Reference Library

Below are links to a library of PDF files and Word documents maintained on this website for your reference:

Diocese of Georgia Policy Manual — with information on both lay and ordained employees. Updated Lent, 2017

Diocesan Financial Reports—A page maintained with current financial reports for the Diocese of Georgia. Updated after each quarter closes, once the Finance Committee has reviewed and approved the report.


Constitution & Canons of The Episcopal Church (2015) — These may be revised by the act of two consecutive General Conventions of The Episcopal Church which meets once every three years. The 2015 canons will remain in effect at least until the 2018 convention.

Diocese of Georgia Constitution & Canons (2015) — These will remain in effect until at least the November 2017 convention.


The guides below are important in naming norms of our diocese. They are working documents and so your questions and suggestions will help improve their useful. Direct any questions or concerns to the Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary.

Clergy HandbookAn overview of the norms for the Diocese for its priests and deacons. Updated Lent, 2017.

Discernment & Ordination Handbook – For those who feel called to the ministry of deacon or priest and all who assist with the discernment of call, this is a guide to the norms of the Diocese of Georgia for this process. Updated October 18, 2016.

Transition Handbook – A Guide for Vestries and Search Committees working through the transition from one head of the congregation to another.  Updated October 18, 2016.

Liturgical Customary – The customary for liturgy in the Diocese of Georgia. Updated August 2010.

Documents for Priests

Minimum Priest Compensation – Revised as needed by Diocesan Council. This PDF is based on the November 2012 resolution which remains in effect through at least Convention 2017.

Priest Salary Survey 2017 — This chart compares priest salaries in the Diocese of Georgia by Sunday Attendance and budget size. See also the Priest Assistant Salary Survey 2017 for full-time priests in an assisting role. For comparison, the archived Priest Salary Survey 2016 and the Priest Assistant Salary Survey 2016, Priest Salary Survey 2015 and the Clergy Assistant Salary Survey 2015, Priest Salary Survey 2014,Priest Salary Survey 2013, Priest Salary Survey 2012 and Priest Salary Survey 2011 remain online.

Sample Letter of Agreement — This standard Letter of Agreement for priests and congregations was created by Bishop Benhase. Together with an attached compensation agreement (download Sample Priest’s Compensation Spreadsheet which is set to calculate pension and totals from basic information), this forms the contract signed by the priest, senior warden and bishop. Send all Letters of Agreement to the Canon to the Ordinary for review.

License to Officiate — An Episcopal priest who is in good standing in one’s own diocese may apply for a License to Officiate in the Diocese of Georgia. Licenses are reissued every year on July 1. A report is due each June of the previous year’s sacramental acts in the Diocese. The report form is included with the license.

Marital Judgment – This page gives the Diocese of Georgia’s policies on remarriage after divorce within the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. There is also a link to the RTF (rich text format) file of the form that a priest or deacon need to complete together with a couple seeking remarriage. The petitioning priest or deacon must get the couple to complete the following forms, sign them and return the to the diocesan office:

Documents for Vocational Deacons

Deacon’s Agreement – The Letter of Agreement to be completed annually by vocational deacons together with the clergy where the deacon is assigned. Failure to have a current agreement on file will result in a deacon being moved to inactive status. Updated September 2010

Deacon’s Requirements – Requirements and recommendations for those seeking ordination as vocational deacons in the Diocese of Georgia.

Guidelines for Deacons – Revised Advent 2013

Documents for Licensed Lay Ministry

Serving as a Lay Eucharistic Minister (chalice bearer) and Lay Eucharistic Visitor (taking the sacrament to those who could not attend a worship service due to health issues) is licensed by the Diocese of Georgia in accordance with the Canons of The Episcopal Church. The necessary application and information are available for download here as word documents or PDF files: application.doc, application.pdf, standards.doc, standards.pdfcanons.doc, and canons.pdf. Applicants should receive all three documents. All training for Lay Ministers may be completed in the parish. Some convocations also offer training days.

Liturgical Information

Celebration of New Ministry – this Word file provides the liturgical text to use in creating a bulletin for the service when Bishop Benhase comes to your parish to celebrate the new ministry of a Vicar or Rector.

Visitation Customary – Bishop Benhase’s customary for episcopal visits to the parishes and missions of the diocese. Please note that the overall liturgical customary for the Diocese of Georgia is linked from the Important Handbooks section above. Also available as a Word Document file here: GACustomaryforEpiscopalVisitations.doc Updated March 2017.

Ordination Customary – Bishop Benhase’s customary for ordinations. Also available as a Word Document file here: GAOrdinationCustomary.doc Updated All Saint’s Day 2012.

Instructed Eucharist 

Same Sex Marriages – As of Advent 1, 2015, and for the next three years, the following rites may be used by the presbyters of this Diocese with all persons who are legally and canonically eligible for marriage: The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage (2), which begins on Page 97 of the SCLM Report; and, if the couple has already been married civilly, The Blessing of a Civil Marriage, which begins on Page 103 of the SCLM Report. The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage (BCP, p. 423 ff) and The Blessing of a Civil Marriage (BCP, p. 433ff) are Prayer Book rites and thus should continue to be used as appropriate.

The following documents give the Diocese of Georgia policy, provide Model Congregational Guidelines, and give the text of the rites authorized for trial use in keeping with the policy:

Mutual Ministry Review

The Letters of Agreement for priests all call for an annual mutual ministry review. The following documents, which are in use at Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta are offered here as a model for creating documents for other congregations:

Mutual Ministry Review Overview
Sample letter that goes with forms

Sample form for vestry member self-assessment
Sample form for rector self-assessment
Sample form for staff member self-assessment

Sample form for vestry review by a staff member
Sample form for review of a staff member by the rector
Sample form for review of a staff member by a vestry member
Sample form for staff member review of staff
Sample form for review of rector by vestry
Sample form for review of rector by a staff member

Helpful in this process is to work from a Vestry Job Description viewed by prospective members before election and agreed to by all who serve. To assist in the creation of this, Bishop Benhase created a Sample Vestry Job Description in PDF which is also available in Word vestryjobdescription.doc

Prayer Cycles

One Year Prayer Cycle for the Diocese of Georgia with 52 prayers for use in weekly liturgies. Updated January 5, 2018

Diocese of Georgia Prayer Cycle—Daily for 31 Days Updated November 20, 2017

Diocese of Georgia Clergy Spouses Updated November 20, 2017

Ecumenical Partners Prayer Cycle with prayers for the congregations of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which are within the geographic boundaries of the Diocese of Georgia. Updated May 30, 2017.

Companion Diocese Prayer Cycle with prayers for the congregations of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. Updated May 30, 2017.

Various Other Documents

Audit—Internal Controls ChecklistThis checklist was created to assist a review committee in conducting an audit of church finances to ensure that the proper controls are in place. The checklist conforms to the Business Methods manual below.

Business MethodsThe Episcopal Church’s official guide to overseeing the temporal affairs of your congregation.

Coaching for Congregational Leaders
This document lays out the goals, guidelines, and policies of the Diocese of Georgia.

Coaching Agreement
This is the standard Coaching Agreement for the Diocese of Georgia.

Parish Gift Acceptance Policy for Parish Guidelines

Primer on The Episcopal Church – This document is a primer of the governance of The Episcopal Church.

Hoornstra Fund Brochure – Created in thanksgiving for the ministry of the Rev. Paul Hoornstra, a priest and church planter who worked in this diocese, this fund supports new missions in the Diocese of Georgia.

Hospitality Checklist – This 3-page checklist takes a visitor’s encounter with your church from before they arrive until after they are home.

Marital Judgment – This page gives the Diocese of Georgia’s policies on remarriage after divorce within the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. There is also a link to the RTF (rich text format) file of the form that a priest or deacon need to complete together with a couple seeking remarriage.

Province IV Disaster Preparedness Manual – The dioceses of the southeastern United States offer the following manual to assist churches in preparing for disasters:

Disaster Preparedness Manual Cover
Disaster Preparedness Manual Part 1
Disaster Preparedness Manual Part 2
Disaster Preparedness Manual Part 3
Disaster Preparedness Manual Part 4
Disaster Preparedness Manual Part 5

Bishop’s Letter RE: Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 
Bishop Scott Benhase sent this letter regarding the use of guns or firearms in churches in response to the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014.

Sexual Conduct Guidelines

In March 2011, the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Georgia approved a diocesan policy on the protection of children and youth from abuse. These policies are meant to be guidelines for churches and Episcopal organizations in the Diocese of Georgia. Individual churches may adopt their own policies using the diocesan policies as a guide.

Self-Enrolling in Safeguarding Online
Safeguarding God’s Children (SGC) is an indepth educational and training program for preventing and responding to child sexual abuse in everyday life and in ministry. This program was created by the Church Pension Group in association with Praesidium, Inc. in response to General Convention Resolution B008, Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse, which mandates training in sexual abuse prevention.

In Spring of 2011, the Diocese of Georgia implemented Safeguarding Online (SGOL) which puts SGC in accessible, self-enrolling, online format.

Sharing The Faith That Is In Us Worskshop – This one-day workshop can be led by anyone. The spiritual exercises created by Bishop Benhase will help lay persons to get in touch with how God has been active in their lives.

Convention Reports

Convention 2011

Convention 2010

Convention 2009

Convention 2008

Diocesan House

Diocesan House
611 East Bay Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401-1296
Phone (912) 236-4279
Fax (912)236-2007

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Diocesan Calendar

Click on the calendar image above to see the diocesan calendar of events.