October 14, 2014Volume 5, Number 7
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
St. Anne's, Tifton
Convention Eucharist
Nominees Announced
Convention Lock In
Green Summit
Honey Creek Thanksgiving
New Beginnings
Blessing of the Animals
The Loose Canon
Y'all Come!
Social Media Connections
Web Links


This Sunday's Lections
19th Sunday after Pentecost
Join Our Mailing List
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 Office Update    
On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to Christ Church, Valdosta. 

This week Bishop Benhase will be at Sewanee Board of Trustees Annual Meeting, in Sewanee, TN.
Canon Logue  will be with the St. Luke's, Rincon, this weekend to prepare a video report for convention on that congregation. 

St. Anne's, Tifton 

Bishop's Visitation 

Bishop Benhase, The Rev. Lonnie Lacy, The Rev. Ellen Richardson, and The Rev. Dcn. Leeann Culbreath, with confirmands. 
Gracie is confirmed at left and Bishop Benhase addresses the congregation at right during his visitation to St. Anne's. An album is online here: Tifton Visitation 

Convention 2014 

Celebrate with the Diocese at Honey Creek 

Even if you are not planning to attend the Diocesan Convention on Jekyll Island, we hope you will still join us on the  Honey Creek campus for a Eucharist under the stars* followed by a tented low country boil. Charlie and the Foxtrots will provide the music and entertainment.


The Eucharist will begin at 4:30; dinner will be served from 6pm to 7:30pm.  The Foxtrots will play until 8:30 pm. Tickets are $35 per person; you must be registered to attend.


*In the event of inclement weather, the Eucharist will take place in room B of the Jekyll Island Convention Centerfollowed by dinner and music under the tent at Honey Creek


PLEASE NOTE: You will not pay for your reservation upon registration. You will receive an invoice shortly after registering directly from Pay Pal.  We apologize that we can not issue refunds should there be a change of plans.


 Click here to register online 

Convention 2014
Nominees Announced, Nominations Still Open 

To date, the following nominations have been received:  


The Board of the Corporation (1 Layperson to elect):

Carolyn Eager


Diocesan Council (1 Lay Person, Deacon, or Priest to elect):

No nominations to date 


Disciplinary Board (2 Lay Persons & 1 Deacon or Priest to elect):  

No lay person nominations to date

The Rev. Ellen Richardson, M.D.


Sewanee Trustee (1 Priest to elect):

The Very Rev. Ted Clarkson

The Rev. Al Crumpton

The Very Rev. Lee Lowery


Standing Committee (1 lay person and 1 priest to elect):

No lay person nominations to date

The Very Rev. Denise Ronn, Ph.D.

The Rev. Dr. Jim Shumard


The photos and biographies for these nominees are online now at the convention website's Elections Page  


Make Additional Nominations 

Nominators use the following form:  


Nominees are to provide a brief bio and photo by using this form:  

High Schoolers Invited to a Convention Lock In 
High school students across the Diocese are invited to the lock-in for the 193rd Convention of the Diocese of Georgia. The event starts at 6 pm Friday, November 7th with a low country boil and entertainment by Charlie and the Foxtrots (pictured at right).

On Saturday, November 8th, lock-in participants will travel to the Jekyll Island Convention Center to lead morning worship and be a part of the youth presentation. The event will conclude at  12 Noon on Saturday, November 8th.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Everyone will meet at Honey Creek on Friday night and sleep in the dorms.  On Saturday, the group will have breakfast and Honey Creek and then travel to the Jekyll Island Convention Center.  Departure home will be at 12PM from the Convention Center at 75 N. Beachview  Drive, Jekyll .

$49.  This covers the low country boil, Friday entertainment- including Charlie and the Foxtrots, lodging in the dorm at Honey Creek, and an event t-shirt.

Who are Charlie and the Foxtrots?
A melting pot of sounds, Charlie and the Foxtrots draws on its members' influences to create poppy, energetic writing intertwined with country/folk instrumentation reminiscent of Fleet Foxes and Local Natives.  Chas Wilson on vocals & guitar and Jeremy Webster  on Piano, Accordion, & jug are two members of they seven piece band.  They grew up in the Diocese of GA youth programs.

What is happening on Saturday at Convention?
On Saturday, participants will wake up, have breakfast and hit the road for the Jekyll Island Convention Center.  There they will lead morning worship for the Convention and present the youth video which they will film before the weekend and edit on Friday night.  After the presentation, the youth will get a play-by-play of what is happening at convention from Roger Speer and Misty Graham including what resolutions are being voted on and what goes into the budget that is later voted on.

Green Summit and Upcoming Green Workshop

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.


Attendees at the recent "GROW" workshop in Albany toured the St. Patrick's "Food for a Thousand" organic community garden and learned how to build a simple compost bin (pictured above) and raised garden bed frame. As of September, St. Patrick's had distributed over 750 pounds of organically-grown fresh produce to local agencies and families while also providing a haven for bees and other pollinators.   



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 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].

Book your reservations for the annual Honey Creek Thanksgiving!

November 27 at noon

Let Honey Creek serve your family and friends this year. We'll do the cooking and cleaning, you do the quality time together.

Email or call Carolyn for reservations (912-265-9218 or [email protected] ), and relax this Thanksgiving.

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   

The Savannah Children's Choir sings during the pet blessing liturgy held at All Saints on Tybee Island. 
More Blessing of the Animals Photos 
For the second week in a row, 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 Jesus.

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 of the photos. The full album is online here: Pet Blessing Pictures

The Rev. Al Crumpton is pictured above blessing a dog in the liturgy held at King of Peace, Kingsland, where he is the rector.

The Rev. Marcia McRae blesses a dog in a liturgy held in downtown Bainbridge by St. John's, where she is the priest in charge. 
The Loose Canon
No Fail, Time-Tested Methods  
While there are many ways to grow a church numerically, and there are no silver bullet approaches that will work everywhere, the same can not be said of decline. There are some no-fail, time-tested methods to make sure your church does not grow. Want to keep your church at its current size or wear it down a bit? There five steps will get you headed the right direction.


Here are my top five ways to chase new folks away as quick as they show up at your doors:


1) Share Parish News
First, be unhappy with you church and then make sure everyone knows it. Pull the excited newcomer aside and fill them in on the backbiting and infighting. Spreading rumors is another tool in the discontented church toolkit. Newcomers are looking for love, joy and hope. They will leave and tell their friends (and even the check out person at the grocery store) to never darken your door if your church tends out to be a hotbed of petty power struggles and pointless infighting. Churches do not grow by division.


2) Think of the Children
You want to have children's programs. You just don't have enough children for Sunday School or teens for a youth group. If enough children show up, you might try something again, but the new family with three kids needs to understand there are just not enough kids for you to bother with yet. If that doesn't chase them off fast enough, you could give them meaningful stares when the kids make noise in church, while offering neither nursery nor children's church as options.


3) Stay Friendly
Your church is a friendly place. You have people you know at church and you always enjoy spending the little time you have over coffee after the service with these folks. Part of why you love your church is that you are so friendly. Stay that way, talking with each other. Enjoy the coffee and the donuts. It won't take but two minutes tops before the newcomers wander on.


4) Keep Members Active
All the longtime members have things they like to do, so don't shake up anything from the Altar Guild and Choir to the core of servers. Don't make room for new people to serve as readers, Lay Eucharistic Ministers, or vestry members. Take a pass on the ideas new people bring. Keep doing things as you have always done them with the folks who have always taken charge. New folks will take the hint and wander on in hopes of finding a church that welcomes the gifts they bring.


5) Stay Focused 

Concentrate on anything but the Gospel. You want folks to catch a the weakest possible strain of the Christian virus to inoculate them against something life-threatening, so don't challenge them in any way to be transformed. Avoid offering ways someone can deepen and live into their faith. Teaching people to read their Bibles and take on other spiritual disciplines is right out. Folks who get grounded in the Gospel through a local church community will never leave, so don't let those roots take hold or these new people who have found meaning and purpose through faith in Jesus Christ will invite their friends who aren't church-broke yet either. This sounds harsh, but if you want to keep you church's small, family atmosphere, you better stick with religion, or better yet "being Episcopal". Talk about the church, and steer clear of anything that smacks of being the church.

I might not know any silver-bullet, one-sized fits all approach to growing your church, but I sure know how to help you whittle away at folks until its a size you can control.

-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.

Y'all Come!


The red doors of Christ Church, Cordele, are shown thrown open as worshipers are welcomed this past Sunday. 


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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia