September 27, 2017
Volume 8, Number 5
ELCA Approves Funding for Grovetown Mission
The Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) approved a grant from the denomination, which together with funding from their Southeastern Synod will total $40,000 a year for three years toward the new Episcopal-Lutheran church planned for Grovetown. The Rev. Deacon Thomas Barron starts work on October 1 as the planter for this new congregation.

The new mission is supported by a $100,000 anonymous gift to the Diocese of Georgia's Campaign for Congregational Development. The Episcopal Church matched that $100,000 through their grants for church starts.

"The Southeastern Synod and the Diocese of Georgia have a history of partnership which will be strengthened by planting this new congregation together," said the Rev. Canon Frank Logue, who is providing diocesan oversight for this new church. "St. Patrick's Albany is also home to the Lutheran Church of Our Savior and here in Savannah our Epiphany mission, spearheaded by the Rev. Kelly Steele, is also working with the ELCA as we live into our common mission found in Jesus' great commission to make disciples."

"We are truly blessed by this partnership in ministry. In mutual ministry, the Southeastern Synod and the Diocese of Georgia will find out what God is calling us to do in the Grovetown area. We will pray for Thomas's efforts in building this church and support him in every way we can," says Bishop Julian Gordy of the Southeastern Synod.

Grovetown is a small city near Augusta which has been seeing unprecedented growth in recent years as singles and young families have moved to the area near Fort Gordon. The Army Cyber Operations Center being built now is adding jobs to the already growing base population. Since 2010 the population grew by 49% and is anticipated to grow another 30% in the next five years. The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC, will use this church plant as a site for field education placements to give their seminarians experience in starting a new congregation.

Barron, once on the ground, will meet with community leaders, preach in Augusta-area Episcopal and ELCA churches, and network to develop a core team who will assist him in starting the new church. In addition to developing the team, goals for the first 12 months include holding launch team worship, and working toward a launch of public worship by Christmas 2018.
In This Issue
Join Our Mailing List

This Sunday's Lections
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Exodus 17; 1-7
Psalm 78: 1-4, 12-16
Ezekiel 18: 1-4, 25-32
Psalm 25:1-8
Philippians 2: 1-13
Matthew  21: 23-32

Go  here 
for the full text.

10-Question Convention Quiz
Take this quick quiz to see if you're ready for this year's Convention. The first two answers are provided to get you started! 
1. What's the date for this year's 196th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia? (November 9-11, 2017)
2. Where will the Convention be held? ( The Patterson, Valdosta
3. Have you registered?
Go here to do so.
4. Have you reserved a place at the Hampton or Hilton in Valdosta? Get started by going  here.
5. Have you sent in your report for Convention?
Email it to Anna Iredale, by October 27th.
6. Have you nominated someone to serve? 
Go here to read about open offices.
7. Have you reserved a booth to showcase your diocesan ministry to others?
8. Have you reviewed the proposed amendments to the Canons? Go here to re-read them. 
9. Have you contacted the fellow members of your team to work out logistics? 
10. Have you signed up your youth to be a part of the Youth at Convention? Go here .

Tally up the number of questions you answered yes to and see your score below!

If you answered yes to all 10 you are a Convention-going Superstar!

If you answered yes to 5-10 we'll see you at Convention!

If you answered yes to 1-4, you've got time but you might want to go right here and get started!

Dispatches from Happening #99
Happening Held at Honey Creek After Hurricane
From the Rector
Sarah Brittany Sandbach receives communion from her younger brother Ben.

Ben Sandbach
St. Paul's, Augusta
Happening #99 was an amazing experience, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to serve as Rector. As I prepared to lead the weekend, I prayed that God would work through us to spread Jesus' unconditional love to all of the candidates and the staff. God answers prayers. I could not have had a better staff to serve during the weekend, or Candidates to participate. The amount of love, shown through physical things and through actions, was inspiring, and I hope that both the Candidates and the staff continue to share the love and joy they felt here. We live in a world that isn't always kind, but this weekend reminded us that God is always there, and always love.

From the Canon Missioner for Children and Youth
Rev. Joshua Varner
Singing songs of love.
Happening #99 took place this past weekend at Honey Creek, and it was an incredible experience. Ben Sandbach, of St. Paul's, Augusta served as the Rector and led a group of approximately 30 participants, called Candidates, and 40 staff as they gathered together to learn about the love of God, made present in Jesus, in the Church, in the world around them, and in each other. They participated in activities to build trust, encountered surprise
Win Broderick, St. Mark's Brunswick
expressions of love, heard other teenagers speak about topics that included faith, our relationship to the world, the Church, prayer and piety, and more. The weekend concluded with a closing Eucharist at which 180 people, including many parents, siblings, family and friends, gathered in the Chapel to worship together and hear about the weekend itself. Many thanks to everyone, including Diocesan Coordinator Jody Grant, who made this weekend such an amazing event!

Waverly Brown, Christ Church Frederica and Emilee Menard, St. Elizabeth's Richmond Hill
Happening #100 will be held January 12-14, 2018. Graham Hummel, from Christ  Church, Frederica, will serve as the Rector for this weekend, which will include some special activities to mark this milestone in the Happening Program in the Diocese of Georgia.
Have You Made Your Cursillo Yet?
There's still time to register for Cursillo #123, October 12-15, 2017 at Honey Creek, just go to this  registration link !  

Cursillo is an opportunity to grow in faith and in spirituality; gain a deeper understanding of the teachings of Jesus and how we can serve Him; experience living and sharing with others in a loving and caring Christian community and realizing that this can be taken back home with us; and a continuing community that gives support and encouragement to help Christians carry out their Baptismal Vows. 

The Weekend 
Cursillo includes a three-day weekend that begins on Thursday evening and concludes on Sunday. The Cursillo weekend is not a retreat, but an opportunity to meet clergy and laity seeking to strengthen their faith. It provides an environment to experience the reality of the gift of God's love through shared prayer, individual meditation, worship, study, fellowship, laughter, tears, and unconditional love. 

What's expected of participants? 
* To be open and willing to respond to what you experience, to share your feelings with others, and allow them to share theirs with you. 
* To make a genuine effort to discover where you are and where or how you can grow in your Christian life. 
* To feel secure in the knowledge that you are accepted where you are and as you are, and to know that a specific response is not expected of you. 
There's no better time or place to meet folks from around the diocese and grow in spiritual maturity than in the welcoming, loving, and music-filled experience of Cursillo at Honey Creek! 

For more information, reach out to the registrar, Misty Graham, ( or 352-281-6805). 
Participants in last year's Cursillo.
Leadership Development Schedule 2017-2019
The Rev. Walter Hobgood,  Diocesan Director of Leadership Ministries, has released the schedule for the Diocese of Georgia's Leadership Development for 2017-2018.  

The dates for the next cycle at Honey Creek are:
December 1/2, 2017 
January 12/13, 2018 (changed from January 19/20, 2018)
March 16/17, 2018
May 18/19, 2018

The dates for the next cycle at St. Alban's in Augusta are:
December 15/16, 2017
January 26/27, 2018
March 9/10, 2018
May 11/12, 2018

Dates for the following Cycle of CDI
Honey Creek
December 7/8, 2018
January 11/12, 2019
March 8/9, 2019
May 10/11, 2019

December 14/15, 2018
January 18/19, 2019
March 15/16, 2019
May 17/18, 2019

April 23-27, 2018 

Conflict Management
October 1-5, 2018
Acolyte Festival 2017 at St. Anne's Tifton
Acolytes prepare to process at the closing Eucharist for last year's Festival, held at St. Thomas' Isle of Hope.
The 2017 Acolyte Festival will be held 
Saturday, October 21 to Sunday, October 22   at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Tifton. Participants in grades three to 12 are encouraged to attend in order to play and pray with other acolytes, to learn tips and tricks from colleagues and adults, and to reflect on how our service in worship is connected to service in the world.

Acolytes will arrive at St. Anne's at 10 AM Saturday for a day that will include small group gatherings focused on different aspects of Acolyting, games and singing, a trip to the interactive Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, and rehearsal for a great procession for the 9 AM worship service at St. Anne's on Sunday morning!

Acolytes should bring their vestments (marked with the congregation's name), a congregational banner, clothes, toiletries, and an air mattress, if desired. Because this event is being hosted by St. Anne's, and involves some travel, we ask that congregations send at least one adult per five acolytes.

The total cost for this two day event is $40 per person, including adults. Scholarships are available as needed! Register online here.

Contact the Rev. Joshua Varner, Canon Missioner for Children and Youth, at or (912) 236-4279.
Travels with Our Bishop
Bishop Benhase traveled to Alaska for the House of Bishops meeting this week. To read coverage of the event, go  here.
The Bishop confers with the Chaplain, the Very Rev. Miguelina Howell (at left) and with the Rt. Rev. Rob Wright, Bishop of Atlanta at right.

The Bishop with fellow members of his"class" at dinner during the House of Bishops.
The Loose Canon
Keep Connected to What Makes Your Heart Sing
There is the story in my wife's family of how her grandfather was elected to the vestry of a church of this Diocese and what followed. As a business law professor and lifelong Episcopalian, he was sought out for the position. He came home from his first vestry meeting fuming mad. No stories to tell. He just couldn't stand how the group functioned (or didn't). The next month he came home from the meeting having resigned. He never entered any church again. Church work can take its toll on the faith of the otherwise faithful.

There is much work in the church that, while essential to the functioning of the body, is not likely to make one's heart sing. Certainly, there can be a great feeling of satisfaction in good budget work, or crafting endowment policies, but the meetings that go into getting to that end result can be demanding. This is why lay people need to be able to stay connected to what interested them in the church even while serving in otherwise demanding and thankless tasks. Likewise, deacons and priests must stay grounded in those actions that bring life and give energy.

I hope you will allow a digression into my own ministry as an example before turning to the broader issue. I have been thinking about this recently as I seek ways to keep myself grounded in being a priest even as I serve as a Canon to the Ordinary (which is an official title for an assistant to the bishop, often, as here, alongside a Canon for Administration). There is no question that I am a priest and am to continue to live into that calling which the church affirmed and for which I was ordained. The priesthood is more than performing the functions of a priest.
One way is through spiritual disciplines such as the daily office and its scripture readings, and other practices in my Rule of Life. Certainly, I celebrate and preach in congregations most every week, and often more than once a week. But beyond these, I also seek ways to not simply serve as a Canon, but to continue to be a priest while I continue with this job to which I feel very much called and which I am not tempted in the least to leave (a recent episcopal election not withstanding).

What Makes Your Heart Sing?
What about you? Whether you are a committed Christian taxed by volunteering for your church or a priest trying to juggle being pastor and wife and mother, the dilemma of balance is the same. Do you risk losing your religion by doing the work of the church? What about when vestry meetings go far too long or budget discussions that turn into battles and are carried out in ways that do not speak well of the faith that is in us? 

My personal answer is to balance the work of the business of the church with staying grounded in spiritual disciplines and importantly making sure I am involved in sharing the Gospel in meaningful ways. I have also kept up a continual flow of efforts that immerse me more fully in my call. Across my time in this position, I have served on teams for Kairos, Happening, Project Smile in Belize, visited refugee camps with Episcopal Migration Ministries and did pilot work toward our homeless ministry in Savannah. I also work with new church plants at a denomination-wide level. These are not add-ons to what I do as Canon, but essential to staying grounded in the call God has for me. What might you do to balance your church work with something that makes your heart sing?

The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary
Around the Diocese
Celebrating the receipt of a $37,500 grant from the United Thank Offering are, front, from left: Rae HeidtHarris, Linda Sigg, United Thank Offering Coordinator for the Diocese of Georgia; the Rev. Kelly Steele, Bell HeidtHarris.  Back from left: the Rev. Guillermo Arboleda, Charlie HeidtHarris, Ella HeidtHarris, Bishop Benhase, Rebecca Heidt, Melina HeidtHarris, Anna Lee HeidtHarris. The funds support Steele's work with Epiphany, a new church start in Savannah.

Parishioners at Holy Nativity St. Simons Island held their Celebration Day last Sunday!
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 24-30
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 San Matías ( St. Matthias) in Santana.

October 1-7
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 Cristo Salvador, ( Christ the Savior), and Emmanuel.
Diocesan Office Update and News  

Bishop Benhase leaves Alaska and the House of Bishops meeting and will attend the General Convention Fall Task Force Meeting in Seattle, September 28-30. His full schedule is available  here.

Canon Katie Willoughby is out of the country on vacation for the next two weeks and not reachable by phone. Contact Canon Frank Logue if necessary.
The Rev. Hunt Priest, Rector of St. Peter's Savannah, 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.  
Happening Rectors Run in This Family
Ben Sandbach (right) Rector of Happening #99 with his father Brad who attended Happening #1 in the Diocese of Georgia and was Rector of Happening #5 (and who attended Happening #99 too!)

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

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.

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

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

Follow Us on Instagram
The Diocese of Georgia posts photos from our churches as well as diocesan events at
Follow Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Twitter
The Diocese of Georgia also shares news 140 characters at a time through Twitter  @GA_Episcopal
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  View our videos on YouTube The Diocese of Georgia also has a YouTube Channel  where you can watch past videos and subscribe to get updates when new videos are posted.