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




This Sunday's Lections
Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30 
 
Join Our Mailing List

Christ Church, Frederica
X Church - Thinking Outside the Box
The congregation of Christ Church Frederica, on St. Simons Island, has incorporated a new kind of service into their weekly offerings. X Church is a contemplative Eucharist held every Wednesday. This service moves at a slower pace than typical Sunday worship, and allows many opportunities for silence and meditation.
 
The Rev. Tom Purdy, co-creator of X Church, wanted to present an experimental, yet Anglican Communion service. "Everything is slowed down. The service is done in partial darkness with lots of candles. We use lots of chants and we always have music playing under the prayers of the people and the blessing of the service. Music is a big part of it," Purdy noted.
 
Bringing a new service into its routine not only diversified how worship is done at Christ Church Frederica, it also helped to diversify the impact of its outreach. Purdy shares, "we know that X Church has allowed Christ Church to reach people who might not have otherwise come. We see people on Wednesday night that we would never see on a Sunday morning. People have told us that they haven't come to church in years but that they connect through this service in a meaningful way. People say it feeds their soul in a way that they desperately needed. It's pretty cool to have that happen- it's gone better than we ever expected."
 
Even more importantly, X Church has helped long time members of Christ Church Frederica discover unexpected new ways to connect through worship. "One of our parishioners had been avoiding participating in X Church for a long time. She finally decided to come check it out and now never misses a single service," Purdy said.  He added, "Another parishioner who happens to be a teenager attended one X Church service. Now she not only is present every single week, but she brings a new friend with her each Wednesday."
 
Reflecting on this new liturgy, Purdy said, "X Church works for us because it's something we can do authentically. The name itself is a play on Christ Church- X is the Greek letter "Chi" which is the first letter of Christ. This service fits in well with the make-up of our clergy and music team. We could never successfully put together a huge contemporary service, but X Church works for us. We originally planned X Church as an experiment that would last a few months and it has turned into our favorite service of the week. It just goes to show that if you have an out of the box idea then go for it!"

If you have a question about this liturgy, contact the Rev. Tom Purdy at [email protected]. If you have a church development story to tell, please contact Rebekah Stewart at [email protected].
Diocesan Office Update    

On Friday, Bishop Benhase will officiate at the Celebration of New Ministry with the congregation of the Church of the Annunciation, Vidalia, and their new rector, the Rev. Denise Vaughn at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. George's, Savannah.
Bishop's Visitations

St. Patrick's, Albany
 

Bishop Benhase with the clergy, acolytes, confirmands and sponsors at St. Patrick's, Albany. Bishop Benhase is pictured below presiding at the Eucharist at St. Patrick's.


Christ Church, Valdosta

Twenty-One people were either confirmed, received or reaffirmed at Christ Church during Bishop Benhase's visit to Christ Church, Valdosta.
Companion Diocese
Southeast Convocation Mission Team Report 
The mission team from the Southeast Convocation of the Diocese of Georgia returned home safely on January 26th. They have been working for the past week in the Episcopal school in El Carretón, where they repaired the school's roof among other projects. While in the Dominican Republic, they modeled a special act of love and generosity. In the words of one of the team members:
 
"Each team member was given a wooden cross created by a member of St. Pauls (Jesup). Our team leader, Mother Dee told them to give it away. To open their spirit and during the week, ask God who to bless with the cross as our faith is about passing on the love of God. Pictured in this photograph is our team member Dr. Lela Lewis giving her cross to our wonderful cook at the dormitory who goes above and beyond her job to share the love of Christ."
 
The next mission team to travel from the Diocese of Georgia is sponsored by  St. Peter's (Savannah), which is scheduled to leave for the Dominican Republic on January 30. They will conduct an optical clinic in the Dominican diocesan medical clinic in the city of San Pedro de Macorís, their third annual clinic in this location. 
 
For more information on the Diocese of Georgia's companion diocese relationship with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic and the two other mission teams scheduled for 2016, go here: http://georgia.anglican.org/?page_id=19
Retreat Gathered Young Adults from Across Diocese

The Rev. Michael Chaney is pictured above leading a discussion during the Young Adult Retreat held this past weekend at Honey Creek. Thanks to the Rev. Matthew Lewis for the photo.
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.
"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 Programs
Apply for March 4-6 New Beginnings Retreat
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 Lead Teen for this weekend is Alli Simpson from St. Andrew's, Darien. Canon Frank Logue and the Rev. Joshua Varner will be the Spiritual Directors working with Alli and New Beginnings Coordinator Maggie Bloodworth on this weekend.
 
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! 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. 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. There is even an opportunity to serve on the team...you'll hear more about that at the weekend.
 
The Loose Canon 
Create a Custom Ash Wednesday Invitation Video
Anyone with some facility with computer programs can make a customized video for your congregation to invite folks in your community to worship on Ash Wednesday. I partnered with friends around the church to create videos in English and Spanish for Ash Wednesday. Here is the English language version:
 
To download a high resolution copy of the video, go to Acts8Movement.org and follow the directions. You will also find linked at that page information on how to add your congregation's name and service times, as well as how a low-cost ad on Facebook can get more attention for your congregation.

Many congregations across our church customized a video we offered at Christmas and found that ads of $20-$50 targeting either users in your area or friends of those who like your congregation's Facebook page seemed to prove successful. While we can't prove that the higher attendance at those churches was caused by the ads, we can show many churches with increased attendance at Christmas following creating an ad. An Easter ad is in the works and will be offered in about a month.

Special thanks goes to the Revs. Sierra Wilkinson Reyes, William Willoughby, Charles Todd, and Deacon Sue Gahagan who imposed ashes and to the 19 people who I filmed at St. Matthew's and St. Paul the Apostle churches in Savannah for this project.

Peace, Frank 
Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary  

St. Augustine's, Augusta
Blessing and Distributing Bibles
There was plenty of scripture to go around on Sunday at St. Augustine's, Augusta. The youth of the parish assisted the Rev. Joe Bowden in distributing Bibles around the congregation after he asked God's blessing on the Word.  
Cursillo 
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
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] .
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. 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!
1Book1Diocese
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. 
Health Savings Accounts Deadline this Friday
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].
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 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.

Prayers for January 31-February 6
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Augusta, especially, Good Shepherd and St. Alban's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Augusta, especially the Catholic Churches of St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Joseph, and St. Mary on the Hill. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Barahona - Jesus the Pilgrim (Jesús Peregrino) and Redemption (La Redención). 
Celebration in Americus

The congregation gathers for a photo following the dismissal at the Celebration of New Ministry for Calvary, Americus, last Friday. Bishop Benhase officiated and Canon Logue preached as the congregation and their 30th Rector, the Rev. H. Jeff Wallace, covenanted to minister together to spread the Good News of Jesus in Sumter County.
Like Us on Facebook

Keep up with us on Facebook at our page Episcopal Diocese of Georgia on Facebook  

 

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us on Twitter

The Diocese of Georgia also shares news 140 characters at a time through Twitter@GA_Episcopal

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

 View our videos on YouTubeThe Diocese of Georgia also has a YouTube Channel where you can watch past videos and subscribe to get updates when new videos are posted.

Send your news and events to [email protected],
so we can feature them in upcoming issues of From the Field.

 

Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia