April 27, 2016
Volume 6, Number 35
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 16:9-15
Psalm 67
Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
John 14:23-29
John 5:1-9
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Hometown Missions
450+ Hours of Service Completed!
The 2016 Hometown Missions Youth Event was a great success! For the second year running this mission-oriented event was hosted simultaneously in two separate convocations, spreading our service throughout the state.

9 youth and 7 adults gathered 
together in Albany to put the finishing touches on a Habitat for Humanity build. Volunteers painted siding, planted shrubs along the house, and built food-garden beds out of salvaged materials with cotton gin-compost donated by Deacon Leeann Culbreath. The youth were able to meet, worship with, and work alongside the family that will be moving into this new house next week. It was a beautiful day full of laughter, dirt, and power-drills!

23 youth and 6 adults worked to clear the overgrown Butler Cemetery and lay a brick paver path to the gravesite of Liverpool Hazzard, the last freed slave in McIntosh County, Georgia. Creating the path included relocating dirt by wheelbarrow to even the land out, as well as moving hundreds of brick pavers by hand. Thanks to all the kids, adults, and to the community of St. Andrew's and St. Cyprian's for their support, for providing delicious meals, and for planning water games for a hot afternoon!

All together, youth and adults from around the Diocese completed over 450 hours of service in their communities. Hands-on volunteer service is not only a great way to learn more about your community, it is the best route to understanding God's call to love and serve ourselves and our communities.

You can find more photos at the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia Youth Facebook page

Diocesan Office Update    

Tomorrow, Bishop Benhase will officiate at the Celebration of New Ministry with the congregation of St. Paul's, Jesup, and their new rector, the Rev. Dee Shaffer at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, Bishop Benhase makes his visitation to Christ Church, St. Simons Island.

Bishop Benhase and Canon Logue will be at Honey Creek this Sunday through Tuesday for the Spring Clergy Conference. 

Canon Logue is in Indianapolis, Indiana, Thursday through Saturday as a part of his work on evangelism at the denominational level.
Community Update 
Bishop Wayne Smith of the Diocese of Missouri has called the Rev. Loren Lasch to serve as Diocesan Youth Missioner in Missouri. Loren grew up in the Diocese of Georgia and on her graduation from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2008, she worked for five years as an assistant rector and youth minister at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Augusta, Georgia. In the announcement of her new call Lasch cited a Diocese of Georgia 2013 youth mission trip to the Dominican Republic as an example of the importance of this work: "It was so cool to see our youth with the D.R. young people. They were so open and welcoming, learning from each other, following one another's lead." And it struck her that this was such an example of welcoming one another as Christ welcomes us, how the language of faith is so much deeper than the languages we speak. "God is present whenever we are gathered together."

The Rector and Vestry of St. Peter's, St. Louis, Missouri have called Ian Lasch to serve as a Curate. Raised up for ordained ministry by St. Augustine's, Augusta, Lasch will graduate from Virginia Theological Seminary in May. On the 14th of that month Bishop Benhase will ordain him to the Sacred Order of Deacons. 
With the approval of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, Bishop Benhase has set seven ordinations for May.

Four Deacons on May 14
God willing and the people consenting, Bishop Benhase will ordain Donald Holland of Grace Church Waycross, Ian Lasch of St. Augustine's Augusta, Tommy Townsend of St. Mark's Brunswick, Ray Whiting of St. Alban's Augusta to the Sacred Order of Deacons at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 in St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah.

Three Priests on May 21
Bishop Benhase will ordain Guillermo Arboleda, Dale Jones, and Kelly Steele to the Sacred Order of Priests at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 in Christ Church, Savannah. Arboleda and Steele are both missioners at Columba House Savannah. Arboleda also serves at St. George's, Savannah, while Steele also serves at St. Michael and All Angels, Savannah. Jones is part of the Team Ministry at Trinity, Cochran.

A community Earth Day celebration at Oak Street Episcopal Mission in Thomasville. You can find more photos of this celebration on the Creation Care Facebook page

Earth Day Celebrated 
Congregations around the diocese celebrated Earth Day last week with outdoor liturgies, garden blessings, and a garden installation. Prayers of thanksgiving and healing were offered, and participants renewed commitments to care for the gifts of Creation so that all may thrive in God's health and abundance. Upcoming Rogation Days (May 2-4) provide another excellent opportunity to bless gardens, farms, and church grounds. 
Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
-Book of Common Prayer, p. 827

Congregants at St. Barnabas, Valdosta, begin to gather for a special Earth Day liturgy at the church's outdoor altar.

Left: The Rev. Dwayne Varas (St. Thomas, Thomasville) visits with a friend at the Oak Street Episcopal Mission. Right: Rev. Kit Brinson blesses a new, abundance garden bed at Grace, Waycross, installed and maintained by David Kirby (right). 

Habitat for Humanity homeowners finish planting tomatoes and peppers in their new garden beds. 
Christ Church, Valdosta 
Retreat at the Creek 

April 22-24 Christ Church, Valdosta held their second annual parish retreat at Honey Creek.  In addition to services of Compline, Morning Prayer, and Holy Eucharist in the historic chapel, there was plenty of time spent playing corn hole and Frisbee golf, fishing and hiking, and deepening friendships with one another-lots of laughter and love.  They enjoyed the beautiful scenery and excellent food and overall had a wonderful weekend.  They are especially grateful for the gracious hospitality of the gifted Honey Creek staff.  They have already begun making plans for another retreat next spring.
Christ Church, Savannah 
Operation Paperback 
The members of Christ Church Episcopal are engaged in a ministry to our troops at home and abroad, called Operation Paperback. Members mail paperback books in genres requested by a service member, at no charge to them, along with a note of appreciation for their service. If you would like to be a part of this much appreciated ministry, books can be dropped off in the church parish house on Reynolds Square at 18 Abercorn Street, or in the Lutheran Church on the Ascension coffee shop on Wright Square in Savannah.
Christ Church, Cordele
Spring Fling 

Christ Church, Cordele, celebrated its 2nd Annual Spring Fling: A Trip to the Aviation Museum at Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia.  23 children and youth, along with 16 adults made the trip.  Weather was perfect and a good time was had by all.
Two Fiftieth Anniversaries in the Diocese

St. Alban's Organist

The Spelman College Alumnae, Augusta Chapter, worshipped at St. Alban's on Sunday to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of St. Alban's organist, Judith Fennell Ruffin 

The Rev. Reginald Gunn 

St. Patrick's Albany will host its own celebration for the recent 50th anniversary of the Rev. Reginald Gunn's ordination to the priesthood. The celebration will be Sunday, May 1, 2016 in St Patrick's Church, Albany. He will be both preacher and celebrant. A lunch in honor of the Gunns will follow in the parish hall.
Spring Clergy Conference This Sunday  
Registration remains open for the May 1-3 Clergy Conference at Honey Creek. Our main presenter will be the Rev. Dr. Eric Law who will present the models, theology, and skill sets he has developed to unlock sustainability in outward focused congregations.  The conference will focus on Law's Holy Currencies which offers a holistic model for stewardship and congregational vitality, moving beyond "time, talent, and treasure" to create missional and sustainable ministries. Parishioners as well as clergy are encouraged to read the Rev. Dr. Eric Law's book Holy Currencies: 6 Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries.  

Space is now quite limited.
Please call Honey Creek at 912-265-9218 for lodging arrangements.
Columba House Savannah
Internship Priority Deadline is Today   

Applications for Residential Internships at Columba House Savannah in 2016-2017 are still open! 

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).

This year's Columba House Savannah Residential Internship begins August 22, 2016 and ends April 30, 2017. 

Learn more about the Columba House Program at our brand new website: www.columbahouse.org!

For more information, please contact the following: The Rev. Dcn. Kelly Steele, CHS Missioner, [email protected] and 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: http://gaepiscopal.org/docs/oneyearprayercycle.pdf 

Prayers for April 24-30
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Fitzgerald, St. Matthew's, and for our ecumenical partners in Fitzgerald, especially St. William's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Mark's (San Marcos) in Haina.

Prayers for May 1-7
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Harlem, Trinity, and Catholic churches in Cuthbert and Donalsonville-St. Luke's and the Church of the Incarnation. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Mount of the Transfiguration Church (Monte de la Transfiguración) in Jarabacoa
A Half Ton of Fun

Hometown Mission team members in Albany enjoyed working with the half ton of Cotton Compost used for the garden.
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Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia