December 16, 2014Volume 5, Number 16
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Bishop's Visitation
New CH Fellow
Loose Canon
Advent Photos
Summer Camp
Light Shining
Social Media Connections
Web Links



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

St. Patrick's, Albany
First Sunday in the New Building

More than 200 worshipers filled the new church building at St. Patrick's, Albany, for a service of Advent Lessons and Carols with Eucharist. 

The congregation received its Certificate of Occupancy in the week before, so that they could begin holding services of worship. The space still qualifies as transitional as some additional work will follow. Most notably, hand-carved pulpit and reredos will be delivered this week, the pulpit having been dedicated to Deacon Jim Purks. The stained glass windows from Lynchburg Stained Glass in Lynchburg, VA, depicting the life of Jesus according to the Gospel of John, will begin arriving in January and will be installed as they are delivered.

Many items from St Patrick's past have transitioned into the new space, including the altar and crucifix that came from Italy in the 1960's. New items, including a new organ, a replication of Lanfranco's 16th century "Miracle of the Bread and Fish," as well as the Christus Rex and Communion Table from St. Francis, Camilla, have been added.


Dedication Scheduled for February 1
The church will be dedicated on February at 10:30 a.m. As the Lutheran Church of Our Savior has become a part of St. Patrick's (with St Patrick's offering a separate Lutheran-based service each Sunday), both Bishop Benhase and Lutheran Bishop Julian Gordy will take part in that liturgy. In order to permit those from other congregations to be a part of the dedication that Sunday, a service of Evensong will be held at 5:30 p.m. On February 1, commemorating the Eve of Candlemas.  


Diocesan Office Update    
On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make a visitation to St. Michael's, Waynesboro. 
This Sunday, Canon Logue will serve at St. John and St. Mark, Albany.
Bishop's Visitation 

Good Shepherd, Augusta

Bishop Benhase confirmed 40 souls during his visit to Episcopal Day School and Good Shepherd, Augusta. The Rector, the Rev. Robert Fain, had his eyes closed for the picture so they edited the photo to make him look cool.

Christ Church, Cordele

Bishop Benhase celebrated the new ministry of The Rev. Dr. Larry C. Williams, Jr., Vicar of Christ Church, Cordele. Pictured left to right, The Rev. Dr. Larry C. Williams, Jr.,Warden Gene Stephens, Bishop Benhase, and Sr. Warden Mark Boike.

All Saints', Thomasville 

Bishop Benhase, The Rev. Paul Hancock, and The Rev. Dcn. Scott Mithen with confirmands.
New Columba House Fellow

This week Columba House welcomes a fourth resident, Jennifer Amuzie to Columba House. Columba House is a Episcopal Intentional Community where young adults can explore spiritual through prayer and dialogue and service to our neighbors. Amuzie is the first Columba House Fellow.


Columba House's Fellowship program is a part-time residential program for young adults, who work or study full time, to live in intentional community and support the mission and ministry of Columba House.

Amuzie is a graduate student at Armstrong State University, where she is earning her Master of Arts in Professional Communications and Leadership. She graduated from Armstrong with a B.A. in Political Science. While a graduate student at Armstrong, Amuzie is a graduate assistant and interning with the World Trade Center Savannah in their marketing department.  She has participated in Columba House programming and is drawn to deepening her faith and enact justice through living in intentional community. As a youth she participated in youth programs in the Diocese of Georgia. She currently is a member of Christ Church, Savannah.


Columba House is accepting applications for 2015-2016 Columba House Interns and Fellows. 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

St. Paul's, Augusta
Places Open in Choir Tour of Canada and New England

The choir of St. Paul's Church, Augusta, is taking a tour of Canada and New England on a Holland America Line cruise 12-21 June 2015. The trip is open to anyone interested in going and 70 people have already signed on. The group will fly to Montreal and cruise on the MS Maasdam calling at Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bar Harbor, Maine, and Boston. 


The choir will sing Sunday morning services at the Anglican Cathedral in Quebec City and at Old North Church, Boston. The cost is $2900, which includes airfare, hotels, ground transportation, the cruise, and all gratuities (cost may be higher for those desiring cabin upgrades). 


Complete information is available at Please contact Keith Shafer, Director of Music of St. Paul's, [email protected], 706-724-2485.

Register Now for March 19-22 Retreat

The next Cursillo for the Diocese of Georgia will be held at the Honey Creek Camp and Conference Center from March 19-22, 2015 This Cursillo's  theme is based in Psalm 119 verse 105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."


The weekend retreat includes meditations and worship that will seek to broaden attendee understandings of living as a Christian in today's world.  The concepts of grace, action, faith, and study in our daily lives will be among the topics covered.

Registration applications are available on the Diocesan website. Those interested are encouraged to see their priest to complete the process. Registration should be completed by the 12th of January.


Loose Canon 
What in the world is a "Signature Ministry"
If the announcements in church tell when the EYC, ECW, and DOK next meet, you shouldn't be surprised if visitors are left wondering what is going on in your congregation. Insider language leaves others on the outside. The Diocese routinely talking about "Signature Ministries" could leave some wondering what we mean and why we don't just mean what we say.
They're the church that does...
The term Signature Ministry, together with Signature Event, describe a way in which your congregation meets a felt need in your community with a response for which others in your area come to know your congregation. Some someone might ask about one of our three Episcopal Churches in Thomasville and be told, "Oh you know, that's the church that is doing that Development Agency." A Signature Ministry is something your congregation does that benefits mostly, or often exclusively, people who are not members of your church. Photo of Project Lunch Bunch at Christ Church, Valdosta.

While churches provide ministries for their community as a pure gift, the congregation does receive benefits. The ministry you do for others is attracting to people looking for a new church home. People want to be part of a church that does good. When church shopping this is one among a number of factors that help someone decide to worship with you. Again, we don't do the ministry in order to attract members, but it can have that added benefit.
Discovering Your Congregation's Ministry
The basic idea is to find where the abilities of your congregation overlap the needs in your community. This will vary from place to place. In every case the ministry arises out of the needs of your neighbors in a way that corresponds with the congregations ability to meet that need. I should note that there are many good ideas your congregation should not take on as a ministry. For example, a preschool can be a good idea in a place where more preschools are needed and the church already has facilities appropriate for caring for children according to current building codes. But many of our buildings would not meet code for a preschool and not every area needs more child care. Similarly, not every place needs another food bank, soup kitchen, or thrift store. Photo of the Community Cares Café after school program at St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien.
In addition to the facilities and abilities, your congregation needs people passionate about the idea who want to do the hard work to get a new ministry started and keep it going. Even if a community garden is a great idea for your community, it could be perfect for the Methodist Church down the street that has people interested in pursuing it, while a different ministry would better take root in your church.
Lowering the Bar
While this might raise the bar, by expecting congregations that do not have any ministry for which it is known, the idea of a Signature Ministry also lowers the expectations for other churches. A church can only sign its name to so many activities. A Signature Ministry is one the congregation really gets behind. Considering what your church is doing, you may find that there are a lot of ministries happening that have little support. As important as deciding what to start is discerning when to stop doing something. It may be that some of what your congregation is doing was a good fit years ago, but now needs to be celebrated and discontinued.
Because this is what Christians do
We are neither the Rotary Club or the Junior Service League nor Habitat for Humanity or Second Harvest. We are the Body of Christ. We are about making disciples of Jesus Christ. So why start some outreach ministry? The simple answer is that followers of Jesus show the love of God for others. Jesus said this most clearly in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats when the righteous were described as those who clothed the naked, fed the hungry and visited those in prison. So if we are faithfully being Christ's Body, the Church, we will be about serving Christ through serving others. Photo of Feed My Sheep at St. Paul's, Augusta.
Take or leave the term "Signature Ministry". Describing what your church is doing for your neighbors doesn't need the lingo. So if the term doesn't work for you, don't use it, but do consider the idea behind the expression to see what your congregation might do together, or even what things you might need to stop in order to better focus your efforts.

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

The youth at King of Peace, Kingsland, concluded an evening of caroling by singing Christmas Carols at Magnolia Manor.

Advent Around the Diocese in Photos
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

At St. Paul's, Albany, a violinist, two guitarists, three carols, a french horn, a handbell choir, a children's choir, a holiday caterer's lament, a new version of the dance of the sugar plum fairy and a flaming pudding entertained an overflow crowd in the parish hall for The First Annual Plum Pudding Festival. An album of photos of the event is online here.
The Rev. Deacon Leeann Culbreath led a "Retreat on Your Feet" for St. Anne's, Tifton, at Reed Bingham State Park.
The Revs. Bruce and Lori Fehr went to the St. Francis of the Islands ECW Luncheon at the Savannah Yacht Club as Saint Nicholas and Mrs. Claus.

The photo above was taken during the Angel Tree Breakfast and Celebration Party at St. Paul's, Augusta. A photo album of the event is online here.
The Rev. Dave and Steph Johnson hosted a Christmas Open House at the Rectory for Christ Church, Valdosta.
The Rev. Marcia McRae blesses gifts for Toys for Tots at Willis Park in Bainbridge.

The youth at Christ Church, Savannah, volunteered at Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. 
At the Church of Our Savior, Martinez, the women gathered for the Advent Retreat created symbols of the season.
St. Luke's, Rincon, hosted the Savannah Convocation Youth Event, SCYE.
Upcoming Gospel
The Rev. David Somerville's has started creating a weekly reflection on the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday. These are to assist clergy and lay persons in preparing for Sunday. This week's reflection is online here: How is Your Annunciation this year? How is Mine?

"For we have brought nothing into this world,
and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
-I Timothy 6:7-8

Please remember your church in your will.
Summer Camp
Plan Now for Summer Camp at Honey Creek
"If there's any place to be, it's a place where you can constantly feel God's love. Honey Creek is that place, and will always have a place in my heart." 
-Sam, High School Camper

Camp sessions 

June 14-20 High School Completed Grades 9-12 

June 21-27 St. Joseph & Mary I Completed Grades 3-5 

July 5-11 St. Peter I Completed Grades 6-8 

July 12-18 St. Joseph & Mary II Completed Grade 3-5 

July 19-25 St. Peter II Completed Grades 6-8

 Tuition for regular session is $430 per camper. 

Register before March 1st and tuition is only $405. 

For more information visit


Click here to register.


New Camp for Children in grades K-2! 

June 21-23 Parent & Child I Completed Grades K-2 + Adult 

July 12- 14 Parent & Child II Completed Grades K-2 + Adult

The Parent & Child sessions run during the Camp St. Joseph & Mary sessions (Sunday through Tuesday). They serve as an introduction to camp culture for both the parent and the child (k-2nd grade). Parent and child are invited to participate fully in all camp activities as much (or as little) as they are comfortable. Tuition for each session Parent & Child session is $320 for one parent and one child ($85 for each additional child). 
Tuition covers room and board in a private lodge room, special activities, art supplies, camp photo and camp t-shirt.

Light shining in the darkness


Light shines out of the Good Shepherd window at St. John's, Savannah, in this recent photo by Mary Meeks.

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia