August 5, 2015Volume 5, Number 49
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Track 1 

2 Samuel 18:5-9,15,31-33
Psalm 130
Ephesians 4:25-5:2
John 6:35, 41-51
Track 2
1 Kings 19:4-8
Psalm 34:1-8
Ephesians 4:25-5:2
John 6:35, 41-51
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Register for Education for Ministry
This Fall means the beginning of the new year for EfM, a four-year course of study for Christian lay people who want to connect spiritually with the activities and relationships of daily life. EfM participants recognize that everything they do - as worker, friend, parent, volunteer - calls them into ministry, and they prepare for that ministry by systematic study and guided reflection in a small group setting.

The Diocese of Georgia has nearly a dozen EfM classes that meet throughout the diocese in both the daytime and evening, and EfM is open to any adult willing to commit to a year of study from a Christian perspective and to make a one-year commitment, regardless of educational level or denomination.

Discover your ministry. Articulate your faith. Build a common bond in Christ.

If not now, when...?

A list of locations for EfM in the Diocese of Georgia, together with contact information for the Mentors is online here: EfM in the Diocese of Georgia.

If you have questions or want to discuss any aspect of EfM, contact GA Diocesan co-Coordinator Misty Graham at 352-281-6805, [email protected] or visit the EfM website:
Diocesan Office Update    

Canon Willoughby is on vacation through August 14th. During this time, please reach out to Canon Logue for any financial or insurance questions. 


Canon Logue met yesterday with the Search Committee at St. Paul's, Jesup. He meets Thursday afternoon with the Search Committee at St. Peter's, Savannah.

Canon Logue will preside and preach this Sunday at Annunciation, Vidalia.

Bishop Benhase' visitation schedule for 2015-2016 is now online here:
Diocesan Community Update    

The vestry of St. Athanasius', Brunswick has called the Rev. Iane Sastre as their Rector. The Uruguayan born Sastre came to the United States at the age of 21. St. Mark's, Woodbine, was his sponsoring parish when he went to Sewanee to study for Holy Orders. Ordained to the priesthood in January 2011, Sastre has been serving as a Hospice Chaplain while working with Tierra Sante, a bi-lingual Episcopal mission in Camden County. His first Sunday at the new call was August 2. For more information, see The Brunswick News article from this past weekend: Former math teacher embraces new role as rector The Celebration of New Ministry for Sastre as Rector will be Thursday, September 17 at 6 p.m. Behind Sastre in the Brunswick News photo above are St. Athansius' windows remembering the martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement with seminarian Jonathan Daniels at left and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at right and other martyrs memorialized in the central image of the cross.

Mary Grace Benhase Serving a Year in Hong Kong

Joining 26 other Episcopalians in a year of service, Mary Grace Benhase will serve this coming year with migrant works in Hong Kong as a part of the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC). The daughter of Bishop Scott and Kelly Benhase, Mary Grace's year of service follows her graduation from Syracuse University. 


Hong Kong is home to nearly 320,000 migrant workers, most of whom are women from the Philippines and Indonesia. Due to the law in Hong Kong and the tradition of treatment of migrant workers there, workers are often forced into debt bondage, exploited, or even abused. As an intern for HDH, she will work with migrant workers to evaluate their individual situations and with volunteer lawyers to empower and protect them from further mistreatment. 


Mary Grace says of this year with YASC, "Service has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a life-long Episcopalian, I have been formed by both my church and my parents to value helping others and to be a force for good in this world."


At Syracuse University, Mary Grace studied International Relations with a focus on International Security and Diplomacy. She credits her classes at Syracuse with sparking her passion for human rights and as a part of that a passion for women's issues. This year of service in Hong Kong with the HDH will allow her to utilize both the theory and her passion.


As with others taking part in YASC, Mary Grace is expected to raise $10,000 before she leaves at the end of the summer. Before YASC buys her plane ticket, she must raise the first half of that amount. To make a donation, send a check made payable to the Diocese of Georgia noting that this is to support Mary Grace Benhase' YASC fund.


Representing 20 Episcopal Church dioceses the YASC members for the 2015-2016 term are placed in locations throughout the Anglican Communion. YASC is a ministry of the Episcopal Church for Episcopal young adults, ages 21 - 30, who are interested in exploring their faith in new ways by living and serving in communities around the Anglican Communion.  


The blog for her year-long journey of service

St. Patrick's, Albany
Stained Glass Window Installation Underway

Stained glass windows are in the process of installation in new church at St. Patrick's, Albany. Some of the windows were put in last week and more are on the the way, fulfilling a process that has been underway for months. The work is being done by Custom Glass Designs of Dothan, Ala.  Joanne Morton is monitoring the work for the congregation.


So You Feel Called to Be a Deacon?

Two weeks ago Archdeacon Sandy Turner inquired whether you might be considering a call to the diaconate. Last week, Deacon Larry Jesion wrote on how he served Jesus in the world through his ministry as a hospice volunteer. After reading these From the Field articles, you believe that you possess a spiritual calling to be deacon. But how do you know? Is this the Holy Spirit working in your life or simply a manifestation of a human need for self-aggrandizement? The answer to these questions can only come through prayer and discernment. The word "discernment" is derived from the Latin "to sift apart." Therefore, discernment is a process to separate the sacred things from the earthly.


Although self-reflection is required to discern a true call to the diaconate, one cannot accomplish this in isolation of the community of fellow Christians. Spiritual discernment is not a solitary activity; it requires others to serve as spiritual guides, to clarify this perceived calling.


Many have described a spiritual calling as a persistent nagging that won't abate or that the individual can escape. The first individual you should discuss this calling with is a priest, the one responsible for your worshiping family or another priest. If one is available in your convocation, the priest may refer you a deacon for counsel. Many churches have a parish discernment committee to assist the priest with members who perceive a call to the ordained ministry. After completing a period of discernment within your community of faith, the priest may refer you the Bishop.

 If the Bishop believes continued discernment within the church structure is appropriate, he will refer the aspirant to one of six Convocational Discernment Committees (CDC). This process, according to the diocese's Discernment & Ordination Handbook, is designed "to create a caring but questioning environment in which an aspirant can risk testing his or her vocational aspirations." This environment entails a presentation of one's spiritual autobiography and the exploration of one's call over five to six meetings, which may occur in as many months.


If the CDC affirms the aspirant's perceived call, the aspirant is referred through the Bishop to the diocese's Commission of Ministry. If this body supports the CDC's recommendation, the aspirant is approved to begin a period of study, hopefully, culminating in ordination as a deacon.


This process might seem lengthy and daunting, one that should be fast-tracked. However, it recognizes that spiritual discernment is serious business, one that requires time. Some aspirants may want to rush the process too quickly labeling how their spiritual calling will be manifested. It takes time, self-reflection and others' assistance in discerning the service that God is calling us into.


-Deacon John Warner

Chair, Augusta Convocation Discernment Committee


Brochure on Deacons in the Diocese of Georgia
Here is a brochure you can print and share on the Sacred Order of Deacons in the Diocese of Georgia: The Ministry of Deacons in the Diocese of Georgia

Bishop Coadjutor Elected for our Companion Diocese

On July 25 our Companion Diocese of the Dominican Republic elected the Rev. Moisés Quezada Mota as bishop coadjutor. The election is pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church. 

The Rev. Moisés Quezada Mota, 58, vicar of Misiones Jesús Nazareno and Buen Samaritano in San Francisco de Macorís, was elected on the second ballot out of a field of four nominees. Pending a successful consent process, the Bishop Elect will serve alongside the Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín and will succeed Bishop Holguín upon his retirement. (Above is Julius Ariail's photo of the bishop elect with Bishop Holguín shortly after the results were announced).

The Diocese of Georgia is actively engaged in ministry with our partners in the Dominican Republic. Five mission teams from Georgia traveled to our Companion Diocese in 2015 with trips sponsored by the Southeast Convocation, St. Peter's Savannah, St. Anne's Tifton, Christ Church Valdosta, and diocesan youth programs. More information on our Companion Diocese relationship, including reports on these trips, is at our Companion Diocese Webpage.

Acolyte Festival Hosted by Christ Church, St. Simons Island

The Acolyte & Youth Leadership Festival (AYLF) registration is now open to 3rd through 12th graders. This year's festival will be hosted by Christ Church Frederica on St. Simons Island and will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 22 & 23, 2015. The cost is just $50 to attend, which includes meals, snacks and a t-shirt. Priests will work with youth ministers in putting on this fun event. Participants should bring their own vestments (marked with a church  name or participant's name) and their home church's banner, which will be processed during the 11:15 Sunday morning Eucharist at Christ Church.


To register for this event, please follow the link below: 

Register for the Acolyte Festival

Clergy and Spouses Register Now for Conference

The Church Pension Group (CPG) is hosting the Clergy Conference this September 27-29 and spouses as well as clergy are encouraged to attend. Learn how to secure your financial future and take steps toward a healthier lifestyle at this special conference. As with recent conferences, the meeting will begin with dinner on Sunday evening and will end with lunch on Tuesday (Draft Conference Schedule).

Even if you've previously been to a Planning For Tomorrow or Steps to Wellness conference, we encourage you to attend. You may now be at a different stage of life and will benefit from a review of this information.

Cost subsidized by CPG
  • You pay: $125 for a single attendee; $150 per couple (includes all meals and lodging for two nights)
  • Reduced rate if you stay in the cottages, offsite, or camp
  • Child and elder care costs may be reimbursed
  • For financial assistance, please contact Katie Willoughby at [email protected] prior to registering

For more information, please call Admissions at (888) 274-2828 or email [email protected].
Prayers for Weekly Liturgies
Our one-year prayer cycle combines prayers for every congregation in the Diocese of Georgia with prayers for our ecumenical partners and for our Companion Diocese of The Dominican Republic. The 52 weekly prayers are available in one document: 

Prayers for August 2-8
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation on St. Simons Island, Christ Church and Holy Nativity. We also pray for our ecumenical partners on the island, especially Lord of Life Lutheran Church and St. William's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for The Church of the Nativity (La Natividad) in Salcedo.

Prayers for August 9-15
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation on Jekyll Island, St. Richard of Chichester. We also pray for our ecumenical partners on the island, especially Jekyll Island Methodist Church and St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Bartholomew (San Bartolomé) in San Cristóbal.

Sundays at St. Thomas Isle of Hope in Savannah are seen through the artwork of parishioner Mary Soeldner. These from July 19 (above) and July 26 (below) were shared at the congregation's Facebook page.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia