News & Events of the Church in Georgia

August 7, 2012


From the Field

is a weekly eNewsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia sent out each Tuesday. 


Scroll down to the bottom for links to change your email address, forward this email to others, or unsubscribe from this newsletter.

In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
From the Field Survey
Diocesan Community News
Summer Camp
Happening #89
Fall Gathering
Backpack Ministry
Youth Minister Sought
Quick Links
to From the Field


St. Mark's Peru Mission Trip 2012
St. Mark's Peru Mission Trip 2012 Video, click above to see
Georgia Team Visits Missionaries in Peru  
Parishioners at Saint Mark's Brunswick feel blessed to call Townsend, Dawn, Lucy, and Lily Cooper members of their parish family.  It has been a year since the Coopers made the decision to leave the Brunswick for Lima, Peru to follow God's call as medical missionaries. 
 As part of the church's ongoing support, a group of 13 pilgrims traveled to Lima on July 15th to join the Coopers for a week of work in the field.  Even though the work they did differed from the Coopers regular medical activities, the labor the group provided helped to prepare the foundation for a future clinic situated next to the Anglican Church of the Holy Family in a shantytown called Villa Maria, just outside of Lima. The primary objective for the team was to construct the foundation for a barrier wall that will protect the property.  They knew that it would be a week of physical labor, but nothing could have prepared the team for the scale of the task that awaited them.  
 The church, which is still under construction, is built into the side of the mountain with one of the four walls being the mountain itself.  The property boundary wall was to be built 25 feet ABOVE the church.  When they went to visit the site on the first day, the short-term missionaries were in awe of what was expected of them. How could they dig a foundation 25 feet above the church on a mountain filled with rocks and sand that pose as a danger to anyone who walk on its slope? It seemed like an impossible task, but they were determined to give it their best shot.
 The task was to work along a narrow walking path where the wall had been marked off and dig into the mountain, creating a 5-foot wide ledge where the foundation of the wall could be set.  This involved breaking up much rock, and hurling countless rocks and wheelbarrows full of dirt down the mountain.  The Rev. Al Crumpton wrote, "This exercise reminded me more than once during the week of Jesus saying that if you only have faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains (Matthew 17:20)...I thought to myself that may be the case, I just never thought I or we would be moving the mountain one rock at a time."
The area where they were working was bleak at best by North American standards.  There were no paved roads, no running water, and no sewer system.  All you could see from where they were working were shanties and rock covered hills with no vegetation.  In spite of the dreary and bleak environment, the group experienced God's presence in the warm welcome they received from the people of the area.
 Where the group saw limitation and impossible circumstances, Jesus opened their eyes to unforeseen possibilities and sent people who were right where they needed to be to encourage them.  Crumpton says they learned in a real and tangible way that God has no limits.  He writes, "In fact, God often encourages us to reach beyond our own perceived limitations to realize greater achievements that are locked within our own abilities."
Much was accomplished during the week in Peru by the team was impacted in a significant way.  They were inspired by the life the Coopers have chosen in service for the Lord.  The group was also encouraged by the people of the area who don't take anything they have for granted plus the deep devotion they have in serving the Lord.
The team went to support the Coopers and serve in Peru, but they received much more than they expected in return.  Crumpton writes, "All I can say for now is that we are blessed to have had this wonderful life-shaping mission experience in Lima, Peru.  Our prayers and support continue for the Coopers and those with and whom they serve."
The Rev. Al Crumpton's sermon on this experience is online here: Peruvian Mission Trip Sermon

Diocesan Office Update

Bishop Benhase is on vacation through August 13.


Canon Willoughby meets this Friday with the Honey Creek Commission.


Canons Logue and Willoughby will be at Honey Creek this Friday and Saturday to meet with the clergy in the First Two Years program, which includes four priest and one ordinand who are in their first two years after graduation from seminary. This weekend, their spouses (or fiance) will be a part of the gathering.

Another Year : How Are We Doing?
From the Field Next week will be the 104th Tuesday in a row that the Diocese of Georgia has sent out From the Field. That first email went to 288 email addresses. Now nearly 1900 email addresses receive this newsletter every week.

As we said that first week, "Every time you walk out your church doors, you enter the Mission Field - fields white for the harvest." We hope this newsletter keeps you posted not just on what is happening with your diocesan staff, but also with the exciting things taking place all around this corner of God's Kingdom.

With another year of experience with this format, this anniversary offers an appropriate time to take stock of where we are. We want to learn from y'all what you like, how we can improve and what else you would like in communication from the Diocese.

The nine-question online survey will not take more than few minutes of your time: Click here to take the quick top answer, 9-question From the Field survey.
Diocesan Community News


The Rev. Canon Leigh Hall has responded to a desire to live more fully into her call to the priesthood through parish ministry in accepting the to serve as interim assisant rector at Christ Church, St. Simons. She will start September 1st. We give thanks for her work as the first ever Canon for Youth and Young Adults for the Diocese of Georgia and look forward to her continuing ministry in our diocese through this new position where her prime responsibilities will be pastoral care and youth ministry.

Honey Creek
Summer Camp 
 In terms of participation, this summer camp season was hugely successful with 210 campers taking part in the sessions. We will be expanding the camp season next year in anticipation of an even bigger summer.

 Then in terms of finances, the camp was also successful coming in just under budget, while providing an amazing experience. But the best indicator of the success of our summer camp is in the anecdotal evidence that comes in from the parents of campers:


"My beautiful daughters grew up with more confidence, creativity and faith because of Camp Honey Creek".-Lisa G.


"My child had the time of his life at high school camp - he talked non-stop all 56 miles home - thank you"!-S. J.

"Thank you for taking such good care of our children and for helping them to grow into decent teenagers"!-L. Wright

"May the blessings of God remain in every nook and cranny and sand gnat there!! See ya next year"!!-Jennifer S.
"Camp is not just a place I go during the summer, it is a home were I get to see my friends who over the week turn into family".-V. Martin

Happening #89 Hugely Successful
More than 80 youth and adults from around the Diocese of Georgia gathered at Honey Creek for the 89th Happening weekend. The candidates walked through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and into Resurrection Sunday while listening to and reflecting on talks by other high school and college students on what it means to live out the faith in Jesus Christ that is in us. The Happeners are encouraged to make their renewed faith a part of their everyday lives. (The photo above shows a group of teens in prayer in the sanctuary of the Honey Creek Chapel in a photo by Blakely Wall taken from outside shooting through the glass of the chapel.)
 The Rector was Helen Mahaney from All Saints' Tybee Island and the Spiritual Directors were Canon Frank Logue and the Rev. Sierra Wilkinson, who serves as the Assistant Rector of Christ Church Episcopal, Savannah. (Above, candidates and staff sing as they sit around on the chapel floor for an Agape Meal on Saturday.)

Happening #90 will meet January 25-27, 2013 at Honey Creek with Maggie Brantley serving as Rector. Registration is now open for 10-12 graders: Happening #90 Registration
Claiming the Episcopal Future
Practical Leadership Skills for Ministry, 
September 27-29 
Christ Church Ponte Vedra The Anglican tradition and the Episcopal Church have much to offer the 21st century, but to realize the future that is within our grasp, laypeople and clergy must be effective leaders, sound administrators, and inspiring teachers. 

Join Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra from September 27-29 for this innovative conference where we will sharpen the skills we need to lead the Episcopal Church in today's world. Learn more.
Leadership Conference Presenters : Butler Bass, Bottoms, Sachs, Ferlo

Diana Butler Bass Diana Butler Bass, a church historian, writer and much sought-after speaker, is a Chabraja Fellow at Seabury and the author of numerous books including Christianity After Religion, A People's History of Christianity and Christianity for the Rest of Us. She blogs regularly for The Huffington Post. From 2002 to 2006, she was the project director of a national Lilly Endowment funded study of mainline Protestant vitality. She holds a Ph.D. from Duke University. 

Click here for a detailed brochure of speakers and event schedule.

Register online. The cost is $100/person or $75/person for two or more people from the same congregation. 
Youth and Young Adults 
Fall Gathering: "If you are a dreamer"

Join us for our Fall Youth Event September 14-16, coordinated by the Rev. Joshua Varner, Vicar of St. Patrick's, Pooler. We'll explore the dream of God for us and the world by hearing poems of Shel Silverstein on topics ranging from gifts, to love, to peanut butter sandwiches. We'll also experience the wonder of the natural world and the gifts of music, worship, and play. Join us for a great weekend!


$110 per participant in grade 6-12. Starts Friday evening at 7 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 11 a.m.



If you are a dreamer, come in

If you are a dreamer,
           a wisher, a liar,

A hope-er. a pray-er, 
           a magic bean buyer...

If you're a pretender, 
           come sit by the fire

For we have some
           flax-golden tales to spin.

Come in!

Come in! 

by shel silverstein


Follow this link to register
for Fall youth Event



Come discover the dream of God
through the poetry of Shel Silverstein

Christ Church, Valdosta
Backpack Ministry Jammin' with Jesus

by Marge McCartney

It's mid-May the school bells are ringing across South Georgia, the 2011-2012 school year has officially ended and summer vacation has officially begun. Translation:  the School Back Program which provides  backpacks filled with food to sustain otherwise hungry children for the weekend also is officially  over until school resumes in August. Oddly enough the hunger is not officially over.  Three women stand in the food supply trailer and say "Now what, what can we do?". It was at that moment the seed of "Jamming with Jesus" was planted by co-founders; Stella Clark, Marge McCartney and Martha Scanlon.

In an ecumenical  union of Lake Park Baptist Church, Lake Park United Methodist Church and Christ Episcopal Church of Valdosta the thought of  feeding one child at a time with a brown bag filled with nutritious food began to germinate. The co-founders visited the Lakeland, Georgia  project-Peanut Butter and Jesus to solicate ideas, seek guidance and see if what they need to do in order to  initiate a similar program in Lake Park, Georgia. 

Seed monies for the project were donated by the group and soon word spread and additional monies were donated as well as food. People committed to helping  on Saturday morning.

Our first task was to secure a membership with South Georgia Second Harvest which thankfully Christ Episcopal Church did. That being done, Dave Clark volunteered his cabin as an assembly point complete with tables, running water, refrigeration and the much need space for such an undertaking. Next step the shopping at SG Second Harvest for food and supplies. Local merchants provided discounts on additional items  not found at the Harvest. Children and teenagers decorated the brown bags with our logo  " Jamming with Jesus".  Some even took the time to write notes  "Jesus loves you and so do I".

Saturday, June 3rd,  it's 8:00 AM five volunteers assemble at Dave's Cabin nervous, but remembering what our friends at Lakeland told us  "Don't worry when you think you can't do it or don't have enough God will provide.". The assembly begins-each bag is filled with PB and J sandwich, fresh fruit, fruit drink, a breakfast bar and a treat be it a book mark or toy.

Bags are ready, cars are filled, colorful magnetic signs "Jamming with Jesus" are placed on cars, boom box that plays Christian music is working and in place. The air is filled with nervous
energy; we are ready to go to our three predetermined sides with 75 bags of food and love. We knock on doors and  reluctantly   the children accept our offering and we tell them we will return next Saturday at the same time. Next week comes same routine, however we really crank up the music and here they come  running and smiling to greet us and offer to help identify the trailers and apartments that have children. The children seem to be thinking " No promises broken this time they came like they said they would." Bonds are formed, hugs exchanged and  next week there are more children. The weeks fly by-the number of sandwiches prepared soars to 205, number of bags are now  at 175. We  now have four sites and anywhere from seven to fifteen or more volunteers all ages. The anxiety is gone and replaced with enthusiasm,  excitement, happiness and  love.

Our journey has not been without its share of challenges: skeptics, self doubts, financial concerns logistics as well as  a myriad of other issues that come with any project that is new. Our Lakeland friends provided us with moral support, as did our church members and the community.  When faced with difficulties it was the smiles of those kids that propelled us forward and the belief that God loves us all and He will provide. 

by Marge Mccartney

St. George's, Savannah 
Part-Time Youth Minister Sought

Saint George's Church, Savannah has a position available for a part-time Youth Minister working 18 hours a week. 

St. George's, SavannahThe Youth Minister will devote a significant amount of time and effort toward evangelizing our youth programs in order to attract children and youth of all ages in the area we serve on the Southside of Savannah. In concert with the rector and the Christian Education committee, he/she will plan and execute parish youth programs.  


Candidates must have the ability to work well with people in a professional and welcoming manner; be a creative and innovative leader; be organized with ability to solve problems; be able to maintain confidential information; have a working knowledge of social and web site communication.  The candidate will be familiar with worship in the Episcopal Church, and have a thorough grounding in Christian formation.


The successful candidate will be subject to a Background Check and drug screening and must complete the online program, "Safeguarding God's Children."

For additional information contact: The Reverend James Parker at 912.604.4330 or by email at

Vacation Bible Schools in Photos
St. Michael's VBS We want to share your Vacation Bible School with the Diocese in photo album collecting pictures of our kid-friendly catechesis taking place around the Diocese this summer. Send your congregation's photo to
Pictured above is St. Michael's, Savannah VBS. 

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 and our online photo gallery curator, Julius Arial, will copy the photos to the diocesan album.

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Diocesan Staff
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia