Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall Camp at Shrine Mont

The Tri-Diocesan Council on Aging will offer its annual Fall Camp on October 27-30 at Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs, VA. This year's keynote speaker will be Terry Hershey, an inspirational speaker, humorist, author, organizational consultant. He divides his time between designing sanctuary gardens and sharing his practice of "pausing" and "sanctuary," to help us do less and live more. Terry's book, The Power of Pause, offers the permission to slow down and to be gentle with ourselves, in a world that demands More-Bigger-Faster. This year's chaplain is The Rt. Rev. Martin Townsend, retired Bishop of the Diocese of Easton, MD where he served for nine years. Returning again this year will be Ed Kilbourne, singer, story teller and folk theologian. Click here for more information and registration.  

National Acolyte Festival in DC Oct. 11

Acolytes from across the United States fill the Cathedral's nave for a morning service of rededication and Holy Eucharist. Participants attend workshops in the afternoon. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, presides. Participants will enjoy:
  • Meeting acolytes and worship leaders from across the nation
  • Combining processional crosses, banners, torches, thuribles, flags, and streamers for a festive procession of acolytes, clergy, and vergers
  • Liturgical dance group participation
  • Lunch together and a variety of workshops
Click here for details and registration. 

Prison ministry gets a new name

Chaplain Service Prison Ministry of Virginia is changing its name to GraceInside. "This is a much simpler name, even our own staff couldn't always get the old name right consistently," said the Rev. Randy Myers, president, "and is quite descriptive of what our God is doing in the prisons through our chaplains. This is a new beginning for us, and we are very excited, as you'll see from the crazy, celebratory picture." Soon to come will be a new website, new email addresses for central staff, as well as entry into social media. Learn more about the prison ministry of GraceInside here.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Eastern Shore Chapel, Virginia Beach, celebrates 1689 founding

By Donna Hudgins, Eastern Shore Chapel, Virginia Beach

Friday, September 12, 7pm, Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach will open its 325th anniversary celebration weekend with Under Five Prayer Books and Four Flags. The original music/dramatic readings performance recognizes the centuries and forces of history through which the church survived from Colonial times to the present: Revolution, Wars, Civil Rights, Women’s Ordination, and Societal Shifts. The program features well-known historic readings and music performed by choir, clergy, parishioners and guests. The performance will be held in the church, 2020 Laskin Road. Saturday, September 13, 11:30-3pm, the church will rejoice with families on the church lawn: featuring live music, BBQ, oysters from the Lynnhaven River, local rockfish, and games for the entire family.   Sunday, September 14, 10:15am, the church will conclude its celebration with a worship service of thanksgiving and prayers highlighting historic prayer books and American sacred music. All events are free and open to the public.

Said Rector Reverend Thomas Deppe, “ We have this singular opportunity to celebrate the vibrancy, dedication and community outreach ministries of generations of parishioners who kept this church alive through revolutions, separation from the Church of England, wars, social justice changes, and the destruction and moving of worship spaces. Through it all, they continued to worship and serve our community."

The church is interlaced in the story of Colonial Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach, tracing its founding to Adam Thoroughgood and the Anglican services he held on his land grant plantation. While the church is believed to date back to the 1660s, it is first mentioned in public records in 1689. The first Chapel was built as a "Chapell of Ease" on the eastern shore of the Lynnhaven River to more easily allow rural colonial parishioners to reach the chapel by water to attend services.

Three colonial structures and a fourth 20th century chapel built in the 1950s have served the churches growing congregations continuously with worship services for over three centuries. The design of the first chapel is lost in history; the second chapel (circa 1730-1754) and the third chapel (circa 1754-1952) were built on what was then the Salisbury Plains plantation of Joel Cornick and is now N.A.S. Oceana. In the 1950s with the expansion of the runways at Oceana, the 200- year old third chapel was dismantled and in 1954 a new chapel incorporating elements from the earlier chapels was built at its present Laskin Road location. The current location is less than a mile from the original 17th century Chapel of Ease.

Eastern Shore Chapel is often recognized in Virginia Beach for its expansive Food Pantry, its prison ministry, its Parish Day School and as the church of the 1,000 flags which are planted on the front lawn each Memorial Day to honor fallen military.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nominating committee issues call, profile for the 27th Presiding Bishop

The Episcopal Church Join Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) has issued the Call for Discernment and Profile for the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. The Call for Discernment and Profile is located here. The Spanish version is here.

Between now and September 30, any member of The Episcopal Church may submit a name of a bishop to JNCPB whom they believe should be considered for nomination through the email listed in the Call for Discernment and Profile. JNCPB will inform bishops whose names have been presented and advise them that if they wish to engage the discernment process, they must submit their materials as specified in the Call for Discernment and Profile between October 1 and October 31. The JNCPB will announce its nominees in early May 2015.

The election will take place during the 78th meeting of General Convention June 25-July 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City.  

Jackson-Feild receives grant from the Altria Companies Employee Community Foundation

The Jackson-Feild Home (JFH) received a grant from the Altria Companies Employee Community Foundation (ACECF) to provide supplies and materials for art, dance and music therapy programs for the residents of Jackson-Feild.

In years past, JFH residents participated in recreational activities offered off campus and in the community. Due to the very specialized needs of the children in its care, JFH has developed on-campus programs and activities in order to provide the children with every opportunity to express themselves in creative and positive ways.

ACECF was founded in 2000 so that its employees could have an active role in helping their local communities. ACECF is a workplace-giving program administered and managed by Altria employees. An employee committee selects the recipients from submitted proposals. Altria Group makes an annual contribution and pays the administrative costs. Since its inception, ACECF has made 1,452 grants totaling $40 million dollars.

Jackson-Feild has been the recipient of four prior ACECF grants beginning in 2002. The funds received from this year's ACECF grant are crucial in providing art, dance and music therapy opportunities for JFH residents.

Digital Media for Ministry boot camp at VTS

Are you looking to improve your knowledge and skills in online outreach and digital faith resources? If so, get ready for a day of inspirational success stories and hands-on training September 19 at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va. Boot camp will include: big-picture plenary sessions on faith and technology; workshops on church websites, church and personal social media, and online faith resources; and clinic time with experienced technology coaches. Click here for more details.

This event is intended for beginner and intermediate technology users with a passion for ministry. Please bring a laptop and/or tablet to participate fully and learn by doing in a supportive environment. Fee is $60 and includes all sessions, refreshments, and lunch. Register online at Please contact with any questions.  

Open Doors Latino Ministry Conference

Puertas Abiertas: Open Doors Latino Ministry Conference will be held Sept. 20-21 in Baltimore, Md. Puertas Abiertas (open doors) welcome our neighbors. This Latino/Hispanic Ministry Conference discusses the unique cultural and spiritual relationship in a mixed culture community. The Rev. Sarabeth Goodwin, Latino missioner for St. Stephen and the Incarnation, Washington, DC., which shares the building with an Anglo congregation, is the keynoter. Attend one or both days. Click here for more information and registration. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Diaconal Ordination Exploration Program now accepting applications

The Diaconal Ordination Exploration Program is accepting applications September 1 through December 31, 2014.  Applicants will interview with the Commission on Ministry for postulancy in the fall of 2015. Those granted postulancy will receive formation and training in The Deacons' School. The school is a joint effort of the Episcopal Dioceses of Southern Virginia and Virginia. We expect the instructional phase to begin in the Spring of 2016.  During the two year course, classes will meet one weekend per quarter with assignments in between. Visit The Deacons' School website for more information,

Save the date! Clergy Conference Nov. 11-12

Clergy Conference 2014 will be November 11-12 (Check-in begins at 9:30 am on Tuesday. Depart by 3:00 pm on Wednesday) with an optional quiet day on November 10.

Keynote speaker will be The Rev. Canon Matthew Stockard. Matthew Stockard has served as Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of East Carolina since 2000. He has worked extensively during this time in the area of ministry development and vocation with several Episcopal Church boards and agencies. He is a member of the vocational faculty for CREDO Conferences. A selection of Matthew's writings for CREDO can be found here.

Watch the eNews and website for more details. Online registration is coming soon, but mark your calendar now and plan to join us!

New online courses at ChurchNext

ChurchNext has new online courses available. Below are just two of them. Visit the ChurchNext website for more information about these and the many other courses offered. ChurchNext is a virtual center where you can learn from expert teachers in Scripture, liturgy, and important Christian topics. Students can interact in a safe, online environment that's convenient, engaging, and affordable. 

 Introducing Christian Stewardship with Kristine Miller - take this one together as a church council and/or stewardship team, this is an excellent course
Introducing Church Marketing with Jake Dell - most of us are averse to 'marketing' and faith, with good reason. Here's a conscientious and practical way forward.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Grant funds for churches over 100 years old

The Helen S. and Charles G Patterson, Jr. Charitable Trust Foundation was established to, among other things, to "Provide financial support for the restoration, preservation, conservation and renovations of one or more Episcopal Churches in Virginia that are more than one hundred years old." Grant applications are received between Jan. 1 and April 1 each year. More information and the grant application can be found on the diocesan website on the Scholarships and Grants page

Education for Ministry (EfM) groups forming

Education for Ministry (EfM) offers a progressive four year program of study and discussion which affords everyone an opportunity to learn more about scripture, Church history, and theology. Click here to learn more about EfM.  

These are some of the EfM groups in our diocese that are seeking new members: 
  • Emmanuel, Hampton - Two groups are forming and will begin meeting on Sep. 15. Both seminars meet on Mondays, one from 9:30am to noon and the other from 7 to 9:30pm. For information call Mentor Boyd Duncan, 757-850-1520 or the church office, 757-732-8144.
  • Hickory Neck, Toano - Classes begin Wednesday, September 17, at 7 p.m. An informational meeting will be held Wednesday, August 27, at 7 p.m. Contact EfM Mentor Pete Haines for more information, 757-869-3107 or
  •  St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach - Openings in Thursday evening EfM group. Call 757-340-6459 for more information.
  • Convocation 1 (Eastern Shore) - Contact the Rev. Berkley Ford for more information about EfM groups on the Eastern Shore, or 757-787-8335.
  • Grace, Yorktown - Please contact John Hoppe (757-229-5113), Janet Stephens (757-898-5079), or call the office at Grace Church (757-898-3261).
  • Johns Memorial, Farmville, is actively seeking EfM participants. For more information contact Cleo Shield, EfM mentor at Johns Memorial, or
If you are the mentor of an EfM group seeking new participants and would like to have your information included in the eNews, please contact Diocesan Communications Officer Ann Turner, 

State LARCUM Conference in Norfolk, Dec 5-6

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?
More detailed information including hotel reservation information will be forthcoming as the brochure is finalized. Mark your calendars and plan to join us!

Clergy Transitions

The Rev. Sarah Brockenbrough began as Associate Rector at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, 8/1/2014

The Rev. James Medley, Associate Rector at Eastern Shore Chapel, Virginia Beach, will begin as Rector Time Certain at Good Shepherd, Norfolk, 8/18/2014

The Rev. Bob New will retire as Rector of St. James', Cartersville, 10/1/2014   

TREC plans churchwide meeting on October 2

Live webcast; in-person attendance also encouraged

As directed in its enabling resolution C095 approved by the 77th General Convention in 2012, the Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church (TREC) will convene a churchwide meeting on October 2 at 7:30 pm Eastern time (6:30 pm Central/5:30 pm Mountain/4:30 pm Pacific/3:30 pm Alaska/1:30 pm Hawaii). The purpose of the meeting is "to receive responses to the proposed recommendations to be brought forward to the 78th General Convention."  

The meeting will be webcast live from  Washington National Cathedral. Although the meeting will be open to the entire church, TREC encourages attendance from each diocese: a bishop, a lay deputy, a clerical deputy, and one person under the age of 35. There is no fee to attend in-person or to watch the live webcast. However, registration for in-person attendance is requested; register here. Registration is not required but is encouraged for viewing the webcast.

The planned format will be short concise presentations followed by substantive question and comment periods. Questions, concerns and comments will be taken from the live audience in addition to email and twitter.  Questions can be emailed to or on Twitter @ReimagineTEC.

TREC plans to draw from the comments, concerns and questions raised during this event to influence and fine-tune proposals currently under consideration during its final meeting immediately following the churchwide gathering on October 3 and 4. TREC's final report to General Convention is due by November 30 for the 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in July 2015.

For more info, questions or comments, contact TREC members at