Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A word from Bishop Susan's Medical Advisory Team

As you know, Bishop Susan and Canon Roy Hoffman meet weekly with a team of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and an attorney to look at COVID case occurrences in the Diocese of Southern Virginia. The medical advisory team strongly recommends that parish leadership monitor metrics through the Virginia Department of Health paying special attention to percent positivity and 14-day trends. If percent positivity approaches 8% and case trends are increasing, parishes should consider ceasing in-person worship and return to virtual worship only. If percent positivity is 10% or above, in-person worship should not occur. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Diocesan Office.

New resources: Advent, Christmas and more

 Advent Resources:

Congregational Vitality Assessment
Thanks to a partnership between Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) and Faith X congregations can take advantage of a free assessment tool to measure vitality (health) and sustainability (people, tools, funds needed to survive). There are several ways that the tool can be administered to gather the data. Visit www.episcopalfoundation.org/cva to learn more.

Creation Care
What’s your carbon footprint? Thanks to the Diocese of California you have access to a web based tool to help you measure your carbon footprint and take steps to improve for a more sustainable life for all. Visit www.sustainislandhome.org/ to get started and take the “WeRenew” challenge.

New Additions to the Diocesan Library
Here are some new additions to the Diocesan Library. If you wish to borrow any of the titles contact Lynn Farlin at lfarlin@diosova.org
  • Dialogues On Race (DVD, Facilitator Guide and Participant Book) - Published by Sparkhouse the resource is structured to be completed in seven 1-hour segments.
  • Dialogues On The Refugee Crisis (DVD, Facilitator Guide and Participant Book) - Published by Sparkhouse the resource is structured to be completed in seven 1-hour segments.
  • Who Is My Neighbor: Refugees In America, (DVD) a 56 minute documentary that explores the refugee crisis and how it impacts churches, local communities, and the United States.
  • White Savior: Racism in the American Church, (DVD) a 62 minute documentary that “explores the historic relationship between racism and American Christianity”. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Join the conversation at "The Questions Project"

The Questions Project is a rich online resource for individual use and for formation leaders. The project explores "questions about faith, about being human, about relationships." This project comes from the Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Soltys (formerly at Grace Church, Yorktown), and includes a podcast - Live Creatively, Friends! - a blog, and video. Video includes prayers, readings and Taize chant as well as a series of Pandemic Shorts, two or three minute video reflections on what it means to be a person of faith in a time of pandemic.

Support Boys Home and have your gift matched!

Dear friends and supporters of Boys Home,

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope this coming week brings you an abundance of joy and good food. While we can't quite believe it, we're getting ready for the Christmas season already.
We have some good news! This year, Boys Home has received a $25,000 matching grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund for individual donations made online through December 31! The first $500 of every donation will be matched; supporters wishing to give more than $500 can choose to make multiple donations in order to make every dollar count. Please make a donation, and help us reach our goal of $25,000!
Despite a year of unpredictability, Boys Home has continued to be a safe, welcoming, and supportive place for our residents. Through everything, our residents inspire us every day by adapting with resilience and grace. Help us support them by contributing to this year's Christmas campaign here!
Thank you, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Boys Home of Virginia

Jackson-Feild: Spiritual development amidst a global pandemic

For 165 years, spiritual development has been a fundamental cornerstone at Jackson-Feild (JFBHS). Today, COVID-19 restrictions have necessitated imagination and ingenuity on the part of our Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Robin Moore, to fulfill the spiritual needs of the children.

Chapel services had to be modified to meet safety procedures by having five different services—one per cottage. The pandemic has created new opportunities such as “The Gathering Place”, a specially designed haven resembling a cozy den. With two fish tanks to foster an environment of mindfulness, residents can relax and gather in small groups to share what is on their minds.

Life Guidance sessions are provided for residents to meet individually with the Chaplain for spiritual advice and comfort.

Residents find reassurance through the Chaplain’s prayer wall. Numerous residents have traced their hand print knowing that when she sees it, she will pray for them.

Guided meditation sessions are provided to assist residents with fears, anxieties, or to celebrate happiness. Yoga sessions, when requested, follow the teaching philosophy and practice in the Hatha yoga tradition. Hatha yoga can offer a full-body practice with a strong emphasis on the full integration of body, mind, and spirit.

The Chaplain also coordinates the care of the JFBHS’s three companion dogs with the help of residents. These dogs provide unconditional love for the children who enjoy and appreciated their love and attention.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Seeds of Hope Grants awarded

The Diocese of Southern Virginia awarded $14,000 in Seeds of Hope Grants this year. The grants were approved by the Executive Board at it’s November 5 meeting. Grants were awarded to:

Good Night God
Canterbury Center at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, awarded a grant to purchase audio visual equipment to offer a service of Compline twice a week on YouTube.
Backpack Surprise
Johns Memorial, Farmville, awarded a grant to provide small gifts to include in backpacks with soups and healthy snacks that are given to children whose parents are picking up food at the local food pantry.
Bridging the Gaps
Mission of the Holy Spirit, Norfolk, awarded a grant to provide facilitators, transportation, supplies and snacks for this educational program for Mission families.
Seed & Feed Program
St. Paul’s, Lawrenceville, awarded a grant to provie provide funding for programming for widows, grandparents raising grandchildren, single parents, dialysis patients, technicians, nurses and first responders in the local community.
Youth Empowerment Project and Senior Pals
St. Thomas, Freeman, awarded two grants to provide virtual programming and workshops for youth as well as a Bible study and boxed lunches for senior citizens.

Province III hosts book discussion of How to Be an Antiracist, including conversation with author

Beginning on November 17, Province III is hosting 10 Zoom sessions on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. for a discussion of the book, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. The final session will be with the author, Dr. Kendi. Click here for more information, reading assignments and registration. Sponsored by the Province III Social Justice & Anti-Racism Committee.