Activities During 2012

This is an archive page for the mission activities of the Diocese of Georgia in the Dominican Republic during 2012.

Companion Diocese Commission
Annual Report for 2012

DR Diocesan seal

The seal of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic

Once again, this year has proven to be a productive year of partnership with our Dominican brothers and sisters. Collectively we have experienced an increase in our efforts to help build relationship, infrastructure, and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Dominican Republic. In 2010, there were five mission or exploration trip events in the partnership between the Diocese of Georgia and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic; in 2011, there were six such events; and in 2012, there were nine of these events. In 2012, we also saw the growth of multi-year relationships between specific churches or convocations in the Diocese of Georgia and specific locations in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. Christ Church, Valdosta, is into its second decade of working in the village of El Pedregal; St. Patrick’s, Albany, and St. Anne’s, Tifton, are into their third year of working with several congregations in Azua; St. Paul’s, Savannah, has completed its second cooperative event with the Episcopal seminary in Santo Domingo; and by the time of our 2013 Convention, the SE Convocation will have completed its second mission trip to El Carreton. The steady growth in numbers of events, along with this increase in long-term relationships between several of our churches or convocations and several communities of the Dominican Episcopal Church, testify that our work is bearing fruit in both the Diocese of Georgia and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic.

The following is a summary of our activities for 2012 and planned activities for 2013 (as of 01/02/2013).

LIST OF 2012 EVENTS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:

1. Mission trip to Azua (St. Patrick’s, Albany; January 15-20)

2. Mission trip to El Carreton (SE Convocation; January 23-30)

3. Representation at the DR Diocesan Convention based in El Pedregal, DDG meeting and exploration trip based in Santo Domingo, (Diocesan team; February 8-21)

4. Mission trip to El Pedregal (Christ Church, Valdosta; June 16-23)

5. Mission trip to San Francisco de Macorís (Trinity, Statesboro, June 19-26)

6. Preaching mission in Savannah (St. Paul’s, Savannah, and representatives of the Episcopal Seminary in Santo Domingo, July 22-27)

7. Dominican Development Group meeting based in Michigan (The Rev. Tar Drazdowski, October 18-19)

8. Exploration trip based in Santo Domingo (The Rev. Joshua Varner, October 22-26)

9. Mission trip to Azua (St. Patrick’s, Albany and St. Anne’s, Tifton, October 27 – November 2)

SCHEDULED 2013 EVENTS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER (as of 01/02/2013):

1. Mission trip to El Carreton (SE Convocation, January 14-21, 2013)

2. Dominican Development Group meeting in Santo Domingo, exploration trip in El Pedregal (The Rev. Tar Drazdowski and Christ Church team, February 10-16)

3. Encounter in Mission in Santo Domingo (April 12-14)

4. Mission trip to El Pedregal (Christ Church, Valdosta, June 15-22)

5. Mission trip to Santiago De Los Caballeros (The Rev. Joshua Varner with diocesan youth, June 24-July 1)

For more detailed information, please check out the Companion Diocese webpage at http://georgia.anglican.org/?page_id=19. You will find a wealth of information about mission opportunities, travel diaries, and photographs of most of the events mentioned above. For more information, contact the Rev. Tar Drazdowski, Chair of the Companion Diocese Commission and Assistant Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta Georgia; or the Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Georgia.

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Mission trip to Azua (St. Patrick’s, Albany; January 15-20)

The members of the mission team from St. Patrick's, Albany, with the local construction chief and Fr. Jesús Mosquea in Azua, January 2012. Click this image to see other photographs from this mission trip.

The Diocese of Georgia conducted a mission trip to Azua during January 15-20, 2012. This mission trip was organized by St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Albany, GA, and led by St. Patrick’s rector, The Rev. Jay Weldon. Five people from St. Patrick’s, including Fr. Weldon, participated in this trip. The team flew from Atlanta to Santo Domingo on January 15th and stayed overnight in a hotel in Santo Domingo. While in the city, they met with The Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín, Bishop of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. After traveling in a rented vehicle to Azua, they stayed in the Hotel San Ramon and ate most meals in the home of the local priest, Padre Jesús Mosquea. Padre Mosquea is the vicar in charge of three congregations in the Azua area: San Jorge, Espíritu Santo, and La Reconciliación. The team’s meals were prepared by two local parishioners.

The team’s primary activities included concrete-block construction work on a house and detached bathroom facilities.

On January 20th the team drove from Azua to Las Américas International Airport east of Santo Domingo and flew back to Atlanta.

An album of photographs from this mission trip is available here.

For more information on this mission trip, contact The Rev. Jay Weldon.

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Mission trip to El Carreton (SE Convocation; January 23-30)

Team member Kate Pontello with local children on the steps of the unfinished high school in El Carreton, January 2012. Click this image to see other photographs from this mission trip.

The Diocese of Georgia conducted a mission trip to El Carreton during January 23-30, 2012. This mission trip was organized by The Southeastern Convocation and was led by the Very Rev. Ted Clarkson, rector of St. Andrew’s, Darien, and St. Cyrian’s, Darien. Sixteen persons, including Fr. Clarkson, participated in this trip. The team flew from Orlando to Santo Domingo on January 23rd and stayed in the Hotel Caribani in Bani, a small city near El Carreton. They ate their breakfast and supper meals in the restaurant of this hotel, and their lunch meals were provided by local residents at their work site.

The team’s primary activities included working on an unfinished high school building (painting, wiring, and installing a rooftop solar hot water heater) along with crafts and play activities with the local children.

On January 29th the team drove from El Carreton to Santo Domingo and stayed overnight in the Hotel Mercure prior to their flight back to Orlando on January 30th.

An album of photographs from this mission trip is available here.

For more information on this mission trip, contact The Very Rev. Ted Clarkson.

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Representation at the DR Diocesan Convention based in El Pedregal, DDG meeting and exploration trip based in Santo Domingo, (Diocesan team; February 8-21)

The Rev. Joan Kilian is greeted by Padre Hipólito Fernández Reyna at the entrance to El Buen Samaritano, a day care center in San Francisco de Marcorís. Mission team member Fred Richter is in the background of this photograph. Click this image to see other photographs from the February 2012 exploration trip.

During February 8-21, 2012, the Diocese of Georgia conducted an exploration trip to the Dominican Republic to represent The Rt. Rev. Scott A. Benhase at the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic and to examine potential mission work sites. The exploration team included two clergy and six lay members from two congregations within the Diocese of Georgia: Companion Diocese Commission Chair, The Rev. Tar Drazdowski, Christ Church (Valdosta); The Rev. Joan Kilian, Trinity (Statesboro); Julius Ariail, Christ Church (Valdosta); Team Leader Fred Richter, Trinity (Statesboro); Josan Rivera, Episcopal Campus Ministry, Georgia Southern University/Trinity (Statesboro); Laurie Sattler, St. Paul’s (Savannah); Savannah Spivey, Christ Church (Valdosta); and Michael Wood, Trinity (Statesboro). A daily journal of their trip with a link to an online photograph album is available here.

The two-week trip had two distinct phases. Julius and Tar+ flew from Orlando to Santo Domingo on February 8th, stayed overnight in Santo Domingo, and went on by commercial bus to the Episcopal camp in El Pedregal on February 10th for the Dominican diocesan convention. They returned to Santo Domingo on February 12th to attend the semi-annual board meeting of the Dominican Development Group. The remaining team members flew from Orlando to Santo Domingo on February 14th and were met at the Las Americas airport by Julius and Tar+. The whole team then stayed at the Mercure Hotel in Santo Domingo for the duration of the exploration trip, with the exception of the night of February 18th, which they spent in a hotel in Barahona. During the days, they rode in the Dominican diocesan van or a chartered bus to visit sites, returning to the hotel each evening. While based in Santo Domingo, they ate in commercial restaurants or in Dominican Episcopal church or school facilities. With the exception of Fred Richter, who flew from Santo Domingo to Puerto Rico on February 21st for a personal vacation, the team flew back to Orlando on February 21st.

Sites visited were the following (in alphabetical order, city or location name first, church name and facility type second:

Azua – La Reconciliación (church), San Jorge (church)

Bani – La Transfiguratíon (church and school)

Barahona – Jesús Peregrino (church and children’s shelter)

Boca Chica – San José (church and school); Hogar Obispo Isaacs (retirement home)

Bonao – San Juan Bautista (church and education center, along with a fire station)

Catalina – El Santo Nombre (preaching station)

El Carreton – San Antonio de Padua (church and school

Haina – San Marcos (church and school)

Jarabacoa (El Pedregal) – Campamento Monte de la Transfiguratíon (church, school, camp & conference center).

San Francisco de Macorís – Buen Samaritano (day care center); Jesús Nazareno (church and school)

San Pedro de Macorís – Bishop Kellogg Center (conference center and medical clinic); San Esteban (school); Buen Pastor (church, school, day care center and medical clinic); Santa Cruz (church and school)

Santana – San Matias (church and school)

Santo Domingo – La Epifanía (cathedral); San Andrés (church, school, clinic, mission team dormitory facility); San Pablo y San Pedro (church); San Felipe Apóstol (church)

The team had a productive meeting with The Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín, Bishop of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, and senior members of his clergy to learn about his priorities for integrating the work of mission teams in the development of the Dominican church. The team members were also greatly assisted by The Rev. Deacon Bob Snow and Ellen Snow, two missionaries who work on Bishop Holguín’s staff to coordinate the work of mission teams in the Dominican Republic, and by Patricio (Rafelito) Encarnación, the diocesan driver and mechanic who drove the diocesan van.

The Rev. Tar Drazdowski and Fred Richter wrote this statement to summarize this trip:

“The February 2012 Exploration Trip to the Dominican Republic was memorable for several reasons, among them the opportunity to visit sites in Azua and El Carreton where mission teams from the Diocese of Georgia had been working only a month earlier; for the overnight trip to Barahona in the southwestern corner of the Dominican Republic, where none of us had ever visited before; and for the invitation to help the clergy and staff of La Epifania, the Dominican Episcopal cathedral, to distribute a free breakfast meal and staple food supplies to the needy residents of the neighborhood. We looked at many potential mission sites to gather information on work projects and logistical support to share with congregations planning future mission trips, and two that would represent new sites for work by Georgia teams attracted our particular attention: the day care center and unfinished church in San Francisco de Macorís, and the church and school in Santana. As a result of this trip, Trinity Episcopal Church in Statesboro is currently planning a mission trip to San Francisco de Macorís in June, 2012, a location that would represent the fifth mission work site for the Diocese of Georgia in the Dominican Republic. We were deeply moved by the enthusiasm of our Dominican friends for international partnerships, and we hope to convey this enthusiasm to the congregations of the Diocese of Georgia through the future work of the Companion Diocese Commission.”

For more information on this trip, contact Team Leader Fred Richter (Trinity, Statesboro); The Rev. Tar Drazdowski, Chair of the Companion Diocese Commission and Assistant Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta GA; or The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon for Congregational Ministries, Diocese of Georgia.

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Mission trip to El Pedregal (Christ Church, Valdosta; June 16-23)

The June 2012 mission team sponsored by Christ Church (Valdosta) conducted knitting classes for over 60 women in the village of El Pedregal. To see other photos from this trip, click the picture above.

This mission trip report, along with the associated trip journal and photographs, is available at the Christ Church (Valdosta) web site, here: http://www.christchurchvaldosta.org/?page_id=4686.

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Mission trip to San Francisco de Macorís (Trinity, Statesboro, June 19-26)

The design on the t-shirt worn by mission team members in San Francisco de Macorís in June 2012. Click this image to see pther photographs from this mission trip.

The Diocese of Georgia conducted a mission trip to San Francisco de Macorís during June 19-26, 2012. This twelve-member mission trip was organized by Trinity Episcopal Church in Statesboro and was led by the Rev. Joan Kilian and Dr. Fred Richter. Most of the team members were from Trinity’s EYC group. While in San Francisco de Macorís, they stayed in the church buildings of Jesús Nazareno and worked at the El Buen Samaritano day care center. Their work was supervised by Padre Hipólito Fernández Reyna, vicar of Jesús Nazareno. Their meals were provided by the staff of the church and by Padre Hipólito’s family. Their primary task at the day care center was to sand and make ready for use the pews for a new worship space and social welfare building under construction at that facility.

At the conclusion of their work in San Francisco de Macorís, Padre Hipólito sent this email message to Trinity (Statesboro): “HI! Blessings to all!! This has been a great visit, a wonderful group!! Everything was just fine and they did a great job. They’re now in Santo Domingo. Blessings.”

An online album of photographs from this mission trip is available on Trinity’s Facebook page here.

For more information on this mission trip, contact the Rev. Joan Kilian or Dr. Fred Richter at Trinity Episcopal Church in Statesboro.

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Preaching mission in Savannah (St. Paul’s, Savannah, and representatives of the Episcopal Seminary in Santo Domingo, July 22-27)

The Rt. Rev. William Skilton (center) with other participants in this preaching mission at St. Paul's.

For the last three years, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Savannah has worked at building a ministry with the Hispanic/Latino Community in Savannah. In order to increase their efforts in mission and evangelism with the Hispanic/Latino Community in Savannah and the surrounding areas, St. Paul’s hosted a Preaching Mission during the week of July 22 – July 27, 2012. The Preaching Mission was called “Encounter with Christ 2012: Go and make disciples.” Each evening the services focused on one part of the Baptismal promises as they explored how to live into the call of Jesus to “Go and make disciples.”

It was very exciting to have three visitors from our Companion Diocese of the Dominican Republic come to assist St. Paul’s in the Mission. The Venerable Ramón Antonio Garcia, Archdeacon of the Northern Region of the Dominican Republic, was joined by two seminarians from the Centro de Estudios Teológicos, Luis Garcia Correa and José Martin Abreu. On Thursday evening, the Rt. Rev. Wiliam Skilton, retired Assistant Bishop of the Dominican Republic, participated in the service and gave a most enthusiastic sermon in both Spanish and English.

For more information on this preaching mission, contact the Rev. Charles Todd at St. Paul’s.

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Exploration trip based in Santo Domingo (The Rev. Joshua Varner, October 22-26)

The interior of an Episcopal church in Santiago, a large city in the north of the Dominican Republic.

During October 22-26, 2012, the Rev. Joshua Varner conducted an exploration trip in the Dominican Republic to scout potential locations for a diocesan youth mission trip in the summer of 2013. Despite Hurricane Sandy’s presence on the island, he was able to visit sites in the capital, Santo Domingo, as well as sites east, west, and north of the city, including both work sites and possible places to stay in each area.

Photographs from the primary four days of the Rev. Varner’s trip are available at the four links below:

First Day – Traveling to the Dominican Republic
Second Day – Visiting sites east of Santo Domingo
Third Day – Visiting sites west of Santo Domingo
Fourth Day – Visiting sites near Santiago (north of Santo Domingo)

This week-long mission experience for 9-12 grade students in the Diocese of Georgia is scheduled to take place from June 24 – July 1, 2013. For more information about this youth mission trip, contact the Rev. Joshua Varner at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Pooler, GA.

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Mission trip to Azua (St. Patrick’s, Albany and St. Anne’s, Tifton, October 27 – November 2)

The members of the mission team from St. Anne's Tifton and St. Patrick's Albany in Las Carreras. Click this image to see other photographs from this mission trip.

From October 27 until November 2, 2012, five members of St. Anne’s Tifton teamed up with three members of St. Patrick’s Albany for a mission trip to Las Carreras, a small community near the large city of Azua on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. The main purpose of the mission trip was to help build a church for the congregation of Espíritu Santo in Las Carreras. The Rt. Rev. Julio Holguín, Bishop of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, visited their work site one day and blessed each member of the mission team.

Bishop Holguín (purple shirt, back to camera) blesses the Rev. Lonnie Lacy while other team members and local residents gather around. Click this image to see other photographs from this mission trip.

The team reported that although the construction work was important, the “greater work of building lasting relationships and friendships with our Dominican brothers and sisters ended up mattering so much more.”

An album of photographs from this trip is available here.

For more information on this mission trip, contact the Rev. Lonnie Lacy at St. Anne’s Tifton, or the Rev. Jay Weldon at St. Patrick’s Albany.


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