Feast of the Epiphany 2016Volume 6, Number 19
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
First Sunday After Epiphany
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St. John & St. Mark's, Albany
CDI Enhances Lay Leadership
Training through the Church Development Institute (CDI) paved the way for a smooth transition of clergy leadership at St. John and St. Mark's, Albany. As a previous graduate of CDI, the Rev. Bill Stewart knew well the benefits of the training. When Bishop Benhase brought the program to the Diocese of Georgia, Stewart gathered a team from his Albany congregation to participate. The group consisted of himself and three other parishioners for the 2-year course.

Elaine Theirse is one of the graduates from the first group at St. John and St. Mark's. Elaine recalls, "Attending CDI made me more aware of other churches in our Diocese." She adds that she learned from the examples of other congregation in combination with discussions and brainstorming sessions with lay leaders from other churches. 

CDI enabled St. John and St Mark's to branch outside of the church building to connect to its community. The new activities, such as block parties hosted for their neighbors, began as a CDI project. The result was a shift to stronger lay leadership in the church and enhanced engagement with the surrounding community.

After Stewart retired, the church took the unusual step of calling Lay Pastoral Leader Johnny Tuttle, a recent seminary graduate who was 18 months away from ordination to the priesthood. The shift to stronger lay leadership proved an immediate positive. Since his ordination as a deacon, Tuttle looks back on the church at the time he was called, "I think that during the time that the church had between clergy-they were able to put into action some of the CDI leadership roles." He adds, "We have people that have gone through CDI training and many active participants in Cursillo, both serving as a spiritually maturing process for the lay folks. I think that I've been spoiled coming here, because I've come in and there are so many people here that are willing to jump on a task and help with outreach ministry." (Pictured above are Deacon Jonathan and Nicki Tuttle with their son Elijah at St. John and St. Mark's.)

This shift allowed Tuttle to take on the roles of preacher, teacher, and pastor without the church placing all their hopes on him as the single agent of change. He noted, "They seem to recognize that I am clergy and I'm here to do things, but that I'm also human and I have a family and I can't do everything. This congregation is so willing to jump on community service projects. It's encouraging to see that happen on a regular basis -- to the point that I'm usually showing up and trying to find the best ways to keep things moving rather than barking orders from the front."

Elaine emphasizes, "Most of the ministries are member driven-we actually come up with the ideas ourselves and it not only helps the community but helps our church grow as well."

Tuttle concludes, "There's a tendency for parishes to be very clergy dependent. I think that's something that CDI challenges and moves beyond. I don't expect that I won't have to suggest changes or recruit new leaders, but I have no doubt that there are always going to be people in this congregation that are willing to step into leadership roles."

The Church Development Institute is one element of the leadership training brought to the Diocese of Georgia through the Campaign for Congregational Development. CDI's aim is to equip leaders to facilitate a process of transformation, and to build up the capacities and skills of leaders through self awareness of one's personal impact on others and the organization. CDI provides an increased knowledge of theories, methods and processes as a way to assess and understand the behavior and development of the congregation; and to give a safe learning environment where one can practice skills in facilitation, feedback, listening and presenting. 

To find out more online visit: campaign.georgiaepiscopal.org or email the Rev. Walter Hobgood at [email protected]
Diocesan Office Update    

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to Christ Church, Valdosta.

This Sunday, Canon Logue will preside and preach at St. Michael's, Waynesboro, and meet with the Search Committee.
New Canons for the Diocese of Georgia 
The 194th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia passed two resolutions amending out canons. A new Congregation at Risk canon and a revision to the Church Disciplinary Board canon expanding the size of that board have both been added to the Canons of the Diocese for the newly published 2015 Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Georgia. 

The Canons are offered here in PDF format: Constitution, Canons and Rules of Order of the Diocese of Georgia - Revised 2015. The canons are also offered in an .epub format for iBook and Nook readers: 2015_Canons.epub

The canons are always available in the Reference Library of the diocesan website, which stores numerous useful documents for congregations.
Parochial Reports
Time to Work on Your Congregation's Parochial Report
This reminder is for priests and wardens. The Episcopal Church sent your congregation the 2015 Parochial Report forms. With your register of services, the parish register, and the year-end financial reports you have the information you need to complete the report in about an hour. The document is then to be approved by the vestry and filed online. All of the forms and instructions are found online here: 2014 Parochial Report Information
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to be in touch with Canon Logue at (912) 236-4279 or [email protected]
Spring Clergy Conference
Holy Currencies to Support Sustainable Mission
Parishioners as well as clergy are encouraged to read the Rev. Dr. Eric Law's book Holy Currencies: 6 Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries. Law will present to the Spring Clergy Conference the models, theology, and skill sets he has developed to unlock sustainability in outward focused congregations. Law finds that the face-to-face work in a short conference like ours goes much further in producing positive change when this is not the first encounter with the concepts. While the Clergy Conference is not until May 1-3, this notice in January allows lead time for interested priest and deacons to purchase and read the book.

Holy Currencies offers a holistic model for stewardship and congregational vitality, moving beyond "time, talent, and treasure" to create missional and sustainable ministries. Law defines a missional church as a community of people who look outward and are able to connect with others who are not already of any church organization. 

His model with its processes, enables church leaders to understand, develop, and utilize five other kinds of currencies besides money that are essential for creating sustainable missional ministries.  These currencies are: Time & Place, Gracious Leadership, Relationship, Truth, and Wellness.  These currencies flow and recirculate to form a Cycle of Blessings which empower congregations to strengthen their internal relationships as well as reach out and connect with the diverse populations in their neighborhoods. The more clergy that have read the book in advance of the Spring Clergy Conference, the further the discussion will get into practical next steps to sustainable ministry. Registration information will provided in a later edition of From the Field.

Law is an Episcopal priest who whose passion is to empower church leaders to do personal reflection, small group ministries, and community transformation. With the support of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, he founded the Kaleidoscope Institute in 2006 to provide resources to equip church leaders to create sustainable churches and communities. 
Notice to Those with our Health Savings Accounts
For those priest and lay employees enrolled in the High Deductible health insurance plans, you should have received a letter about the transfer from Benefit Wallet to HealthEquity for the Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Please submit your transfer forms to have the funds transferred from your existing account to the new savings account.
The benefits of transferring your HSA balance to HealthEquity include:
  • The Episcopal Church Medical Trust will pay the monthly maintenance fee for employees enrolled in a qualified plan with a HealthEquity HSA (You will become responsible for all account fees if you maintain your Chase or Benefits Wallet HSA).
  • Transfer an HSA balance of $250 or more to HealthEquity and earn double interest on your entire balance up to $25.
  • All HSA contributions provided by your employer will be deposited into your HealthEquity account moving forward.
You can find the letter received here for further instructions. You must submit the form by January 29th for BenefitWallet funds to be transfered. Additionally, please access the FAQs to find out more information about the transfers.
For administrators funding accounts, please note that you'll submit a remittance form and check to CPG for processing. A new form is being developed and should be available soon. For question about funding accounts, please contact Canon Willoughby at [email protected]
Register for Young Adult Winter Retreat 

This winter, college students and young adults from around the Diocese will gather at Honey Creek for a winter retreat on January 22-24. This retreat will 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 The Rev. Michael Chaney at [email protected]
Youth Programs
Apply Now for Happening - January 29-31
Happening Group Photo
Happening #96 will be held at Honey Creek January 29-31, 2016, and is open to those in grades 10 - 12. During a Happening weekend, participants worship, play, sing, and talk about God's place in their lives. They make new friends who share similar concerns and questions - a reassuring discovery. A teenager who acts as "rector" leads the weekend with the help of a staff consisting mostly of young people. Some staff members give challenging talks, after which there's time for discussion and activity. Together, the staff and participants share in an exploration of the impact of Christian faith in their daily lives. Happeners who attend a weekend for their first time are called "Candidates." To be a Candidate, one must have completed the 9th grade and have not begun college, and fill out the application linked below. For more information on Happening, please visit the Georgia Happening website.

Happening costs $100 to attend, and financial assistance is available. Those seeking a scholarship, will need to contact our Interim Missioner for Youth, Rebekah Stewart, at (912) 236-4279 prior to registration. 

Collins and Logues Offer Lenten Retreat
The Rev. Liam Collins is teaming up again with Canon Frank and Victoria Logue to offer a Lenten Retreat at Honey Creek. The 2016 Lenten Retreat will meet February 19 at 5 p.m. and conclude by 2 p.m. on the 20th. The theme of reconciliation will be explored and opportunity will be offered to begin making changes during the retreat itself. 
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. Click here to register online with Honey Creek.
Register Now for February 25-28 Weekend
Cursillo is a short-course in Christianity which equips Christians for leadership
and service to change the world for Christ through:
  • an opportunity to grow in faith and in spirituality
  • a deeper understanding of the teachings of Jesus and how we can serve Him.an experience of living and sharing with others in a loving and caring Christian community and realizing that this can be extended into our own environment
  • a continuing community that gives support and encouragement to help Christians carry out their Baptismal Vows.
Cursillo includes a three-day weekend that begins on Thursday evening and concludes on Sunday. The weekend includes fifteen talks, five meditations and a Eucharist every day. 

The Cursillo weekend is not a retreat, but an opportunity to meet clergy and laity seeking to strengthen our faith. It provides an environment to experience the reality of the gift of God's love through shared prayer, individual meditation, worship, study, fellowship, laughter, tears, and unconditional love.

The Next Cursillo Weekend is February 25-28 at Honey Creek Conference Center.
Sponsors: Application deadline is February 10. Applications available through the Cursillo Website: http://cursillo.georgiaepiscopal.org 
Walk with the Diocese in MLK Parade
The Diocese of Georgia will once again sponsor a group to march in Savannah's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. The group meets Monday, January 18th at 9 a.m. on East Broad Street in Savannah between East Jones and East Gaston. Just look for the float with the Episcopal Church's shield on it.

The parade ends at St. Matthew's Church on Martin Luther King Blvd. where we will enjoy lunch following a brief liturgy. This is always a very meaningful event and you do not have to be in the Savannah Convocation to take part. For more information, contact the Rev. Jamie Maury at (912) 659-8585 or by email at [email protected]
Bishop Shipps Gives Thanks for Bishop Lessard
I wish to extend my condolences to the (Roman Catholic) Diocese of Savannah on the occasion of the death of The Most Rev'd Raymond W. Lessard, sometime Bishop of Savannah.
Bishop Lessard was a priest and bishop who lived into the Church as renewed by the Second Vatican Council. As Ecumenical Officer of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, I came to know Bishop Lessard after he became bishop in April of 1973. Ecumenical dialogues between our two Churches were proceeding strongly, both nationally and internationally. Bishop Lessard was co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the United States, 1977-1984.
After I became Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia on January 6, 1985, Bishop Lessard and I were together on several occasions. This led to our mutual conviction that the Decree of Ecumenism from the Second Vatican Council should be acted upon locally as intended. There followed a number of joint diocesan clergy conferences, which in themselves were very rewarding. Ultimately a splendid 12 point Covenant was drawn up for implementation, an endeavor we believed was in accord with Our Lord's will "that all may be one" (John 17:21). On May 27, 1993 Bishop Lessard and I formally signed the Covenant at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, then proceeding in liturgical procession through several blocks to Sacred Heart Church, we again signed the document. This Covenant was noted with commendation in national Church publications. (Above are pictured from left to right, Bishop Raymond Lessard and Bishop Harry Shipps.)
On October 22-24, 1993 Bishop Lessard and I sponsored the Bishops' Conference on Personal Renewal in Bell Auditorium, Augusta, Georgia, with national leaders of renewal as guest speakers. The event, well received by the many in attendance, was hosted by The Alleluia Community of Augusta.
Bishop Lessard was a gentleman of good humor and genuine friendship, whose company I enjoyed. We both retired in 1995 and kept in touch even though living a distance apart. Bishop Lessard is remembered as a bishop both loved and admired. +May he rest in Peace and rise in Glory
(The Right Rev'd) Harry W. Shipps
Retired Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Georgia
Youth Programs
Apply to Serve on the New Beginning's Team
New Beginnings will take place during the weekend of March 4 -6, 2016 at Honey Creek. 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 like...as long as you're in grades 7-9. We know once you go, you will want to go back. 


New Beginnings Staff Application

Participant Registration to open soon

Holy Comforter
Children's Minister Sought in Martinez
The Church of the Holy Comforter in Martinez seeks a creative person with of love of Christ and the children of God for the position of Children's Minister.  We use a rotational, hand-on learning experience for children called BLAST - Bible Learning Action Stations - which makes use of art, science, cooking, computers, and story-telling to share the Gospel.  Resumes are now being accepted through January for this part-time position.  Send your resumes to The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Taylor at [email protected]. The photo above is from Holy Comforter's Christmas Eve liturgy.
Searching for Sunday will be Lenten Book
In Lent 2016, the people and churches of the Diocese of Georgia are encouraged to join together in reading Rachel Held Evans's Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church. In this memoir of the messiness of community and the power of grace, the New York Times bestselling author writes if the hypocrisy, politics, building budgets, scandals, and the rest of church culture that seemed so far removed from Jesus that she found herself not wanting to go to church on Sundays.

Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it. Centered around seven sacraments, Evans' quest takes readers through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest. Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.

Each week in Lent, starting on February 10th (which is Ash Wednesday this year), we will add a reflection on the section for the week to the website: 

You can take part by adding your comments on that reflection as well as your thoughts on the questions posed there and on anything you want to share on reading Searching for Sunday.
32nd Anniversary of Bishop Shipps' Consecration
The video above is an hour-long broadcast by Savannah TV station WJCL of the January 6, 1984 liturgy of consecration for the Rt. Rev. Harry Woolston Shipps as Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. The consecration took place at Christ Episcopal Church, Savannah, Georgia. 

Today, on this Feast of the Epiphany and the 32nd anniversary of Bishop Shipps consecration, we give thanks for his ministry. A brief history of Bishop Shipps' episcopacy is online here. Bishop Shipps and his wife Louise live in retirement on Skidaway Island in 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: http://gaepiscopal.org/docs/oneyearprayercycle.pdf 

Prayers for January 3-9
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our Bishop, Scott Benhase and our retired bishops, Henry Louttit and Harry Shipps. We pray for our ecumenical partners, especially, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and their Bishop, Gregory Hartmayer; and for the Evangelical Lutheran Church's Southeast Synod and their Bishop, Julian Gordy. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for their Bishops, Julio Holguin and William Skilton.

Prayers for January 10-16
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Albany-St. John & St. Mark's , St. Patrick's, and St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Albany, the Lutheran Church of Our Savior and St. Teresa Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. James the Apostle (Santiago Apůstol) in Angelin
Burning of the Greens

Parishioners of St. Patrick's, Pooler gather around the bonfire this past Sunday for the Burning of the Greens.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia