The Community of St. Joseph
On Sunday October 4, 2015, 5 homeless people attended the "church in the field" conducted by priest Jamie Maury (pictured below right) in a grassy expanse off Louisville Road under a bridge adjacent to one of the city's oldest homeless camps. Within two years, attendance averages 42, including several faithful volunteers and others who are not homeless who live in the neighborhood. Maury states "by taking services to them it means we're serious. Plus many have mobility challenges."
The congregants come from many denominations, and Maury begins the service by having them recite the Serenity Prayer in unison. He then leads them in a traditional Morning Prayer service; The Holy Communion is celebrated the first Sunday of every month. They sit on folding chairs, brought by Maury in his truck. The altar is a simple table covered by a white cloth. The choir is accompanied by guitars, a keyboard, violin and trombone. Now after three years, Jamie Maury is taking a rest and sabbatical.
Kevin Veitinger (pictured at left with Maury) has accepted a call to serve as the Lay Pastoral Leader of the Community of St. Joseph, the diocese's ministry with and for homeless persons in Savannah. Veitinger has been serving in full time ministry for 20 years. This included serving in youth and college ministry at St. David's Episcopal Church in Lakeland, Florida. His time in ministry included many years in youth and college ministry in the United Methodist Church. He graduated in 2005 with a Masters from Asbury Theological Seminary and became a licensed local pastor and then provisional elder. During that time he was a senior pastor for three Methodist churches in the Savannah area. He started The Foundery, a coffee pub ministry in Savannah, while serving a local church. The South Georgia Conference accepted his voluntary withdrawal so that he could be confirmed and enter the discernment process toward possible ordination in the Episcopal Church. Kevin and his wife, Ginger, have two children, Jordan, 21, and Sydney, 19. He follows the founder, the Rev. Jamie Maury, who is taking a rest and sabbatical. Veitinger started working with the Community Sunday June 3rd.