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July 13, 2016
Volume 6, Number 46
In This Issue
 
 





This Sunday's Lections
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
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2016 Full-Time Priest Salary Survey

A survey of the compensation for priests serving in full-time positions has been compiled by Canon Logue as a working document for vestries to have in hand as we enter the time of year to plan congregation budgets. This is the sixth year in a row that the salary survey has been published by the Diocese. 


For the second year, the survey breaks out the compensation for priests working full time, by whatever title or duties, who are not in charge of a congregation. These eleven Associate Rectors, Curates, and other priests are a sufficient sized pool to be surveyed on their own.


The 39 priests on the two charts are only a portion of those serving our 68 congregations. This reflects the many congregations served by part-time priests, who are often bi-vocational or retired. For comparison purposes, the archived Priest Salary Survey 2015 and Assisting Priest Salary Survey 2015Priest Salary Survey 2014, Priest Salary Survey 2013, Priest Salary Survey 2012 and Priest Salary Survey 2011 remain online. The information is also available at any time in the Reference Library at the diocesan website.


 

A Note on Priest's Salaries

The compensation data in the chart reflects the combined total of salary, housing, and an offset for SECA (the self-employment version of FICA or Social Security). Priests pay this 15% tax out of the listed compensation. For clergy in a rectory or vicarage, the value of that provided housing is included in the compensation figure. To assist in setting salaries, the diocesan staff works with vestries in a new call to consider salaries in neighboring dioceses, around the Diocese of Georgia. We also consider other salaries in the town by looking to the school system. Depending on the complexity of the congregation, the salaries of teachers, assistant principals, and principals with a masters degree is instructive as these are local salaries with similar benefits.
 

A Note on Benefits

A large factor in determining a congregation's ability to pay a full-time priest is the cost of health insurance and other benefits. The clergy salary survey does not reflect the great range from a priest whose insurance is covered fully by the spouse's employer to those receiving full family coverage through the congregation. The Diocese moved to a standard of a high deductible insurance plan with a Health Savings Account to contain costs as much as possible.
 

Here are the charts showing this year's survey:

Full-Time Priest Salary Survey 2016

Full-Time Assisting Priest Salary Survey 2016

Diocesan Office Update    

Bishop Benhase is on sabbatical through August 23.

Bishop Benhase 2016-2017 Visitation Calendar is online here: VisitationCalendar-2016-2017.pdf

Canon Logue is in the office weekdays through the Bishop's return from sabbatical. This Sunday, he will preside and preach at Trinity, Statesboro.
Diocesan Community Update    

The Vestry of St. Peter's, Savannah, is pleased to announced that they called the Rev. W. Hunt Priest to be their next Rector. Priest served since June 2008 as the Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Mercer Island, Washington. In 2012 and 2015, Priest represented the Diocese of Olympia as a clergy deputy to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. He previously served for three years as the Associate Rector of St. Paul's Church in Newnan, Georgia. Prior to earning an MDiv at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, Priest was an active parishioner and vestry member at Holy Comforter in Atlanta. In secular employment, he worked for Delta Airlines and in marketing. His BA is in English from Hanover College in Indiana. Married since 1994, he and his wife, Lisa, have one son, Will, who will be entering his last year of high school dual enrolled at Armstrong University.

The Rev. Rian Adams has accepted a call to serve as the next rector of  Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, North Carolina. Rian is the Associate Rector at Christ Church Frederica on St. Simons Island. Prior to his work in the Diocese of Georgia, Rian served as a U.S. Air Force Chaplain where he attained the rank of Captain. A recipient of the Bronze Star, Rian left military chaplaincy as the result of a combat injury he received while in Afghanistan. Rian was the Senior Protestant Chaplain at Edwards Air Force Base at the time he left active duty. Rian is pictured here with his wife of 16 years, Amber, and their son, Brody.
Register Now for Education for Ministry
Fall means the beginning of the new year for EfM, a four-year course of study for Christian lay people who want to connect spiritually with the activities and relationships of daily life. EfM participants recognize that everything they do - as worker, friend, parent, volunteer - calls them into ministry, and they prepare for that ministry by systematic study and guided reflection in a small group setting.
The Diocese of Georgia has nearly a dozen EfM classes that meet throughout the diocese in both the daytime and evening, and EfM is open to any adult willing to commit to a year of study from a Christian perspective and to make a one-year commitment, regardless of educational level or denomination. 

Discover your ministry as  a lay person. Articulate your faith. Build a common bond in Christ. If not now, when...?

A list of locations for EfM in the Diocese of Georgia, together with contact information for the Mentors is online here: EfM in the Diocese of Georgia

If you have questions or want to discuss any aspect of EfM, contact GA Diocesan co-Coordinator Misty Graham at 352-281-6805,  [email protected] or visit the EfM website: www.sewanee.edu/EFM

Savannah Group for Young Adults Exploring Faith
The group is Savannah led by the Revs. Kelly Steele and Guillermo Arboleda is open to all, but different in emphasis as it especially suitable for young people who wish to explore Christian faith and practice, even if they do not attend a church or identify as "Christian."
Georgia Well Represented at National Happening
This past weekend, the the Diocese of Georgia was well represented at the National Happening Leadership Conference at Camp Weed in the Diocese of Florida. Attendees included Ashley Walker, Benjamin Sandbach and Sarah Brittany Sandbach. Also there were members of the Happening National Committee (the conference design team), Claire Duncan, Melissa Smith, Rachel Robinson, and Jody Grant (Secretary of Happening National). Jody's term ended as secretary and Sarah Brittany was elected to serve on the Happening National Committee for the next two years. 

A team photo of the Diocese of Georgia's group at the National Happening Conference.

Ashley Walker, Rector of the next Happening, offers her report on the meeting:

What a weekend! We arrived at the National Happening Leadership Conference to the Diocese of Florida's stunning conference center at Camp Weed and many welcoming smiles. The atmosphere and the people immediately invoked a sense of family and of God that only intensified throughout the weekend.

As our events began, we were transported back to our first happening as candidates by way of talks and discussions in small groups. A big difference was that we were older, but probably not much wiser. We then attended highly informative workshops on subjects such as developing leaders and improving talks. We even learned a few lessons on how professional business meetings proceed--something I definitely didn't expect. 

Friday night was another surprise: prayer stations! This time we spent praying and meditating brought us together as leaders of happenings everywhere, even though we kept silent the whole time. We also bonded in share groups, where we discussed the differences between happenings in different dioceses. I went into the weekend thinking that all Happening weekends were the same, but I was pleasantly shocked to learn about the other traditions and music.

All in all, both the staff and the attendees made this past weekend one for the record books. I arrived with a Happening family in the Diocese of Georgia, and I left with one that spans from nation. Ashley Walker, who wrote this report, is pictured above during the closing for the most recent Happening.
Godly Play Training in Augusta on July 29-31
Godly Play teaches children the art of using Christian language - parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action - helping them become more fully aware of the mystery of God's presence in their lives. When Christian language is learned by the Godly Play approach, it is learned as a means to know God and to make meaning of our lives. This approach is quite different from the traditional model in which the teacher tells the children what they need to know. Godly Play is not about things that are that simple. It is not just about learning lessons or keeping children entertained. It is about locating each lesson in the whole system of Christian language and involving the creative process to discover the depths of meaning in them. An excellent introduction is through this 6-minute video which gives a chance to see and hear more.

Want to find out first hand how to use this proven Christian Education program in your congregation? St. Paul's Augusta will host the CORE Training July 29-31 with Christen Erskine, Godly Play Foundation Trainer. Core Training is the essential training for all storytellers and doorpersons in the Godly Play room. They recommend attending Core Training every year for the first three years of your practice. You will learn the processes and Core stories of Godly Play as well as the theology behind these practices. This time of retreat will strengthen your understanding of children's spirituality and leave you spiritually refreshed. The photos above show Godly Play at St. Patrick's, Pooler, and St. Thomas, Thomasville.

Dancing with Joy

The Dance Ministry at St. Athanasius', Brunswick, paid tribute to Ernest Stuart for the years of dedication he poured into his home church. Stuart recently turned 90 years old.
Savannah Convocation
Series on the Spirituality of Aging Available
The Rev. Don Hands, a priest and psychologist who worked as Chaplain to an Episcopal retirement community before moving to Savannah, is offering to present a power point presentation series on the 'Spirituality of Aging' to any interested Savannah parish in the Fall or Winter.

Hands presented this to the Georgia Psychological Association, Christ Church Savannah, The Marshes, and St. Peter's Skidaway Island. The series takes 3 hourly presentations and is available for Sunday adult education or an evening series. The parish would need a screen, laptop and power point projector. Hands would bring a zip drive with the slides or email it to an available laptop that could connect with the projector at the Church. If interested, please contact him at his email address, [email protected] or 262-617-8574.
 
Campers enjoy the Frisbee Golf course.

Register for the Final Summer Camp Session
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)
 
The Loose Canon
Pokemon Go presents unique opportunity for churches
A free smart phone game has hundreds of thousands of gamers standing around in front of churches. The new geolocation game Pokemon Go is a real sensation bypassing Twitter and catching up to Facebook in time spent engaging online. The free app created by the Google spin-off company, Niantic, uses the players' GPS in the phone to locate where the gamers is and then makes Pokemon appear on the phone screen in real-life locations giving players a chance to "catch" all 151 virtual creatures on the streets of their town. Many Episcopal Churches (including Christ Church Savannah shown at right in a games screen) have learned that they are "PokeStops" and "Gyms" where players can gather in the real world to capture and battle their virtual Pokemon. The only way to find out if you church is in the game is for someone to download the app and to visit your church.

Turning your church into a "charging station" for players
 is one way to engage with gamers. As it is hot across south Georgia, offering cold water or a chance to come in air conditioning during church hours can be a way to show off your church to folks who may not otherwise find you. While this fad will fade and likely the vast majority of those playing the game will only find themselves standing near a church in their game play, not entering one, the Holy Spirit uses all kind of ways to get folks attention. Doing what you can reasonably to welcome those God brings your way is always a good idea.


A Free Video for Your Congregation
I teamed up once again with some friends from around the church to create a video your congregation can use for free. The 1-minute invitation is meant to be used to invite the community to your church this fall, especially as a part of a Facebook advertisement. Click below to watch the video and then find out how to use it here: Your Church's Free Fall Welcome Video


peace,
Frank
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary
Upcoming Gospel
OK! But Without Martha, Then What
A Reflection on the Gospel, Luke 10:38-42

by the Rev. David Somerville

Poet and anthropologist, Ingrid Maidoff notes that life makes all of us from time to time feel as though "we are stranded in a sea".  The spirituality in the Episcopal church, as I experience it, can speak to this lonely condition because it is not ruggedly individualistic as is much of our American culture. As a living church, we, who are bonded to it, are inclined to value interdependence upon one another. One of our spiritual foundations that encourages this value is the 16th century Anglican  poet, John Donne. He believed that no soul is an island in isolation. Every soul is a piece of me. So If a piece of the whole is washed away by the sea, part of me goes with it, for we are connected to one another. So never ask in a casual tone, "So who died," and if a stranger's name appears in the obituary today, what is that to me? Donne's poem reminds us that "when the bell tolls; It tolls...." for all of us. (Now having read this crude paraphrase, Dear Reader, I would suggest that you read Donne's original poem and savor its rhythm).

Next Sunday's Gospel lesson brings us to confront an illusion. It is about how we feel alone and "at sea", and that the sea is hostile. Martha, with all of her work for such an important guest as Jesus, certainly felt that way. We could imagine her simmering to herself before bursting upon Mary with Jesus "Nobody cares about me-after all I've done!" Martha's behavior  gives the impression that she is a grouchy fish-wife.  She is out of step with God's plan for his Kingdom.

But this story does not invite us to dump Martha. Rather, its intent, I believe, is to make us look for a veiled truth like a key under the mat in front of a very important door, the door to our souls. I believe that both scripture and experience invites us to lift the mat, find the key, and open the door.

Continue reading online here: Upcoming Gospel for July 17
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 July 10-16
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Richmond Hill, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Richmond Hill, especially Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church and St. Anne's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. John the Evangelist (San Juan Evangelista) in Piedra Blanca. 

Prayers for July 17-23
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Rincon, St. Luke's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially the Lutheran churches in Rincon-Jerusalem and St. John's. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for St. Barnabas's Church (San Bernabé) in Pizarette.
Prayer for the Human Family
This prayer from page 815 of the Prayer Book seems especially appropriate for our nation and our world at this time.
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Sincerely,                                       
            
Diocesan Staff                             
Episcopal Diocese of Georgia