January 13, 2015Volume 5, Number 20
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Bishop's Visitations
Convention 2015 Date
Maury Ordination
Apply for UTO Grant
Columba House Deadline
MLK Parade
Bishop Shipps' Archive Page
Make Disciples
Lenten Retreat
Social Media Connections
Article Headline
Web Links


This Sunday's Lections
Second Sunday after
the Epiphany
1 Samuel 3:1-10(11-20)

Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

Join Our Mailing List
Hometown Missions

Youth to Serve in Thomasville & Augusta

Hometown Mission's 2015 will be hosted on April 17-19, 2015.  This year we will host one event taking place in two locations, with one in Augusta and one in Thomasville.  The work will take place at Christ Church in Augusta and Good Shepherd in Thomasville. Participant's will engage in projects including gardening, painting, food ministry, working in both Churches and in the local community.  The cost for the week is $50, all inclusive.  Financial Aid Available.  


This is a weekend the teens will never forget!


Sign up for a weekend of friendship, service, worship, games and fun!

Register Here


For more information go online to youth.georgiaepiscopal.org


You will also find a bulletin insert for your congregation online here: Hometown Missions Bulletin  


Diocesan Office Update    
Bishop Benhase makes his visitation to St. Augustine's, Augusta in the morning and Atonement, Augusta in the afternoon.
Rudy Reyes and Elizabeth Burns will be at the Church Development Institute which meets this Friday and Saturday at Honey Creek.

On Monday, Diocesan House will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Day. Bishop Benhase, Canon Logue, Rudy Reyes and Elizabeth Burns will joing others from the Savannah Convocation in marching with an Episcopal Float in Savannah's MLK Parade.
Bishop's Visitations 


St. Peter's, Savannah

Above, Bishop Benhase is pictured with the confirmands at St. Peter's, Savannah, in a reception following the liturgy. Below, some of the confirmands are pictured at left creating a flower petal carpet on Corpus Christi day during their pilgrimage to Spain last summer and then doing so on Sunday as a part of the liturgy on the day of their confirmation.


St. Luke's, Rincon

Bishop Benhase baptized as well as confirmed in his visit to St. Luke's, Rincon.

Save the Date for Convention 2015 in Savannah
The 2015 Diocesan Convention will be held on November 12th through 14th in Savannah. This date is moved back by one week from our anticipated pattern as the first weekend in November our meeting would have to compete with the Rock and Roll Marathon which tangles downtown Savannah with traffic and visitors. More information on the convention will follow. 
Maury to be Ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests
God willing and the people consenting, The Rev. Deacon  Jamie Maury will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests at 9:30 a.m. on January 24, 2015, at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah. Clergy wear cassock, surplice, and red stoles. 


For clergy coming from out of town who plan to arrive in Savannah on Friday, you are and your spouse/partner are invited to a "drop-in supper" at Jamie & Dan's home, 216 East Gaston Street from 5:30-8 pm. Please RSVP if you plan to attend: [email protected]

Apply for a United Thank Offering Grant 

The UTO is accepting grant request applications for a new ministry, or an existing ministry  that is adding a new component, which addresses the Fourth Mark of Mission--To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation. The UTO will consider requests that are either for the start-up costs for a new ministry, for the cost of adding a new direction to an existing program, or for the seed money needed to offer a full or part time for a new ministry.


The UTO is specific about many types of requests which they will not fund including, capital campaigns or debt reductions; deferred maintenance; employment benefits or social security costs; fees of architects or engineers architectural or engineering fees; insurance of any kind; shipping costs; and more. For more information about the criteria, please visit the UTO website at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/uto-grants.


Those interested in submitting an application should contact the Diocesan Office on 912.236.4279  for assistance.  The grant application is due by January 30, 2015.

Columba House
2015-2016 Interns/Fellows Priority Deadline Approaching  
Columba House is an Episcopal intentional community where young people can explore spirituality through dialogue, prayer, and service to our neighbors. 

Compline & Cookies
Cookies and Compline
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. The video to the right shows Cookies and Compline that takes place the third Thursday of the month. 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 first priority deadline for 2015-216 Interns/Fellows is Monday, January 19th, 2015. 

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

Youth Programs 
Still Time to Register for Happening 

Happening #94 will be held at Honey Creek January 30- February 1, 2015 and is open to those in grades 10 - 12. Rachel Robinson from St. Paul's, Savannah will serve as Rector. 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 serves 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. Happeners who attend a weekend for their first time are called "Candidates." To be a Candidate, one must:

March in the MLK Day Parade on January 19

On Monday, January 19 beginning at 9 a.m., Episcopalians will join the City of Savannah in celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. The parade, which starts at 10 a.m., will begin at East Broad & Liberty Streets and end at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Click on the link for a printable PDF poster for your church. 


Look for Float #55

To join the group for the parade, come to East Broad Street in Savannah. The participants will be lined up by number and the Episcopal group is number 55. All Episcopalians are encouraged to take part. There is limited seating on the Episcopal Church float for participants with mobility limitations. 

This year's walk will end with a noon service at St. Matthew's followed by lunch. All are welcome throughout the Diocese to join us! Click here to see more photos of the Episcopal group in the 2014 Parade. 

Bishop Shipps strengthened ecumenical ties
The Diocese of Georgia elected it first Bishop from within the Diocese in September of 1983 by electing the Very Rev. Harry Woolston Shipps, then the Rector of St. Alban's, Augusta, to serve as Bishop Coadjutor. He was consecrated bishop at Christ Church, Savannah on Epiphany, 6 January 1984 (pictured at right), and served as coadjutor to Bishop Reeves until 15 February 1985, when he was invested as diocesan bishop in St. Paul's, Augusta. 

Bishop Shipps was a founding bishop of The Irenaeus Fellowship of Bishops, representing a moderate- conservative position in the House of Bishops. Meeting regularly, the group consisted of 64 members of the House of Bishops. Bishop Shipps was active in the House of Bishops. A strong supporter of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, he was Chair of the House of Bishops Prayer Book and Worship Committee at the 1994 General Convention. He served twelve years on the Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations, where he served as Chair of the Theological Committee. This Commission drew up the agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Called to Common Mission. 

Bishop Shipps and The Most Rev'd Raymond W. Lessard, Roman Catholic Bishop of Savannah, also an ecumenist, held several joint clergy conferences with noted speakers from both Churches. This led to a Covenant between the two dioceses calling for a number of programs and responsibilities on the part of each. The Covenant was ceremoniously signed by Bishop Shipps in St. Paul's, Savannah with Bishop Lessard as witness; there followed a festive street procession to Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church on Bull Street, where Bishop Lessard signed the document, witnessed by Bishop Shipps. (Bishops Lessard and Shipps are shown at left)

Initially opposed to the ordination of women to the priesthood, especially on grounds of impairment of ecumenical relations with the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Shipps initiated the process leading to ordination of women in both orders. Susan Harrison of Savannah was admitted to the process for vocational deaconate and ordained in September 1985. Sonia Sullivan of Valdosta was accepted for priesthood and attended seminary. Shipps ordained her in Swainsboro in 1993.  In 1994 the diocese reported 17,197 baptized persons. The bishop reported in his Convention Address that the Diocese of Georgia had the second highest average Sunday attendance of all 99 dioceses in the country and that our stewardship average per Sunday was also second highest in the Church.

The more complete history of his episcopacy is found online here: Bishop Shipps' Episcopacy. Next week, we will complete a four part series of histories of our last four bishops with a brief histories of Bishop Louttit's episcopacy.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
-Jesus in Matthew 28:19

The Loose Canon

How to Go from Church Member to Disciple

The most basic task of any church is to make disciples. This goes back to The Great Commission and continues until our Lord returns. But while making church-goers is tough enough, the work of assisting someone from attending worship to following Christ in a meaningful way is a step churches can miss. In fact, if your congregation has no intentional means offered to assist in the move from church attendance to discipleship, then you are more likely to make church members than followers of Jesus.


Read the Bible

A proven means to assist in this transition from church goer to disciple is through teaching and modeling spiritual disciplines. One basic example is daily scripture reading on a pattern to read through the Bible, which is central to our identity as Episcopalians. Normative for us is the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer, which is to be practiced by all clergy and remains the norm for laity. Typically our churches have copies of Forward Day by Day, which offers reflections for each day to fit the same readings as found in the office. Teaching this practice as a discipline to be followed no matter whether one feels like it or not is the most straightforward way to help parishioners make room for the Holy Spirit to break in day by day.


Create a Rule of Life
By experience, we all learn that if we don't set and work to keep priorities, then life will overtake you and those things you consider important will be lost in the urgent. This is true for one's relationship with God. This is why spiritual disciplines are vital. A time-tested way to set your spiritual priorities is to create, and in time modify, a Rule of Life. The basic idea is to note the important elements of your own spiritual life along with some plan for how you will carry it out. 

For example, any spiritual rule of life should include worship. "I will attend church on Sundays when I am well." To this could be added Wednesday worship or feast days of the church. But no matter what you decide, the rule of life will be most likely to work if you write it down. Keep what you write simple and specific. Do not use permissive language such as "I will try" as all of us try to do things. Write instead, "I will" or "I promise." Want to know what to cover? Try this PDF file I created while at King of Peace: Creating a Rule of Life.

Be Realistic
The temptation in creating a rule is to create an idealistic one. Saint Francis doesn't need a Rule of Life anymore. Try instead to create a realistic plan for your life. Start by listing what you do now in the areas found in the brochure above. Then add one, or at the most two, new disciplines or an increase in participation in one area. The goal is to set out some spiritual priorities you can keep. You will be better off to start too small. In time you can revisit your rule and make changes.

You don't want to overwhelm yourself with too much to do. Time spent on your spiritual journey is not meant to be one more list of chores in a busy life. Tending to your faith is more akin to giving yourself a source of rest and refreshment in a world too short on both.

The Church's Role-Teach and Model
As congregations, if we are not teaching those who attend worship some practical ways to make our Triune God part of their daily lives, then we are teaching by omission that attending church is all there is to the life of faith. This is not only untrue, it is not fair as that sort of faith will not meet the demands of the real world. We need to give church goers the tools to become disciples.

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

Lenten Retreat at Honey Creek
Whether you want to deepen your understanding of the Episcopal Church or are preparing for confirmation, we hope that you will join us for this exciting weekend! The Confirmation Retreat this year is open to both youth and adults. It will be held at Honey Creek from February 20-22, 2015.

This year's retreat will be led by Maggie Bloodworth, and the Revs. Kevin Kelly and Charles Todd. Topics covered will include Scripture, Creeds, Sacraments, Prayer, Church History, and an Instructed Eucharist.

If you need further assistance with registration, please contact: Maggie Bloodworth at (478)892-9373 or [email protected]
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. 
For more information, visit Vocare in Georgia's website or contact Program Manager Rudy Reyes at [email protected] 

Reading the Bible through in a Year

Last year, Good Shepherd, Augusta, undertook to read the bible as a congregational project throughout the whole year. More than 100 persons participated in small groups and many others read at home with spouses, family or friends. Those present were recognized recently in church. This year the in-depth reading and study of scheduled books of the Bible continues as "The Bible Strikes Back." http://www.goodshepherd-augusta.org/BibleStrikesBack

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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia