September 13, 2017
Volume 8, Number 3

The entrance to Honey Creek was briefly flooded after Hurricane Irma.

Revival Postponed Until January 20, 2018

Revival: Fearless Faith, Boundless Love originally scheduled for Sunday, September 17 has been postponed until Saturday, January 20th. This will allow our congregations--and Honey Creek--to focus on the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The celebration of Deaconess Anna Alexander's life and legacy has also been postponed and will be held the morning of the January 20th at Church of the Good Shepherd in Brunswick.

The youth event scheduled for this coming weekend will also be rescheduled to the weekend of January 19-21. The fees paid for this weekend will automatically roll over to cover the cost for the January event. However if you would like a refund, contact the Rev. Canon Joshua Varner at
The Fall Clergy Conference will not be held this weekend however all clergy should plan to be at Honey Creek for dinner with the Presiding Bishop on Friday, January 19.

We are hopeful that this new date will work for the 1000+ people who registered for Saturday's event and that it will give them time to invite others to experience the Presiding Bishop's message.

More details about January's event will be forthcoming.
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Exodus 14:19-31
Psalm 114
Genesis 50:15-21
Psalm 103:(1-7), 8-13
Romans 14:1-12
Matthew  18:21-35

Go  here 
for the full text.

As with many of our churches, St. Francis of the Islands had trees down with no apparent damage to buildings on initial inspection.

Irma's Impact on the Diocese
The phrase repeated again and again in reports on our churches was, "It could have been so much worse." While assessment continues, many stories of trees that fell just right and large limbs that missed doing any damage have been the main story of Hurricane Irma's rampage across the state.

The much feared storm surge did not rise to the height of any of our island churches. Even on Tybee Island, which experienced significant flooding in many areas, All Saints was found high and relatively dry in the storm's wake. An unfortunate exception is Holy Nativity St. Simons Island where trees landed on the church, parish hall, and vicarage (see photo above). The church also experienced substantial damage to the vicarage last year from Hurricane Matthew. 

An initial assessment of Honey Creek showed our Retreat Center faired better than anticipated given the flooding just to the north in Brunswick. There is much work to do to complete a thorough assessment of every building, but the number of trees that could have hit buildings and fell just right to miss them is what one first notices on touring the grounds. See below for information on how you can assist in the clean up.

Collum Dormitory at Honey Creek was only nicked when this large cedar fell in the storm. A small tree hit the opposite side of the dorm.
Help Out at Honey Creek This Weekend
Bishop Benhase surveying the damage at Honey Creek after Hurricane Irma.
Honey Creek has put out a call for people in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia to assist with cleanup this coming weekend, September 15-17. Let Honey Creek Director Dade Brantley know if you can help with Operation HC by emailing him at 

Here's what he wants to know:
1. How many people are coming
2. When you are coming
3. How long you'll be staying. 
3. Whether you need overnight accommodations (there is no charge to stay in the dorms, but bring your own sleeping bag or sheets and blanket, pillow, towel, and toiletries)

Here's what else you'll need to bring:
1. Work gloves, eye protection, closed-toe shoes, bug repellent, sunscreen, your favorite debris-elimination tools if you have them (lopper, chainsaw, rake, etc., labeled with your name).
2. Food you can bring to share (cereal, bread, fruit)

Note: This is not a youth event, as Dade says, it's a human event. Youth and their families are welcome but this is NOT an official youth event so parents need to be prepared to come, stay and work with their young people.

For more information about this weekend's cleanup activities, check out Honey Creek's Facebook page.
"Do Something"
Around the Diocese, we are still assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. We continue to pray for and hold up our brothers and sisters across the Southeast and Caribbean who have faced serious calamity by the storm. The Presiding Bishop shared a wonderful call to action to the catastrophes in the US and abroad. His message is "we can't do everything, but we can do something. We can pray. We can give. We can go to work. The one thing we cannot do is quit." 

In the spirit of his message, the Diocese asks you to act on his appeal. Please pray for those in need. Consider making a gift to the Bishop's Fund of the Diocese. Donate your time and skills to work and support Honey Creek in its clean-up efforts this weekend. Funds raised through the Bishop's Fund will assist congregations and diocesan ministries facing financial needs as a result of the hurricane.

To make a gift to the Bishop's Fund go  here or text EDOG to 73256 and select the Bishop's Fund.

For more information about this weekend's clean-up effort at Honey Creek, please reference the previous article.

But above all, continue to pray--the one thing we cannot do is quit praying.
Report from the Disaster Recovery Coordinator

Diocesan Disaster Recovery Coordinator the Rev. Charles Todd sent in this report:In the wake of Hurricane Irma many folks are wondering how best to help with recovery efforts. Nearly all of our churches were spared significant damage, yet there are numerous places with downed trees and in need of clean-up. Check with the Diocese for information about who needs assistance. We also have some counties in the southeast where residents are not yet being allowed to return home. We have discovered that On Star and the local hospital are directing people to St. Paul's, Jesup where they are sheltering some and feeding more (see image below), so if you live in the area, contact the church to see if they need meals or a guest room for the night.

Our neighbors to the south in Florida have been hit very hard in many areas and the road to recovery will be long. Please remember that "recovery is a marathon, not a sprint."

The Bishops of Florida are grateful for your prayers, but they ask that you not send supplies or come down right now. The deadliest time during a hurricane is after it's over. Episcopal Relief and Development recommends this article from The Washington Post. The people in Florida will need your help and your talents later, but right now people coming from outside the state pose a greater burden and threat to their recovery efforts. The two best ways you can help are to either donate to Episcopal Relief and Development or to volunteer through Ready To Serve. This way, when Florida is ready to receive volunteers, ERD will know who is ready to volunteer and what their skills are. Above all, your prayers are greatly appreciated.
Always Room for One More
A family fleeing from the coast to Christ Church Valdosta ended up with on more evacuee than they started with when a woman who stayed in Louttit Hall went into labor on the highway and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. 

Mother and child are safe and will return home today. The youngest evacuee is pictured here with her grandmother.
Around the Diocese

The Rev. Larry Williams lifts up an infant he just baptized at Christ Church Cordele on Sunday.
The Revs. Tom Purdy and Melanie Lemburg offered worship online through Facebook Live. Both liturgies garnered many more worshippers taking part in the whole service online than would likely have been in attendance on a typical Sunday. Many others watched a portion of the liturgy. 

The Rev. Guillermo Arboleda (left) and the Rev. Kelly Steele held services for evacuees Sunday at the Columbus Convention Center. On Saturday they visited them along with the Rev. Luke Wetzel, Curate at Trinity Church in Columbus.
Happening #99 Still Happening September 22-24!

Happening #99 is still planned for the weekend starting Friday, September 22 at Honey Creek. Registration will close Sunday. A Christian experience presented by teenagers for teenagers and designed for youth in grades 10 - 12, Happening is a cornerstone of diocesan youth programs and an experience not to miss. Ben Sandbach from St. Paul's Augusta is the teen serving as Rector for Happening #99, which meets Friday, September 22-24 at Honey Creek.

Most young people have serious questions about Jesus and the Church. Happening is designed to address these questions. During a  Happening weekend, participants experience the love of Christ as shown through prayer, worship, and the ministry of peers, clergy, and lay adults. The Happeners are encouraged to make their renewed faith a part of their everyday lives. Happening shows how Christianity can keep pace with the many changes in our lives and our world.

For more general information about Happening go here
To register for Happening, go here.
The Loose Canon
A Maintenance Reserve Study Avoids Surprises
Churches always seem to have more needs than dollars to meet the needs. Even when finances are doing well, there is always more that can be done than any congregation can do. Unfortunately, buildings tend to suffer for it. It is rare to speak up for the roof, or the heating and air system until sometime just before or during a crisis. Yet, there is no need for surprises. Setting up and funding maintenance reserves can assist a congregation in avoiding most surprises. 

The vestry needs to be assured that the money will be on hand to replace the air handler, water heater and so on when they go out. As these and other pieces of equipment come with typical life expectancy, it is possible to plan for the future and set aside money at a steady rate, rather than dealing with issues arising when maintenance has been put off to the breaking point.   (Chapel of Our Savior got a new roof in 2012)

Vestries can plan for eventual maintenance issues with a maintenance reserve study. Set up a task force of 2-3 people headed by the Junior Warden to tour the campus, making note of areas of possible concern including the parking lot and the buildings from roof to foundation with all significant electrical and plumbing issues in between. Seek input from professionals (often available in the parish) who can estimate the remaining life and replacement costs at the time action is needed. Then budget to set aside a little money each month toward the maintenance reserve fund. Then when the water heater tank ruptures or the heat pump dies, funds will be ready to apply toward their purchase. Revisit the study each year and adjust the maintenance reserve line item as a apart of the budget process. 

Deductibles and Exclusions
It is important to review clauses, deductibles, and exclusions in your policies. Each policy documentation should include information on exclusion and deductible changes in the event of, for example, hurricanes. These deductible calculations can be different based on the location and type of loss coverage. If you are interested in estimations for your potential deductible  for budget planning and reserve purposes, please reach out to Canon Willoughby and your insurance representative.   

A small, routine line item
This practice keeps maintenance of your building a small, routine line item in the budget, which is as it should be. I know there is no money for this lying around waiting to be allocated to a future need. But considering the high cost of leaving an old roof in place, you can't afford not to set aside a little each month toward this eventual need. If Jesus does not return first, your congregational WILL face these maintenance issues. If Jesus does come before the heating and air system gives up the ghost, imagine how pleased our Lord will be to see you had prepared to care so well for his house. 

 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. 

September 10-16
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Thomas Isle of Hope and St. Matthew's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially Holy Spirit Lutheran Church and St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Sanchez especially Cristo Rey (Christ the King) and San Simón Apóstol.

September 17-23
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Peter's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially Messiah Lutheran Church and St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) in Santa Fe.
Diocesan Office Update and News  

Bishop Benhase will travel to the House of Bishop's Fall Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska September 20-27. He will attend the General Convention Fall Task Force Meeting in Seattle, September 28-30. His full schedule is available  here.

The Rev. R. Kevin Kelly, Rector of St. Michael's and All Angels will officiate at the Thursday service in the Chapel of St. George at Diocesan House at noon.
Bishop's Visitation  
Bishop Benhase began his sermon at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle last Sunday by thanking the Rev. Canon William Willoughby for "providing sanctuary to a refugee Bishop." The Bishop's Annual Visitation to St. George's Savannah had been postponed due to Hurricane Irma. (Photo by the Rev. Leonel Polanco)

During his annual visitation to Church of the Annunciation Valdosta, Bishop Benhase confirmed Desiree Rogers (third from left). Gathered afterwards are, from left: Jeremiah Leyland, Jonathan Leyland, Desiree's son William Rogers, Bishop Benhase, the Rev. Denise Vaughn, Dr. Cory Williams, Matthew Norton. 
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.  
Shelter in the Storm

St. Paul's Jesup is hosting 33 evacuees, many from the Brunswick/Glynn County and St. Simon's Island/Jekyll Island area. They will be unable to return to their homes until Friday, September 15.

POSTPONED: Celebration of New Ministry
The Rev. Melanie Dickson Lemburg
St. Thomas' Isle of Hope
POSTPONED: Fall Clergy Conference

POSTPONED: Fall Youth Event: Growing in Faith and Love

POSTPONED: Deaconess Anna Alexander Celebration

Happening #99
September 22-23
Honey Creek
Registration open until Sunday, September 17, go

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

Diocesan Council
October 20
Location TBA

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

Acolyte Festival
October 21-22, St. Anne's Tifton
Register here.

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

Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee Meeting
1:30 PM Friday, November 3 until noon Saturday, November 4
Trinity Church, Statesboro

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

Youth Presence at Diocesan Convention
November 10-11
Register information coming.

New Beginnings #51
December 8-10
Honey Creek
Registration information coming.

Revival: Boundless Love Fearless Faith
January 20
For more information, go here:

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

Stewardship Training with Bishop Benhase
February 3, 9:30 AM to noon
Christ Church, Valdosta
Register here.
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