From the Field
News & Events of the Church in Georgia
January 8, 2013Volume 3, Number 20
In This Issue
Diocesan Office Update
Diocesan Community Update
Andrews' Ordination
Race for Wounded Warriors
Epiphany Devotions
MLK Parade Plans
The Loose Canon
Epiphany Photos
Vocare Deadline
Knitter's Retreat
Web Links
January 13 Readings
First Sunday after the Epiphany
Intentional Community
Diocese Launches First Program

 One of the priorities in the Campaign for Congregational Development is to set up three intentional communities around the Diocese. In November of last year, the Diocesan Council approved a portion of the Campaign funds be used to establish the first of these communities.  This summer the Diocese is launching the first of these intentional communities in Savannah.   Columba House, which is located directly across from St. Paul's, Savannah, will be a community of four young adults sharing a house and a common rule of life. They will follow monastic disciplines as a house, living out in a daily rhythm of morning and evening prayer and a common meal. The residents will spend a portion of each week working in the Savannah parishes, a portion of each week in spiritual development, and a portion of each week in "relational evangelism".   Once trained in the art of relational evangelism- how to begin the initial conversations about their faith with others- these young adults will spend time in places where young adults gather, building authentic relationships with other young adults, and inviting  them into the Episcopal Church.


Columba House will be a great opportunity for those young adults interested in spending  a year in ministry.  The program will enable the interns to be apart of a community of service and will provide them with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills, discern their baptismal vocation, and deepen their spiritual life while sharing their spiritual journey with others.


Columba House is seeking young adults, who are college graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for the gospel and the Episcopal Church. The program year will begin in mid-July 2013 and end in mid-June 2014 with an opportunity to continue their internship for a second year. The Diocese will provide housing as well as a grocery and travel allowance.


Columba House is now accepting applications for the program year beginning July of 2013.


For more information and ways to get involved, please visit

Diocesan Office Update

Bishop Benhase and Canon Logue will meet this Friday and Saturday with the Commission on Ministry and the Standing Committee at St. John's, Savannah.


This Sunday, Bishop Benhase will make his visitation to St. Peter's, Savannah on Skidaway Island in the morning and to St. Patrick's, Pooler in the afternoon.

Diocesan Community Update


The Rev. Kit Brinson has accepted a call as Rector of Grace, Waycross.


News reached our office that Sarah Babbit has died. Mrs. Babbit was the widow of the Rev. Harry Babbit a priest of this Diocese who served in the 1970s, primarily in the southwest convocation.

Lyde Andrews Ordained to Priesthood January 4

The Rev. Lyde Andrews' was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests at St. Philip's, Hinesville. He is a full time Army Chaplain serving at Fort Stewart and was previously ordained in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Col. Don Davis, commander of the Marine Base, center, with his back to the camera, gives final instructions to the runners in the 5K. Fox News as well as WALB-TV were there to report the charity run which attracted a larger number of folks who did not run in the 5K or One-Mile race Saturday morning, January 5.



St. Paul's, Albany
Inaugural Benefit Run-K9s for Warriors a Success
St. Paul's worked with the Deerfield-Windsor School and the Marine Corp Logistics Base to co-host the K9s for Warriors 5K Charity Run on Saturday, January 5, at the Marine Base, Albany. The proceeds will purchase a service dog for a local warrior with Post Traumatic Stress.   


Above are pictured many of the nearly 50 parishioners from St. Paul's who were runners or observers. Center, standing between Fr. Jim and Mary Bullion, is Pam Barfield , wife of the local warrior that will receive his dog in June. Front right, kneeling, is our special guest for the event, Jorge Torres, a Marine veteran, with his dog Ruey (short for Rufus). Representing K9s for Warriors, Jorge and Ruey have been partners for four months. Guests of a Deerfield/St. Paul's family, Jorge, his wife Susan, their 14-month-old son Jerrico, and Susan's mother Sandra, all from Dallas, GA, were personally hosted during their Albany visit by St. Paul's Lt. Col. Joe and Pat Burger.  

2013 Epiphany Devotions Available

Epiphany devotions for 2013 developed by the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada are available here:


"These devotions for Epiphany are a mark of our deepening partnership and the common work of our four churches," noted Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.  "Our working together is another sign of our full communion relationship."


The six devotions for the season of Epiphany are based on the shared gospels for the Sundays and are appropriate for both groups or individuals.


Sunday, January 6: Epiphany 1, Feast of Epiphany

Sunday, January 13: The Baptism of Our Lord

Sunday, January 20:  Epiphany 2

Sunday, January 27: Epiphany 3

Sunday, February 3: Epiphany 4

Sunday, February 10: Feast of the Transfiguration


The contributors to the Devotions are members of the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee, USA, and the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission (JALC), Canada.


"We commend to your use an inspired collection of devotions for the season of Epiphany, each prepared by a different member of the Lutheran- Episcopal Coordinating Committee (USA) and the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission (Canada)," the denominational leaders stated in a joint letter.

  • The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church
  • Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Martin Luther King Parade Plans for Savannah

St. Matthew's, Savannah, is once again the staging area for the city's Martin Luther King Day Parade. The parade will start at 10 a.m. on January 21 from St. Matthew's, however, the order for the parade has not yet been set and as they had the number one position in last year's parade, it is assumed the start time for the church (and diocesan group) will be much later. The ECW of St. Matthews will be serving some food and hot drinks, for a modest price, while people from the diocese and parrish wait to begin.


2013 Theme is "Dreamers Are Believers and Believers Become Achievers," which was suggested by Sierra Vincent a seventh grader at Oglethorpe Academy. The event Facebook page is online here MLK Parade Facebook page

Taking advatage of the position in the front of the parade last year, a convocation-wide effort pulled together an impressive participation seen in the video below. This year will be a more low-key event, but is just as significant. Join Bishop Benhase, the Canons and other from the convocation in walking in the parade.


Episcopal Churches in the MLK Parade 2012 - Savannah
Episcopal Churches in the MLK Parade 2012 - Savannah
The Loose Canon
Unique Solution to a Common Problem
Every Episcopal Church faces decisions about how we can best ease the anxiety common to newcomers who are unfamiliar with our liturgy. As someone who came to The Episcopal Church just after college, I remember well the learning curve and I had the benefit of a cradle Episcopalian as a fianc´┐Ż to assist me in learning how to juggle a Prayer Book, hymnal and bulletin while trying to sit, stand and kneel at the proper times.
 At St. John's, Savannah, the Rector, the Rev. Gavin Dunbar, found the problem even more acute. As  one of several congregations in the Diocese routinely worshipping with the 1928 Prayer Book, he found that even seasoned Episcopalians could zig when the rest of the congregation zagged. For example, when the bell rings to announce the start of the liturgy, St. John's members would kneel, while many visitors would stand, look around awkwardly then join the kneelers. Wanting to live into the hospitality to which Christ calls us, the church created two attractive cards which sit up out of the Prayer Books throughout the church. One is marked Holy Communion (the early service each Sunday), the other Morning Prayer (the principal Sunday liturgy at St. John's on many Sundays). The height of the Morning Prayer card is shorter than the one for Communion, so both are equally visible.
 Dunbar notes the response of members has not been all positive, "Some people find them just another piece of paper to deal with - Parish Paper and Prayer Book and Hymnbook." Though he observes that comment has been from people already familiar with St. John's worship. He adds, "One further idea, which came in hindsight - we should have made cards sized to fit in standard library pocket, so that keeping them tidily in place would be easier.  They are slightly too wide." The cards in pockets in Prayer Books would have prevented them from falling out, getting set on the pews and otherwise wandering around the nave.
But in my experience as a worshipper, I found the directions on the cards simply stated, easy to understand and follow. While I preside at 1928 Prayer Book liturgies from time to time each year, I was still comforted by text of the card and imagine other visitors will be as well. I share this innovation as, while it won't be the right solution for every church, it does raise the question, "How do we assist those not familiar with the Prayer Book in participating in worship?" This is one possible response, as are all-inclusive bulletins, or even having someone nearby assist a visitor in worship if they see the newcomer is having some difficulty.
How your congregation goes about welcoming visitors will have much to do with your context and so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. No Episcopal Church, however, gets a pass on considering the problem and thinking through an appropriate response.
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
The Loose Canon columns are archived online at
Because of its Food Pantry program to the local neighborhood over the past year, new faces have appeared in the pews of Saint Athanasius's Church in Brunswick.  On Epiphany Sunday night, January 6, the parish house became a dressing room for the cast of the Epiphany Pageant of lessons and carols.  This beloved tradition of Saint Athanasius' had to be discontinued two years ago because there were not enough young faces to populate the script with angels and shepherds.
Epiphany Photos from across the Diocese

Senior warden Brandi Whitfield is makes a few last minute adjustments at St. Athanasius, Brunswick.

St. Paul's, Augusta 


The pageant at St. Barnabas, Valdosta, included a "wise woman" among the Magi. 

In the dressing room for the Epiphany pageant at Christ Church, Valdosta.

At St. Anne's, Tifton's Facebook page is the photo above with the Epiphany question, "Have you chalked your lintel today?" This is a tradition of marking tThe year and initials of the Magi are inscribed above the doors with the blessed chalk (Casper, Melchior and Balthasar with the first two numerals of the year preceding the C and the last two numerals of the year placed after the B), so for this year, 20 + C + M + B + 13. As you inscribe the initials say: "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" which means "May Christ bless this house".  

Vestry Resources 

This is the time of the year for vestry elections and subsequent retreats. There are several great resources for vestry and newly elected vestry members. Below are some helpful links.   


Vestry Meetings
Vestry Orientation

Build a Healthy Vestry
Buildings and Grounds
Financial Planning

by The Rev. David J. Somerville


Fresh in our memories is this past Sunday, the Epiphany, oftentimes called by its misnomer, "Three Kings Day". Biblical scholars generally do not see the gift-bearers to Bethlehem as "kings" per se, but as highly sophisticated observers of natural phenomena; they had intimate knowledge of how the creation worked; they were its friends. The wise men were the kind of experts who knew how the stars could tell them of the seasons' change. Their advice to farmers about the timing to plant and harvest led to Persia's successful crop yields. Such they were, but somehow, known to God alone, these wise men one night were able to see a greater light above the natural skies. They had an epiphany.


Normally these star-watchers were in touch, through their years of disciplined observation, with how the rhythms of the seasons came and went. They knew how to cooperate with creation. Hence they were magicians in possession of the kind of knowledge that contributed much to the prosperity of the regions from which they came.


This reflection continues online here:

January 14 Deadline to Register for Vocare
The next Vocare weekend will be held January 25 - 27, 2013 at Camp Mikell in Toccoa, Georgia. The participant registration deadline is January 14, 2013. To learn more and to register, please visit or contact Tony Morris, lay rector of the next Vocare weekend, at
Vocare is an Episcopal ministry that enables young adults (ages 18 -30) to gather in community for an intentional weekend and explore their God-given vocations in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The Vocare weekend finds its heart in a series of talks that each focus on a unique aspect of the Christian faith and life, connecting to the overall theme of God's call to us, here and now. Talks may be followed by discussion, contemplation, worship, or any number of activities, but the weekend's ultimate theme is found in the intentional consideration of calling and vocation.

Knitting Retreat Planned for Honey Creek

The 2nd Annual Knitter's Retreat will be hosted at Honey Creek on January 23-25, 2013. Full information is in a PDF flyer available online here: 2nd Annual Knitter's Retreat.


The costs include a lodge room for two nights (single or double) and 6 full meals. Double $150.54 Single $216.52 Call Conference Center to make your reservation by Jan 11, 2013 space is limited to 40. Honey Creek (912) 265-9218. Email Julia or Sue for questions and more information on supplies needed.

Burning of the Greens

A Christmas tree on fire in the Burning of the Greens
at St. Patrick's, Pooler.

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Diocesan Staff                                
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia