Ash Wednesday 2016Volume 6, Number 23
In This Issue
 
 




This Sunday's Lections
First Sunday in Lent
 
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Building Bridges with Youth
Community Youth Connections is the signature ministry of St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Episcopal Churches. This ministry is a combination of three ministries that serve the youth of McIntosh County through tutoring, afterschool care, and Christian youth development..
 
CYC has intentionally worked to build strong a strong relationship with the Oak Grove Intermediate School. Thomas Barron, the coordinator of CYC, tells us "I have never seen anything like the relationship we have built with this school. Because we've developed such a good relationship, they really view us as part of their support system."
 
It is through this strong relationship that CYC was able to create a tutoring program. Volunteers from St. Andrew's, St. Cyprian's, and the surrounding community come together every Tuesday and Thursday to go into the school and provide support in reading and math. Barron shares, "I encourage my tutors to build relationships with their kids and bring their own materials. What really lasts is the relationship they're building with these kids. They get to work with the same kids all year long- and a love of the kids don't have any other supportive adult relationships in their lives"
 
The success of the tutoring program lead to the creation of the afterschool program, where youth receive healthy snacks, homework help, and a safe environment to play and develop new friendships.  Barron states, "The purpose statement is to nourish the body mind and spirit of our students and volunteers," he adds, we start this program with them in the 5th grade and journey with them all the way through high school. We walk to the school where they're waiting for us, we walk them back to the church, then we feed them, play, and help them with their homework."
 
The excitement surrounding the afterschool program is what eventually lead to the development of the youth group. he said, "It's our spiritual biblical connection that's missing from the other aspects of our program. Youth group binds them together and gives them that spiritual piece." Youth come together each Sunday to share a meal, participate in a twenty minutes interactive lesson and discussion, and play fun games. Every two years a new group is built out of the kids that currently participate in the after school program. Each group stays together through high school.
 
Barron said, "By the time the dust settles, we're probably tutoring 30 kinds a ear and then another 30 a year through afterschool and youth group programs, we don't charge anything for these programs either. I think we offer quality programs with quality people. There aren't many programs like this in the county and certainly none that are free. We're starting to see the fruit of how a program like this worked, expanded over 5-10 years."

The youth programs in Darien have been supported through the Campaign for Congregational Development. This initiative is one of the Signature Ministries that falls under the campaign's main priority area of Congregational Growth & Development. To find out more about the Campaign, visit the website campaign.georgiaepiscopal.org

A 2.5 minute video on the ministries in Darien
A 2.5 minute video on the ministries in Darien

Diocesan Office Update    

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Thomas, Thomasville. 

Diocesan House is closed on Monday February 15 in observance of President's Day. 
Diocesan Community Update    

The Rev. Lori Fehr has accepted a call to serve as the Interim Rector of the Church of the Nativity in Ft. Oglethorpe, GA, which is a church in the Diocese of East Tennessee. She will begin on March 1. Fehr previously served as Associate at St. Francis of the Islands, Savannah, and is currently studying at Sewanee.

The Rev. Joe Bowden, MD has accepted appointment as Priest in Charge of St. Augustine's, Augusta, through at least June 1, 2016. Bowden has been serving as an Associate at Holy Comforter, Martinez.
Bishop's Visitation

St. Patrick's, Pooler

St. Patrick's, Pooler Gathered for Baptism, Confirmation, and more!
The Presiding Bishop's Message for Lent
"The season of Lent is upon us," Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry says in his Message for Lent 2016. "It is a season of making a renewed commitment to participate and be a part of the movement of Jesus in this world." You can watch the video or read the statement online here: Presiding Bishop's Message for Lent 2016.
1Book1Diocese
Lent Discussion Considers Baptism this Week
As the Lent 1Book1Diocese begins to read Rachel Held Evans's Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the ChurchDeacon Leeann Culbreath  offers her reflections on Baptism at our website. Her reflection is part of our diocesan engagement with the book as each Wednesday in Lent, we add a reflection on the section for the week to the 1book1diocese 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. 

Next week we will discuss the chapter on Confession, and next Wednesday we will post a reflection from Victoria Logue, TSSF, to the 1Book1Diocese website.
   
"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 2:5

Lenten Retreat Registration Deadline Friday
Registration closes for the Lenten Retreat this Friday, February 12, at 5 p.m. But there is still time to register now.

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.
Companion Diocese
St. Peter's led Optical Mission Team in the D.R. 
The mission team sponsored by St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Savannah) returned home on Saturday, February 6, after a successful week conducting an optical clinic in the southern coastal city of San Pedro de Macorís in the Dominican Republic. The team's medical director, Dr. Alan Peaslee, posted these comments after their last day of work:

"We concluded our mission work on Friday with a shortened day. We were only able to accept 104 patients and have time to pack up our supplies before nightfall. With our work done, we shared a meal with our friends from Clínica Esperanza y Caridad (Clinic of Hope and Charity) and Parroquia San Esteban (St. Stephen's Episcopal Church).

"We had a special guest visitor today. San Pedro de Macorís native and Major League Baseball World Series Champion pitcher Johnny Cueto came by to observe clinic in operation. He also used the visit to see the baseball equipment donated by Flagler College that the team had brought with us as gifts to the children of the community. We are hoping that with his interest, this clinic will secure much needed funding to continue and enhance the vital services the clinic brings to the community.

"For the week we saw 721 patients and performed 418 complete dilated eye exams. We dispensed 418 pairs of reading glasses, 222 prescription glasses and many pairs of much needed and appreciated sunglasses. Our team optician will also be making many pairs of glasses that he will mail back to the clinic to distribute to patients. We also referred 64 patients for sight saving or vision restoring surgical and medical care.

"However, there is no numerical value that can be placed on the lives touched during our week in the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic. Thanks to all for making this a successful trip!"

The next team to leave for the Dominican Republic will be from St. Anne's Episcopal Church in April. That team will continue construction of a church building for an Episcopal congregation in a small village that has been faithfully meeting for decades in homes and backyards. For more information about the DR mission teams from the Diocese of Georgia and the work of the Companion Diocese Commission, please go here: http://gaepiscopal.org/?page_id=19
Parochial Reports are Due February 15
This reminder is for priests and wardens. Your 2015 Parochial Report is due February 15 and late after March 15. With your register of services, the parish register, and the year-end financial reports you have the information you need to complete the report. The document is then to be approved by the vestry and filed online at pr.dfms.org. All of the forms and instructions are found online here: 2015 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]
Creation Care Commission
Try a Fast for Creation this Lent
In this new twice-monthly series, the diocese's Creation Care Commission will offer resources and reflections on environmental stewardship and provide updates on diocesan "green" projects and events.
 
In the Litany of Penitence that we pray on Ash Wednesday, we ask God to accept our repent-ance "for our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us." We also confess "Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people" and "Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts" (BCP, p. 268).

Repentance is more than confession-it is a real change in our hearts, our thoughts, and our actions. Below are just a few of many resources to help you make faithful changes during Lent to better care for this fragile earth, our island home.

A few fasts
Plastic Fast
Click here for ideas on fasting from single use plastic, like plastic grocery bags, single-use water bottles, and plastic packaging.
 
Food Waste Fast
Check out these tips from the EPA to reduce your food waste at home and church, which helps to conserve money, reduce methane gas emissions (methane is a potent greenhouse gas), and reduce energy used to produce and transport food.
 
Carbon Fast
Join an email list to receive daily tips for reducing your carbon footprint. Offered by the United Church of Christ.
 
Things to "take on"
Learn
Take time to learn more about Creation Care issues by reading some books or following Facebook pages that grapple with climate change and conservation. Talk to local conservation groups or go on outings to learn about environmental issues in your area.


Act
Go outside more to enjoy and observe God's handiwork. Pick up litter with family, friends, or church members. Write letters to your community leaders or legislators on environmental is-sues. Pray for the healing of the earth and our wisdom and will to conserve it. 

If you would like to participate in a private Facebook or email group for sharing and encourage-ment with others fasting for Creation this Lent-or if you would like more ideas for Creation Care fasts-contact Deacon Leeann Culbreath.
Columba House Savannah
Apply for Residential Internships
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]
The Loose Canon 
Grow Christians: An Intergenerational Resource
For busy families, finding the practices to nurture your faith is no easy task. Two friends of mine have teamed up to create an important resource this Lent in the GrowChristians.org website. The site launched early to encourage registrations for the updates throughout Lent and the reflections at the site have been though-provoking as Ben Irwin wrote about talking to kids about hard stuff in Lent and Derek Olsen shared why he considers taking our kids to the Ash Wednesday liturgy to be so important.


The ambitious goal of GrowChristians.org is to "create an online community of discipleship focused on the practical details of life at home."" To accomplished this, they have brought together reflections, stories, images, and recipes from a diverse group of Episcopalians around the church. The group blog is a pilot project intended to inspire "generations to come together as they celebrate the presence of God through the Christian year."

I know Nurya Love Parish, the Episcopal priest behind the Diocese Western Michigan's Plainsong Farm and Scott Gunn, Executive Director of Forward Movement and I am grateful to these two leaders for creating thoughtful ways families can engage with their faith meaningfully this Lent. I encourage you to sign up for the email updates.
Peace, Frank 
Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary  
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.
 

Christ Church, Cordele
Having Fun and Raising Funds for Disaster Relief
Members of Christ Church, Cordele, came together to support Episcopal Relief & Development at Daphne Lodge on Lake Blackshear. Hosted by Sonny & Susu Burt (chairperson for ERD), the event brought out more than 40 church members and friends. ERD  is an international relief and development agency and a compassionate response to human suffering on behalf of The Episcopal Church.  For more information seewww.episcopalrelief.org or contact our diocesan ERD representatives the Rev. Jim and Leslie Parker.

A group looks on as palms burn in preparation for making the ashes for the Ash Wednesday liturgies at Good Shepherd, Augusta.

Photos of Congregations Moving into Lent
Congregations sent these photos to [email protected] or they were gleaned from the Facebook pages of churches of the Diocese of Georgia. We will assemble a Lent through Easter album online. Please share your pictures with the Diocese of Georgia community.


Deacon Kelly Steele imposes ashes during the Ash Wednesday liturgy at St. Michael & All Angels', Savannah, where she is serving a curacy.

  
The Mardi Gras Party at St. Paul's, Augusta, serves as a major fund raiser for the outreach ministries of the congregation. Pictured at right are the Rev. George and Susan Muir. He is St. Paul's Interim Rector.

The Rev. Joe Bowden addresses the gathered crowd at St. Augustine's, Augusta, during their Mardi Gras party.

 
Christ Church Frederica's Frederick Cousins Guild Oyster Roast brought out a crowd on St. Simon's Island.

St Patrick's, Albany, held a chili cook off for the Souper bowl of Caring. The event raised money for Neighbors in  Need, a local feeding ministry. Deacon Jim Purks was the judge, and Sylvia Berry the winner (shown in sombreros above at left).
 
The Oyster Roast at St. Paul's, Jesup.

Prison Ministry Conference in March
The Episcopal Diocese of Florida is hosting its 2nd Annual Conference on Prison Ministry, to be held at Christ Episcopal Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, March 2-4. Building on last year's successful conference, we will explore the best ways to "seek and serve the Christ in others" who face issues of Reentry into Society and the opportunities for Reconciliation.
 
Joining us this year will be scholars, laity, and clergy whose experience in facilitating Reentry and Reconciliation will help illumine the path travelled by those formerly incarcerated and those who minister to them in God's name. Among our speakers are: The Very Rev. Michael Battle, who has written extensively on issues of Reconciliation and served numerous roles in the US and across Africa, assisting Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Sister Ann McCarthy, OSB, of Monasteries of the Heart, and a colleague of Sister Joan Chittister; Dr. Byron Johnson, of Baylor University, a scholar on issues of faith, domestic violence, and criminal justice. The Rev. Canon William Barnwell, former Canon Missioner at Washington National Cathedral and a lifelong minister and advocate on prison ministry issues, who is also a key participant in Welcome Home Sunday, a program in Louisiana that works to help people getting out of prison merge back into society.
 
All persons, lay or clergy, of all faith traditions who are, or seek to become, involved in serving those who are or have been incarcerated are strongly urged to join a community of others seeking to bring good news to prisoners. More information and registration links can be found at: Registration PMC.
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 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).

Prayers for February 14-20
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Bainbridge, St. John's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Bainbridge, especially St. Joseph Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregation in Bonao, especially Boca de Yuboa (Boca de Yuboa) and Pentecost (Pentecostes).
Ashes to Go

Ashes to Go at The Foundery Coffee Shop in Savannah. The Foundery is a Methodist ministry. The Rev. Michael Chaney, our Missioner for Savannah's Colleges and Universities offers Common Grounds there together with the Rev. Kevin Veitinger, the Methodist Minister in charge of the coffee shop ministry. Common Grounds is an ongoing series of Open Theological Discussions. 

Send your Ash Wednesday pictures to [email protected] or send the web address of your online photo album to that email address. 
  
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia