18 East 34th Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Two Countries, Same Church!
Working With Our Friends in the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic:
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed, but not deterred the special relationship between Episcopalians in Georgia and in the Dominican Republic. In 2019, 51 missioners from the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia worked alongside Episcopalians at schools, churches and health clinics in the Dominican Republic. In 2020, another 40 missioners traveled to the Dominican Republic. Others contributed to a special plea for contributions from Bishop Moises Quezada, and missioners from six Georgia churches made and shipped over 14,000 masks for the 8,000 children attending Episcopal schools in the Dominican Republic.
These activities are part of the Diocese of Georgia’s ongoing alignment with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic as a Companion Diocese. This relationship began in 2001, and is strengthened year after year by mission teams from the Diocese of Georgia traveling to the Dominican Republic. Although some churches and individuals in the Diocese of Georgia sponsor mission trips to other international locations, most of the international mission activity from the Diocese each year is to the Dominican Republic. During 2019, there were two such mission trips, and descriptions and reports of those trips are available here.
For the 2019 Annual Report from the Companion Diocese Commission (PDF file), click here. Summaries of activities in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 are available at the links indicated.
Only one mission trips scheduled for 2020 was completed before the pandemic delayed others.
For the seventh year, St. Peter’s (Skidaway Island) sponsored an optical clinic team and a cataract surgical team – the Gift of Sight Mission Team — to work in the Episcopal medical clinic, La Clinica Esperanza y Caridad, in the city of San Pedro de Macorís. The mission team examined the eyes of nearly 1,000 adults and children and distributed more than 1,500 pairs of glasses. Again this year, the mission included a weeklong surgical team, which performed 100 cataract operations. For more information, contact Jim Toedtman.
In May, when Bishop Moises raised concern about protecting the 8,000 students attending Diocesan schools in the Dominican Republic, six Georgia churches responded: King of Peace Church (Kingsland), St. John’s and St. Mark’s (Albany), Christ Church (Valdosta), St. Augustine’s Church (Augusta), St. George’s Church (Savannah), St. Peter’s Church (Skidaway Island). Together they made, purchased and shipped over 14,000 masks.
The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic
The Diocese of the Dominican Republic is a member of The Episcopal Church’s Province IX along with the Dioceses of Colombia, Central Ecuador, Litoral Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Mission teams from the United States working alongside Episcopal congregations in the Dominican Republic have helped to build and fund many of the ongoing construction projects, social welfare centers, and school programs of the Dominican diocese. The Diocese now includes 60 churches, 22 schools and two health clinics. The Rt. Rev. Moises Quezada became bishop of the diocese in 2018.
The Companion Diocese Commission
The Companion Diocese Commission of the Diocese of Georgia coordinates the work of our diocesan mission teams and publicizes their work. The members of the Commission are the leaders of the mission teams within the diocese, and its co-chairs are Jim and Haydee Toedtman (St. Peter’s, Skidaway Island). The Commission and the mission team leaders work closely with Bishop Moises, with the Mission Team Support Office of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic and with the Dominican Development Group. The DDG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization within the Episcopal Church that coordinates the work of all of the companion dioceses to help the Diocese of the Dominican Republic strengthen its programs and maintain financial self-sufficiency.
To contact the Commission, send an email message to either of these two addresses: Jim Toedtman firstname.lastname@example.org); Haydee Toedtman (email@example.com). To contact the Dominican Development Group, send an email message to this address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Funding Mission Work in the Dominican Republic
The Diocese of Georgia allocated $10,000 in its 2020 budget to support the work of the Dominican Development Group (DDG). Bishop Logue and his designated representative are members of the DDG Board of Directors. The DDG is a consortium of the eleven dioceses (Central Gulf Coast, Eastern Michigan, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwest Texas, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, Southeast Florida, Southwest Florida, Western Louisiana, and Western Michigan) with companion relationships with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. The DDG assists the 50+ U.S. mission teams traveling to the Dominican Republic and raises funds for the DR diocesan endowment. The endowment supports the operations and the financial stability of the diocese. Additional diocesan funds are budgeted to support travel expenses to attend DDG board meetings in the United States and in the Dominican Republic. Beyond that, all costs of our dynamic relationship with our Dominican Episcopal partners are borne by parishes and individuals that choose to contribute their time and labor and/or their financial resources to projects chosen for mission teams.