February 2, 2015Volume 5, Number 23
In This Issue


This Sunday's Lections
Fifth Sunday after
the Epiphany
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Happening Connects Teen to God

The 94th Happening weekend in the Diocese of Georgia met at Honey Creek this weekend, drawing almost 100 participants and staff from across the Diocese. Happening is led primarily by teens for teens. Rachel Robinson of St. Paul's, Savannah, served as Rector for the retreat. The Very Rev. William Willoughby III and Deacon Ri Lamb served as the Spiritual Directors. 


Most young people have serious questions about Jesus and the Church. Happening is designed to address these questions. During a  Happening weekend, participants experience the love of Christ as shown through prayer, worship, and the ministry of peers, clergy, and lay adults. The Happeners are encouraged to make their renewed faith a part of their everyday lives. Happening shows how Christianity can keep pace with the many changes in our lives and our world. 


Happening #95 will meet at Honey Creek, May 29-31, 2015. The  Rector will be Melissa Smith of St. Michael and All Angels, Savannah. Click here to apply to serve on the staff for Happening #95. Watch From the Field for participant registration information. New Beginnings offers a similar experience for those in 7-9 grade. See below for more information.


Diocesan Office Update    
Program Manager Rudy Reyes returns Thursday from Belize where he is now working on a short-term mission trip with Project Smile.

Canon Logue will be in Arizona on vacation this afternoon through February 12 as he and his wife, Victoria, visit their daughter, Griffin, who now lives in Mesa.

This Sunday, Bishop Benhase makes his visitation to Our Savior, Martinez.

Canon Katie Willoughby joined the diocesan staff yesterday as our Canon for Administration. 
Diocesan Community Update

A memorial service will be held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Savannah, GA, on Monday, February 9, 2015 at 11 a.m. for the Rev. Jack Dyer. As announced last week, Dyer  died on January 23, following a stroke on New Year's. A priest for nearly 57 years, he served in the Diocese of Georgia from 1999-2009. His daughter, Cynthia, is married to the Rev. Paul Hancock, Rector of All Saints Thomasville. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to any of his favorite charities which include Episcopal Relief and Development, www.episcopalrelief.org. 

Bishop Benhase has appointed
the Very Rev. Joan Kilian as Dean of the Central Convocation. Kilian has been the Rector of Trinity, Statesboro, since 2002. She previously served as an assistant at the Church of Our Savior in Martinez. Kilian is a 1980 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She served in the United States Navy rising to the rank of Commander. Following her military service she earned Masters of Fine Arts degrees in Interior Design and Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1989. She followed her call to ordained ministry while a member of Christ Church, Dublin. She graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) School of Theology in 1997 and was ordained a deacon and priest that same year. She has been active in Cursillo in the Diocese of Georgia and previously served on both Diocesan Council and the Standing Committee, including as Standing Committee President. She follows the Rev. Gary Abbott who served as Dean since 2012. 

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

Bishop Julian Gordy of the Evangelical Church in America's Southeastern Synod assisted Bishop Benhase on Sunday in consecrating the new church building for 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 consecrated. Bishop Benhase consecrated the church building and blessed its furnishings. That evening, St Patrick's held a liturgy of Evensong at 5:30 p.m., commemorating the Eve of Candlemas. An album of 21 photos of the consecration is online here: St. Patrick's Consecration Photos



Bishop's Visitation   

Trinity, Statesboro

Companion Diocese
Mission Team Working Now in Dominican Republic

The second mission team sponsored by churches in the Diocese of Georgia in 2015 arrived in the city of San Pedro de Macorís on January 31, and is scheduled to return home on February 7. This team is led by David Sweeterman from St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Savannah, and its primary mission is to conduct an optical clinic for the Dominicans who live in the nearby region. The team's first trip was in February 2014 with 9 members, and it examined over 500 patients and dispensed over 200 pairs of eyeglasses during that trip. This year's team has more members, 16 in all, and more supplies. Dr. Alan Peaslee of St. Anne's Tifton, returns as the Medical Director and one of the team's two Optometrists.  Other eye care professionals include Optician Jason Peaslee from St. Anne's Tifton; Dr. Henry Croci, a retired Ophthalmologist from Savannah; Optometrist Dr. Sally Freeman; and Optician Gina Overstreet from St. Luke's, Rincon. 


This year the project is taking an important step toward its goal of establishing a permanent missionary eye clinic in San Pedro de Macorís with the donation of examination equipment from South Georgia Eye Partners, some of which was packed in September 2014 by other mission team members from Christ Church, Valdosta, and transported to the Dominican Republic in a shipping container on a cargo freighter coordinated by the Dominican Development Group.


A From the Field Success Story

The assembling of this team for the 2014 trip shows the important networking power of this publication, From the Field. David Sweeterman, the team leader, put a notice in several From the Field issues in 2014 looking for skilled optical personnel to join the team. In the words of Dr. Alan Peaslee, "This is a true From the Field success story. Someone in Savannah made a need known in From the Field, someone in Tifton responded, and other have joined in." 


Alan's Rector, the Rev. Lonnie Lacy, commented on this connection: "The result is that sight is literally being restored to the blind in the Name of Jesus Christ. That's what we in the business call 'Good News." Good news indeed, and look for a follow-up article in February 10th's From the Field about the work of this 2015 optical team. 

Christ Church, Valdosta
Camellia Garden Dedicated to Parishioners' Memory

On January 29th, approximately 150 members of the American Camellia Society and 25 members of Christ Church, Valdosta, and their friends attended the dedication of the church's Sara Oliver Camellia Garden, designated in memory of three former Christ Church members, Sara Oliver and Hulyn and Janet Smith. The Rev. Dr. Dave Johnson, Christ Church's rector, welcomed the group and gave the opening prayer. The garden is next to the rectory, and during the past few years has been cleared of overgrown vegetation and replanted with camellia varieties registered by Hulyn.


The former owner of what is now the church rectory, Mrs. Sara Oliver established the garden in her side yard in the 1930's. It was her tradition to add new camellia varieties each year. Her friend and student Hulyn Smith joined her in caring for the garden for over 30 years as he learned to hybridize new camellia varieties. Hulyn was an active member of the American Camellia Society and served as president during 2005-07. 


The "Hulyn Smith" camellia, a prize-winning hybridized variety, is now grown around the world. This dedication ceremony for the garden was planned to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Camellia Society, which this year was hosted by the Tallahassee (Florida) Camellia Society. The meeting attendees traveled the eighty-mile distance between Tallahassee and Valdosta by chartered bus and personal vehicles to attend this dedication and to walk through the garden. The camellia garden, part of the grounds of Christ Church, is open to the public for visits anytime.

Honey Creek
Register for Summer Camp Now and Save $25 

You know what's cool?...Popsicles. You know what's cooler than cool?...registering now for summer camp at HoneyCreek.org. And even cooler than that, is the early registration discount. So reserve your spot...then go get a Popsicle...maybe grape.


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 HoneyCreek.org.


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


Try the New Parent and Child Camp Sessions

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.


"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

Honey Creek
Take Part in a Mail in Contest to Bring Keys Home

Brace yourself for Honey Creek's first ever SNAIL-MAIL CONTEST. The person (or household) that mails the most Honey Creek Lodge Room keys back to us by THIS Thursday (2/5), will win an amazing HC Prize Pack full of great stuff! 

Get those keys in, the clock is ticking!


Send the Honey Creek lodge keys hanging around your house to: 299 Episcopal Conference Center Road, Waverly, GA 31565

Clergy Spouse Conference  

Hello Clergy Spouses!Once a year, we gather together for a fun-filled weekend to share, support and encourage one another at our Clergy Spouse Conference. As clergy spouses, we know the importance of reflection and growth in our own spiritual lives as well as supporting our own spouse in his or her ministry. Many of us have benefited from these gatherings and we hope you will take the opportunity to be a part of this special community. If you have attended before, please encourage others to come. Some of us only see each other once a year at Diocesan Convention and we don't always have a chance to get to know one another. So come, relax and enjoy each other's company. - Jay Lacy 

This year Clergy Spouse Conference will be held at Honey Creek on Feb. 20th - 22nd, 2015.You may call Honey Creek at (912) 265-9218 or register online here:


Register Online 

 *If you need financial assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Diocesan Office at (912) 236-4279 or email Bishop Benhase at [email protected]

For more information, feel free to contact Leslie Parker at (912)232-2893 or [email protected], or Jay Lacy at (229) 472-2104 or [email protected].

The Loose Canon

A Brief How to Guide on Welcoming Visitors

The ministry of greeting those arriving to church for worship requires sensitivity. Some visitors will enjoy a greeter showing them around, asking questions, and offering lots of information. Other visitors want to get in and out of church with as little contact with others as possible. This is true as visitors bring their own expectations, and often some emotional baggage to church with them. Greeters need to be trained not to offer the same welcome to all, but to pick up on the clues offered by the visitor as to how best to welcome them.


More than one type of welcome

The visitor who arrives early and begins by looking around is asking to be engaged in conversation. Early arriving persons not known to the official greeters, or other regular attenders, should be greeted with something like "Hi, My name is Frank. I don't believe we've met." This won't offend the long-time member who usually attends the early service, but popped in for the 11 o'clock this week. It is also the perfect opening for the newcomer with questions.


The visitor who makes a beeline for the nave without hardly making eye contact if at all, should not be stopped and made to talk. Remember always that someone may not quite be sure they want to be in church yet, and so may not be ready for a conversation on their first visit. Folks in this category, will often, though not always, arrive close to time or just after the liturgy has started.


After the Eucharist, the greeters should be on the lookout for visitors. Perhaps the person who zipped into the service is now going slow and looking around on the way out. This is the time to welcome him or her, to offer to go with them to the coffee and refreshments and connect them to others.


The five-minute rule

For those who are not greeters, remember the five-minute rule. For church members with a gift for hospitality, the first five minutes after the liturgy are your time to introduce yourself to those you don't know. Take the time to get to know the person and to connect them to others in the church, including the clergy. After that you can talk with friends who will still be there, while the visitor may slip out if not greeted. Then on later weeks, look for the visitor to return so you can greet them again.


Genuine hospitality

The goal is to balance a genuine welcome with not wanting to overpower visitors. We do not do this in order to grow a church. We do this because hospitality is part of who we are to BE as Christians. This is the God's House on the Lord's Day and all who come should be welcomed as if we are welcoming Christ.

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

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    

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.

Bishop Reese Grew Diocese in Hardship
In the previous five editions of From the Field, we shared brief histories of some of the Bishops of Georgia. The series continues with Frederick Focke Reese, the fourth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and the first after the diocese was split into the Dioceses of Georgia and Atlanta in 1907. Bishop from 1908-1936, he is the longest serving Bishop of Georgia. 

His successor, Bishop Barnwell, said of Reese,

"He was the Fourth Bishop of Georgia, which diocese was the whole state until his time. But he was the first bishop of this unconsidered fragment of marshland piney woods and back country which was remote from the rabidly growing industrial section of the north. The Diocese of Atlanta took of the endowments which had been left in the wills of faithful churchmen and women of the Coastal area and even tried to take our name as the Diocese of Georgia. Savannah naturally became the residence of the new bishop of the new diocese. This was back in the early nineteen hundreds. All important railroads radiated from Atlanta. All highways the same. Even at the end of Bishop Reese's administration there was no paved road from Savannah to the western part of the Diocese. There were local trains on two secondary branches of the Coast Line and Seaboard which arrived at all of the western points in the diocese at two o'clock in the morning and which returned to Savannah at about the same hour. And most of the stations out in the country were reachable by dirt road only.

"I have been reading some of the bishop's earlier expense statements and one item which impressed me was quite a large sum for feed for a missionary's horse. For the support of his entire missionary work he had much less than we now spend on Camp Reese in a single year.

"Again and again he plead, and for a long time in vain, for enough money to raise the salaries of married missionaries to $1,200 a year. $800.00 seems to have been almost the maximum. He had no travel allowance to speak of, he rented his own house, he had nothing to build with in the mission field and his own salary was often far in arrears. We owed him something like $2,500 in back salary when I came to Georgia in 1935. And the depression of 1929 cracked the back of everything. He had built the diocese up from very little to considerable strength when this depression hit, and was building it back again when I came to help him.

"He was then past eighty years of age. He was an earliest Christian and a strong Churchman with the zeal of St. John and the patience of Job. For the laying of foundations on which we have built for the last twenty years, I am grateful to Bishop Reese. I have never known his equal in this Church."

When elected, the Diocese was comprised of 24 missions and parishes. At the time of his retirement, there were 16 parishes, 21 organized missions, 13 unorganized missions, five mission stations and one parochial mission. The still segregated church records noted 5,391 white and 1,029 black communicants. He died in Savannah on December 22, 1936. 

Twelve of Bishop Reese's Addresses to Convention, three of his Diaries of his travels, a sermon and a pastoral letter are all found in the Diocese of Georgia's Online Archives. The Reese Dining Hall at Honey Creek is named in his honor. Our current retreat center's predecessor on Saint Simon's Island was named Camp Reese.


With an increasing Hispanic population in its neighborhood, St. George's, Savannah, used both English and Spanish in announcing on a sign that all are welcome to lay on the church's playground.
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The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia