October 7, 2014Volume 5, Number 6
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Register for Convention
Youth Mission Trip
Blessings of the Animals
St. Mark's, Brunswick
New Beginnings
Convention Website
The Loose Canon
Reimagining the Church
Ramping up care
Social Media Connections
Web Links


This Sunday's Lections
18th Sunday after Pentecost
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Willoughby Stepping Down
After four years of working on bringing the Diocese of Georgia in line with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for its financial management, Mary Willoughby has announced she will be leaving her post as Canon for Administration in November. Coming to the staff shortly after Bishop Benhase' consecration in 2010, Willoughby has worked with the Treasurers, first David Saussy and then Sandy Champion, and the Finance Committee and Board of the Corporation, in overseeing the financial operations of the Diocese.  

Bishop Benhase said, "Canon Willoughby has been simply invaluable as a colleague. She led the way in bringing our financial and administrative processes to a level exceeding the basic standards." 


Her role is to serve, with Canon Logue, as one of two chief counselors to Bishop Benhase and to function as a Chief Financial Officer in managing the financial affairs of the Diocese and the benefits of church employees and the insuring of church property. During her tenure, the Diocese reduced the asking of three quarters of its congregations. Willoughby has also been very involved as a staff liaison to the Honey Creek Commission as the Camp and Conference Center operations moved into the black. Likewise, the Diocese has stayed in the black every year she has served as Canon for Administration.   


Willoughby will go back full time into her consulting business, Willoughby and Crane, which she largely stepped back from to work for the Diocese. Willoughby says she feels an obligation toward some long time consulting clients and notes that she is pleased where the diocesan finances are and it is time to make a change. Willoughby and Crane provide planning, evaluation, finance, and sustainability services to support to non profits and government agencies including Kentucky Department of Community Based Services and The Annie E. Casey Foundation.


Bishop Benhase notes that a search for Willoughby's successor is underway now, adding, "Thanks to Mary's skill and tenacity we now have superb financial and administrative oversight in the Diocese. Typical of Mary's thoroughness, she has set the table for her successor to inherit a well-run system. Everyone in the Diocese, especially me, owes her a debt of gratitude. Fortunately, she will remain a phone call away."


Diocesan Office Update    
Bishop Benhase and Canon Logue will be at St. Anne's, Tifton, this Friday and Saturday to meet with the Commission on Ministry and the Standing Committee. 

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Anne's, Tifton. 

Canon Logue will be in Thomasville on Sunday with the Episcopal Development Agency of Thomasville and on Sunday he will be at Christ Church, Cordele.
Convention 2014
Just Two Weeks Remaining to Register

The 193rd Convention of the Diocese of Georgia is just around the corner and the window for registering clergy, delegates and guests is down to just two weeks. 


The Convention will be held on November 6th through 8th at the beautiful new beachfront Jekyll Island Convention Center.  The convention will approve the budget, elect persons to diocesan offices as well as debate and decide on proposed canonical changes and other resolutions. Each mission congregation is represented by its clergy and a delegate, while the clergy and three delegates vote on behalf of every parish.


Please note: Registrants will not be asked for payment during the registration process. Within three days of completing the registration process they will receive an e-mail containing payment information.


Click here to register online for Convention 2014

Diocesan Youth Mission Trip to Dominican Republic

Next Summer the Diocese of Georgia will again sponsor a youth mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Led by the Rev. Joshua Varner and Liz Williams, this year's group will be returning to Iglesia Santa Maria Ilena de Gracia, in Mao (pictured here). In the summer a 2013 a group of 14 youth and 4 adults journeyed there and assisted the church with their summer Vacation Bible School, which had over 100 children participate. This year's group will again assist with VBS, both by providing supplies and by working and playing with children.

Our sign up deadline for this trip is December 15. A deposit of $300 is due at sign up, with regular payments scheduled throughout the spring. The total cost of the trip is estimated to be no more than $1,600. We are eager to work with anyone who wants to participate, in order to make the trip financially feasible! Other requirements include participation in a weekend retreat scheduled for March 20-22 at Honey Creek.

A flyer with more information about the trip is found here. Also, please contact Joshua Varner at [email protected] for more information about this exciting trip.

The Blessing of the Animals for Christ Church, Savannah, was held in front of the church on Johnson Square.


Blessing of the Animals Across the Diocese 

Congregations across the Diocese of Georgia held Blessing of the Animals services this past week. The liturgy is usually offered close to October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is remembered for calling the church to greater faithfulness through his example of a life lived in greater fidelity to the teachings of Jesius. Francis also is said to have preached to the birds on one occasion and saved the town of Gubbio, Italy, from a wolf which he tamed. The wolf is buried in the cathedral in Gubbio, enjoying a place of honor by the altar in that town to this day. This is just a sampling. At right, the Rev. Tom Purdy is pictured on horseback during the blessing liturgy at Christ Church Fredrica where is serves as rector


See all of the photos online here:  2014 Pet Blessing Album.



On the left, the Rev. Joshua Varner gets blessed back in Pooler, and a close up view of the blessing at Christ Church, Cordele. 


The pet blessing in Daffin Park landed the Rev. Kevin Kelly and the congregation of St. Michael and All Angels an album of photos at, the website of the Savannah Morning News.


A photo from the pet blessing at St. Francis of the Islands, Savannah.


Pet blessing at St. Luke's, Rincon, and at Good Shepherd, Augusta.

The Rev. Ellen Richardson offers bread while blessing a chicken at St. Anne's, Tifton.


Blessings at Grace, Sandersville, and St. Thomas Isle of Hope, Savannah.

Deacon Sue Gahagan and the Rev. Charles Todd at the pet blessing held at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah.


The Rev. Mollie Roberts pets Bogart, a Bactrian camel from nearby Cheehaw Animal Park who attended the pet blessing liturgy at in the garden St. Paul's, Albany.


The Rev. Kelsey Hutto blesses a dog during the liturgy held at St. Paul's, Augusta. 


St. Mark's, Brunswick

Brotherhood of St. Andrew's Re-Chartered

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew chapter at St. Mark's was originally chartered in 1891. Over the last several months, the chapter has been re-charted and has approximately 18 members at this time. The Brotherhood of St. Andrews is a national and international ministry to men based on prayer, study and service. The main objective of the Brotherhood is to bring men closer to Christ. 


As a part of its service to others, the newly re-chartered Chapter of the Brotherhood at St. Mark's recently provided and served a lasagna dinner to 81 residents at St. Mark's Towers, a non profit residential community of apartments for the elderly, in Brunswick, GA on September 30th. The event is pictured at left.

Youth Programs 

Register for October New Beginnings 

New Beginnings will take place during the weekend of October 17-19, 2014 at Honey Creek. New Beginnings is a weekend retreat for teenagers in grades 7-9 led by a team of mostly teenagers, with a few adults, and two clergy spiritual directors. The weekend takes participants through a discovery about ourselves, our friends, our families, our faith, and how to live out our faith in our daily lives. Participants are encouraged to bring friends from your church and an adult who will stay through the weekend. Everyone will take an active part in the program. You can go to New Beginnings as many times as you'd long as you're in grades 7-9.  


Applications are now being accepted for New Beginnings #45 which will be held October 17-19 at Honey Creek.  

Click here to register to participate in New Beginnings #45   

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.
"No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket,
but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works 
and give glory to your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:15-16

The Loose Canon
Use the Power of the Press for Your Church
A positive article about your church in the local newspaper will do more good for the congregation than any advertisement in the paper. Getting in the paper from time to time is easier than you may think if you use a bit of creativity. 

An Example from Christ Church, Frederica
A perfect example of this is a recent article in The Brunswick News about a new liturgy offered on Wednesdays at Christ Church, Frederica. The article, Slowing Down, told of a new weekly service called "X Church" that the historic congregation just launched on Wednesday evenings. One could not buy better advertising than the lengthy introduction to the liturgy given in the article.

Christ Church Rector, the Rev. Tom Purdy told the paper, "I think it might be particularly helpful for younger generations because of the intention behind the worship, the teaching we build into X Church about why we do things, and the inclusion of practices that are transcendent. My experience tells me that younger generations, not far behind my own, want their worship to transport them away from today to something that is holy and mysterious"

He went on to add, "I have seen this for myself, and read about it in other communities. Sometimes there is not much difference between a Sunday morning and a secular gathering. X Church will leave no doubt that we are setting ourselves apart to be in the presence of God."

With more than 200 flickering candles, most of them LED candles, incense and the use of Taize chants and periods of sustained silence, the liturgy will be different in tone from Sunday worship for the church. Stemming from the Greek letter chi, the 'x' in X Church refers to the first letter in the Greek spelling of Christ, Purdy says. Our hope is that people will find that they can come to X Church mid-week at the end of the day, and lay down their burdens, turn off the phone, unplug from all the noise and activity, and plug into the sometimes subtle movement of the Spirit," he added.

How to get noticed
My wife, Victoria, and I worked for two different newspapers in the years right out of college and she later worked as a section editor at The Brunswick News and as Editor of Georgia's Coastal Illustrated. Through this work I saw how the newspaper has a seemingly insatiable need for stories about the community. I also saw how press releases get filtered based on 1) what else the newspaper already has on hand, 2) how newsworthy the information is, 3) how recently similar news ran.

Some examples for your congregation
Knowing this, you have a chance to get in your local paper a few times a year at most, so unless you haven't been featured in some time, you will want to pick noteworthy events to highlight or give an interesting slant on a common event. For example, the blessings of the animals just held could have gotten press coverage as St. Paul's, Albany, did in The Albany Herald with this article: Bogart Receives a Blessing for blessing a "two-hump" or Bactrian camel. Looking forward, are you doing something innovative for a fall festival or Halloween event?

Similarly, a press release on a congregation member with an interesting ministry can get attention. Who do you have in your church that is doing good in the community? How might you share that with the newspaper. One example would be a press release on an upcoming free health clinic or a mission trip that emphasizes not the clinic or the trip, but a community members longtime commitment to a project. The news angle would be the local dentist who has faithfully volunteered time overseas or the school nurse who cares for the poor for free for many years.

The bottom line
Remember that the newspaper needs news. Create a press release that gives a human interest or news angle to something going on in your church. Send these in a from time to time, making sure not to flood the paper with releases and so making any given release easier to ignore. Be sure to mention the appropriate phone numbers and email addresses to contact for further information and provide photos or let them know when photos could be taken. The easier you make all of this on a newspaper editor, the more likely the release will succeed.

-The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary

Please remember your parish when preparing your will.


Your bequest will be your last act of stewardship.

An Update on Reimaging the Episcopal Church 

Last week, the Task Force for Reimaging the Church held a public meeting at Washington National Cathedral with hundreds in attendance in persons and thousands watching online, including members of the Diocese of Georgia's deputation to the next General Convention. The group was formed by the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church in response in part to resolutions like the one passed by the Diocese of Georgia at its 2012 Convention "Re-Imagining General Convention".

A video recording of the full 2.5 hour meeting is archived online here: Churchwide Meeting Recording. For those who want the gist of it, Canon Logue created a 1-minute music video with the talking points distilled to the essentials of the discussion: Remixing the Church.

Ramping up our care

Mrs. Frye's home became the 140th ramp project for the Christian Men's Fellowship, an Ecumenical group founded and administered by St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's churches in Darien. In the group pictured above are also members of St. Mark's, Brunswick, who took part in the project.

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia