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August 12, 2015Volume 5, Number 50
In This Issue
 
 




This Sunday's Lections
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Track 1 

1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
Psalm 111
Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:51-58
or
Track 2
Proverbs 9:1-6
Psalm 34:9-14
Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:51-58
 
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Glynn Episcopal Ministries
Working Together for the Community
Glynn Episcopal Ministries (GEM) is a shared ministry involving the five Episcopal churches in Glynn County: St. Athanasius and St. Marks in Brunswick, Christ Church Frederica and Holy Nativity on St. Simons Island, and St. Richards on Jekyll Island.  GEM's goal is to serve unmet needs of our less fortunate neighbors. 

St. Athanasius Parish Hall is the group's center of operations.  There they provided snacks to school-aged children, coupled with enrichment programming, on Friday afternoons, from June 5th through August 7th. The middle schoolers enjoyed playing corn hole and 9-square games in the churchyard, while the preschoolers and elementary children enjoyed puppets and stories read to them by members of the different congregations. Children and the adults accompanying them, were invited to take books home for the summer. Backpack Buddies also provided weekend food bags to the children who attended. On the final Friday afternoon, school supplies were provided to the participating first through eighth graders.

Parishioners from the five participating churches who help lead the effort enjoyed this summer program as much as the children and their parent or guardian who attended.
The parishioners also got to know sister and brother Episcopalians from the local area. At the end of the 10-week program, the parishioners "on the ground" agreed they wanted to collaborate together on more GEM activities to benefit the neighborhoods around St. Athanasius.
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. 

Bishop Benhase will be on vacation August 15-22. Bishop Benhase is pictured at left with the clergy, servers, and family of Trinity Cochran's confirmands - Dave and Shayna Cranford and Freddy Kitchens.  Chap Cranford was also baptized during the Sunday, June 14 liturgy.
  
This weekend, Canon Logue will be assisting St. Luke's, Hawkinsville, by officiating at a wedding for a family in that congregation. 
Diocesan Community Update    

The vestry of St. Francis of the Islands called the Rev. Lauren Flowers Byrd as their Priest in Charge. She will begin the new call on September 1. Byrd is double graduate of The University of the South-Sewanee, earning a B.A. in English literature in 1980, and then returning as a seminarian thirty years later to earn a Master's of Divinity. Ordained to the priesthood in June 2013, she came to the Diocese of Georgia from the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Byrd has been serving as an Assistant Rector at St. Peter's, Savannah. She married Russell Byrd in July. Pictured above is the Rev. Lauren Flowers Byrd (at right) with her daughter, Virginia.

The Rev. Dr. Jeremy Bergstrom has accepted a call as the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Texas. He will also serve as the Priest-in-charge at St Christopher's, Dallas, and run an Anglican track at Redeemer Seminary in partnership with Nashotah House Seminary. Bergstrom has been serving on the staff at St. John's, Savannah, since July 2012. He also serve as the Examining Chaplain for Church History for the Diocese of Georgia's Commission on Ministry. 
The Rev. Dr. James A. Johnson (1947-2015)
The Diocese of Georgia mourns the loss of the Rev. Dr. James Arthur Johnson who died at home on August 8. Jim was a retired priest of the Diocese of North Carolina, licensed to officiate in the Diocese of Georgia. He served as an Education for Ministry (EfM) Mentor at Christ Church, Dublin, where he was also routinely supplying on Sundays. He also served as Rector of St. Andrew's, Douglas, from 1991-1993.

Johnson retired in 2012 to Tennille, Georgia, his wife, Betty Jean's, childhood home, following forty years in parish ministry. Jim was a 1968 graduate of Shorter College in Rome, GA. He earned an M.Div. Virginia Theological Seminary in 1975 and a D.Min. from Drew University in 1991. In addition to Georgia and North Carolina, he also served parishes in the dioceses of West Virginia, Newark, and Atlanta. Jim was a U.S. Air Force Veteran who served in Vietnam. He and Betty Jean have two children, Laura Elizabeth Johnson Wilburn of California and Jacob Nathaniel Johnson of Tennille, and two granddaughters, Sarah Michelle Wilburn and Hope Anne Wilburn.

The Requiem Eucharist will be held on Wednesday, August 12th at 2 p.m. at the Grace, Sandersville, followed by a committal service at the Washington County Memorial Gardens with military honors. The Rev. Carlton Shuford will officiate. 

Acolyte Festival Registration Closes Friday

The Acolyte & Youth Leadership Festival (AYLF) registration closes this Friday, August 14. This year's festival, open to those in 3rd through 12th grade, 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

Updated Transition Handbook Posted Online

Based on frequently asked questions from search committees, Canon Logue updated the Transition Handbook for the Diocese. This is a guide to assist search committees in calling a new priest for their congregation. As with other handbooks, a PDF file of the document is always available online in the Reference Library at the diocesan website. There one also finds: 

  • Clergy Handbook - An overview of the norms for the Diocese for its priests and deacons.
  • Discernment & Ordination Handbook - For those who feel called to the ministry of deacon or priest and all who assist with the discernment of call, this is a guide to the norms of the Diocese of Georgia for this process.
  • Liturgical Customary - The customary for liturgy in the Diocese of Georgia. 
  • Policy Manual - The Diocese of Georgia's Policy Manual with information on both lay and ordained employees.
Christ Church, Savannah
Sharing Best Practices: Lunch-and-Liturgy
As plans for the upcoming program year are well underway, I'd like to share an idea with the Diocesan community:  Lunch-and-Liturgy.  The primary goal of this Christian formation program is to engage children more fully in worship.  The design is inspired by the writings of Sophia Cavalletti, one of the creators of the Montessori based program, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Lunch-and-Liturgy also grew out of my personal experience as a mother, with younger kids, in a larger congregation. I often observed an unintentional disconnect between the longtime members, who led the vital ministries of Sunday morning worship, and the newer families with younger children.  I wondered, "How can a church bridge the gap between newer families and long-time members in authentic and meaningful ways?  How can the worship experience be more accessible to my own children?"  Thus, Lunch-and-Liturgy was born. 
            
I've led this program in two different sized churches in our diocese: St. George's, Savannah and Christ Church, Savannah.  The program was very effective in both contexts.  Most importantly, it is fairly simple to organize, builds new connections at the heart of the Eucharistic community, and it truly gets kids excited about and interested in worship.
 
Here's how it works:

1.  Meet with ministry leaders (Altar Guild, Flower Guild, Lectors, Ushers, Choir).  
  • Each ministry area will need to create and lead a 20-minute workshop that is mostly hands-on and can accommodate children, youth and parents.  Simple, theological explanations are good and can be tailored to the audience.  However, active, hands-on, experiential are the key words.  Leaders are basically training the children just as they would train a new adult member of the ministry team.
2.  Create a gathering that has an extended amount of time. 
At St. George's we used part of a weekend Vacation Bible School. At Christ Church, we used the "After-Church Sunday School" model.
  • If needed, provide a meal. 
  • During the meal or as the introductory activity, have children and parents sign up for workshops of their own choosing.  Choice is a very important component of the experience.  Encourage everyone to allow curiosity to be the guide. If a child is younger or needs more hands-on supervision, encourage a parent to attend the same workshop.  The leader may need to subtly encourage particular children towards particular workshops.  For example, at Christ Church we had a table full of 6-10 year old boys chanting, "Altar Guild! Altar Guild!" I finally enticed two of them toward the Choir workshop, but I also asked three dads to join the gang in the Sacristy.  However, choice is a desirable goal.
  • A hope for future Lunch-and-Liturgies at Christ Church is to mingle the lunch tables a bit more intentionally so that new friendships are formed.  Some fun, icebreaker questions could be found in the center of the tables, etc.
3.  Hold multiple, 20-minute workshops, each participant attending one workshop.
The workshop leaders should be prepared to speak to the youngest in the room but also engage the older kids and teens. Their primary goal is to provide as much hands-on experience as possible. 
  • Yes, children should be allowed to carry the antique, silver Eucharistic vessels from the credence table to the sacristy!  Each child attending the Flower Guild workshop can create his/her own flower arrangement, etc.
  • At Christ Church, we gathered in the chancel for a Godly Play lesson after lunch.  This is optional, of course, but it gave a nice theological grounding for the liturgical focus of the workshops. The nave remained slightly darkened.  Everyone was asked to enter silently.  Parents sat on the front pews while teens and younger kids (PreK-12th grade) sat in a circle on the floor of the chancel.  In a very calm, Godly Play manner, I gave the lesson of The Circle of the Holy Eucharist at one gathering and Holy Baptism at another.  (The teens were reassured they were helpers-we have really flexible teens at Christ Church!) After the Godly Play lesson, everyone attended a workshop.
 
4.  Choose a Sunday when children and youth will put their new liturgical skills to work.
  • At Christ Church, our three Lunch-and-Liturgy experiences culminated in a Youth Sunday where kids and teens participated in their chosen ministry area.  The altar was set by Kindergarteners; the flowers arranged by elementary and middle school kids.  Children and teens joined the choir as full members, singing along with the service music and anthem.  At St. George's the VBS culminated in a Sunday morning service where the kids did their "jobs" in the liturgy.  My own son, who was an active eight-year-old at the time, had never been so excited to get to church.  He could not wait to put on his "Usher" badge.
  • Youth Sunday is not an original idea.  However, adults who were not previously involved commented that the Children and Youth Sunday that grew out of Lunch-and-Liturgy felt much more authentic than past experiences.  The children were enthusiastic and prepared (and two very talented seniors gave an excellent sermon), but there was a greater sense of incorporation in the weekly liturgical practices, instead of a school program vibe.  The children and youth were very positive because they had chosen their roles and practiced-there was a great amount of focus and attention.
Overall, Lunch-and-Liturgy is an effective way to involve young people in worship and build new connections in the Church community.  Children, teens and parents are truly interested in learning more about the liturgy; workshop leaders enjoy sharing their knowledge and gifts; everyone enjoys the variety from weekly 9:30 am Sunday School lessons.  I hope some Churches will find the idea beneficial. Make it your own!
-The Rev. Helen White

Note: The photos above picture kids at Christ Church Savannah serving as the Flower Guild, Altar Guild, and Ushers for the church's Youth Sunday 2015.

Blessing Backpacks, Students, and Educators
With kids headed back to school across central and south Georgia, many congregations are holding services to bless the students and their teachers. Above, is a photo from St. Augustine's, Augusta, showing recipients of the blessing of the book bags and briefcases. Their Rector, the Rev. Jason Haddox acknowledges the beginning of a new school year by blessing not only the students but those who teach, serve as administrators, lunchroom workers, and more. At left, St. John's Bainbridge celebrated the new school year August 9 with its annual blessing of students, educators and volunteers. The Rev. Marcia McRae is pictured blessing not only the people and the student backpacks, but also the abundance of school supplies donated by the congregation. She says, "This small congregation has a big heart with love that overflows more and more."
Convention 2015 Hotel Accommodations
The 194th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia meets November 12-14, 2015 at the Coastal Georgia Center in downtown Savannah. The meeting is hosted by the Savannah Convocation, with the Thursday Evensong at St. John's, the Friday Eucharist at Christ Church, and the Saturday morning Eucharist at St. Paul the Apostle. The Diocese has secured blocks of rooms at the following hotels. Convention registration will follow.

Courtyard by Marriott Historic District
415 West Liberty Street, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 790-8287

 

Hampton Inn Savannah Historic District
201 East Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 231-9700

 

To reserve a room, dial the hotel's Front Desk Agents directly at (912) 231-9700 and refer to the groups block code (EDC) to ensure proper room rates. You may also register online here:  Register for Hampton Inn with the convention rate.

 

The last day to secure a reservation at the quoted discounted room rates is 10/12/15, or when the block of rooms is booked.

 

Holiday Inn Express Savannah Historic District
199 East Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 231-9000

 

To reserve a room, dial the hotel's Front Desk Agents directly at (912) 231-9000 and refer to the group block code (EPI) to ensure proper room rates. You may also register online here:  Register for Holiday Inn Express with the convention rate.

 

The last day to secure a reservation at the quoted discounted room rates is 10/12/15, or when the block of rooms is booked.

 

SpringHill Suites Savannah Downtown/Historic District
150 Montgomery Street, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 629-5300

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: http://gaepiscopal.org/docs/oneyearprayercycle.pdf 

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.

Prayers for August 16-22
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Sandersville, Grace Church. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Sandersville, especially St. William Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in San Francisco de Macorís, especially The Good Samartian (El Buen Samaritano) and Jesus the Nazarene (Jesús Nazareno).
 
The two photos above show some of the fun and games for St. George's, Savannah's Fabulous Family Fun Friday held this past week with snow cones outside and food and games indoors.
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia