Wednesday, June 21, 2017

St. Paul's, Newport News, inner city improvement project awarded $23,400 UTO grant

The United Thank Offering (UTO) of the Episcopal Church awarded 34 grants last week and one of them went to a project here in Southern Virginia. St. Paul's, Newport News, was awarded a grant of $23,400 for its Inner City Improvement project.

Newport News and Hampton have high rates of drug and alcohol dependent individuals who are homeless and unemployed. Drug and alcohol dependencies result in health crises and repeated arrests and convictions. When released, individuals have no resources with which to re-engage in the community, nor the coping skills to prevent relapse.

The UTO grant funds will be used to provide housing for AmeriCorps volunteers - working alongside St. Paul's clergy, staff and volunteers - as they provide education, outreach and connect individuals and families with services.

St. Paul's project aims, through a holistic approach, to change not just the lives of individuals, but the life of the community as a whole. "Most inner city neighborhoods haven't seen the Resurrection; they're still living in Good Friday. Resurrection is transformational."

2017 Seeds of Hope Grant applications now being accepted

The 2017 Seeds of Hope Grant application is now available and applications are being accepted. Applications must be postmarked no later than August 31. Awards will be announced and distributed no later than November 30.

Seeds of Hope grants are available to congregations and diocesan groups to begin or expand ministries for social and economic justice causes as they relate to the Five Marks of Mission. The Five Marks of Mission are an important statement on mission which expresses the Anglican Communion's common commitment to an understanding of God's holistic/integral mission.

These grants are "seeds" in the form of matching grants when possible so as to act as a catalyst to help parishes and other diocesan-affiliated groups begin or expand their ministries that reflect the biblical call to care and advocate for the "widow, the orphan, and the stranger." It also includes the opportunity for special grants for economic justice causes.

Click here for more info and an application. 

ECW News: New issue of Grapevine newsletter; Becca Stevens to speak at Fall Meeting

The Grapevine
The new issue of the Diocesan ECW newsletter, The Grapevine, is available here.  This issue includes:

ECW scholarship awards 
President's message - "Love thy neighbor" 
Women-to-Women announces new project 
ECW Scholarship award for Malawi 
and much more
Becca Stevens to speak at Fall Meeting
On Saturday, November 4, the Rev. Becca Stevens will be the keynote speaker for the Diocesan ECW Annual Fall Meeting at St. Francis, Virginia Beach. Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and Stevens talk is planned for around 11 a.m.  Parish Book Store will be on hand with copies of Stevens' books.

Webinar: Dementia Friendly America

There are more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer's disease in the United States. Learn about how your community can become a friendlier place for people living with dementia and their care partners. Join this webinar on Dementia Friendly America, July 11, 2 to 3 p.m. Click here to register.

Through the work of over 35 national, leading organizations, the Dementia Friendly America (DFA) initiative is catalyzing a movement to more effectively support and serve those who are living with dementia and their care partners. There are now over 45 communities across 36 states that are part of the Dementia Friendly America network. These communities are working across sectors (such as with partners in health care, business and banking, legal and financial, faith communities, and local government) to ensure they are friendly places for people with memory loss and their caregivers to live.

Join this webinar to learn more about Dementia Friendly America, why it is more important than ever before and how your community can join the movement.

Day of Prayer offered by Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee

The Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia is sponsoring a Day of Prayer on August 19 at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. The speaker for the day will be Pastor Richard Bansemer. Pastor Bansemer will lead us in two group sessions 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 details and registration.

Presiding Bishop Curry's message for World Refugee Day

In the late 1930s, as the world was on the verge of being plunged into an apocalyptic Second World War, Episcopalians and the Episcopal Church gathered together and began work to resettle those who were refugees fleeing terror in Europe, helping to resettle families, helping to resettle young people, helping to resettle people in this country in safety and security.
Since the 1930s, Episcopalians have been involved in the work of resettling families and people who are refugees, some 80,000.
At that time, in the 1930s there was a poster that depicted Mary, the baby Jesus, and Joseph. Mary was on the donkey. They were clearly on a journey. They were fleeing Palestine. They were seeking to find safety in Egypt. They were refugees. The poster from the 1930s read, "In the name of these refugees, aid all refugees."
In the name of Mary, Joseph and the Lord Jesus, aid all refugees today, for most of the refugees like the Holy Family themselves, are families, and most are children.
I invite you to observe June 20 as World Refugee Day to learn more about the crisis and to find ways that you can both pray and help in other ways.
God bless you, God keep you, and you keep the faith.

Click here to watch video of Bishop Curry's message.

Click here for Episcopal Migration Ministries' resources for World Refugee Day.

Applications accepted for Stewardship of Creation grants

The Episcopal Church Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation is accepting applications for grants that focus on local faith-based projects for mitigating climate change and safeguarding the integrity of Creation.
This marks the next cycle of grantmaking by the Episcopal Church Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation, enabled by Resolution A030, Create Task Force On Climate Change, approved at General Convention 2015 and charged with the responsibility to develop a grant process to support local ecologically responsible stewardship of church-related properties and buildings.
Recommendations will be made for grants up to $10,000. Further information regarding this grant process and how to submit an application is available here. Deadline for applications is August 20.