August 26, 2014Volume 4, Number 52
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Emotional Intelligence Workshop
Green Workshop
St. Anne's Reads the Bible in 72 Hours
Christ Church, Cordele
King of Peace, Kingsland
The Loose Canon
Fall Gathering
Social Media Connections
Web Links


This Sunday's Lections
12th Sunday after Pentecost

Track 1

Exodus 3:1-15
Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c

Track 2
Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8

Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28
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Diocesan Audit Now Online
The 2013 Audit for the Diocese of Georgia, including Honey Creek, has been completed and received by the Finance Committee. The auditors gave the finances of the Diocese and its camp and conference center an unqualified opinion that reveals a substantial improvement in financial health. The keys to this positive change remain the increased financial stability of Honey Creek and the success of the Campaign for Congregational Development. The full report is now posted online here:

The report is also archived at our Diocesan Financial Reports page on the website where the most recent quarters financials are maintained online together with Audits dating to 2009.  

Congregation Audits Due September 1
In keeping with canons and diocesan policy, a financial review of the finances of each congregation is due to the diocesan office by September 1. For congregations with a budget of $500,000 or more this must be an independent audit by a Certified Public Accountant. In the case of congregation with smaller budgets, this report may be a review either by an internal audit committee, or by a group from a neighboring church. An internal committee is made up by two or more members of the church who are not involved in the finances other than their work on this committee. This review should consist of verifying the balance sheet for the congregation as well as completing the Financial Controls Checklist
Together with Parochial Reports, which have been received for 2013 from every congregation, the audit or financial review must be received for the clergy of the congregation to have seat, voice and vote in the diocesan convention. This rule was traditionally waived when the convention met in February and will not be set aside with the move to a November diocesan convention. Congregations not meeting the September 1st deadline, but still completing the required financial review by the time of the convention may be granted an exception this year. If your congregation needs assistance in completing its audit, please be in touch with Canon Logue at (912) 236-4279.
Diocesan Office Update    

Bishop Benhase is working on the office this week other than a few meetings on Wednesday in Augusta. His busy fall schedule begins September 7.


Canon Logue will preside and preach this Sunday the Episcopal Church in Okatie, South Carolina. That mission is working on moving into a store front after organizing while meeting on docks and in a Baptist Church. Any congregation interested in helping them purchase tables and chairs for that new space is encouraged to contact Canon Logue at [email protected] 

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 October 20-24, 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 ($484); Double ($324); Cottage ($244 with a minimum of 5); Dorm ($244 with a minimum of 10); and Tent ($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:  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.

Participants in the CONSERVE workshop at St. Paul's, Savannah learn about energy efficiency, solar energy options, water conservation with rain barrels, and other ways to conserve natural resources at places of worship. 

Green Church Workshops Continue

One more Green Church workshop is coming up soon: GROW (community gardening). The workshops, led by lay leaders and clergy across the Diocese, aim to help churches improve their stewardship of God's Creation. Each workshop includes a hands-on activity, presentations, resource sharing, a traveling worm compost bin, an optional local food lunch, and discussion. Workshop registration is free; a $5 donation is suggested for lunch. People of all denominations and faiths are welcome. For more information, contact Dcn. Leeann Culbreath at [email protected].


St. Patrick's Episcopal Church - Albany

Saturday, September 27, 9 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Tour the "Food for a Thousand" community garden at St. Patrick's and several new satellite gardens in downtown Albany to learn how gardening improves the health of the Earth and our communities.


Click here to register for GROW online

45 of the 59 readers who participated in the 72-hour event are pictured above.

St. Anne's, Tifton
Bible Reading Marathon Proves Transformative

Over the course of 72 hours during the weekend of August 21-24, 59 volunteers from St. Anne's committed to reading the entire Bible aloud, page-by-page, turn-by-turn, hour-by-hour, until we finally reached the last chapter (Revelation 22) on Sunday morning and read it together as a congregation during worship. The rector, the Rev. Lonnie Lacy, told the Tifton Gazette"The Bible is important to us and central to who we are. We see this as worth our time - a special, holy project that connects us and the scripture."


While scripture was being read in the sanctuary, Lacy said other Bible-focused events took place on the church campus over the weekend. A youth lock-in on Friday and a special family program on Saturday both included programs and teachings on the role of the Bible in people's lives today. The reading was also broadcast live in its entirety on the internet and was watched by members of the church and others around the Diocese and well beyond. The reading continued right into the Sunday Eucharist where the reader first moved to "Little Saint Anne's", their historic chapel, and then processed into the church reading from Revelation and the gathered community read the final chapter aloud together in their liturgy (see photos below).


Those who participated in Miqra have found it hard to describe the experience. Words like "powerful," "holy," "unifying," "mesmerizing," and "mysterious" only scratch the surface. Even those who tuned in on the live Internet feed described the experience as profoundly moving. As one parishioner put it, "It's one thing to hear the Bible on audio, but there's something extraordinary about hearing it read by people you love, whose stories you know." Another said, "I've read and studied the Bible throughout my life in many ways and places, but I've never experienced the Sacred Story this way before. I'm changed."


"Miqra" (מִקְרָא) is a Hebrew word meaning "a public reading" or "a telling forth." We did not come up with it on our own. Lacy first heard about Miqra from his gifted colleagues the Revs. Casey and Melody Shobe who offered it in their churches several years ago. Miqra originated out of and is trademarked by the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. If you're interested in learning more about Miqra and what it takes to host one, see the Diocese of Kansas' website. That diocese has been at this a long time and has truly perfected their resources.


This 72-hour experience is only the beginning for the congregtaion as St. Anne's has now entered into a full year of opening and studying the Scriptures, cover to cover, as a church family. They will read through the Bible day by day in the coming year.


Christ Church, Cordele
The Rev. Larry Williams Begins as Vicar

For his first Sunday serving as the Vicar of Christ Church, Cordele, the Rev. Dr. Larry Williams began the day at 9 a.m. at Worship on The Water for a beautiful morning of worship on the lake (pictured at right).  Even though it was warm, God furnished a cool breeze, enough to keep the gnats away. After WOW service,  everyone enjoyed refreshments and were able to meet and greet with Williams.  Then he dashed back to Cordele for a formal afternoon service at church where a warm welcome was in store for the new Vicar as the air conditioning system went out. The worshipers were undeterred and the liturgy was followed by a reception in Holmes Hall where all were able to cool off.  Members had time to socialize with Larry and his wife, Deborah.  


Williams grew up in Albany, Georgia, and graduated high school.  Further, he has spent a lot of time over the years skiing on Lake Blackshear with friends and family. Williams graduated in 1972 from The University of the South, with a B.A. degree in Economics in 1972.  He entered Nashotah House Seminary in 1972.  He graduated with a M.Div. degree and was ordained a priest in The Episcopal Church in 1975.  In 1995 he was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree in Evangelism and Church Growth from Perkins School of Theology, S.M.U., Dallas, TX.


On graduation he served for three years as the Assistant Rector, St. Paul's, Augusta. He has since served congregations in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas before returning to Georgia as the  Rector of St. Teresa's, Acworth, where he served since 2006.  He has also chaired different commissions in the Dioceses of Mississippi, Western Louisiana, and Arkansas.  In Mississippi, he was diocesan clergy spiritual director for Cursillo. While in Arkansas, he was elected to the Board of Directors, Camp Mitchell Camp and Conference Center; Executive Committee of the Diocese, and Trustee of the Diocese.  He has also served as a clergy delegate to Synod in Provinces IV and VII.


Married for over 30 years, Larry and Deborah Williams are parents of three children: Mary Canon; Cecilia; and Christopher. He is passionate about preaching, pastoral care, and church growth. His favorite quote is from the late Jesuit priest, Raymond Pannikar who once said, "I pray that one day my cottage might become a household to all humankind."

King of Peace, Kingsland
Peanut Butter and Jam Combines Musicians and Kids

The musicians put the jam into the Peanut Butter and Jam Event at King of Peace, Kingsland. Musicians Jason Garrett and Chris Norton jammed and the kids were more than an audience as they participated in the musical event. The congregation continues to work with a team approach to working with youth, not based on one key youth leader, but a larger group of interested members bringing their talents together. Last Sunday's jam session continued this practice into the new school year.



The Loose Canon
Evangelism and Financial Transparency

Anyone who has followed the church in the news knows that stories of funds given by the faithful to the glory of God being embezzled or misused are a staple. This news breeds distrust, especially among those who are already concerned that the church just wants them for their money. Breaking down the wall of excuses that keeps someone from getting involved in a church means building up their trust about the way finances are handled. Keeping all the processes around money open and transparent is not only something we should all expect of the church, doing so will also help build this trust and can remove an obstacle to growth.


A congregation should have in place proper controls about how money is handled from the offering to the bank and out from the bank to pay for expenses. The basic rules are two unrelated people count the money who are not otherwise involved in the finances. Deposits are recorded by someone other than the person who writes the checks. Someone other than the treasurer sees the banks statements each month and verifies the statements on all accounts using the church's Employer ID Number, which functions like a Social Security number for your congregation. 


Good practice also means publishing this periodically so all who are interested may know the policies. Monthly financial reports should be posted where anyone interested can see them. The Diocese practices this by posting all quarterly reports online about 30 days after the close of the quarter. (see article above on diocesan audit)


A good, but daunting, guide to best practices is published by The Episcopal Church and available online free at this link: Business Manual of Church Affairs This lengthy tome covers everything and should not be read cover to cover so much as used as a reference. Reading the whole thing word for word is known to induce nightmare, while using the manual as a reference brings order.


Letting everyone know how the money is counted and deposited and how expenses are approved and paid may seem like something only vestry need to know, but it is difficult to build trust if everything seems to be handled by a few who know everything. Publishing the policies and building confidence that they are followed matters to all who give to the church.


As stewardship season nears, now is a good time to publish in your newsletter a brief overview of how the church handles its funds. While this may seem to have nothing to do with evangelism, making sure someone finding their way back to God knows that they can trust the church with the money entrusted to them may be exactly what is needed to break down that last barrier keeping them out of church.


The Rev. Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary

For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.

-Luke 12:34

Please remember your church in your will.

St. Thomas, Savannah
Workshop on Non-Traditional Worship Music
Looking for strategies for leading non-traditional music in worship? The Rev. Joshua Varner is going to be at St Thomas-Isle of Hope, Savannah, on Sunday, September 14th from 1:30-4 p.m. to lead a music workshop!  This event is open to anyone in the Savannah Convocation who would like to learn some new music and a few tips about how to lead music in a worship setting.  Also, we are asking everyone to bring whatever musical instrument they'd like, and that includes your voice if your instrument is singing!  We invite those same folks to stay for dinner and play and sing for Savannah Convocation Youth Event (SCYE) that evening!  Please RSVP to Misty Graham ([email protected]). 
Youth Programs
Register Now for an Epic Fall Gathering 
We kick off the Youth Programs year at Honey Creek with a Divergent themed retreat September 19-21. This event for 6-12 graders will explore our unique gifts and the place each of us have in the Body of Christ through the lens of this fiction. Part of the weekend will have Middle and High School students in separate groups for discussion and activities.
During the weekend, we will see why people put themselves into set social groups and some of the benefits of these groups. Then we will look at the downsides of factions in our society. But the real goal is to discover the unique gifts which God gave to each of us and how to glorify God given what each of us brings to Christ's Body, the Church.
The spiritual directors will be Misty Graham, of St. Thomas Isle of Hope in Savannah, working with Elizabeth Burns, Canon Frank Logue and others. Come journey with us on this twisty, turny weekend of discovery. 

Kicking off the school year

Children and youth participate in the Sunday School kick off at Good Shepherd, Augusta. All across the Diocese, Christian Education is amping up anew with the start of the school year.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia