Diocese of Georgia Youth ProgramsDecember 2013
In This Issue
Youth Summit
PYE Middle School Event
Mission Trip
Summer Camp 2014
Your Help Is Needed!
Internet Links

Dear Friends,


Happy Advent and Merry Christmas.  Wow, and that means that Summer is only 6 months away.  There are many people who think about Christmas in July.  But leave it up to me to celebrate Summer Camp in December.


This year the Diocese have a lot of really great things happening this summer for young people of all age include summer camp and trip outside of our Diocese.  This issue of "News from the DoG House" is devoted to all those wonderful opportunities the Diocese of Georgia is sponsoring. Make sure you read carefully so you don't miss out.


Below is a picture of my twin sister and I waiting for the bus to take us to our diocesan summer camp.  We were rising 4th graders.  It only took one spark to get my hooked on diocesan youth programs.  I still keep in touch with my sister's pin-pal from that summer.  She is now my best friend. What a memory. Please send me your reflections and pictures from diocesan events or things that are happening in your next of the woods. I can't wait to keep creating memories with you in the Diocese of Georgia.  


Happy Camping!





Elizabeth Burns, Missioner for Youth
Youth Summit 

On September 14, 2013, I was given the opportunity to attend the very first Youth Summit for the Episcopal Diocese. I was honored to be in the midst of the Diocesan Council as well as several others as they all discussed the future of our youth. There were several ideas put on the table to help reach out to the youth and to help them move forward in their relationship with God as well as with other youth across the diocese. What I was most impressed by were the discussions that quickly turned into actions. Specifically, what is to come of the new Youth Commission. In the past, this has been a group made up of students 6th- 12th grades that would help to plan different youth events, usually held at Honey Creek, throughout the year. The result was the Youth Task Force to act as a group to set a base standard for the future youth commissions. This will give a year to improve the weaknesses from the past to help build the youth.


We now have our new Youth Missioner, Elizabeth Burns! Elizabeth has invested a great amount of time and energy into the youth of our diocese and they are lucky to have her. I strongly encourage all of you that fall between the ages of 12 and 18 to take advantage of these weekend youth retreats throughout the year. I have made some of my best friends through these events and I continue to build my relationship with Jesus by participating in all that I have to offer. The Youth Summit was an incredible experience and I am so excited to see the great things to come! 

Sarah Brittany Sandbach
Student at GSU
Former Honey Creek Counselor



Second Youth Summit

We are going to continue the great work we started at back in September at the first Youth Summit.  The second youth summit will be head January 11 from 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. at St. Mark's, Brunswick.  If you are a youth, parent, adult who works with youth, priest, or otherwise consider yourself stake holder in youth programs, you are highly encouraged to come to this event.  At this event we will discuss the results of the Youth Programs Survey and to push forward on other work related to improving the Youth Programs of the Diocese including leadership, communications and a review of the current programs. Register online now for this free event. 


Take the Youth Programs Survey

You may still take the Youth Programs Survey online at:




Thomas, Trisha, Rachel, Sparky and Andrew Greneker together at Honey Creek.



"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,  
and before you were born I consecrated you;  
I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
-Jeremiah 1:5 



God has loved us always.  His love for us was there before our individual existence was ever even a thought.  The realization of God's love for us comes through our own personal experiences, but on God's timing.  God formed this incredible weekend called "Happening".  Happening is, in a sense, a "jumpstart" to understanding God's amazing love for us.  This particular weekend is far more than the average Christian getaway.  Kids who have completed 9th grade up to seniors in high school are welcomed as participants.  As you all are very aware, high school is a very scary and confusing part of life.  Happening is designed for high schoolers and opens their eyes to how outstanding God is.  This weekend gives them calm in a time of absolute chaos.  Packed inside these three days is an abundance of love for one another, as well as love for Jesus.  God's love is shown through our actions, and we fully understand this responsibility at Happening.  Kids who attend a Happening weekend are able to welcome the fact that God loved us yesterday, loves us today, and will love us forever.  That is one of the many, many beautiful and wonderful aspects of Happening.  Knowing that God's love for us is completely unconditional is powerful stuff.  God's love was always there for us, Happening is just the perfect slap in the face that helps us realize it.


Happening has caused my relationship with God to grow exponentially.  I am number five in a family of six kids.  My four older siblings attended Happening weekends as well.  Because of Happening, our relationships with one another have been strengthened so incredibly much.  We all have an amazing bond with each other thanks to this weekend.  That particular bond is not only shared with my siblings, but my friends as well.  I have formed some of the absolute best friendships through Happening. Not friends that will soon be forgotten, but best friends.  Friends that I can call on for anything at all.  These friendships are so strong because they were formed under God's love.  Happening is responsible for some the greatest people in my life.  
Andrew Greneker
Senior at Christ Church, Valdosta
Rector of Happening #92

Happening #92 in January

Happening #92 will take place at Honey Creek January 24-26, 2014.  The cost of the weekend is $113, but finacial assistance is available.  If you are a young person who has competed the 9th grade don't miss out on this incredable weekend.  



