March 30, 2016
Volume 6, Number 31
In This Issue
 
 





This Sunday's Lections
Second Sunday of Easter
Acts 5:27-32
or 
Psalm 150

Revelation 1:4-8


John 20:19-31


 
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Deacon Johnny Tuttle lifts his son Elijah from baptismal waters at St. John's and St. Mark's, Albany, as his wife Nicki waits with a towel and the Rev. Gail Long holds the baptismal shell.

Alleluia! Christ Is Risen.
"O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his
disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith,
that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives
and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen."

The Rev. Iane Sastre baptizes Jordan Bianca Whitfield during the Easter Vigil at St. Athanasius', Brunswick.

The eight persons baptized on Easter at Christ Church, Augusta, stand with the Vicar, the Rev. Curtis Johnson, and their sponsors for baptism, Deacon Larry and Pam Jesion.
Diocesan Office Update    

On Saturday, Bishop Benhase will preside and preach for the Albany Convocation Confirmations at St. Paul's, Albany

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase makes his visitation to All Saints', Thomasville.

Canon Logue is in Saluda, North Carolina this weekend opening the Clergy Cottage for the summer.
Luke Wetzel Ordination to the Diaconate this Sunday  
During this Sunday's visitation to All Saints, Thomasville, Bishop Benhase will ordain Luke Wetzel to the Sacred Order of Deacons. The liturgy will be at 10:30 a.m. If clergy can attend, they should vest in cassock, surplice, and tippet.
Georgia State Legislature
Denominational Coalition Opposed Property Bill
The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of Georgia worked to bring together a compelling coalition of denominations to oppose a State Senate bill, which would have significantly changed church property law. Senate Bill 345 purported to clarify the religious property statute governing property held by religious denominations. 

Our Chancellor, the Rev. Jim Elliott, testified to the House Judiciary Committee. Together with Vice Chancellor Mills Fleming, the two pulled together a coalition of the following denominations: Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, and Greek Orthodox. The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta also took part in this effort.

Fleming said of SB 345, "The bill was unnecessary as the law in Georgia relating to ownership and control of church property is well settled and has been for decades. Moreover, the bill would have impermissibly crossed the line between the separation of church and state by allowing the state to interfere in church governance matters - something both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Georgia Supreme Court have prohibited."

Elliott said, "We are thankful to our sisters and brothers from other traditions that joined with us in opposition to this ill-conceived bill.  We are also thankful to our counterparts in the Diocese of Atlanta whose support was instrumental in our collective efforts to protect our the church's right to govern itself as it chooses."

Watered down by the House committee, SB 345 never made it to the House floor for a vote - despite passing unanimously in the Senate. The Georgia legislative session now ended, the coalition remains together in the event a similar bill is proposed in next year's legislative session.
Youth Programs
Register for Hometown Mission in Albany & Darien
Hometown Missions is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of mission work on a local level by teaching our youth to give back to our Diocesan Community. This year we will host one event taking place in two locations, with one in Albany and one in Darien, both on April 22-24 for 6th-12th grade. Participant's will engage in various projects that will engage them in service and conversation about various social issues. The cost for the week is $50, all inclusive. Financial Aid Available. This is a weekend the teens will never forget! 

 Click here to register for 

Save the Date for New Beginnings - December 2-4
New Beginnings is a weekend retreat for teenagers in grades 7-9 led by a team of teenagers, with a few adults, and two clergy spiritual directors. 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. The next weekend retreat will be December 2-4. The cost for the weekend is $118 and scholarship assistance is available. Look for registration information here in From the Field.
Presiding Bishop Calls for a Season of Prayer
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has called for a season of prayer for regions of the Anglican Communion which are experiencing violence and civil strife. "In this season of Resurrection, I call on everyone to pray for our brothers and sisters in areas where there is much burden and little hope," the presiding bishop said.

In addition, in his Easter Message 2016 (available here ), Curry addressed the situation in Brussels, noting, "The truth is even as we speak this Holy Week, we do so not only in the shadow of the cross but we do so in the shadow of those who have been killed in Brussels, of those who have been wounded and maimed, of those who weep and mourn.  And of a world mourning, and not too sure how to move forward."

Citing Galatians 6:2 - Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ - Presiding Bishop Curry called for prayer throughout the holy season of Easter. Beginning on April 3, the First Sunday of Easter, and proceeding through Pentecost on May 15, the Episcopal Church is asked to pray for a particular province or region: Burundi, Central America, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Middle East, Pakistan, and South Sudan. Click here for more information.

Episcopal Advisory Group on Church Planting
The General Convention Advisory Group on Church Planting has announced a series of initiatives designed to place church-planting efforts into motion for The Episcopal Church. The Advisory Group was established through Resolution D005 of the 78th General Convention in July 2015 and called for the creation of "a church-wide network for planting congregations, training and recruiting planters; and establishing new congregations each triennium."

Canon Frank Logue co-wrote and sponsored that resolution and currently serves on this Advisory Group as liaison to Executive Council. The Advisory Group is also working closely with Latino Ministries to support and develop new Spanish-speaking and bilingual congregations. Additionally, the group has been charged with the distribution of further funding for Missional Enterprise Zones.

"We are building a new community," Advisory Group member the Rev. Zack Nyein, told Episcopal News Service. "We are developing a community of church planters and those interested in the work of church planting."


Contest
To that end, the Advisory Group has announced a design contest for a new logo to depict church planting for The Episcopal Church. A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the most inspiring title and logo for a renewed church planting movement across the church. Submission instructions and image specifics are located here . Deadline is May 1. For information contact [email protected]
Mary Grace Benhase Writes from YASC in Hong Kong
"I thought I knew some stuff before I came here but as it turns out, I know very little," writes Mary Grace Benhase from her year-long Young Adult Service Corps posting in Hong Kong. In her blog, Helping in Hong Kong, the daughter of Bishop Scott and Kelly Benhase shares that "Of life, hardship or suffering, I have limited experience. The one thing I do know is that my voice is not the most important."

Benhase works for a non-profit organization called  Helpers for Domestic Helpers. The organization give free legal aid to the estimated 350,000 foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Hong Kong. She interviews clients, explaining to them their legal rights and guiding them in pursuing claims in the Labour Tribunal and other courts. Legal and human rights violations against FDWs include underpayment, denial of rest days, inadequate privacy and sleeping arrangements, physical, verbal or sexual assault, extortionate placement fees, human trafficking, and exploitation.The work of Helpers for Domestic Helpers is to give a voice to a population that has been forced into silence. 

  Due to the confidential nature of her work, Benhase can not share stories from her work, but she does offer a series of videos created by the non-profit she works for HDH: Overcoming Abusive Employment for those who wish to see more of the importance of the work.

Reflecting on her work so far, Benhase writes at her blog, "Sometimes I laugh with my coworkers and clients. Sometimes I feel victorious when justice is served in court. Sometimes I go home with a sick feeling in my stomach. Sometimes I have to ask women twice my age when the last time they had a meal was. Sometimes I get frustrated and want to scream.  Sometimes I feel helpful. Sometimes I feel like I'm not. I'm still learning." You can follow her journey at:
 
 
The Rev. Al Crumpton baptizes a child at King of Peace, Kingsland, and the Rev. Charles Todd's baptizes a child during the Spanish language mass at St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah.

Holy Week and Easter in Photos 
More than half of the congregations in the Diocese are represented in the album which has 190 photos from 38 congregations of the Diocese (at the time this email is being sent): 2016 Lent, Holy Week, and Easter Photo Album.


Lunch followed the Easter liturgy at St. George's, Savannah.
 
The Rev. Joye Cantrell poses for a photo with the acolytes at Good Shepherd, Swainsboro, and Phil Boyd lights the altar candles for Easter at Trinity, Harlem.

Children take part in the Easter liturgy at Christ Church, Valdosta.
  
The Rev. Leigh Hall speaks to children during the liturgy at St. Paul's, Albany, and kids make a mad dash for eggs in the indoor Easter Egg Hunt at St. Philip's, Hinesville.

Kids enjoy the Easter Children's Church time in the undercroft of Christ Church, Savannah.
  
The Holy Eucharist at St. John's, Savannah, and St. Mark's, Brunswick.
 
The Easter liturgies at St. Margaret of Scotland, Moultrie, and Our Savior, Martinez.
  
The Rev. Kit Brinson shows off her Easter Bonnet at Grace, Waycross, and flowering the cross at Annunciation, Vidalia.

The Easter congregation at Holy Cross, Thomson.
 
Acolytes at St. Luke's, Hawkinsville, and at right, the Rev. R. Kevin Kelly enjoyed serving with all three of his children during the Easter Vigil at St. Michael and All Angels, Savannah.

Reading the stories from the Old Testament by the light of New Fire at St. Patrick's, Pooler.
 
The Rev. Jay Weldon prepares to light the Paschal Candle from New Fire at St. Patrick's, Albany, and the Rev. Lisa Barrowclough hands a newly baptized girl a baptismal candle lit from the Paschal Candle at Good Shepherd, Augusta.
 
The altar at St. Thomas Isle of Hope, Savannah, on Good Friday and a Stations of the Cross banner at St. James, Quitman.

The altar of St. Michael's, Waynesboro, following the Maundy Thursday Eucharist.

Maundy Thursday footwashing at St. Alban's, Augusta.
 
Maundy Thursday Footwashing at St. Luke's, Rincon, and a Wednesday in Holy Week liturgy at Little Saint Anne's, the Chapel at St. Anne's, Tifton.

The three Episcopal congregations in Albany worship together in the Parish Hall at St. John's and St. Mark's. The churches observed several Holy Week liturgies together.
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 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.

Prayers for April 3-9
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregations in Darien, St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Darien, especially Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Michael's (San Miguel) in Dońa Ana.
New Life

Acolytes stand with the fully flowered cross outside of Christ Church Frederica on St. Simons Island.
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia