September 16, 2014Volume 5, Number 3
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Bishop's Visitations
Green Church Summit
Convention Website
The Loose Canon
Youth Presence Workshops
Columba House
Social Media Connections
Web Links


This Sunday's Lections
15th Sunday after Pentecost
Join Our Mailing List
Good News for 2015 Insurance Rates

Insurance rates are not rising at all for most church employees from 2014 to 2015. For the 3 out of 4 persons using the high deductible plan together with a Health Savings Account (HSA), there will be no rate increase. The Diocese of Georgia began the move four years ago to encourage its members to participate in the High Deductible Health Plan. The Bishop and Diocesan Staff led by making the move to this plan first and most clergy have followed since Diocesan Council made this the compensation standard. Other plans offered by the Diocese of Georgia are going a more typical 7.25%.

Open Enrollment
The annual opportunity for clergy and lay employees to review and adjust health coverage for will occur between October 31 and November 21 of 2014. The options selected during the open enrollment period will be in effect for the 2015 calendar year. This is your one chance to change, add or adjust coverage unless there is a life-altering event such as a birth, marriage or job change during the year. We continue to offer an option for active clergy and lay employees who are eligible for Medicare Part A to participate in a Medicare Secondary Payer plan.

Employee Assistance Program
The Medical Trust also makes the Employee Assistance Program available to all eligible clergy and lay employees whether or not they participate in health insurance coverage. So for those clergy who have alternative coverage such as Tri-Care or a spousal benefit, you may now enroll your entire family in the EAP for only $5 per month.

Call for Assistance
If the clergy and eligible staff (employed at least 20 hours per week) of your congregation are not presently in the Medical Trust plans then please take time to review this material and contact Canon Willoughby at the diocesan office for a briefing. For those of you whose plans whose plan costs have increased and you are considering other options, you are also encouraged to contact Canon Willoughby for more information on your options.

Rates and Plans
The 2015 rates and plans are in the table on the Insurance page at the diocesan website. Please click on this link to reach the web site for plan information, CPG Plan summary, refer to the plan names and codes below to select your plan. Please note the plans beginning with MS are only for families or individuals with a member over age 65 and eligible for Medicare Part A.
Diocesan Office Update    

Bishop Benhase is attending the House of Bishop's Fall Meeting in Taiwan from September 15th to 25th. As the Archbishop of Canterbury has yet to call a Lambeth Conference of bishops in the Anglican Communion, the Diocese is using the funds reserved each year in the budget for the every ten-year Lambeth meeting to cover the cost of this House of Bishops meeting. 


Canon Logue and Elizabeth Burns will be at Honey Creek this weekend working with Misty Graham and the rest of the team to put on the Divergent-themed Fall Gathering Retreat for 6-12 grade.

Bishop's Visitations  Bishop Benhase with confirmands at St. Luke's Hawkinsville.

 Bishop Benhase with confirmands at Christ Church, St. Marys

Green Summit and Upcoming Green Workshops

A diocesan Green Summit will be held on Saturday, November 8, 1 - 4 p.m. at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. The Summit will gather green-minded lay leaders and clergy for learning, listening, and visioning to guide future environmental stewardship initiatives. Plans for the summit include an overview of current green projects across the Diocese; feedback on the Green Church Workshop series; assessment of resources; and project prioritization. All are welcome. Bring ideas, a deep love for God's Creation, and a re-usable water bottle. To register, click to here.



A fourth Green Church Workshop, EMPOWER, has been scheduled for St. John's, Bainbridge, on Saturday, October 25, 9 a.m. - 12 noon. The workshop will include an overview of current green projects across the Diocese, a presentation on energy audit and conservation opportunities led by Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL), as well as a discussion of challenges unique to rural churches. Click here to register



The next upcoming workshop, GROW, is in Albany on Sept. 27, featuring community gardening (click here for event details and registration). 


The workshop series, led by lay leaders and clergy across the Diocese, aims 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].

Convention Website
All the information you need on the 193rd Convention of the Diocese of Georgia meeting on Jekyll Island and at Honey Creek from November 6-8 is found in the convention website:

There you will find accommodations, election information, a resolution under consideration and more.
The Loose Canon
A Surprising Statistic for the Diocese of Georgia

In my work in the archives of the Diocese, I found that a number of our Bishops were concerned with the ratio of total population to Episcopalians. They were not concerned about market share, but evangelism. In the ratio of Georgians who are Episcopalians, they found some cause for disappoint and an area for opportunity. Looking at the percentage of Georgians who attend an Episcopal Church, it turns out that our current ratio is better than it has been through most of our history. Again, this is not cause for joy, but reveals an opportunity.


In 1823, when three congregations met to form the Diocese of Georgia, there were approximately 390,000 people living in the state with 131 Episcopal communicants, for a ratio of one in 2,977 of the population being an Episcopalian. By 1840, we had grown to 323 communicants, and that ratio was one in 2,141. A decade later, we had 874 communicants and so had in that first decade with a Bishop of Georgia closed the ratio to one in 1,036.


At the time the state was split into two dioceses in 1907, the state of Georgia's population was approximately 2.5 million with 8,524 communicants for a ratio of one in 293 people. In 1921, the combined communicants of the Dioceses of Atlanta and Georgia were 11,057 at a time when the population was 2,925,800 for a ratio of one in 246 persons in the state being an Episcopal communicant.


In 1956, Bishop Stuart (pictured at right) reported 1,321,498 in population with 13,000 members of churches of the Diocese, for a ratio of one in 102. In 2010 census, the population of the 78 counties which represent the boundaries of the Diocese of Georgia, the population was 2,207,156 with 13,420 communicants in good standing that same year for a ratio of one in 164. Now we know communicants (which should refer to those who have worshipped at least 3 times in the previous year) is not the best number, but I use it as it is consistent with the number given by our earlier Bishops.


With a diocesan wide Average Sunday Attendance of 5,779 in ASA in 2013 for that same 2.2 million people, this means while we have more communicants one in 381 people living within the bounds of the Diocese are in worship in an Episcopal Church on Sunday.


A Surprising Opportunity
Most people are said to have about 150 friends and close acquaintances. We're not talking Facebook friends, but folks you know on sight well enough to speak to and with whom you share some connection. These are your 150 co-workers and friends. Sound high? How many Christmas cards did you send and how many people received each card? That's before you count everyone.


If 1 in 381 were in church this past Sunday and each of those folks had this many connections (even allowing for many friends being far afield and many including others in the church), our current reach is more than we imagine.


Like Sharing a Restaurant or Book Recommendation
This corner of the Body of Christ can make a huge impact in the lives of those folks who are in easy driving distance of our churches who have yet to experience our worship. If we could be as enthusiastic about the Word and Sacrament we experience in worship as we are about the new restaurant we discovered or the novel we just read, we would have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who really need what we offer.


The Rev. Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary
Register for Youth Presence Adult Teams Training

The Second Round of Youth Presence Ministry Workshops is starts this weekend.  At the workshop we will recapture the vision teams set in the spring time.  We will also discuss getting the team on board, relational ministry, model of ministry, and faith development and spirituality of our youth.  The workshops will take place on Friday evening from 6-9 pm and Saturday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.  The cost for the workshop is $30, which includes dinner on Friday, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and all workshop material.


Upcoming Dates: 

September 26-27  St. Paul's Savannah

October 24-25   Flowing Wells Property Augusta


Click here to registration for Youth Presence Adult Teams Training

Columba House


Rudy Reyes introduces the three new Columba House interns to the Savannah Clericus meeting today at St. Paul the Apostle. Information on Columba House can always be found at

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia