April 8, 2014Volume 4, Number 32
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Community Update
Christ the King, Valdosta
Database Update
St. Peter's, Savannah
St. Patrick's, Albany
Deacons' Beacon
Spring Rally
Around the Diocese in Photos
Writing Icons
Summer Camp
In the Dog House
Social Media Connections
Web Links

This Sunday's Lections:
Palm Sunday
Join Our Mailing List
Chrism Mass: April 15 in Statesboro
The clergy of the Diocese will reaffirm their ordination vows and Bishop Benhase will bless oils for use throughout the Diocese at a Chrism Mass on April 15 at 11 am. Trinity Statesboro is hosting the liturgy which will be followed by lunch in their parish hall. 
At the Chrism Mass, the clergy (including the Bishop) are invited to renew the commitments they made at their ordination. The liturgy takes its name from the most eminent of the three holy oils which the local bishop blesses for use in his diocese's parish churches during the coming year. The oils to be blessed in the liturgy are the Oil of the Sick which is used for those who seek anointing for healing; the Oil of the Catechumens which is imposed on those seeking baptism; and the Sacred Chrism which is used at baptisms, confirmations (and the consecration of altars).

Traditionally, the attending parish priest collects the holy oils for her or his parish following the Mass. As part of the consecration of the Chrism, balsam is poured into the oil, which gives it a sweet smell and has been the custom since at least the sixth century.

In the early Church, Maundy Thursday became the focus of many final daytime preparations before the sundown beginning of the Triduum that led over three days to Easter. During that evening the holy oils were blessed in time for use at baptisms at the Easter Vigil Mass. Because most priests are involved with the ongoing preparations and ceremonies of holy week, most dioceses currently bless the holy oils and take the renewal of priestly vows earlier in the week.

Please RSVP
To give the Trinity Statesboro an accurate count for lunch, please RSVP to Vicki Schuster ([email protected] or 912-236-4279). There is no charge for lunch. 
Diocesan Office Update  

Bishop Benhase will make his vistation to Christ Church, Savannah, in the morning and St. Bartholomew's, Burroughs, in the afternoon. 


Canon Logue will preside and preach this Holy Week at the Church of the Annunciation in Vidalia, beginning with Palm Sunday and continuing with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.


Canon Willoughby as at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina, this week for the Church Pension Group's Benefits Partnership Conference which meets April 6-10.

Community Update
The Rev. Ellen Richardson, M.D. has accepted a call as Assistant Rector of St. Anne's, Tifton. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she received a BA from Georgia State University, and her MD from the Medical College of Georgia. She was a small town doctor for 14 years, first in Tennessee and then in Jesup, Georgia, where she was active at St. Paul's, including serving on the vestry and as Senior Warden. Since 2004, first in Savannah, and then in the Northern Virginia, Richardson has worked full time as a hospice and palliative physician. Since her ordination in 2008, she served as a bi-vocational priest. Richardson received a Masters in Divinity from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in May, 2011. She served as Interim Vicar of St. Luke's, Rincon, from June 2008 until August of 2009 while working for Hospice Savannah and as a palliative care physician in three Savannah hospitals. In Northern Virginia, she served as Associate Priest at St. Paul's on the Hill Episcopal Church in Winchester, acting as Interim Priest for the year 2013. Ellen has been married for 33 years to Mark Richardson, a college English teacher. Their two sons, Will and and Owen, were active in youth programs in the diocese. About this call, Richardson said, "As I retire from the practice of medicine, I look forward with joy to coming home to Georgia, and to the rich, full, communal life of worship and loving service, the Salt and Light, that is St. Anne's." Ellen's first day will be May 30, on which she will join the congregation at their Parish Retreat.
The Rev. Lauren Farrington Flowers has accepted a call as Assistant Rector of St. Peter's, Savannah. Flowers is a double graduate of The University of the South-Sewanee, earning a B.A. in English literature in 1980, and then returning as a seminarian thirty years later to earn a Master's of Divinity. Ordained to the priesthood in June 2013, she comes to Georgia from the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, where she has been serving as the rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Monroeville, Alabama. Between college and seminary, Lauren worked as a copywriter for an ad agency, raised three children, and was an active member of The Church of the Nativity in Dothan, Alabama. For six years prior to seminary, she was the Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministry at Nativity. A visual thinker and a lover of stories, she boasts that she has served as the primary storyteller for seventeen Vacation Bible Schools. A lifelong Episcopalian, she graduated with honors from Sewanee's School of Theology, and also earned the prize for Excellence in Biblical Studies and the Urban T. Holmes Preaching Prize. In no certain order, she loves people, poetry, food, dogs, and trees. Lauren walks daily, and often in the company of her cairn terrier Scout. Flowers will be moving in May, but will have limited parish duties until June 1st. 
Bishop's Visitation

Bishop Benhase with the clergy and confirmands at Christ the King, Valdosta.

We hate for you to miss something important

Review Your Information in Our Records

The diocesan staff  has recently converted to a new ACS database system to track information on lay leaders and clergy.  Many of you have taken the time to login, check our data and make changes, but we are still missing lots of clergy and lay leadership. It is vital that we get your help as during the conversion, contact information was transferred from an old system and in many cases there multiple records were consolidated. Since there was no way for the system to know which was correct, current contact information very well could have been overwritten by outdated information. In order to avoid the possibility of missing future correspondence sent by the diocesan office, it is helpful for as many lay leaders as possible (wardens, vestry, members of diocesan committees, parishioners, etc.) to log onto the new system and check and update information. 


Here is a step-by-step video that will walk you through the process of creating a login and checking/updating your data: 

Diocese of Georgia Database Tutorial
Diocese of Georgia Database Tutorial

To create a database login

Go to this web page:



Tech Support

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (912) 236-4279 and speak to someone on on the diocesan staff. We are standing by to assist.

St. Peter's, Savannah
Parish Enjoys Weekend at Honey Creek

This past weekend approximately 45 members from St. Peter's, Savannah, attended their annual Parish Retreat at our beautiful Honey Creek. The Reverend Joshua Varner was the Spiritual Leader. His theme, Altars in the Wilderness, explored the journeys and growth of spiritual communities in the tasks of walking more closely with God and with each other. 


St. Peter's marks each year with a return to Honey Creek and the opportunity to grow together. Highlights of the weekend included their traditional campfire, a community service project in the Honey Creek Chapel, and a concert featuring the amazing hammer dulcimer and guitar talents of Joshua joined by our youth and musicians. The closing Eucharist allowed the group to build an altar of their memories from another joyful and enriching time together.



St. Patrick's, Albany
Mission Team Works on Church Construction

The mission team from St. Patrick's Albany, is home from a week of work in the Azua area of the Dominican Republic, returning for the fourth year. They worked on concrete block walls for the church in La Carreras. This year, they also worked more on homes for families in the Espiritu Santo Church, Las Carreras, and did some minor repairs and fixes to the church building under construction. The next step involves putting on a roof, which will cost $15,000.  St. Patrick's is looking for more partners in accomplishing this, because until the roof is on, nothing else can be done. 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. Michael's Savannah in this work. 



 A Deacon's Role with the Uninsured

by Archdeacon Sandy Turner

What comes first, the ministry or the diaconate? For me, as a nurse, my ministry grew out of my work in communities of need and my desire to help others with their health care needs. At some point, the vocation and avocation can merge and define you. Nurse Practitioner, teacher, and advocate for the poor can all come together in a made-to-order ministry. Caring for those in need has become the ministry I bring to my parish community.


I began working with a small community 30 miles west of Augusta in 1999. My students surveyed the area and found there was no health care provider in the area at all. Families there lived on an average income of $6,000 a year in this rural town of 600. By bringing a free clinic into the area, patients were able to have diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory issues addressed between regular visits to their physician without having full days away from work.


