Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Save the date! Young Adults Conference on Dec. 1

The Young Adults Conference will be held December 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at St. John's, Hampton. All young adults (20s and 30s) are invited to attend. Conference features a special Advent Eucharist and programs by: Bishop Hollerith; Jason Sierra, Young Adult Ministries Officer of the Episcopal Church; and the Young Adults Commission of Southern Virginia. Lunch provided with coffee and refreshments served all day. Optional happy hour and fellowship dinner to follow. More information and registration coming soon!

Certificates of Lay Delegates & Alternates due Aug. 31

The Certificate of Lay Delegates & Alternates for 2012-2013 is available on the Governance page of our website. Vestries should elect the delegates and alternates for their congregations who will serve from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Questions? Contact Leah Sicignano, or 757-213-3381. Please have your certificates in to the Diocesan office by August 31, 2012.

Chanco on the James is seeking Executive Director

Chanco on the James is seeking an experienced, dynamic individual to fill the position of Executive Director. This position oversees the day to day operations of the entire facility including summer camp and year round conference center business. This position will manage both full and part time staff and will report to the Board of Directors and the Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. This position will offer a competitive salary based on experience, full benefits package, and a tranquil daily work environment. A bachelor's degree in a related field combined with a minimum of 3-5 years experience in senior leadership position(s) in camping, conference center or resort environment and managing staff, preferably in a camp environment are required. The successful applicant must be able to work on-site fulltime during summer months including flexible hours, nights and weekends during shoulder season. For a complete position description and application form, go to the Employment Opportunities page of our web site.

Godly Play: Stories that engage the senses

The Diocese of Southern Virginia is pleased to present a Godly Play training, "Stories that Engage the Senses" with nationally accredited trainer Kathleen Capcarra on Saturday, August 11, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at St. Martin's, Williamsburg. Cost to attend is $25 per person. All registration fees should be pre-paid by credit card through PayPal, or a check mailed to the diocese. Registration will close on Monday, July 23. Click here for more information and registration.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Wineskins project bears fruit for Executive Board

The Executive Board of the Diocese has been working with the results of the New Wineskins project begun in 2011. This project invited Southern Virginia to take a look at our mission, to listen and talk about who we are and what we are called to do and to be. An important step in this process was listening to the members of our parishes. Many of you took part in one of six regional meetings with Bishop Hollerith. The data gathered from those meetings has led our Executive Board to form three Focus Teams: Stewardship, Leadership Development and New Communities.

The Stewardship Focus Team of the Executive Board is committed to helping broaden our understanding of stewardship for ourselves, our parishes as well as the entire diocese. We hope to meet parishes where they are and help them to move toward a greater understanding of the theology of stewardship and how our resources are being used to change the community and the world. A number of ideas emerged from our first conversation but a common theme was the need for better formation and education about stewardship as well as more direction for clergy and other leadership. Leadership needs to walk the walk and they need to be equipped for the walk. We have amazing stewardship stories in our diocese that are rarely shared and we recognize that the power of story needs to be harnessed and shared. A narrative diocesan budget would be an excellent beginning. We hope that we will move toward running diocesan stewardship in much the same way we run parish campaigns and we as a team are committed to reflecting that behavior as a model. Two specific initiatives that were suggested will continue to be discussed in the fall.      

Leadership Development:
The Leadership Development Focus Team will center its efforts on three key areas: on the ground listening, evaluative work, and allocation of resources. At our first meeting, we identified a number ways Leadership Development is already being accomplished in our diocese, such as Fresh Start, Bishop's Days, Vestry Training days, CE-Net, EYC Board, and Youth Leader Trainings, to name a few. Then we brainstormed possible approaches and areas of focus for Leadership Development going forward, evaluating current initiatives with respect to both mission and budget priorities of the diocese. We discussed evaluating young vocations initiatives, allocating appropriate resources and exploring models for new clergy mentoring, and strategies to develop new recruitment and training for leaders at the parish level, including expanded vestry training and best practices for committee management. We intend to identify two to three primary areas of work for the next year.

New Communities: 
The New Communities Focus Team of the Executive Board will be working with the Mission Network and the Church Plant Committee to strategize, support, and communicate the work of New Community efforts in our diocese. What do we mean by New Communities? Primarily it means new gatherings, ministries, or congregations that reach new people with the Gospel. It includes new church plants, multi-cultural ministries, emergent ministries, mission communities supported by one or more congregation that reach a particular group are area(new ministries like Mission of the Holy Spirit), rebirthing/redeveloping existing congregations, and churches collaborating or partnering in new ways. The New Communities Focus Team desires first to learn what "New Community" initiatives are currently taking place within our congregations. This fall, the Focus Team will hone in on specific goals for the upcoming year.

Safe Church training in Farmville & Powhatan

Two opportunities to participate in Safe Church classroom training are coming:
 August 4 - Johns Memorial, Farmville. Click here to register.
September 15 - St. Luke's, Powhatan. Click here to register.

These newly updated sessions are recommended for all Vestry members and church employees. Any parishioners, volunteers, clergy and staff who work with children are requested to complete the Child module. The first session will be from 9:30-12:00 and will be the Adult Module. The second session from 12:30-3:00 will cover the Children curriculum. Lunch will be served only to those attending both sessions. 

Presiding Bishop helps Old Donation celebrate 375 years

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishop Hollerith took part in a weekend-long celebration of 375 years of worship at Old Donation, Virginia Beach. Founded in 1637, Old Donation is the first church to exist in Virginia Beach. On Saturday, the parish staged re-enactments of historic moments from its past. A choir concert featured a performance of Vivaldi's "Gloria", and held a banquet honoring Old Donation's former rector, the Rev. Beverly Tucker. On Sunday, the Presiding Bishop preached at all three services. Old Donation has an online photo album of the event that you can enjoy here. (L to R: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori; the Rev. Bob Randall, rector of Old Donation; Bishop Hollerith. Photo by Joyce Barry.)

Saint Paul's College denied accreditation

Saint Paul's College has been denied accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Saint Paul's College has been in a probationary period with the association for two years, making efforts to address issues regarding debt and curriculum. The association has deemed those issues unresolved and has removed their accreditation. This decision makes the future of Saint Paul's College extremely uncertain, and may possibly mean closing the college. The college will file an appeal. Meanwhile, Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh, NC, has agreed to assist with student placements for the fall term.

For 124 years, Saint Paul's College has blessed its students with opportunities for education, community and achievement. We give thanks to God for their ministry. Please keep the administration, faculty and students in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Asset-Based Community Development training

Grow your church by building into your community. Learn how to discover what people in your community care about and are willing to work toward to change or build. Learn how to discover the gifts in your community and deploy them for action. Learn how to develop networks of community partners to make positive change.

Our diocese received a grant from the Episcopal Church Center to sponsor an ABCD Community Development/Community Organizing training event. This two-day event will be hosted at St. Paul's, Petersburg, Friday and Saturday, Sept 21-22. This training is best for teams from congregations, and even better when teams include people from potential partnering organizations. Learn more about ABCD here. Look for more information to follow soon.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Episcopal Church sponsors Eco-Justice leadership and advocacy training for young adults

Applications are being accepted for an innovative leadership and advocacy training initiative, the Eco-Justice Immersion Experience, a part of the Episcopal Leadership Institute for Young Adults, slated for August 25 - August 30 in Seattle, WA. Sponsored by the Episcopal Church Offices of Economic and Environmental Affairs and Young Adult and Campus Ministries, this event will consist of focused formation, leadership and advocacy training around themes of sustainable economy, food justice, eco-theology, and spiritual and physical ties to the life that surrounds us. Participants will have the opportunity to interface with leaders from both the faith and non-profit worlds, to hike in some of this nation's most beautiful country, and to put their hands and heads to work advocating for eco-justice.
Designed for those between the ages of 18 and 30 from across the Episcopal Church, the group will discuss a myriad of important current issues, such as:
  • Spiritual, theological and scriptural resources for ecological ministry; sustainable economics; current economic and environmental justice ministry in The Episcopal Church; "greening" congregations; Episcopal Church polity and structures; food justice; reflection on our common call to serve all creation and what that means for our lives today
  • Time with the leadership of Earth Ministry, one of the country's leading regionally-based nonprofits connecting faith with care for all creation
  • Tours of Eco-Justice work sites and organizations such as the Clean Greens Farm, Port of Seattle and Duwamish River cleanup site
  • A one-day hike in the Cascade Mountains, with time for conversation, meditation and prayer, reflection and silence
Application information is available here: Application deadline is June 20. For more information contact:
Jason Sierra, Office for Young Adult and Campus Ministries,
Mike Schut, Office for Economic and Environmental Affairs,

Safe Church training in Farmville

Johns Memorial, Farmville, in conjunction with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia is pleased to offer classroom training for Creating Safe Churches for Congregations and Children. These newly updated sessions are recommended for all Vestry members and church employees. Any parishioners, volunteers, clergy and staff who work with children are requested to complete the Child module. The first session will be from 9:30-12:00 and will be the Adult Module. The second session from 12:30-3:00 will cover the Children curriculum. Lunch will be served only to those attending both sessions. Click here for more information and registration.

Chanco is now on Facebook!

The time has finally arrived...Chanco proudly unveils its presence on Facebook.  It is now easier than ever before to stay up to date on Chanco's latest news, happenings and photos by "liking" our page on Facebook.  This will be the place where camp happenings and frequent photos will be posted, so parents of campers and friends of Chanco, "like" our Chanco on the James Facebook page to see all the fun!  We will share interesting and helpful articles about sleep-away camps, updates on our Annual Fund, progress with our building restoration projects, information on alumni reunions and work weekends, fun family retreats and much, much more. Don't wait to find out the latest news with Chanco, "like" us on Facebook TODAY by going to  and always be "in the know" about what is happening at Chanco NOW.  

ECW Louisa Taylor Letcher Observance is July 1

The annual observance will be held on Sunday, July 1. ECW members are invited to worship in any of the Norfolk area churches. At 12:30 P.M. they will assemble at the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Norfolk (East Princess Anne Road, just off Monticello Avenue) for the memorial service. At 1:15 P.M. they will have lunch at Freemason Abbey in Norfolk (Freemason and Boush Streets). Please contact Barbara Grice, Anglican Fellowship of Prayer Representative for details, 757-625-7057.

Registration open for 2012-2013 LPM classes

It's time for you or any church-music lover you know to register for the Leadership Program for Musicians' (LPM) 2012-2013 classes! Take all four or just one-at-a-time. Classes are perfect for church musicians and choir members; worship, music and liturgy committees; clergy; and members of congregations.

This year's offerings include: Leadership of Congregational Song; Hymnody of the Christian Church; Resources for Effective Music Ministry; and Philosophy of Church Music. Classes are September 14-15, October 12-13, November 9-10, January 11-12 and February 8-9. Classes meet Friday evenings 7 to 9:15 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter in Richmond. The LPM Spring Workshop (March 9, 2012) is free to registered students. Click here for more information.

New book on James Solomon Russell to be published

Worth E. Norman, Jr. has authored a biography of the Rev. James Solomon Russell that will be published next month. The book, entitled "James Solomon Russell: Former Slave, Pioneering Educator and Episcopal Evangelist," includes Russell's early church career prior to joining the original and undivided Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Worth is a native of Norfolk, an Old Dominion University graduate, and former member of Trinity, Portsmouth and Ascension, Norfolk. He has published work on Russell in The Historiographer, The Living Church and the Brunswick Times-Gazette (Virginia). He lives in Birmingham, Alabama. Click here for more information.

Five new deacons ordained

On Saturday, June 9, at St. Andrew's, Newport News, Bishop Hollerith ordained five new deacons: the Rev. Wendy Wilkinson; the Rev. Dana VanVliet-Pullin; the Rev. Roger Hungerford; the Rev. Eve Butler-Gee; and the Rev. Terry Davis Edwards.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Two new resources for church communicators

On Saturday, June 2, 27 church communicators gathered at St. Stephen's, Newport News, to share ideas, network and learn how to better participate in the diocesan communications network. The new diocesan Church Communicators Manual was also distributed. You can download a copy of the manual, and other handouts from the meeting, from the Communications Resources page of our website. Another new communications resource is the Diosova Communicators online group. This email list serve enables communicators across the Diocese to ask questions, share resources and support each other in their ministry. If you would like to join the group, please email Ann Turner,

UBE Bishop's Ball re-scheduled for September 29

The Union of Black Episcopalians invites you to join them at the Bishop's Ball on Saturday, September 29, 6:30 p.m., at Marriott Waterside Hotel, Norfolk. Dinner and dancing, proceeds benefit St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville. Tickets $60 per person. Contact David Flores for tickets, 757-466-1991 or