October 26, 2016
Volume 8, Number 8
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
Track 1 
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
Psalm 119: 137-144
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 
Luke 19:1-10
Track 2
Isaiah 1:10-18
Psalm 32:1-8
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 
Luke 19:1-10
Go   here for the full text.
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CreekFEST 2016!
The first CreekFEST has been declared a success! With a blend of worship, friendly competitive games, delicious food, square dancing, a silent auction and the beautiful setting of Honey Creek, the event went off without a hitch. The winning team were the  Bulltiggers (aka the Hummel/Jones families). Congratulations!

Morning light on Saturday.
The 5K participants before the race.

Shirley and Mark Forssell enjoy a walk beneath the pines.

Kelly Benhase gives Mary Grace Lacey a push on the tire swing.

Dave Ronn and the Rev. Joshua Varner provided musical accompaniment for compline.
Clergy spouses gathered for a photo.

The Creation Care Commission provided an early morning bird watching walk led by Phyllis Hiers.

High stakes competition between Josh McMains, Youth Minister at Trinity Statesboro and the Rev. Kevin Kelly of St. Michael's and All Angels.

Dave Ronn and his excellent archery form.

  Splitting wood was one stop on the Honey Creek-inspired relay.

Most of the attendees. 

The 195th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd November 10-12, 2016. Here are some recent updates and news you can use: 

Invite Welcome Connect
In the video above, our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry encourages the Diocese of Georgia in its work on Invite-Welcome-Connect at our upcoming convention. 
Mary Parmer of the Diocese of Texas will be our Convention Presenter. She worked with the Newcomer Project in the Diocese of Texas, which took a data-driven approach to learn what was already working in congregations that demonstrated a knack for welcoming newcomers. She then worked with a group in the creation of a tangible, transportable product supporting the development of effective newcomer ministry.  Parmer will present to our convention with the goal of cultivating new practices of invitation, welcome, and connection that are rooted and grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which will gradually change our congregations and help shape an authentic culture of effective newcomer ministry. 

Here are the offerings: 
2-3 PM
  • Investing through the Diocese of Georgia--US Trust and Board of the Corporation
  • A Taste of Project Resource--Canon Frank Logue
  •  Composting at Church and Home--Creation Care Commission
    3-4 PM
  • Administrator/Vestry Basics--Canons Willoughby and Logue
  • Deacons: Who are they and what do they do?--Venerable Archdeacon Sandy Turner and fellow deacons
  • By the Hand of David--Create icons with the Rev. David Holland

    Go here to register: 
Consider Running in an Election!
We have not received any nominations for the Board of Corporation or any lay nominees to the Standing Committee. While we have received four nominations for lay deputies and alternates to the General Convention, we will elect a total of eight and so need four additional nominations. The persons nominated to date are:
  • Church Disciplinary Board (1 lay person) - Neil Dickert
  • Church Disciplinary Board (2 clergy) - The Revs. Beck Rowell and Cynthia Taylor
  • Diocesan Council (1 lay or ordained) - Dave Ronn 
  • General Convention Deputy (four lay deputies & four lay alternates) - Jody Grant, Drew Keane, Molly Stevenson, and Mary Willoughby
  • General Convention Deputy (four clergy deputies & four clergy alternates) - The Revs. Joe Bowden, Ted Clarkson, Frank Logue, Hunt Priest, Tom Purdy, David Rose, Kelly Steele, Cynthia Taylor, Deacon Sandy Turner, and William Willoughby III
  • Standing Committee (1 clergy) - The Revs. Ted Clarkson and Kevin Kelly
Read more about these elected positions and brief biographies of the nominees here

Register Early=Costs Less! 
The cost to register goes up on Monday. Save ten dollars by
registering  now! 

If you have not received a postcard(at right)  by the end of this week, please register! 

For information on all things Convention 2016 including accommodations, how to register, and more, go here.  
50th Anniversary of the Anglican Centre in Rome

During the week of October 5th, the The Very Rev. Dr. William Willoughby III KTJ, OStJ and his wife Mary Willoughby attended the celebration of 50 years of ministry at the Anglican Centre in Rome, the permanent presence of the Anglican Communion in Rome. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis presided at a celebration of Vespers at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Gregory on Mont Celio where a common declaration was signed. "Together they commissioned and blessed 19 pairs of Bishops to return to their diocese' to work together with intention and openness that the world might be served with tenderness and loving kindness," said the Rev. Willoughby. For a full account of their visit, go here. 

A n historic service with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Paul presiding.

New Beginnings #49 Set for December 2-4

New Beginnings, a weekend retreat led by youth for youth in grades 7-9 when participants can explore their faith by looking at their own lives, at their relationships with friends and family, and most importantly at the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We reflect about what it means to love God, love our neighbors, and love ourselves.

Participants hear talks given by other teenagers, take part in discussions and games, and engage in common worship throughout the weekend. This experience is open to all youth in grades 7-9. The cost for the weekend is $115 and scholarships are available on an as needed basis.

To register, please follow this link.
If you have questions, please contact New Beginnings Coordinator Maggie Bloodworth at or the Diocesan Missioner for Youth, the Rev. Joshua Varner, at .
Administrator's Corner
Open Enrollment 2017: October 24 to November 9!
Medical Plans
To find more information about the cost of plans, please visit the Diocesan website here:
For participants enrolled in the High Deductible plans, you are currently enrolled in the plan entitled Anthem BCBS CDHP-20/HSA. It is the recommendation of the Diocesan House to remain enrolled in that plan, unless you'd like to elect in the CDHP-15 plan, which translates into a 15% cost share after the deductible is met.
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
If you elect to make no changes, you do not have to log-in to make changes through the portal. You'll be automatically rolled over into the new year.
You should have received a letter from the Medical Trust approximately one week ago. This letter provides you with information on when and how to access the Open Enrollment website, and links to important benefits information and plan resources.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Members will access the enrollment web page with the same credentials (user name and password) they created to access their benefits information on MyCPG Accounts. It is important for all participating employees to create an account on MyCPG Accounts prior to Open Enrollment, if they have not already done so. For assistance, employees may contact the Client Services Team at (800) 480-9967, Monday to Friday, 8:30AM - 8:00 PMET (excluding holidays), or email
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 2017 plan year. As we do not mail materials to these potential members, please send a communication to these employees informing them of this option as well as the plans and rates available to them and all applicable legal notices and Summaries of Benefits and Coverage. The Summaries of Benefits and Coverage are available at
You may use the attached enrollment form for new member enrollments and return them to me before 11/06/2016 at
Plan Documents
2017 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 Please remember that you are responsible for providing newly eligible employees a copy of all applicable legal notices and Summaries of Benefits and Coverage.
2017 Plan Offering
New Plans
Please note that we are offering new plans from the Medical Trust for the 2017 plan year: See table above. Additional information about the plan designs is available for your review on as well as on the Open Enrollment page. Two are Medicare eligible plans. Please visit here: (will be updated once open enrollment is live).
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with Cigna Behavioral Health
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.)
Note: On a stand-alone basis, the employer must pay for the EAP-only coverage. Requiring employees to contribute to the EAP-only coverage would violate the Affordable Care Act and the employer could be subject to significant penalties. Eligibility for the stand-alone EAP program is limited to qualified non-members (e.g. an employee who opts out of medical coverage because they are on a spousal plan). Because these employees will not have the ability to select the EAP on a stand-alone basis during Open Enrollment, enrollments must be completed by the group administrator with MLPS access.
Episcopal Diocese of Georgia Health Insurance Policy
In order to comply with the diocesan clergy minimum compensation standard, a congregation with a priest working at least 30 hours per week is required to assure insurance coverage. For those who do not otherwise have medical insurance provided through a spouse or an existing plan such as Tri-care, this means selecting at least the lowest cost option from the plans above.
For those in a High Deductible Plan with a Health Savings Account, the Diocese expects the employer will pay $200 per month or $2400 per year into the HSA for those electing the single HDHP and $400 or $4800 per for the plus one or family plan in the first year of coverage and to continue to pay $150 per month for Single HDHP and $300 per month for plus one, and $400 for family plans in subsequent years.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at
Katie Willoughby
Canon for Administration
Around the Diocese

The folks from All Saints Tybee sent this dispatch: "We lost seven trees and one church service, but Hurricane Matthew only grazed us, and we managed to splint our muddy sign back in place!"
McIntosh County's new elementary school opened this fall presenting a delay in kicking off the signature youth ministry of St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's churches, Community Cares Cafe.  This postponement did not dampen spirits of this year's Fifth Grade group or the volunteers! 

Early Bird Deadline for Kanuga Leadership Conference
This February, our own Canon Frank Logue will serve as one of two keynote speakers for Kanuga's Church Leadership Conference, serving with Rachel Held Evans whose book Searching for Sunday was a Lent 2016 study for the Diocese of Georgia. 
Kanuga designed this annual event to provide opportunities for participants to hear from nationally-known speakers, attend a variety of workshops, learn from others and process within church leadership teams. This conference brings together vestries and other church leaders for learning, reflection and formation. It's a time and space to explore how churches can refocus their energies and deepen the faith of their congregations. 

This year we will explore the theme Finding Your Place, discovering and discerning what church leaders are called to do within their congregations and communities. Encounter well-versed speakers with innovative ideas on understanding your role as a guide within the Church. Workshops and presentations will address how to support others in finding where their talents are most fruitful. There will also be workshops on stewardship, leadership skills, and discipleship for leaders.

Join Rachel Held Evans, the Rev. Canon Frank Logue and a team of workshop leaders as they delve into avenues of "finding your place" as individuals and leaders within your congregations. They will discuss reasons people find their way to our congregations, how to make them feel appreciated, and effective courses for personal growth. 

Bishop's Visitations
St. Andrew's, Darien

Following the service at which Bishop Benhase celebrated and preached, he stands with the newly baptized and four persons received into the Episcopal Church and their families.

St. Cyprian's, Darien 

Deacon Karulynn Koelliker and parishioner greet the Bishop.
St. Peter's, Savannah

Clergy gather around the Rev. Hunt Priest (at center in white stole) following the October 19 celebration of new ministry. Priest is the new rector of St. Peter's on Skidaway Island in Savannah.
Diocesan Office Update     
Your whole diocesan staff is keeping our regular work going as we also prepare for the 195th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia.

Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to Good Shepherd, Thomasville, this Sunday morning and to St. Matthew's, Fitzgerald, in the afternoon.
For the Bishop's complete visitation schedule, go here. 

Canon Willoughby will teach a Project Resource train the trainer event at Trinity, Statesboro this Saturday.

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at Christ Church Savannah and lead the 9:30 a.m. Adult Forum session on Spirituality and Leadership.
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. 
Prayers for October 23 to 29
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 La Catedral de la EpifanĂ­a (the Cathedral of the Epiphany).

Prayers for October 30 to November 5
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 Sagrada Familia (Holy Family Church).
 Mother and daughter at Sunday's Eucharist at Christ Church, Savannah. 
Upcoming Events
Integrity: October 28-29
For more information, go here.

New Beginnings #48 Staff Lock-in: October 28-29
St. Anne's, Tifton
Staff application can be found here.

Ordination of the Rev. Deacon Luke Wetzel, October 29, 10 AM
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1130 First Avenue, Columbus, Georgia
The Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase presiding.

Living Freedom and Wholeness Women's Retreat: November 4-6
Go here to register

Down to the River to Pray: POSTPONED
More information about events in the Spring will be forthcoming!

195th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia: November 9-12
For more information, go here. 

Thanksgiving at Honey Creek: noon, Thursday, November 24
Cost is $25 per person, $12 for children eight and under. Lodging available also.
For more information, go here. 

New Beginnings #49, December 2-4
Retreat led by youth for youth in grades seven to nine. Go here to register. 
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Diocesan Staff                             
Episcopal Diocese of Georgia