April 1, 2014Volume 4, Number 31
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Community Update
Habitat and EDAT
Is coaching right for you?
Companion Diocese
Savannah Workshop
EQ-HR Workshop
New Beginnings
Summer Camp
Offering Gifts
Social Media Connections
Web Links

This Sunday's Lections:
5th Sunday in Lent
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Bishop Charged with Hot Sauce Heresy 

A longstanding dispute simmering among diocesan staff concerning the superior brand of hot sauce has bubbled over into charges of heresy. "As the diocesan intake officer for issues of clergy discipline, I could no longer stand by while our Bishop publicly stated heretical views," said Canon Frank Logue. "He calls Texas Pete the best hot sauce, despite the fact that it is neither from Texas nor hot."
When asked for comment on this heated debate, Benhase again restated his abiding appreciation for Texas Pete saying for his beloved hot sauce, "I'd gladly stand trial."
The dispute began nearly four years ago when Logue joined the diocesan staff and learned that while his Bishop is quite orthodox in terms of holding true to firm belief in the Virgin birth and bodily resurrection, he did not hold to the pure faith in Tabasco. Being adamant that Tabasco is the one true sauce, last summer Logue offered a revised label for Texas Pete (pictured above). Bishop Benhase rejected the N.C. Pete label and the issue has now surfaced with the threat of formal charges.
Please Note: As the heresy charges are merely a From the Field April Fool's Day diversion, the Diocese need not be concerned with the outcome. We now go back to marking this day as the feast for Frederick Maurice, priest of the church. The remainder of this issue is not a joking matter.
Diocesan Office Update  

Bishop Benhase will make his vistation to St. Matthew's, Savannah, on Friday and to St. Michael's, Savannah (pictured at right), on Sunday. 


Canon Logue will preside and preach this Sunday at St. Patrick's, Pooler.


Program Manager Rudy Reyes will participate in the Clergy Spouse Retreat weekend at Honey Creek. 

Community Update
The prayers of the Diocese are requested for Deacon Wanda Lucas. Lucas is a retired deacon of the diocese living in Savannah.  

Habitat for Humanity Works with Thomasville Churches
The Episcopal Development Agency of Thomasville (EDAT) and Habitat for Humanity are partnering to rehabilitate the vicarage at Good Shepherd, Thomasville, as well as constructing a new storage shed on the site. The workers pictured in yellow hard hats above are high school students at the Bishop Hall Charter School in Thomasville. Students at the school work with Habitat on Fridays. EDAT is a new initiative supported by members of all three Episcopal churches in the city-Saint Thomas, All Saints and Good Shepherd. The development agency is working together with members of the community to improve the lives of those in the neighborhood around Good Shepherd. 
Pictured above at right, Alston Watt convener of the EDAT board goes over the book of plans and renovation specifications for the vicarage with Ken Manwaring, executive director of Thomasville-Thomas County Habitat for Humanity, and others working at the site. Thanks to Julius and Julia Ariail for the photographs.
At left, Larry Davis stands with the gate structure on fence along back of property. The outdoor pool of a YMCA facility in the neighborhood is seen in the background. At right, The Rev. Paul Hancock, Larry Bowen, Larry Davis, Lauretta Gibbs and Alston Watt are EDAT board members shown touring the vicarage as work gets underway.
Why Coaching May Be Right for You
Successful people often use a Coach to help them be more successful. This is certainly true of athletes such as Tiger Woods and most professional athletes. Professional actors, singers, musicians all have coaches. It is also true that most business executives and leaders have coaches. Coaching is not just for those that are perceived to have a need. Some of the most successful people in our society have coaches, even when they are at the top of their organizations. Coaching is a part of their "toolbox".

Convention 2013 - Peer Coaching
Peer Coaching Video
Religious organizations seem to have been slower than most in recognizing the value of coaching as a tool to improve individual and group effectiveness. However, as I speak with my peers from other denominations, I am finding a higher level of interest in coaching and the presence of formal coaching initiatives. We can speculate on a number of reasons why coaching has been slow to catch on - one being the cost of employing a professional coach and the perceived value.

Coaching was introduced to the clergy within the Diocese just over 18 months ago. Since then 9 members of the clergy have been going through intensive training to become certified coaches as resources within the Diocese. Coaching is done strictly on a confidential basis.

What is professional coaching?
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today's uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. In short, coaching helps individuals and churches focus on what matters most in life, and so the demand for professional coaches continues to grow.

For more information
To find out more about this program within the Diocese of Georgia, contact Walter Hobgood at 229-630-6444 or one of our other coaches: The Revs. Tar Drazdowski, Billy Alford , Buck Lea, Joan Killian, Bill Stewart, Denise Ronn, Marcia McRae, and Deacon Ri Lamb.

For more information, a more complete explanation of coaching is online here: http://gaepiscopal.org/?p=5550

Companion Diocese
St. Patrick's Albany is Now at Work in the D.R. 

The Rev. Jay Weldon and a mission team from St. Patrick's Albany are in the Dominican Republic from Monday, March 31, to Friday, April 4. They are continuing work they began four years ago with La Reconciliación in Azua (shown above on the map). Through the years, St. Patrick's years has partnered with St. Pauls and St. John/ St. Mark (both Albany), St. Anne's Tifton, and St. Michaels Savannah in this work, and they are always looking for more churches to join with them.  


Join the Mission Team Forming for June

Spaces are available on the mission trip to Camp Transfiguración in El Pedregal, Dominican Republic, June 7-14, for knitters/crocheters, light construction workers and others with servant hearts. The April 15 deadline is fast approaching. The trip is sponsored by Christ Church, Valdosta, and currently has 13 missioners signed up from five dioceses. We will work in the Camp on several small projects, just outside the Camp boundary in the village to building a "Habitat-type" block home, and in partnership with a team from Nebraska to install new playground equipment at the school.  


If you cannot go this year, you can be part of the "home" team, supporting another traveler or donating toward the $350/year scholarships for the children attending the Episcopal Day School. Whether you are able to go or not, please do consider this valuable gift to the children of El Pedregal.


Information is available on the Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta, mission trip planning page at: 
2014 Mission Trip Planning Page


The team leader is Fred Richter of Trinity, Statesboro (pictured at right in tan hat). You may contact Fred at [email protected] or (912) 531-4021.

Savannah Convocation
Workshop Draws from Across the Diocese

Christ Church Savannah hosted a successful Lenten event for the convocation drawing fifty Episcopalians from as far away as Brunswick and Augusta. In previous years, the convocation put on a Lenten School of Religion each week in the season of preparation for Easter. This year they wanted to try a different approach and opted for this one-day session on how churches can more effectively connect to the children in the pews. 


"The way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to church and Christ," said Event organizer, the Rev. Sierra Wilkinson. She added, "And at the same time, children's enthusiastic expressions of faith can help transform the church and everyone in it." 


The Rev. Jeff Jackson gave the main address on engaging children in the worship life of a congregation. Four workshops were offered to expand on the topic. These were led by Misty Graham of St. Thomas Isle of Hope, and the Revs. Helen White, Frank Logue and Jeff Jackson. Wilkinson said, "Christ Church Savannah was honored to open its doors to the convocation for this significant discussion of how to best minister to our youngest congregants."



EQ-HR Workshop Strengthens Emotional Intelligence
Sound congregations require sound, Emotionally Intelligent (EI) leaders. This leadership development workshop can help strengthen your EI. Daniel Goleman, in Primal Leadership, states, "The primal job of leadership is emotion. The power of emotionally intelligent leadership is to inspire, arouse passion and enthusiasm - and keep people motivated and committed." These traits are invaluable for church leaders.

As part of this core event and prior to attending, workshop participants complete a comprehensive self-assessment of their emotional intelligence. Participants will receive a detailed, confidential report of their own Emotional Intelligence strengths and development needs. The content of the workshop revolves around the areas of emotional intelligence defined in the EQ reports, and will enable participants to learn about themselves and to immediately practice emerging skills.

As group life unfolds, participants give and receive feedback regarding the impact they have on each other. Skilled facilitators also provide tools and feedback to aid the participants' learning. Emotional Intelligence is the key to improving leadership effectiveness for faith-based leaders. Past participants have described this assessment and the EQ-HR workshop as a life-changing event. 

Workshop Outcomes are to:
  • Improve awareness of the concepts of emotional intelligence and the impact of emotional intelligence on the participant and all with whom he or she interacts
  • Enhance ability to identify, articulate, and reflect on various aspects of working and living in a faith community
  • Strengthen understanding of how one is impacted by others in a group and one's own impact on the group
  • Increase skills in pastoral leadership for lay and clergy
  • Heighten awareness of the importance of constructive behavioral information about self and others as leaders
  • Enhance awareness of the presence of God's Spirit in group life and ability to identify and reflect on that presence
This workshop is now offered annually by the Diocese of Georgia. The next five-day worship will be June 2-6, 2014 at Honey Creek. The cost for the training is $200 for the tuition and the following costs for the food and lodgings (4 nights and 13 meals) at Honey Creek: Single - $492; Double - $328; Cottage - $248 (minimum of 5); and Commuters - $212.

Who should attend?
Ordained Priests and Deacons
Future Lay Leadership
Suggest no more than 2 per parish/mission

For More information
Visit the EQ-HR web site for more information: www.eq-hrcenter.org  Contact Rev. Walter Hobgood for more information. 229-630-6444 or [email protected]

To Register
Contact Vicki Shuster (912-236-4279) to register for the Workshop and Honey Creek to book accommodations (912-265-9218).

Youth Programs
Teens Come Together for New Beginnings

This past weekend, sixty teens and adults gathered at Honey Creek for the diocese's 44th New Beginnings Retreat. The lead teen for the weekend was Jenny Way of St. Luke's Hawkinsville. Her rector, the Rev. Gary Abbott, served as a spiritual director together with Deacon Ri Lamb of St. John and St. Mark, Albany. Teens gave the main talks for the weekend on topics including families, siblings, prayer, and the church. With fifteen adults on hand for the weekend, a separate family group for "the Geritol crowd" was added. All the participants, adult and teen alike, were spiritually fed by the talks and the worship. This fall, we will mark 25 years of New Beginnings retreats in the Diocese of Georgia.



Everyone has a blast at the annual High School Camp Softball Game!
Offering their gifts

Fifth Sundays at Saint George's Savannah finds the youth serving as lectors, prayer leaders, acolytes, ushers and oblation bearers. And to top it off the congregation sits down to a covered dish bunch after the liturgy.

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia