November 4, 2015Volume 6, Number 10
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Join Our Mailing List
Coaches Help Clergy Maximize Potential
One significant change in the Diocese is going on behind the scenes as clergy who are coaches certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) meet regularly with 39 persons for coaching session. In sports, we know that great coaches bring the best of the abilities out of an athlete. Likewise, many top professionals in a variety of industries have discovered the value of a trained coach, but religious groups have been reticent to consider this approach. The Diocese of Georgia placed a high value in these one on one coaching relationships as one of the strategies in the Campaign for Congregational Development. Now several years into the program, we are seeing the fruit of this approach.

"The peer coaching program serves as a helpful mirror to reflect on how to be a better, more effective leader,for clergy throughout the Diocese and allow for a more peer coaching relationships." said the Rev. Dwayne Varas, Rector of St. Thomas, Thomasville. An experienced priest, Varas has enjoyed the benefit of a coach. He said, "Accountability is key, and taking the time for self-reflection enables me as a spiritual leader to apply lessons learned within my community.

The Very Rev. Billy, Rector of St. Alban's, Augusta, is one of our certified coaches. He noted that, "We are an expansive Diocese, and as a priest, it can often times be isolating. The peer coaching relationships enable us to come together and seek insights and lesson learned from each other."
Seeing the value to those served by the clergy who have a coach, he said, "This program benefits not only the priest, but their congregations as well. What does it mean for a community to have a confident and self-assured priest? I would argue a lot."

The Rev. Ellen Richardson, Associate at St. Anne's, Tifton, said, "Coaching is part of the larger gift the Bishop has given us. An opportunity for participants to examine their goals, strengths, weakness, and be held accountable by coaches for successes and development areas."

Coaches are required of all seminary graduates as well as priests moving into the diocese for their first two years. We are finding that those clergy extend the relationships as they see the value in having a coach. The program is also available to clergy no matter how long they have served and to other lay leaders.

Coaches are able to take a more general idea like "I want to improve our Christian Education program" and assist the priest in breaking down this goal into manageable tasks and next steps and then holding the priest accountable for taking those steps. So whatever identified goal the priest sets will become action items with follow up. This process and its built in accountability is a benefit not just to the priest or deacon, but also to the congregation she or he serves.

Varas noted that his congregation also sees the value in him taking time to participate in the program and added, "I believe we need to begin to train more coaches to have a broader pool available for clergy throughout the Diocese and allow for a good peer coaching relationship."
More information on the Peer Coaching Initiative is found by watching the video linked at the top of this article and at the diocesan website: Peer Coaching Web Page
Diocesan Office Update    
Bishop Benhase is pictured at right after the Celebration of New Ministry for the Rev. Iané Sastre at St. Athanasius, Brunswick.

On Friday, Bishop Benhase will ordain Dale Jones a Deacon at Trinity, Cochran. On Saturday, Bishop Benhase will ordain Deacon Aaron Brewer a priest at St. Luke's, Hawkinsville. 

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Barnabas', Valdosta. 

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at King of Peace, Kingsland. The congregation as the congregation for which he served as church planter and founding rector celebrates its 15th anniversary. 
Upcoming Ordinations 

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.  
Bishop Curry's Installation Sermon
Bishop Curry's Installation Sermon

27th Presiding Bishop Installed with Joy, Celebration 
On All Saints Day Bishop Michael Bruce Curry knocked on the door of Washington National Cathedral. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, along with House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and others, welcomed him at the door and following his answering questions from the installation liturgy, the Bishops, Clergy, and lay people filling the nave of the cathedral to capacity renewed their baptismal covenant. The installation liturgy continued with Curry's seating in the cathedral (Washington National Cathedral has been the presiding bishop's seat since 1941), then Bishop Katharine handed over of the primatial staff. The liturgy, which may be viewed online, continued with prayers, readings, a sermon by the new Presiding Bishop and a Eucharist. 

During his sermon, Bishop Michael told the congregation of a realization he had while traveling to New York City to fill out his employment paperwork and insurance forms. As the reality of becoming Presiding Bishop settled in, he said, "The real Michael Curry was frankly scared to death and wondering, 'Did you all make a mistake?' I was stuck on a plane, strapped into my seat belt because of turbulence on the flight, and I couldn't get off. At that moment, and I'm not trying to get mystical or anything, but at that moment something said to me, 'Michael Curry, this is not about you.'" 

He went on to say, "I must admit that was a moment of some sweet liberation. Because it's not about me. It's about God, and it's about Jesus."

He then challenged the Church to follow through on the momentum from the General Convention that set priorities for evangelism and racial reconciliation. He said, "The Spirit has done evangelism and reconciliation work through us before. And the Spirit of God can do it again, in new ways, now beyond the doors of our church buildings, out in the world, in the sanctuary of the streets, in our 21st-century Galilee where the Risen Christ has already gone ahead of us."

You may listen to the sermon at the link above, or read the full text online here.

Bishop Benhase said, "I've known Bishop Michael for more than 20 years. I served with him as my Bishop in North Carolina. He is my dear brother. He's leading us to take the Gospel of Jesus into our communities. Leaders, however, need followers. It's time for us to follow Jesus, as Bishop Michael has said, and take the liberating, life-giving Gospel of Jesus into every corner of our communities, starting with our most nigh neighbors."

About Our New Presiding Bishop
Born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 13, 1953, Curry attended public schools in Buffalo, New York, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, in Geneva, New York, and a Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He was ordained to the diaconate in June 1978 at St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo, New York, and to the priesthood in December 1978 at St. Stephen's, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He began his ministry as deacon-in-charge at St. Stephen's, and was rector there 1979-1982. He next accepted a call to serve as the rector of St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights, Ohio, where he served 1982-1988. In 1988, he became rector of St. James' Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland, where he served until his election as bishop in 2000.

During his time as bishop of North Carolina, Curry instituted a network of canons, deacons and youth ministry professionals dedicated to supporting the ministry that already happens in local congregations. Throughout his ministry, Curry has also been active in issues of social justice, speaking out on immigration policy and marriage equality. Curry and his wife, Sharon, have two adult daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth.

The Role of the Presiding Bishop
The presiding bishop is chief pastor of the church, chair of the Executive Council, and president of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (the legal and canonical name of The Episcopal Church). The Canons charge the Presiding Bishop "with responsibility for leadership in initiating and developing the policy and strategy in the church and speaking for the church as to the policies, strategies and programs authorized by the General Convention." The presiding bishop also "speaks God's word to the church and world as the representative of this church and its episcopate in its corporate capacity," represents The Episcopal Church to the Anglican Communion, serves as chief consecrator of bishops, and leads the House of Bishops. He or she also holds a significant role in the discipline and changes in status of bishops, according to the Canons of the Church.
Diocesan Convention 2015 
Convention Registration Closes this Friday  
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.

Convention 2015
Read Proposed Resolutions and Canonical Changes
The 194th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia will consider two proposed canonical changes and two proposed resolutions. These are:
  • A new Congregation at Risk Canon, which is a revision of the canon Convention 2014 sent back for further study and possible amendment.
  • A revision to Canon IV.1-2, which would expand the number of members of the Church Disciplinary Board.
  • A resolution making the expanded Church Disciplinary Board canon (if passed) go into immediate effect so that additional members may be elected at this convention.
  • A resolution approving the first reading of a petition to advance Holy Comforter, Martinez, to parish status. This resolution must be approved by two consecutive conventions.
Convention 2015
Diocesan Convention Workshop Offerings 
On Thursday afternoon, those interested can attend one-hour workshops which will be held in the Coastal Georgia Center. Offerings will include:

Thursday November 12 from 2-3 p.m. 

Parish Administration: Sifting through paperwork
led by Canon Katie Willoughby  

Session on all required reports, benefits administration, and resources available to congregations to help manage day to day  administration. Highlights on Church Pension Group, Diocesan, and National Church resources.

Going Green: Why and How to Get Started
led by the Diocese of Georgia Creation Care Commission
This session will explore theological and ethical foundations for Creation care and review the many energy, soil, waste, and water conservation efforts already under way across our Diocese. Come learn how your congregation can help heal, protect, and restore "this fragile earth, our island home."

Youth Ministry Session: A Workshop on leadership, communication, and self-gratitude
led by Rebekah Stewart, Interim Missioner for Youth
Youth Ministry can be a challenging, rewarding, and often time-consuming, field to pursue a career in. It is important that we not only challenge ourselves to constantly reach towards the next goal, but that we also learn to take time for ourselves and build a strong emotional support system. Join us for a workshop dedicated to dealing with the ups and downs of a position in Youth Ministry. We will focus on  how to apply CDI Leadership and Communication skills to your ministry and work environment as well as how to be kind to ourselves and one another. 

Convention 2015
Still Time to Register for the 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).

Convention 2015
Please Bring Your Own 
Coffee Cups and Water Bottles
As with recent conventions, we want to reduce the impact on the environment made by our gathering next week. While no one is required to do so, delegates are highly encouraged to bring their own water bottles and coffee mugs so that we do not need to throw away single use containers. 
Convention 2015 
Clergy Spouses and Partners Breakfast  
Bishop Scott & Kelly Benhase invite clergy spouses and partners to annual Clergy Spouses & Partners Breakfast at Diocesan Convention. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015
7:45 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
Coastal Georgia Center
305 Fahm Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Convention 2015
Diocesan Election Nominee List 
To date, the following nominations have been received: 

Board of Corporation-2 Laypersons
Billy L. Dowdle

Disciplinary Board-3 Clergy and 2 Laypersons (anticipated)
The Rev. Liam Collins
Sam Colville
The Rev. H. Lee Lowery
The Rev. Dcn. Yvette Owens
Laura Wheaton

Sewanee Trustee-1 Layperson
Bill Bruce
Val Crumpton
Isabella Stuart Reeves

Diocesan Council at Large Member-1 Layperson or Clergy

Standing Committee-1 Clergy and 1 Layperson
The Rev. Al Crumpton
Skip Jennings

The photos and biographies for these nominees are online now at the convention website's Nominations Page.

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. 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.

Savannah Beer and Hymns to Launch in Early Fall 
A musical phenomenon known as Beer and Hymns that is sweeping the country will make Savannah Georgia its newest home.

Imagine a few hundred people gathered around a band in a rustic bar on Bay Street singing old hymns and other beloved songs with gusto. As the last verse of one of the hymns starts, you see the band encourage everyone to raise their glass and offer a toast. Sound like a way you would want to spend an evening in Savannah? Well, now that is possible.

Savannah Beer and Hymns coordinator, Gabriel Lawrence, was introduced to the Beer and Hymns concept at the Wild Goose Festival in 2014. "I knew when I returned home from the Wild Goose Festival in 2014, Beer and Hymns was something I wanted to start in Savannah. Beer and Hymns creates the perfect environment for folks to experience something at the crossroads of spirituality, fun, and music; three things so intricately woven into the personality of our beautiful city!"

Despite the name, this is a singing event rather than a drinking event. Non-alcoholic beverages are equally available. Participants who do choose an alcoholic beverage are expected to imbibe responsibly.

Savannah Beer and Hymns meets in the beer cellar at Moon River Brewing Company where a band leads in the singing of the hymns.
Lyric sheets are provided and participants are encouraged to make up their own harmonies. "There's something beautiful, spiritual even, in harmonies being created organically by the participants as they sing from verse to verse." says Lawrence.

Savannah Beer and Hymns meets monthly at Moon River Brewing Company the second Thursday of each month at 8 p.m. Find updated information on Savannah Beer and Hymn's Facebook page.

For more information contact Gabriel Lawrence: [email protected], (615) 364-1571

WHAT: Savannah Beer and Hymns
WHEN: 8 p.m.,Thursday, November 12
WHERE: Moon River Brewing Company, Beer Cellar (downstairs), 21 W. Bay Street, Savannah
COST: Free! Beverages and food available for purchase21 and up.
Youth Programs 
Still Time to Register for November New Beginnings 
New Beginnings will take place during the weekend of November 20-22, 2015, at Honey Creek. The cost of weekend is $118. The deadline to register is Wednesday November 11.

New Beginnings is a weekend retreat for teenagers in grades 7-9 led by a team of mostly teenagers, with a few adults, and two clergy spiritual directors. The weekend takes participants through a discovery about ourselves, our friends, our families, our faith, and how to live out our faith in our daily lives.

How might this discovery happen? Through making new friends and sharing with old ones, through singing, skits, talks given by teens, videos, games, worship, and conversation with each other! You are encouraged to bring friends from your church and an adult who will stay through the weekend. Everyone will take an active part in the program. You can go to New Beginnings as many times as you'd long as you're in grades 7-9. We know once you go, you will want to go back. There is even an opportunity to serve on the'll hear more about that at the weekend.
If you have any questions please contact Jason Peaslee at [email protected] or Maggie Bloodworth at [email protected] and 478-892-9373. For information visit

Evensong for the Feast of All Saints at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta.

All Saints Weekend Around the Diocese
The congregations of the Diocese of Georgia celebrated this weekend in a variety of ways. Here are some images gleaned from the Facebook pages of our churches.

An evening cookout with live music at All Saints, Tybee Island.

The Rev. Joshua Varner presented All Saints Day in Word, Image, and Story at St. Patrick's, Pooler.

The All Saints Altar of Remembrance at St. Augustine's, Augusta.
The Rev. Jay Weldon baptizes his son James as his wife Alison looks on at St. Patrick's, Albany.

Trinity, Statesboro offered candy at their booth at Trick or Treat at Mill Creek.

Halloween costumes at St. Paul's, Albany.

Trunk or Treat at St. Anne's, Tifton
Celebrate Thanksgiving at Honey Creek
In a growing tradition, Honey Creek is offering Thanksgiving at the Creek again this year. There will be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, ham, green beans casserole, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, salad bar, pecan and pumpkin pies, and more.

Thursday, November 26 at Noon
Reese Dining Hall
$25 per person
$12 for 8-3 yrs old
Free for under 3 yrs old
If you want to stay the night, lodging is available too. Lodge 1 room $89, Lodge 2 room $78, Chapin or Hunt Cottage (minimum 5 persons) $35 per person.
Church Medical Trust
Open Enrollment for Insurance Ends this Friday
For clergy and church vestry and treasurers, please see the detailed information below on church medical trust insurance rates for 2016. Please note open enrollment ends on November 6. After that time, no changes can be made except in the case of a life altering event.

Insurance rates are seeing an increase in premiums this year from 2015 to 2016. The Diocese of Georgia began the move to encourage its members to participate in the High Deductible Health Plan. This year the Church Medical Trust is offering two new available High Deductible plans. The Bishop and Diocesan Staff led by making the move to this plan first and most clergy have followed since Diocesan Council made this the compensation standard.

The annual opportunity for clergy and lay employees to review and adjust health coverage closes this Friday November 6 of 2015. The options selected during the open enrollment period will be in effect for the 2016 calendar year. This is your one chance to change, add or adjust coverage unless there is a life-altering event such as a birth, marriage or job change during the year.

An interactive resource on detailed information on plans can be found below. The Diocese of Georgia is active in Anthem BCBS plans:
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: 

Prayer for November 1-7
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Tifton, St. Anne's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Tifton, especially Our Divine Saviour Catholic Church and for Holy Family Catholic Church in Willacoochee. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially Holy Family Church (Sagrada Familia).

Prayer for November 8-14
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation on Tybee Island, All Saints. We also pray for our ecumenical partners on the Island, especially St. Michael's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially St. Andrew (San Andrés).
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori hugs the new Presiding Bishop just after handing him the primatial staff during Bishop Michael Curry's installation as the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia