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August 26, 2015Volume 5, Number 52
In This Issue
 
 




This Sunday's Lections
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
 
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Oak Street Mission
Giving Hope with 1700 Hours of Service
This summer, 75 volunteers from the three Episcopal congregations in Thomasville served more than 1700 hours with Camp Hope at the Oak Street Episcopal Mission. The Camp Hope program recruited sixty new volunteers as a part of making the ministry work. "The tremendous support of the community and donors allowed the camp to be one of transformation and discovery," said Oak Street Mission Executive Director Keith Jenkins.

The camp's director, Jenny Ladson said, "The goal was to teach these kids that no matter what, you're never alone." In reflecting on how well the camp met this objective, Ladson said, "Campers started out shy and afraid and by the end of the summer they had developed into listening participants of God's Love."

The five-week summer camp promoted social, emotional, spiritual, and physical growth while focusing on core values of faith, honesty, and integrity. Twenty-one campers took part in the program which operated weekdays from 8 am-4 pm. Each day started with Morning Prayer and included both creative play (art, dance, cooking, and more) as well as time to stay up on reading, writing, and math. A community partner loaned enough laptops to the program that all the campers were given the opportunity to participate in the online program, "Get Georgia Reading."

Twice a week swimming lessons were also integral to the program. Jenkins said, "All of our campers started the program as non-swimmers, some even fearful of the water. By the end of the camp everyone would go underwater and some even swam the horizontal length of the pool. The sense of accomplishment and pride was almost tangible!"

For Anne Scott Turner, a teen who volunteered with Camp Hope, the experience proved transformative. She wrote of the experience, "I am now sure that helping children is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It's important that children have continuous support, encouragement, and mentoring; that's something I can offer"

About the Oak Street Mission
The Oak Street Mission is a ministry of the three Episcopal churches in Thomasville-All Saints, Good Shepherd, and St. Thomas. A result of the Campaign from Congregational Development's emphasis on creating Signature Ministries, the mission was founded as the Episcopal Development Agency of Thomasville (EDAT). The Oak Street Mission continues to foster the development of the Oak Street Community surrounding Good Shepherd Church.


Bulletin Insert
As a part of the now weekly bulletin inserts offered by the Diocese, the Oak Street Mission's Camp Hope is featured this week. Congregations that can't insert this into their bulletins are encouraged to make the inserts available in the church with other literature or post it on a prominent bulletin board to share good news from across the Diocese. Select either Bulletin Insert Word File or Bulletin Insert PDF file to download.
Diocesan Office Update    

Bishop Benhase meets with the Standing Committee this Saturday. On Sunday, he will make his visitation to Good Shepherd, Swainsboro.
  
Canon Logue will preside and preach this Sunday at St. Francis of the Islands, Savannah. He will be on vacation from September 2-10.
The Rev. George Franklin Bowers (1935-2015)
The Diocese of Georgia mourns the loss of the Rev. George Franklin Bowers who died at St. Joseph's Hospital, Savannah, on August 20. George was a retired priest of the Diocese and with his wife, Pat, actively involved in St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien.

Born in Berwick, Nova Scotia, while his mother was in Canada visiting her parents, the family returned to their home in Everett, Massachusetts, as soon as they could travel. A cradle Episcopalian, Bowers sang in the boy's choir at Our Savior, Brookline, after the family moved to that town to run a boarding house. This choir and the Boy Scout troop connected Bowers to the church which he usually attended alone.

An ankle injury as a teen sent Bowers to a foot clinic in Boston, where he first learned of Podiatry. The interest persisted and following high school graduation, he attended Podiatry School. Bowers married the former Ann Caley in 1957. The two had three children, David, Helen, and Beth. When beginning a family, the Bowers moved to Thomasville, Georgia to start a podiatry practice. There the family became active communicants of St. Thomas.

The Bowers attended Cursillo #9 at Honey Creek. Bowers wrote of this, "Nothing in my life was ever the same again. I met the risen Christ! He was no longer a historical figure." He followed up by forming a reunion group with other men at St. Thomas.

Despite working on their marriage, Ann and George divorced and in this both found support through their church. Later, he met and in 1985 married the former Patricia Hall. The two moved to Saints Simons Island and became active in Christ Church Frederica. During the time on Saint Simons, Bowers felt a renewed sense of a call to the priesthood.

Following a move to Lake Seminole, the Bowers became active at St. John's, Bainbridge. At St. John's, Bowers entered the discernment process and then formation for the priesthood. Bishop Louttit ordained him to the diaconate in February 2001 and to the priesthood on November 26, 2002. He served as a supply priest before serving as an interim for St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Darien. He and Pat have remained actively involved in the Darien congregations.

St. Andrew's, Darien held the Requiem Eucharist last Saturday, August 21. The Very Rev. Ted Clarkson preached. Canon Logue officiated.

Bishop Benhase receives the United Thank Offering Grant from Diocese of Georgia UTO Coordinator Suzanne Harrow.

United Thank Offering
New Ministry to Savannah's Homeless Receives Grant
The little blue UTO boxes are leading to a big change for homeless persons in Savannah. The Community of St. Joseph is a new ministry of the Diocese of Georgia led by the Rev. Jamie Maury to provide worship services by and for approximately 4,200 homeless persons living in the city. 
  
Maury has already started with some initial worship services in the courtyard at Christ Church Savannah (last Friday's healing service is pictured at right). Beginning October 4, the new ministry will begin offering Sunday worship in a homeless camp. Maury is coordinating this effort with the city's Homeless Authority. The $19,660 grant will fund church goods and supplies for the liturgy, compensate the musician, and more. Look for more information in From the Field as the launch of the new liturgy approaches.
More than 100 gather for 2015 Acolyte Festival
With 101 registered to take part from 21 congregations, the Acolyte and Youth Leadership Festival brought together more acolytes than any previous event. The host congregation, Christ Church Frederica on St. Simons Island worked with diocesan staff, lay leaders, and clergy from across the Diocese to put on a memorable event for acolytes. The festival included skill building, games, a beach trip, and a packed Sunday Eucharist in the historic church.

See more photos online here: Acolyte Festival Photo Album

The Rev. Tom Purdy, Rector of Christ Church Frederica, welcomes the acolytes to the historic church. 
 
Jesus and his disciples went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again." But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me." -Mark 9:30-37

Youth Programs
Fall Gathering for High School: Servant of All 
Fall Gathering 2015 registration is now open to all 9th through 12th graders. This event will be held at Honey Creek September 18-20th.The cost is just $100 to attend, which includes meals, snacks and a t-shirt. Participants will discuss the value of serving each other. Youth and Adult Leaders from around the Diocese will share about ways they serve their communities and how you can get involved too!
  
During Fall Gathering participants can expect to participate in fun team building games, to meet other young youth and adult leaders from across the diocese; to discuss the true meaning of servitude, humility and grace; to share their own servant experience; and to have fun! The weekend schedule will be a mix of structured programming and free time to forge new friendships. Invite some one from home to come with you!
 
Note: Though in recent years, our fall event was open for 6-12 grade. With large participation from middle school students at the Acolyte Festival and a New Beginnings, but no Happening, scheduled for this fall, Fall Gathering this year will be a 9-12 grade event.

St. Thomas, Isle of Hope
Adam Sandler Movie Feeds Unseen Guests
In Savannah to film "The Do Over", Adam Sandler's latest movie production led to a unique partnership with St. Thomas longstanding ministry to those with HIV/AIDS.  
The first week of filming landed the crew on Isle of Hope, and they set up their base camp in the parking lot of St. Thomas. The church opened to the team and allowed them to use their facilities and eat their meals in their dining area.
  
After one of those meals, church member Mary Haley said she noticed how much food was being thrown away. "We were there for lunch, and that first day they threw everything away when the meal was over," Haley said. "We asked if we could have their leftovers and they said yes, but you have to pack it up because we just don't have the time or the resources." St. Thomas' parishioners are pictured packing up the bounty for Unseen Guest ministry.
 
So, for the next six weeks, Haley and other church members followed the crew each day to pick up their leftovers to use for the church's long-running Unseen Guest Ministry. For more than 20 years, Unseen Guest Ministry has provided meals to HIV/AIDS sufferers who can no longer provide for themselves. Church volunteers gather weekly to prepare meals from scratch, and menus are based on food supplies that have been donated to the cause.
  
The meals are sealed and labeled and put in the freezer, and in the middle of the month, seven different frozen meals are placed in a plastic shopping bag so each recipient has a week's worth of meals. But some recipients are sicker than others and require more than a week's worth.
  
A driver from Phoenix House, a program of Savannah's Union Mission that provides housing and support services for HIV/AIDS sufferers, comes to the church to pick up the meals. Phoenix House workers are responsible for getting the meals to the right people, so church volunteers never see their dinner guests face to face. The ministry aims to serve a minimum of 350 meals each month. To date, volunteers have donated about 90,000 meals, and those numbers will increase with the bounty donated by Gala Catering who provided meals to the set.
  
According to Haley, the volunteers were able to freeze 1,000 meals, which filled their large freezers to capacity for the first time. Although she's been a member of St. Thomas her entire life, she said, this is her first time to help with the Unseen Guest Ministry.
  
Some of the food items included lamb chops, steak, fish kabobs, pulled pork, shrimp, pot roast and corned beef and cabbage. She said she was able to meet stars Adam Sandler and Paula Patton while they were in town. "Everybody was very nice and very gracious. It was a great experience, and we appreciate the whole crew of the movie. Having these movies filmed here is such an asset for Savannah, and donating this food was just another way they were giving back."
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 23-29
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially Christ Church, the Mother Church of Georgia. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially the Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Ascension Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the Church of St. Paul and St. Luke (San Pablo y San Lucas) in San Isidro.

Prayers for August 30-September 5
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Francis of the Islands and St. John's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially the Lutheran congregations of Redeemer and St. Luke's. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in San Francisco de Macorís, especially The Good Shepherd (El Buen Pastor).

The Rev. Joy Fisher, Team Minister at Trinity, Cochran, reads to the children at the Cochran/Bleckley Library. This is the congregation's secon
d consecutive year to hold the Summer Reading Club at the Cochran/Bleckley Library.  Ten parishioners and clergy have read as a part of the program, which
 fills the void left during the summer months of July and August when the Library's reading program would otherwise shut down.
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia