From the Field
News & Events of the Church in Georgia
January 22, 2013Volume 3, Number 22
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Holy Comforter, Martinez
Cursillo Sponsors Workshops
Ministry of Vergers
Summer Camp
DR Mission Trip
Convention Schedule
The Loose Canon
Position Openings
Mardi Gras Parties
Web Links
 
 
 
January 27 Readings
Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Episcopal Day School, Augusta
School Announces Land Purchase

At a school-wide meeting earlier this month, Rector Robert Fain, Headmaster Ned Murray, and Board Chairman Jim Trotter announced that Good Shepherd, Augusta, and Episcopal Day School have purchased a 28.5 acre parcel of land on Flowing Wells Road for $1.15 million dollars. In addition to state of the art athletic facilities, the school is exploring myriad educational possibilities such as an outdoor worship space, indoor and outdoor classrooms for environmental and ecological studies, art facilities, experiential and leadership education equipment, gardens, and other enhancements that could be used in a variety of public/private partnerships for the community. The extensive woodlands and wetlands on the property highlight its scientific and academic potential.
  

Episcopal Day School is the only Parish Day School in the Diocese of Georgia. Founded in 1944 by the Church of the Good Shepherd as a Christian kindergarten and childcare resource for Augusta mothers working in the war effort, the co-educational day school now serves three year olds through eighth grade with a faculty and staff of 87.

Diocesan Office Update 

This Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Alban's, Augusta in the morning and to Trinity, Statesboro in the afternoon.    

 

Canon Logue will be in Augusta this weekend, presiding and preaching at St. Paul's on this last weekend before their new Interim Rector, the Rev. George Muir starts work.

 

Program Manager Rudy Reyes will be speaking tonight with students at the Georgia Southern University Episcopal Campus Ministry to discuss Columba House, our first intentional community www.columbahouse.org  

Holy Comforter, Martinez 

Bishop's Visitation 

 
The Rev.Joe Bowden, The Rev.Cynthia Taylor, and Bishop Benhase with those confirmed and baptized. 

Cursillo Sponsors Workshops

Cursillo transparent background The Cursillo Commission has been working diligently to bring Cursillo to an active status in our Diocese. With the oversight of Our Bishop and Canon Logue, the commission felt it would be helpful to all to have a Cursillo Sponsorship workshop, to acquaint everyone with the new processes for a Cursillo weekend. The weekend will truly be a preparation for the 4th Day.

Sponsorship is the beginning process of a Cursillo weekend. The Commission requires that should you wish to sponsor a person for a weekend that you must have attended this workshop. So far, the works hops have been held in Augusta, Savannah and Waycross. There are upcoming workshops on Feb 1st at St. Thomas, Thomasville and Feb. 2nd at St. John and St. Mark's in Albany. Additionally the Workshop will be offered at our upcoming Diocesan Convention in Tifton.


The Commission is working on our next weekend to be held in November at Honey Creek. Complete dates to be announced

A Verger In Every Congregation

 The ministry of Verger is well-known in some of our churches, but not all. Yet it is a gracious and grace-full ministry, available to even the smallest missions as well as to the parishes and cathedrals. The verger is "a lay minister who assists the clergy in the conduct of public worship, especially in the marshaling of processions."[1] The verger works behind the scenes, gathering the participants in the procession (choir, eucharistic ministers, acolytes and others) and assuring that they are properly attired and ordered. "The history of the verger dates back to the Middle Ages, when the verger was the 'Protector of the Procession.'"[2] The verger would lead the processions into the church from the town square, using the virge (also called the mace, originally a large heavy stick, now usually a small wooden wand) to clear the path if necessary.

 

The ministry of verger is most often seen in modern churches at large services, where he or she functions as a master of ceremonies, directing the processions and assisting the clergy. But even in an ordinary Sunday parish eucharist, the ministry of the verger can contribute enormously to the conduct of services, allowing the clergy to focus on their own particular ministry as preacher and liturgical leader. The Diocese of Georgia has a number of dedicated vergers serving in congregations around the diocese, who are eager to share information about this ministry with others who may be interested. To learn more about the ministry of vergers, look for us at Diocesan Convention in Tifton, or go to the website of the Verger's Guild of the Episcopal Church at www.vergers.org. We look forward to seeing you at Convention!

Jason Haddox, Chair

Diocese of Georgia Worship Commission



[1] "Verger" from An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church: A User-Friendly Reference for Episcopalians, Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, eds. (New York: Church Publishing Inc., 2000), p. 538. [2] Ibid.

  

Above Verger Carolyn Dolen is pictured leading a Gospel procession at St. Paul's, Augusta, during the 2012 Diocesan Convention.

Summer Camp

Spots for summer camp are filling up as fast as a ninja...that's really fast. Reserve your spot now and save some mulah.

3rd coolest job ever: 5 Star/5 Diamond Resort Tester
2nd coolest job ever: Quality Control Agent at Ben & Jerry's
COOLEST JOB EVER: Summer Camp Staff at Honey Creek  

SE Convocation DR Team Returns

The Dominican Republic mission team members from the SE Convocation, who have been working to complete a high school building in the village of El Carreton, returned to the United States on Monday, January 21. The team was led by the Very Rev. Ted Clarkson, St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien. A summary of their trip along with an album of trip photos will soon be available on the Companion Diocese web page, which has an overview of the work of the Diocese of Georgia in partnership with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic: http://georgia.anglican.org/?page_id=19 

Convention 2013

Convention Dining Options

To asisst delegations in making dinner reservations for Friday evening, the host congregation of St. Anne's, Tifton, has compiled a page of recommendations which is posted at the convention website:

 

Convention Schedule Now Online

A complete agenda for the 192nd Convention of the Diocese of Georgia is now online at the Convention website, which also has the full text of proposed canonical changes and much more.

 

http://convention.georgiaepiscopal.org/

The Loose Canon
Put What We Do to Reach Out in Context of Faith
While I am interested in evanglism, welcoming visitors and integrating newcomers into a parish, I know that when pursued as an end in itself, these efforts will fall flat. Perhaps its just that I think we should fail when that is our goal. All of our efforts in this area from inviting a co-worker to church to advertising in thge local newspaper should be a response to God's call rather than a response to the needs of the budget or a desire merely for increased attendance. Budgets and attendance are helpful indicators (though not the only ones that matter) of the health of a congregation, but they are not ends in themselves.
  
The real goal is to be hospitable as Jesus taught us his followers are to show love for the stranger. We are to welcome others as if welcoming Christ himself as Christ does come to us in others. This is a very helpful perspective as newcomers will bring new perspectives which can (and perhaps should) challenge the status quo. Knowing that God may have sent someone to us just so that we can hear this new way of looking at how we go about being the Body of Christ can help us to better listen.
 
In any case, our invitation, welcome, and inclusion of newcomers is not about growing the church, but about being faithful to God's call to us. Whenever we move beyond trying to be faithful Christians to seek to grow the attendance or church budget, we move away from the Gospel and toward the business of the church. That is move God can't bless. But when we seek merely to be the Body of Christ and to welcome others as we if welcoming Christ, then this act of Christian hospitality is something that will bear fruit.
  
When working with vestries, I like to delve beyond what we are doing to ask why as I think that understanding this dynamic matters. For when we are merely looking for more pledging units or more attenders for sake of numbers, this attitude infuses our welcome. But when we move to consider these actions as who we are to be as Christ followers, then I think that this allows us to see those our Lord sends us not as dollars or as bottoms in the pews, but as Children of God in need of hospitality. That difference comes through in everything we do.
              
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
  
The Loose Canon columns are archived online at loosecanon.georgiaepiscopal.org

St. Francis of the Islands, Savannah

Position Openings 

St. Francis of the Islands Episcopal Church has two staff openings at this time. They are for Christian Formation Director and Parish Administrator. Please visit our website, www.sfoti.org, to see the position description. Contact Fr. Stephen Norris during normal office hours if you are interested. 912-897-5725.

Kelsey Hutto Ordained to the Priesthood

 The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith ordained Kelsey Hutto to the Sacred Order of Priests at St. Hilary's Church, in Ft. Myers, Florida, on January 5. The Rev. Lonnie Lacy, Rector of St. Anne's, Tifton, served as the preacher. Hutto came into the ordination process through our Episcopal Campus Ministry at Georgia Southern University in Stateboro. An album of photos from the ordination is online here: Hutto Ordination

Augusta and Savannah

Two Mardi Gras Parties Raise Outreach Funds

  

St. Paul's, Savannah

The Mardi Gras Celebration at St. Paul's (Abercorn and 34th Streets) will be held Friday, February 1, 2013 from 7-10 p.m. The admission is $15 per person and includes food, drinks, music, dancing, door prizes, Mardi Gras masks and beads. Adult beverages will be available for purchase. All Proceeds Benefit
The Thomas Park Food Pantry and Other ECW Outreach Programs. For information call (912) 232 0274.

 

St. Paul's, Augusta

The Saint Paul's Outreach Committee will hold their annual Mardis Gras Party fundraiser on Saturday, February 9th. Tickets are $40 and available by submitting this form to the church office.

Prep Work


Members of St. Elizabeth's Guild (St. Mark's, Brunswick) help Happening #90 Rector, Maggie Brantley with some of the many details. Happening #90 is this weekend at Honey Creek. 

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Sincerely,                                      
            

Diocesan Staff                                
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia