May 9, 2018
Volume 8, Number 37
Clergy Consider the Importance of Sabbath

"God's rest is more powerful than your work." 

Matthew Sleeth, MD offered this reflection to the deacons, priests, and bishop of the Diocese of Georgia gathered for the Spring 2018 Clergy Conference. He noted how that it is only in recent years that the church has been trying to follow Jesus without taking a day of rest each week. He asked the clergy to consider how the experiment is going. Clergy were asked to recall the Sundays of their youth for patterns and for older clergy that meant time of "blue laws" with stores closed on Sundays. Sleeth noted that by keeping the Sabbath, we kept the Ten Commandments as we honored God and our parents, while not committing the "thou shalt not" sins. Matthew and his wife Nancy, who led the conference, have kept Sabbath for more than 15 years. They taught out of that experience and challenged the clergy to find ways to introduce sabbath rest into their own laws.

On Monday evening the clergy came together for a listening session facilitated by Bishop Benhase. Clergy were invited to offer their experience of life in the Diocese of Georgia using a format in which they offered reflections that began with "I like," "I wish," and, "I hope."  The opportunity to share those reflections was appreciated by many of the clergy. The Bishop and diocesan staff are also using these reflections as helpful feedback and will be making some changes based on that input. 

As always, worship formed the heart of the conference with Eucharists on Monday and Tuesday morning, and the daily offices offered throughout the conference. Canon Frank Logue's Tuesday sermon for the Feast of Julian of Norwich is online: All Manner of Thing Shall Be Well.
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts  1:15-17, 21-26
I John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19
Psalm 1

Go  here for the full text.
New Dates for Fall Clergy Conference
The fall 2018 Clergy Conference has been adjusted slightly based on the feedback the Bishop received from the clergy at their May gathering. The new dates and times are: Monday, September 24 at noon (lunch) through Wednesday, September 26 at noon (lunch). The focus of the September gathering will be the Spiritual Leadership of Clergy. The full Daily Office will be observed throughout the conference ending with the Eucharist on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Each "office" will have a meditation offered by a member of the Diocesan Clericus. There will be periods of silence offered as well as opportunities for directed reflection groups on topics the clergy propose. Please adjust your calendars based on the above new times and dates.

Children, Sabbath and Play
Most of us, if we are asked the question 'what do you do?' will respond with an "I am" statement. We will say something like, I am a priest, or a doctor, or an architect, or a teacher, or an engineer, and so on. Even subconsciously, we associate our activities with our identity. However, I remember once asking a young child the same question, and she responded with a list of things she actually did, including "I climb trees. I play on the computer. I read books. I play with my toys." She kept going for quite a while, but it was clear that none of these things were her. She was simply answering my question about things that she did.
As adults, I think we often teach our children that their identity is tied up in their activities. After all, parents naturally want what is best for their children, and it often seems that pushing further, advancing more quickly, taking more AP classes, doing more extra-curricular activities, is the way to help them achieve success. We are tying the idea of our children's success and identity to what they do, rather than who they are.

Two directly related ways of letting go of that action based identity are Sabbath and Play. Sabbath, which our clergy learned about this week at Clergy Conference involves taking time to stop and step back from all the ordinary round. This letting go, or resistance, allows us to find ways of being ourselves apart from our jobs. Play, which is often part of Sabbath, is activity that is self chosen and self directed, imaginative, and based on rules that come not from the outside world but from the minds of the players. Perhaps most important to my way of thinking, in play, the means are more important than the ends. (For more on this, read "The Value of Play" from Psychology Today.) Just because we speak of playing a sport, for example, does not mean that our children engage in it with any kind of playful attitude!

Taking time for Sabbath and Play for ourselves and in our families and congregations, offers us a chance to teach children that who they are is independent of what they do, which in turn paves the way for us to give them language to express their innate sense that their deepest identity is found in their relationship with God and with one another. Look for opportunities to play, and to make time for Sabbath rest rather than rushing to fill them up with "productive" activities. Ultimately, Play and Sabbath seem to be the most important things we do.

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
Canon for Youth and Children
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.
Check Out the Honey Creek Camp Wish List!

There's a whole variety of things to contribute to summer fun on the Honey Creek Camp Wish List. Check it out and help make a summer camp session (due to start in a month) more fun. Go here for the full list:
Youth in the Diocese
Hometown Missions Cost Goes Up May 15th
The cost of the event is $115 for those who sign up before May 15. After May 15, the cost increases to $125, so sign up today! 

Additional information about specific work sites and fun activities can be found on the youth website for the diocese, which is Direct registration is also found at

Sign up now, and plan to enjoy a weekend of service, worship, and fun at Hometown Missions!
The Bishop's Visitation to Christ Church, St. Ignatius
Confirmands at St. Ignatius with the Rev. Tom Purdy, Bishop Benhase and the Rev. Becky Rowell: from left: Tori Harvey, Tom Talarico, Ann Talarico, Ftr. Purdy, Diane Sheehan, the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase, Sharon Morgan, Chris Dwuilt, Mary Kathryn Turner and the Mtr. Rowell.

At Christ Church Frederica, the Rev. Tom Purdy, Hannah Martin, Isabel Parker, both confirmands; the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase (in back), the Rev. Becky Rowell, and the Rev. Ashton Williston

Information on how to apply can be found 
Help Wanted

The Diocese of Georgia seeks volunteers to work part-time as receptionists at Diocesan House. For more information and a position description, contact Katie Willoughby.

Part-time Church Musician
Looking for a musician who can lead both choir and worship team. We're an Episcopal Church who likes blended worship in a liturgical setting. At this point we have one service at 10:30 am on Sundays. There would be two rehearsals, not to exceed an hour; one midweek and another prior to worship. We are very inclusive and an open church.

Previous experience in leading a choral and/or worship group. Ability to sing and read sheet music. Familiarity with both contemporary music and updating old, familiar hymns. Ability to be a team player with the pastor and others. Familiarity with a liturgical setting helpful; am willing to train if necessary.
Contact The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Taylor at with resume. No phone calls please.

Part-time Children's Minister
St. Peter's Skidaway Island sees a part-time Children's Minister (pre-K through 5th grade.) Details
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 6-12
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Hawkinsville, St. Luke's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Mark's Catholic Church in Eastman. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Jimaní, St. Ignatius (San Ignacio), St. Peter the Apostle ( San Pablo Apóstol), and St. Titus ( San Tito).

May 13-19
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 The Incarnation ( La Encarnación) and All Saints ( Todos los Santos).
Diocesan Office Update and News  
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase will make his annual visitation to Christ Church, St. Marys at 10 AM Sunday, May 13th. His full schedule is available  here. 

Bishop Benhase, the Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon Katie Willoughby, the  Rev. Canon Joshua Varner, and Director of Communications Anna Iredale will be attending the Diocesan Council Meeting Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at Honey Creek Retreat Center.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue  will preach and preside at Sunday services at St. George's Savannah.

Bishop Benhase will preside and preach for 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.  

Ordination of Amy Smith Bradley
Thursday, May 10th
St. Augustine of Canterbury Church, Valdosta
6 PM

Diocesan Council Meeting
May 11-12
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Hometown Missions
 June 1-3
Augusta, Georgia
For more information go here.

EfM (Education for Ministry) Mentor Training
June 7-9
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Contact Rita Spalding for more information:  912-270-2725,

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

Fall Clergy Conference
September 24-26
Honey Creek
Marked as Christ's Own Forever

The Rev. Curtis Johnson baptizes his grandson, Lucius James Logan, at Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta. 
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