May 17, 2017
Volume 7, Number 38
Project Resource 2.0
Bishop Benhase to Lead Stewardship Training this Fall
The Revs. Cynthia Taylor, Joshua Varner, Lonnie Lacy, Bishop Benhase and Loretta Brandon in Atlanta.
"If Jesus came to visit your church, what would make him say 'WOW?'" Answering that question gets at the heart of the stewardship training Bishop Benhase will bring to the diocese this fall. As he visits parishes, the bishop will partner with those who attended the Atlanta training in order to extend Project Resource 2.0 training to vestries and laypersons throughout the Diocese. While vestries should become involved in this training, any member of the congregation may also take part in these three-hour sessions.
"The Episcopal Church has designed this training to roll out efficiently to parishes," said Bishop Benhase, "with print and digital resources that will teach the essentials for all sizes of parishes. After training, each vestry can customize the scope of the program to their own context."

During the training last week, the Diocese of Georgia doubled the number of Project Resource Trainers. Bishop Scott Benhase; the Rev. Joshua Varner of St. Patrick's Pooler, the Rev. Lonnie Lacy of St. Anne's Tifton, and the Rev. Cynthia Taylor of Our Savior Martinez and Loretta Brandon, a lay representative from Trinity Statesboro, attended the training at All Saints, Atlanta. The three-day event trained teams representing 15 dioceses across the United States in the art and science of raising money, raising people, and developing planning and communications that support these initiatives.

Project Resource 2.0 is a collaborative project created by the Episcopal Church Foundation, in partnership with The College for Bishops and The Development Office of the Episcopal Church. The aim of Project Resource is to change the culture of resource development in our Church to be more fruitful for God's mission. This started in the Diocese of Georgia last fall when Bishop Benhase, Canon for Administration Katie Willoughby, Canon to the Ordinary Frank Logue, the Rev. Kelly Steele, and Dade Brantley, Executive Director of Honey Creek, attended the first Project Resource Training.

Those who attended Project Resource 2.0 will join their co-horts in training both rectors and laypersons throughout the Diocese of Georgia in the methods and best practices of stewardship, communications, and parish development.

Bishop Benhase leading worship at Project Resource 2.0 held in Atlanta.
Once trained, members of parishes have the skills to build money, vision, and people--the three great resources of any church's mission. Success in carrying out Project Resource 2.0 will require each parish to have both a clear external purpose in its programs and a clear internal vision of its Christian faith. Purpose and vision, combined with increased congregational dialog and communication, will encourage success as Project Resource 2.0 is implemented.

"One of the best questions I heard at Project Resource training is this," said Loretta Brandon, stewardship chair at Trinity Statesboro. "If Jesus came to visit your church, what would make him say 'WOW'? Once you can answer that question, you'll be ready for Project Resource 2.0."

August 26
Central Convocation
Annuniciation, Vidalia
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October 21
Augusta Convocation
Holy Comforter, Martinez
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September 9
Savannah Convocation
St. George's Savannah
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October 28
Albany Convocation
St. Paul's Albany
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This Sunday's Lections
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The Rev. William Thomas Fitzgerald
April 10, 1927-April 30, 2017

The Rev. William Thomas Fitzgerald, former Rector at Christ Church Frederica, died Sunday, April 30, 2017, in Gainesville, Ga., after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Martha Trezevant Simpson.

A high choral requiem service will be held at a future date at The Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota, Fla. Funeral services will be followed by interment at Christ Church Frederica, St. Simons Island.
Born April 10, 1927, in Augusta, Ga., the son of William Thomas Fitzgerald and Martha Halley Wall, he attended Richmond Academy, served in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was a veteran graduate of The Citadel where he received his bachelor's degree in chemistry. He received his master's degree from the University of Georgia. He was a research chemist for the Minute Maid Corporation in Winter Park Fla. and a chemistry instructor at The Citadel.

After relocating back to Winter Park, the Fitzgeralds attended All Saints Episcopal Church. There he discerned a calling to the priesthood and attended seminary at University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He was ordained a priest in 1960 at Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota, Fla., where he served as curate/rector. He was called to Christ Church Frederica in 1978 where he served as rector until his retirement in 1992. He served as trustee/regent at Sewanee from 1966 to 1987.

Remembrances may be made to Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota, Fla., Christ Church Frederica, St. Simons Island, Ga., or St. Michael's Conference, 2201 St. Mary's St., Raleigh, NC 27608. For more information, see the obituary in the Brunswick News here.
Around the Diocese

St. Patrick's-Lutheran Church  of Our Saviour, Albany, observed Rogation Sunday with a blessing of the church garden by the Rev. Galen Mirate. The garden supplies fresh vegetables to clients of food pantries in Albany. A congregation member has also often furnished fresh eggs from his backyard chickens. 

"The Food for a Thousand" program, manned by volunteers, has become a signature ministry of the parish. (Photos by David Shivers)

All Saints' Tybee Island will hold Compline on the Beach Wednesdays beginning June 1 at the 8th Street crossover at 6 PM. In case of rain, the service will be held at the Church, 804 Jones Avenue, Tybee Island, GA 31328.
Creation Care Commission Digs Into Projects
Panorama of the Ecology Center, which is more than just a building. It also includes the garden and dock. Plans for the future include a composting outhouse!
The Creation Care Commission made more progress last weekend on the Ecology Center and other sustainability projects at Honey Creek. They continued to develop a comfortable "retreat room" at the former Dock Study building and improved the screened porch.
Working on an outdoor sink.

Linda Lowery of St. Paul's Albany and Laura Evans of St. Andrew's Darien spruce up the compost bins.
A rain barrel, built and painted by campers l ast summer, was installed at the dining hall to re-use rain water for nearby flower and herb boxes. The group also repaired and improved the compost bins behind the dining hall in preparation for the busy summer season. 

The CCC still seeks donations of a futon/sleeper couch, bookshelves, a tall "bar" table with stools, and a coffee table. When complete, the room will be available for individual or small group retreats. If you have items to donate or would like to get involved with Creation Care ministry in the diocese, contact Deacon Leeann Culbreath at
"Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit...."
- John 15:5
The Loose Canon
Measuring Faithfulness Beyond the ABCs
The mission of the church is to restore people to unity with God and each other in Christ through prayer, worship, proclaiming the Gospel, and promoting justice, peace, and love (Catechism BCP p. 855). We know that wherever the Gospel is truly preached and the sacraments rightly administered that this bears fruit. The fruit born will vary in differing circumstances.
The ABCs of Measuring Churches
Despite what we may say (or wish), the Church as an institution counts the ABCs-attendance, buildings, and contributions. Where there are more people in worship, a new building is built, or giving is increasing, we say there is health. Where these are stagnant and declining we usually remain silent.
These measures do matter, even if they are not the only ways to look for whether a ministry is bearing fruit. The number of people in church each Sunday is measured as Average Sunday Attendance (ASA). Christ Church Cordele in Crisp County has seen steady population growth in the county and in recent years the congregation's growth has far outpaced those numbers. Their Worship on the Water liturgy on the dock on Lake Blackshear takes the worship to the people. In addition, the faithful, sustained work of their lay persons working together with their Vicar, the Rev. Larry Williams, has led to growth in attendance from 39 in 2013 to more than 80 on an average Sunday today. Click the image above to watch a short video showing Worship on the Water.
The number of baptisms in general and adult baptisms in particular are also important signs of growth. For example. while Grace Church in Waycross has an ASA of 65, they last year baptized 3 adults and 4 children, more than many larger congregations. You can see these statistics on churches and their communities at the Episcopal Churches webpage on Studying Your Congregation and Community
Beyond These Numbers
We know that the numbers reflected in the ABCs above misses something vital. Christ Church, Augusta has 30 people in worship on a typical Sunday. The church is not only preaching the Gospel and rightly administering the Sacraments, they also feed more than 100 people a week in their soup kitchen, offer free medical check-ups on a monthly basis, and have a Clothing Ministry. If this congregation were to close, it would leave a hole in the life of its community. While attendance and giving are not increasing, that congregation is clearly bearing much fruit. The Christ Church Augusta Soup Kitchen is shown above.
Your church at its most vital?
One way to look at your church anew is rather than looking to other congregations, seeing what they offer and feeling bad about what we lack (I'm looking at you First Baptist), instead look to the gifts you do have. What makes your congregation a unique place to come worship God now? Churches have very different ways of being the Body of Christ that are life-giving, joy-filled responses to the love of God found in relationship with Jesus Christ. What is your church's best self? How might you get there? The Rev. Canon Dedra Bell-Wolski is pictured above baptizing a child at Christ Church St. Marys.

There may be reasons why your attendance and budget are not going up, as these are not the only indicators of faithfulness. But there is no reason why every congregation cannot bear fruit for the kingdom of God. To do so, a vestry needs to routinely ask, "How we are doing?" and then look at ways to go about more fully being the Body of Christ according to the gifts we have within the congregation. Discerning how we are doing and what might need to change in order to be more effective are key to remaining faithful to our mission.
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
Down to the River to Pray Near Savannah

Enjoy a peaceful, prayerful morning on this half-day "creek retreat" on Ebenezer Creek near Savannah, starting and ending at the Tommy Long Landing in Rincon. Participants will paddle an easy out-and-back route through a natural sanctuary, finishing in around three hours. The route is suitable for beginners and families with children.

Ebenezer Creek is a backwater tributary of the lower Savannah River, home to a wide variety of bird and animal species amid ancient dwarf cypress and tupelo forest. The group will pause together along the route for reflection, prayer, and enjoyment of God's Creation.

Back Water Expeditions is offering kayak and canoe rentals (reserved in advance) for $30 per person, or participants can provide their own boat(s) and gear at no cost. Rentals will be paid for by cash or check to the outfitter on the day of the event. There is no additional registration fee, but Down to the River to Pray t-shirts will be available for a suggested donation of $15 each to support the Creation Care Commission. An optional sack lunch picnic (bring your own) at the landing will complete the event.

This is the third "Down to the River to Pray" event co-sponsored this year by the diocese's Creation Care Commission and Georgia Interfaith Power & Light. For more information or to register, click here.
Bishop's Visitations

Bishop Benhase made his annual visitation to St. Alban's Church in Augusta on Sunday. Shown above: front row from left: Jean Staten (received), Bishop Benhase; s
econd row: Deacon Rosalyn Panton, the Rev. Billy Alford, Stephen and Laura Zanger.

At St. Michael's Waynesboro on Sunday: standing in front of Bishop Benhase and the Rev. Ervin Veale are the newly confirmed: from left: Marsha Hughes, Carmen, Addie, Allie and Pete Bennett, Baylie Lovett. 

The Diocese of Georgia's Episcopal Youth and Children's Services (EYCS) awards numerous college scholarships each year. If you, or someone you know, is heading to college from the Diocese, please share information about this program. We are also asking that parishes download the bulletin insert available here and the flyer here to distribute and post. For more information, go here
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.  
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. 

May 14-20 
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Hinesville, St. Philip's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Hinesville, especially St. Stephen's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for  the congregations in La Romana, La EncarnaciĆ³n ( The Incarnation) and Todos los Santos (All Saints).

May 21-27
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Jesup, St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Jesup, especially St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for EspĆ­ritu Santo, the congregation of the Holy Spirit in Las Carreras.
Diocesan Office Update and News  
Bishop Benhase will make his annual visitation to Trinity, Statesboro on Sunday, May 21 at 10 AM. The Bishop's full schedule is available  here.  
Canon Logue will be on vacation this weekend as he and Victoria visit their daughter, Griffin. On Monday, May 22, through Wednesday, June 24, he will be teaching at a conference for new ministry developers in the Episcopal Church which meets in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Rev. David Perkins, Priest in Charge of Our Savior, Martinez, is also teaching at the conference.

The Rev. Jim Parker, Rector of St. George's Savannah, will officiate at the noon service Thursday to be held at St. George's Chapel, Diocesan House. 
Bishop Benhase Sighted Out West 
The Rev. Richard and Deacon Geri Nelson headed west after their recent retirement. But apparently, they couldn't leave their bishop behind. The photos above are from Deacon Geri Nelson's Facebook page.
Education for Ministry, 
June 1-3
Honey Creek Conference Center
Contact Diocesan EfM Coordinator Misty Graham at 352-281-6805 or for more information here.

Hometown Missions for Youth
June 4 to June 7
St. John's and St. Mark's, Albany
For information, contact the Missioner for Youth, the Rev. Joshua Varner at Evangelism Training
Saturday, June 24 from 1-4 pm
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
3 West Ridge Road, Savannah, GA 31411 
Register  here.  

Evangelism Training
Sunday, June 25 from 1-4 pm
St. Anne's Episcopal Church
2411 Central Ave. N., Tifton, GA 31794
Register here.  

Project Resource 2.0 with Bishop Benhase
August 26, 9:30 AM to noon
Annunciation, Vidalia

Project Resource 2.0 with Bishop Benhase
September 9, 9:30 AM to noon
St. George's, Savannah
Register  here.
Revival: Boundless Love Fearless Faith
September 17, 2 PM
Fall Clergy Conference
September 17-19
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Project Resource 2.0 with Bishop Benhase
October 21, 9:30 AM to noon
Holy Comforter Martinez
Register  here.
Project Resource 2.0 with Bishop Benhase
October 28, 9:30 AM to noon
St. Paul's, Albany
Register  here.
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