Volunteers (pictured at right with Deacon Turner) support the clinic from the Church of Our Savior, Martinez, and the Dearing Baptist Church. Both churches and the community support the clinic financially while students still provide support and energy, most recently creating and planting a community garden on the property to help patients with their nutritional needs.


As health care reform offers hope for the uninsured, patients need care now.  Our service area has expanded to surrounding communities, resulting in over 1,000 visits a year. The hope is that some day affordable and accessible health care will be available for everyone, but the reality is that it may be many years away.


Archdeacon Sandy Turner is a Nurse Practitioner who has served on medical mission teams in the Dominican Republic and Peru ten times, combined. She retired last year from a long career of teaching nursing at Georgia Regents University but continues to serve in a family practice clinic and the free clinic. She also mentors an elementary school student and leads health care education and events in the church and community. She serves at Church of Our Savior, Martinez, and was named Archdeacon of the Diocese in January.

Spring Rally: Be Who Christ is Calling You to Be!
At the end of Lent are you going
to need a big Honey Creek fix?

 Come on out to the Creek for Spring Rally!  The Spring Rally leadership team has been hard at work planning a packed weekend.  There will be singing, worship, games, small groups, large groups, prayer stations, and event a talent show!  The retreat with a leadership component. Young people not only learn more about being who Christ is calling them to be, but they are also given resources that increase their leadership skills to help them  lead both diocesan youth events and events at their home parishes.  


 Spring Rally will be held at Honey Creek April 25-27.  The retreat is for youth in grades 6-12; cost is $114.50.


These 2nd-3rd graders celebrated their Solemn Communion at Good Shepherd, Augusta, following six weeks of preparation. Their work culminated in a retreat the day before where they illuminated their own prayers, made communion bread, and had private confession with clergy. 

Around the Diocese in Photos

These photos were culled from the Facebook pages of congregations of the Diocese of Georgia. How active is your church's Facebook account? Holy Week is a great time to keep your page active, letting everyone know your schedule of services. Need ideas? See this article on Bearing Witness through Like and Share with some tips for churches, and this one A Church Event Photography Primer.


Send Us Your Holy Week Photos

As in recent years, we will create an album of pictures of Holy Week and Easter around the Diocese, some of which will be shared here in From the Field on the following two Tuesdays. Pictures of Palm Sunday must be in by the Tuesday morning following to be in From the Field and the remainder of Holy Week and Easter by Tuesday morning in Easter Week. Have your Photo Minister send the pictures to [email protected] or instead of sending the photo files, send us a link to your Facebook album with the pictures and we'll take it from there. You can see last year's photos in the 2013 Holy Week and Easter Photo Album.



This past Sunday at St. Thomas Isle of Hope in Savannah.  

A new cross was added to the memorial garden at Christ Church Valdosta.  



 Two views from the recent Strawberry Festival at St. Philip's, Hinesville.



Participants in our Episcopal Campus Ministry at Georgia Southern in Statesboro enjoy an evening of fun at The Clubhouse. 

St. Anne's, Tifton
A Brush with God in Icon Writing Workshop

On April 4-6, 2014, St. Anne's Tifton held a iconography workshop at the church, joined by an Episcopalian from Bainbridge. Under the guidance of the Rev. Lonnie Lacy and St. Anne's member Lisa Kent, each participant prayerfully created an icon of their Lord using a modified Russian style. Participants described the weekend as peaceful, serene, and highly rewarding. If you would like to learn more about iconography and the style in which this workshop was taught, see Peter Pearson's book A Brush with God: An Icon Workbook.



In the Dog House


St John's Bainbridge vestry member, Sally Miller, had  the Reverend Marcia McRae "arrested " to help in Southern Paws Animal Sanctuary's first fundraiser, "You're in the Doghouse Now," this past Saturday. Funds raised by "arresting" local  community leaders went to support the work of the animal shelter. Miller is a founding member of the sanctuary and serves as vice president.

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia