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May 25, 2016
Volume 6, Number 39
In This Issue
 
 





This Sunday's Lections
Second Sunday after Pentecost
Track 1
1 Kings 18:20-21, (22-29), 30-39
Psalm 96 

1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43
Psalm 96:1-9
Galatians 1:1-12
Luke 7:1-10
 
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Three Ordained Priests on May 21 
Bishop Benhase ordained three persons to the Sacred Order of Priests this past Saturday, May 21- Guillermo Arboleda, Dale Jones, and Kelly Steele. Bishop Benhase preached and presided. 
 
The Diocese thanks Christ Church, Savannah for hosting the ordination liturgy.


Bruce Fehr Deposed from the Priesthood
On May 24th, Bishop Benhase deposed Bruce Fehr from ministry, removing his rights to function as an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church. Action against Fehr began on April 23, 2015, when Federal agents arrested the priest for downloading child pornography. On learning of the arrest, Bishop Benhase relieved Fehr of his duties and restricted him from any exercise of ministry. 

The Church Disciplinary Board's Reference Panel, which considers complaints against clergy, waited until the legal process concluded to consider the matter. Following Fehr's recent conviction on the charges, and consideration by the Reference Panel, Bishop Benhase requested that Fehr agree to the deposition, which he did. This took away the need for the Church Disciplinary Board to convene a Conference Panel to more formally review the charges and make a decision on the charges. For any questions related to this matter, please direct them to Canon Logue. 
Diocesan Office Update    

Bishop Benhase is on Sabbatical. 

Canon Logue is working with six congregations on their searches for a priest, and teaming up with Canon Willoughby to keep the administrative tasks in order during the Bishop's sabbatical. Matters usually sent to the Bishop should be directed to Canon Logue through mid August.
Bishop's Visitation

St. Elizabeth, Richmond Hill 

Bishop Benhase visit to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Richmond Hill this past Sunday.  
Rudy Reyes Leaving Diocesan Staff
Diocesan Program Manager Rudy Reyes will complete his work for the Diocese on May 31. Rudy came on board the diocesan staff as an intern four and a half years ago following his graduation from Harvard Divinity School. As an intern, Rudy took on a variety of tasks including creating a website for every congregation, working with our accounting software, and processing background checks. He quickly proved an integral part of the Bishop's Staff. 

Following that first year, Reyes moved to his current role as Program Manager. His role served as oversight of the Columba House program, overseeing college chaplaincies, and managing the Vocare retreat for young adults. He served to help these programs continue to evolve over his three years of leadership. However, evolution continued with the oversight for these programs shifting to the local level. Columba House missioners are working with local boards and chaplaincy oversight is now occurring at the parish level for all but the Episcopal Campus Ministry to Georgia Southern. 

Reyes's presence will be greatly missed at 611 East Bay. His gifts and demeanor have been an asset to the Diocese and we thank him for his dedication and commitment to this work. In response, Bishop Benhase said, "We will very much miss Rudy and his work with us." Your Diocesan staff asks the Diocesan community to thank Rudy Reyes for his time and talents.
Save the Date for CreekFEST

Youth Missioner on the Road
Joshua Varner began his time as the Diocesan Youth Missioner on April 15. Since that time, Joshua has spent much of his time on the road getting to know youth leaders, both volunteers and staff, in their hometowns. Thus far Joshua has met with representatives from three congregations in Valdosta, two in Thomasville, six in Augusta and one in Savannah. This week he is journeying to Albany, Tifton, Americus, and Cordele to visit with youth leaders there. In the photo above, Varner speaks in a church in the Dominican Republic while leading a mission team there last summer.
 
As he travels, Joshua hopes to develop relationships with youth leaders, to learn about youth ministry in each different place, both what is working well, and what is challenging, and to lend Diocesan support in the best way possible. If you would like Joshua to come visit your congregation, please contact him at [email protected].
CDI Graduates a Fifth Class
The Church Development Institute (CDI) of the Diocese of Georgia graduated its third class this past weekend. The two-year program equips leaders to facilitate a process of transformation, and to build up the capacities and skills of leaders through self awareness of one's personal impact on others and the organization; to increase knowledge of theories, methods and processes as a way to assess and understand the behavior and development of the congregation; and to give a safe learning environment where one can practice skills in facilitation, feedback, listening and presenting. 
  
CDI consists of two cycles and each cycle consists of four weekend training sessions, for a total of eight weekend training sessions across two years. The assumption of the program is that every participant is registering for the whole program (both cycles) i.e., 110 hours of workshop; worship with the learning community; required readings and other assignments; and planning, implementing and reporting on congregational development projects. A new class will enter CDI this December. More information on CDI may be found online here: http://gaepiscopal.org/?page_id=4017 
Glynn Episcopal Ministries (GEM)
The Episcopal Churches of Glynn County are working together under the umbrella of Glynn Episcopal Ministries (GEM).  GEM's goal is to create lasting positive change in one the most challenging neighborhoods in Brunswick, GA.  Focusing on the area around St. Athanasius and St. Mark's, which are only blocks apart, GEM has a special interest in children.  As a part of that focus on young people GEM has formed a partnership with local elementary school, Burroughs-Molette, the most challenged elementary school in the county.  
 
Virtually all of the students at Burroughs-Molette qualify for free or reduced lunches, and poverty is one of the greatest challenges the school faces in offering the kids the education they need.  GEM recently provided a Teacher Appreciation Lunch for faculty and staff at the school, after realizing that the lack of an active PTA means such things as simple as Teacher Appreciation are not a regular reality for the school's staff.  Each staff member, more than 70 in total, received a boxed lunch, a handwritten thank you note, and a gift card.  
 
GEM is also helping celebrate "graduating" 5th graders with a party during the last week of school, offering food, entertainment, and actives for the afternoon.  The group has also begun putting together a roster of volunteers to help the school start an after school tutoring program in the fall.  Twenty volunteers are already signed up to help once school starts, and GEM anticipates even more response by the time school starts.
 
GEM is also working in cooperation with the St. Athanasius Feed My Sheep Food Pantry to offer a summer program the group offered to great success last summer.  The food pantry will do distributions on Fridays, including special food bags for kids.  The Backpack Buddies program sends food home on Fridays through the schools during the school year, and GEM is working with Backpack Buddies to continue that through the summer as well. A simple meal will be served to all who show up on the day of the distribution.  In addition there will be story time and free children's books for all the kids.  
 
GEM is also planning to offer Laundry Love beginning next month, a ministry in a local laundromat.  GEM will pay to wash people's clothing, and even help them fold it if they need it.  Laundry Love has been offered all over the United States and can offer another way to interact with people and share the love of Christ.  
 
GEM is also looking into the feasibility of a small computer lab at St. Athanasius, and is raising money to support the Boys and Girls Club summer programs in the neighborhood.  Other projects have included supporting the graduation of homeless teens from high school this month and supporting youth softball through the Brunswick Housing Authority.  
Honey Creek
Christ Church Frederica Donates Defibrillator

This past weekend Christ Church Frederica, St. Simons Island, enjoyed aBluegrass Eucharist and parish picnic last Sunday at Honey Creek. In addition their rector, the Rev. Tom Purdy presented an Automated External Defribrillator (AED) to Campus Coordinator, Thomas Greneker. In accepting the life saving device, Greneker called the AED, "The best gift we hope to never use". 

St. Paul's Albany Rector, the Very Rev. Lee Lowery stands with Lois Hunkele of Barney's Corner, Major Michael Smith, Stitch, and Chief of Police Dunstin Stephenson of the Warwick Police Department.

St. Paul's, Albany 
Police Dog Gets Lifesaving Vest from Church
Barney's Corner, a ministry of St. Paul's Albany, just proved an answer to prayer for Major Michael Smith of the Warwick, Georgia, Police Department. Since 2013, Smith has worked with police dog "Stitch," a 3 1/2-year-old Belgian malinois. The human wears a bulletproof vest, but the K-9 has worked in dangerous situations without the benefit of a vest. "I've been trying to find a vest for him for a couple of years, but they're so expensive," Smith told the Albany Herald. "Now my prayers have been answered. I can't extend enough gratitude to the folks that made this happen."

Barney's Corner began in 2011 as a place to scatter ashes of deceased pets. Grateful pet owners have donated money and the church designates those funds to benefit animals. Past donations have included the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Ahimsa House. The group also helped establish the annual Barney's Run for Warriors, which assists veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder find service dogs. Thanks to Barney's Corner, Stitch now has the vest he needs for his police work in detecting drugs and assisting in searches for missing persons. 
St. Peter's, Skidaway Island 
Music Academy 
St. Peter's Church, Skidaway Island recently celebrated the first anniversary of her Music Academy, an after-school program which provides vocal and keyboard instruction and music theory classes for children ages 6 to 14 years.

The Music Academy was established through the St. Peter's Endowment Fund for the purpose of making high-quality music lessons and experiences available at affordable costs.  A generous scholarship fund insures that no child is turned away because of the inability to pay for tuition.  The program uses the Royal School of Church Music's "Voice For Life" curriculum, repertoire and rewards, and supplements it with keyboard instruction so as to reinforce music-reading and comprehension. At its concert and dinner on May 18th,  7 students were awarded the RSCM's white ribbon and 8 students received the light blue ribbon.

Register for Summer Camp

We're getting the gang back together! Go to honeycreek.org/camps to register for summer camp.

At Camp Honey Creek, we believe that both faith and the natural world go together, hand in hand. Sort of like peas and carrots, only way better. Respect for creation and developing life-long relationships are key in a young person's life. We have multiple camp sessions to choose from, because we know how busy you are saving the world and stuff. Find a session (or two...live large) that you like, and register...


Spots fill up fast, and by fast we mean pretty quick...or more like a brisk walking pace. If you have any camp questions, contact our Summer Camp Director, Thomas Greneker ([email protected]). And the next time you have peas and carrots, you'll think of Camp Honey Creek, which is pretty cool. 
- Thomas Greneker, Summer Camp Director 
 
2016 Summer Camp Schedule 
(with Registration Links for Individual Camps)
 
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 May 22-28
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Jesup, St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Jesup, especially St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregation of the Holy Spirit (Espíritu Santo) in Las Carreras.

Prayers for May 28-June 4
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Kingsland, King of Peace. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Folkston. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Martha's Church (Santa Marta) in Los Cocos.
School for Ministry 

This past weekend, the Diocesan School for Ministry met at Columba House Savannah as Bishop Benhase taught about the priesthood to those in formation for that order of ministry. The local formation process works hand in hand with seminaries to prepare persons for ordination. Additional weekends include local work on preaching and liturgy for both deacons and priests in training.
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia