January 27, 2015Volume 5, Number 22
In This Issue


This Sunday's Lections
Fourth Sunday after
the Epiphany
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Deacons Pray with Paintbrushes

Deacons of the diocese gathered last weekend for a unique approach to their annual retreat: icon "writing." Facilitated by the Rev. Lonnie Lacy of St. Anne's, Tifton, the two-day retreat took the group of 14 deacons through the prayerful and intensely focused spiritual exercise of "writing" an icon of Jesus. 


According to tradition, creating an icon is more a form of prayer than art, and the hand is guided by the Holy Spirit - thus it is called "writing," not "painting." The process includes multiple stages with specific guidelines for the process and colors used. With each stage, more light and forms emerge. Prayers of intercession are typically offered during each stage. 

In this retreat, all participants followed the same process and used the same paint colors, but as the photos indicate, each icon took on a distinct expression. The distinction reminds us that God is revealed to each of us differently, and we each have a special way of sharing that revelation. 


Icons are intended for continued use in prayer, as vehicles for Divine communication and ongoing revelation; they are not just pretty pictures to hang on the wall. 


Between stages of the writing process, the group reflected on Gospel passages appointed for the season of Epiphany, noting similarities between the passages, the writing process, and a deacon's call and ministry. In a liturgical season that celebrates the revelation of Christ to the world, writing an icon of Jesus was especially fitting and powerful. The icons were blessed at a closing Eucharist held in the Honey Creek chapel.


"It was profoundly beautiful to see my deacon sisters and brothers holding up their icons in a circle around the altar - a visual reminder of the unique face of Jesus each of us shares with the world through our various ministries," said Deacon Leeann Culbreath.


For more photos of the icon writing process, visit the deacons' Facebook page. 

Diocesan Office Update    
From January 27 to February 3, Program Manager Rudy Reyes will be in Belize working on a short-term mission trip with Project Smile. To learn more about this long term program, see a Project Smile Video here with interviews with members of Christ Church, Savannah and others talking about Project Smile.

This week, our Missioner for Youth, Elizabeth Burns, is taking part in the United Methodist camping and retreat ministries national gathering at Epworth by the Sea on St. Simons Island.

This Sunday, Bishop Benhase makes his visitation to St. Patrick's, Albany, where he will consecrate the new church building (pictured here). See the article below for more information.

Canon Logue will meet with the vestry of Christ Church, Cordele, this Saturday and will preside and preach this Sunday at St. Luke's, Hawkinsville.

On Monday, February 1, Canon Katie Willoughby joins the diocesan staff as our Canon for Administration.
The Rev. Jack Dyer (1927-2015)

The Diocese of Georgia mourns the loss of the Rev. Jack Dyer who died on January 23, having never recovered from a stroke on New Year's Day. Dyer was born June 24, 1927. He earned a BS degree from the University of Delaware in 1952 and a Masters in Science from there in 1954. He graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1957 and was ordained a deacon that June and a priest on May 1, 1958. Across nearly 57 years of priesthood, Dyer served congregations in Delaware, Virginia, Minnesota, and Florida.


To the good fortune of the Diocese of Georgia, he served here as both interim rector and supply priest for a decade from 1999-2009, when he and his wife Vickie moved to Birmingham, Alabama. He is fondly remembered and well missed by the clergy and laity of the Diocese. Plans for a funeral mass in Savannah have not been finalized. Condolences may be sent to his widow: Mrs. Vicky Dyer, 604 Reach Drive, Birmingham, AL 35242. Dyer is pictured at a blessing of the animals at All Saints, Tybee Island.

Clergy Save Dates for Conferences, Chrism Mass

Plans are coming together for both the Spring and Fall Clergy Conferences at Honey Creek as well as for two Chrism Masses in Holy Week. Priests and Deacons will want to mark their calendars for these upcoming dates.

Clergy Conferences

The dates for the Spring Clergy Conference had to be moved from the more customary first weekend in May to the end of April. This year, the Spring Clergy Conference will meet April 26-28 and the Fall Conference will be held September 27-29. Both will be at Honey Creek. Registration information will follow.


Two Chrism Masses
In order to facilitate more priests and deacons taking part in the renewal of their ordination vows, two Chrism Masses will be offered this Holy Week. On Tuesday, March 31, St. Anne's, Tifton, will host the liturgy at 11 a.m., with lunch following. Then on Maundy Thursday, April 2, Trinity, Statesboro will host the liturgy, also at 11 a.m. with lunch following. At the Chrism Mass, the clergy (including the Bishop) are invited to renew the commitments they made at their ordination. The liturgy takes its name from the most eminent of the three holy oils which the local bishop blesses for use in his diocese's parish churches during the coming year. 


Diocesan Convention

As previously announced, Convention 2015 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. 

St. Patrick's, Albany
Two Bishops to Consecrate New Church

The ELCA Lutheran Bishop Julian Gordy will assist Bishop Benhase this Sunday in consecrating the new St. Patrick's, Albany. This rare combined consecration is an extension of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior having become a part of St. Patrick's, with St. Patrick's offering a separate Lutheran-based service each Sunday. The new church building includes a chapel of Our Savior which Bishop Gordy will consecrate. Bishop Benhase will consecrate the church building and bless its furnishings. The Sunday, February 1st, consecration will be at 10:30 a.m.


Evensong on Sunday   

In order for those who are attending their own churches that morning, but wish to join with St Patrick's in their celebration, the church will offer Evensong and Organ Celebration at 5:30 p.m., commemorating the Eve of Candlemas. St. Patrick's is located at 4800 Old Dawson Road in Albany. You can find them online at stpatricksalbany.org 

The Rev. Jamie Maury Ordained to Priesthood

Bishop Benhase and the gathered priests of the Diocese laid hands on Jamie Maury praying for God to make him a priest in the Church in a liturgy held Saturday at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah. The Very Rev. Billy Alford preached the sermon. Maury graduated in May from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He has served since the fall at St. George's, Savannah, as a time of additional formation. Maury and his husband, Dan, were long term, active member of All Saints, Tybee Island, prior to attending seminary. Maury is pictured below during the Litany for Ordinations and offering Bishop Benhase his blessing as the procession out began. A full album of photos is online here: Maury Ordination Photo Album


St. Athanasius, Brunswick
Prayers for Christian Unity and Funds for a Roof

The week of prayer for Christian unity began at St. Athanasius' Church with two special moments in the life of that parish. On Sunday, the congregation welcomed as its preacher the Rev. Dr. Jesse Truvillion (Pictured at right with St. Athanasius' Interim Rector, the Rev. Canon Douglas Renegar). He is a retired Presbyterian minister who was active in the civil rights movement where he worked very closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Truvillion brought a message of hope and reconciliation. 


A special moment of that service occurred when Ed Bland from Christ Church, Frederica made a wonderful gift from that parish to St. Athanasius' Church. It was the funds needed to put a new roof on our parish house. No longer will we need to put out pans and buckets to catch the streams of water  which would course through the roof every time we had a hard rain. This continues a long tradition of friendship and fellowship between the congregations especially in the shared ministry of the food pantry.


On Monday morning more than 20 members of our congregation joined in the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. It was a celebration of his life and ministry and well as a recognition that people must continue work to end discrimination of any kind and ensure that hope, justice, peace and love will be shared by all. This unity we all pray for is certainly the promise, opportunity and responsibility of the Gospel message.

Support Mission through the United Thank Offering

The United Thank Offering is a personal and family devotion of The Episcopal Church.  It is a practice in our life in Christ that begins with daily prayers and gifts of thanksgiving.  These gifts of thanksgiving - coins and bills dropped in the UTO Blue Box - from each individual (man, woman and child) are combined with others at parish and diocesan celebrations and finally within all of the Episcopal Church.  The Offerings totaling nearly $3 million each year (January through December 31) are given away in the form of grants.  These grants continue to support and strengthen the mission and ministry of the Church throughout the world.  Every penny of the Offerings is allocated each year for granting. The mission of United Thank Offering is to Expand the circle of thankful people.


There are two in-gatherings each year for these offerings.  One in the Spring closest to Ascension and one in the Fall as we celebrate All Saints.  The Spring ingathering should be sent in by June 30th each year.  The Fall ingathering should be sent in by November 30th each year.   Checks should be made to your local parish or mission or ECW with a notation that the offering is for UTO.  Then one check should be written to United Thank Offering with a notation where the offering is from.  The offerings are then sent forward to the United Thank Offering Coordinator for each Diocese who then sends the offerings forward to the National United Thank Offering.  


Diocese of Georgia Grant Recipients

United Thank Offering grants have been very important to the Diocese of Georgia. We have received so much more in grants than we have contributed over the years. Some of our grants have included:


FaithWorks Jobs Training Program in Brunswick

Received a $30,000  UTO grant in 2011


CDI- Peer Coaching Initiative

Received a $20,000 UTO grant in 2012


Episcopal Development Agency of Thomasville

Received a $27,000  UTO grant in 2013


Darien Community Youth Group
Received a $30,000 UTO grant in 2014


Fall In-Gathering Results

We have now completed our Fall in-gathering cycle for 2014.  The total amount collected for 2014 from both Spring and Fall in-gatherings for this Diocese was $8595.77.  We are very grateful for the 19 churches that have sent in donations.  The amount collected at the Diocesan Convention was  $337.54.


How to Take Part

If you have not participated in this special offering in the past, would you prayerfully consider doing that this year?  Boxes can be obtained from the Diocesan UTO Coordinator or ordered directly from the United Thank Offering.  There is no cost for the boxes.


When submitting your in-gathering donations, your checks should be made out to United Thank Offering and sent to Suzanne  Harrow, UTO Coordinator, 2508 Sheraton Drive, Augusta, Georgia 30906.

Youth Programs
Register for New Beginnings Team and Participants
New Beginnings will take place during the weekend of March 6-8, 2015, at Honey Creek. New Beginnings is a weekend retreat for teenagers in grades 7-9 led by a team of mostly teenagers, with a few adults, and two clergy spiritual directors. The weekend takes participants through a discovery about ourselves, our friends, our families, our faith, and how to live out our faith in our daily lives.

How might this discovery happen?
Through making new friends and sharing with old ones, through singing, skits, talks given by teens, videos, games, worship, and conversation with each other! You are encouraged to bring friends from your church and an adult who will stay through the weekend. Everyone will take an active part in the program. You can go to New Beginnings as many times as you'd like...as long as you're in grades 7-9. We know once you go, you will want to go back. There is even an opportunity to serve on the team...you'll hear more about that at the weekend.

Summer Camp
Priority Deadline on January 31 for Camp Staff
Do you know a college student looking for the best summer job on the planet? Honey Creek is now hiring summer camp staff for the 2014 season. Applicants must be high school graduates willing to work hard in a fun environment where they will also serve as good role models for the campers. 


Camp employment dates are June 14-27 and July 5-25, plus a staff weekend in late spring. Kamp Phun, if offered is separate employment.


For applicants new to summer camp staff, click here

For those applying to return to Summer Camp Staff, click here

Trinity, Statesboro
Raising Endowment Awareness and Funds

Each year in January, the Endowment Board of Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesboro, sponsors a Lowcountry Boil and Oyster Roast.  The event helps to increase awareness of the church's Endowment Fund, provides a great opportunity for fellowship among parishioners and members of the community and raises money for the fund.  The food this year was prepared by members Judie and Robert Mixson, Michael Wood and Paul Rothenbuhler.



Youth Programs
Two Locations for Local Mission Work in April
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.  This is a weekend the teens will never forget! Financial Aid is available.  


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

Register Here


For more information go online to youth.georgiaepiscopal.org


ECW Annual Meeting in April in Savannah

The Savannah Convocation will host the Diocese of Georgia's 2015 Annual Meeting for the Episcopal Church Women. The host churches are St. George's and St. Thomas Isle of Hope. The host hotel for the event is the Hampton Inn and Suites in Midtown Savannah. Save the date. Registration information will follow in From the Field.

The Loose Canon

Resources for New Vestry Members

The task of overseeing both the spiritual and temporal affairs of a congregation is not easy and can be a thankless task. Yet we are not a congregational church and in our representative form of church governance, the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry acting together is the group with the authority to make decisions for a congregation. The vestry matters to the health of the whole congregation. Being a good member of vestry means setting aside one's personal agenda to seek what is best for the congregation as a whole.  

The Episcopal Church Foundation offers a great collection of resources for vestries through their ECF Vital Practices Series. One may find a helpful Digest of five articles online here: Vestries: Start the Year Strong. There you will find links to 1) online Vestry Orientation Webinars, 2) how to include spiritual practices in vestry meetings, 3) how to be on the same page with policies and procedures, 4) how to use a consent agenda for more effective meeting times, and 5) the use of a Vestry Planning Calendar.


All of the previous articles in the ECF Vital Practices Series related to vestries are online here: ECF Vestry Articles. One more helpful article from the site is Scott Evenbeck's My Top Ten: Vestry Responsibilities.

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

Young Adult and Campus Ministry
Take Part in Young Adult Retreat Weekend
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] 
Confirmation Retreat at Honey Creek in Lent
The Rev. R. Kevin Kelly, who will be one of the leaders for the Confirmation Retreat shares the following appeal:


"We are pleased on behalf of the Diocese of Georgia to offer a resource to all of you who are preparing youth or adults for Confirmation this year. 'Claiming Our Faith,' a weekend retreat designed to prepare candidates for Confirmation, is being held 20-22 February at Honey Creek. Led by the Rev'd Charles Todd of Saint Paul's, Savannah, Mrs. Maggie Bloodworth of Saint Luke's, Hawkinsville, and the Rev'd Kevin Kelly of Saint Michael and All Angels, Savannah, the retreat offers instruction in Holy Scripture, our Creeds, the Sacraments of the Church, Prayer, and Church History. In addition, we will offer Instructed Eucharists during the weekend to enrich our awareness and understanding of the depth and power of the Holy Eucharist.


We hope you will send parishioners preparing for Confirmation to this retreat. It is also an excellent resource for those who would simply like to learn more about our traditions, or beliefs, and our practices. As you know, we can accomplish more in one weekend in this setting than most of us can over a series of weeks back in our parishes. The cost of the retreat is $115 for youth staying in the dorms or $198 for adults staying in a lodge room. A link to the online registration site is available in our weekly From the Field, or you can contact Maggie Bloodworth at 478.892.9373 or by email at [email protected].


The Peace of Christ, Kevin+

If you need further assistance with registration, please contact: Maggie Bloodworth at (478)892-9373 or [email protected]
Bishop Nelson Became First Bishop of Atlanta
In the previous four editions of From the Field, we shared Bishop Shipps' brief histories of the most recent four Bishops of Georgia. This week, we reach back to a Centennial Sermon given on April 22, 1923 at St. Paul's Church, Augusta, by the Rt. Rev. F.F. Reese. The Fourth Bishop of Georgia told of his predecessor, the Rt. Rev. C.K. Nelson, who would grow the Diocese to a size to be divided into two. Bishop Nelson became the First Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta in 1908. Bishop Reese writes of him:

"Bishop Nelson was elected at a convention held in St. Paul's Church, Macon, on Nov. 11, 1891. And he was consecrated in St. Luke's Cathedral, Atlanta, on St. Matthias' Day, Feb. 24, 1892, by Bishops Quintard of Tennessee, Howe of South Carolina, and Lyman of North Carolina, five other bishops being present and assisting in the laying-on-of-hands.


"Many of those here knew Bishop Nelson, for he was our Bishop. He came to us in the full vigor of his manhood. With robust physical health and mental vigor, a stalwart and handsome presence and a zeal and industry in service that knew' no limit, he gave himself to the Church in the Diocese in missionary labors. From the North to the South and from the East to the West he went incessantly, establishing missions, building churches and preaching the gospel of Christ and His Church. The best proof of his industry and veal is found in the fact that in fifteen years the work of the Diocese, especially in the number of churches which must be visited and sustained by his encouragement and assistance outgrew even his capacity for labor.

"He was especially interested in and energetic in carrying on and enlarging the work among the negroes, which had been the concern of both his predecessors....In 1907 the Diocese was divided and the diocese of Atlanta set off of which Bishop Nelson elected to become the diocesan. At the time, of the division, there were 54. clergymen on the roll, and 8,524 communicants and 439 people were confirmed, an increase since 1892 of 3,252.


"Bishop Nelson died Feb. 13, 1917, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, his episcopate having lasted just 25 years."

Seven of Bishop Nelson's Addresses to Convention and two of his Diaries of his travels are found in the Diocese of Georgia's Online Archives

Annual Meeting

The congregation of St. Paul's, Albany, enjoys the covered dish lunch served this past week as a part of their Annual Meeting. These meetings are required by the Canons of the Diocese to occur between the First Sunday of Advent and January 31. Please be in touch with Vicki Schuster, our Staff Secretary at [email protected] to notify the diocesan staff of your new wardens and vestry, together with their contact information so that we may keep the diocesan database current.
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The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia