From the Field
News & Events of the Church in Georgia
April 16, 2013Volume 3, Number 34
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Bishop's Visitation
Community Update
ECW Annual Meeting
Diocesan Community Update
St. Philip's Honored
Companion Diocese
Loose Canon
Parish Weekends at Honey Creek
Cottage for Rent
Upcoming for Clergy
Upcoming for Youth
Web Links
April 21st Readings
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Register Now for Summer Camp

Now is the time for campers from 3rd through 12th grade to reserve a spot at Honey Creek. After the successful season last summer, one additional week has been added to the schedule and registrations for Summer Camp at Honey Creek are going faster than usual. Full information is online here: Honey Creek Summer Camp 


With any additional questions, contact Summer Camp Director, Elizabeth Burns by email at [email protected]


June 16 - 22, 2013 / High School Camp
completed grades 9-12, not yet started college

June 23 - 29, 2013 / Camp St. Joseph & Mary I
completed grades 3-5

July 7 - 13, 2013 / Camp St. Peter I
completed grades 6-8

July 14 - 20, 2013 / Camp St. Joseph & Mary II
completed grades 3-5

July 21 - 27, 2013 / Camp St. Peter II

completed grades 6-8

Diocesan Office Update 

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Paul's, Savannah, in the morning and St. Bartholomew's, Burroughs, in the afternoon.
Canon Logue will officiate at a wedding at Christ Church Savannah on Saturday. His sermon for the Rev. Sierra Wilkinson's marriage to Rudy Reyes is online here: The Bond Producing Perfection
Rudy Reyes is on vacation following his wedding this past Saturday.


Convocational Confirmations in Eastertide    
Augusta | April 27th | St. Paul's | Augusta | 4 p.m. 
Southeastern | May 4th | St. Mark's | Brunswick | 4 p.m.
Albany | May 9th | St. Paul's | Albany | 7 p.m.

Bishop's Visitation    


Bishop Benhase confirmed 20 and baptized one adult in his visitatoon to Christ Church, Savannah. The confirmations included one from All Saints Thomasville and two from All Saints Tybee Island. 


At right, Jay White, son of the Revs. Michael and Helen White, is confirmed by Bishop Benhase. Below, Andrew Chapin is baptized. 



Convocational Confirmations
On Saturday, Bishop Benhase confirmed twelve persons in the Eastertide Confirmation for the Savannah Convocation in a liturgy at St. Francis of the Islands.

Diocesan Community Update

Mollie Roberts has accepted a call to serve as a Curate at St. Paul's, Albany. She is a Senior at the University of the South's St. Luke's School of Theology (Sewanee). Roberts is sponsored for ordination by St. Peter's Savannah, where she previously served as a member of vestry and Senior Warden. She will graduate May 10th and will start work in Albany this summer. Roberts will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on June 22 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah.

Episcopal Church Women (ECW)

Annual Meeting in Augusta April 26-27

Are you 16 or older, Episcopalian and female? Then you are an Episcopal Church Woman!

This meeting is for you. Each year the women of the Diocese of Georgia gather to worship, eat,  share ideas and inspirations, eat, conduct business and eat. It's a great time of working together to ensure that the voice of each woman is heard, heard so that many opportunities for deepening and strengthening our faith are offered all over the Diocese. This year we are pleased to have as our speakers our own dear Bishop Benhase, the delightful and inspiring Reverend Sister Carol Andrew from the Order of Saint Helena and as our keynote speaker, Judy Woodruff, the internationally known journalist from PBS NewsHour and an Augusta native.


Please come join us in Augusta at Saint Paul's Church on April 26-27 we'll be looking for you! More information is available online at


-Margaret Lester Jordan,

Chair, Annual Meeting Planning Committee

Peer Coaching Initiative

Seveteen Graduate from Third Round of Training

Part of the vision in our Campaign for Congregational Development is the Peer Coaching Inititiative. The project got underway at the Spring 2012 Clergy Conference with Coach Approach Skill Training (CAST I), a course on the basics for all of the clergy. Since then, nineteen priests and deacons of the Diocese completed the CAST II Training which includes advanced skills. Recently, fourteen priests and three deacons completed the CAST III Training which covers Group Coaching.


CAST is a series of trainings over a nine month period which leads to certification in the proficient use of coaching skills for ministry. The training includes 45 hours of in-person coaching skill instruction, four instructional webinars, and final testing in proficiency in the ability to use the coach approach to ministry. During this training period the participant is being coached by a professional coach and also engaging in a minimum of 30 hours of peer coaching. The CAST III graduates are: Billy Alford, Tar Drazdowski, Dianne Hall, Walter Hobgood, June Johson, Joan Kilian, Ri Lamb, Buck Lea, Marcia McRae, Marty Meuschke, Kurt Miller, Galen Mirate, Denise Ronn, Dee Shaffer, Sally Byars, Jim Shumard, Bill Stewart, and John West.

St. Philip's, Hinesville

Homeless Coalition Honors Congregation

 The Liberty County Homeless Coalition, awarded St. Philip's, Hinesville, the Coalition's Samaritan Award. The Samaritan Award was established to recognize individuals or organizations that have made a major ongoing contribution to the relief of hunger and homelessness within Liberty County Georgia.

The history of the Coalition has been linked to the St. Philip's community since its founding in 2008 by the Rev. Hermon Scott of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church in Allenhurst, GA and the Rev. Will Carter, former Rector of St. Philip's. It continues this relationship with the Rev. Deacon Adna R (Chad) Chaffee serving as the coalition's treasurer. 

For the last two years, St. Philip's has been one of two host churches of the Coalition's Good Friday Walk for Shelter, a five-mile walk to raise funds in support of the coalition's food and shelter programs. Along with hosting the walk, St. Philip's has been represented by its Walking Team, raising more than $4,500. The Coalition also recognizes St. Philip's for its food pantry program which feed hundreds of people each year.

In making the Award, the Homeless Coalition announced, "The community of St. Philip's Episcopal Church honors the principles of the coalition with its ongoing support and commitment to providing for those in need and is well deserving of this recognition and award."


Companion Diocese

Georgia Represented at Encounter in Mission

 The Rev. Tar Drazdowski, Chair of the Companion Diocese Commission and assistant rector of Christ Church (Valdosta), recently represented Bishop Benhase at the first Encounter in Mission, a celebration of ministry sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic and held in Santo Domingo from April 12-14, 2013.


 Julius Ariail, a member of Christ Church, also was there to photograph the event for the Dominican Development Group. This event has brought together representatives from the Companion Dioceses of the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Development Group, leaders of mission teams from the United States, and the clergy and lay leaders of the Dominican Episcopal Church to celebrate 116 years of Anglican ministry in the Dominican Republic and 100 years of membership in the Episcopal Church. A photo album of the gathering is online here: Encounter in Mission Photos

The Loose Canon

Church Photography Is Church Development

The fastest growing congregations in the Diocese of Georgia are also those with a system in place to post photos of their events online. I am aware that there is no direct cause and effect relationship between photography and church attendance and yet there is something more here than a mere coincidence.


My Professional Bias
First, I must admit my professional bias. I worked professionally as a newspaper photographer in my first years out of college first for the Warner Robins Daily Sun and then for the Rome News-Tribune and during that time served as an Associated Press photographer for those areas of the state (my photo of a firefighter entering a house fire is at left). But I think my seeing this connection between photography and church growth comes more from serving as a church planter than from my work as a photojournalist. I found that posting photos the night of an event did more to build excitement than any other thing I did for the little time and energy needed to make that happen. Now with the ease of Facebook and Google's Picasaweb albums, no special skill in website programming is needed.

Who's Stalking Your Website

"I've been stalking your website for weeks." This comment was made to the Rev. Joshua Varner, Vicar of St. Patrick's, Pooler, by a first-time visitor on the Sunday after Easter. Whether they say it or not, nearly every single first time visitor will have looked for a website for your congregation before crossing the threshold of your church. Photos of events are the easiest way to help someone get a feel for what it will be like to worship with you. See what that visitor saw first by going to

Recently, the Rev. Rick Buechner preached at Christ Church Savannah (pictured at left). That liturgy was the first time he had ever been photographed preaching in his thirty years of ministry. In those three decades, we have become an increasingly visual culture. At the same time, technology advanced so that good quality photos can be taken without a flash. Make no mistake, worship is about worship and photography should never dominate any liturgy whether is be a wedding or a baptism. But as each week's From the Field demonstrates, great photos can be taken without taking away from the sacredness of worship.


The main thing is to get good, clear photos and to share them as soon as possible after the event. We see the statistics here with From the Field and interest drops significantly a week later. Many of you will go see the Holy Week Album on Tuesday in Easter Week, but when offered a week later, only those with pictures in the album follow the link. Timeliness is key.

Photo Evangelism

What I am advocating is sharing photographs of your church's worship and events online in order to make it easier for someone to decide to visit your church. The Holy Spirit can use the photos when speaking to someone's heart about attending church once more. This is no small thing and beyond the power of the photos in themselves, but they do help. Every photo or album that members of your congregation "like" and "share" will be seen by others in their Facebook timeline and so may reach the eyes of friends and neighbors looking to get connected to God through a church home. Don't miss out on benefitting from this important tool.


But there are a few more things you can do to get more out of your photography. Next week, I will continue with some specific advice on getting betting photos of your congregational life without making any event be about taking pictures.

The Rev. Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary


The Loose Canon is archived online at

  Honey Creek

Parish Weekends Bring a Church Together

 The Congregation of St. Peter's Savannah recently gathered at Honey Creek for a Parish Weekend. Fifty St. Peter's parishioners (ages 4-80+) and four dogs enjoyed a great program, beautiful weather, and each other at Honey Creek the weekend of April 5-7. Anne-Barton Carter from Greensboro, NC, led the group in ways to find, see, and experience God in nature. All found Honey Creek the perfect setting for such a thought-provoking and spiritually-enriching program.

As Sue Addington reported back on the event to the congregation, "It was all good! We sang, we danced, we worshipped, we ate, we talked, and we listened." The music, provided by eight talented St. Peter's musicians, was a highlight for all those present. One first time attendee reported having a great time and added that she particularly  liked the intergenerational participation. A prime example of that participation was eight-year-old Claire Fleming's report to the group from her table's discussion.When asked about a favorite part of the weekend, another response was "the sense of community that was so evident."

Congregations of the Diocese are encouraged to enjoy our Camp and Conference Center for Parish events as well as those put on by the Diocese. Contact Honey Creek Executive Director Dade Brantley at [email protected] or (912) 265-9218 for more information.

Saluda, NC

Cottage Available for Weekly Rental

We have several weeks available to rent the Saluda Clergy Cottage in the mountains of North Carolina.


This house is available first to the priests of the Diocese of Georgia, and then on a space available basis to any other members in the Diocese. The dates now available to anyone are:

May 4-11 | May 18-25 | June 29-July 6
August 17-24 | August 24-31

Please see our website for details: Clergy Cottage web page. Contact Vicki Schuster at Diocesan House to reserve [email protected] or 912-236-4279.

Upcoming for Clergy



Spring Clergy Conference Registration

The Rev. George H. Martin, creator of the Church Ad Project and author of Door to Door Ministry, will guide our May 5-7 Clergy Conference in engaging with the challenges of welcoming new people in our congregations. The rates for the full conference program, meals and lodgings are $152 for a lodge room (based on double occupancy), $232 for a Lodge room (single occupancy), $112 to stay in one of the cottages with other clergy, or in a dorm, and $96 for those tent camping or commuting.


Emotional Intelligence Workshop

 As part of the Clergy and Lay Leadership Development initiative, the Diocese will be sponsoring a Workshop on Emotional Intelligence and Human Relations Skills. The dates are: August 26-30 at Honey Creek. Bishop Benhase strongly supports this training and has agreed to subsidize the tuition for the first 24 people that sign-up for the workshop. Typically this type of training would cost in the neighborhood of $700 per person plus, travel, room and board. Your cost will be $200 plus travel, room and board at Honey Creek (there are various options). Space is limited so don't wait.


A flyer with more complete information is online  Register by contacting Vicki Schuster at the Diocesan Office (912) 236-4279 or [email protected].  Contact the Rev. Walter Hobgood at 229-630-6444 or the Very Rev. Denise Ronn at 229-630-4299 with any questions.

Save the Dates: Fall Clergy Conference October 6-8
 Plan now for the Fall Clergy Conference October 6-8 at Honey Creek. The Rev. Rob Voyle will be our presenter. Voyle is widely known in the church as an excellent teacher, particularly concerning appreciative inquiry, and this will be a conference you will not want to miss. The prices for the fall conference will be the same as those for the spring conference listed above.
Upcoming for Youth

A High School Retreat at Honey Creek

We've all gotten a little dirty and definitely sweaty while at Honey Creek, but now we're doing it on purpose! Come to Toil & Sweat, a youth work weekend for high school students, will give us the opportunity to give back to the Honey Creek we all know and love. We'll work on projects around the property, but also get to enjoy all that Honey Creek has to offer.

We'll also explore what it means when life gets dirty. What do we do when things don't go our way? Come get dirty and have a great time with us! Questions? Send an email to the coordinator for Toil and Sweat, Elizabeth Williams, at [email protected]


$112 each for High School Students
May 3-5, 2013
Save the Date for Hometown Mission-July 19-21
Youth interested in a local mission trip are encouraged to plan now to take part in a Hometown Mission Trip to Midtown Savannah. The group will do the work to finish getting Columba House ready for the young adults who will live in community and take the church out into Savannah. The Hometown Mission coordinator is Elizabeth Williams. Youth Ministers are encouraged to be in contact with Liz about this event at [email protected]

From this day forward

The Rev. Julia Sierra Wilkinson, Assistant Rector at Christ Church Savannah married Diocese of Georgia Program Manager Rudy Reyes with Bishop Benhase officiating. An album of photos is online here: Wilkinson-Reyes Wedding Photos

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Diocesan Staff                                
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia