Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Soles for the Soul project aims to help reduce overdose deaths

Each day in the United States 144 people die from fatal drug overdoses; the majority are opioid related. In Virginia, fatal drug overdoses are the number one cause of unnatural death. During 2016 drug overdose deaths in Virginia increased by 25%. In response to the worsening drug addiction epidemic, the Virginia Department of Health declared the opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency in November 2016.

One way to prevent overdose deaths is to make Naloxone more available to first responders. Naloxone temporarily reverses the effect of opiates by counteracting the life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, thereby allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally.   In Virginia, the first people to arrive on the scene in a suspected overdose emergency are law enforcement officers. Currently fewer than 10% of law enforcement departments are equipped with Naloxone.
The Rev. Jan Brown and the Rev. Lauren McDonald, co-chairs of the Diocesan Addictions & Recovery Commission, and SpiritWorks Foundation in Williamsburg have chosen to become part of the solution by teaching others how to respond to opioid overdose. After becoming trainers through REVIVE!, the Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Education Program, they have begun training law enforcement officers, probation & parole officers, family members, community members and individuals on how to use the life-saving reversal drug to prevent fatal drug overdose.
Through June 15, SpiritWorks is holding a fundraiser, Soles for the Soul, to collect shoes to raise money to purchase Naloxone (Narcan) for law enforcement officers. Through Soles for the Soul, SpiritWorks is hoping to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic in our area and to raise funds to help prevent it. Save lives. Donate shoes.  
For more information call the Rev. Jan M. Brown or the Rev. Lauren McDonald at 757-903-0000 or leave your gently used shoes in the drop box at the SpiritWorks Foundation Center at 5800 Mooretown Rd. in Williamsburg at any time.

Click here to watch an interview with the Rev. Jan Brown about the Soles for the Soul project. 

New online courses from ChurchNext include Certificate in Prayer Book Studies

Certificate in Prayer Book Studies
ChurchNext's latest Certificate Program enables you to earn a ChurchNext Certificate in Prayer Book Studies. Produced in partnership with Bexley Seabury Seminary, take all 8 of the courses on The Book of Common Prayer and you'll receive a Certificate of Prayer Book Studies. Courses include The Prayer Book and Scripture with Roger Ferlo, and The Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer with Karl Ruttan. Courses are available for individual or group study. This means you can take these courses on your own, or organize a small group to earn your certificates together. Click here for a list of courses.  
Congregations as Sanctuaries
Also, has your congregation been increasingly interested in the topic of caring for refugees and immigrants? ChurchNext has just launched Congregations as Sanctuaries with Paul Perez, available for individual and group study. Perez, a social justice engagement officer for the United Methodist Church, offers practical and insightful advice to Christians and congregations about how they can help immigrants and refugees who are increasingly frightened about their livelihood. Click here for more.

Fairy Godmothers work their magic

The gym at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) was transformed into a department store recently. It was filled with clothing racks of prom dresses, tables full of shoes and jewelry and even a makeup counter.
For the past eleven years Collegiate School students have provided prom outfits to more than 380 residents through The Fairy Godmother Project. Their mission is to provide a high school prom experience for children whose circumstances would otherwise exclude them for attending a high school prom.
Throughout the year, Collegiate students Polly Sommers and Austin Tyner, co-Presidents of the Fairy Godmother Project, collected donated prom attire and conducted fund raisers to purchase supplemental items to complete the outfits.
The gym was filled with laughter and residents had smiles on their faces after their successful "shopping experience". The Collegiate students helped the girls find the right ensemble that will make them feel and look beautiful at the prom. Their generosity and kindness is much appreciated by both children and staff.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mary's Cafe serves up great food and service

Several times a year, staff members at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) are invited to a special lunch at Mary's Café.
Supervised by Mary Griffith and Shemille Dennis, on April 6 the students in the food occupations class at JFBHS prepared and served a restaurant-caliber lunch of French onion soup, steak, steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and strawberry-topped cheesecake. Not only did the students plan and prepare the meal, they also performed the duties of host/hostess, and wait staff.
In the food occupations class, students learn everything about the food service business from ordering food and supplies to preparing and serving, accepting reservations by phone, fulfilling the role of wait staff, and cleaning the dining and kitchen areas. Students are also taught resume-writing skills and job-interviewing techniques.
The lessons taught by Griffith and Dennis are invaluable to the students. While Mary's Café is not open to the general public, the staff members who participated reported that the service was excellent and the meal was as good as any prepared in a commercial restaurant.

Day of Prayer gatherings to be offered by Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee

The Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia is sponsoring a Day of Prayer on May 17 at Chanco on the James, led by the Rev. John Maxwell Kerr. A Day of Prayer will also be offered on August 17 at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Smith Mountain Lake, led by Pastor Richard Bansemer. Speakers will lead participants in considering how and why to pray, whom to pray with, resources for prayer, prayer and the liturgical year, and will share other personal prayer practices.

Click here for more info and registration for May 17 at Chanco on the James.

Click here for more info and registration for August 17 at Smith Mountain Lake.

Easter Vigil on the York River

Bishop Hollerith was celebrant at the Easter Vigil service on the York River on Saturday, Apr. 15. This was a joint service of Abingdon Church in Gloucester, Grace Church in Yorktown, St. Paul's in Newport News, St. Andrew's in Newport News, Reformation Lutheran in Newport News, and Kingston Parish in Mathews. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Ed Pickup will retire from Emmanuel, Franklin, on July 1, 2017