June 29, 2016
Volume 6, Number 44
In This Issue

This Sunday's Lections
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Track One
2 Kings 5:1-14
Psalm 30
Galatians 6:(1-6)7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20


Track Two
Isaiah 66:10-14
Psalm 66:1-8
Galatians 6:(1-6)7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
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Anna Iredale named Diocesan
Director of Communications
The Bishop is pleased to announce the calling of Anna Iredale as our new Diocesan Director of Communications. Iredale earned a BA in English Literature at Penn State University. She has worked in television, higher education and for nonprofit organizations. She is leaving a position as Director of Communications and Marketing for the Kents Hill School in Kents Hill, Maine, where, in addition to managing advertising, print publications, electronic outreach and public relations, Iredale effectively leveraged social media to boost the profile of the school.
"Anna brings to the diocesan staff exactly what our Diocese needs in the 21st Century," Bishop Benhase said. He further elaborated, saying, "Her gifts, skills, and passions will help us share the good news in the Diocese."

"I am thrilled to join the staff at Diocesan House," said Ms. Iredale. "A lifelong Episcopalian, I am excited about sharing my talents in service to the Church in Georgia."
Iredale starts in this new position on August 1.
Diocesan Office Update    

Bishop Benhase is on sabbatical through August 23.

Canon Willoughby will be out of the office July 4-8. If you have insurance changes which need to get in before the end of the month, please contact her by Friday. 

Canon Logue will preside and preach Sunday for Christ Church, Cordele, for both Worship on the Water on Lake Blackshear and the liturgy at the historic church in town. He is in the office weekdays through the Bishop's return from sabbatical.
Diocesan Community Update    

The vestry of St. Philip's, Hinesville, is pleased to announce their call to the Rev. Denise Ronn, PhD to serve as their Priest in Charge. She served in the Air Force as a climatologist. Following her military service, she earned BA in Social Sciences, and later a Masters in Education. On Dave's retirement, the two moved to Valdosta where they had been stationed for a time. Ronn was ordained a deacon and then priest in 2004. She served as the Vicar of St. Barnabas', Valdosta, from 2008-2016. During her tenure the church enlarged the parish hall building to expand and update the kitchen, while adding a handicap accessible bathroom, and three classrooms. In September 2009, Bishop Benhase called Ronn to serve as the first female dean of a convocation. She served as dean with distinction through earlier this year. Ronn completed her doctorate degree in human services during this time. Her research study for the degree dealt with the relationship between role stress and spiritual wellness in clergy. Within the Diocese, Ronn has proven key to our Leadership Development programs including teaching in the Church Development Institute and serving as a coach in our Peer Coaching initiative. She and Dave have two grown sons, Michael and Matthew. 
A Message from our Diocesan Disaster Coordinators
It's summer in the south and many of us are happy to have the time to step back and relax for a while.  But it also means that it's Hurricane Season and Tornado Season, so it's also time to make sure your parish is prepared in the event of an emergency.

At the end of May, Bishop Benhase sent out a letter instructing us all to have our Disaster Preparedness Plans in place by October 1.  The Rev. Jim Parker and I are here to help you with your plans.  My email address is [email protected]
You can access the Silver Level Preparedness Guide or the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide by clicking on the links.

This is a good time to make sure you have a photographic inventory of things like vestments, frontals, chalices, linens, etc.  These should be stored on the cloud with an inventory list.

Are your financials/computers backed up? Do you have the necessary containers on hand to load up things that need to be removed from the building? Do you know what needs to go in them? Do you have a plan for what needs to be done to secure your building and who is to do what tasks in getting it secured? Do you have a Mass kit so you can resume worship as soon as possible? Do you have a partner church where you can meet if your building is damaged? Do you have a phone tree set up to check on your parishioners who may need help in the event of an evacuation? 

If you are a more visual person, you might like to set up a Fusion Table map where you can see where your parishioners live, so if a storm were to pass through you can see who might live in the affected area. You can access the instructions here  or I would be happy to walk you through it.

There is also a program called an Asset Map that helps us identify who has access to what resources in the event of a disaster. You can help us make sure the information is up to date by visiting the Diocese of Georgia Asset Map, clicking on your church and checking to see that the information is accurate and complete. If not, click the "Take the Survey" link at the top right to add information. Once you submit the information, the Asset Map Administrator will approve adding your information.

There are many wonderful resources available in the Episcopal Relief and Development Resource Library .

If either of us can be of any assistance to you in making your preparations, please feel free to let us know.

The Revs. Charles Todd and Jim Parker
Diocese of Georgia Disaster Coordinators

Youth Mission Team is back from Nebraska
The Diocesan Youth Mission Trip to Nebraska returned home yesterday after a great week of work and fun. The group, which consisted of eight youth and two adults from eight different congregations across the Diocese, traveled to Christ Episcopal Church in Sidney, Nebraska to help them preserve their building, which was built in 1887 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The group spent three days scraping, spackling, gluing, and repainting old wood at Christ Church and another day at the Good Shepherd of the Plains in Harrisburg, Nebraska. Each night the group gathered for reflection and worship as a way of reflecting on the experience and looking God's presence in the day's experiences. Clayton Jordan of Trinity, Statesboro, is shown above using clamps to hold a repair in place while glue dries as the group prepared to paint an historic building.
On Sunday Diocese of Georgia youth served as acolytes, and readers, lead the psalm and the prayers of the people, and also spoke about their experience to the members of Christ Church. A common theme among the speakers was their gratitude for the hospitality offered to them by the church and specifically by their Vicar, the Rev. Tar Drazdowski and her husband Jim. Before coming to Sidney 18 months ago, Drazdowski served at Christ Church, Valdosta, and was central in the Diocese of Georgia's ongoing relationship with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. Gracie Johnson of St. Luke's, Hawkinsville, is pictured above sharing with the congregation of Christ Church Sidney her reflections on mission.
After working for a week, the group spent a day and a half in Estes Park, Colorado, where they got to experience the glory of God in the splendor of the Rocky Mountains. The group hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park, and spent time in prayer and play together. As one participant said, "I feel most alive on these trips." At the end of the trip the group was challenged to take that sense of aliveness and of community, that awareness of the presence of God, back into their lives in their families, their churches, and their schools. The group of travelers is deeply grateful to the Diocese of Georgia for the prayers and support they received before, during, and after this transformative experience.
A full album of photos from the trip is available online here: 
A full album of photos of the trip is online here: Nebraska Mission Trip

Evening reflection time for the team.
Christ Church Frederica
ECW distributes more than $70,000 in grants
The 63rd Annual Tour of Homes together with ongoing cookbook sales funded  more than $70,000 from the Christ Church Frederica ECW to local and regional charities. This is the second year the group has been able to reach this record amount in grant awards with more than 30 gifts awarded. More than 400 volunteers contributed their time, energy, a skill to make the Tour work. 
"What a joy it is to be able to grant such a large amount to so many deserving charities in our area that benefit women and children.  This is a gift from our entire community because of the community wide support of our two large projects each year", said Jane Watson, ECW President.  Citing the many community volunteers, she added, "We want the community to know that this is their gift as well.  Lives will be touched thanks to your time and efforts."

A list of grant recipients is found online here: Tour of Homes Grants
Christ Church, Valdosta
Valdosta Youth Complete Mission Trip to Florida
The Youth Mission Team from Christ Episcopal Church of Valdosta finished a week of mission work in Southeast Florida. The team is worked with Hearts of Palm; a youth mission ministry based at St. Mark's Episcopal Church and School in Palm Beach Gardens. The missioners slept on the floor at St. Mark's and were provided breakfast and dinner there.
The team worked hard for several days as they conducted program two different afternoons at St. George Community Center in Riviera, Florida; cleaned up a home in preparation for repairs in Riviera; and gutted an old building that will be renovated for ministry purposes by New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in West Palm Beach (pictured above).
They also sorted donations that were made to the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County; prepared 220 meals at the Caring Kitchen in Delray Beach; and spent an entire day working with adults who had developmental disabilities at Seagull Services in Riviera. For fun, they had beach outings to Jupiter Beach, attended a Miami Marlins game, and made a road trip to Key West. The team is pictured here 
at Seagull Services, a center for adults with developmental disabilities in Riviera Beach.

The team (pictured below in Key West) consisted of Brooklyn Prine, Kate Hanson, Mary Peeples, Jim Chamberlain, J. D. Greneker, and Paul Johnson with adult chaperones Molly Stevenson and the Rev. Dave Johnson.

A Letter to the Episcopal Church
Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have written a letter to the Episcopal Church. The letter begins:

"Dear People of God in the Episcopal Church:

"We all know that some things in holy Scripture can be confusing, hard to understand, or open to various ways of understanding. But some essential teachings are clear and incontrovertible. Jesus tells us to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves, and he tells us over and over again not to be afraid (Matthew 10:31, Mark 5:36, Luke 8:50, John 14:27).

"There's no confusion about what Jesus is telling us, but it often requires courage to embody it in the real world. Again and again, we become afraid, and mired in that fear, we turn against Jesus and one another.

"This age-old cycle of fear and hatred plays out again and again in our broken world, in sickening and shocking events like the massacre targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Orlando, but also in the rules we make and the laws we pass. Most recently, we've seen fear at work in North Carolina, a state dear to both of our hearts, where a law called the "Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act" has decimated the civil rights and God-given dignity of transgender people and, by extension, drastically curtailed protections against discrimination for women, people of color, and many others. We are thankful for the prayerful and pastoral public leadership of the North Carolina bishops on this law, which is known as House Bill 2.
North Carolina is not the only place where fear has gotten the better of us. Lawmakers in other jurisdictions have also threatened to introduce legislation that would have us believe that protecting the rights of transgender people-even a right as basic as going to the bathroom-somehow puts the rest of us at risk.

"This is not the first time that the segregation of bathrooms and public facilities has been used to discriminate unjustly against minority groups. And just as in our painful racial past, it is even being claimed that the 'bathroom bills,' as they are sometimes called, ensure the safety of women and children-the same reason so often given to justify Jim Crow racial segregation.

"But we believe that, as the New Testament says, 'perfect love casts out fear.' On June 10, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church stood against fear and for God's love by passing a resolution that reaffirms the Episcopal Church's support of local, state and federal laws that prevent discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression and voices our opposition to all legislation that seeks to deny the God-given dignity, the legal equality, and the civil rights of transgender people..."

You may read the full text of the letter online here: Letter to the Episcopal Church

 VBS at St. Paul's, Jesup, transformed the parish hall into an ocean realm.

Vacation Bible Schools around the Diocese
We want to share your Vacation Bible School or other camps with the Diocese in photo album collecting pictures of our kid-friendly catechesis taking place around the Diocese this summer. Send a link to your congregation's photo album online to [email protected].

The photos will be added to a VBS album and used at the diocesan website. You can visit this summer's VBS album online. Some of the photos will be shared here in From the Field. If you create a Facebook or other online album, you may also just send a link to that album to the address above we will copy a selection of photos to the diocesan album. 

Doing motions to the songs during VBS at Christ Church Frederica.

Summer Camp Continues, Register for Later Sessions
Registrations are up for summer camp at Honey Creek, but there is still room in our upcoming camps to join the fun. Campers who completed 6-8 grade are now at Honey Creek for the first of two Camp St. Peter sessions. You can register online for upcoming weeks here:

If you have any camp questions, contact our Summer Camp Director, Thomas Greneker  at [email protected]
Remaining Summer Camp Schedule 
(with Registration Links for Individual Camps)
Enjoy a Star Spangled Fourth at St. Paul's, Augusta
The 20th annual Star Spangled Fourth concert is Monday, July 4, 7:30 pm at Saint Paul's Church, followed by the Riverwalk fireworks display and Afterglow Party in the River and Berlin Rooms. Broadway star Russell Joel Brown headlines the 100-member Independence Day Chorus and Orchestra in performing favorite patriotic arrangements. 

For ticketing and further information, visit riverwalkseries.comor call the Box Office, (706) 722-3463.   
Christ Church, Dublin
Hats Off and Balloons Up for Father's Day

Members of Christ Church, Dublin, celebrated Father's Day by wearing hats and releasing balloons in an event coordinated by the Parish Life Committee.
Upcoming Gospel
The E Word - The Seventy Sent
by the Rev. David Somerville
A Reflection on the Gospel, Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
Prize winning investigative writer for New York Magazine, Mark Jacobson, never took much interest in the creeds and practices of formal organizations, like the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant denominations, or the schools of contemporary Judaism-which is not to say that Jacobson is an atheist.  It is just that he was busy with his work of writing secular  articles, some of which had taken him into territory very foreign to human decency.  

Jacobson reported, for example, his discovery of a peculiar table lamp that had surfaced in the rubble of Hurricane Katrina.  It was equipped with a shade made from the skin of a human being! Like all people of good will, the thing made Jacobson feel the palpable reality of spiritual evil.  

Now why do I bring this awful thing to your attention? Because, first of all, its existence is a fact, and second, it is very disturbing-not only to Jacobson, but to all people of good will.  When confronted with such artifacts of evil, the soil of most souls is opened as if by a tiller to  make ready the planting  of some deep spiritual questions. All the soil needs is for a seed to be dropped where it is opened like a wound.  And so it happened one morning that such a seed in Jacobson's spiritual soil was in fact planted. His daughter, Rae, who was five years old at the time, suddenly announced, "Daddy, God does not exist, and it's dumb to believe he does!"  Her startled father asked her where she got such an idea. "Nowhere," she replied, "I just think it."

That got Jacobson's attention.  He said to his wife,  "Who does Rae think she is with this no God stuff-some sort of existential atheist?  It's O. K. for somebody like Albert Camus to talk like that, but not my five year-old! 

Continue reading this reflection online here: Upcoming Gospel for July 3
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 June 26-July 2
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Quitman, St. James. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Jude Catholic Church in Glennville. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the church of the Divine Grace (Divina Gracia) in Mozovi.

Prayers for July 3-9
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Pooler, St. Patrick's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Garden City and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Port Wentworth. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Timothy's Church (San Timoteo) in Nizao.
The four-week long Camp Hope run by the Oak Street Episcopal Mission is in its final week. Above is a photo from pool day last week. Learning to swim is a part of the fun at Camp Hope.
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Diocesan Staff                             
Episcopal Diocese of Georgia