September 9, 2015Volume 6, Number 2
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
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Congregational Development 
St. Luke's, Rincon, is one of the Diocese of Georgia Mission congregations currently growing due to the Diocese's emphasis on congregational development. Exciting things are happening at St. Luke's.

Growth in Children and Youth
One of the highlights of St. Luke's ministry to children and youth is the Music and Arts camp held during the summer. Last year in 2014, there were approximately 40 participants. This past June in 2015, over 80 children and youth participated throughout the week. During the week, children chose from different art projects or sang and took lessons on a variety of instruments. Activities also included a shared time of worship, dance/gymnastics, and a low ropes course focusing on character development and musical and artistic shows.

Throughout the last year, a concerted focus was placed on recruiting and training acolytes, resulting in a core of 12 acolytes now serving regularly on a rotating schedule. The nursery and preschool formation program is strengthened from a year ago, with an emphasis on learning stories through play and artistic expression. On a typical week, 20-25 children and youth will participate in a church sponsored activity.

Worship and Prayer
Over the past six months, the average Sunday attendance is at 85, up from 75 a year ago. Worship at St. Luke's is still characterized by an atmosphere of hospitality, friendliness, and openness. It is a common occurrence for babies in the congregation to make themselves known by singing, or event "preaching" along during the sermon. Part of the development of the congregation has been the establishment of a new chapter of the Daughters of the King, with seven charter members. The past year also saw seven people baptized and with that a renewed sense of mission and evangelism.

Renewed Sense of Outreach and Mission
Members at St. Luke's have made it a priority to open their building for community groups to use throughout the week. St. Luke's became the charter organization for a local Boy Scout troop, began hosting three more Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, as well as two Ala-Non meetings, and opened its doors as an emergency warming shelter for Effingham County during the winter months. During any given week, approximately 200 different people may come through the doors of the church separate from regular worship times.

Throughout all the activities and programs, there is a sense of excitement at how the Holy Spirit is moving and calling St. Luke's to stretch and grow. Because of the support of the diocese, St. Luke's has made strides in living into its mission of sharing faith through hearts that welcome and hands that serve.
Diocesan Office Update    

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation St. Margaret's, Moultrie, in the morning, and 
celebrate the new ministry of The Rev. Iane Sastre's at St. Athanasius', Brunswick, in the evening.

Canon Logue is on vacation through September 9.

Canon Willoughby received a draft audit in preparation for the Fiance Committee meeting on September 16.

On Saturday, Program Manager Rudy Reyes will meet with the Columba House Augusta Advisory Board in Augusta. 
St. John's, Bainbridge 
Bishop's Visitation 

Bishop Benhase confirmed one and received four adults at St. John's, Bainbridge, Sept. 6. He is seen here with the new Episcopalians, presenters, The Rev. Marcia McRae, Deacon Scott Mithen and acolytes.
Columba House Augusta Calls Missioner
Ranie Neislar has accepted a call as a Missioner for Columba House Augusta. As Missioner, Neislar will oversee the local ministry of Columba House Augusta's outreach to college students and young adults in the Augusta area. She will work with Program Manager Rudy Reyes and the Columba House Augusta Advisory Board to build up the program to a full intentional community. Columba House is an Episcopal intentional community where young people can explore spirituality through dialogue, prayer, and service to our neighbors.

Neislar was born and raised in Athens, GA. She earned her Bachelors from the University of Georgia. She majored in History with a focus on the history of Christianity in the United States. Although her desire to deeply understand all sides of historical and social events was evident before college, Ranie's historical training fed and honed her passion for social justice. Reflection on history prompted her to consider the ways in which religious life is shaped by culture. Such reflections drove Ranie to seek deeper understanding of the principles informing Christian belief and practice. They inspired a newfound passion for the study of theology. In the fall of 2011, Ranie enrolled in classes at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC to pursue this passion. Along the way to earning her M.Div, Ranie has engaged in youth ministry at her home parish of St. Augustine's of Canterbury in Augusta. There she has had the opportunity to guide teenagers to more deeply consider the beliefs informing their faith, from understanding "neighbor" to caring for marginalized creation.
She is married to the ever patient, delightfully goofy John Hayes. When Ranie is not busy formenting revolution in Augusta, she enjoys jogging, tennis, reading theology (of course!), and debating the meaning of life with John on long walks with their two dogs. 

Columba House Augusta is beginning its first year. This program is one of the strategies of the  Campaign for Congregational Development designed to foster youth and young adult leadership. Columba House Savannah is now in its third year. 
Upcoming Retreats for Adults
Looking for a way to deepen your spiritual life? Honey Creek offers retreats that give room for recharging as well as learning more. Here are four upcoming offerings:
Cursillo - October 8-11
Pronounced 'kur-see-yo', this a short course in Christianity taken from the Spanish word meaning 'little' or 'short course'. Cursillo developed after World War II with Roman Catholic men. The short course has now been given to men and women around the world and in the process has assisted generations of Christians to more faithfully follow Jesus in their daily lives. Cursillo begins on a Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday evening. During those three days the participants engage in listening to talks given by priests and lay people, and small table discussion, while worshiping and playing together. The next Cursillo weekend will be October 8-11, 2015, at Honey Creek. You can find out more and register to attend at
Women's Retreat - October 16-18
St. Elizabeth's, Richmond Hill will again host a Women's Retreat at Honey Creek. The retreat meets October 16-18. With the theme "Deeper Into the Heart of God: Place of Freedom" the weekend is dedicated to bringing participants into an ever-deepening love relationship with Jesus. For more information or to register, contact Emily Hubbard at (912) 856-7902 or email her [email protected] 

Advent Retreat - December 11-12
In December, the Revs. Dwayne Varas and Lonnie Lacy will lead an Advent Retreat at Honey Creek on following Jesus in the way of St. Ignatius. This retreat will be held December 11 from 5 p.m. until 5 p.m. on December 12th. Click here for a brochure on this retreat.

The rates for the conference including three meals are: Lodge 1 Single $144, Lodge 1 Double $99.50, Lodge 2 Single $133, Lodge 2 Double $94, Cottage $90, and Campers and Commuters $64. Registration information will follow.
Lenten Retreat - February 19-20, 2016
In Lent, the Revs. Liam Collins and Frank Logue will offer a retreat at Honey Creek. The retreat will explore reconciliation, making room for real changes to take place in the lives of retreat participants during the weekend itself. This 2016 Lenten Retreat will meet February 19 at 5 p.m. and conclude by 2 p.m. on the 20th. The costs will be identical to those for the Advent Retreat above.

Deacons Seek Nominations for Lay Servant Award
At the 2015 Diocese of Georgia Convention the deacons of the Diocese will award a layperson their Excellence in Servanthood Award for the sixth year in a row. This award is funded and sponsored by the Deacons of the Diocese of Georgia. Please know that:
  • This award is to be conferred upon a member of the laity;
  • You must obtain the permission of the layperson you wish to nominate;
  • Nominations must be postmarked between July 1 and September 1, and must include all of the requirements listed above;
  • The Selection Committee, comprised of members of The Deacon's Formation Council, will not consider any application postmarked later than October 1, 2015 or which does not contain all required paperwork.
Please prayerfully consider the lay people you know to decide whose service as a servant to others the deacons should consider when making their selection. 
The full application is online here: Nomination Form for Lay Servant Award
Young Adult and Campus Ministry
Register for Vocare #25
Vocare #25 will be held October 2-4, 2015 at Camp Mikell in Toccoa, GA. 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 cost of the weekend is $100. Scholarships are available. 

The Pilgrim registration form can be accessed via the link below. 
The staff application can be accessed via the link below. 
For more information, visit Vocare in Georgia's website or contact Program Manager Rudy Reyes at r[email protected].  
"Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all."-Jesus

Youth Programs
Still Time to Register for Fall Gathering 
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.

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 September 6-12
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, St. George's and St. Michael and All Angels. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially the Catholic congregations of Blessed Sacrament, Resurrection of our Lord, Sacred Heart, and St. James. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in San Francisco de Macorís, especially St. Stephen (San Esteban) and St. Matthew (San Mateo).

Prayers for September 13-19
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Savannah, especially St. Thomas Isle of Hope and St. Matthew's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Savannah, especially Holy Spirit Lutheran Church and St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Sanchez especially Christ the King (Cristo Rey) and St. Simon the Apostol (San Simón Apóstol).
A Choir Boy Named Shipps

This photo taken from 1933 shows The Rev. Edgar Sanford and members of the men and boys choir at Christ Church in Bordentown, NJ. On the far left stands Bishop Harry Shipps, who served as the eighth Bishop of Georgia from 1985 to 1995.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia