May 31, 2017
Volume 7, Number 40
Come, Holy Spirit, Come
Celebrate God's Empowering Spirit
Celebrate God's Empowering Spirit

The video above is one your congregation may use at no charge on Facebook and your website to invite members of your community to worship with you this coming Sunday on Pentecost. You may link to the YouTube video above, download the original file to use on your Facebook page ( download from here), or just share the Facebook video
on your page. And remember to wear RED to church this Sunday as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit.
In This Issue
Join Our Mailing List

This Sunday's Lections
 Go here 
f or the full text.

The Rev. Deacon Lawrence Jesion and the Rev. DeaconTerri Degenhardt (above) were ordained to the priesthood on May 13th at St. Paul's Church, Augusta. 

Leslie Anne Dellenbarger (above left) and Thomas Barron were ordained to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, May 27th at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah. 
Around the Diocese

The Planning Committee for the Deaconess Alexander Celebration at the Revival on September 17th met at Good Shepherd Pennick. Clockwise from left: Zora Nobles, Walter Holmes, Good Shepherd Senior Warden, the Rev. Julian Clarke, Brandi Whitfield, Gladys Lyde, Senior Warden. St. Athanasius; Elizabeth Attical; Dwala Nobles; Josephine Wilcox; Karen LaCount; Esther Clarke; Jackie Nobles Wright, and Catherine Nobles.

Christ Episcopal Church in Cordele kicked off its summer Worship on the Water series for the 15th year. The Rev. Dr. Larry Williams, Vicar, says its a way to break beyond the church walls.  "Worship on the water is meant to grow faith in the larger community." To watch the Albany TV station WALB report on Worship on the Water click here.

Christ Episcopal Church Valdosta graduated a class of preschoolers recently. At left above, the Rev. Dave Johnson, Rector, plays for the graduates who are shown in the picture at right.

Meanwhile on Tybee Island, All Saints' Episcopal Church, will hold Compline on the Beach each Wednesday evening between June 7 and August 31 at the 8th Street crossover at 6:30 PM. In case of rain, Compline will be held at the church, All Saints' Episcopal Church, 804 Jones Avenue, Tybee Island, GA 31328.
Virginia Theological Seminary's eFormation Conference   is all-online via webinar on Tuesday, June 6th. This free digital media for ministry learning conference provides opportunities for personal and professional development. Workshops include: Digital-Only Faith Formation, Using Videos for Ministry, Theology by Design: A Practical Approach to Design Thinking for Congregations, Trying Everything: Experiences of Digital Evangelism and Fundraising. Two affinity group gathering times will also be offered for participants to share and ask questions about the future of their ministry. All workshops will be available afterwards. Register, receive email reminders and gain access to the June 6th conference on ministry in a digital world:
New Ministry Developer Intensive Training
The Revs. David Perkins, Kelly Steele, Guillermo Arboleda, and Frank Logue are pictured on the grounds of the Fransiscan Renewal Center in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

The Episcopal Church held a training May 23-25 for persons starting new churches and other new ministries across our church and the Diocese of Georgia was there. The Rev. David Perkins and Canon Frank Logue taught a workshop session together on how to use demographic data in planning a new ministry. Perkins and Logue also taught with others on making a communications plan and other topics of concern to those working entrepreneurially in ministry. The Rev. Kelly Steele was invited as a grant recipient from the Episcopal Church as her Epiphany congregation in Savannah received $100,000 in funding from the churchwide budget. Her husband, the Rev. Guillermo Arboleda, took part as her spouse, also gaining skills that benefit him as Priest in Charge of St. Matthew's, Savannah.

The Loose Canon
Prepare to Welcome Summer Visitors
This past Sunday, I had a rare day to worship sitting in the pews with my wife, Victoria. We greeted a woman visiting the church in the parish hall before the liturgy began. She grew up in the Episcopal Church and recently moved to town. As often happens when talking with a visitor, I couldn't help but see the church with new eyes, the eyes of a first impression. I know this congregation well and so I know they usually have a choir, who is not present in the summer. I also knew that attendance was low for Memorial Day weekend. I wanted to talk with her after the Eucharist to slip in casually the lack of choir and otherwise to suggest that this was not a view of this congregation on a typical weekend. She left after the sermon. I can't know what happened and guessing doesn't help. There are many explanations that could have her back on a subsequent week. Yet, I wonder how we could have gotten it better.
No church is fully itself on any given Sunday. Those who know a church know its ebbs and flows. Visitors only get a first impression. And many people will visit our churches between now and Labor Day as they use the summer to see if they can find a new church home. A few steps will improve your chances to see first time visitors return:
Never Waiver in Welcoming
First time visitors often arrive in the summer, so we need to keep our A Game up in welcoming. Greeters need to be attuned to the different types of visitors, those who arrive early and look around clearly want to engage with someone about the congregation. Those who slip in just in time or after the start and look to bolt when the liturgy concludes, need only a warm smile as they are sending signs that they just want a place to worship.
Have Information at Hand
If you have ongoing activities in the summer, make sure that information on this is in the bulletin and on the website. People looking for a church home are often longing for community and this means activities beyond worship. Let them know what you offer. And if there is nothing or nothing much going on in the summer, consider adding at least one gathering each week through the year, such as a mid-week Bible Study.
Follow Up
Also keep a year round solid follow up with first time visitors whose names and contacts you do learn. If someone leaves an email address in the visitor book, contacting him or her before the day is out should be the norm. A phone call or letter by Tuesday should be the norm for those who leave their phone number or physical address. Visitors who supply their contact information do want to hear from you promptly.
To be clear, the congregation we worshiped with on Sunday got all of the above right with top-notch greeters and good information about ongoing events in the bulletin. And the priest was in touch with the woman we greeted later that day. She learned that the first time visitor had plans to take two children to a movie matinee and had stayed as long as she could. It does  point to the importance of follow through.

Not every church will be for every visitor, but we are still called to be faithful. We do this not to grow a church, but because Jesus taught us that hospitality is part of following him. We are to welcome everyone who comes to church as if welcoming Christ himself, for he will say, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me."
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary

The area around St. John's and St. Mark's Albany was one of the hardest hit by the tornadoes of the winter and spring. Since resources have had to be diverted to the clean-up and rebuilding efforts there are very few activities for area children this summer.

Here's where Hometown Missions, our diocesan outreach weekend for youth, can really make a difference. It will be expanding beyond just a weekend this year, running from Sunday, June 4 through Wednesday June 7. Diocesan Youth will come together with adults from the Albany congregations to offer a Vacation-Bible-School-themed event for the children in the area around St. John's and St. Mark's, Albany. 

Youth who are currently in Grades 8-12 are encouraged to come to Albany to work with these children, and to make a difference in their lives! Youth will lead children throughout each day's activities, spend parts of each evening preparing for the next day, and of course, take time to play and sing and spend time together!

Participants are asked to arrive in the afternoon on Sunday, June 4, and will need to be picked up on Wednesday, June 7, also in the afternoon. We will be sleeping at St. John's and St. Mark's, so youth will need to bring sleeping bags, pillows, and sleeping pads (optional) in addition to their usual packing.

The total cost for this four day event is just $90. Scholarships are available upon request. If you will be seeking a scholarship, please register and pay the deposit only and then contact Joshua Varner at To register, go here.
Enjoy a peaceful, prayerful morning on this half-day "creek retreat" 9 AM to 1 PM Saturday, June 3 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. 
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 28-June 3
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Kingsland, King of Peace. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Folkston. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Santa Marta (St. Martha's Church) in Los Cocos.

June 4-10
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Louisville, St. Mary Magdalene. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Louisville, especially St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for San Pedro (St Peter's Church) in Los Conucos.
Diocesan Office Update and News  
Bishop Benhase will make his annual visitation to Christ Church, Savannah on Sunday, June 4 at 10:30 AM. He will attend the Province IV House of Bishops Meeting Monday, June 5 through 7 and the Province IV Synod Meeting, June 7 to 9, both at Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina. The Bishop's full schedule is available  here.  
Canon Logue and  Anna Iredale will travel with General Convention Deputies and first Alternates to attend the Province IV Synod Meeting at Kanuga, June 7-9. 

June 9-13, Canon Logue will take part in the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Council serves as the Board of Directors for the denomination.

Canon Willoughby is attending the ACS Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this week.

The Rev. William Lea will officiate at the noon service Thursday to be held at St. George's Chapel, Diocesan House. 
The Ascension

Children at Christ Church Savannah show their coloring pages of the church's stained glass window of Jesus ascending into heaven. Each week, they worship in a church dominated by a stained glass window of the Ascension dedicated to the Rt. Rev. Stephen Elliott, the First Bishop of Georgia. The church is in a once in a generation restoration of its property which will include restoring the stained glass window, protecting it for future generations.
Down to the River to Pray
Saturday, June 3
9 AM to 1 PM.
Tommy Long Landing in Rincon.
For information and to register, go here.

Hometown Missions for Youth
June 4 to June 7
St. John 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.  

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
August 26, 9:30 AM to noon
Annunciation, Vidalia

Stewardship Training 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

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
October 21, 9:30 AM to noon
Holy Comforter Martinez
Register  here.

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
October 28, 9:30 AM to noon
St. Paul's, Albany
Register  here.
Like Us on Facebook

Episcopal Diocese of Georgia on Facebook  


Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us on Twitter

The Diocese of Georgia also shares news 140 characters at a time through Twitter @GA_Episcopal

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

 View our videos on YouTubeThe Diocese of Georgia also has a YouTube Channel where you can watch past videos and subscribe to get updates when new videos are posted.