Thursday, July 17, 2014

Talbot Hall property news available online

For current information regarding the sale of the diocese's Talbot Hall property, please visit our website, On the home page, you'll find a link to Talbot Hall Property News, including a recent message from Bishop Hollerith and an editorial by diocesan Chancellor Sam Webster that was published in the Virginian-Pilot.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ridley Foundation awards $153,183 in scholarships and grants

The Ridley Foundation Board awarded scholarships totaling $123,183 to 40 students from the Diocese of Southern Virginia and Southampton County for the 2014-15 academic year. Click here for a list of 2014-15 recipients. The Board also awarded grants of $10,000 each to: Jackson-Feild Homes, Mission of the Holy Spirit, and Covington Boys Home.  

Jackson-Feild elects officers and new trustees

At its annual meeting the Jackson-Feild Homes Board of Trustees elected new officers for a two-year term. They are Ms. Anne G. Greever - President, Mrs. Beblon G. Parks - Vice President, Mr. Craig A. Tilley - Treasurer and Mr. T. Darnley Adamson, III - Secretary.

Also elected are four new trustees who will serve a three-year term each. They are Ms. Ann H. Smoot, Mr. Shane M. Tilka, Mr. James M. Cox and Ms. Narendra R. Pleas.

Ms. Smoot is retired from the Virginia Department of Education as its Training Director. She previously worked as a district training and safety officer for the Virginia Department of Transportation. Prior to her service with state government, Ms. Smoot was an educator for thirteen years. A graduate of Emory & Henry, she received her Master's Degree from the University of Virginia. Her volunteer experience includes serving as a CASA volunteer and a parent representative on Hanover County's Family Assessment and Planning Team. Ms. Smoot lives in Culpepper and has summer home in the Northern Neck.

Mr. Tilka currently is the Vice President of Operations for Iluka Resources America having served in a number of capacities within Iluka since 2005. He received his undergraduate degree from Edith Cowan University in Australia and his graduate degree from Western Australian School of Mines. Mr. Tilka and his family live in Chesterfield County.

Mr. Cox is a Vice President and partner with Manry Rawls, LLC in Franklin. He also is President of Cox & Moncure, a company that operates a chain of sixteen mattress stores under the name of Mattress Outlet. A native of Richmond and an alumnus of St. Christopher's School, Mr. Cox received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Military Institute and his MBA from the College of William & Mary. He and his family live in Franklin.

Ms. Pleas is native of Georgia who moved to Virginia Beach when she was in high school. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, she received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Indiana. Previously a practicing attorney in the Emporia/Greensville and Sussex County Common wealth Attorney's Offices, she is now the Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for Suffolk. Ms. Pleas is a member and treasurer of the Emporia/Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad, a former secretary for the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads District 2, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Emporia/Greensville YMCA.

Education for Ministry (EfM) groups forming

By John Hoppe, EfM mentor, Grace Church, Yorktown

Education for Ministry (EfM) offers a progressive four year program of study and discussion which affords everyone an opportunity to learn more about scripture, Church history, and where theological thought stands in our world today. A core element of the program is the Theological Reflection, which is an activity designed to encourage participants to connect biblical and theological knowledge with everyday issues of contemporary life, and to ultimately discover ways to enhance our lives in the Christian context. The program is open to any person seeking further knowledge of the Bible and related documents, theology, church history, and ethics. The context is the mentored small group, as authorized and supported by the School of Theology at Sewanee, University of the South. Beginning in early September, EfM groups meet on a weekly schedule through the school year.  Click here to learn more about EfM

EfM groups seeking participants  
Grace, Yorktown, hosts several EfM groups. A preliminary informational meeting is planned for August 7 at 6 p.m. in the Parish House at Grace. Please contact John Hoppe (757-229-5113), Janet Stephens (757-898-5079), or call the office at Grace Church (757-898-3261) to obtain additional information and to learn how you may join us for this program.

If you are the mentor of an EfM group seeking new participants and would like to have your information included in the eNews, please contact Diocesan Communications Officer Ann Turner, 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Presiding Bishop addresses crisis of unaccompanied children at the U.S. border

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued the following statement on the current crisis of unaccompanied children and families at the United States border.

"The influx of vulnerable people from Central America, including unaccompanied minors as well as mothers with children, continues to challenge the United States to respond compassionately.  Like Sudanese or Syrian refugees, these people are fleeing hunger, violence, and the fear of rape, murder, and enslavement.  The violence in Central America has escalated significantly in recent months, particularly as a result of gangs and trafficking in drugs and human beings.  These people are literally fleeing for their lives.   

The United States has a checkered history in responding to refugee crises.  We shut our eyes and ears, as well as our ports, during the crimes against Jews and other vulnerable persons in the midst of the Second World War.  We have been more welcoming to Sudanese youths looking for survival in the last 20 years.

The Episcopal Church believes we have a responsibility to all our neighbors, particularly the strangers and sojourners around us.  We have been resettling refugees since 1939.  Today, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and Episcopal Relief & Development are working with churches and dioceses in areas where these Central American women and children are being served.   

Episcopalians are responding with prayers and concern, and asking how to help.  I urge you to remember these people and their difficult and dangerous position in your prayers - today, this coming Sunday, and continuing until we find a just resolution.  The Episcopal Church has established an account to receive financial contributions to assist Episcopal Migration Ministries in this work.  For details, please contact 
I would also encourage you to contact your legislators, and ask them to support an appropriate humanitarian response to this crisis.  We are our brothers' and sisters' keeper, and as a Church, we are asking the United States government to support such a response, grounded in justice and the fundamental dignity of every human being.  Our Office of Government Relations is submitting detailed testimony to a United States Senate hearing today, as that chamber prepares to consider a budget request from the President.  You may read that testimony here, and I encourage you to share it with your own Representative and Senators here."

The Presiding Bishop's statement can be found online here. 

Mission of the Holy Spirit in need of bibles

The Mission of the Holy Spirit needs 20 NIV Bibles (new or used) for teens and adults in our Bible study programs. The Mission is currently running two bible study programs and our participants really want to have their own bibles so they can study further at home. If your parish has even a few NIV Bibles that you no longer use, please contact the Mission office Monday through Wednesday at 757-858-0010. Thank you for helping us spread the Word!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Episcopal Youth Event 2014 gets under way - #EYE14

Southern Virginia's EYE14 team departs for Philadelphia today.
Almost 1000 youth along with more than 200 adults are gathering for the popular Episcopal Youth Event 2014 (EYE14), getting under way today at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

Our Diocese sent a team of 20 - 16 youth and four adult leaders - to Philadelphia today to take part in EYE14. Please keep them in your prayers as EYE14 continues through July 13. You can follow their adventure on Facebook,

Bronwyn Clark Skov, Episcopal Church Youth Ministries Officer, noted: "EYE14 is an amazing opportunity for youth to experience The Episcopal Church on a vastly different scale than that of their local faith communities. They will be immersed in music, scripture, worship, and fellowship as they discern their own call to engage in the Five Marks of Mission." In addition to the camaraderie, opportunities abound for learning, prayer and mission work.

The opening Eucharist on July 10 will be live webcast along with two plenary sessions; Friday evening prayer; and the July 12 closing Eucharist. You can learn more about EYE14 on Facebook, Vine, Instagram. Twitter Hashtag is #EYE14. Apps: iPhone, Android
Live webcasts here. (all Eastern times):
  • Opening Eucharist - Thursday, July 10 at 9:30 am; the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Canon for Missional Vitality, Diocese of Long Island preaching and President of the House Of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings presiding
  • Plenary - Thursday, July 10 at 7:30 pm; the EYE14 Mission Planning Team
  • Evening Prayer - Friday, July 11 at 8:30 pm (approximate); Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preaching and officiating
  • Morning Plenary - Saturday, July 12 at 9:30 am; the Rev. Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms.
  • Closing Eucharist - Saturday, July 12 at 8 pm; Bishop Michael Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina preaching and Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori presiding.
The Collect for EYE14
Ever loving God, you have brought us together and empowered us to serve as your disciples. We ask you to guide and bless us as we strive to tell the Good News of your love; teach and nurture all believers; tend to the human condition; transform and reconcile the world as Christ has shown us; and treasure your creation and our salvation through Jesus Christ. May we be engulfed in your love and blessings as we live out the mission and work you have given us, through Jesus Christ, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.