November 4, 2014Volume 5, Number 10
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Legacy Ministry
National Cathedral
The Loose Canon
All Saints' Day Baptisms
All Hallows Eve Events
Green Summit
Honey Creek Thanksgiving
Article Headline
Web Links


This Sunday's Lections
Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost
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193rd Convention Starts Thursday  

More than 300 Episcopalians from across the Diocese of Georgia will gather this week on Jekyll Island for our 193rd Convention. We, the diocesan staff, are looking forward to our time together with y'all this week in the Golden Isles. Registration for convention will open at 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon at the Jekyll Island Convention Center and remain open until 5 p.m. Evening Prayer is at in the Convention Center's Ben Porter Room at 6 p.m. Bishop Benhase will officiate and the Very Rev. Ted Clarkson will preach. Dinner that evening is on your own as delegations are encouraged to eat together.


Registration opens at 8 a.m. on Friday and Convention opens at 9 a.m. Full information is available now in the Convention Book posted here online: 193rd Convention. Inside you will find all of the reports, including the diocesan audit and the proposed budget for 2015. The proposed resolution and two canonical changes and the rest of the materials for delegates is in the PDF file. Printed copies are available at registration.


This PDF is offered both to give you a sneak peak at the convention and to permit those using tablet computers (such as the iPad) to load the book on their devices in advance of the meeting. 

Diocesan Office Update    
The entire diocesan staff will be at the 193rd Convention of the Diocese of Georgia beginning Wednesday.

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Richard's, Jekyll Island.  
St. Paul's, Albany
Legacy Ministry 

On All Saints Sunday, The Very Rev. Lee Lowery, Lillian Parkman, Dr. John and Willa Inman, Nealy and Dunn Stapleton, Jay Ventulett, Pam and Jay Reynolds, and Dwayne Summar ( pictured above left to right) and Jo Jones (not pictured), received lapel pins from the Diocese of Georgia's Legacy Society.  Legacy Ministry was established at St. Paul's, Albany, in January 2006-and it was tied initially to the parish's Endowment Foundation, which was gifted by the Charles Jones family in October 1972.  Since 2006, gifts from two Legacy Ministers have been received-and the Foundation is now worth approximately $1 million.  There are 26 Legacy Ministers at St. Paul's.
St. Peter's, Savannah 
National Cathedral Director of Preservation to Speak in Savannah
James W. Shepherd, Director of Preservation at the National Cathedral, will offer a lecture at St. Peter's, Savannah on Thursday, November 13, at 7:30 p.m., titled Preserving Our Cathedral -- Netting to Needlepoint. Mr. Shepherd will share current updates on the restoration efforts to repair the cathedral subsequent to the 5.8 magnitude earthquake of August 23, 2011, causing $32 million of damage to the building. Other ongoing restorations will also be described, e.g., the restoration of stained glass windows and its beloved needlework collection, originally hand-stitched by volunteers across the country. For more information on the lecture, please contact Craig Stapert by email or at (202) 537-5681.
The Loose Canon
Streamline Financial Reports for Better Vestry Meetings

A common pattern for vestries has the group spending a fair percentage of meeting time in going over the financial reports of the congregation. While oversight of the finances is critical, spending more time in meetings discussing the report may not make for better oversight. I suggest three changes to how and when your congregation reports on its finances that can improve the quality of vestry discussion of the church's revenue and expenses.


The first is simply to time the vestry meetings so that every member can receive the previous month's statement one week before the meeting. Then add the expectation that any questions about the statement will be addressed to the treasurer in the week prior to the meeting. This means that you won't need to waste time asking why insurance expenses are down only to discover that this is paid quarterly and the report is merely reflecting that the May statement shows five months budgeted and only the one quarterly payment made. It looks like the expense is down, but the next month's report will show insurance exactly in line with the budget. This is easily cleared up in advance and need not sidetrack the vestry's larger work on the congregation's common life.


The remaining two suggestions are based on getting monthly financial reporting in line with the lived experience of running the church. Rather than budgeting a total number for every line item and then dividing by twelve to create the monthly reports, use knowledge of when the revenue is anticipated and expenses are due in creating the monthly reports.


For example, the reports can show $0 for insurance in January and February and then $867.36 for March if your quarterly insurance payment is due that month. By taking the few line items which spend in such predictable ways and reflecting that knowledge in the reports, you will give a clearer picture of where expenses stand year to date in any given month. It is not necessary to spend a lot of time on this as it will only matter for large line item expenses which follow a pattern other than spending 1/12 each month. This is a relatively quick fix to make your expense budget more transparent.


Likewise, churches have predictable patterns of revenue which can enter into the calculations. In the mid-1990s, prior to seminary, I served on the vestry of St. Peter's Church in Rome, Georgia. That church, like most congregations found a predictable pattern of lower giving in the summer and a larger amount coming in each December, nearly double most of the months of the year. A previous vestry member had analyzed five years worth of monthly revenue reports and discovered a predictable trend. This was used to generate a monthly target figure based on that pattern of giving. This kept the vestry less anxious in the summer (as long as we held to previous summer experiences and didn't fair worse). It also meant that we could communicate with the parishioners directly about the need to give at the year end as they had in previous years.


Whether you follow these suggestions or not, vestry members should try to find ways to encourage their conversations away from the details of the budget when meeting together in order to focus on the big picture. The more time spent on each tree, the less time there will be to manage the forest. The goal of the priest and vestry should be to always be able to keep the bigger picture in view in when providing oversight to a very detailed task.

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


Is your will keeping up with you? With your Christian commitments?


Please remember your church in your will.

The Rev. Cynthia Taylor is holding Claire Davis and The Rev. Scotty Nead is holding Handley Saunders during their All Saints' Sunday baptism. It was a glorious day and was capped off by the dedication of the congregation's new memorial garden.

All Saints' Sunday Baptisms Around the Diocese
While initiation into Christ's Body, the Church, can take place in baptism at any time in an emergency, it is most appropriate within a Eucharist as a part of the principal liturgy on a Sunday. As the Prayer Book lists (on page 312) "Holy Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, on the Day of Pentecost, on All Saints' Day or the Sunday after All Saints' Day and on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany." In keeping with this, the congregations of the Diocese of Georgia welcomed many into the Church this past weekend.
Megan Veitch's Baptism at St. Luke's, Rincon.

Virgil Hobby is sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ's own, forever.

The Rev. Michael White baptizes Jaron Legree at Christ Church Savannah as one of its two baptisms this All Saints' Sunday.

The Rev. Marcia McRae baptizes at St. John's, Bainbridge.

Members of Trinity, Statesboro, gave away more than 1500 bags of candy at a community-wide event.

Photos of Fall Events Around the Diocese
These pictures were sent to [email protected] or gleaned from a congregation's Facebook page.

The parishioners of Christ Church, Frederica, enjoyed a Pig Pickin' in the Parish Hall.

A Duck Pond Game was part of the fun at King of Peace, Kingsland, together with pony rides, hay rides and many more games. Their Trunk or Treat Facebook photo album is online here.
Some of the costumes from the Christ Church, Valdosta, Trunks for Treats are shown above. Their full album is online here.

Good Shepherd, Augusta, enjoyed a Halloween Party in the Parish Hall. Above are Emily Adams Mumford (with a young giraffe), Laura Stanfield Marshall and the Rev. Lynn Prather. Their event photo album is online here.
Oktoberfest at St. Thomas, Thomasville, is a fundraiser for the Episcopal Development Agency of Thomasville (EDAT).
Clergy get in on the fun on the Eve of the Feast of All Saints at St. Patrick's, Albany. Above are Deacon Joy Davis and the Revs. Bill Stewart and Jay Weldon (Rector). You can see more of the fun in St. Patrick's Trunk or Treat photo album on Facebook.

The Facebook album at St. Anne's, Tifton, offered this single image of the costume award winners along with dozens of photos from the Trunk or Treat.

Green Summit 

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.


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.

Eucharist in the Wild 

Eucharist in the Wild
Eucharist in the Wild
Columba House Intern Gabriella Caballero created this short video showing a Eucharist in Forsyth Park in downtown Savannah as part of Columba House's Eucharist in Wild events. Everyone in the park was invited via chalk art on sidewalks added in advance of the litugy.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia