October 24, 2018
Volume 9, Number 7
Convention to Vote on How to Retire Honey Creek Debt
Honey Creek Future Fund

When it meets next month in Albany, the 197th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia will consider a resolution approving a bold two-part plan put forward by Diocesan Council. When the Council met in September, a task group working on the Honey Creek debt offered two strategies to consider: a traditional fundraising campaign or a temporary additional assessment. Council chose to create a both/and approach combining the strategies to both retire the debt and create a Future Fund as a maintenance reserve for our Retreat Center.

Programs offered at Honey Creek have deepened the spiritual lives and enlivened the faith of generations of Episcopalians and also have influenced the faith of people who have never visited the Retreat Center. The Diocese was in danger of losing Honey Creek to pay mounting debts seven years ago. In 2010, the Bond Sale restructured the debt while allowing Honey Creek to address deferred maintenance issues. At the same time, Honey Creek's operations were restructured with a business plan that has kept the Center in the black for seven years in a row.
Honey Creek is not a separate entity, but an integral part of the diocese with its debt on the balance sheet of the diocese. Voting to invest in Honey Creek through a special assessment is not a new idea. A Special Session of the Diocese of Georgia's 1958 Convention meeting at St. Paul's Augusta approved a resolution for "a 100% increase in the 1959 Diocesan Assessment each year for the next five years" to build the chapel, dorms, cottages, and first lodge building at Honey Creek. Council voted to combine the two approaches so that we both clear the debt while making sure maintenance needs not be deferred in the future.

The two-minute video above explains the plan. We also have a two-page
Case Statement for this two-part strategy which can be downloaded here
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
24th Sunday
After Pentecost
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22)
Hebrews 7: 23-28
Mark 10:46-52
Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 126
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

Go  here for the full text.
Albany Ready for Convention
Albany is ready to host the 197th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia even as the area is still recovering from Hurricane Michael. Our convention site at Albany State University's west campus is in perfect condition. Though our churches sustained some damage, this has not prevented our congregations from their ongoing worship. St. Patrick's will host our registration and workshops on Thursday, November 8, to be followed with Evensong. The youth will meet at St. John and St. Mark for the convention lock in, while St. Paul's will host the convention Eucharist.

A larger concern was that our being in southwest Georgia could tax resources better used in disaster relief. Canon Katie Willoughby and our Office Administrator MJ Harris stayed in touch with our vendors to make sure that honoring our hotel contracts would not displace people in need of a hotel due to home damage, take rooms needed by linemen and insurance adjusters, or otherwise hamper the recovery. We are not only well assured that hosting us will not lead to unintended consequences, but that we are bringing money to the economy when it is needed. Albany's Mayor Dorothy Hubbard will be with us as our convention opens to welcome us on behalf of the city she has led for six years.

But those of us traveling from areas that did not suffer from this storm will arrive with deep concern about how best to help this area still hurting after two tornadoes and two hurricanes in two years. The diocesan staff has made some adjustments to our plans in consultation with clergy in the area. The convention offering will go to continuing the direct aid the Episcopal Church is providing through all of our southwest Georgia congregations. We added a panel discussion during the convention on Disaster Preparedness and Recovery with panel members drawn from our diocesan community.
Espíritu Santo 
Dedicated in Dominican Republic
Imagine meeting for an Episcopal service in someone's yard or home for 40 years. Three generations in the village of Las Carreras in our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic carried on faithfully without a building or shelter other than their houses. Then two priests from St. Anne's Tifton and St. Patrick's Albany agreed to build the congregation a church, sending the first mission team in 2011. On Saturday, October 20, 2018, the 

Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit) Episcopal congregation celebrated the consecration of their completed church. Over 100 people including 15 missioners from the Diocese of Georgia, 5 Dominican priests, and the Rt. Rev. Moisés Quezada, Bishop of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, took part in the joyous event that started with a parade from the village square to the church.

Twelve parishioners from St. Anne's Tifton and their rector, the Rev. Lonnie Lacy, represented their congregation and all who have supported the work of the teams for the past 7 years. The Rev. Manuel Díaz Estévez, current vicar of Espíritu Santo said, "I want to praise the work of all the previous vicars and lay leaders of this congregation and especially the mission teams from the Diocese of Georgia. It is such a joy to have our brothers and sisters from St. Anne's here today." 

Bishop Quezada dedicated and consecrated the building and blessed the baptismal font,  lectern, pulpit, and altar before celebrating a joyous Eucharist with the congregation. "I express my sincere gratitude to the St. Anne's congregation for continuing to work with us year by year for eight years in supporting the mission of this c
hurch in this community," said Quezada.

At the end of the service addressing the congregation, the Rev. Lonnie Lacy said, "You are our sister congregation, and we love you. The construction of the church is now complete, but our ministry together is only just beginning."

The St. Anne's mission team presented the Bishop with a contribution to continue to support the work in that community. They also gave presents of balls, jump ropes, and other toys to the children who were present. An outdoor reception followed the service.

Update: the 197th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia 

With the Convention a little over two weeks away, please check this list to be sure that you are up to date:

The article below highlights the resolutions from General Convention that will be discussed at the 197th Convention. Delegates and alternates should familiarize themselves with them.

Are you a vendor or want to have an exhibit at the Convention? Go here to download the form and return it with your check to the diocesan offices.

Have you registered yet? Go here to do so. Once there, choose a workshop to attend.

Did you choose a hotel? Go here

Have you reviewed Proposed Canon 12 and the Resolution to Retire Honey Creek's Debt? Go here where you can also review the proposed 2019 budgets for Diocesan Operations and Honey Creek.   

Have you reviewed the Case Statement for Honey Creek's Future Fund? Go here

Have you nominated someone to serve on the Board of the Corporation, Diocesan Council, Disciplinary Board, as a Sewanee Trustee or the Standing Committee? Go here to do so.

If you have been nominated, have you filled out the form found here?

If you are a clergy spouse, have you let them know that you will be attending the breakfast on Saturday? Click on the image below to do so!

See you all at Convention!
Resolutions from General Convention to Consider

In accordance with the Canons of the Episcopal Church, the General Convention has referred some resolutions for either action or consideration to the dioceses of the Episcopal Church. Those resolutions are gathered in a single PDF file online here: resolutions referred to dioceses

In addition, there are nine constitutional changes approved by the General Convention which we will consider in our convention, which are summarized here: Summary of Constitutional Change

The full text of the nine Constitutional changes are online here: Constitutional Changes

Changes to the Constitution require passage in identical form by two successive General Conventions. The 80th General Convention in 2021 will take a second vote on these constitutional changes.

All Saints Tybee Celebrates Diamond Jubilee
On Thursday, Nov 1st at 6 pm, All Saints will celebrate its 60th Diamond Jubilee with reception to follow.  The Bishop will be the presider.  Clergy are asked to wear clericals.  
From the Canon Missioner for Children and Youth
Giving Thanks to God in All Things

Stop. Look. Go.
Always and Everywhere, Give Thanks to God

Thanksgiving Day is just under a month from now. For many of us, Thanksgiving Day comes with various traditions, some involving foods, others involving family and friends. While Thanksgiving Day is not an official holy day of the Church calendar, it does offer us the opportunity to remember the spiritual discipline of gratefulness, or thanksgiving.

Young children often instinctively demonstrate gratefulness, or its first cousin, wonder. While they, like everyone else, are perfectly capable of taking things for granted, they can often stop long enough to notice things that we take for granted. I remember, years ago, watching a child's fascination with an elevator, and through their fascination, remembering to appreciate the wonder of technology that allows me to travel vertically through large buildings. As adults, we can learn from children's sense of wonder and let it lead us to deeper gratefulness.

Gratefulness is more than a muttered 'thank you,' Deep gratefulness is an awareness that everything and every moment is a gift. Brother David Steindl-Rast, the founder of a Network for Grateful Living (www.gratefulness.org), grew up under Nazi occupation in Austria. He teaches that it is not appropriate to be grateful FOR every situation (an illness, an accident, and so on) there is nonetheless something to be grateful for IN every situation (the presence of trained medical personnel, the support of friends, the good wishes of colleagues).

Brother David describes one way to cultivate this discipline, as a three step process of Stop, Look, Go. The first step is for us to Stop and step aside from our busy lives, even if just for a single moment. Preoccupation and distraction keep us from paying attention to the world around us. This is the step that children are often better at than we adults are. Next we Look at our situation, whether that situation is physical or emotional. We open our awareness to the world around us, to the things we might otherwise be missing, or taking for granted. The final step is to Go deeper with that gratefulness. In other words, we allow our gratefulness in a specific moment to flow through us, infusing our lives, and leading us to gratefulness for the gift of life itself and the presence of God in us and in the world around us.

Our Eucharistic liturgy reminds us of our call to live gratefully. The work eucharist itself mens "thanksgiving" and we begin that portion of our liturgy with a call and response that includes the presider's words "let us give thanks to the Lord our God" and the people's response that it is right to give thanks and praise to God.

Stop. Look. Go. It is right and a good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give thanks to you, God.

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
Missioner for Children and Youth
Honey Creek Bell Dedicated

The bell tower at Honey Creek Retreat Center was dedicated earlier this week. It was rebuilt in memory of Jo Jordan, formerly of Jesup, Georgia. Jo was from Tifton and moved to Jesup when she married Ed Jordan. She worked as an educator, teaching high school biology for more than 30 years, raised two children (Ben Jordan and Lydia (Jordan) Brantley) and attended Saint Paul's Episcopal Church. After Ed passed away in 2013, Jo moved to Brunswick to be cl oser to her family. Following Jo's passing in February, an anonymous donor contacted Executive Director Dade Brantley upon learning the fate of the original bell tower, and offered to fund the rebuild.
Jo and Ed were deeply involved at Honey Creek. From the early years of Cursillo, to summer camp and Happening, to family reunions and multiple prayer retreats, they spent a lot of time at the Creek.

Fun Fact: Jo loved music, particularly piano. She took lessons as a little girl at Saint Anne's Episcopal Church in Tifton. She went on to teach her grandson, Noah the same way she learned. 
Bishop's Visitations    

At the annual visitation at St. Paul's Jesup: front row, from left Bishop Scott Anson Benhase, Rhett Ammons, Skylar Gleason, Isabella Garbutt, Wesley Dent, Cassy Valosen, Kylie Valosen, Betty Chappell; b
ack row from left:  Deacon Marty Meuschke, Tre Thomas, Kylie Valosen, Cindy Valosen, Helen Rose McDonald, Matt Valosen, kierston Thomas, Beth Hester, Rudy Riner, Rev Dee Shaffer. Not pictured but confirmed: Casey Nichols, Natalie Wood

At the celebration of new ministry for the Rev. Al Crumpton at Our Savior, Martinez: front row, from left: Garrett Grant and Ryan Grant; back row, the Rev. Al Crumpton and Bishop Scott Anson Benhase.
Daughters of the King    

Four new members are welcomed at St. Paul's Augusta.

Four new members are welcomed at St. Michael's and All Angels Savannah
Around the Diocese

The season has opened for Albany Beer and Hymns, Gathered after the concert are, from left: Gabriel Lawrence, Casey Perkins, Leah Anglin, the Rev. Johnny Tuttle, Bert Baranko, Peggy Hamlin, Lindsey Stewart, Brownie Roosevelt and Dr. Larry Perkins.

The Rev. Dr. Lauren Winner, left, the Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase, and the Rev. Amy Smith Bradley at the St. Augustine, Augusta's Fall Retreat entitled Cardigan Sweaters, Magnolia Trees, and Brioche: Overlooked Metaphors for God!
Kevin Hiers and Dr. Mark Blackmore will present the final of two sessions on climate change for St. Thomas' Thomasville's  Informing Your Conscience series tomorrow. 
The Savannah Convocation Meeting held at St. Paul's Savannah.

The Southwest Convocation Meeting held at Christ the King, Valdosta.

The Southeast Convocation Meeting held at St. Athanasius, Brunswick.

Change of Address
We are still receiving mail from parishes at our old address. As the forwarding order has expired, we ask you to please ensure that you are sending mail to the Diocesan House at 18 E. 34th Street, Savannah, GA 31401-7433. Thank you!
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 21-27
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Thomson, Holy Cross, and for our ecumenical partners in Thomson, especially Zion Lutheran Church in Guyton and Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Lakeland. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially the Cathedral of the Epiphany ( La Catedral de la Epifanía).

October 28-November 3
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Tifton, St. Anne's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Tifton, especially Our Divine Saviour Catholic Church and for Holy Family Catholic Church in Willacoochee. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially Holy Family Church ( Sagrada Familia).
Diocesan Office Update and News
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase will hold a Stewardship Workshop at Christ Church, Cordele, Saturday, October 27 from 9 AM to noon. He will make his annual visitation to St. Barnabas' Valdosta 10 AM Sunday, October 28. The bishop's  full schedule is available 

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue will be at the Albany Convocation Council Meeting at Christ Church, Cordele on Sunday. 

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner will be at St. Michael's Waynesboro, this Sunday.

The Rev. David Lemburg, Priest in Charge at St. George's Savannah, will officiate at the noon, Thursday service at Diocesan House.
Ringing Honey Creek's Bell

Lydia Jordan Brantley and Ben Jordan ring Honey Creek's bell in its newly constructed tower given in honor of their mother, long-time Honey Creek supporter Jo Jordan.

Project Resource Training with the Bishop
Albany Convocation
Christ Church, Cordele
Saturday, October 27
9:30 AM to noon
To register, go here:  http://bit.ly/AlbanyProjectResourceWorkshop2018

Augusta Convocation Meeting in Advance of the 197th Convention
4 PM, Sunday, October 28
St. Alban's Augusta

Project Resource Training with the Bishop

Augusta Convocation
St. Augustine's of Augusta
November 3
9:30 AM to noon
To register, go here: 
197th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia

November 8-10
Albany, Georgia

Diocesan Convention and Lock-in for Youth
November 9-10
Lock-in at St. John's and St. Mark's, Albany
For full convention: http: //bit.ly/2018ConventionYouth
For lock-in only:  http://bit.ly/2018ConventionLockIn

New Beginnings#53
November 16-18
Honey Creek
Register at  http://bit.ly/NB53SignUp

Diocesan Council 
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Annunciation, Vidalia

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

February 15-17
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Registration Opens at Convention

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

Diocesan Council

May 17-18

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

Diocesan Council
September 13-14

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