Province IV Youth Event: Middle School 
Middle Schooler!  This event is for you.  Province IV, our region of the Episcopal Church is hosting a Province IV Youth Event: Middle School addition (PYEMS).  PYEMS will be held in Wilmington, NC June 24th-28th.  In Wilmington participant will get to know others from the larger Episcopal Church and participate in service.  The registration cost for this event is $295 plus the cost of transportation .  Get your applications in by March 14, 2014 so that a head count can be given to the Province Coordinators and Elizabeth Burns can help coordinate transportation from our Diocese.
Diocesan Youth Mission Trip

Going into this trip we were both skeptical as to what would happen. We'd never done anything like this before and we were worried that we wouldn't do anything g to impact the lives of others.But to our disbelief,this trip had an effect on both the people we worked with and ourselves.


The first night in Santo Domingo, the entire room was filled with mixed emotions of nervousness and excitement. All of the nerves quickly disappeared when we arrived in Mao. The hospitality and welcoming nature of the people around us was so overwhelming. They made us feel right at home.

Our first day with the children sparked instant connections. In a matter of 3 days,we all became like a family, despite the fact that we spoke different languages. 


This trip was truly a life changing experience. We feel incredibly blessed to have been able to take part in this extraordinary trip. We really encourage anyone who has the chance to go on a mission trip to do so. you'll never be the same.


-Rachel Robinson and Rebecca Chancey
Seniors at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah
Participants on 2013 Youth Mission Trip  

Sewanee Pilgrimage and Mission Trip 

After a very successful Youth Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic earlier this year (the team is pictured above),  the Diocese is planning to take a trip closer to home in the summer of 2014.  Those who are currently enrolled in 9-12 grade are encouraged to join the Pilgrimage and Mission Trip to Sewanee, Tennessee in late June and early July. 


The Sewanee, Tennessee Pilgrimage and Mission Trip sponsored by the Diocese of Georgia will be led by Rev. Joshua Varner.  Participants will stay at St. Mary's, Sewanee, a retreat center originally founded by the Episcopal Sisters of St. Mary.  The group will be working in the surrounding rural area, at the convent itself, and taking time to experience the natural beauty of Sewanee itself.  This trip is open to all diocese of Georgia youth who are currently in 9-12 grade.  The trip will take place between June 23-July 3.  Exact dates will be set in mid-January.


Click here for more information about the trip.


I was lucky enough to attend the last EYE in 2011 and I had a blast! I loved seeing our youth make new friends and have new experiences. It was also great to make connections with other youth professionals and volunteers across the Episcopal Church. 


There were many highlights for me, especially hearing the Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefforts-Shori (sp?) preach. Our experience with her, if we're lucky, is to see her every couple of years. So to hear her preach to a room full of young people was incredible. I also loved the other speakers for the week, especially Dr. Roger Nishioka. By the time he left the stage, not only were the young people cheering for him at the top of their lungs, so were the adults! I left his keynote feeling more empowered, excited, and blessed to work with young people.


EYE is a great experience for all ages. If you want a week of fun, new experiences with a good dash grace and blessings, then sign up for EYE. You won't regret it! 


Liz Williams

Director for Youth and Family Ministries

St. Anne's, Tifton 



This year the Diocese is sending another group of current high schoolers to the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE' 14).  EYE is an event that happens every three years.  So most high schoolers have only once chance to go.  This year EYE will be held in Philadelphia, PA.  Those participating the EYE will ride the train up to Philly with others from Province IV (our region of the Episcopal Church), participate in EYE, and stay after for three days of Urban Mission with others from Province IV.  The Urban Mission experience is also referred to as PYE: Province IV Youth Event.  The price of this event is about $600.  If you are interested in going please submit your application to Elizabeth Burns by January 15.  


Click here for more information on EYE/PYE event
and for an application.

Summer Camp 2014


Make plans now! The 2014 summer camp sessions will be as follows:


High School (Completed grades 9-12)

June 15-21         


Joseph and Mary I (Completed Grades 3-5)

June 22-28         


Peter I (Completed 6-8)

July 6-12              


Joseph and Mary II (Completed grades 3-5)

July 13-19


Peter II (Competed grades 6-8)

July 20-26        


Don't miss out. Register today!  


Calendar at a Glance 
Take before January 6th
All youth and their advocates should take

January 11 from 11:30-3
All youth and their advocates are welcome.
St. Mark's, Brunswick
January 24-26
10th-12th grade
Honey Creek

February 21-23
Ages 14 and above
Honey Creek

March 28-29
7th-9th grade
Honey Creek

April 25-27
6th-12th grade
Honey Creek

See Dates Above
3rd-12th grade
Honey Creek

Time Window: ~June 23-July 3,  Firm dates will be set after the first of the year.
9th-12th grade
Sewanee, TN
June 24-28
6th-8th grade
Wilmington, NC

July 8-17
9th-12th grade
Philadelphia, PA





Your Help is needed!

It is our hope that as this newsletter continues to evolve we will hear from many voices.  Please email in (to eburns@gaepiscopal.org ) things you have written about what's going on in your church, a quote you love that you want to share with this group, or a talk you wrote for a youth event, ....whatever is meaningful to you that you want to share with others involved in youth programs.  Don't forget to send in pictures too!