December 23, 2014Volume 5, Number 17
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Bishop's Visitation
Community Update
Advent Photos
TREC Report
Loose Canon
Upcoming Gospel
Ecuador Trip
Summer Camp
Blessed Advent
Social Media Connections
Web Links



This Sunday's Lections
First Sunday after Christmas
Join Our Mailing List

Dioceses Sponsor Radio Broadcast

In keeping with a long tradition, the Episcopal Dioceses of Atlanta and Georgia are sponsoring the Georgia Public Radio broadcast of Lesson and Carols from Kings College. Due to listener feedback, the liturgy will once again be broadcast live. 


Listen tomorrow, Christmas Eve, at 10 a.m.

on your local Public Radio station.


In 1918, the then-new dean of King's Chapel, 34-year-old Eric Milner-White, wanted to try something innovative and beyond the standard liturgy of the Church of England. So, he wove together scripture and song, called on readers of various ages from school and town, and made up this truly magical progression that carries us from prophecy to fulfillment, from Old Testament foretelling to a birthday celebration. The service was first broadcast in 1928 and, with the exception of 1930, has been broadcast annually, even during the Second World War, when the ancient glass (and also all heat) had been removed from the Chapel.


The 2014 booklet may be downloaded here: Kings College Lessons and Carols booklet


"And because this of all things would rejoice his heart, let us at this time remember in his name the poor and the helpless, the cold, the hungry and the oppressed; the sick in body and in mind and them that mourn; the lonely and the unloved; the aged and the little children; all who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not, or who by sin have grieved his heart of love." 

-Bidding Prayer, A Festival of Nine  

Lessons and Carols, King's College Cambridge

Diocesan Office Update    
On Christmas Eve, Bishop Benhase will make a visitation to Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island, while Canon Logue will preside and preach at the Episcopal Church in Okatie, SC.

Diocesan House will be closed December 24-26.
Bishop's Visitation 

Bishop Benhase is pictured during last Sunday's visitation to St. Michael's, Waynesboro.
Community Update


Home for his first Christmas

The Rev. Loren and Ian Lasch gives thanks to God for the birth of their son, Elias George Lasch, born at 11:41am on December 17. He was 7 lbs, 14.6 oz, 20 inches long at the time of delivery. Baby and Mom are both healthy and happy and all are home for their first Christmas. Ian is a seminarian from the Diocese of Georgia currently studying at Virginia Theological Seminary. Loren is a priest of this diocese currently serving as Assistant Rector of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Washington DC while Ian is in seminary.


Descendant of Georgia's Second Bishop ordained to Priesthood


The Rev. Sarah Brockenbrough was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests on  December 13, at Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, Virginia where she serves on the staff. Brockenbrough is a 2014 graduate of the Virginia Theological Seminary. She is pictured above at left with the group from her sponsoring parish of Christ Church, Savannah. At right, she is pictured with her husband Will and father, Spencer Lawton. Brockenbrough is the great-great-great granddaughter of the Diocese of Georgia's Second Bishop, the Rt. Rev. John W. Beckwith.

Christ Church Savannah hosted a sold out one night show, Carols for a Cause, on December 21. The festive event featured Rebecca Flaherty, soprano; Savannah Children's Choir; The Holiday Harmonies; Savannah Brass Quartet, Timothy Hall, organist; and audience participation in festive carols. A freewill offering benefited Emmaus House, a ministry of several churches in Savannah that feeds the hungry every weekday morning from the Christ Church Parish Hall.

Advent Around the Diocese in Photos
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Pageant participants from the St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien, service of Lessons and Carols are pictured above.

The Christmas Pageant at St. Thomas Isle of Hope, Savannah.
The Rev. Jim Parker blessed caps on the Fourth Sunday of Advent at St. George's, Savannah, to be given to neonatal infants and persons going through chemotherapy.

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) Christmas Party at St. Anne's, Tifton.

Kids at St. Luke's, Rincon, enjoyed creating their own gingerbread houses.

The Revs. Leigh Hall and Tom Purdy tell stories to the children in the Sunday liturgy at Christ Church, Frederica.

Lessons and Carols at St. Paul's, Albany.

The kids pictured above are part of the group that gathered this past weekend at St. Paul's, Augusta, for Family Movie Night.

The Christmas Pageant at Christ Church, Valdosta.

A Rehearsal for the St. Thomas Day School Christmas Pageant at St. Thomas, Thomasville.

All Saints, Tybee Island, welcomed the Rev. John Anderson on Sunday. Anderson wioll be routinely serving at All Saints through Easter. He is pictured at left with Senior Warden, Kay Osborne, and at right in the Parish Hall after the Eucharist.

Final Preparations being made at Our Savior, Martinez, to move the church from Advent to Christmas.
General Convention 2015
Task Force for Reimagining Church Issues Report

The General Convention of The Episcopal Church meets every three years. At its 2012 meeting, the convention called for the creation of a Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) to create a plan for reforming the Church's structures, governance, and administration.  TREC issued its final report last week with legislation to be considered by the General Convention which will meet in July 2015 in Salt Lake City. You can read the full report online here: TREC Final Report. A helpful summary of the report is found online here: TREC Report Summary.


"TREC does a great job in its preamble to summarize the problems facing The Episcopal Church and at pointing toward some possible helpful changes for the future," said Canon Frank Logue, chair of the Georgia Deputation, "But the specific resolutions fall short of doing much more than managing decline." He recommends those working to make sense of the report and what it means for the church see the summary of early responses found online here: Acts 8 Roundup on the TREC Final Report which includes his proposal for adding specifics to TREC's call for a lowered diocesan asking from The Episcopal Church.

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

Loose Canon 
The Christmas Sermon - A Play

The following is a Christmas sermon in the form of a play, which I wrote for King of Peace with the Narrator and preacher in the pulpit with the others parts said from around the pews. The themes still apply some years later as the sermon connects despite a preachers best efforts to get it right somehow falling short:


Narrator:  There are some worship services which, as far as the sermon is concerned, are bulletproof. You can not ruin them even with a bad preacher. A wedding is an example of this. Easter and Christmas are two more. After all, on a Christmas Eve night light this, gathered by candlelight, singing familiar carols, hearing the story from Luke's Gospel and receiving the Eucharist are enough. Nothing much more really needs to be said. Yet, the preacher takes to the pulpit. Preachers often miss the mark, but sometimes God gets through anyway. Tonight we will hear not just the preacher's sermon, but what some in the congregation hear as well: 

Preacher: We gather this evening separated by the centuries from that holy night in Bethlehem. Our wants and needs are so different today. On that silent night long ago, Mary and Joseph entered Bethlehem alone, while tonight we gather with our families gathered round about us in our pew. Even in a hard year like this one, we are still blessed with great wealth compared to most of the world, while they arrived poor and homeless. We have one another. They were so alone. 

Mother:   "Families gathered round us." Family gathered around my neck, on my lap. Does he know how hard it was to get these kids dressed and to church tonight without killing them? Then they gave the boys candles. Lit candles! What were they thinking? I just wanted some peace and quiet for one hour. Now they are squirming all over the place. My husband doesn't even seem to notice. I might have to take them out of the service.   

Wife:       "Families gathered round us." Really? My husband is in a submarine somewhere out under the Atlantic. My parents are in Indiana. There is no one here but me. 

Widower: "Entered Bethlehem alone." Alone I understand. My wife died this past March and the kids are all so busy. They are around, but always on to the next thing. I feel so alone. Even in the middle of this church full of people.  

Father:     "Poor and homeless." That will be us. If my wife and I don't find something more than minimum wage work to make up for the money I was making in real estate, we'll be the next foreclosure. No one really knows how bad it is. I feel so alone. 

Wife:        I feel so alone. 

Widower: I feel so alone. 

Mother:   Why couldn't I have come alone? 

Preacher: With few if any real wants and the companionship of family and friends we have to use our imaginations to understand what Mary and Joseph might have been going through. 

Widower:  Oh brother! 

Wife:       Please! 

The full sermon is found online here: The Christmas Sermon - A Play
-The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary
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 for both Christmas and the First Sunday after Christmas: The Shepherd's Exodus and Ours
Mission Support Sought for Ecuador Trip
The following is a letter from Julia Domenick of St. Mark's, Brunswick, who is looking for support for upcoming missionary venture:

Hello! My name is Julia Domenick and I am about to embark on an amazing mission. I am an emergency room registered nurse and I LOVE my vocation. I believe that nursing is a calling, much like missions. I am able to serve those who find themselves ill or injured and vulnerable. I believe God places me in situations where I have the opportunity to be His hands towards healing.

I have also been very involved in church mission, both locally and abroad, but never felt a call to full time international mission work until July 2013. That summer, I was an adult sponsor with the Episcopal Province IV youth to Quito, Ecuador. While we were serving, I was called to care for a Youth World staff member's mother. I worked daily with the youth and new friends in Quito with construction and bible school projects and at night I tended medically to the mother. It was during this time that I heard, SO CLEARLY, God calling me to combine my love and calling of nursing with my love and calling in church missions. I have spent a little over a year in discernment and have now started the process for full time missionary status.

A church misionary is someone who helps to bring lives and communities together to be transformed by the power of God. I will be working with Youth World, International Team's branch in Quito, Ecuador. International Team's 2020 goal is to have 100 communities where EVERYONE will have access to food, forgiveness and freedom. Youth World, one of these communities, has five ministries in Quito:
  • La Roca is a skate ministry in the barrios of Quito. Many of the youth served here are homeless.
  • Casa Gabriel is a home for street boys. The boys are given safe housing, their education, psychological counseling, and learn a trade that allows them to support themselves when they complete the program.
  • Casa Adalia is a home for girls rescued from sex trafficking. The girls are also provided safe housing, education and a strong psychological counseling program.
  • Quito Quest is an intentional short term mission opportunity that allows participants to work WITH ministry sites. The goal is that both the participant and the sites are blessed and meaningful fruit is produced in both groups.
  • El Refugio is a retreat site that allows for leadership building as well as reflection opportunities.As a church missionary sent by the Diocese of Georgia, I will be the nurse for all of these groups as well as for the staff of Youth World. I will also have the opportunity to start a parish nurse program where I will serve Episcopal churches north of Quito once a month as well as Episcopal churches south of Quito monthly.

In order to be a part of this mission opportunity, I must raise all of my own funds for the next two years. Will you WALK with me? Will you help me to be the hands and feet of Christ in Quito, Ecuador? I would love for you to be a part of this ministry opportunity that I hear God calling me to in Quito. Please consider a one time gift or monthly pledge to help make this opportunity a reality! You can go online to and place my name in the one time or monthly pledge space. This is a tax deductible donation and International Teams will provide you with all needed paperwork for your taxes. I would also LOVE to come and speak to your congregations about my call to missions. Please feel free to email me at [email protected]. I am SO thankful for you and for your support. Your help will touch MANY lives!

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.

Wishing you a Blessed Advent and Joyous Christmas

High school and college students at Christ Church, Valdosta, are pictured above gathered in the Rectory for a party.

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia