|February 17, 2016||Volume 6, Number 24|
Feed My Sheep Cares for Brunswick
Leading the way in caring for those in need in Brunswick is St. Athanasius' and its Feed My Sheep program. The donation-funded signature ministry is one of the collective outreach services that makes up Glynn Episcopal Ministries (GEM). Originally envisioned by Parishioner Velma Crosby, Feed My Sheep has been serving the Brunswick community for over 9 years by providing groceries on a bi-weekly basis to those who might otherwise go hungry.
Each of the Episcopal Congregations in Glynn County takes part by supplying volunteers and/or food donations. Currently, Feed My Sheep operates with 15 volunteers who help with planning, shopping, inventory, and distribution, and they serve about 300-400 families a month.
In addition to food, Feed My Sheep also answers the need for other items. The Rev. Iane Sastre, rector of St. Athanasius, shared with us, "We do clothing and blankets. We try to provide whatever they ask for. We've given wheel chairs and bicycles, whatever they need we try to provide."
Though this is a well established program, Sastre and Crosby continue to dream of ways to expand and improve their ministry. Crosby shares, "We do a lot of canned fruits and veggies. I would love to move into an area where we are providing fresh produce regularly. We've begun having conversations about starting a community garden with the other parishes to supplement the produce in our food pantry."
Feed My Sheep isn't just about providing for material needs, there's a spiritual element to be gained as well. A prayer service is offered in conjunction with each distribution day. Sastre states, "The service begins with prayers for the families present, followed by a celebration of birthdays and anniversaries. Some people even come to the parish just for prayers. It's more than just food." He adds, "We try to use this ministry to welcome families into our sanctuary- and we have had some success. Last Sunday we had a young couple from the program join us for Eucharist."
"We are happy and blessed by this program. We will continue to keep this ministry running for a long, long time. We are committed because we feel that we are called by god to this ministry," said Crosby.
Feed My Sheep is a thriving outreach ministry that serves a constantly expanding community. Items of particular need include re-usable cloth grocery bags, men's work clothes, blankets, and fresh produce. If you would like to learn more about this ministry please reach out directly to Velma Crosby at (912) 265-8521.
Diocesan Office Update
On Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Michael's, Waynesboro.
Canon Logue is in Baltimore meeting with the Episcopal Church's Advisory Group on Church Planting which is creating a grant process for $3 million budgeted by the General Convention for Mission Enterprise Zones and new church starts.
This weekend, Canon Logue will lead the Lenten Retreat at Honey Creek with his wife Victoria and the Rev. Liam Collins.
Diocesan Staff Announcement
Canon Willoughby is having surgery today Feb 17th. She will be out of the office for a two week period. In the interim, please direct your questions to Canon Logue.
For questions about health insurance, pension, and other benefits, please visit www.cpg.org
or call client services for health insurance questions at 800-480-9967.
Diocesan Community Update
The Very Rev. Dr. Denise Ronn has resigned as the Vicar of St. Barnabas', Valdosta. Her last Sunday will be Easter Sunday.
The Rev. Stephen Norris has accepted a call to serve as the Vicar of St. Barnabas', Valdosta. He begin the new call on May 1.
St. Thomas, Thomasville
Bishop Benhase with confirmands and their sponsors.
Lent Discussion Considers Confession this Week
As the Lent 1Book1Diocese continues to read Rachel Held Evans's Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Victoria Logue, TSSF, offers her reflections on Confession 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 Holy Orders, and next Wednesday we will post a reflection from The Rev. Tom Purdy, to the 1Book1Diocese website.
Deacon Retreat Reflections
Last weekend, the deacons of the Diocese of Georgia retreated to Honey Creek for fellowship, learning, and support. Deacon Larry Jesion, who just completed a program on pastoral care at the VA in Augusta, led the group in discussion and hands-on activities focused on grief for this annual retreat.
We talked about many types of grief-others' and our own-and how hard it is when we are faced with unexpected change and loneliness. One meditation had us on our knees washing our hands in the "tears of the suffering of the world." We walked and meditated for ourselves and others.
We shared our own struggles as we try to be present with those who reach out to us either in our roles as deacon or any of the other hats we may wear. Some deacons work with people struggling with physical or mental health. Some fight for those who can't speak for themselves: the children, the elderly, even the unwanted pets that are thrown away to fend for themselves. All deacons at some point minister to those suffering grief, often when facing personal grief as well.
We shared our successes as well as our inadequacies in walking with those in grief. And we accepted the support of our colleagues. We walked, we prayed, we cried, and shared Communion as we took a breath and gained strength for the journey of servant ministry. -Archdeacon Sandy Turner
Pictured above: (Left to Right) Archdeacon Sandy Turner and Deacon Yvette Owens. Pictured below: (Left to Right) Deacons Scott Mithen, Larry Jesion, and Dianne Hall.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry with his translator, Dinorah Padro, and the Rev. Michael Hunn, canon to the presiding bishop for ministry within the Episcopal Church.
DR Companion Diocese Update
Our Companion Diocese of the Dominican Republic celebrated its new Bishop Coadjutor on Saturday, February 13. The Rev. Moisés Quezada Mota (pictured right) was ordained and consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor during the concluding service of the 58th annual convention of the Dominican diocese. The Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, was the chief consecrator at the service, which was attended by twenty other Episcopal bishops, one hundred clergy and seminarians from the Dominican Republic and the other companion dioceses, and approximately 1,500 representatives of the Dominican Episcopal churches and schools. The Rt. Rev. Quezada has a long history of ordained service in the Dominican Republic, and will succeed the Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín as diocesan bishop upon his retirement.
Bishop Curry is the first Presiding Bishop to attend a Dominican diocesan convention, where he participated in several sessions, addressed the delegates twice and preached at a Sunday service at Epiphany Cathedral. He praised Bishop Holguín in these words: "Thank God for your long and apostolic ministry. When giants walk among us, we must thank God for them. Your bishop has been a voice for those who have no voice, a light for those who have no light." Bishop Holguin is now in his 25th year of service as Bishop of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, and is the longest-serving diocesan bishop currently in The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops.
The board members of the Dominican Development Group (DDG)
, a coordinating agency for the twelve Companion Dioceses, also attended the convention and the consecration service. On Monday, February 15, they held their semi-annual meeting in the diocesan office. The two mission teams from Georgia who have already worked in 2016 were praised by both Bishop Holguin and by Missionary Karen Carroll, who serves as the coordinator of the logistics for over 50 mission teams that come from the US each year. Bishop Holguín noted that our team from the Southeastern Convocation was the first to use the newly-completed Morrow Conference Center in Santana Baní, and their evaluations helped greatly during the initial "shakedown" experience for that facility. Karen reported that the optical clinic team from St. Peter's Savannah did a wonderful job at the Dominican medical clinic in San Pedro de Macorís, seeing over 700 patients in a highly organized process. Also during this meeting, Julia Ariail, a co-chair of our Companion Diocese Commission, was elected as the DDG secretary for a two-year term. Julia serves on the DDG's endowment committee and works with her husband, Julius, on DDG communications projects.
Pictured above: The Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Diocese of Eastern Michigan and chair of the DDG Endowment Committee; Julia Ariail, newly-elected DDG Secretary; the Rev. Deacon Beth Drew, Diocese of Western Michigan, newly-elected DDG President.
You can read more about Moisés Quezada Mota installation as bishop coadjutor for Dominican Republic at Episcopal News Services.
Presiding Bishop Speaks to the National Press Club
"We shall either learn to live together ... or perish together as fools," Presiding Bishop Michael Curry began a February 8 address to members and guests of the National Press Club
. Building on the theme, "the church's role in creating a more inclusive society," Curry shared his remarks with as part of the club's Newsmaker
series, or hour-long news conferences, in which congressmen, government officials, policy experts, organizational and influential leaders address members and respond to questions from the media.
Curry told those gathered at the press club that he was surprised at his election as the first African-American presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church and by the Episcopal Church's two mission priorities of evangelism and racial reconciliation adopted by the General Convention that elected him in July 2015.
"Those were two courageous acts, and I don't think any of us really saw that coming either," he said. "I suspect when you don't see something like that coming that may well be a sign that some other variable is involved in the equation, which means the Holy Spirit has been messing with us...
"We came out of that convention with the Episcopal Church having made a commitment to what I call the Jesus Movement and a commitment to following in the way of Jesus of Nazareth, not exactly knowing how all of this is going to play out, but following in the way of Jesus of Nazareth which is the way of God's love in this world. And doing it by a way of evangelism and a way that leads to racial reconciliation in our society and in our world."
Curry said he is convinced that King's 21st century call "to learn to live together as brothers and sisters, is tied up with the truth of this Jesus Movement and work of evangelism and racial reconciliation."
For its part, the Episcopal Church putting evangelism and racial reconciliation front and center, is intentionally looking at how it will approach the work of loving God and neighbor both within and outside the Episcopal Church.
Evangelism is not about bringing people to the Episcopal Church, but about bringing people into a "deeper, abiding relationship with God."
"Evangelism is bringing us back to that God and bringing us back to each other and that's the reconciliation, and when that happens we do not let children go to bed hungry; when that happens every child has an opportunity for an affordable and an excellent education; when that happens every human being is a child of God and endowed by God with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; when that happens we will lay down our swords and shields by the riverside and study war no more.
"We will either learn to live together as brothers and sisters ... or perish together as fools. But I'm not in this business because I believe we will perish. I'm in this business because we're going to learn to live together, and the Episcopal Church is going to help lead the way 'cause we're part of the Jesus Movement."
Clergy Tax Guide 2016
It's tax season! The CPG Clergy Tax Guide will be available to all clergy during the week of February 22nd. If you are interested in pre-ordering a hard copy, you can do so here
. It is recommended that you read through the updated guide when working with your professional tax or financial advisor to prepare your taxes.
CPG also provides on call experts to answer any questions that you might have challenges with. Please consider visiting the website to see the resources available to you.
Experts on call
Nancy N. Fritschner, CPA
Member of the CREDO Finance Faculty
The Rev. Canon William Geisler, CPA (ret.)
Regular lecturer on clergy and church tax issues
Pray for Cursillo #121 Participants and Staff
Cursillo #121 is right around the corner! Taking place at Honey Creek the weekend of February 25-28 Please pray for the participants and staff! De Colores!
Amanda Sammons-Grace Church Waycross
Janeen Kluska-St. Mark's Brunswick
P.J. Jordan- King of Peace Kingsland
Sallie Honeycutt-Christ Church Valdosta
Tamara Thomas-Christ Church Valdosta
Millie Johnson- Christ Church Valdosta
Teresa Todd- St. Pauls, Jesup
Sharon Crosby-St. Pauls,Jesup
Michelle Bates- St. Mark's Jesup
Alex Chandler-Garrett- King of Peace, Kingsland
Jason Garret-King of Peace Kingsland
The Rev. Aaron Brewer-St. Luke's Hawkinsville
Nan Randolph-Christ Church Valdosta
Rena Nelson-Christ Church Valdosta
Tom Draffin- Observing Rector
Pepi Nelson- Head Palanca Cha
Phyllis Holland- Palanca Cha
Val Crumpton- Palanca Cha
Merrill Guice- Head Music Cha
Sandy Sandbach- Head table/Food Cha
Frances Crawford- Table/Food Cha
Maris Cato- Table/Food Cha
Rose Wilson- Head Table Facilitator
Bonnie Hanson-Table Facilitator
Rita Spalding- Table Facilitator
The Rev. Jim Elliott- Head Spiritual Director
The Rev. Al Crumpton - Spiritual Director
Still Time to Sign Up for Nebraska Mission Trip
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
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 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).
Prayers for February 21-27
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Baxley, St. Thomas Aquinas and for our ecumenical partners in Baxley at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Bonao, especially St. Joseph of Arimathea (San José de Arimatea), St. John the Baptist (San Juan Bautista), and St. Nicodemus (San Nicodemo).
Acing First Communion
Ace is pictured here answering questions from Deacon Guillermo Arboleda and the Rev. Jim Parker prior to receiving his first communion this past Sundat at St. George's, Savannah.
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