October 11, 2017
Volume 8, Number 7
An Invitation to Convention for Youth
Youth at the 195th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia.
The 196th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Georgia is only a month away, and our youth are encouraged to be part of all the action! Participation in Convention can be transformative for our youth, as they experience both the vision of the Church gathered together from across the Diocese and the down-to-earth realities of how we make God's dream a reality within and beyond the Church. The Youth Presence also provides an additional dimension to our table discussions and our prayerful consideration of the best ways to move forward, and perhaps helps those of us who are no longer teenagers to consider the Church we want to help create for those who come after us.

There are several ways that youth can participate in Convention.

First, Youth who are elected by their congregation can serve as full voting delegates to Convention. The canonical requirements for serving as a delegate are that the young person be Confirmed and be at least sixteen (16) years of age. These youth are expected to participate just as all other delegates do, but they are also invited to be part of the afternoon and evening activities that the other youth will be involved in. They will register as delegates.

Second, Youth in grades 6-12 are strongly encouraged to participate in the full Convention, beginning on Friday morning, November 10 and lasting through the conclusion of Convention, on Saturday, November 11. These youth will serve in multiple ways throughout Friday and Saturday, including functioning as pages, assisting with balloting, and providing'tech support' for anyone who would like to make sure their information is correct in the Diocesan database! They will also assist with preparations for the Convention Eucharist, and will sit together for that worship service. After worship, they will relocate to Christ Church, Valdosta to spend the night, play games, process the day, and prepare for Saturday morning's worship. The youth will lead morning worship at the Convention on Saturday, and will continue to serve throughout the rest of Convention. Cost for this level of participation is only $10 per person, since the youth will be working to support Convention throughout the day! Register at

Third, Youth in grades 6-12 who cannot come to the Convention on Friday morning can join the Youth Presence at the Friday afternoon Eucharist and participate in the Lock-In and Saturday morning at Convention. Cost for the Lock-In only is $30 per person. Register at http://bit.ly/ConventionLockIn2017

Please contact the Rev. Joshua Varner, Canon Missioner for Children and Youth at
or (912) 236-4279 with any questions.
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Exodus 32:1-14
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
Isaiah 25:1-9
Psalm 23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew  22:1-14

Go  here 
for the full text.

The time for discounted early registration has ended. The r egular registration rate of $65 continues until November 2. After that the late registration cost is $75 and continues until November 7 when online registration closes.

Discounted Room Rates Extended to October 20!
All those who are attending the 196th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia November 9-11 are encouraged to make their room reservations now to receive the discounted rate. Go here
to do so now.

Convocation Meetings
Each Convocation in the Diocese of Georgia will be holding Council Meetings prior to Convention. These meetings are to include the Convocation's clergy, delegates and alternates to the Convention. Attendance at these meetings is important as they are the venue for

* Discussion of the 2018 budget
* Introduction of nominees for diocesan offices
* Proposed amendment to the Canons


Sunday, October 22, 2017
4 PM
St. Alban's, Augusta
Sunday, October 15
3:30 PM
Christ Church, Dublin
Sunday October 15
3 PM
St. Paul's, Savannah
Sunday, October 29
2 PM
St. Mark's, Brunswick

Sunday, October 29
3 PM
St. Margaret's Moultrie
Albany Convocation
Saturday October 28
12:30 PM
St. Paul's Albany
Nominations/Nominees Due!
The 196th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia is charged with electing persons to serve on the Board of the Corporation, Diocesan Council (at large), Disciplinary Board, Sewanee Trustee, and Standing Committee. 

While nominations for all offices remain open, by the canons of the Diocese, until the floor of convention, 
submitting a nomination prior to this Friday, October 6  will assist the Diocese in publicizing the nominees in advance of the meeting and included in the Convention booklet. 

For more information about the positions that are open and the forms necessary to nominate, go
Submit Diocesan Reports!
The deadline for submission of Diocesan Reports is October 20th. Please send yours to Anna Iredale today!
Administrator's Corner
Open Enrollment Begins October 23
The Diocese of Georgia's Open Enrollment period for 2017 will run from October 23 to November 10.  Open enrollment information was emailed to all clergy, parish administrators and current plan participants on September 29th and is available on the diocesan website here.

If the clergy and eligible staff (employed at least 20 hours per week) of your congregation are not presently in the Medical Trust plans then please take time to review this material and contact me for a briefing. For those of you whose plans whose plan costs have increased and you are considering other options, you are also encouraged to contact me for more information on your options.

Even with health cost trends over the past several years remaining at single-digit levels, health spending continues to outpace the growth in the economy, the overall U.S. inflation rate, and wage increases. In 2018, the Diocese of Georgia will experience an average increase of 6% in premium costs. 

Additionally, the Church Medical Trust has redesigned its plan array structure and will be shifting into a new model in 2019. Meaning, those currently enrolled in PPO plans will be required to shift to the new plan structures in 2019. Lastly, three plans will not be available for enrollment in 2018. You can view a plan comparison chart on the diocesan website. 

What You Need to Know About Open Enrollment
During the Medical Trust's Open Enrollment period:
* Current plan members may change their plan selections for the following year
* Eligible non-participating employees have the option to join a plan
* Eligible non-participating dependents may be added to a member's plan and participating dependents may be removed from a member's plan without the need to demonstrate a qualifying event.

Currently Enrolled Employees
Currently enrolled employees (plan members) will receive a letter from the Medical Trust approximately one week before the Open Enrollment period. This letter will provide information on when and how to access the Open Enrollment website, and links to important benefits information and plan resources. It's best to begin reviewing options and to research plans early. 

Non-participating Employees
Existing employees who qualify for health coverage but are not participating in one of the Medical Trust plans are eligible to enroll themselves and/or their dependents during Open Enrollment for the 2018 plan year. The Summaries of Benefits and Coverage are available at www.cpg.org/mtdocs. You may use the  enrollment form for new member enrollments and return them to me before November 6, 2017.

Plan Documents
2018 Summaries of Benefits and Coverage and 2016 Plan Document Handbooks containing more information about the available plans may be found on the Church Pension Group website at www.cpg.org/mtdocs

2018 Plan Offerings
Please note that we are offering new plans from the Medical Trust for the 2018 plan year. Additional information about the plan designs is available for your review on   www.cpg.org as well as on the Open Enrollment page. Two are Medicare eligible plans. Please visit here. (This link will be updated once open enrollment is live). 

In addition to the health plans, we offer a stand-alone EAP that you and your related entities may elect to offer to their employees who opt out of medical benefits coverage. (The EAP is already included as part of each medical plan offering.)

More detailed information along with a table that offers comparision

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at kwilloughby@gaepiscopal.org.

Katie Willoughby
Canon for Administration
Blessings of the Animals, Part II

The Rev. Joy Fisher of Trinity Cochran blesses Zorro as her grandson, Thomas, looks on.
The Rev. Denise Ronn of St. Luke's Hinesville gave blessings in the town square.
The Rev. Tommy Townsend blesses pets at Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island

Pastor Peter Vermeulen (left), from the First United Methodist Church in Louisville joined with the Rev. Terri Degenhardt at St. Mary Magdalene Louisville for the blessing of the animals. At right the Rev. Lee Lowery during the blessing of the animals at St. Paul's Albany.

Readying for a blessing at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle.
Blessings at St. Augustine's Augusta (left) and Christ Church, Valdosta, right.
St. Luke's Hawkinsville welcomed a sheep and a pony to be blessed.
The Rev. Luke Roosevelt at St. Patrick's Albany.
The Rev. Erwin Veale at St. Michael's Waynesboro.
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. 

October 8-14
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Statesboro, Trinity. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Statesboro, especially St. Matthew's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for  San Lucas ( St. Luke) in Santiago.

October 15-21
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Thomasville, All Saints, Good Shepherd, and St. Thomas and for their work at the Oak Street Episcopal Mission. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Thomasville, especially St. Augustine's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Capilla San Juan Evangelista (the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist) in Santo Domingo.
Diocesan Office Update and News  

Bishop Benhase is attending the Province IV Bishops and Chancellor's Meeting in Wilmington, NC through Saturday. On Sunday he will make his annual visitations to St. Cyprian's Darien at 9 AM and St. Andrew's Darien at 11:15 AM and the closing for Cursillo at Honey Creek. His full schedule is available  here.

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue returns today from Baltimore where he has been participating in an Episcopal Church meeting on church planting. This Sunday, he will preach at St. Luke's Rincon for the Feast of St. Luke.

The Rev. Joshua Varner will be on vacation this week from Thursday to Sunday.

The Rev. Denise Ronn, Rector of St. Philip's Hinesville, will officiate at the noon service in the Chapel of St. George at Diocesan House this week.
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.  
St. Peter's Pumpkin Patch
Young members of St. Peter's Savannah help line up the pumpkins for the annual sale at St. Peter's Savannah which runs until October 30th. For more information, go 


Cursillo #123
October 12-15
Honey Creek Retreat Center
For more information, go here.

Savannah Convocation Council Meeting
Sunday, October 15, 3 PM
Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Central Convocation Meeting
October 15, 3:30 PM

Diocesan Council
October 20
Christ Episcopal Church, Dublin

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

Augusta Convocation Council Meeting
Sunday, October 22 at 4 PM
St. Alban's Augusta

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
October 28, 9:30 AM to noon
St. Paul's, Albany

Southeast Convocation Council Meeting
Sunday, October 29, 2 PM
St. Mark's Brunswick

Southwest Convocation Council Meeting
Sunday, October 29, 3 PM
St. Margaret's Moultrie

Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee Meeting
3:30 PM Friday, November 3 until noon Saturday, November 4
St. Augustine, Augusta

Diocesan Convention
November 9-11
Christ the King Church, Valdosta

Youth Presence at Diocesan Convention
November 10-11
To register for lock-in only go here.
To register for Convention go  here.

New Beginnings #51
December 8-10
Honey Creek
For information and to register, go  here. 
Revival: Boundless Love Fearless Faith
January 20
For more information, go here:  www.EpiscopalRevivalinGeorgia2017.org

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
January 27, 9:30 AM to noon
St. George's Savannah
Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
February 3, 9:30 AM to noon
St. James' Quitman
Register here.

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
February 17, 9:30 AM to noon
St. Mark's, Brunswick 
Register  here .
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