October 14, 2015Volume 6, Number 7
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
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Worship in a Homeless Camp
Regular Sunday worship is now underway for a new Diocese of Georgia ministry to homeless persons in Savannah. The Community of St. Joseph, led by the Rev. Jamie Maury, aim to provide worship services by and for Savannah's homeless persons living in the city, approximately 4,200. 


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). The ministry now offers worship at Emmaus House on the Third Friday of the month and every Sunday worship near Camp 2, an area identified with the assistance of Homeless persons interested in the Community of St. Joseph. This work is also coordinated with the city's Homeless Authority. 


Mary Meeks piloted this ministry in 2013 as an intern at Columba House Savannah. She worked to put together a Christmas Day Eucharist in a homeless camp under a bridge over President Street. Coordinating the Community Policing Officer and members of her home parish of St. Michael and All Angels, Savannah, the well-attended liturgy proved inspirational. With other worship opportunities since then, Bishop Benhase dreamed of what amounts to a Signature Ministry for Diocesan House. The diocesan staff successfully applied for a United Thank Offering Grant to fund church goods, supplies for the liturgy, compensation for a musician, and more. 


Want to take part?

You are welcome to join the worship this Friday morning at 8:45 a.m. in the courtyard of the Christ Church Savannah Parish House at the corner of Abercorn and Bryan Streets. Sundays, the liturgy will be at 9:30 a.m. at Old Louisville Road and Pritchard Street near Camp 2 (Four blocks west of Liberty & Martin Luther King Boulevard).

Diocesan Office Update    
Canon Willoughby met today with the Finance Committee to present the Draft 2016 Budget. After discussion and some minor changes, the Finance Committee approved the budget which will also be shared with Convocation Meetings in advance of the diocesan convention.

This Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. John & St. Mark's, Albany and will ordain Jonathan Tuttle a Deacon. In the afternoon, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to Holy Spirit, Dawson.

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at St. Luke's, Rincon. Next week, he will be working on videos for the November diocesan convention.

On Monday, Rudy Reyes will meet with the Columba House Augusta Advisory Board. 
Diocesan Community Update    
The Rev. George V. Porter recently retired from a decade of serving as a Team Minister at Trinity, Cochran. The congregation identified three persons to serve together as their priest during discernment toward a mutual ministry model during Bishop Louttit's episcopacy. Based on a model developed by the Dioceses of Nevada and Northern Michigan, the congregation worked to discover the ministry of all the baptized. Following discernment adults at Trinity one Sunday placed on the altar names of members from their congregation they could see God making into priests. Four years of formation in place followed for Joy Fisher, George Porter, and Vernon Wiggins. The three were ordained to the transitional diaconate at the diocesan convention in February 2005 together with five other deacons. Then on August 7, 2005, Bishop Louttit ordained the Fisher, Porter, and Wiggins at Trinity.  Vernon Wiggins has since retired. The Rev. Joy Fisher continues to serve the congregation as priest. On November 6, Bishop Benhase will ordain Dale Jones to the transitional diaconate with the expectation of his becoming a second Team Ministry priest in 2016. Porter is pictured above on the Sunday of his retirement.
2014 Diocesan Audit Complete, Posted Online
The 2014 Audit for the Diocese of Georgia, including Honey Creek, has been completed and received by the Finance Committee. The auditors gave the finances of the Diocese and its camp and conference center an unqualified opinion that reveals a substantial improvement in financial health. The keys to this positive change remain the increased financial stability of Honey Creek and the success of the Campaign for Congregational Development. Judy Draffin, our Diocesan treasurer, noted "The Diocese continues to makes strides to place sound financial protocols in place to enable strong performance and demonstrate transparency." 

The full report is now posted online here:
The report is also archived at our Diocesan Financial Reports page on the website where the most recent quarters financials are maintained online together with Audits dating to 2009. 
Six Ordinations in Six Weeks
Following this past weekend's meeting of the Commission on Ministry and the Standing Committee, the Diocese of Georgia now has six ordinations planned for the the next six weeks. Please feel encouraged to attend as you are able. Clergy please find a way to attend one or more of these liturgies as you are able.

Jonathan Tuttle - October 18
God willing and the people consenting, Johnny Tuttle will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at 10 a.m. on October 18, 2015, at St. John's and St. Mark's, Albany. Tuttle is a 2015 graduate of Duke Divinity School. He currently serves as the Lay Pastoral Leader for St. John's and St. Mark's. Clergy wear cassock, surplice, and tippet. 

Dale Jones - November 6
God willing and the people consenting, Dale Jones will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at 7 p.m. on November 6, 2015, at Trinity, Cochran. Dale will join the team ministry in place at Trinity, serving together with the Rev. Joy Fisher as part of a Total Ministry plan put in place during Bishop Louttit's episcopacy. Clergy wear cassock, surplice, and tippet. 

The Rev. Deacon Aaron Brewer - November 7
God willing and the people consenting, The Rev. Deacon Aaron Brewer will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests at 11 a.m. on November 7, 2015, at St. Luke's, Hawkinsville. Aaron currently serves at St. Luke's, Hawkinsville, where he will become the Rector. Clergy wear cassock, surplice, and red stoles.  

Guillermo Arboleda and Kelly Steele - November 14
God willing and the people consenting, Guillermo Arboleda and Kelly Steele will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at 5 p.m. on November 14, 2015, at T
he Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah. Married to one another since May 2014, the couple both serve part time as missioners at Columba House Savannah. Kelly also serves at St. Michael and All Angel's and Guillermo also serves at St. George's. Clergy wear cassock, surplice, and tippet. 

The Rev. Deacon John Jenkins - November 24
God willing and the people consenting, The Rev. Deacon John Jenkins will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests at 7 p.m. on November 24, 2015, at St. Paul's, Augusta. John is a 2015 Sewanee graduate. He serves as the Assistant to the Interim Rector at St. Paul's. Clergy wear cassock, surplice, and red stoles.  
Columba House
Donations of Hymnals Sought
Columba House Savannah is looking for a donation of 5-10 copies of The Hymnal 1982 for our regular use in worship. Other song books like Wonder, Love, and Praise and Lift Every Voice and Sing II, Enriching Our Music, and even Taize songbooks are welcome. 

Please contact Columba House Missioners Kelly Steele at [email protected] or Guillermo Arboleda at [email protected].
Convention 2015
Register for Convention 
Delegates, alternates, clergy, and visitors may now register for the 194th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia. Each parish sends three delegates and one alternate, while each mission sends one delegate and one alternate. All active clergy canonically resident in the Diocese are voting members of the convention. Others may attend convention as guests. 
The registration for the meeting is the same cost as in recent years, just $85 per person. This fee offsets our cost for the conference center, and covers the cost of coffee and snacks on Friday and Saturday mornings, a lunch on Friday, and all printed conference materials.

The theme of Spread the Good News will open up our time to considering how Episcopalians can share the joy of the life of faith with friends and family. Bishop Benhase said, "Our Diocesan Convention will, of course, include our annual responsibilities of reports and elections, but much of our time will be devoted to being a missionary convocation for the people of this Diocese. We have the Good News of Jesus, crucified and risen, to share and we must equip everyone to share it."

Registration information
We are using our ACS database to register delegates. This simplifies the process for most clergy and lay persons as you will already be listed in the database and will not have to type in your contact information, but can change it if needed. For those not yet in the database, you will see a link as you complete registration to add yourself to the database. Please do so as this will help us to better retain your information for future events.

Convention 2015
Proposed Changes Will Expand Disciplinary Board
Based on experience with the Church Disciplinary Board, which handles allegations of clergy misconduct, the convention will consider a canonical change to expand the board's membership by one additional clergy person and one lay person. If the proposal is approved, it will create a board of six clergy and five lay members each serving three year terms. Our Chancellor, the Rev. Jim Elliott, proposes a resolution to make the change effective immediately so that the convention may elect the additional members during this convention. Generally the board only meets as a whole for an organizational meeting. This year, that meeting will be at the convention site when the convention adjourns. At the organizational meeting, a President is elected from the board. The elected board members are also selected to staff Conference Panels and Hearing Panels as needed in accordance with the Title IV canons of the Episcopal Church.
Convention 2015
Nominations for Diocesan Elections
The following elections will take place at the 194th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia: 

Board of Corporation - Elect One Layperson 
The Board of Officers is charged with the oversight of the investments and disbursements of those funds entrusted to it through wills, deeds, and other trust instruments. The board meets quarterly. Person elected at 2015 Diocesan Convention will serve through the Convention of 2022. 

Disciplinary Board-3 Clergy and 2 Laypersons (anticipated)
Previously known as "The Ecclesiastical Trial Court," the Disciplinary Board of the Diocese of Georgia is vested with jurisdiction to hear and determine all proceedings in which a priest or deacon has been charged with one or more offense specified in the canons of the Episcopal Church. It meets only when necessary. After expected action to expand this Board, it is anticipated that three clergy members and two lay persons will be elected for a term of three years to serve through Convention 2018.  Newly elected members plus holdover members will be expected to attend an organizational meeting of the Board, probably on Saturday morning of the last day of the Convention.

Sewanee Trustee - Elect One Layperson 
The board meets in Sewanee, TN, early in October each year. The two laypersons and one priest who serve on the board from the Diocese of Georgia are to represent the university to the diocese. One lay person will be elected for a three-year term to serve through Convention 2018. 

Diocesan Council at Large Member - Elect One Person, Lay or Clergy 
Council's responsibilities are to carry out the policies, programs and directions of Convention; to deal with contingencies as they arise; and to assist the bishop in developing the ministry of the diocese. It carries out the duties of Convention between Conventions. Council generally has three overnight meetings a year in various parts of the diocese. The person elected at 2015 Diocesan Convention will serve through Convention of 2018. 

Standing Committee - Elect One Clergy and One Layperson 
The Standing Committee is the bishop's Council of Advice. In the absence of a bishop, the Standing Committee would act as the Ecclesiastical Authority for those purposes declared by General Convention. The Standing Committee must approve all ordinations and any financial indebtedness of parishes. It usually meets three times a year at the same time as the Commission on Ministry and in various locations throughout the diocese. As per the Diocesan Constitution, the Standing Committee members rotating off at this convention (The Very Rev. Ted Clarkson and Hughes Threlkeld) must wait at least a year before becoming eligible again for election.

Nominations Process
Our Nominations Chair, Liz Williams, of St. Anne's, Tifton, will need both Nomination Forms from the person making the nomination and the Nominee Information Form from the person nominated by October 16 to assure inclusion in advance materials for Convention. Nominations remain open until closed on the floor of the convention as business starts during the opening session on Friday morning, the first day of convention. 

Cairney Presented with St. George Award
The Rev. Joy Fisher of Trinity-Cochran recently presented Dr. Chris Cairney with the St. George Award which honors adult Episcopalians for distinguished service in the spiritual, physical, mental and moral development of youth through service to the Church and through national youth agency programs. Dr. Cairney started the scout troop that is affiliated with Trinity.  He also started the Canterbury Club at Middle Georgia State University.

The award made available through the Youth Ministries Office of the Episcopal Church may be presented to any adult who are active in their church and one or more of the national youth agencies (Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Camp Fire USA, 4-H, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and Daughters of the King). Cairney is an English professor at Middle Georgia State University, with the Episcopal St. George Award.  Cairney was nominated by Deacon George M. Scott of Trinity in an application made with endorsement from Bishop Benhase.  

The Rev. Jay Weldon is pictured with his wife Alison as he blesses their cat at St. Patrick's, Albany.

Blessing of the Animals Across the Diocese 
Congregations across the Diocese of Georgia held Blessing of the Animals services this past week. The liturgy is usually offered close to October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is remembered for calling the church to greater faithfulness through his example of a life lived in greater fidelity to the teachings of Jesius. Francis also is said to have preached to the birds on one occasion and saved the town of Gubbio, Italy, from a wolf which he tamed. The wolf is buried in the cathedral in Gubbio, enjoying a place of honor by the altar in that town to this day. This is just a sampling. See all of the photos online here 2015 Blessing of the Animals Album

The Rev. Tom Arledge blesses pets at St. Luke's Hawkinsville with assistance from Deacon Aaron Brewer.

The Rev. Lonnie Lacy at the Blessing of the Animals at St. Anne's, Tifton.

Two views of the Blessing of the Animals at St. Thomas, Thomasville, with the Rev. Dwayne Varas at right.

The Rev. Marcia McRae blesses pets in the square in Bainbridge for St. John's.
Convention 2015
Register for Convention Lock-In 
Christ Church Savannah will host a Lock-In from immediately following the Convention Eucharist on Friday, November 13 through Saturday, November 14 at 7 a.m. This lock-in is open to all 6th-12th youth and will focus on the 194th Convention theme: Spread the Good News. 

Participants can expect to participate in fun games, Instagram challenges, and open discussions about how we can all do our part to spread the Word of God. The lock-in registration fee of $50 will cover the cost of dinner on Friday night and breakfast Saturday morning as well as a t-shirt. Be sure to bring: Bedding (sleeping bag, pillows, etc.), Close-toed shoes, and Cell phones (if you have them).

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 October 11-17
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Statesboro, Trinity. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Statesboro, especially St. Matthew's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Luke (San Lucas) in Santiago.

Prayer for October 18-24
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Thomasville, All Saints, Good Shepherd, and St. Thomas and for their work at the Oak Street Episcopal Mission. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Thomasville, especially St. Augustine's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist (Capilla San Juan Evangelista) in Santo Domingo.
Open House

This past Saturday, Columba House Augusta hosted an open house for those in the convocation to learn more about the program and how to help furnish the house for ministry. There was great turnout that generated excitement for this second Columba House in the diocese. Find out more at
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia