Diocese of Georgia Youth ProgramsAugust 2014
In This Issue
Acolyte Festival
Fall Gathering
Bishop's Burger Bash
Hughes McGlone's Youth Sunday Sermon
YP Adult Teams Training
New Beginnings Team
Youth Photos
Join Our Mailing List
Internet Links

Time to register for events
With school starting back up, it is time to register for youth events this fall. With the Acolyte Festival coming up in Albany and the Bish Bash in Tifton, I hope we are making this better for some in our diocesan community who have a longer commute to The Creek. For those of us who live on the eastern side of the Diocese, it is our turn to enjoy Georgia backroads. 

First up at Honey Creek is Fall Gathering, which kicks off the year for middle and high school students. We are taking our theme from the Divergent series of books. The theme was selected by teens at the Confirmation Retreat and I enjoyed reading through Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant this Summer. The story readily connects to St. Paul's teaching about the Body of Christ, for each of us have gifts to offer to make our communities and the world a better place.

Please fill out the registrations forms below and I will see you around the Diocese.

Happy Trails!

Registration Closes Sunday for Acolyte Festival
Acolytes from as far away as Augusta, Kingsland and Darien have already registered for the festival coming to Albany next weekend. Registration remains open, but time is running out.

The Acolyte Festival is open to 3rd through 12th graders. There is a mix of fun and games together with building skills as acolytes.
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. Please bring vestments and the congregation's banner.


Register online for the Acolyte Festival now! 

Register Now for Fall Gathering 
This event for 6-12 graders kicks off youth programs at Honey Creek for a new school year. The theme for the event comes from the young adult book series Divergent, which was written on Christian themes. We will explore our unique gifts and the place each of us have in the Body of Christ through the lens of this fiction. The spiritual director will be Canon Frank Logue. Come enjoy The Creek with singing, games, worship, and more. 

The first ever Bishop's Burger Bash (or Bish Bash) will be October 11 at St. Anne's, Tifton. This fun event, hosted by Bishop Benhase, gives an opportunity for children and youth to spend time with their cheif pastor in a more relaxed setting. The Bish Bash is for 3rd through 12th graders and their families. 

Hughes McGlone's Youth Sunday Sermon

Church of the Holy Comforter, Martinez

Readings: Genesis 22-31, Matthew 14:13-21


"And your name shall be Israel which means strives with God". 


This should just be the unspoken middle name for all of humanity. We strive with God, we wrestle with God. We fight mentally and emotionally with the idea of God, with the thought that he rules over us all, and is ultimately the one in control. When I was sixteen years old and a brand new summer camp counselor, I began turning these same thoughts over in my heart and mind. I finally asked the priest at camp if this was a bad thing or if this made me a bad person. The older priest looked me in the eye and told me "Hughes, I'd be more concerned and worried if you didn't." He said it's who we are, to fight and question God. It scares us to let anyone other than ourselves be in control. It is human to wrestle with God. It is very human and very Christian to search for answers.


Hughes McGlone, at right, with acolytes

This Sunday's lesson is almost a cautionary tale, warning us that to give in to God, to let God win is life changing. Jacob's name the very description of his being is changed after his encounter with God. So too are we forever changed by taking on an active role in our relation with God. We become lifelong students, all of us constantly searching, constantly learning more. Throughout this journey of growing faith we share our experiences - our trials, troubles, setbacks, failures, lessons learned, break through, and triumphs. Sharing them with pilgrims we meet along the way. By being students of God and growing relations with others, we become the teachers as well. We teach all who we come in contact with. Again as a camp counselor one of the most important lessons I ever learned was about being a teacher. I was told campers observe everything, they learn most from what we do not say, they learn from our actions. What will they learn from us?


As teachers in the world our students become our siblings, family members, friends, coworkers, strangers in the grocery line at six o'clock on a Tuesday when all we'd like to do is go home. We often ask children what they learned today; an equally important question to ask of ourselves "What did we teach today?"


Sunday's Gospel finds Jesus on a boat in a deserted place searching for rest. Christ in desperate need of rest sees a teaching opportunity on shore, and instead of passing it up, seizes the opportunity, to teach and grow a relation with a crowd. He feeds 5,000 with food that wouldn't even feed a young man.


Students and youth today hear all too often how little they have to offer, how little they bring to the table. Young and old alike hear more often how they lack enough life experience, qualifications, education. Yet here is Christ clearly saying no matter the amount, so much can be done with your gifts when they are given to God. So much can be done through us when we quit wrestling with God, and begin instead to walk with him.


So let us keep our hearts and minds open to see we are all students. Let us continue to share our lives and experiences and realize we too are all teachers. Help us to know that it is okay to wrestle with God, yet be prepared to be forever changed when we let Him into our lives.



Register for YP Adult Teams Training
The second round of Youth Presence Ministries working with congregations in the Diocese of Georgia will occur in September. The congregations who sent teams for the visioning session may now register teams for the second session of training. 
A core value of this approach is that youth ministry requires a team of adults not a single person or pair of people. Most churches think it is difficult if not impossible to find more than one or two to work with youth. Some churches hire someone thinking that is the solution. Experience shows that it takes many gifts and many people and that several adults can be raised up if we know how to do it and are committed to it. Once the adult teams are identified they must be trained. 

The workshops offered will be tailored to the needs of churches gathered. Workshop topics include:
  • Introduction to team youth ministry: The call to youth ministry; it could be you!
  • Relational Ministry
  • The community model for youth ministry
  • Developing Faith and Spirituality: How to be a spiritual group
  • Mission and Outreach and making a difference in the world
  • Retreats, Pilgrimages, trips and other "out of the ordinary" experiences
Phase Two: Adult Training Schedule

Augusta: September 5-6

Tifton: September12-13

Savannah: September 26-27


Click here to register online

New Beginnings Team Applications
Applications are now being accepted for the New Beginnings #45 Team, to serve October 17-19 at Honey Creek. Team is open to all who have been to Happening or New Beginnings. Making an application does not guarantee a spot on the team. If selected, you must attend the staff lock in at St. Luke's in Hawkinsville starting September 27 at 11:30 and ending after worship no later than 11:30 on the 28th. 
Applications are due by Friday, August 15th.

Decorating a classroom at Christ Church Frederica on Saint Simons Island.


Photos of Youth Around the Diocese


A Mission Team from St. Anne's, Tifton, is photographed above with our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, when she preached at Christ Church, Savannah. The group worked in Louisiana and then finished the trip with the visit to Christ Church for the occasion.


Some of the members of the Youth Group at St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's Churches in Darien are pictured during the End of Summer Luau Party.


The St. Thomas, Thomasville, youth are pictured on a trip to the Itchetucknee.



All across the Diocese, teens assist their congregations in putting on a Vacation Bible School. Above at left, Daniel Babb assists with games for the VBS at King of Peace, Kingsland.

Got Something to Share? 
Please send in pictures, youth group games and activities, and stories to Elizabeth Burns at eburns@gaepiscopal.org 
SCYE Meets this Sunday in Savannah 
Savannah Convocation Youth Event kicks off the school year this Sunday, August 10th at St. Michael and All Angel's, which is on the corner of Washington and Waters in Savannah. Grades 6-12 are encouraged to come out in your school colors. 
Calendar at a Glance
Acolyte Festival
August 16-17
3rd-12th grade
St. Paul's Albany

Fall Gathering
September 19-21 
6th-12th grade
Honey Creek

Bishop's Burger Bash
October 11
3rd-12th grade
St. Anne's Tifton

New Beginnings
October 17-19
7th- 9th grade
Honey Creek

Convention Lock-In
November 7
9th-12th grade
Honey Creek

January 30- February 1, 2015
10th-12th grade
Honey Creek

Confirmation Retreat
August 16-17, 2015
14 years old and older
Honey Creek

New Beginnings
March 27-29, 2015
7th- 9th grade
Honey Creek

Hometown Missions
April 18-19, 2015
3rd-12th grade
Augusta and Thomasville (2 Locations)

Spring Rally
May 1-3, 2015
6th-12th grade
Honey Creek
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