March 9, 2016Volume 6, Number 28
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126
Philippians 3:4b-14

John 12:1-8

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Campaign for Congregational Development
Upcoming Discernment Study 
The Diocese of Georgia is conducting a Discernment Study to determine the current highest priorities and needs of the members of our Diocese regarding the Campaign for Congregational Development. The Bishop and staff are working with Andi Tilmann, our Campaign consultant with the Episcopal Church Foundation. In the coming weeks, she will be in the Diocese to hear from lay and ordained leaders across the convocations. 
In 2010, Bishop Benhase pledged to move from a quartile system with asking from 10-17.5% (depending on the income of the congregation) to a flat tithe for all congregations. The Diocese was able to achieve that-while keeping the budget in the black-within his first two years of service. However, his greater vision for congregational development and ministry can not happen through the annual Diocesan budget alone. Thus, the Campaign for Congregational Development was conceived as an approach to meet both the Bishop's greater vision for the Diocese as a larger Body of Christ and his commitment to require only annual tithes of our congregations.
Every initiative supported by the Campaign for Congregational Development arose directly from the priorities expressed by the people of our Diocese during an initial 14 months of listening. Three clear priority areas stood out from all the others:
  • Congregational Growth & Development
  • Clergy & Lay Leader Support and Development
  • Leadership Formation for Youth & Young Adults
Nine initiatives emerged from these core priorities, to be supported by the Campaign for Congregational Development. The Campaign is designed to generate the base funds to launch as many of the identified ministries as possible over the course of the next 5-10 years while simultaneously continuing to support the already existing ministries, as funds come in. The long-term vision is for the ministries that prove vital and effective to become line items in the annual Diocesan budget, supplemented by ongoing support from individuals and congregations.
This upcoming Discernment Study will guide us in determining which initiatives have the most support at this time, and how much the Campaign for Congregational Development could raise to achieve them over the next 5 years. Gifts of all sizes are welcome and will enable the Diocese to strengthen our congregations, serve our communities and grow in the Body of Christ. More information on the Discernment Study and how to submit a survey will be highlighted in From the Field in the coming weeks. To find out more about the Campaign, call Rebekah Stewart at (912) 236-4279 or visit 
Diocesan Office Update    
Bishop Benhase is attending the House of Bishop's Spring Meeting in Camp Allen, TX through March 16th.

Canon Logue will preside and preach this Sunday at St. Patrick's, Pooler.
Lent Discussion Considers Confirmation this Week
As the Lent 1Book1Diocese continues to read Rachel Held Evans's Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the ChurchLuke Wetzel, offers his reflections on Confirmation at our website. His 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 Anointing the Sick, and next Wednesday we will post a reflection from The Rev. John Jenkins, to the 1Book1Diocese website.

Youth Programs
New Beginnings Connects Teens with Faith
Fifty participants and team members came together for New Beginnings #48 this past weekend. The weekend offers a time for participants to get real about their faith while away from family and their home church. Teens talking to other teens about living out their faith in Jesus Christ is the heart of a New Beginnings Retreat. While the Spiritual Directors do give talks on "God is Love" and "Who is Jesus" most of the teaching at the retreat for 7-9 graders are given by high school students. The talks on friends, family, peer pressure, and more get at the intersection of faith and our daily lives. The key points of the talk are the same for every weekend, but the teens work with the spiritual directors to shape the talks to bring out life experience and to make the talks more meaningful for all. Nick White of Christ the King, Valdosta, gives his talk in the photo above.

Allie Simpson of St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's Churches in Darien was the Lead Teen for the weekend and she had especially strong support from adults in her church who served as adult participants for the weekend. Under the guidance of diocesan coordinator Maggie Bloodworth, the New Beginnings program continues to thrive. Look for announcements about the next retreat in upcoming issues of From the Field

Allie Simpson is pictured at left helping lead music during the retreat. A full album of photos is online here: New Beginnings #48 Photos

The procession to the chapel for the closing Eucharist, which was preached by Madison Cook of St. Thomas, Thomasville, and boys try to sing loud on the male parts in a song to match the voices of the female singers. Below are the participants and staff for New Beginnings #48.

RSVP Now for Chrism Mass 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]et
Regrets do not need to be sent.
Education for Ministry Training at Honey Creek
Whether you are new to EfM or a longtime mentor seeking accreditation renewal, we welcome you to this training at Honey Creek Retreat Center, hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. Two training tracks are being offered: 
  • Foundations of Seminar Life (formerly called Basic/In-service)-For persons seeking to become a mentor or to be reaccredited as a mentor (Mentors must return to Basic/In-service after 3 consecutive non-Basic/In- service trainings). 
  • Formation: Spirituality - For mentors looking to further one's spiritual foundation for mentoring and ministry. (Formation events are available for active mentors. To qualify for a Formation event, a Mentor must be re-accredited in a second Basic/In-service and be recommended for Formation by a trainer). 
The EfM training will be held Thursday, June 2 at 3:00 pm to Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm. Contact Misty Graham at [email protected] or 352-281-6805.

Register for ECW Annual Retreat 
Episcopal Church Women will gather at Honey Creek for their annual retreat and meeting April 29 and 30. For more information, contact ECW President Beth Mithen at [email protected]

Columba House
March 16 Priority Deadline for Internships 
Applications for Residential Internships at Columba House Savannah in 2016-2017 are now available. 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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016:
Priority Application Deadline #1 for 2016-2017 Residential Internship

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]
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:  

Prayers for March 6-12
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Brunswick, Good Shepherd, St. Athanasius', and St. Mark's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Brunswick, especially St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and St. James Lutheran Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Anthony of Padua (San Antonio de Padua) in Carreton.

Prayers for March 13-19
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Cochran, Trinity and for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Cairo. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the Church of the Holy Name (El Santo Nombre) in Catalina.
Altar Party

Acolytes join the Rev. Joe Bowden MD behind the altar of St. Augustine's, Augusta. 
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia