July 29, 2014Volume 4, Number 48
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Convention Workshops
Convention Elections
Gaza Update
King of Peace, Kingsland
Youth Programs
Baptismal Ministry
Social Media Connections
Web Links


This Sunday's Lections:
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
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Priest Salary Survey 2014 

A survey of the compensation for priests serving in full-time, non-interim positions has been compiled as a working document for vestries to have in hand as we enter the time of year to plan congregation budgets. This is the fifth year in a row that the salary survey has been published by the Diocese. We have made significant gains in the compensation of female clergy when compared to their male colleagues and have caught up most of the gap when comparing salaries to our neighboring dioceses of Alabama and Upper South Carolina. These are important both for fairness and to assist in retaining priests in the Diocese, which has been a significant problem in previous years. A PDF file of the survey is online here: 2014 Priest Salary Survey


The chart does not show the salaries for full-time priest when the salary is supported by funds beyond the parish budget (such as a grant from the Diocese) as these positions do not offer a comparison for vestries looking at their own attendance, budget and years of tenure. The relatively low numbers of priests on the chart also reflect the many congregations served by part-time priests, who are often bi-vocational or retired. For comparison purposes, the archived Priest Salary Survey 2013, Priest Salary Survey 2012 and Priest Salary Survey 2011 remain online.


A Note on Priest's Salaries

The compensation data in the chart reflects the combined total of salary, housing and an offset for SECA (self-employment insurance for Social Security. Clergy pay 15% tax out of the listed compensation. For clergy in a rectory or vicarage, the value of that provided housing is included in the compensation figure. To assist in setting salaries, the diocesan staff works with vestries in a new call to consider salaries in neighboring dioceses, around the Diocese of Georgia. But we also consider other salaries in the town by looking to the school system. Depending on the complexity of the congregation, the salaries of teachers, assistant principals and principals with a masters degree is instructive as these are local salaries with similar benefits.


Female Priest Salaries 

Since this annual survey has been published in 2010, salaries for women in a full-time call have gained parity with the salaries of their male counterparts in similar congregations. In 2010, the average salary for a female priest was $53,757, which represents $58,758 in 2014 dollars according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the current average for female priests at $66,300, this compensation has gone up by more than 12% in constant dollars in four years. This matters as the early data on these surveys showed female clergy as far lower than men in similar calls.
Diocesan Office Update    

Bishop Benhase is working in the office this week. Canon Willoughby is recovering from surgery for a broken shoulder. 


Canon Logue is assisting congregations in their process of calling a new priest, through interviews and background checks. This Sunday, he will preside and preach at Worship on the Water on Lake Blackshear.


This week Program Manger Rudy Reyes is attending the Episcopal Young Adult and Campus Missions Conference in Minneapolis.

Convention 2014
Diocesan Convention Workshop Offerings
The 2014 Diocesan Convention will be held on November 6th through 8th at the beautiful new beachfront Jekyll Island Convention Center (Convention Center website). On Thursday afternoon, those interested can attend one-hour workshops which will be held in the Convention Center. Offerings will include:


Session One - 2-3 p.m.


Helping Churches save Energy and Money through Energy Efficiency
Led by Georgia Interfaith Power & Light

Vestry Basics-The Work of a Vestry
Led by the Rev. Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary

Website Design and Administration
Led by Rudy Reyes, Program Manager for the Diocese

Session Two - 3:15-4:15 p.m. 

Introduction to ACS Databases
Led by Bill Bridges, Director of Business Development, ACS Technologies

Planned Giving Basics-Starting a Planned Giving Program in your Church
Led by Sandra Fletcher, Director of Planned Giving and Major Gifts, Valdosta State Foundation

Vestry Basics-Church Administration
Led by Canon Frank Logue

On-line registration for convention and the workshops will open in early August; the complete schedule will be listed there. Lodging can be reserved now. For more information on available rooms go to:
Convention 2014
Diocesan Convention Elections
During the convention in November persons will be elected to five diocesan committees with other appointments made directly by the bishop. An opportunity to nominate persons to these offices will go out in August. 

Board of the Corporation
One lay person will be elected to a seven-year term to the Board of the Corporation of the Diocese. This Board oversees the various funds held in trust by the Diocese. The group, consisting of the Bishop, Diocesan Treasurer and seven elected lay members, meets three or four times each year. Some meetings may be attended by web conference.

Diocesan Council
One at-large member of diocesan council to serve a three-year.  This person may be a layperson, deacon or priest. Additional representatives will be elected at convocation councils in the six convocations of the Diocese. Council serves much like a vestry in a parish and is charged with acting as the convention in recess. Council carries out the programs and directives of the Convention; deals with contingencies as they arise; approves programns of commissions & committees and conducts an ongoing evaluation of these programs. The group meets three times each year around the Diocese.

Disciplinary Board
Two lay persons and one priest will be elected to the Church Disciplinary Board to serve a three-year term. This group of five deacons or priests and four lay persons handles clergy discipline matters in keeping with the Canons of the Church.

Sewanee Trustee
One priest will be elected to serve as a Trustee for the University of the South (Sewanee) for a three-year term. This person will serve as one of three elected representatives to the Board of Trustees (one priest and two laypersons). The Board is made up of representatives from the 28 owning dioceses and meets in Sewanee each October for a two-day meeting.

The Standing Committee
One lay person and one priest to the Standing Committee to serve a four-year term. The Standing Committee, consisting of four lay persons and four priests, is the Bishop's council of Advice. At times when there is no bishop, the Standing Committee is authorized by Canon Law to act as the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese for all purposes declared by General Convention. The group also has other canonical duties including approving persons for ordination and approving indebtedness of a congregation.

Committee Appointments
Bishop Benhase also annually appoints members to the Commission on Ministry, the Finance Committee, and the Honey Creek Commission. Persons interested in serving on a diocesan committee appointed by the bishop should express their interest in a letter sent to the Bishop at Diocesan House, 611 East Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401.

Photo Source: The New York Times
American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
Update on Gaza and the Al Ahli Hospital 
Al Ahli Hospital has not sustained as much damage as some healthcare providers in Gaza. This means they are able to help more people in need of medical attention. We just received an update this morning that the number of wounded has exceeded the capacity of all state medical facilities in Gaza. The director of the Hospital reports that their ambulances are running non-stop, and now over 100 people are seeking refuge in the hospital compound because it has a higher level of safety and security.

But food and fuel and some medical supplies are desperately low - in some cases completely depleted.This is a moment for compassion. You can help. You can immediately impact this humanitarian disaster. Your gift matters and will make a difference.   

So many of you have responded with your hearts and your support. Thank you, thank you on behalf of those we serve.


Ahli Hospital is one of 40 signatories and international humanitarian aid organizations calling for a ceasefire. In part, their statement reads: "Escalating violence hits particularly hard as Gaza's health sector has been suffering from an acute shortage of fuel and supplies, with 54 percent of medical disposables and 28 percent of essential drugs at zero stock."  Read full article here. 


Why AFEDJ & Why Gaza?

AFEDJ ensures that your support for Ahli Hospital is timely and effective. Unlike some emergency relief organizations, we honor all restricted gifts in full - making sure 100% of your support goes where it was intended to, at the time when people are in need.


Quoted from a NY Times article: "Perhaps most important, the vast majority of Gazans cannot leave Gaza. They live under restrictions that make this narrow coastal strip...unlike anywhere else." Read full article here.


This violent situation impacts the people of Gaza in a unique way - families and children cannot escape this conflict or seek refuge in a safe place. This is why we need to support people - especially innocent children - impacted by the violence today. 


Thank you, 

Anne K. Lynn, President


This is taken from the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
newsletter that can be found online here: American Friends Newsletter Online 

King of Peace, Kingsland
Team Approach Boosts Events for Kids and Teens
Creating a youth leadership team has boosted programs for youth in Kingsland. Early in 2014, members of King of Peace gathered to set future goals and priorities. A strong youth program was at the top of the list. By spring, a new King of Peace Youth Committee was formed. The committee began with eight adults who share a love and concern for young people. This new committee method of youth leadership was a successful summer experiment. The group chose to concentrate on three summer youth events, begin a youth of the month program and establish a special youth bulletin board. A leader was selected for each event with other members working as support helpers. The three events included a Son Flower Garden Party, an "all age" youth lock-in and a week of Vacation Bible School. 

To keep this work in front of the congregation, a designated youth bulletin board provides information about upcoming events at King of Peace, at Honey Creek, and throughout the Diocese. Ava Lily Rawl was designated as the King of Peace Youth of the Month for July. Ava was featured in the Sunday bulletin and with a special poster in the church narthex. The Youth of the Month program gives all members a chance to learn some special things about the featured youth.

All parishioners were given the opportunity to sign their name on a youth support pledge sheet and donate needed supplies for various activities. This new committee leadership approach brought with it new friendship and stronger bonds within the congregation. As fall arrives, this new program will join the already successful Youth Acolytes, Children's Church, King of Peace Children's Choir and Scouting programs.

Mary Jane Brooks, a lay leader at the parish, explains why the team approach works so well saying, "The load is shared by everyone and at the same time strong friendships and bonds are formed among both youth and adults."

Your will can be a testimony to your faith.


Please consider remembering your parish in your estate planning!

Youth Programs
Register Now for Three Upcoming Events
Registration is kicking off now for three upcoming youth events. To see the schedule for this school year, download the PDF: 2014-2015 Youth Events. You can register now for the first three youth events of the fall:

The Acolyte Festival
August 16-17 at St. Paul's, Albany
The Acolyte Festival is open to 3rd through 12th graders. This year's festival will be hosted by St. Paul's, Albany and will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 16 & 17. Participants process during the Sunday morning Eucharist. 

Register online for the Acolyte Festival now!

Fall Gathering
September 19-12 at Honey Creek
This event for 6-12 graders kicks off youth programs at Honey Creek for a new school year. Come enjoy The Creek with singing, games, worship, and more. 
Bishop's Burger Bash
October 11 at St. Anne's, Tifton
Enjoy a fun event on October 11 at St. Anne's Tifton hosted by Bishop Benhase. This event is for 3rd through 12th graders and their families. 

Baptismal Ministry

Sarah Kate Johnson and the Rev. Kevin Kelly worked together with summer camp at Honey Creek. 20 years ago when a new seminary graduate serving at St. Luke's in Hawkinsville, she was the first person he baptized. Now the infant is grown up and the two enjoyed ministering to others together at Honey Creek.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia