January 20, 2016Volume 6, Number 21
In This Issue
 
 




This Sunday's Lections
Third Sunday After Epiphany
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19

Luke 4:14-21

 
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Anglican Communion
Primate's Vote Draws Media Interest
The vote by a majority of leaders of the churches within the worldwide Anglican Communion to place temporary sanctions on the Episcopal Church has drawn a good deal of media interest, including newspapers in south Georgia. The vote was taken by the group known as Primates after lengthy discussion during their January 11-15 in Canterbury, England. 

In advance of the meeting, many of the primates pledged to walk out of the meeting because of the action of the Episcopal Church's General Convention last July to change canonical language that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and authorize two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples.

The group asked that the Episcopal Church, for a period of three years, "no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity."

Most media attention missed the real surprise move by the leaders of the provinces of the Anglican Communion who wrote, "This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together."

The primates' statement also asks Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to appoint a task group "to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognizing the extent of our commonality, and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ."
 
In response to these actions, Bishop Scott Benhase issued the following statement: "The Anglican Communion Primates have spoken through their vote. We respect their position, yet we are a communion of independent churches. Their voice, while important, has no effect on the mission of the Diocese of Georgia. We will continue to proclaim and seek to live out the gracious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We do our utmost to welcome all God's Children, regardless of who they are, into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus. Our call and mission have not changed. I pray that everyone in the Diocese will redouble their efforts to include the lonely, the lost, and the left out in this part of Christ's Body."

The Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry said, "Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all."

For more complete background and the full statement by the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, read the Episcopal News Service article: Majority of Primates Call for Temporary Episcopal Church Sanctions.
Diocesan Office Update    

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation St. Patrick's, Albany, in the morning and Holy Trinity, Blakely, in the afternoon. 

Through Friday, Canon Logue is attending an Episcopal Relief and Development conference on Diasaster Preparedness held for key diocesan staff at Canterbury Conference Center in Orviedo, Florida.

Friday night, Bishop Benhase will officiate and Canon Logue will preach at Calvary, Americus, for the Celebration of New Ministry for the congregation as they welcome their new rector, the Rev. H. Jeff Wallace. You are invited to the liturgy which will be at 7 p.m. this Friday, January 22 at Calvary at 408 South Lee Street in Americus. 

On Sunday, Canon Logue will preach at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah.
Discussion Starter Video on Evangelism Offered 
Bishop Benhase talks about how we can share the Good News of Jesus in a video offered for congregations to use as a discussion starter. The 13-minute video addresses what evangelism is, how Bishop Benhase experienced the Good News first as Bad News, and how we can share our love for Jesus in ways that are authentic to us with the people we know well.

The video linked above is a longer version of a video published in advance of the diocesan convention in November. Available on YouTube, you can also get a media file download to your computer by contacting Canon Logue at the diocesan office or emailing him at [email protected].
Companion Diocese
Southeast Convocation Team Working in the D.R.

The nine members of the Dominican Republic mission team from the Southeast Convocation of the Diocese of Georgia arrived safely in Santo Domingo on January 18th. They are staying in the new Morrow conference center in Santana Baní and are working until January 24th in the Episcopal school in El Carretón, their fifth annual trip to this location. Their projects include sealing the roof and part of the side walls of the school that have been damaged by water infiltration, replacing the roof of a church member, and also teaching classes for the schoolchildren on different cultures of the world. They will also be checking on the progress of the installation of a clean water system they initiated during their January 2015 mission trip. The team is scheduled to return home on January 26.

Of the remaining three teams for 2016, St. Peter's (Savannah) and St. Anne's (Tifton) are full, but the Christ Church (Valdosta) team has openings for new missioners. The Valdosta team will be in the DR from May 9-16, and will be working in the village of El Pedregal on light construction and classes in knitting, crocheting, and sewing. Other projects may be added depending on the interests and talents of the team members. The target date to sign up for this team is January 31. Detailed information is available here: https://christchurchvaldosta.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/planning-page-for-our-2016-mission-trip/ If you are interested in joining this team, please contact Julius Ariail ([email protected]229 563-0209).

For more information on the Diocese of Georgia's companion diocese relationship with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic and the three other mission teams scheduled for 2016, go here: http://georgia.anglican.org/?page_id=19
Retired Priests and Spouses Register for Meeting
Bishop Benhase has invited the Church Pension Group to bring its Enriching Your Retirement presentation to the Diocese of Georgia on February 23 at Christ Church, Savannah, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This offers a unique opportunity to learn about your pension and medical benefits, how to stay healthy, and the programs and services that can support you. You'll also hear how your colleagues are doing as they transition into retirement.
 
Topics will also include the status of The Church Pension Fund, financial and estate planning, and being your own healthcare advocate. Enriching Your Retirementis for beneficiaries of The Church Pension Fund. It will be presented by the Church Pension Group in collaboration with our Chaplain to the Retired, Chris Phelps. Lunch will be provided. Your spouse or partner is highly encouraged to attend with you.
 
To register contact the Bishop's secretary, Gayle Dawson, at [email protected] or call her at (912) 236-4279.
Youth Mission Trip to Nebraska Open to Sign Up
Our Diocesan Youth Mission Trip will take place June 21-28, 2016. We will be visiting western Nebraska, on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Our trip will be led by the Rev. Joshua Varner and will be hosted by Christ Episcopal Church in Sidney, Nebraska (pictured at right). We will spend our time working with the Episcopal churches in Sidney and in other nearby areas, as well as taking time to play, explore, and pray! We will seek, search, and listen for God in our hosts, in each other, and in the world around us as we travel together.
 
The estimated total cost for the trip is $1000, including airfare, other transportation, meals, lodging, and other activities. Participants will need to attend a weekend retreat March 11-13, at Honey Creek, also included in the cost of the event.

Sign Up Deadline, February 28, 2016
click here to register online
 
Then send your $300 deposit to the Diocese. Checks should be made out to the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, marked with the participants name and the memo "2016 Youth Mission Trip" and sent to:
 
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia
611 East Bay Street
Savannah GA 31401.
 
Financial aid is always available upon request. Please contact the Rev. Joshua Varner at [email protected] to discuss financial aid, to receive a hard copy of the sign up form, or to discuss any other questions about the trip!
Final Reminder for Health Savings Accounts
This is a final reminder for those priests 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. They can be emailed directly to [email protected].
 
You need to submit the authorization form with the account number, which can be located on your Benefit Wallet statement. You must submit the form by January 29th for BenefitWallet funds to be transferred. Additionally, please access the FAQs  to find out more information about the transfers. Please note that you are not required to transfer the funds, but you will be charged a monthly processing fee for the account moving forward and will need to fund the accounts directly through the bank.
 
New Remittance Form Available
For administrators funding accounts, please note that you'll submit a remittance form and check to CPG for processing. The new form can be accessed here . For questions about funding accounts, please contact Canon Katie Willoughby by email at [email protected].
"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 2:5
Lenten Retreat Opens a Door to Lasting Change
The Gospel offers the possibility of metanoia, a change of mind and heart. This Lent, take an overnight retreat at Honey Creek to delve into just how that change occurs and to begin to effect that change in your mind and your heart. Discover the grounds for a life of practiced and lived Gospel, grounded not in the demands of daily life but in the One that calls us each by name. 

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. Find the deep connections that will permit your life to be lived not out of a sense of never being or having enough, but in the power and presence of God. Come expecting God to be present to you.
 
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.

Youth from St. Athanasius and St. Mark Churches in Brunswick walked in the MLK Parade for Glynn County.
 
Diocese of Georgia Marched in MLK Parades
Parishioners of the Diocese of Georgia joined together to march in parades honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this past weekend in Brunswick, Statesboro, and Savannah. Pictured above are teens from the two Episcopal Churches in Brunswick who marched in that city. The Diocese also sponsored a group to march in Savannah's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. As the parade route ended at St. Matthew's Church on Martin Luther King Blvd. the group posed for a photo and the moved to the Parish Hall for prayers, singing led by Gabriel Lawrence, a reflection by Jonelle Gordon and A.L. Addington, and lunch. Some photos from Savannah are shown below. A full album of photos is online here.

The group from Trinity, Statesboro, is pictured above ready to begin their walk in the parade. In addition, All Saints Tybee Island member Julia Pierce founded an MLK Parade for Tybee Island, which takes place the weekend prior to the Savannah event.



  
Youth Programs
Deadline to Apply for Happening - January 29-31
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. 

Honey Creek
Apply for Summer Camp Staff
Staff applications are now open for prospective camp counselors for the coming 2016 Honey Creek Summer Camp season. If you're a young  adult looking to spend the best summer of your life in a beautiful part of coastal Georgia, while serving God and campers from grades 3 through 12, then we have the perfect opportunity for you. Looks phenomenal on a resume, and is a great way to earn and save money as well. 

This is a great opportunity for anyone with a Life Guarding certificate, challenge course experience, arts and crafts experience, other skill sets, or anyone looking to hone their leadership abilities. Tell any of your friends you believe would make a good addition to our team at Honey Creek summer camp! 

The link to apply is honeycreek.org/staff/, staff application deadline is the last day of February, Monday the 29th. If you have any further questions at all please email the Summer Camp Director, Thomas Greneker, at [email protected] .
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 17-23
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Americus, Calvary, and for our ecumenical partners in Americus especially St. Mary's Catholic Church and for St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Plains. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Azua-Reconciliation (La Reconciliación) and St. George (San Jorge).

Prayers for January 24-30
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Augusta, especially, the Church of the Atonement and Christ Church. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Augusta, especially Advent Lutheran Church, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and The Church of the Resurrection Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the Church of the Transfiguration (La Transfiguración) in Banî.
School Supplies

The Rev. Marcia McRae blesses school supplies collected by St. Johns, Bainbridge.
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia