Monday, September 15, 2014

Register now for fabulous Fall youth events!

Registration is now open for Fall diocesan youth events! Visit the Youth Ministry pages of our website for complete information on all upcoming events for the 2014-2015 program year and important youth ministry resources.

October Weekend - Oct. 10-12 at Chanco on the James. For grades 8-12 and their adult advisors. Visit Camp Chanco on the James River for a weekend in the woods with teens from all over our diocese!  October Weekend  features great music, small groups, socials and games, meaningful discussions, a dance, and really incredible worship experiences.  Come experience the presence of God in community! Click here for details and registration.

Happening #62 - Nov. 7-9 at Chanco on the James. For grades 10-12 and adult advisors who have never attended a Happening program. Happening- A Christian Experience is a Christian renewal program designed for youth in grades 10-12. The focal point of the weekend is learning and experiencing the love of Christ.  The weekend format includes series of talks, movies, small group activities and worship, as well as opportunities for fellowship, fun and making new friends. Click here for details and registration.

November Weekend - Nov. 14-16 at Chanco on the James. For grades 6-9 and their adult advisors. Make new friends at this fall retreat at Chanco!  November Weekend includes music, games, activities, socials, small group discussions and amazing worship! Click here for details and registration.

Jan Brown appointed to board of Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church

Jan M. Brown was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church (RMEC). RMEC is an independent, nationwide network of Episcopal laity and clergy, dioceses and parishes, schools, agencies, and other institutions with a common commitment to address the effects of addiction, in all its forms, in relation to the church's mission. RMEC provides resources through its website,, raises awareness by providing training about addiction and recovery, and hosts a national gathering each year.  

This year Jan Brown and the Rev. Lauren McDonald attended RMEC's national Gathering held in June in Buffalo, New York and networked with Episcopalians in recovery from across the country. The Gathering theme was "Addiction and the Role of the Church in Recovery," and featured The Rev. Stuart Hoke, Dr. John MacDougall and other speakers on a variety of topics related to addiction. Jan was one of the presenters for the Gathering, leading the Candlelight Evening Prayer Service at the Hope Center.

Jan is the Founder and Executive Director for SpiritWorks Foundation, a community recovery organization in Williamsburg for people healing from addiction, trauma, and abuse. She is also a Postulant for Holy Orders for the Diaconate in the Diocese of Southern Virginia.

Ecumenical/Interfaith opportunity to work for peace

"Harmonious Interfaith Relations"
Monday, September 22, 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm
Light refreshments will be available from 5:30 - 6:00pm in the Parish Hall
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 800 S. Cathedral Street, Richmond, VA 23220
Public participation is encouraged.  Admission is free.

Area churches from around Richmond will gather to discuss working toward peace through dialogue.  Speakers and attendees will represent the major faith traditions.  They will discuss economic empowerment, education, health care, and security.

"To achieve peace we must work towards a mutual understanding, and a shared vision of justice," said Most Reverend Francis X. DiLorenzo, Bishop of Richmond.  "This event is the start of new collective work towards pragmatic outcomes that truly benefit people, in a time in which it is so clearly needed."

The UN International Day of Peace marks a time devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people.  In Greater Richmond and across Virginia, we embrace our solidarity as people of faith; working together through love, truth, and hope.  We recognize our inter-connectedness, and a sense of the eternal.  We affirm the call of our Creator to greater participation, dialogue, and collective action to address the injustices of our time. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mission of the Holy Spirit needs your help

By Keith Josey, Lay Pastor, Mission of the Holy Spirit

Thank you for supporting the Mission of the Holy Spirit with your prayers, gifts, time and resources. This summer, we were fortunate to provide many fun activities, including trips to the beach, pool, D'Art Center, Tides games, Busch Gardens and Ocean Breeze Fun Park, as well as life skills classes and Bible study to our children. All of this was made possible because of your generosity, and because you gave out of a love for helping others and a belief in the services we provide at the Mission.

Despite all the daily struggles faced in our community, seeds of hope, joy and purpose are planted with the support of each of you. At the Mission of the Holy Spirit, we strive to effectively change lives by nurturing the gifts of the people we serve and offering opportunities for all to experience God's love in many ways. Through our efforts, lives are being changed as evidenced by the many young Mission members who graduate high school and go on to college. We have also experienced an increase in our attendance with both children and adults. Our growth is a result of quality programs, people and purpose. As we move into the fall months, our programming has shifted from activity-centered to educational enrichment and healthy living. We have partnered with the Old Dominion School of Nursing, and their interns will provide health-related activities to our members this fall.

In order to sustain our purpose "to effectively change lives" we need your help. While we continue to receive limited grant funding, we are in serious need of your continued financial assistance. These tough economic times make your giving so much more important than ever before. Your support can come in various ways; you can:
  • Challenge your friends or the different committees in your church to each raise $500.00 or more to give in support of this ministry.
  • Adopt a program: Transportation, Feed my Lambs, Dream Builders (life skills and healthy living groups), or Crossings (educational enrichment).
  • Arrange a fundraiser with the proceeds benefiting the Mission of the Holy Spirit.
  • Volunteer your time to be a mentor, tutor and a blessing to a child.
  • Donate items such as canned goods, hygiene products, movie tickets, gift cards, or school supplies that will directly impact families.
These times are challenging, but "we can make a difference and we will make a change." Through working together to share God's love and allowing the light of Christ to shine, we can continue to touch the lives of the people we serve.

To learn more about the Mission and to make a donation, go to

Jackson-Feild has new modular classrooms

After much anticipation - not to mention great need - our two new modular classrooms are up and running and will house our vocational education classes.  

For years, we have been providing classes in Food Occupation & Safety and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Because we did not have a dedicated space for the food occupation classes, they were frequently moved around campus much to the detriment of consistency and continuity. One of our new modular classrooms is specifically designed and equipped for the food occupation curriculum.

The other new classroom will house a horticulture program that is being reintroduced. In years past, we had a horticulture program that was extremely popular among our students. Due to the death of the horticulture teacher, the program unfortunately was suspended. We are thrilled to be able to bring back this educational program that had been so popular and successful.

We are so very blessed to have a donor who provided the funding for these classrooms. The equipment and materials were purchased with donations from foundations, civic and service clubs, and individuals. Every day, we see the positive results brought about through the generosity of so many people and we thank each and every donor.

However, even with this new addition we still need more classroom space. We are currently working to raise funds for another modular classroom building and hope to have it in place before the end of the current school year.

Church offering meals-to-go for JMU Parents' Weekend tailgate parties

Attention JMU parents and alumni - if you're planning to be at JMU for the Parents' Weekend football game on October 11, you should check out Tailgate Meals-to-Go from Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Harrisonburg. Every cent of your purchase goes to support  mission and outreach projects, including a summer mission to an orphanage in Honduras and the church's weekly food pantry. Click here for details and how to place your order.

TREC issues a letter to The Episcopal Church

The Taskforce for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC) has issued A Word To The Episcopal Church:

Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"  The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."  (John 11:43-44)

As the Taskforce for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC) has progressed in our work, we have come to see the raising and unbinding of Lazarus as a helpful way of understanding this moment in the life of The Episcopal Church. We believe Jesus is calling our church to new life and vitality, but the church is held back by its bindings-old ways of working that no longer serve us well.
We write this as we begin the final months of our work, to give you an update about our thinking and emerging recommendations for your prayerful consideration and feedback. We will publish our final report and specific legislative proposals in December 2014. Click here to read the letter