November 28, 2018
Volume 9, Number 14
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
First Sunday of Advent 
Jeremiah 33:14-16 
Psalm 25:1-9 
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 
Luke 21:25-36

Go  here for the full text.
 
Tournament Volunteers Needed
The response to the Inaugural Honey Creek Open Disc Golf Tournament has been fantastic with the max number of participants reached with 80 registered. With many of these registrations coming in late, Honey Creek has more need for volunteers than first anticipated. The roles will be as simple as orienting guests to the space, assisting at check in, cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, and other well-defined roles.
Call 912-265-9218 or email savannah@honeycreek.org to help start a new Honey Creek tradition! You will be fed while on campus as well as earning our eternal gratitude.

Advent wreath making in the parish hall at St. Anne's, Tifton, this past Sunday.

It's beginning to look a lot like...
Advent

This Sunday, December 2, begin the season of Advent. The Latin word  adventus , meaning "coming", gives the season its name. The four Sundays leading to the Feast of the Nativity have been set aside since at least the 6th Century as a time for self-examination as the church is preparing for Christ's Second Coming even as we prepare for Christmas. This is why the color of the season is purple (or sometimes blue), which is used for marking Lent, the season of self-examination preceding Easter. At right, the Rev. Kevin Kelly with a tree at St. Michael and All Angels, Savannah.

Advent Resources and Activities
While our congregations have Advent planned, you will benefit more from also adding Advent practices into your daily life. The Episcopal Church offers  Journeying the Way of Love  which, while created as four sessions for a congregation, can also be used for personal reflection. The materials move through the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke with the theme of preparing the way for Christ . They also offer an Advent calendar with daily ideas of something to do or something on which to reflect.  There is also a booklet from King of Peace for use in Celebrating Advent in the Home

You may also want to take part in Advent Word, the global Advent Calendar created each year by the Center for Lifelong Learning at Virginia Seminary. Sign up for daily meditations and post photos on the word of the day to social media. Click the image above for more information. The Diocese of Georgia will take part in posting daily images to our Instagram account. Follow us on Instagram @episcopalgeorgia.
 
   
Christmas tree lighting at Good Shepherd, Augusta, this past Sunday evening.
Winter Youth Retreat at Honey Creek - January 11-13
Jesus said to his disciples, "Come away by yourselves and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). Between exams, the holidays, travel, and all the other things that December brings, January is often a time when we truly need a time of rest. Come to Honey Creek to relax, to tell stories, to gather around the fire, and to experience the Light coming into the world.

This retreat, coordinated by the Rev. Amy Bradley and Canon Joshua Varner, will offer time to relax, time to tell and listen to stories, and time to play together. The retreat is for g rades 6-12. The c ost is $115 (after January 4 cost is $125). Contact your priest and/or our Canon Missioner for Children and Youth, the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner for scholarship assistance: jvarner@gaepiscopal.org
Bishop's Visitation

Bishop Scott Benhase and the Rev. Melanie Lemburg, Rector, stand behind the confirmands at St. Thomas Isle of Hope, Savannah. From left to right:  Greyson Epting, Genevieve White, Mary Margaret Lemburg, Ruby Buckingham, Sarah Bianco, and Sam Bianco.
CreekFEST began with a mission to get all those of us around the Diocese who appreciate and love The Creek together. We will worship, play games, eat yummy food, sing, tell stories, relax, and enjoy time together, all while celebrating the place that brings us joy and peace. This is still the mission, and we hope you will consider making this weekend a family event as you mark your calendars. 

Registration includes lodging, meals, a T-shirt, and events. 

This year, we'll be entertained by the Dusty Roads Band on Saturday evening.

Congregation on the Road for Thanksgiving
The Church of the Atonement, Augusta, took their Thanksgiving Eucharist on the road to the residents, families, and staff of the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home in Augusta. The Rev. Larry Jesion has made Thanksgiving with the Veterans a regular part of his ministry and this year Trayvon Johnson joined in to assist with setup/breakdown of the Rehab Gym and Court Hooper of Holy Comforter Martinez served as the lector and Lay Eucharistic Minister. More than two dozen veterans took part in the liturgy.
Bishop to lead study of Romans starting January 9
Bishop Benhase will lead a seven-part Bible study of St. Paul's Letter to the Romans for the entire Diocese of Georgia as part of the Good Book Club, a church-wide Bible reading initiative begun by Forward Movement.  The Bishop's study will be held on Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 AM beginning January 9 at St. Peter's Church on Skidaway Island, Savannah. It will also be broadcast each week live here: www.facebook.com/georgiaepiscopal from January 9 through the last session on February 20.
 
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry supports and encourages individuals and congregations to join the Good Book Club as a way to engage in "Learn," one of the seven Way of Love practices for a Jesus-centered life.  Members of the Savannah Convocation are encouraged to participate in the Bishop's Bible study in person. Space will be limited, so please register by going here: http://bit.ly/BibleStudywiththeBishop  
 
The Good Book Club website lists the daily readings as well as resources to support people as they read the scriptures. Spanish resources and information are available at clubbiblico.org.
"There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness,
because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy,
and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy.
-Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy
1Book1Diocese
Prepare for Just Mercy in Lent
This coming Lent, the Diocese encourages individuals and congregations to read the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. In this coming of age memoir, Stevenson recounts his early career and the cases that led him to found the Equal Justice Initiative. H e worked through United States Supreme Court to prohibit sentencing children under 18 to death or to life imprisonment without parole. Stevenson has assisted in cases that have saved dozens of prisoners from the death penalty, advocated for poor people, and developed community-based reform litigation aimed at improving the administration of criminal justice. 

Author John Grisham, known for his courtroom novels said,  "Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God's work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope.  Just Mercy  is his inspiring and powerful story."  

The book is available in paperback and as an audiobook read by the author. The Diocese will make a study guide available for groups wanting to read and discuss the book together.
Diocesan Wedding at Collegiate Church of St. Paul's
In a fairytale story almost too good to be true, a commoner will marry Diocese of Georgia royalty in a ceremony officiated by the 10th Bishop of Georgia at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul's, Savannah. It is the classic story of a sea captain who woos and marries a Canon--common in the middle ages, but not seen in generations. She a Canon, the daughter of a Dean and Canon and he the handsome beau navigating the high seas off Hilton Head.  But in God's perfect timing, the two met, fell in love, and the diocesan Canon for Hospitality, Jameson Willoughby (pictured seated in the photo at right), gave his consent. The two (no three) shall, all agree, live happily ever after. 

While the tone of this announcement is written in jest, the prayers and best wishes from the Diocese are heartfelt. May their life together be a sign of Christ's love to this sinful and broken world.  
Appalachia Service Project
Diocesan Youth Mission Trip for Summer 2019 
This summer our Diocesan Mission Trip will take us into the Appalachian Mountains for a week of service in partnership with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP)! ASP was founded in 1969 and works with families in Central Appalachia to make homes warmer, safer, and drier. Each summer they host groups in different locations in Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Our group will stay with other groups at one of ASP's Summer Centers and will go out to work on homes in the area. Whether you have never worked with your hands, or you regularly work on house projects, this trip will provide work that you can do that will make an ongoing difference in the lives of people you meet and in your own life as well.  

Trip Date: July 13-20, 2019  and 
Required retreat: April 5-7, 2019 (at Honey Creek)
Cost: $900 (includes everything except personal expenses)
For: Youth who have finished grades 8-12 by summer 2019
Sign Up Deadline: February 11, 2019

To sign up, please follow the link above and pay at least the initial $250 deposit. Additional information will be needed later. If you choose to pay in installments they are due February 15, April 5, and June 1. Please contact Joshua at jvarner@gaepiscopal.org with your questions about the trip and about scholarship assistance.
The Loose Canon
This Sunday is the day to start reading the Bible
This Sunday is the first day of a new church year and so there is no better time to start reading the Bible. The pattern of reading found starting on page 936 of the Book of Common Prayer begins anew this Sunday with Year One of a two-year schedule. This lectionary will take you through most of the Bible in two years in less than 15 minutes a day.

Why bother? Because otherwise you will end up using the Bible in a way it isn't designed to work. Too often I find that people hit a bump in life and they want to run to the Bible to find the answers. It's not that the answers are not in scripture. The problem is that the text is not created to work in quite that way. There is no section with explicit advice for parents of teenagers. There is no book in the collection that tells step by step how to fix a marriage going through a rocky stretch. The photo below is from a Bible reading marathon held at St. Anne's Tifton. 

The better way to encounter scripture is to read a bit each day. And with Advent coming this Sunday, there is no time like the present. Ask your priest to show you where the readings are listed and how to read them with Morning or Evening Prayer (priests really do love getting asked about this). You can also use Forward Day by Day, which follows the same pattern.

Gathering with a group to study the Bible is even better, as it will answer some of the questions that will naturally arise. Either way, just keep reading. And whenever possible, attend a Bible study at your church or create one at your work. You will be amazed at how much more will stand out in the text when you encounter it with others. See above an article Bishop Benhase will offer a study of Romans on Facebook Live starting in January.

However you go about it, there is no substitute for marinating yourself in God's Word. The end result I find is that people who do this are better prepared to conform their lives to God's will and to face whatever life throws at them. 

I recall being with two people who were faithful daily readers of scripture shortly after each learned they had terminal cancer. Both people were late in life and in each case the cancer was all through their bodies by the time they learned of it. I can't imagine what it would be like to get that news and then to go running to the Bible to find comfort. I hope the Holy Spirit would guide someone in that case to the many verses that would provide comfort. 
 
But I am writing of believers who well knew God's Word. Each not only bravely faced their own death without fear, but they comforted others as their bodies wasted away. Both have gone on now to be with the Lord they met in prayer and worship and came to know better though their daily reading of scripture. In their lives and witness at the hour of their deaths, these two showed that the Bible is a life-giving text. And there is no time to start reading like this coming Sunday.

peace,  Frank
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary
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).

Revised 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 Scott Anson Benhase  will make his annual visitation to St. Alban's, Augusta, on Sunday, December 2. The bishop's  full schedule is available 
here

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at Christ Church Savannah.

Canon Logue will preside and preach at the noon Thursday Eucharist at Diocesan House.
Give Them a Hand!

Wonder what the best part about volunteering to assist with the Young Enoughs Chili Dinner at St. Paul's Albany might be? Clearly it is blowing up the food serving gloves prior to putting them and getting down to work.

Events 

Disc Golf Tournament at Honey Creek
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Starts 7:30 am

Winter Youth Retreat
January 11-13, 2019
Honey Creek

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

Diocesan Youth Mission Trip
July 13-20, 2019
Happening #103
Thursday, August 22 (for staff) through Sunday, August 25
Honey Creek Retreat Center

Diocesan Council
September 13-14
Savannah
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