February 3, 2016Volume 6, Number 22
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 
 
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Oak Street Episcopal Mission
Setting Goals, Looking to the Future
Oak Street Mission has recently begun to restructure the management of its organization by returning to a totally volunteer-run organization while the board begins a search for a new After School Coordinator and eventually, a new Executive Director.
 
Alston Watt, Chair of the Board of Oak Street Mission, shared her thoughts on this transition: "When we realized that we were going to return to a volunteer-run program, it made us step back and reflect on our core values, goals, and aspirations."
 
The team at Oak Street, which consists of parishioners from three Thomasville churches, met together in December with the Very Rev. Denise Ronn, co-coordinator of the Church Leadership Development Programs. They used this meeting to reassess the core values of the program, set some goals, clearly define the roles of the board, and revitalize the volunteers in the wake of this new transition. "Denise's work with our group- she just pulled us all together beautifully. The goals we set are feeding and watering [not only the Oak Street Mission but also] our own three churches and teaching us to be a part of the hope of this neighborhood.," says Alston.
 
Ronn used methods taught in CDI to assist the board in examining the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, define its mission and purpose, establish some priorities, and revitalize and unify the board members.
 
Core Values of Afternoons at Oak Street
  • Afternoons at Oak Street will always reflect in every way respect for the dignity and worth of all involved, children from the neighborhood, volunteers of all ages, employees
  • Afternoons at Oak Street will always encourage children in the neighborhood to exercise their talents to the maximum and to keep all opportunities for their future open
  • Afternoons at Oak Street will always be a program that inspires confidence and resiliency
  • Afternoons at Oak Street will always strive to foster in the children of the neighborhood a lifelong faith in the love, mercy and faithfulness of God
  • Afternoons at Oak Street will strive to help the children in the neighborhood to grow socially, emotionally, spiritually and academically. 
Goals for Afternoons at Oak Street
  • Provide a safe, welcoming, loving environment within which the core values can be fostered
  • Empower youth and adults from the Episcopal Church and other churches to be effective volunteers who understand and further the core values of the program
  • Secure regular volunteer support from each of the Episcopal Churches
  • Develop productive relationships with the children's parents and caregivers so that they can reinforce the life lessons that the program is trying to teach
  • Communicate frequently and effectively the goals, successes and challenges with the neighbors, the three Episcopal Churches and potential future supporters
Oak Street also plans to develop more stable funding by applying for 501c3 status in the first quarter of the year. This would be a major step for the organization that would provide future opportunities to apply for grants and other types of outside funding.
 
By the third quarter of the year, Oak Street will hire a full or part time Executive Director. This person will be the face of the organization in the Oak Street Community and help communicate the needs of its people to the leadership of the mission. Watt said, "We have a better understanding of our needs in an executive director than we did two years ago."
 
She added, "This neighborhood needs a lot of love and care. We always understood that in our heads but now we understand it in our hearts. All three churches are really committed to this work and mission."

About the Oak Street Mission
The Oak Street Mission is a ministry of the three Episcopal churches in Thomasville-All Saints, Good Shepherd, and St. Thomas. A result of the Campaign from Congregational Development's emphasis on creating Signature Ministries, the mission was founded as the Episcopal Development Agency of Thomasville (EDAT). The Oak Street Mission continues to foster the development of the Oak Street Community surrounding Good Shepherd Church.
Diocesan Office Update    

On Saturday, Bishop Benhase, Canon Willoughby, and Canon Logue will meet with the Diocesan Council at Trinity, Statesboro.

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Patrick's, Pooler.
Celebration of New Ministry and Bishop's Visitation

Annunication, Vidalia
Pictured above at the Celebration of New Ministry held for the congregation of Annunciation, Vidalia, and their new rector, the Rev. Denise Vaughn, are the Very Rev. Joan Kilian, Dean of the Central Convocation, Vaughn, Bishop Benhase, and Deacon Burt Derrick.

St. George's, Savannah
Bishop Benhase and clergy with confirmands, BJ Ford from St. George's and Victor Moreno, a member of San Pablo, Apóstol (the Spanish language mass at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah), and their family.

Good Shepherd Augusta to Host Convention 2016

The 195th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will meet November 10-12 at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta. Our convention hotels will be The Partridge Inn on Walton Way and the downtown Holiday Inn Express. Information on Convention 2016 will stay current at the convention website:

A Low-Cost Way to Handle Church Payroll
For congregations with even a single employee, payroll is a significant accounting burden with a serious negative consequences when the details are not handled properly. Even small congregations can afford the service, which is scaled to number of employees. The best way to decide if this is right for your congregation is to contact our ADP sales person, Zaina Alkhal. You can reach Zaina at (610) 924-2614 and [email protected]. She can quickly propose the right solution for your congregation. 
Columba House Savannah
Applications for Internships Now Available
Applications for Residential Internships at Columba House Savannah in 2016-2017 are now available. Columba House's Mission is to cultivate young adults to become disciples and leaders in the Episcopal Church and "to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ" (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 855).

The Residential Internship is robust and rewarding. Residential Interns will develop as Christian disciples and leaders through prayer, community, and service. They commit to following a Communal Rule of Life, praying the Daily Office, and eating meals together as a house. While living in the Columba House Savannah community, each Intern will work part-time at a local parish or non-profit organization.

Our mission of holy unity and discipleship is carried out through worship, study, and work in the Columba House Savannah and surrounding neighborhood. In order to become the next generation of lay and ordained church leaders, Interns share a common, balanced schedule with daily worship, meals, work and free time; weekly discipleship and leadership training and neighborhood events; and semi-annual retreats. These elements of the program ensure that Interns have the tools they need to live as mature, evangelistic Christians grounded in the catholic faith expressed by the Episcopal Church.

This year's Columba House Savannah Residential Internship begins August 22, 2016 and ends April 30, 2017. 

The Columba House Internship Program is open to all applicants between the ages of 20 and 30. Interns may not attend school or work other jobs while participating and living in the Columba House program. Columba House does not discriminate applicants on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or denominational affiliation. Columba House is a program of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.


For more information, please contact the following:

Columba House Savannah
The Rev. Dcn. Kelly Steele, CHS Missioner, [email protected]
The Rev. Dcn. Guillermo Arboleda, CHS Missioner, [email protected]
Companion Diocese
St. Peter's led Optical Mission Team in the D.R. 
The mission team sponsored by St. Peter's, Savannah, arrived safely in the Dominican Republic on January 30. After an afternoon of visiting historic sites in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone, they went by chartered bus to the Kellogg Conference Center in the city of San Pedro de Macorís to prepare for the optical clinic that they will conduct in the Clínica Esperanza y Caridad (Hope and Charity Clinic) from February 1-5. (pictured below, the Rev. David Rose, Vicar of St. Luke's Rincon juggles to entertainkids waiting in the clinic.)

The Kellogg Center is one of five conference centers operated by the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, and the clinic is also one of the diocesan facilities. On Sunday, January 31, the missioners worshiped in Iglesia Episcopal San Esteban (St. Stephen's Episcopal Church) across the street from the Kellogg Center, and then began unpacking and setting up the optical equipment and supplies that they either shipped ahead or brought with them as checked baggage. These supplies included thousands of pairs of donated prescription and reader eyeglasses. The team's medical director, Dr. Alan Peaslee, an optometrist and the current senior warden of St. Anne's (Tifton), had this comment at the end of the day on Sunday:
 
"We has an amazing day of worship and fellowship with the parish of Iglesia San Esteban followed by a successful day of setup at Clínica Esperanza y Caridad for our 2016 Eyecare Mission trip. Our team of 16 includes members ranging in age from 16 to 70 something, come from 4 congregations representing 3 denominations in 4 communities spread across south Georgia. There is no doubt here that the Holy Spirit is in overdrive in San Pedro de Macorís." (pictured below, Jason Peaslee meets with patients in the clinic.)
 
This is the second team from the Diocese of Georgia to work in the Dominican Republic in 2016. For information on all of the teams, their schedules and projects, and the work of the Companion Diocese Commission, please click here

For an album of photographs being transmitted from the DR by this team and posted daily, click here for the photo album.
Project Smile
Dental Mission Team Working this Week in Belize
Steve and Montie Acuff are leading a Dental Mission trip this week working in Belize City, Belize, as part of nearly quarter century commitment to service in that country. "Project Smile" began in 1992 as a cooperative effort between the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia and the Anglican Diocese of Belize, in Central America. This is a prevention oriented dental program for indigent children. This team includes members of Christ Church Savannah, St. Thomas, Isle of Hope, and St. Luke's, Rincon. The group set up the clinic yesterday and will start seeing patients today. Retired educator from Christ Church, Ted Eldridge, will be doing some training sessions with the school's teachers as well. (The Rev. Michael White, who is serving as the group's chaplain, took this picture of some of the team in the Project Smile dental clinic).

Every year various teams of volunteer dentists, along with auxiliary personnel, both trained and untrained, travel to Belize to St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church in Belize City. Project Smile has a permanent 7-chair dental treatment facility in an unused classroom at St. Mary's School, an urban school in a rundown area of the city. (pictured at right, the Rev. Liam Collins prays for the Project Smile team during the Eucharist at Christ Church, Savannah, this past Sunday).

Chrism Mass Planned for March 18 and 22 

Bishop Benhase invites the clergy of the Diocese to attend one of two Chrism Mass liturgies which will be held 11 a.m. on March 18 at Christ Church, Cordele, and at 11 a.m. on March 22 at St. George's, Savannah. At each liturgy, the Bishop will bless the oils for healing, chrism for baptisms and oil for catechumens (setting aside adults preparing for baptism). The liturgies will include a reaffirmation of vows for deacons, priests and our bishop. Lunch will follow on each day. Lay persons are invited to attend. Those who can make the trip this will be a meaningful time of worship as we recommit to our vocations in Christ's Body, the Church.
 
Please RSVP to the priests hosting the liturgy:
March 18 in Cordele - The Rev. Dr. Larry Williams - [email protected]
March 22 in Savannah - The Rev. Jim Parker - [email protected]
Regrets do not need to be sent.
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
"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 
Try Advertising Your Congregation on Facebook
Harness the power of a friend of a friend to invite neighbors to your congregation this Easter using Facebook. With 1.4 billion users active each month, Facebook users in America alone log a collective 335,000 years per month on the site. Your community has thousands of typical Facebooker users, who each average 20 minutes per day at the site. Even with very little time and a tiny budget, you can make an impact using a Facebook ad. 

One church in the Diocese of Georgia with experience in social media advertising is Christ Church Frederica, where Facebook is the foundation of all of their advertising. The Rev. Tom Purdy, Rector of Christ Church, says, "We like to use Facebook because we can target a specific demographic of person, based on age, gender, place of residence, etc.  it will even let us enter keywords that a person may have used in a comment or share from another post. So that people reading our posts have already displayed some affinity for our event or our parish."

The church uses Facebook to advertise special events, concerts, and worship services. One recent example is that Christ Church paid $75 to run their Christmas ad for four days preceding Christmas eve. The ad reached 9,201 people. The video was viewed 4,775 times, with at least half of the video watched 522 times. The video also garnered 140 likes, comments, and shares on Facebook.

Purdy notes, "We did not have a way to measure the impact on attendance as a direct result of the ad, however, we did see an increase of about 100 persons in terms of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day attendance, or about 15% over last year."

Even $20 could get your Easter services in front of many neighbors who might not otherwise consider joining you for worship this year. Here are the three steps toward starting your congregation's marketing campaign on Facebook:

1. Update your church's Website and Facebook Page
Before inviting neighbors to take a look, make sure your online presence is up to date. You don't want to encourage internet savvy folks in your community to check your church out, only to have them find the 2013 acolyte schedule posted at your website. Make sure that both the Facebook page and website have current information with good directions, current service times, and accurate contact information. Having fewer pages is fine. Just make sure what is present at your website is accurate. If you are not currently doing so, start posting 3-5 new items each week through Lent in order to keep your Facebook page active.

2. Create concise and compelling content to promote 
Make your invitation brief and crystal clear. Use an appropriate image with the text to invite your community to worship with you this Easter. In order to assist Episcopal Churches in offering eye-catching content, www.acts8movement.org offers an Ash Wednesday video you can customize and use for free now, and an Easter video will be online February 24. When posting this video on your Facebook page, be very concise:
Celebrate the love of God this Easter at Christ Church. 
Join us at 10 am and stay for the Easter egg hunt following our worship.
or
Join us for a joyful celebration of the Good News
of Jesus's Resurrection this Easter at 8 and 10 a.m. 

Then link this brief text and a photo to a webpage that gives Easter service times and directions, availability of a nursery and other information of interest to a first-time visitor.

3. Boost your post using Facebook's ad manager
With a Facebook post now online, you can capture more attention with a $20-$50 ad. The advertising part of this is essential. Facebook bases a users feed on the people and sites he or she interacts with most often. Post on your churches Facebook page will only be seen by about 16 percent of the people who like and follow your church page. Advertising allows you to target the People who like your Page, the People who like your Page and their friends, or People you choose through targeting. Targeting is based on location, interests, age and gender. Not sure which to choose? Try a test with a $20 ad to People who like your page and their friends and a second $20 ad targeting people who live near your church.

Make sure to use Facebook's Ad Manager to boost your post rather than clicking the "Boost Post" link on the post itself. The Ad Manager will give you additional targeting, better statistics, and the ability to make changes to how your ad is targeted while the campaign is underway.
Peace, Frank 
Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary  
1Book1Diocese
Join us with Searching for Sunday this Lent
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. 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:   
 
The reflections will be offered by:
Baptism - Deacon Leeann Culbreath - to be posted online February 10
Confession - Victoria Logue, TSSF - to be posted online February 17
Holy Orders - The Rev. Tom Purdy - to be posted online February 24
Communion - Brenda Kellar - to be posted online March 2
Confirmation - Luke Wetzel - to be posted online March 9
Anointing the Sick - The Rev. John Jenkins - to be posted online March 16
Marriage - Deacon Guillermo Arboleda - to be posted online March 23

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. 
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!
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 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). 

Prayers for February 7-13
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Augusta, especially, St. Augustine's, St. Mary's, and St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Adel, and St. Ann Catholic Church in Alapaha. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregation in Boca Chica -Grace (De la Gracia), Mount Zion (Monte Sión), and St. Joseph (San José).
Teach them to love

Children line up with their parents to receive the Eucharist at Christ Church, Savannah.

Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us 
with the joy and care of children: 
Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, 
that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, 
following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia