December 9, 2015Volume 6, Number 15
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Advent II
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Church Development Institute 
Offering a Common Framework
Church Development institute (CDI) began its 6th cycle of instruction with a meeting held at Honey Creek last weekend. CDI is a two year program spread out over eight weekends for lay and ordained leaders in the diocese to enhance their leadership skills and gain a better understanding of how to promote numeric and spiritual growth within their churches. On Friday evening, returning CDI participants shared their year-long project reports with the first time CDI participants. As members of our Diocesan Community shared the successes of their experiences within their own congregations, a language trend became apparent. 

So we asked: How does the common framework and language used at CDI affect the diocese on a congregational level? 

"When it comes to language, CDI proposes a "framework" for looking at the obvious in a different manner." Fr. Larry Williams, Christ Church, Cordele 

Church Development institute provides its participants with tools of awareness to understand all components of the parish. By offering a common language to use in defining the parish, its many moving parts, and how it functions, participants are given room to communicate more effectively about how to address issues of growth within their congregations. 

"We walked into the first meeting with no idea what to expect. It has given us a language, it has given us ideas that we had never thought about, and, most importantly, it has given us the tools and framework to solve problems before they even begin." -Terri Degenhardt, St. Michael's, Waynesboro

Participants spend most of their first year of CDI training learning to understand how individuals in a group all use different techniques to approach and address a problem from their own perspective. By learning how to identify and name these differences in any individual, CDI participants can return home to their congregation with a greater sense of "Group Awareness." 

"The biggest thing has been understanding how groups of people function in accomplishing a task. It's been helpful in terms of working with the vestry as a senior warden- how we facilitate approaching problems and projects as a vestry." Alan Peaslee, St. Anne's Tifton 

CDI also provides four core frameworks to its participants: The Renewal- Apostolate Cycle; the Christian Life Model; The Benedictine Promise, and the Shape of the Parish. These frameworks are offered so leaders can see more clearly what is happening in the deeper and more hidden places of parish life and act to improve that life. The frameworks are models. We use them to do analysis, explore relationships, and as a starting place in solving problems, developing capacities, and shaping the future life of the organization.

"I'm in a position where I have a responsibility to care for the parish as a whole. CDI has helped me understand the components of the parish and given me a broader awareness of the church."- Alan Peaslee
Diocesan Office Update    

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to King of Peace, Kingsland, in the morning and to St. Mark's, Woodbine, in the afternoon.

Canon Logue will preach this Sunday at The Community of St. Joseph in Savannah. The Community of St. Joseph aims to provide worship services by and for Savannah's homeless persons living in the city
Diocesan Community Update

The Interim Rector and Vestry of St. Peter's, Savannah, are pleased to announce calling the Rev. Dr. Doris Buchanan Johnson as Assistant to the Interim Rector. Johnson earned a BA in education from the University in Florida in 1968 and an MA in Education from the University of South Florida in 1985. She earned an MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1999. On graduation, she served as the assistant rector at Holy Trinity in Clearwater, Florida. She then moved to St. John's in Ellicott City, Maryland, where she served as assistant rector until 2007. Johnson most recently served for seven years as the Rector of St. Martin's in the Field Church in Severna Park, Maryland. She earned her Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development at Virginia Seminary in 2013 and more recently completed Interim Ministry Training through the Interim Ministry Network. Johnson will begin work at St. Peter's in early January.
Bishop's Visitation 

St. Luke's, Hawkinsville

Confirmation at St. Luke's Hawkinsville on the Second Sunday of Advent and below a group photo of confirmands and servers. A photo album of the visit is online here.

Advent Discussion Considers the Bible this Week
As the Advent 1Book1Diocese continues to read Rowan William's Being Christian, Deacon Kelly Steele offers her reflections on scripture at our website. Her reflection is part of our diocesan engagement with the book as each Sunday in Advent, we add a reflection on the section for the week to the website You can also take part by adding your comments on that reflection as well as your thoughts on the questions Williams poses at the end of the chapter. 

Next week we will discuss the chapter on the Eucharist, and on Sunday morning we will post a reflection from Deacon Jonathan Tuttle to the 1Book1Diocese website.
Pray for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry is resting comfortably following surgery in a Virginia hospital on Tuesday, December 8. According to the Presiding Bishop, his family, and his medical team, the surgery went well, as had been expected. Bishop Curry is alert and awake, and a full recovery continues to be anticipated.

Presiding Bishop Curry was taken to the hospital Sunday, December 6 after a visitation to Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.  Presiding Bishop Curry and his family are touched by the outpouring of prayers and well wishes. In their thankfulness, they ask for privacy during his recovery.

Winter Retreat for College Students & Young Adults
This winter, college students and young adults from around the Diocese will gather at Honey Creek for a winter retreat on January 22-24. In keeping with our major theme at convention, our primary focus will be on faith sharing and evangelism. This retreat will also enable younger Episcopalians to meet others from around South Georgia, while giving one another the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and peaceful retreat center of the Diocese of Georgia. Scholarship are available. 

If you are interested in joining us for this event. Please contact Father Daniel Shoemake at [email protected] or 229 242 5115.

The All Saints float (above) in the Tybee Island Christmas Parade and a group photo of their parade marchers (below).

Advent Around the Diocese in Photos
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Kids flock to the altar rail (above) and then listen attentively to the Rev. Helen White at Christ Church, Savannah.
 Children at Holy Comforter, Martinez learned about the Hispanic tradition of the Posada and then crafted their own posada figures. Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain, beginning December 17 and ending December 28. Posada is Spanish for "lodging", or "accommodation" and the novena dramatizes Mary and Joseph's search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. 
The Rev. David Rose talks to kids at St. Luke's Rincon during a Bishop from Saint Nicholas of Myra on December 6. See below for a humorous view of the same event.
Advent wreath making fun at St. Philip's, Hinesville.

This creche from El Salvador is part of a (mostly) annual display of nativity scenes from around the world at Trinity, Statesboro.

These advent wreaths in the lobby at Honey Creek and in the nave at St. Paul's Albany mark the second week in this season of anticipation and preparation.

This is a photo from the busy Christmas Tree lot at St. George's, Savannah.
Youth at St. Anne's, Tifton cut their own Christmas Tree for the youth room, decorated it, and finished the evening with Compline by candle and tree lights.

A photo of the group that set up the Christmas Tree lot in Daffin Park for St. Michael and All Angels, Savannah.
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 December 6-12
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Waynesboro, St. Michael's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Waynesboro, especially Sacred Heart Catholic Church and our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Sylvania. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially St. Margaret (Santa Margarita).

Prayer for December 13-19
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Woodbine, St. Mark's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially the Catholic congregations of Holy Family in Metter and St. Bernadette in Millen. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Santo Domingo, especially Holy Trinity (Santísma Trinidad).
An awkward moment

The Rev. David Rose and Flynn at St. Luke's Rincon, during the visit from St. Nicholas of Myra pictured above in the Advent photos. No one can decide on what led to the picture, your diocesan staff just found it too funny not to share.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia