief, is a time for solidarity. May God our Father give grace and comfort to all who mourn, and divine compassion to us all."

Oak Street Episcopal Mission
Camp Hope Now Underway in Thomasville
The summer camp program of Oak Street Episcopal Mission is in its second week of the summer. Camp Hope promotes social, emotional, spiritual, and physical growth. A large team of volunteers is supporting the camp, which meets weekdays from June 6 through July 1.  Here is a glimpse at the camp through its first week of activities:

On Monday, math, reading, arts and crafts, and board games were on schedule. That rainy afternoon campers enjoyed going to Brookwood School for basketball drills. 

Tuesday was the first swim day with an instructed swim with volunteers. Campers learned how to hold their breath under water and float. Rotations of math, reading, food art, and outside games came next and the afternoon was again spent at Brookwood for PE.  

Wednesday morning was all about dog and street safety. Campers learned how to read dogs, how to approach a dog, and how to recognize if it's a friendly dog or a mad dog. Police Officers Jones and Keel taught us about street safety and escorted the group to The Biscuit Company where campers learned about healthy habits. Wednesday was the last basketball day at Brookwood. 

Thursday offered the first field trip of the summer. At The Painted Pony campers rode horses, met some farm animals, and enjoyed a hayride. The afternoon ended with reading, math, and art back on the campus of Good Shepherd.  

Friday morning they traveled to Cairo High School to watch the FIRM Dance Company perform The Lion King Camp Hope continues for three more weeks.  The Oak Street Mission is a ministry of the three Episcopal churches in Thomasville-All Saints, Good Shepherd, and St. Thomas. 

St. Margaret of Scotland, Moultrie
Caring for those who Care for Farm Workers
Health Care Volunteers converged on the parish hall at St. Margaret's in Moultrie this week for a healthy lunch with a selection of tasty deserts. The volunteers come to Colquitt County each year to host the Ellenton Clinic, which provides sliding scale medical care for farm workers. 

Labor intensive vegetables grown in southwest Georgia are a vital 650-million-dollar crop in Georgia, second only to Vidalia onions in value. While language, culture, and money are all serious barriers to seasonal workers getting care, the Ellenton Clinic in Colquitt County breaks through those obstacles.  Most importantly, the Clinic provides preventive health approach.  The Clinic offers diabetes control programs and programs to help farm workers and their families prepare healthy food. There's also an after-school program for children of the farm workers.

Kent Hamilton is one farmer who employs seasonal workers from Mexico, who are in the U.S. on Guest Worker visas. He told Georgia Public Broadcasting that providing these workers with accessible and affordable medical care is essential. That's why Hamilton and his workers turn to the Ellenton Health Clinic. Operating with federal grants, the Ellenton Clinic provides primary health care services for people with a total family annual income of which 51% is derived from agriculture. The client must provide proof of income and is charged on a sliding scale basis.

To do this work cost effectively, the Ellenton Clinic uses Health Care Volunteers who St. Margaret's hosted this week to offer community hospitality to those coming to Colquitt County to serve others.

VBS is underway now at St. Paul's, Augusta.

Vacation Bible Schools around the Diocese
We want to share your Vacation Bible School or other camps with the Diocese in photo album collecting pictures of our kid-friendly catechesis taking place around the Diocese this summer. Send a link to your congregation's photo album online to

The photos will be added to a VBS album and used at the diocesan website.  You can visit this summer's VBS album online. Some of the photos will be shared here in From the Field. If you create a Facebook or other online album, you may also just send a link to that album to the address above we will copy a selection of photos to the diocesan album.     

VBS at St. Thomas, Thomasville.

VBS at Christ Church, Valdosta.

VBS at St. Thomas Isle of Hope, Savannah.

Summer Camp Now Underway 
High School Camp istaking place now at Camp Honey Creek. You can register online for upcoming weeks here:

If you have any camp questions, contact our Summer Camp Director, Thomas Greneker  at
Remaining Summer Camp Schedule 
(with Registration Links for  Individual  Camps)
Upcoming Gospel
Who Wants to go where the Swine Went?
by the Rev. David Somerville
C. S. Lewis once said that if we treated one another as if we were already in the Kingdom of Heaven, we would get several "blessings from the kingdom of this world thrown in". Is this  "Prosperity Gospel" talk? No. Prosperity Gospel people are the ones who seek to obey God's laws with the expectation that they will get paid handsomely with things like new cars, travel, and million dollar homes when God keeps his end of the deal.

Receiving something extra "thrown in" is quite different,  It suggests an inadvertent surprise. It is akin to happiness. Happiness "happens" to us when we are engaged with something else beyond ourselves, and have forgotten about whatever self-centered hunger for happiness we may have entertained in the first place.

Because this is a more leisurely time of the year than December, we can look at  A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens without the usual distractions that come with the holiday season. It may seem strange, Dear Reader, to be invited to do this.  But the rationale for looking at the holiday classic off season should become clear.

The principal character, Ebenezer Scrooge, was a man with neither happiness nor any of the good things that come from life in the world of God's creation.  He had food, clothing, and a place to live, of course, but none of the "milk of human kindness" that make such things wholesome.  So was the madman among the tombs in the upcoming Gospel. The deprivations of Scrooge and the possessed victim among the tombs were not all that different from each other. The Gospel story is of a man, an unclean gentile,  possessed by demons, living in the cold regions of a cemetery, the unclean place of the dead. He was on the outskirts of a swineherds' city.  The pathetic victim, as we know, of course,  was freed by Jesus from his possession by a legion of demons.

Continue reading this reflection online here: Upcoming Gospel for June 19
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: 

Prayers for June 12-18
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Martinez, Holy Comforter and Our Savior. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Grovetown. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Mao, The Annunciation ( La Anunciación) and St. Mary, Full of Grace ( Santa María Liena de Gracia).

Prayers for June 19-25
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Moultrie, St. Margaret of Scotland. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Moultrie, especially Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Mary the Virgin ( Santa María Virgen) in Montellano.
Preaching just to me
Ever feel the preacher is preaching just to you? Our Honey Creek Executive Director, Dade Brantley (at left in the foreground above), can be excused for thinking that is what happened on Tuesday when he had a front row seat for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's presentation to the Project Resource Conference in Atlanta. Stand by for news of Bishop Curry's September 24, 2017 preaching mission to our Diocese. You may leaving thinking he preached just to you.
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Diocesan Staff                             
Episcopal Diocese of Georgia