December 2, 2014Volume 5, Number 14
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Giving Tuesday
Think Outside the Manger
Youth Mission Trip
New Convent Taking Shape
Loose Canon
Advent Photos
Using Social Media for Advent
Honey Creek Thanksgiving
Social Media Connections
Web Links



This Sunday's Lections
Second Sunday of Advent
Join Our Mailing List

The Rev. Michael Chaney with Columba House Interns Zach Outlaw, James Rose, and Gabi Caballero at the Savannah College of Art and Design Picnic. 

Columba House
2015 Interns/Fellows Apply Now

Columba House is an Episcopal intentional community where young people can explore spirituality through dialogue, prayer, and service to our neighbors.

Columba House offers two residential programs for young adults who want to live intentionally and serve passionately. The first is a full-time residential internship and the second is a part-time residential fellowship. Interns and Fellows will live together intentionally in community through sharing a house, breaking bread, praying, and learning together. Interns and Fellows will support Columba House's mission to build spiritual community among young adults. There will be leadership opportunities and avenues to explore one's gifts. Columba House's residential programs are 10 months from August to June with an option to extend for a 2 year.

The full-time residential internship program is well-suited for those individuals who want to immerse themselves in the life and work of faith, justice, community, and discipleship. Interns will serve in a local congregation and work in the community. The full-time Internship program strikes a balance with the needs of the congregation and the passion of the interns. This is an opportunity to purse your passions and expand your talents. Interns are given a modest stipend and provided housing, health insurance and training.

The part-time residential fellowship program is tailored to those who wish to live intentionally and serve passionately while working or attending school. Fellows will serve a few hours each week at Columba House in a hospitality context. This is a unique opportunity to live in intentional community and put your faith into practice.

For more information, please contact Program Manager Rudy Reyes at [email protected] or at 912-236-4279 and visit the Columba House website:


 Click here for more information

Diocesan Office Update    
On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make a visitation to St. Patrick's, Pooler. Bishop Benhase is pictured at left with Deacon Jamie Maury, Columba House Intern Gabriella Caballero, and the Rev. James Parker during his visitation to St. George's, Savannah.
This Sunday, Canon Logue will preach at St. Margaret of Scotland, Moultrie, on the occasion of the dedication of their new parish hall.

Consider Honey Creek Today on Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is a nationwide movement started in 2012 as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season. Two years later, this first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is increasingly being marked as the kick off to year end giving. 

As you consider how you might give thanks on this Giving Tuesday, consider a gift to our Camp and Conference Center as Honey Creek's Annual Fund Campaign is now underway. Even small online gifts add up: 

St. Anne's, Tifton
Congregation Posts Daily Advent Meditations

Parishioners at St. Anne's, Tifton, are thinking outside the manger with a daily devotional written by fellow church members. Beginning Monday, December 1, a new daily devotion will be sent out via email as well as posted to their website as well as on the congregation's Facebook page. Devotions will include scripture, a brief reflection written by a St. Anne's member, and maybe a poem, video, or piece of music to enjoy. A new devotion will be posted every day in December except Sundays. The idea is that no devotion will take more than three minutes, yet each aids in entering more fully into the anticipation of Advent.

The name "Think Outside the Manger" comes from looking for Christ not just in a stable in Bethlehem, but also in the here and now. For as an announcement about this devotional stated it, "If Advent is supposed to be more than Christmas' awkward cousin, maybe we need to think outside the manger a bit." The announcement went on to say, "By and large, this is a devotional about looking, waiting, and hoping for Christ in this world, at this time."
Youth Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic
This years Diocesan High School Youth Mission Trip will be to the Dominican Republic!  The trip will take place between June 21-June 30, 2015.  Estimated cost is $1600.  Financial Aid is available.  We do not want anyone to be unable to make the trip due to financial concerns.  Please contact Joshua Varner about financial aid.

Here is the basic information:
Who: All Diocese of Georgia youth who are currently in 9th-12th grade.
When: June 21-30, 2015
What: A mission trip the DR, in which the team works primarily with children helping to lead a Vacation Bible School.

The deadline to sign-up and first deposit is due December 15.  


Click here for more information about the trip and detail on how to sign-up.


For additional information contact the Rev. Joshua Varner at

Order of Saint Helena
Construction Underway for New Convent
The Sisters of the Order of Saint Helena have been an active part of the life of the Diocese of Georgia since building a house here at the request of Bishop Stuart in the 1950s that the Sisters come and pray here. Their new convent is taking shape just across the river in South Carolina in North Augusta, about 20 minutes from the current convent in Augusta. The new facility is expected to be completed in late summer or fall of 2015. 

OSH is a religious order for lay and ordained women in the Episcopal Church. In the founding Rule, written by James O.S. Huntington, OHC, prayer was placed at the center of their common life: "Prayer in its most comprehensive and deepest sense is the very essence of our life as Religious". Their ministry is not restricted to any single area or kind of service. Sisters, both lay and ordained, offer their individual gifts, abilities, and interests, for the well-being of others and in witness to the loving presence of Christ. Ministry within the community includes honoring each other's needs for silence, space, and privacy, and carrying out a portion of community maintenance. More information is available at



"There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business."
-T.S. Eliot, East Coker, The Four Quartets


The Power of Polite, Persistent Invitation to Worship

Christmas will be upon us sooner than I care to imagine. With it, as with Easter, comes one of our two best opportunities to invite friends, family and co-workers to join you for worship. Survey after survey shows that most southerners who do not have a church home will react favorably to an invitation to church at these times of year. Even in this post-Christendom age many are culturally conditioned toward Christmas and Easter worship.

This is a great time of year to make sure that you have flyers about your Christmas liturgies and any other special events, such as Lessons and Carols. Encourage everyone in your congregation to give them to friends, family and co-workers with an invitation to join your church family for Christmas. The one caveat is this: even if the person reacts favorably, and even says they will come, they might well not darken the church doors this Feast of the Nativity. Most of us then decide that the seed has been scattered on soil not yet disposed toward growth and then never make another invitation. This is where we can easily fail in scattering seed.

It may well take a Christmas invitation, followed by an Easter invitation, followed by yet another Christmas invitation before your friends actually show up for church. Never underestimate the inertia that must be overcome to make the move from not attending church to worshipping faithfully. Keep the invitations persistent and low key, always making sure folks know they are welcome, without ever making someone feel bad for not showing up. That is how such seeds are consistently scattered.

Please do not hear me as saying that a church invitation equals evangelism. But the Word and Sacrament encountered once the newcomers show up contains powerful Gospel content, expecially at Christmas with its incarnational emphasis and Easter with the hope of the resurrection. And clergy know that these occasions bring newcomers and will be working hard on their homilies to give real meat on which a non-churchgoer can chew (Right? We are doing that aren't we?). Evangelism is not just a matter of getting folks through the doors for the liturgy, but certainly that is a key part and one in which any Episcopalian can help with a no pressure invitation, "Why don't you join us for Christmas Eve? They candlight service is always breathtaking." How hard could that be? It's easier than you might think.

What will come of these invitations? As Eliot writes in The Four Quartets, "For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business." A gentle invitation from time to time is the trying. Keeping that friendly, low pressure, no guilt is easy for us Episcopalians. How folks respond is not our business. That is God's concern.


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

PS: It is a great time to use the Diocese of Georgia's Hospitality Checklist found in our online Reference Library
Young Adult and Campus Ministry
Register for Vocare #24
Vocare #24 will be held February 27 - March 1, 2015 at Honey Creek. Vocare in Georgia is an Episcopal young adult ministry serving both the Diocese of Georgia and Diocese of Atlanta. Through weekend retreats and community building, Vocare in Georgia provides opportunities for self discovery and the beginnings of spiritual discernment. God is calling each one of us into deepened faithfulness and more clearly defined ministries. The weekend is filled with fun and games, serious reflection and discussion, and familiar, relaxed worship. 

The Pilgrim registration form can be accessed via the link below. 
The staff application can be accessed via the link below. 
For more information, visit Vocare in Georgia's website or contact Program Manager Rudy Reyes at [email protected] 
Youth Programs
Teens Register Now for January Happening
Happening is a retreat weekend led by high school (and some college) students with the support of adults. It is by teens for teens and is consistently one of our best youth programs. The next Happening will be held at Honey Creek January 30- February 1 under the leadership of its Rector Rachel Robinson of St. Paul's Savannah. Apply here to be a Happening Participant.

What is Happening?

During a Happening weekend, participants worship, play, sing, and talk about God's place in their lives. They make new friends who share similar concerns and questions - a reassuring discovery. A teenager who acts as "rector" leads the weekend with the help of a staff consisting mostly of young people. Some staff members give challenging talks, after which there's time for discussion and activity. Together, the staff and participants share in an exploration of the impact of Christian faith in their daily lives. 

St. Thomas, Thomasville's First Sunday of Advent featured both traditional and living Advent Wreaths. 

Advent Around the Diocese of Photos
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For those interested in a nightly Advent Wreath Service for the home, this booklet may be downloaded and printed: Celebrating Advent in the Home
The Rev. John West baptizes Jackson at Our Savior, Martinez, on the First Sunday of Advent.

The Rev. Jim Parker and Deacon Jamie Maury blessing Christmas Trees on the Christmas Tree Lot at St. George's, Savannah.
Fathers assist their children in making Advent wreaths at St. Peter's, Savannah.

Making Advent Wreaths at Christ Church, Savannah.
Mothers assist their children in making Advent wreaths at St. Anne's, Tifton.
Making Advent wreaths at St. Luke's, Rincon.
The Rev. Jim Shumard gave the message at the annual Ecumenical service for campus ministries at Georgia Southern which was held at St. Matthew's Catholic Church. An Episcopal Campus Ministry student also read one of the readings. The ECM group at the event is pictured below.

Using Social Media to Observe Advent
Two groups are encouraging a discipline of daily photos to enter in more fully to the season of anticipation, which is Advent. Both the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) and The Episcopal Church's Formation and Vocation Offices have photo projects for Advent.

The Anglican Communion Office and the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) are teaming up to offer Anglicans and Episcopalians around the world a daily word, meditation and beautiful image sent to their e-mail inboxes. SSJE's Brother Jim Woodrum told the Episcopal News Service that the brothers will send out a short daily meditation and they "are hoping that people will join us in praying with their phone this Advent. After reading the meditation, we'd love for people to snap a picture that reflects the theme or their response to it and post it to Instagram." The Episcopal News Service Article on the SSJE initiative is online here: Anglicans Invited to Celebrate Advent Using Camera Phones

The Formation and Vocation Offices also invite Episcopalians to join in on a photo meditation throughout the Season of Advent. Each day they offer a reflection word taken from the Sunday Readings that is posted on their Social Media sites. An article on this Advent art project is found online here: Meditating Through Advent.

Thanksgiving at Honey Creek


A photo of some of the relaxed family fun at Honey Creek with the group gathered to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal together in the Dining Hall of our Camp and Conference Center.

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia