November 14, 2018
Volume 9, Number 9
Convention Approves Resolutions and Budgets
Changes to the Constitution and Canons, the Honey Creek Future Fund Resolution, and budgets for the Diocese and Honey Creek were the key actions all overwhelmingly passed by the 197th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia. 

A second reading on amendments to the Constitution will have two, three, or four delegates representing a congregation depending on the size of Average Sunday Attendance (ASA). Congregations with 99 or less ASA will receive two delegates, those with 100-199 ASA will be represented by three delegates, while those with an ASA of 200 or more will be entitled to four delegates. With the approval of this second reading of the Constitutional change, the extensive changes to the canons made in 2017 to replace the distinction between parishes and missions with parishes and aided parishes will go into effect.

The convention also approved a new Canon 12 on investments which requires all congregations with  financial assets in excess of one year's Normal Operating Income to invest such excess funds with the Board of the Corporation of the Diocese of Georgia or apply for a waiver from the Diocesan Finance Committee. That Committee shall grant waivers to those congregations who have essential investment policies in place and meet the additional criteria established in the canon. While now in place, implementing this canon will be a deliberate step with sufficient time for the diocese and its congregations to prepare for the waiver process. The Finance Committee will work on that process at its December meeting and publish necessary paperwork and steps to the Diocese early in 2019. 

The convention also approved a Diocesan Council resolution which will pay off the remainder of the $1.25 million Honey Creek bond debt while creating a maintenance reserve. The debt retirement will be accomplished through ongoing fundraising together with a special additional assessment on each congregation of not more than two percent for not more than three years. The additional assessment will bring the total to not more than 12 percent starting in 2020.

The full text of these resolutions as well as the 2019 budget for the Diocese and Honey Creek may be found online: click here
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
25th Sunday after
Pentecost 

Ruth 3:1-5; 4: 13-17
Psalm 127
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44
OR
I Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44


Go  here for the full text.
  Bishop Benhase Calls for Election
Bishop Scott Benhase announced plans to call for the election of his successor during the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. He told the convention of ongoing, significant health setbacks that leave him unable to keep up with the demanding schedule needed to oversee the 70 Episcopal congregations in central and south Georgia.
The election for the next bishop of the Diocese of Georgia will take place in Statesboro, on November 15-16, 2019. The consecration of the 11th Bishop of Georgia will be on May 30, 2020. The diocese' Standing Committee will oversee the discernment and election process.
Bishop Benhase came to the Diocese of Georgia in 2009 after serving parishes in East Cleveland, Ohio; Charlottesville, Va.,Durham, NC; and, Washington, D.C.
  Silent Auction & Drawing
Raise Funds for Honey Creek

Jay Lacy of the Honey Creek Commission, announces the winners of the silent auction held during Convention, as well as the winner of the drawing for a week of Summer Camp. The auction raised $4,200 and the summer camp drawing, $400.

Why Stewardship?
The theme of the 2018 Convention was The Way Forward. Using The Way is a reference to the earliest days of The Jesus Movement when those who followed Jesus referred to it as The Way harkening to Jesus who was and is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. 

The two particular means of connecting to Jesus' life and teaching during this convention, in addition to the corporate worship, were through introducing The Way of Love:  Seven Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life and through sharing Project Resource's approach to stewardship. 

To get stewardship right, convention began not with tools and techniques, but with scripture and theology as the Revs. Cynthia Taylor and Lonnie Lacy presented a talk shared online here: Why Stewardship

Then on Saturday, Bishop Benhase used the Shape of the Parish framework from the Church Development Institute (CDI) to define and demonstrate how to create pathways for those connected to your church to deepen their faith.
Convention Awards and Honors
The Deacons' Award is given each year by the Deacons of the Diocese of Georgia to a lay person who embodies servant ministry. The deacons chose Priscilla Carrington of Christ Christ Church, Savannah most notably for her work with Operation Paperback, a non-profit organization that seeks to provide books to our military service members at home and abroad.  Priscilla assembled a faithful team who meet at least monthly to receive, sort, select, box and mail book to service members.  Christ Church Savannah has shipped more than 5,000 paperback books since January 2016. 

The Dean's Award is given each year by the Deans of the six convocations of the Diocese of Georgia to a person who has gone above and beyond in serving their congregation. This year the Deans selected the current Senior Warden of Calvary, Americus, Carey Wooten. She not only helped lead at Calvary, she has also been selected to become a Church Development Institute trainer. 

The Bishop's award goes to the lay-person who has offered long term service to the Diocese of Georgia. While the honorees to date have been past retirement age, this year the Bishop's Award went to Liz Williams, who at a
relatively young age has given years of dedicated service to this Diocese. While her day job is serving as the Development Associate for the Vashti Center, a United Methodist ministry improving the lives of women and children since 1903, she serves our conventions as both Nominations Chair and photographer. Liz has also taken vacation time to travel with our youth on three mission trips to the Dominican Republic, to the 2017 Episcopal Youth Event, and more. In giving the award, Bishop Benhase said, "Liz is a person we count on as a Diocese for her service and commitment."

The Board of the Corporation named Ned Smith of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Savannah, as an emeritus member of the board in appreciation for his many years of dedicated service.

Election Results

Church Disciplinary Board (Lay): Sam Colville and Laura Wheaton

Church Disciplinary Board (Clergy): The Very Rev. Tar Drazdowski, the Rev. Kelly Steele and the Rev. Yvette Owens, Deacon

Diocesan Council: The Rev. Nick Roosevelt

Sewanee Trustee: Val Crumpton

Standing Committee (Lay ): Roy M. Lilly

Standing Committee (Priest): The Very Rev. William Willoughby
Thank You to Albany's Episcopal Churches!
Clergy assembled at the Convention Eucharist held at St. Paul's

The Episcopal churches in Albany did a magnificent job hosting the 197th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia. Diocesan staff were concerned about the viability of holding the convention in Albany given that a hurricane had passed through just weeks before.

The number of volunteers, their willingness to help, St. Patrick's hosting registration and the workshops, St. Paul's hosting the Convention  Eucharist, and St. John's and St. Mark's hosting diocesan youth--it all came together to make the Albany Convention one of the best ever! Thank you!

St. Patrick's Albany during Evening Prayer on Thursday.
Canonical Change Ends Parish/Mission Distinction
At its recent gathering the Convention of the Diocese approved changes to the Diocesan Constitution on second reading. These changes, which now go into effect, eliminate the distinction between Missions and Parishes. The Diocese now has two designations for congregations: Parishes and Aided Parishes. All former Missions not receiving budget funds from the Diocese are now Parishes and no longer need to file monthly Vestry minutes and financial reports to the Diocese. 

The Diocese of Georgia is now comprised of 66 Parishes, as well as newer worshiping communities not yet organized as Aided Parishes or Parishes: the Community of St. Joseph, Savannah; Epiphany, Savannah; and the Grovetown Episcopal-Lutheran Congregation; as well as St. Bartholomew's, Burroughs, on the southside of Savannah, which is a congregation under the charge of St. Paul's, Savannah.

All clergy at congregations whose designation has changed from mission to parish are referred to in the canons as Priests-in-charge. Clergy may still use the title "Vicar" locally if they so desire; however, use of the title "Rector" comes with tenure and requires the permission of the bishop. A PDF file of the revised Constitution, Canons, and Rules of Order of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia are now online: 2018 Canons
The Rev. James Stanley Cox Jr. (1936-2018)
The Diocese of Georgia mourns the loss of the Rev. James Stanley Cox, Jr. who died in Thomasville on November 2. Ordained a deacon and then priest in 1961, Cox served as Priest in Charge of St. James, Quitman from 1966-1970 and was from 1999-2000 priest at St. Barnabas, Valdosta, in addition to serving congregations in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Arkansas. Cox graduated from Princeton University in 1958 with a degree in English and Religion. He then received a degree in Theological Studies from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. He completed a PhD program at Florida State University and taught English at the University of Louisiana while assuming duties as an Episcopal chaplain. James is survived by his wife Juanita of 58 years, their children and grandchildren. A graveside burial office will be held at Valdosta Cemetery on Saturday, November 17 with his brother-in-law, the Rt. Rev. Alden Hathaway, retired Bishop of Pittsburgh, officiating.
Convention Videos

Honey Creek - from generation to generation
Honey Creek - from generation to generation

Honey Creek - Connecting to a Larger Community
Honey Creek - Connecting to a Larger Community

Honey Creek - The Best Part of an Awesome Year
Honey Creek - The Best Part of an Awesome Year

We need to talk about Honey Creek
We need to talk about Honey Creek

The Bishop's Email
Over the past few weeks someone has been masking the Bishop's identity, asking for funds, and trying to elicit a response. If this happens to you, please know: 
  1. The Bishop's email is NOT hacked.
  2. Correspondence from the bishop has the return email address of bishop@gaepiscopal.org or sbenhase@gaepiscopal.org. Any other return email address, especially leadpastor@vlobal.org, means that it is NOT from the Bishop.
  3. Delete the email immediately.
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. 

November 11-17
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Valdosta, Christ Church, Christ the King, and St. Barnabas. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Valdosta, especially St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially St. Philip the Apostle ( San Felipe ApĆ³stol).

November 18-24
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Vidalia, the Church of the Annunciation. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Vidalia, especially Sacred Heart Catholic Church and for St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Reidsville. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially St. Peter and St. Paul ( San Pedro y San Pablo).

New Prayer Cycles
We also offer 30-day prayer cycles for those who wish to pray daily for the clergy and clergy spouses. These are Diocesan Prayer Cycle and Clergy Spouses Prayer Cycle.
Diocesan Office Update and News
Bishop Benhase and Canon Logue travel to Atlanta today for a meeting of the Executive Committee of Province IV of the Episcopal Church.

Bishop Scott Anson Benhase  will make his annual visitation to the Episcopal Day School in Augusta on Friday, November 16 and to Good Shepherd Augusta on Sunday, November 18. He will ordain the Rev. Amy Bradley to the Sacred Order of Priests at St. Augustine's Augusta on Sunday evening at 5 p.m . The bishop's  full schedule is available 
here

Canon Varner will be facilitating New Beginnings #53 at Honey Creek this weekend.

There will be no noon, Thursday service at Diocesan House.
Events 

New Beginnings #53
November 16-18
Honey Creek
Register at 

Disc Golf Tournament at Honey Creek
Saturday, December 1, 2018
7:30 to
To register, go here.

Diocesan Council 
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Annunciation, Vidalia

Happening #101
January 31 (for staff) through Sunday, February 3
Staff register here, candidates here
Honey Creek Retreat Center

CreekFest
February 15-17
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Register here.

Happening #102
Thursday, April 11 (for staff) through Sunday, April 14, 2019
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Diocesan Council

May 17-18
Augusta

Happening #103
Thursday, August 22 (for staff) through Sunday, August 25
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Diocesan Council
September 13-14
Savannah
Bringing Forth the Gifts
Diocesan Youth bring forth the collection for Convention Eucharist which went to disaster relief in Albany.
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