September 26, 2018
Volume 9, Number 4

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue preaches at the closing Eucharist of the Fall Clergy Conference.

Clergy Conference Centers in Worship and Meditations
Worship is always the heart of the Diocese of Georgia's spring and fall Clergy Conferences. That was especially true of the Fall 2018 conference which just ended at Honey Creek. From Evening Prayer on Monday through the Closing Eucharist late Wednesday morning, the clergy heard meditations from priests reflecting on the life of ordained ministry. Offering meditations were Bishop Benhase and the Revs. Tar Drazdowski, Lonnie Lacy, Amy Bradley, Tom Purdy, Joan Kilian, and Frank Logue.

Three workshops on Tuesday were discussions led by priests of the Diocese. The Rev. Kevin Kelly led the session on Developing and Maintaining a Rule of Life, the Rev. Cynthia Taylor led the one on The Role of a Priest Before and After Worship on Sunday, and the Rev. Lauren Byrd led a workshop on Sermon Preparation and Delivery. 

On Wednesday morning, Canon Katie Willoughby briefed the group on upcoming changes to health insurance which will reduce the cost to congregations. Then she and Honey Creek Executive Director Dade Brantley brought the clergy up to date on plans for the Honey Creek Future Fund, which will be presented at the upcoming diocesan convention. 

The moon rises alongside the Chapel of Our Savior at Honey Creek as clergy arrive for Compline on Tuesday evening.
In This Issue
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This Sunday's Lections
19th Sunday
After Pentecost
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
Psalm 124
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50
OR
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 
24-29
Psalm 19:7-14
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50

Go   here for the full text.
Annual Enrollment Oct. 15 to November 2
New Insurance Provider: Cigna
The Diocese of Georgia will begin to offer Cigna Health Insurance in 2019. As announced last year, the Church Medical Trust is no longer offering several of its existing Anthem BCBS PPO plans in 2019, including, PPO 75/50, 80/60, and 90/70.

Given the transition, the Diocese conducted a cost analysis of the Anthem and Cigna plans and identified cost saving opportunities with the switch to Cigna. To see the comparison and the cost of the plans, go here.

The Annual Enrollment period for 2019 will run from October 15 to November 2.  
Annual enrollment information was emailed to all clergy and parish administrators on September 21st and is available on the diocesan website here. 

In addition to cost savings, additional benefits of the change to Cigna include: 
  1. Cigna is the current provider for our EAP benefits and a switch would streamline our dental, EAP, and mental health coverage to one provider
  2. The plans mirror the Anthem plans (i.e. same deductible and benefits)
  3. We will experience very minimal disruption in the switch with doctors covered by Cigna. An analysis determined that greater than 98% of claims in the last year would have been covered by Cigna
Keep in mind that your Health Advocate benefit can be a valuable resource, particularly at this time of year. A Health Advocate representative can help you make a wise choice of a health and/or dental plan for you and  your family.
 
Watch for the green Annual Enrollment envelope in your mailbox soon, or visit the Church Pension Group's Annual Enrollment homepage at cpg.org/annualenrollment.

A webinar and further communications are forthcoming. If you have any questions, please contact the Canon for Administration, Katie Willoughby, 
kwilloughby@gaepiscopal.org .
From the Canon for Children and Youth
Welcome the Child in Worship

Mills Fleming photo at Christ Church, Savannah
Welcoming children, whether on Sunday morning, Wednesday evening, or every other Thursday, is one of Jesus' direct commands. In last Sunday's Gospel Jesus told his disciples that "whoever welcomes a child welcomes me" and "whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me." It's hard to argue that welcoming children is somehow contrary to the Gospel!

But welcoming children is harder for most congregations than we think it ought to be. While there are certainly aspects of this difficulty that have to do with our expectations about children's behavior, the largest difficulty, for most of us, lies in the fact that we are no longer children. We simply do not see things in the same way, or with the same preconceptions that we had when we were at an earlier stage of our development. And so we naturally structure things to fit our current stage of development, without taking into account what children themselves may need.

When it comes to our regular worship services, children come with their own particular set of needs. They often have trouble sitting still, or being silent. They are usually physically shorter than the adults around them, and so cannot see what's going on at the front of the church when everyone stands up around them. Sermons and music are often geared toward adult sensibilities. And of course, everything takes too long, if your attention span is shorter than an average adult's!

I don't mean to say that we need to gear everything in our worship solely toward children. That would leave adults out of place as much as children are routinely left out of place now. But I think we need to rethink our Sunday morning services from the lens of the child. One of the best ways to do that is to talk directly with children who attend your congregation and ask them what their favorite and least favorite parts are, and why. They will not give uniform answers, but they may well provide you with some places to start.

Quite often, it is helpful for children in worship to have options. Having a nursery for the youngest children that is not required but is available allows both children and parents to have the chance to worship. It also teaches children that there is a safe space in church that is for them. Other options for young children include little bags of reusable things that they can play with during church that are 1) quiet and 2) not easily breakable. And of course, the more the music, the sermon, the prayers, and communion itself are arranged with children in mind, the more children will be engaged.

Most important, however, is the attitude of the members of the congregation, and their willingness to put a child's needs, and the needs of that child's family, ahead of their own. Even something as simple as a welcoming smile or a person who is willing to scoot down the pew to make space for a family, or who will engage with a child who is sitting next to them, can make a huge difference in how welcome both the child and their family feel.

Welcoming a child is work. But it is also a way in which we open ourselves up not just to our neighbor but also to Christ. As Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes a child, welcomes me."

The Rev. Canon Joshua Varner
Canon for Children and Youth
Honey Creek Commission Holds Silent Auction
'Money doesn't grow on trees' they say. You have to work hard for the money or so I was told by Donna Summer in her big hit back in 1983. Yes, we work hard for our money. We work hard for something that we want in life. We also strive to do what is right even though it may not be popular.

As a member of the Honey Creek Commission, I feel it is my duty to work hard and strive for what is both needed and desired at our beloved Honey Creek. It is a special, holy place that has its own character unlike any other. You can sometimes hear the laughter of children that has been tangled within the moss in the trees. If you stand still on the front steps of the chapel and close your eyes, you will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit all around you. Many of us in our diocese have gathered in this sacred place. We have walked among the fallen leaves, embraced the sound of the infamous ringing of the bell and have watched sunrises over the creek water. It is pure. It is comforting. It is our Honey Creek.

Now, it is time to give back! During Convention, the Honey Creek Commission will be hosting a silent auction. All funds raised by the auction will contribute to the Future Fund. Each congregation is being asked to donate $50 or more toward the silent auction. We will then use the donation to purchase an item or variety of items that will be sold and the name of the congregation will be added to that particular item. If you are able to donate a monetary gift, please send it directly to Honey Creek, 299 Georgia Episcopal Center Road; Waverly, GA. 31565 and include 'Silent Auction' on the memo line. The deadline for all donations for the auction will be Friday, November 2nd. Please contact Honey Creek with any questions at (912) 265-9218.

Let us continue to work with one another and help sustain what we have grown to love and adore. By doing so, our diocese can branch out on the limbs and plant roots for future generations. In a way, money CAN grow on trees. We just have to work hard for it!

Jay Lacy
Honey Creek Commissioner
Around the Diocese

The Rev. Aaron Brewer, Rector of St. Luke's Hawkinsville, at the church's Blessing of the Animals.
Parishioners at St. Matthew's Savannah celebrated the church's 163rd anniversary.
Members of Grace, Waycross proclaim their love for the Lord on Evangelism Sunday, aka, the 2nd Annual Loud for the Lord Pants Sunday. Shown, from left: the Rev Kit Brinson, Bunky Snider, Sara Rollison, Ken Taft, Peggy Lang, James Israel, Alison Strait, Rachel Snider, Susan Aldridge, Blossom Williams, Katie Richards, Vernon Willis, Dayton Lang, Alyssa Young and Preslee Aldridge 

Members of Christ Church Savannah working on Operation Paperback, a ministry at the church that sends 10-15 boxes of books every month to military service members. From left: Barbara Powers, Claudia Seyle, Pricsilla Carrington, Carol Jennings, and Sandy Brown-Yarger. 
Bishop's Visitations

Shown with Bishop Scott Anson Benhase following his visitation to Good Shepherd, Thomasville are Deacon Dennis McGill and Acolyte Armani Miller.

A photo from Bishop Benhase' visitation to Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island: back row from left: Greg Wellstead, the Rev. RV Cate, Bishop Benhase, the Rev. Tommy Townsend, Ann Russell; middle row: David Hayes, Robert Cooper, Mike McKinney, Daylan Butler, Maggie Watkins; 
front row: Dolores Davis, Dorothy Smith, Vanette McKinney, Mary Smith, Laura Townsend, Anne Hurley, Sue Miller
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. 

September 23-29
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Paul the Apostle and St. Bartholomew's Chapel. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially the Catholic congregations of St. Frances Cabrini and Saints Peter and Paul as well as St. Paul's Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Matthias ( San Matías) in Santana.

September 30-October 6
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Swainsboro, Good Shepherd. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Swainsboro, especially Holy Trinity Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santiago, especially Christ the Savior ( Cristo Salvador), Emmanuel ( Emmanuel).
Diocesan Office Update and News
Bishop Scott Anson Benhase is on vacation through Friday. He will make his annual visitation to St. Margaret's Moultrie at 10 AM Sunday, September 30. The bishop's  full schedule is available 
here

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue will be preaching on Sunday at St. Augustine of Canterbury in Augusta.

The Rev. Joshua Varner will be preaching at Christ the King Valdosta this Sunday. 

The Rev. Charles Todd, Vicar and Administrator at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Savannah will officiate at the noon, Thursday service at Diocesan House.
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.  
Reserve Time at Saluda Clergy Cottage Today!
The cottage closes at the end of October. Ch eck the Saluda Clergy Cottage website calendar for availability.  To reserve time, please fill out and email/mail the reservation form found here.
Keepers of History

Oscar Covington, the recently retired cemetery superintendent at Christ Church Frederica, left, and Harrison Branch, the current superintendent, are pictured in front of the Hazzard family plot, one of the oldest plots in the cemetery. Covington is profiled in  Coastal Illustrated 
magazine. Look  here. (Photo: Mary Starr, Coastal Illustrated)
 
Events 
Creation Care Commission Campout
September 28-30
Reed Bingham State Park
For more information: creationcarecommission@gmail.com

Conflict Management
October 1-5
Honey Creek

Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee
October 5-6
St. Michael and All Angels', Savannah

Cursillo 125
October 11-14
Honey Creek Retreat Center
Contact Rita Spalding, 912-270-2725, for more information.

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

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
http://convention.georgiaepiscopal.org/ 

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
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
Augusta

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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