December 30, 2014
Volume 5, Number 18
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Bishop's Visitation
Holy Nativity, St. Simons
Updated Prayer Cycles
Cursillo this March
Christmas Photos
Loose Canon
Choir Tour
Joy to the World
Social Media Connections
Web Links

This Sunday's Lections
Second Sunday after Christmas
Join Our Mailing List
St. Thomas, Thomasville
Praying from Christmas to Lent
With the attention given to Advent and Lent, both Christmastide and the Sundays after the Epiphany can be forgotten as times of prayer and devotion. To bridge this with recommendations for prayer, Elizabeth Varas (pictured at right) created a Prayer Calendar for her church with brief daily suggestions for prayer grounded in the Book of Common Prayer.  


The daily prayer guide is online here: Prayer Calendar for Christmas through Ash Wednesday.   


Diocesan Office Update    

Bishop Benhase is enjoying time with his family this Christmastide. Canon Willoughby and Canon Logue are working to close out the diocesan budget for the year. Canon Willoughby, who left the diocesan staff as of December 19, remains our diocesan administrator under contract until a successor comes on the staff. A new Canon for Administration will be named soon. Diocesan House will be closed December 31-January 1.

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at St. Paul's, Jesup, and then hold a parish meeting as a part of the congregation's search for its next rector.
Diocesan Community Update 
The Rev. Kenneth Rowland retired following the Christmas Eve service at Trinity, Harlem, where he was serving as the Priest in Charge. Rowland is 83 years old. He served as Holy Cross, Thomson; Christ Church, Augusta; and Trinity, Harlem, in the eight years since he was ordained to the priesthood.

The Rev. Al Crumpton has been voted the Best Religious Leader in Camden County in a Best of the Best vote by the readers of the Tribune & Georgian newspaper. Each year, the newspaper prints ballots for the Best of the Best in 130 categories, such as "Best Attorney," Best Firefighter," "Best Seafood," etc. The complete list of the Best of the Best will appear in the newspaper's January 1, 2015, edition.
Holy Nativity, St. Simons Island 
Bishop's Visitation 

Holy Nativity celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Christmas Eve night with the Bishop, friends and family. (Pictured left to right:Neil Nilsson, LEM, Ann Russell, LEM,  Bishop Benhase,The Rev. June Johnson, Vicar, Nancy Parks, Acolyte.)

Updated Prayer Cycles Now Online

The prayer cycles at the diocesan website have been updated and are ready for printing and use around the Diocese. The updated prayer cycles are:

Diocese of Georgia Prayer Cycle 

Clergy Spouses Prayer Cycle 


The other two prayer cycles have been reviewed and do not need changes at this time. They remain available online here: 

Companion Diocese Prayer Cycle 

Ecumenical Partners Prayer Cycle 


The documents are linked above as PDF files and are also in the Reference Library at the diocesan website, where we keep all of the documents available which people routinely need from the Diocese. 

Bishop Stuart Led Diocese Through Trying Times

 At the time of Albert Rhett Stuart's election in 1954, many of the cultural challenges that would try the church during his episcopacy in the 1950s into the 70s were just taking shape. The diocesan office was still in the basement of Christ Church, Savannah, and even three years into his episcopacy there were but 9,976 communicants in the Diocese of Georgia.  He served as diocesan bishop through 1971, by which time the diocese had grown to 12,180 communicants.


A brief history of Bishop Stuart's tenure as diocesan bishop sixth Bishop of Georgia was recently written by Bishop Harry Shipps as part of a diocesan history project. As Shipps writes of Stuart, "The epitome of a Southern gentleman, he had impeccable credentials, strong leadership skills, and innate wisdom, all of which served him well as the storm clouds of racial unrest appeared over the South. He was a trusted leader in the Savannah community, and along with Mayor Malcolm Maclean and a committee of 100 leading Savannah business and professional people, effectively moved the community and diocese into a positive, affirming, and cooperative position, avoiding racial crisis during the early years of the Civil Rights movement."


In the coming weeks, we will share his histories of the three bishops who succeeded Bishop Stuart. The first of this series is online here: Bishop Stuart's Episcopacy. 

Expand Your Horizons - Experience Cursillo in March
You can be part of the next Cursillo in Georgia this next March 19-22 at the Episcopal Conference Center at Honey Creek. The weekend will offer worship, reflection, and an opportunity for spiritual growth. The Diocese of Georgia is a diverse, geographically spread body that is spirit filled and has a unique richness. You can experience this and see that the Episcopal Church is bigger than just your own home parish.


Cursillo typically will have attendees from Augusta, Savannah, Valdosta, Albany, Vidalia, and everywhere in between. This is truly a chance to get to know yourself, meet others from our Diocese, and expand your horizon in a way that will enrich you for life.


Registration is now open and spaces are limited. Link in now and be part of the Cursillo experience. Visit the Cursillo website or click here to register online 

Vocare Staff Applications Due January 1st 
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].  
The Christmas Pageant at St. Luke's, Rincon.
Christmas Photos from Across the Diocese
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A full album of photos from 33 congregations is online here: Advent and Christmas Photos 
Some of the cast of the Christmas Pageant at St. Philip's, Hinesville.

At left, Kathleen Turner plays for Christmas at Christ Church Frederica and at right, a creche greeted worshipers at the back of the nave in St. Paul's, Augusta.

The Christmas Pageant on Christmas Eve at Christ Church, Savannah.

Angels at St. Patrick's, Pooler, (at left) and St. John's, Savannah (at right).

The Christmas Pageant at St. Matthew's, Savannah.

Afternoon family services on Christmas Eve are pictured above at Christ Church, Valdosta, and St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah.

The Christmas Pageant at Holy Comforter, Martinez.

The choir processes out by candlelight from the Midnight Mass at St. Anne's, Tifton.
"Let no evil talk come out of your mouths,  
but only what is useful for building up, as there is need,  
so that your words may give grace to those who hear." 
-Ephesians 4:29 
Loose Canon 
Create a Healthy Church Atmosphere 
Christian community is inherently grace-filled. Our congregations are places that can share one another's joy and bear one another's burdens. But there are also problems that creep in to any human organization and the hurt caused is particularly bad when it happens in a church. Some people are turned away from God by the way fellow Christians treat them. If vestries and other committees prohibit two common ways of communicating--anonymous complaints and triangulation--a world of hurt can be avoided. 


The first is self-explanatory. No vestry member should ever say "people are saying" or "I hear that." A Christian community should be able to air its concerns openly. Either, get the person with the issue to come state their complaints to the vestry, or gain their permission to use their name in presenting the problem. If there is a good, pastoral reason why the name need not be shared with the whole group then the Rector or Vicar should know the person's name and why the name should not go forward to the vestry with the issue. Failing that, the Senior Warden should know. Otherwise, the anonymous information should not be presented.

The second issue is triangulation. Most clergy have been trained to avoid this and so people may seek to triangulate the vestry members. Person A has a problem with Person B, but instead goes to Person C and insists he or she confront Person B without mentioning his or her name. In so doing, the person with the problem remains anonymous. Introduced into the language to describe a dynamic common in a dysfunctional family, triangulation is common in groups small and large and so finds its way into churches. But Jesus taught us to deal directly with the person with whom we have an issue and only when that fails to openly take the issue to the church, and in so doing taught us to avoid this unhelpful behavior.   
When someone approaches you to "fix" another person, there are two healthy options for avoiding being triangulated: 1) Offer to get together with the two persons as they discuss the issue, or 2) Offer to approach the person about the problem, but only if you can name who has the concern (as above with anonymous information). In so doing, you close the triangle and cause the problem to be dealt with openly.

Help your vestry and other church committees to understand how to avoid these two concerns and you will have gone a long way toward creating a healthier atmosphere in your congregation.

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

Joy to the World

The lobby of our Camp and Conference Center at Honey Creek reflects the joy of the season. 

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia