Wednesday, April 16, 2014

VIPCare forum: Compassionate Care for First Responders Impacted by Tragedy and Trauma

Thursday, May 1, 9 a.m. to noon
Location: Trinity United Methodist Church, 903 Forest Avenue, Richmond
Admission is free (for continuing education credits a $35 processing fee is charged)

The Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care (VIPCare) invites members of the clergy, religious leaders of all faith traditions, and the general public to a forum on "Ministry in the Midst of a Crisis."
While members of faith traditions are not first responders in the traditional sense of police, emergency medical technicians and firefighters, they are called once the immediate physical danger has passed to assist both the responders and the victims process the trauma. This forum offers a panel discussion with VIPCare clinical staff and police department chaplains, who have significant professional experience responding to major traumatic events. The panelists are also published authors in the field of post-traumatic stress and recovery.
Panelists will be: Dr. Donald  D. Denton, VIPCare staff, "Welcoming the Warrior Home"; Sergeant Steven Chumley, Chaplain, Virginia State Police; The Rev. Lloyd Jackson, Chaplain, Henrico Police Department. Participants are invited to bring examples of their own experiences with crisis and trauma intervention to the meeting to discuss with members of the panel.

To register please call VIPCare at 804-282-8332 or email, with "Forum on Trauma and Support" in the subject line. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Presiding Bishop's Easter message 2014

The tomb is empty, and nobody knows where the body is.  Mary Magdalene tells the others about the mysterious disappearance, but they give up and go home.  Mary stays behind, weeping, and then fails to recognize the risen one before her.  As the days pass, each resurrected encounter begins in surprise or anonymity - the disciples fishing all night without catching, Jesus cooking breakfast on the beach, the two on their way to Emmaus.  Nobody recognizes him at first sight.

Clearly the risen body is not identical to the Jesus who was crucified.  People mistake him for a stranger.  He enters locked rooms.  He walks along the path to Emmaus for a long time without being recognized.  Crucifixion, death, and resurrection result in a transformed body - with evident scars, but changed nonetheless.  When he reminds others of God's banquet, meant for the whole world - when human beings are fed and watered, delivered from prison, gathered from exile across the earth, and healed and reconciled into a community of peace - his companions discover that he has once again been in their midst.

What does that resurrection reality mean for the Body of Christ of which we are part?  How does the risen Body of Christ - what we often call the church - differ from the crucified one?  That Body seems to be most lively when it lives closer to the reality of Good Friday and the Easter mystery.  In the West, that Body has suffered a lot of dying in recent decades.  It is diminished, some would say battered, increasingly punctured by apathy and taunted by cultured despisers.  That body bears little resemblance to royal images of recent memory - though, like Jesus, it is being mocked.  The body remembers and grieves, like the body of Israel crying in the desert, "why did you bring us out here to die?" or the crucified body who cries, "My God, why have you forsaken me," or "why have you abandoned us?"  In other contexts the Body of Christ is quite literally dying and spilling its lifeblood - in Pakistan and Sudan, in Iraq and Egypt - and in those ancient words of Tertullian, the blood of martyrs is becoming the seed of the church.   

The Body of Christ is rising today where it is growing less self-centered and inwardly focused, and living with its heart turned toward the cosmic and eternal, its attention focused intently on loving God and neighbor.  This Body is rising to stand in solidarity with criminals sentenced to death, with widows and orphans, with the people of the land who slave over furrows and lettuce fields to feed the world.  This Body can be found passing through walls and boundaries that have long been misused to keep the righteous "safe" and "pure."  The Body is recognized when the hungry are fed - on the lakeshore with broiled fish, on the road to Emmaus, on street corners and city parks, in food pantries and open kitchens, in feeding neighbor nations and former enemies, and as the Body gathers once again to remember its identity and origin - Christ is risen for the sake of all creation.
Where and how will we look for the Body of Christ, risen and rising?  Will we share the life of that body as an Easter people, transformed by resurrection and sent to transform the world in turn? 

Christ is risen, Alleluia!  Alleluia, Christ is risen indeed!

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church

Jackson-Feild Homes re-dedicates its chapel

JFH resident presented Bishop Hollerith with a Book of Inspiration which contained faith-based poems and short stories written by residents.
On April 2, Bishop Hollerith assisted JFH's chaplain, The Rev. Dr. Robin Jones, in a service of re-dedication of the All Saints Chapel. The ceremony included the consecration of the Baptismal Font, Pulpit, and Altar. Music was provided by the recently reestablished JFH choir under the leadership of The Rev. David Ausby.

The service was attended by residents, staff, board members, and donors. Also attending were the three siblings of Helen Marie Boudiette. They traveled from Oklahoma, Ohio, and Florida. As a teen, Helen Boudiette enjoyed volunteering at Jackson-Feild. In 1978, Helen was tragically killed in an automobile accident. The Boudiette family donated funds to Jackson-Feild and asked that the chapel be built in memory of Helen.

Also present was Peggy Riethmiller, the daughter of Dr. William G. Christian. Dr. Christian was a member of Jackson-Feild's Board of Trustees and headed the capital campaign to raise funds to build the chapel. Mrs. Riethmiller's husband, Steve, presently serves on the Home's Board of Trustees.

After the service everyone gathered in Gage Dining Hall for a special luncheon prepared by the JFH food service staff. A resident presented Bishop Hollerith with a Book of Inspiration which contained faith-based poems and short stories written by residents that focused on love and forgiveness. The dedication ceremony will be long remembered and cherished by those who attended.

Annual celebration held in memory of the Ven. Dr. James Solomon Russell

By Dr. Angela Parker, St. Paul's Memorial, Lawrenceville   

The James Solomon Russell Celebration Committee met on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at Brian's Steak House, South Hill, Virginia for an afternoon of prayer, celebration, and reflection. This date, the fourth Sunday in March, marks the annual tradition of having a memorial service on the Sunday closest to proposed feast day for Dr. Russell (March 28). Dr. Angela Parker served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the occasion and adorned the room with flowers and prepared the altar. The afternoon's activities began with a welcome by the chairperson, Mrs. Annie Walker, followed by the committee's adopted "Liturgy for the Proclamation of the Word of God and the Celebration of the Holy Communion." The Rev. Dr. Terrence Walker served as celebrant and also gave an inspirational sermon that charged each member to continue our efforts to recognize Archdeacon Russell for his many accomplishments and moreover, to prayerfully consider how we can carry forth his ministry in the 21st century. The beautiful chalice set that was created by national acclaimed wood turner Mr. Charles Farrar, and given to the Committee for this annual observance, was used. Other participants on the program included, Mr. James Grimstead and Dr. Barbara Coles as lectors, Mrs. Nannie Brown as psalmist and chalice bearer and Dr. Angela Parker as intercessor using the traditional Great Litany. Mrs. Pearl Parker, the Committee's historian, detailed the history and purpose of the Committee's memorial program.

After the conclusion of the memorial service a delicious meal was enjoyed by all, after which, the committee members participated in a reflection session including brainstorming regarding what the Committee's future work might entail. A special tribute was also given for the Rev. Dr. Joseph Green, Jr., the Committee's senior advisor, who could not be present. The program ended on a high note as the chairperson reported that the Committee's efforts to advance the research on Dr. Russell as an internationally important historical figure had been recognized in Washington and that a letter from the President of the United States was forthcoming.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Integrity making changes and planning for the future

Integrity's next meeting will be on Sunday, April 27, 2:00 p.m. at Eastern Shore Chapel, Virginia Beach (2020 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach). We will be talking about re-structuring our meetings and events and making exciting new plans for the future. The meeting will include our annual Board elections. Get more information on our website. All are welcome and invited to join us and to learn how YOU can get involved in the important work of LGBT advocacy in the Episcopal Church. Mark your calendar. We hope to see you there!

Church Media Conference: Social Media and Mobile Marketing

The media can communicate the very clear message of our loving God in ways that Paul never dreamed. The Tidewater Church Media Conference will explore the tools we now have at our fingertips to help us share the gospel. The conference will be held Saturday, May 3, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Norfolk. This year's theme is Social Media and Mobile Marketing. Cost is $20 and includes lunch. An optional field trip follows the conference. 

Workshops in: Administrator Forum, Bridging the Tech Gap, Church Advertising and Marketing, Email Marketing & Best Practices: eTapestry, Constant Contact, and MailChimp, Going Tech in Worship, Google Docs and Dropbox, Helpful Resources for Pastors, The Importance of Social Media in Church Ministry, New Worship Music Ideas, and Website Considerations

Get more information and register at 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Executive Board to host conversations about stewardship

The Stewardship Focus Group of the diocesan Executive Board is hosting an informal gathering of parish wardens and stewardship/finance chairs to share successes and challenges with our parish giving programs. We believe it will be beneficial to share the work in our various parishes.  Anyone interesting in parish stewardship is encouraged to attend. The Stewardship Focus Group of the Executive Board is charged with assisting and supporting parishes in their stewardship endeavors.  
We will gather on Saturday, April 12 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Ascension, Norfolk. Please contact Bob Motley at if you are able to join us or if you have questions.  

There will be another opportunity to join the conversation when we gather for lunch on Wednesday, April 30 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Old Donation, Virginia Beach. Please contact Mike McGraw, if you are able to join us in Virginia Beach or if you have questions.
Plans are under way for additional gatherings in other Convocations, including the Richmond area. Watch the eNews for dates and locations.