Wednesday, April 30, 2014

e-Formation conference at VTS has lots to offer Christian educators and church communicators

Join other faith formation ministers, communication ministers, and clergy at this conference offered by Virginia Theological Seminary on faith formation for a connected digital world. Program includes workshops, intensive courses, break-out groups, and public presentations on everything from Google tools to digital curriculum resources. Speakers include G-dcast's Sarah Lefton, author Bruce Reyes-Chow, church social media expert Meredith Gould, and many, many more. Cost is $348 including meals. On and off-campus housing available. Single-day passes and student discounts also available. On-campus housing deadline: May 15. Hotel discount expires: May 5. Go to for complete information and registration. 

Province III Synod to be held May 19

Province III Synod will be held at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg, West Virginia on May 19.  Hospitality is scheduled for participants staying overnight on May 18.  Hotels accommodations are the responsibility of each individual. The morning program will focus on the work of Task Force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church (TREC). The Reverend Bradley Hauff (TREC member from Province III) and Mr. T. Dennis Sullivan (TREC member) will update us on the Task Force's progress and are most interested in receiving input from our Province. At the afternoon business meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee will report on the diocesan allocations (assessments) with proposals to consider a change of the way the allocation is calculated as well as proposals for changes to budget preparations and reporting. For more information contact the Rev. Barbara J. Seras, Province III Coordinator, or 717-385-2667. Go to for more information and registration.

ECW News: Deadline for scholarship application is near!

Communicants of Southern Virginia with a 3.0 GPA who will be enrolled full-time in the coming year are eligible for ECW scholarships! Download a simple, one-page application form with all the needed steps to take at the diocesan website. Although the original deadline date given was April 30, special circumstances have allowed a modest extension: the application package can be sent so it is received by Monday, May 5. Contact Susan Broaddus, 757-623-0205 or, if you have any questions.

ECW Annual Spring Meeting: How to transform your ECW - the Redeemer success story
Two years ago, the ECW at Redeemer, Midlothian, like many ECWs in the Diocese of Southern Virginia, struggled to survive. Then, they decided to transform their ECW program. Today, meetings are well-attended. Volunteers gladly help with outreach and service projects and enjoy enriching fellowship. What inspired the women of Redeemer, and how did they accomplish this transformation? Come to the ECW Spring Annual Meeting at Good Shepherd, McKenney, VA, May 17 to hear first-hand how they did it. Redeemer ECW board members who drove the ECW transformation will share their success story. To RSVP, contact Louise Boss, 757-678-5331 or,
by May 5.     

Witness the roots of the conflict in the DR Congo at St. Paul's, Norfolk, on May 31
Women-to-Women will present a full-length docudrama facilitated by long-term medical missionaries to Congo, Doctors Richard and Judith Brown. The film, White King, Red Rubber, Black Death, shows the roots of the modern-day brutality in Congo as it examines the controversial history of King Leopold II's treatment of the Congolese. Thanks to missionaries of the era, the world learned of the goings-on and stood up to Leopold.Save Saturday, May 31 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. for this free event with refreshments and discussion. Donations to Women-to-Women for the women's work of the Anglican Church in Bukavu Diocese will be most gratefully received.For more information contact Susan Broaddus at or Mac McKinney at    

Cursillo #153 and #154

The Men's Cursillo Weekend #153 held April 24-27 was a gorgeous weekend filled with sunshine, faith and friendship as 13 candidates and their team worshiped and shared fellowship together.  In the words of one #153 candidate, Kevin Bates of Emmanuel, Virginia Beach, "Glory to God! I have just come home from the MOST AMAZING three and a half days of being with a phenomenal group of men, gathered for a Cursillo retreat! I learned a lot about myself, the Church, and Christ. For those who know Cursillo, and especially those of you who were praying for us, thank you, and bless you! There are not enough words in my vast vocabulary to express the impact of this past weekend upon my life! I am truly blessed!" The Women's Cursillo retreat #154 is this coming weekend May 1-4. Please keep the 17 candidates and team of this weekend in your prayers. For more information on Cursillo, please visit the website at

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

VIPCare forum: Compassionate Care for First Responders Impacted by Tragedy and Trauma

Thursday, May 1, 9 a.m. to noon
Location: Trinity United Methodist Church, 903 Forest Avenue, Richmond
Admission is free (for continuing education credits a $35 processing fee is charged)

The Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care (VIPCare) invites members of the clergy, religious leaders of all faith traditions, and the general public to a forum on "Ministry in the Midst of a Crisis."
While members of faith traditions are not first responders in the traditional sense of police, emergency medical technicians and firefighters, they are called once the immediate physical danger has passed to assist both the responders and the victims process the trauma. This forum offers a panel discussion with VIPCare clinical staff and police department chaplains, who have significant professional experience responding to major traumatic events. The panelists are also published authors in the field of post-traumatic stress and recovery.
Panelists will be: Dr. Donald  D. Denton, VIPCare staff, "Welcoming the Warrior Home"; Sergeant Steven Chumley, Chaplain, Virginia State Police; The Rev. Lloyd Jackson, Chaplain, Henrico Police Department. Participants are invited to bring examples of their own experiences with crisis and trauma intervention to the meeting to discuss with members of the panel.

To register please call VIPCare at 804-282-8332 or email, with "Forum on Trauma and Support" in the subject line. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Presiding Bishop's Easter message 2014

The tomb is empty, and nobody knows where the body is.  Mary Magdalene tells the others about the mysterious disappearance, but they give up and go home.  Mary stays behind, weeping, and then fails to recognize the risen one before her.  As the days pass, each resurrected encounter begins in surprise or anonymity - the disciples fishing all night without catching, Jesus cooking breakfast on the beach, the two on their way to Emmaus.  Nobody recognizes him at first sight.

Clearly the risen body is not identical to the Jesus who was crucified.  People mistake him for a stranger.  He enters locked rooms.  He walks along the path to Emmaus for a long time without being recognized.  Crucifixion, death, and resurrection result in a transformed body - with evident scars, but changed nonetheless.  When he reminds others of God's banquet, meant for the whole world - when human beings are fed and watered, delivered from prison, gathered from exile across the earth, and healed and reconciled into a community of peace - his companions discover that he has once again been in their midst.

What does that resurrection reality mean for the Body of Christ of which we are part?  How does the risen Body of Christ - what we often call the church - differ from the crucified one?  That Body seems to be most lively when it lives closer to the reality of Good Friday and the Easter mystery.  In the West, that Body has suffered a lot of dying in recent decades.  It is diminished, some would say battered, increasingly punctured by apathy and taunted by cultured despisers.  That body bears little resemblance to royal images of recent memory - though, like Jesus, it is being mocked.  The body remembers and grieves, like the body of Israel crying in the desert, "why did you bring us out here to die?" or the crucified body who cries, "My God, why have you forsaken me," or "why have you abandoned us?"  In other contexts the Body of Christ is quite literally dying and spilling its lifeblood - in Pakistan and Sudan, in Iraq and Egypt - and in those ancient words of Tertullian, the blood of martyrs is becoming the seed of the church.   

The Body of Christ is rising today where it is growing less self-centered and inwardly focused, and living with its heart turned toward the cosmic and eternal, its attention focused intently on loving God and neighbor.  This Body is rising to stand in solidarity with criminals sentenced to death, with widows and orphans, with the people of the land who slave over furrows and lettuce fields to feed the world.  This Body can be found passing through walls and boundaries that have long been misused to keep the righteous "safe" and "pure."  The Body is recognized when the hungry are fed - on the lakeshore with broiled fish, on the road to Emmaus, on street corners and city parks, in food pantries and open kitchens, in feeding neighbor nations and former enemies, and as the Body gathers once again to remember its identity and origin - Christ is risen for the sake of all creation.
Where and how will we look for the Body of Christ, risen and rising?  Will we share the life of that body as an Easter people, transformed by resurrection and sent to transform the world in turn? 

Christ is risen, Alleluia!  Alleluia, Christ is risen indeed!

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church

Jackson-Feild Homes re-dedicates its chapel

JFH resident presented Bishop Hollerith with a Book of Inspiration which contained faith-based poems and short stories written by residents.
On April 2, Bishop Hollerith assisted JFH's chaplain, The Rev. Dr. Robin Jones, in a service of re-dedication of the All Saints Chapel. The ceremony included the consecration of the Baptismal Font, Pulpit, and Altar. Music was provided by the recently reestablished JFH choir under the leadership of The Rev. David Ausby.

The service was attended by residents, staff, board members, and donors. Also attending were the three siblings of Helen Marie Boudiette. They traveled from Oklahoma, Ohio, and Florida. As a teen, Helen Boudiette enjoyed volunteering at Jackson-Feild. In 1978, Helen was tragically killed in an automobile accident. The Boudiette family donated funds to Jackson-Feild and asked that the chapel be built in memory of Helen.

Also present was Peggy Riethmiller, the daughter of Dr. William G. Christian. Dr. Christian was a member of Jackson-Feild's Board of Trustees and headed the capital campaign to raise funds to build the chapel. Mrs. Riethmiller's husband, Steve, presently serves on the Home's Board of Trustees.

After the service everyone gathered in Gage Dining Hall for a special luncheon prepared by the JFH food service staff. A resident presented Bishop Hollerith with a Book of Inspiration which contained faith-based poems and short stories written by residents that focused on love and forgiveness. The dedication ceremony will be long remembered and cherished by those who attended.

Annual celebration held in memory of the Ven. Dr. James Solomon Russell

By Dr. Angela Parker, St. Paul's Memorial, Lawrenceville   

The James Solomon Russell Celebration Committee met on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at Brian's Steak House, South Hill, Virginia for an afternoon of prayer, celebration, and reflection. This date, the fourth Sunday in March, marks the annual tradition of having a memorial service on the Sunday closest to proposed feast day for Dr. Russell (March 28). Dr. Angela Parker served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the occasion and adorned the room with flowers and prepared the altar. The afternoon's activities began with a welcome by the chairperson, Mrs. Annie Walker, followed by the committee's adopted "Liturgy for the Proclamation of the Word of God and the Celebration of the Holy Communion." The Rev. Dr. Terrence Walker served as celebrant and also gave an inspirational sermon that charged each member to continue our efforts to recognize Archdeacon Russell for his many accomplishments and moreover, to prayerfully consider how we can carry forth his ministry in the 21st century. The beautiful chalice set that was created by national acclaimed wood turner Mr. Charles Farrar, and given to the Committee for this annual observance, was used. Other participants on the program included, Mr. James Grimstead and Dr. Barbara Coles as lectors, Mrs. Nannie Brown as psalmist and chalice bearer and Dr. Angela Parker as intercessor using the traditional Great Litany. Mrs. Pearl Parker, the Committee's historian, detailed the history and purpose of the Committee's memorial program.

After the conclusion of the memorial service a delicious meal was enjoyed by all, after which, the committee members participated in a reflection session including brainstorming regarding what the Committee's future work might entail. A special tribute was also given for the Rev. Dr. Joseph Green, Jr., the Committee's senior advisor, who could not be present. The program ended on a high note as the chairperson reported that the Committee's efforts to advance the research on Dr. Russell as an internationally important historical figure had been recognized in Washington and that a letter from the President of the United States was forthcoming.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Integrity making changes and planning for the future

Integrity's next meeting will be on Sunday, April 27, 2:00 p.m. at Eastern Shore Chapel, Virginia Beach (2020 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach). We will be talking about re-structuring our meetings and events and making exciting new plans for the future. The meeting will include our annual Board elections. Get more information on our website. All are welcome and invited to join us and to learn how YOU can get involved in the important work of LGBT advocacy in the Episcopal Church. Mark your calendar. We hope to see you there!

Church Media Conference: Social Media and Mobile Marketing

The media can communicate the very clear message of our loving God in ways that Paul never dreamed. The Tidewater Church Media Conference will explore the tools we now have at our fingertips to help us share the gospel. The conference will be held Saturday, May 3, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Norfolk. This year's theme is Social Media and Mobile Marketing. Cost is $20 and includes lunch. An optional field trip follows the conference. 

Workshops in: Administrator Forum, Bridging the Tech Gap, Church Advertising and Marketing, Email Marketing & Best Practices: eTapestry, Constant Contact, and MailChimp, Going Tech in Worship, Google Docs and Dropbox, Helpful Resources for Pastors, The Importance of Social Media in Church Ministry, New Worship Music Ideas, and Website Considerations

Get more information and register at 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Executive Board to host conversations about stewardship

The Stewardship Focus Group of the diocesan Executive Board is hosting an informal gathering of parish wardens and stewardship/finance chairs to share successes and challenges with our parish giving programs. We believe it will be beneficial to share the work in our various parishes.  Anyone interesting in parish stewardship is encouraged to attend. The Stewardship Focus Group of the Executive Board is charged with assisting and supporting parishes in their stewardship endeavors.  
We will gather on Saturday, April 12 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Ascension, Norfolk. Please contact Bob Motley at if you are able to join us or if you have questions.  

There will be another opportunity to join the conversation when we gather for lunch on Wednesday, April 30 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Old Donation, Virginia Beach. Please contact Mike McGraw, if you are able to join us in Virginia Beach or if you have questions.
Plans are under way for additional gatherings in other Convocations, including the Richmond area. Watch the eNews for dates and locations. 

Time for United Thank Offering Spring ingathering

By Joyce E. Douglas, Diocesan UTO Coordinator

First, I would like to thank each of you who contributed to the United Thank Offering during the 2013 ingatherings (click here to see reports). If you did not participate in the ingatherings last year, it is my hope that you will join the other congregations throughout our diocese in supporting this program with prayers and offerings.

The United Thank Offering is a program encouraging men, women, and children to share their thankfulness to God through daily prayer and offerings, in the Blue Box, and to pass those blessings to others. The power of the Blue Box is unlimited. Your prayers and offerings have built churches and schools, made needed renovations, fed the hungry, clothed the poor, provided shelter for the homeless and provided care and support for those with physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

The times that have been set aside for the ingatherings are the Sunday closest to the Day of Ascension, in the spring, and the Sunday closest to All Saints' Day, in the fall. The months are usually April and October. However, if this does not meet your church's schedule, you may dedicate another month in which to hold your ingatherings. After your ingathering, please have your church treasurer write a check to United Thank Offering. The check(s) may be mailed to: Joyce E. Douglas, 4608 Coronet Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23455. (phone 757-496-0192) When your checks are received, they will be mailed to the United Thank Offering.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I am here to help you. If you need UTO supplies, they may be ordered from the website of the National Church:

News from Saint Paul's College

The Saint Paul's College campus in Lawrenceville is for sale in hopes it can continue to educate young black men and women in Southern Virginia. President Millard Stith, Jr. says that the college's goal is to find another college or university that will take over Saint Paul's as an educational institution.

In order to present the school in the best possible light for potential partners, funding is needed to keep the property and its 35 buildings maintained until July 1, 2014. The campus includes dormitories, a president's house and other residences, administration buildings, a Victorian house that served as an arts center, and a student center. Some of the brick buildings were constructed by students.

Saint Paul's alumni have responded to this call for help, and the Department of Education is also providing some funding for this purpose. If you would like to contribute to the Saint Paul's College transition, gifts may be sent to: Saint Paul's College 115 College Drive, Lawrenceville, Virginia 23868.

Scholarship applications now accepted for Episcopal Church grants

Applications are now being accepted for the 2014-2015 awarding of educational scholarships from The Episcopal Church, according to Samuel A. McDonald, Director of Mission/Deputy Chief Operating Officer and convener of the Scholarship Committee.

"As a result of bequests, The Episcopal Church makes available a modest number of scholarships that assist students primarily enrolled in theological education and training," explained Margareth Crosnier de Bellaistre, Episcopal Church Director of Investment Management and Banking  "Funding for the program is derived from annual income of designated trust funds established by generous donors."

Scholarships are available for ethnic communities, children of missionaries, bishops and clergy, and other particular wide-ranging eligibility for education and training. The amounts of the scholarships vary according to the availability of payouts from the funds. The maximum is $5000.

Click here for more  information and a list of scholarships available. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read each trust and identify in the application those trust funds that best fit their own profile. Requirements for applying for the scholarships include: the applicant must be an Episcopalian, must be a member of The Episcopal Church, and must have the endorsement of his/her bishop.

Click here for application form. Deadline for applications is April 30. Only complete applications will be considered. For information contact Terry Foster,

Clergy invited to learn more about Westminster Canterbury Hospice Church Partnership program

Westminster Canterbury invites clergy to join them for lunch and to learn more about the Hospice Church Partnership programs and services that are available through Westminster-Canterbury at Home, LLC. The event will be held May 1 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Planned speakers include Dan Nimon, President of Westminster-Canterbury at Home, LLC; Sally Huston, Senior Director of Clinical Services for Westminster-Canterbury at Home, LLC; and Greg Dalle-Tezze, Clinical Chaplain and Pastoral Counselor. Please confirm your numbers of attendees by telephone at 757-217-2273 or by sending an e-mail to before April 25.

Welcome Kevan Brown, 2014 Camp Director

Kevan comes to us from Kentucky where he teaches Performing and Media Arts and directs several musicals and plays each year in his school and community. He has been involved in the camping industry for nearly 20 years and has worked at camps in California, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut as a Camp Director. Kevan shares, "My one simple philosophy in camping, teaching and life in general is...If it is not fun doing it, it is not worth doing." Please join us in welcoming Kevan to our Chanco family!