June 3, 2014Volume 4, Number 40
In This Issue
Bishop's Visitation
Diocesan Office Update
Spiritual Direction
Ordination
Youth Presence
Columba House
Three Videos
St. Augustine's, Augusta
National ECW Survey
Call for VBS photos
Summer Camp
Childrens and Youth Ministries Director Sought
Vocare
A Full House
Social Media Connections
Web Links
 
 

 


This Sunday's Lections:
Pentecost
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Rogation Days Celebrated 

Across the Diocese last week, Rogation Days were celebrated with special liturgies and garden blessings. Deeply "rooted" in ancient tradition, Rogation Day observances typically include an outdoor procession to bless all things agricultural (farms, forests, gardens, waters, seed, livestock), and for those who work the land to bring forth food and products needed for daily life. Prayers for rain and favorable weather are offered as well. Rogation Days are traditionally observed on the three days prior to Ascension Day, but can be observed on other days as well.   

Several church gardens in our Diocese were blessed, including new community "giving" gardens at St. Anne's, Tifton, and St. Augustine's, Augusta. At St. Anne's, tomato plants and seed crosses made of clay, compost, and herb or flower seeds (pictured at left and below) were distributed to encourage church members to fill the world with beauty and abundance. St. Patrick's, Albany, blessed their "Food for a Thousand" garden (pictured above the headline), which provides organic produce for people with little access to fresh, healthy food. Last year, St. Patrick's donated over 1,000 lbs of fresh food to Neighbors in Need and The Lord's Pantry. St. Augustine's, Augusta, has vegetable beds for its community garden built by the youth group and funded by the St. Clare's Guild of the parish. Following the main Sunday Eucharist, the congregation processed out to the raised beds for a versicle and response, and a blessing for the beds. The congregation was dismissed from the garden with coffee hour following in the church yard. This celebration fell on the patronal feast for St. Augustine.

Rogation Days are a time to give thanks for the fruit of Creation and the human labor that sustains us year-round, and to remember our call as Christians to be loving stewards of the earth and its creatures. Resources for a garden blessing liturgy and a Scripture-based children's gardening curriculum, "Abundant Life Garden Project," are available through Episcopal Relief and Development online here. Abundant Church gardening resources can be found here and here

Diocesan Office Update   

Bishop Benhase is currently meeting with Province IV Bishops at Kanuga and will remain there through Friday for the Province IV Synod, which follows the bishops' meeting. 

 

Canons Willoughby and Logue travel with other deputies and alternates to the 2015 General Convention to the Province IV Synod, meeting June 4-6 at Kanuga, the Episcopal Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. This is the annual meeting of bishops and general convention deputies for dioceses in the southeast United States.

 

Bishop Benhase will make his visitation this Sunday to All Saints', Tybee Island.

  

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at Christ Church, Savannah.

Bishop's Visitation 


Bishop Benhase with Deacon Karulynn Koelliker and the Rev. Ted Clarkson and the confirmands at St. Andrew's, Darien.

 

Savannah Convocational Confirmation

The Rev. Dcn. Geri Nelson, The Rev. Lori Fehr, Bishop Benhase, The Rev. David Rose, and The Rev. Dcn. Eddie Adkins, with confirmands and acolytes
Our intrepid photographer, Julius Ariail uses an ethernet router in the bucket attached to the fence to update the Diocese from the field in El Pedregal in the Dominican Republic.
 
Thank You to our Diocesan Photo Ministers

For four years, Julius and Julia Ariail have put in countless hours not just in photographing events but also in work at the computer and logging many miles on the road to offer their gifts for communication to the diocesan community. Due to other obligations, the Ariails are stepping back from their role as diocesan photo ministers which makes this a perfect time to offer appreciation for all they have brought to us. The story of the congregations of the Diocese of Georgia has been told visually through their artistry and skill and also through their encouragement of the photography of others around the Diocese. 

 

"The Ariails' work has been a tremendous asset for the Diocese of Georgia, allowing us to connect more closely through images of our common life," said Bishop Benhase.

  

The first big project they took on was in creating a file of photos of every church in the Diocese, which included chapels such as St. Ignatius on St. Simons Island and St. Bartholomew's in the Burroughs area of Savannah. Julia designed the poster that showcase the fruit of that effort. Copies of the poster were given to every congregation and to delegates to the diocesan convention in 2011. Copies of the poster remain available at Diocesan House. While taking on that project, they also began the diocesan photo album which records both diocesan events, including our annual convention and mission trips to our companion diocese, and also congregational life through albums of Vacation Bible School and Holy Week.

  

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the Ariails have crafted a legacy of Shakespearean proportion," said Canon Frank Logue. "One of the great joys of working on the diocesan staff has been working with Julius and Julia. In so many ways, they have assisted the work of the diocese through giving so generously of their time and talents."

  

The Ariails are active members of Christ Church, Valdosta, and through their photography have become deeply connected to our Companion Diocese of the Dominican Republic. Due to the increasing  communications work they are taking on for the Dominican Development Group, the Ariails will be stepping back from the diocesan web minister roles. They will continue to do some photography and to update our Companion Diocese web pages which offer an ongoing record of our relationship with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. 

 

 

Julia Ariail gives departing delegates their own poster of every congregation in the Diocese of Georgia as they leave the February 2010 Diocesan Convention in Valdosta. 

List of Spiritual Directors Compiled for the Diocese  

In response to needs both for those preparing for Holy Orders and within the Cursillo community and others in the Diocese, we have compiled a list of persons trained and gifted in spiritual direction. The idea of spiritual direction is a centuries old one. A spiritual director is not a therapist or life coach, but someone with gifts at helping another discern the movement of the Holy Spirit in one's life. A spiritual director can help one learn spiritual practices, but most often walks alongside helping free the directee from whatever is getting in the way of the Spirit's working in his or her life. 

  

Like any important interpersonal relationship, the benefits which flow from the relationship are dependent on the degree of "fit" between the people involved. So, it is generally recommended that you have an initial visit with the spiritual director with whom you wish to work, and then pray earnestly over the question of whether this is the right person for you. 

  

In order to not share this resource with the entirety of the World Wide Web, we have not posted this brief directory online. To receive a copy of the list of spiritual directors with contact information and a brief statement about each person, please email our Staff Secretary Vicki Schuster at [email protected]


Four Deacons Ordained on May 31 
Bishop Benhase ordained four persons to the Sacred Order of Deacons this past Saturday, May 31- Sarah Brockenbrough of Christ Church; Savannah, Susan Hill of All Saints', Tybee Island;  Alex Moreschi of St. Patrick's, Albany;  Jamie Maury of All Saints', Tybee Island. Bishop Benhase preached the ordination sermon 
 
The Diocese thanks St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah for hosting the ordination liturgy and the Savannah Convocation churches who hosted the reception.
 
   
Susan Hill receives a Bible as a part of the rite in the photo at left. At right, the new deacons join Bishop Benhase at the altar for the Eucharistic prayer.
 Priests and deacons of the Diocese with the four newest deacons.

A group photo of participants in the Youth Presence meeting held this past Friday and Saturday in Augusta. The photos below are also from this event.

Youth Presence
Last Visioning Meeting in Savannah this Week 
The first of three workshops on creating a Youth Presence in your congregation will be repeated on June 6-7 in Savannah. There is still time for any congregation in the Diocese to put together a team for this workshop, but time is running out to register. If you are interested, contact our Missioner for Youth, Elizabeth Burns, at [email protected]
  
About Youth Presence
 It is the belief of Youth Presence Ministry that Youth Ministry is different in every place and possible in every place. The programs offered will focuses on the local congregation and their unique setting, circumstances, challenges and hopes for the future. This model also fosters church growth by the presence and interface of young people in their midst. For more information, click here for a PDF: Youth Ministries Overview

About the Workshops
All Congregations wishing to participate must send at least six participants to the workshops. The workshop will be held Friday from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. These participants should be people who are passionate about creating a youth presence in your church community. They don't have to be the adult youth leaders. At the vision workshop, they will be given skill to help find these people. Participants must commit to coming to the training sessions and, most importantly, working to implement the vision plan in the congregation.


  
Serve the Helpless as if Serving Christ Himself

During the Ordination of a Deacon, the Bishop says "At all times, your life and teaching are to show Christ's people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself."  Good words for all of us.

  

The times when I can greet and talk to someone, hold someone's hand, give someone a smile, or look into the eyes of another are the times I enjoy the most. Those are the times when one person connects with another person. Those are the times when barriers fall and we, all of us, see that we are all God's children and He loves us all.  In my ministry as a director with the Department of Family and Children Services, I have the opportunity to serve the helpless daily.

  

Helping with the community garden being developed by Episcopal Development Agency of Thomasville (EDAT) is also a ministry I enjoy (getting my hands dirty digging in the soil). It is a joint ministry of all three Thomasville Episcopal Churches and is another ministry that feeds people by showing them how to grow their own food and, to go along with this, EDAT will soon provide community enrichment programs.

  

As the deacon at St. Thomas, Thomasville, I work with Saturday Lunch Thomasville, which is a program to provide a hot meal at noon on Saturdays in Thomasville to those who come to us.  It is made up of different churches, each taking a turn on a designated Saturday.

  

One Saturday, several families came with children, not a rare occurrence. One little boy I checked on had finished his meal and wanted one more apple to eat. He left with his pockets full of apples. Others too were giving the children all the apples they wanted. I saw the appreciation in the eyes of the mothers and I knew that Christ was there. They were fed, and so were we.

 

Deacon Scott Mithen has been ordained for four years, is married to Beth Mithen, and has two married children and four grandchildren. He is a County Director with Mitchell, Baker and Grady Department of Family and Children Services. 

  

He is also a member of the Deacon Formation Council and an Examining Chaplain for the Deacon School of Ministry.  

Three Videos of Song and Prayer

Here are three short videos shared with us this past week:

 

The St. John's Quartet at St. John's, Bainbridge

I'll Fly Away Christ Church, Frederica - Worship at Honey Creek
I'll Fly Away Christ Church, Frederica - Worship at Honey Creek

The Rev. Loren Lasch opening the U.S. House of Representatives in Prayer. Loren is a priest of this diocese who is currently serving as an Associate Rector at St. Patrick's in Washington DC while her husband, Ian, studies at Virginia Theological Seminary. 

St. Augustine's, Augusta
Sharing the Sounds of Faith in Interfaith Event

The Interfaith Fellowship in Augusta recently showcased Sounds of Faith at St. Augustine's, Augusta. Four members of the Hindu Temple Society of Augusta demonstrated the types of hymns and chants typical of their worship. Members of the Sikh community from the Guru Singh Sabha Temple and the sisters from the Order of St. Helena also demonstrated their own chants and hymns as part of the event.

The two-part series will continue in the fall with presentations by the Jewish, Muslim and congregational Christian traditions. "This came about from a number of conversations with other members of the Interfaith Fellowship," said the Rev. Jason Haddox, Rector of St. Augustine's. The group meets monthly to discuss civic issues and ways to share their faith traditions with one another and the community at large. "Someone said, 'Well, we all have this tradition of singing in worship called chanting, whether it's in a group or by oneself. What if we came together and shared those traditions?' " he said.

Surinderjit Singh, of the Guru Singh Sabha temple, said the chants that were chosen to represent the Sikh tradition were hymns in which stanzas are repeated and represent the belief that people are all from one God.

Sister Ellen Francis said the chants shared by the sisters of the Order of St. Helena were a simplified version of the ones sung daily in the convent. "We didn't have to practice because that's what we do every day," she said. The sisters attend chapel services five times a day and chant during at least two of them for 45 minutes. "We chant the entire 150 psalms every two weeks," she said.

Ellen Francis, also a member of the Interfaith Fellowship, said she hoped music would draw more people to their mission of understanding and fellowship with people of other faiths. "We'd just love for the wider community to know that these different traditions exist and they are a part of the work and life of Augusta," she said.

Lorraine Barlett, a member at First Baptist Church of Augusta, said she found the demonstrations peaceful and contemplative. "I just thought it was a very nice experience to have other types of cultures outside my usual Christian experience," she said of Thursday's presentation.

-The Augusta Chronicle

Episcopal Church Women
Please Take Part in the National ECW Survey

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) want to hear from men and women alike across the church by June 30. At its Triennial Meeting in 2012, Episcopal Church Women (ECW) delegates adopted a resolution that called for the research and review of the present function and structure of the Episcopal Church Women National Board and the mission and purpose of our ECW as a whole.

 

As part of that process, the ECW is asking Episcopal women and men to take a short online survey about the ministry of the ECW will have a continuing role and impact on the Episcopal Church. The survey will be reviewed by an ad hoc ECW committee and inform their work in preparation for the Triennial Meeting 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah, which will be held in conjunction with General Convention.

 

Click here to take the survey online in English or Spanish by June 30. Questions? Email the ECW at [email protected].
 
Share VBS Photos with the Diocesan Community

We want to share your Vacation Bible School with the Diocese in photo album collecting pictures of our kid-friendly catechesis taking place around the Diocese this summer. Send your congregation's photo to [email protected].

The photos will be added to a VBS album and used at the diocesan website. You can visit last summer's VBS album online. Some of the photos will be shared here in From the Field. If you create a Facebook or other online album, you may also just send a link to that album to the address above we will copy a selection of photos to the diocesan album. Pictured above the headline is last year's VBS at Christ Church Frederica and alongside the text is a photo from last year's VBS at St. Michael & All Angels, Savannah.

 
A manatee photographed off the dock at Honey Creek
Christ Church, Valdosta
Children and Youth Ministries Director Sought

Christ Church, Valdosta, is currently accepting applications for the position of Children and Youth Ministries Director. Qualified applicants will have Bachelor's degree from a four-year college or university in a related field as well as experience in effectively leading a youth and/or children's group, an ability to effectively relate and interact across age and diversity groups, and a working knowledge of the Episcopal tradition or a willingness to learn about the Episcopal Church. The position description is online here. Apply by sending a cover letter and resumé by July 1, 2014.

Young Adult Ministry
Vocare BEACH-cation! (Official Reunion)

The Vocare Alumni are getting together for our official Annual Reunion! Join us for an overnight beach trip at All Saints' Episcopal Church on Tybee Island on June 21-22. There is a lot of fun and community to be had! A sit down meeting will kick things off, which includes elections for the Vocare Steering Committee and a breakdown of the community's direction. Fellowship on the beach immediately follows.

Who: Vocare Alumni
What: Overnight Beach Trip and Annual Reunion
When: June 21 at 1:00pm - June 22nd whenever you have to leave (preferably after church)
Where: All Saints' Episcopal Church, 804 Jones Ave, Tybee Island, GA 31328
Why: Because we like each other 

A Full House

Reese Dining Hall at Honey Creek is shown above with a full house and live banjo music. Our thriving camp and conference center is booked with groups on campus every day through August 3. This past weekend, the conference center hosted Happening #93, St. Anne's Tifton's Parish Retreat, Christ Church Frederica's Parish Picnic and the EQHR-emotional intelligence training which continues this week.

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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia