Holy Wednesday 
Volume 6, Number 30
In This Issue
 
 




This Sunday's Lections
Easter Sunday
 
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Have a Blessed Holy Week 
"Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

We are now walking the way of the cross to the tomb on our way to recalling again the Paschal mystery. We walk this path together. Though in our many congregations, we are united through our liturgies in the worship of our one Lord Jesus Christ.  

The photos above are from Christ Church, Valdosta, and Christ Church, Savannah.
Diocesan Office Update    

On Maundy Thursday, Bishop Benhase makes his visitation to St. Thomas', Savannah

On Easter Sunday, Bishop Benhase makes his visitation to Trinity, Statesboro.

Canon Logue will preside and preach this Easter Sunday at Trinity, Harlem, and Holy Cross, Thomson.

Diocesan House will be closed for Friday March 25 for Good Friday and Monday, March 28 for Easter Monday.
Diocesan Community Update    

The Vestry of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, has called the Rev. Marcia McRae as their Priest in Charge. Marcia was the longtime editor of the Church in Georgia and she and her husband John (who serves on Diocesan Council) were active lay persons in the Diocese for many years prior to her April 16, 2011 ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests. McRae first served as a Curate at St. Thomas, Thomasville. Since December 2013, she has served as the Priest in Charge of St. John's, Bainbridge. 
Calvary, Americus 
Bishop's Visitation

Candidates and sponsors at Calvary this past Sunday.
Campaign for Congregational Development
Making the Case for Our Campaign
The Diocese recently redesigned the website for the Campaign for Congregational Development to work together with a new document created with our Campaign Consultant to clearly state where we stand with our fundraising for mission.

Please visit the new website at campaign.georgiaepiscopal.org and see the Case Statement PDF for more information. We also have a new 3-minute video with Bishop Benhase discussing the Campaign for Congregational Development below:

A Campaign Overview in 3 minutes
A Campaign Overview in 3 minutes

 

1Book1Diocese
Lenten Study Concludes with Marriage 
As the Lent 1Book1Diocese concludes its reading of Rachel Held Evans's Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the ChurchDeacon Guillermo Arboleda, offers his reflections on Marriage at our website. His reflection is part of our diocesan engagement with the book as each Wednesday in Lent, we have been adding 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. 
   
Clergy Spouse Retreat 2016

Dear Friends:

This May 13-15 2016, join your brothers and sisters for our annual Clergy Spouse Retreat, held at the Diocese of Georgia's Retreat Center, our beloved Honey Creek. Each of us lives into being a clergy spouse in our own way. But as part of a clergy spouse community, we can share acceptance, support, and companionship (including a lot of laughs) while we explore the gifts and frustrations that come with being part of a clergy family. Spread out across a big Diocese as we are, this Retreat gives us precious time together.

While each Clergy Spouse Retreat offers something a little different, our structure remains the same. The weekend offers whatever mix of activities you choose to restore you. On Friday night, we gather to socialize, to greet friends and to begin to weave newcomers into the fabric of the community.  We end the evening with Compline. Saturday offers a range of activities--reflection led by our Chaplain Helen White, hikes, a service project to benefit Honey Creek, sleep--this year even a 90-minute boat ride!  Saturday night brings games, maybe a little dancing, ending with Evening Prayer.  Sunday morning we share Eucharist together in the Honey Creek Chapel, enriched by the musical gifts of our community. Then we reflect on our time together before making our way home after lunch.

To see this year's Clergy Spouse Retreat schedule, click here. Many clergy spouses are involved in planning (everyone is welcome to help!) but Jay Lacy (St. Anne's, Tifton), Leslie Parker (St. George's, Savannah), Geri Nelson (St. Thomas, Savannah), Allison Clarkson (St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's, Brunswick) and Cissy Bowden (Good Shepard, Augusta), along with our Chaplain, Helen White (Christ Church, Savannah), spend many hours preparing for each Retreat. They would each love to talk to you about it. Please contact me as well with questions about the Retreat or about anything else!

Peace be with you,

Kelly Jones Benhase
Creation Care Commission
Protect Pollinators - say "No" to Neonics
Spring is here! Going to your local nursery to spruce up your flower beds at church or home? Before you go, take this important information with you. 

Be aware of flowering plants containing "neonicotinoids." Long name, bad news! In simple, brief terms "neonics" contain nicotine. Nicotine (in many things) isn't good for humans, and in flowers it is devastating to our precious pollinators, especially bees, and also butterflies and beneficial insects.

It has been banned in many countries for a while and in 2014 one of the largest home and gardening centers in the U.S. started inserting purple labels in the pots of plants containing neonics.

But the label was hardly a warning. It was more like a sales pitch. In 2015 this same center publicly announced it was phasing out the sale of plants containing neonics which, by the way, was 80% of its flowering plants! This is disturbing on many levels, but instead of dwelling on the wrong let's focus on solutions:
  1. Take a few minutes and google "neonicotinoids" to learn the history and the many years of research on the use of this substance in flowering plants.
  2. Read the labels when purchasing plants. Talk to your local expert plant vendors and request flowers without neonics.
  3. Consider removing and replacing flowers you suspect may have neonics. There is a good probability that flowering plants purchased from large, chain garden centers in recent years have neonics in them. Again, do a little research.
  4. Spread the word about the dangers of neonics. Garden clubs are a great resource and avenue to assist with education on this important issue.
  5. Grow your own flowers from seed, especially ones that attract and safely feed pollinators and butterflies!
-Laura Walker, Savannah, Creation Care Commission

St. Alban's, Augusta

Holy Week Across the Diocese
To more fully share that united experience, please share with us photos as you are able. Some photos from Palm Sunday are found throughout this issue of From the Field. Photos must be in by 5 p.m. Tuesday in Easter week to be included in next week's From the Field. Send pictures to [email protected] or send the web address of your online photo album to that email address. 
  
Click here to see the 2016 Lent, Holy Week, and Easter Photo Album, which will grow during this week of worship.

Palms are pictured above at Good Shepherd, Augusta and St. James, Quitman.

St. Paul's, Albany

St. Michael's and All Angles, Savannah and St. Luke's, Hawkinsville 

Christ Church Frederica on St. Simons Island.
 
St. Margaret's, Moultrie, and St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah.

King of Peace, Kingsland
     
The altars of St. Matthew's, Fitzgerald, St. John's, Savannah, and All Saints, Tybee Island.

St. Thomas, Thomasville

Oils Blessed and Vows Renewed at Chrism Mass
The clergy of the Diocese of Georgia gathered with Bishop Benhase in two liturgies to renew their ordination vows and bless oils for use in our churches. To offer this important liturgy in a way more convenient to the deacons and priests, two Chrism Masses were held. Christ Church Cordele hosted the first on March 18 and St. George's Savannah hosted the second on March 22. Bishop Benhase presided and preached at both liturgies. In addition to hosting the liturgy, each parish provided outstanding hospitality in the lunch arranged for the clergy.


The clergy gathered at Christ Church, Cordele, on March 18.

 The Clergy gathered at St. George's, Savannah, on March 22.
 
Following the liturgies, clergy decanted oils into containers for use in their congregations through the coming year. The three oils blessed in the liturgy are for healing, Chrism for anointing at baptism, and oil for blessing catechumens (those preparing for baptism).
Revised Transition Handbook Online
A revised Transition Handbook is now in the Reference Library at the Diocesan website. This covers the information priests and vestries need to navigate the time from a priest announcing she or he is leaving a congregation until a new priest is called and in place. This revision clarified existing practice for priests after leaving a church through a statement approved by the Standing Committee and the Diocesan Council. The new handbook is online here: Transition Handbook
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 March 20-26
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Cordele, Christ Church and for our ecumenical partners in Cordele, especially St. Theresa Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Consuelo - The Grand Commission (La Gran Comisión) and St. Gabriel (San Gabriel).

Prayers for March 27-April 2
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Dawson, the Church of the Holy Spirit. We pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Camilla, and St. Christopher Catholic Church in Claxton. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Holy Spirit the Comforter (Espíritu Consolador) in Dajabon.
The Liturgy of the Palms

Acolytes lined up for the Palm Sunday procession at St. Anne's, Tifton.
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia