Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seminarian Josh Stephens receives Freeman Award for Merit

The Sewanee School of Theology awarded the 2014 Freeman Award for Merit to Joshua Paul Stephens, T'16, a M.Div. student from the Diocese of Southern Virginia (St. Andrew's, Norfolk). The award was announced and presented by the dean, the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, during the School's annual DuBose Lectures and Alumni/ae Gathering banquet on Oct. 1.

"Josh Stephens distinguished himself in his first year of theological studies," explained Alexander, on why Stephens was chosen to receive this award. "His strong undergraduate background, his devotion to his vocation, and his strong work ethic puts him academically at the top of his class. We look forward to seeing him continue to grow and develop academically, spiritually, and pastorally."
The Freeman Award for Merit was established in 1998 by Reed Freeman and his wife, Nancy, to honor and reward a rising middler student of The School of Theology that has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and promise. Freeman, T'96, T'05, was a recipient of the Woods Leadership Award while he was attending The School of Theology.
"As those who were at the DuBose banquet can attest, I was shocked to receive the Freeman Award," stated Stephens. "Now my initial surprise has shifted to feeling rather grateful and humbled, not only to be recognized in this way, but also to be part of such an awesome environment in Sewanee. This is a remarkable community of learning at The School of Theology and I am proud to be a member of the class of 2016. My academic work only has meaning because of our common life together."

Stewardship gatherings scheduled for Chester, Norfolk and Hampton

The Stewardship Focus Group of the diocesan Executive Board is once again hosting informal gatherings for parish wardens and stewardship/finance chairs to share successes and challenges with our parish giving programs. Anyone interested in parish stewardship is invited and encouraged to attend.
  • Saturday, November 22, 10 to 11 a.m. at St. John's, Chester. Contact the Rev. Gini DiStanislao if you plan to attend the gathering at St. John's, gini@bonairtitle.com.
  • Saturday, December 6, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Ascension, Norfolk. Contact Bob Motley if you plan to attend the gathering at Ascension, bobmotley46@gmail.com.
  • Saturday, January 17, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at St. John's, Hampton. Contact Bob Motley if you plan to attend the gathering at St. John's, bobmotley46@gmail.com.

Diocese of Virginia hosting disaster response workshop Nov. 8

The Diocese of Virginia Disaster Preparedness and Response (DOVDPR) ministry team is hosting a Volunteer Day on November 8, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at St. Stephen's, Culpeper. During the morning session they will offer both the child and adult sexual misonduct prevention training. These workshops will go to 1 p.m. Lunch will be served and the afternoon will be spent diving into disaster response. Explore opportunities throughout the US for teams to help folks recover from natural disasters. Learn step by step how to plan and execute these recovery mission trips. There will be speakers from the various dioceses around the US that are hosting disaster recovery teams. Click here for more information and registration. 

Registration open for Annual State LARCUM Conference, Dec. 5-6 in Norfolk

  The LARCUM Churches of Norfolk invite you to join us at our annual State LARCUM Conference on Friday and Saturday, 5-6 December 2014. Rev. Dr. John Armstrong, president and founder of ACT 3 Network, a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America and an adjunct professor of mission at Wheaton College Graduate School will present "The New Landscape of Post-Christian Christianity"
  • Americans remain deeply religious yet are rejecting organized religion in increasing numbers while they retain deep interest in spirituality. What is really happening? Is this a lasting trend that will radically alter the religious landscape?
  • If the older Christendom model of church is passing away how should we respond if we believe that we still have a mission in America? Where is the missional moment bearing fruit and how?
  • The next generation wants to belong to community before they can believe anything that is taught. How will this impact our mission and what does ecumenism have to do with this important change in religious behavior?
Click here for the conference brochure, which includes a registration form.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Join us for the second annual Fall Family Festival at Chanco

Join us October 26 from 2 to 5 pm for pumpkin carving, refreshments, hayrides, fellowship and fall fun! You can even scale our 32 foot high rock wall or fly along a zip line - and they are not just for kids! Bring your own pumpkin or purchase one at Chanco to creatively carve any way you choose! This event is open to the public and is for all ages. Come celebrate this beautiful time of year with us at Chanco. Click here for a flier with more information. Feel free to post this flier at your churches and/or share via email and help us invite all our friends throughout the diocese to Chanco on October 26 for this fun family event! We hope to see you there!

Young adult Episcopalians serve as missionaries - including Justin Davis from St. David's, Chesterfield

Justin Davis meeting new friends on board a ship in Hong Kong.
Seventeen young adults - including six who will serve for a second year - representing 18 Episcopal Church dioceses are serving as missionaries in the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) for the 2014-2015 term in locales throughout the Anglican Communion. One of these is our own Justin Davis, a member of St. David's, Chesterfield. Justin is serving with the Mission to Seafarers in Hong Kong.
YASC is a ministry for Episcopal young adults, ages 21 - 30, who are interested in exploring their faith in new ways by living and serving in communities around the Anglican Communion. The Rev. David Copley, Mission Personnel Officer, noted that while the day-to-day duties of each placement vary, the experiences of the YASCers are life-changing.  "YASC brings young adults into the life of the worldwide Anglican Communion and into the daily work of a local community," he explained.   

Each YASCer maintains a blog, detailing their service, reflections and adventures. You can follow Justin's  blog, Turn Up for Jesus, here. You can read more about the other YASC missionaries and find links to their blogs here

General Convention 2015: Volunteers needed

A range of volunteer opportunities are available at The Episcopal Church 78th General Convention, June 25 - July 3 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT .
The Episcopal Church's General Convention is held every three years, and is the bicameral governing body of the Church. It is composed of the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 active and retired bishops and the House of Deputies, with clergy and lay representatives elected from the 109 dioceses of the Church, at more than 800 members.

Patrick Haizel, General Convention volunteer coordinator, said that all are welcomed to help out. "We are seeking interested people to offer their skills and talents to assist in the smooth operation of General Convention 2015," he said. "By volunteering, you become a part of General Convention, through observation and participation, while learning about the way the church operates from behind the scenes."

Shifts range from 2 to 6 hours in a variety of areas throughout convention where volunteers are needed.  "With this General Convention going virtual, we have new needs for people with computer and technical skills," Haizel added.

Volunteers should sign up here. For more info contact Patrick Haizel at phaizel@episcopalchurch.org.