Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Latino Ministries enters a new era

Signaling a clear commitment to the growth of Latino ministries in our diocese, the Executive Board recently approved calling Angelica Garcia-Randle to a part-time, contracted position as Latino Ministries Coordinator for the Eastern Shore. The move represents a critical step toward strengthening Latino ministries throughout Southern Virginia by capitalizing on efforts already underway on the Eastern Shore. The Mission Network and Congregational Vitality ministries, under the direction of Bishop Hollerith, are seeking to develop ministry with the growing Latino population in Southern Virginia.

Ms. Garcia-Randle is a native of Los Angeles, CA and the daughter of immigrants to the United States. Her mother emigrated from El Salvador and her father comes from a small village in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Angelica, who is fluent in written and spoken Spanish, moved to Virginia from Southern California in 2011 when her husband, The Rev. Cameron Randle, was called as rector of St. James, Accomac and St. George’s, Pungoteague. Together, the Garcia-Randles have pioneered Latino and Food Justice ministries in Southern Virginia.

Angelica is Director of Dos Santos Food Pantry, a ministry of the churches of St. George’s Parish. Dos Santos (two saints) is a partner agency of the Foodbank of Southeast Virginia and the Eastern Shore and the only Spanish-speaking pantry in the region. The outreach serves a sizable migrant farmworker and Latino immigrant community by providing staple foods such as corn flour for tortillas, rice, beans, poultry and fresh
vegetables, along with clothing and personal hygiene items.

In the past year, Dos Santos has expanded to include an organic community garden to help supply the pantry and a vibrant new tutoring program for children of Latino immigrant parents in two key Accomack County public elementary schools. A mobile version of the pantry also distributes food and other necessities in trailer parks and migrant camps.

A marketing professional with photography and graphic design experience, Angelica has studied at the Paeir College of Art in Hamden, CT and The Rhode Island School of Design. She is presently working toward a degree in Applied Design with a concentration in Photography at The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, MD. She is a liaison to the Migrant Services Council of the Eastern Shore and has served on the board of Boys & Girls Club (Eastern Shore Unit), United Way and Una Familia, a tutoring program of the United Methodist Church in partnership with Dos Santos tutoring.

“I am honored to be able to help people in need and to contribute to cultural awareness on a broader level,” she explains.

In her new diocesan role, Angelica will make available resources and information for parishes and parish leaders drawn to establishing or cultivating Latino ministries. This includes cultural education and information exchange across the diocese through workshops, site visits, etc. A seven-member Advisory Board for Episcopal Latino Ministries was recently formed to provide oversight and create benchmarks and goals for the venture.

“Latino ministry has been part of Bishop Hollerith’s vision since the beginning of his episcopate, and the Eastern Shore, with the largest percentage of Latino population is the logical place to begin our concentrated efforts,” said the Rev. Canon Jeunee Godsey, Diocese of Southern Virginia’s Canon for Congregational Development.  “Angelica’s work incorporates what we learned through the Hispanic Ministry Conference last spring, and I believe we will see much spiritual fruit from this investment of our Mission and Ministry grant funds to support this venture. Our diocese is blessed to have Angelica offer her skills, gifts, and experience not only to grow the Latino ministry on the Eastern Shore, but also to serve as a resource to explore and expand Latino ministries throughout the diocese.”

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pre-Council Convocation Meetings

Location, date and time of each Pre-Council Convocation meeting will be posted on the Annual Council page of our website as they are received.

Convocation 1 - Sunday, January 17, 5 pm at St. James', Accomac
Convocation 2 - TBA
Convocation 3 - Sunday, January 31, 2 pm at St. Andrew's, Norfolk
Convocation 4 - Wednesday, January 27, 7 pm at St. Paul's, Suffolk
Convocation 5 - Wednesday, January 20, 7 pm at Bruton, Williamsburg
Convocation 6 - TBA
Convocation 7 - Wednesday, January 20, 7 pm at St. David's, North Chesterfield
Convocation 8 - TBA
Convocation 9 - TBA

Registration open for Happening #64

Happening is an experiential weekend retreat developed by teens for teens. Come and see what it's like to be transformed by God's love!

Happening #64 will be March 11-13 at Chanco on the James. It is open to all youth in grades 10-12 and adults who have never attended a Happening program. Cost to attend is $165. Please register no later than Friday, Feb. 26 so we can prepare for you.

Click here for more information and registration.

Save a date: 2016 Vestry Training Days

Healthy, skilled vestries who understand their role in the life of the church and their relationship to the clergy and congregation are essential in creating and maintaining vital congregations.  
These workshops are designed for all vestry members, and will include: Presentations on the role and duties of the vestry; Best practices; Opportunities to have conversations with other vestry members; Discussion of common challenges that vestries face.
In 2016, we will be hosting three events:
  • February 13 at St. John's, Halifax - Anyone is welcome, but this will be focused on the churches of Convocations 8 & 9, as their context is somewhat different from parishes in other parts of our diocese.
  • February 20 at Good Shepherd, Norfolk
  • February 27 at St. David's, Chesterfield - At this session there will be a concurrent workshop for new senior wardens with the Bishop.
Further details and registration will follow in January, but please save one of these dates to join us, along with your fellow vestry members. Spread the word!

Radical Sending: Go to Love and Serve

As congregations explore their emerging visions, they need support in "equipping the saints" for their day-to-day lives and ministries beyond the doors of the building. The Dismissal - "go in peace, to love and serve the Lord" - becomes as important as the Eucharist in feeding the people for the journey. But churches often fail to focus on this baptismal calling to "go" into the worlds of work, family, and community. This book fills that void, focusing on how the baptized become "go-ers," providing practical and tested ways of fulfilling that calling.
* Core resource for discernment in living out baptismal promises
* Empowers the laity for their ministries beyond the church doors
* Study questions for small group discussion or individual reflection concludes each chapter.
Radical Sending: Go to Love and Serve builds on and complements the work of Stephanie Spellers' Radical Welcome, which called congregations to move beyond diversity and inclusion to be places where the transforming gifts, voices, and power of marginalized cultures and groups bring new life to the mainline church. Each chapter is followed by discussion questions for use with small groups or for personal reflection.
Author Fletcher Lowe has been a parish priest for 37 years and has served parishes in the Dioceses of Southern Virginia and Virginia. He has a passion for empowering the laity for their ministries in daily life. He is the co-editor of Ministry in Daily Life, Living the Baptismal Covenant and he compiled Baptism: the Event and the Adventure. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

First Holiday Lock-In at Chanco a great success

Last weekend, 35 registrants participated in the first ever Holiday Lock-In for teens in grades 6-12 at Chanco. Beginning with icebreakers, followed by Eucharist, and finally a massive dance party on Friday night, the weekend continued with more games, discussions, worship and outdoor recreation on Saturday. Teens brought their sleeping bags and camped out overnight in Conference Rooms C and D. The fee to attend was just $15 along with a donation of canned goods. The donations from the youth were generous and will go to support the food pantry at St. Paul's, Newport News. We were blessed mild and sunny weather for the event, so we were able to enjoy a little gaga and a walk down to the dock. Initial feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, and they all said they would like to see us host more of these relaxed, affordable, short-term programs. So be on the lookout for another lock-in soon!

Registration open for 124th Annual Council, Feb 5-6, 2016

Continuing the Sacred Conversation:Racial Justice and the Role of the Church

Registration is now open for the 124th Annual Council of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, February 5-6, 2016 at the Williamsburg Lodge Convention Center.

Our keynote speaker this year is the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, MO. Kinman will make two presentations, "#Ferguson Theology" and "Sacred Conversations About Race and Class, Power and Protest".

Preacher at the Council Eucharist will be The Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye A. Wilson, rector of St. Andrew and Holy Communion Episcopal Church in South Orange, New Jersey.

Click here for more information about Council, including registration and lodging, Youth Delegation application, Communicator Credentials, and nominations for elections. 

Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group to meet Dec. 17 at Diocesan office

Take a break from your busy end of year work and join other parish administrators and treasurers to talk about common issues - including financial management, administration, communications, and much more. We'll be meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Diocesan office (11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101, Newport News). Bring your own lunch; beverages will be provided. There's no agenda for this gathering - just an opportunity to get together, share, encourage, support, and ask questions. RSVP to Nancy James, njames@diosova.org.

Episcopal Church Foundation spotlights Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Groups on their blog

The monthly Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group was featured on Episcopal Church Foundation's Vital Practices blog in November. The lunches are a wonderful opportunity to meet with other parish administrators and treasurers to talk about common issues. There's no agenda for this gathering - just an opportunity to get together, share, encourage, support, and ask questions. Currently, the lunches alternate monthly between the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area and the Peninsula. If you're interested in attending or hosting a gathering, contact Comptroller Nancy James, njames@diosova.org.

Stitchers benefits Jackson-Feild's children

Jim Otto, project coordinator; Tod Balsbaugh, VP of Advancement for Jackson-Feild, and Tom Foster with one of the quilts. 
Stitchers for a Cause, a Glen Allen based organization, prepared 50 quilts to be given to the residents of Jackson-Feild Homes for Christmas. The group meets every Thursday at Glen Allen Church of Christ in Richmond. These talented quilters have been using their talents and skills for the past eight years to help needy and deserving groups and individuals to improve their quality of Life.
Jim Otto, coordinator, and his wonderful volunteers have been making quilts, bags for walkers and wheel chairs and other specialty items for non-profit organizations. They also make items to be raffled to raise funds for needy individuals who have acute medical needs. They have donated over 2,648 quilts, 1,034 pillow cases, 3,067 wheel chair bags and 5,883 other kind of items sewing only one day a week.
For many of the residents Christmas is a very difficult time of year filled with bad and sad memories. They look longingly at other children who have happy and cherished Christmas memories. They don't want to get their hopes up for fear of another letdown....another day to hide their deep disappointment.
The quilts donated by Stitchers for a Cause will help the children feel valued and appreciated and make this Christmas a season they will cherish for a lifetime.

Reverse Advent Calendar, online resources and webinar

Here's an idea for a different kind of Advent calendar - a Reverse Advent Calendar. Here's the idea - find two empty wine boxes and keep them in your kitchen or pantry, somewhere where they will be at the front of mind. Starting December 1, place a non-perishable food item into one of the 24 compartments each day. Once the boxes are full, donate them to your local food bank.

#AdventWord 2015 - Participate in Society of Saint John the Evangelist's Advent calendar. Respond to a daily meditation with images and prayers that speak to your heart and be part of a global Advent calendar that brings people from around the world together.

Episcopal Church Foundation has collected links to lots of free Advent resources, including calendars and devotions; Advent wreaths and activities; St. Nicholas Day; and preparing for Christmas visitors at your church, and lots more.

Click here for an Advent toolkit that you can use to bring your community together in support of Episcopal Relief & Development.

ChurchNext has just launched a new online offering - Advent: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Bishop Susan Goff of the Diocese of Virginia offers a deeply inspiring class that's available for individuals, or groups. Watch a preview here

News from Mission of the Holy Spirit

By Keith Josey, Lay Pastor, Mission of the Holy Spirit

As we prepare for the holiday season I would like to take a moment to remind you that many families depend on the generosity of individuals like yourselves to ensure that their family has a blessed holiday session.
Each year our challenges are increased due to the ever-growing needs of others. The generosity of churches and individuals like you has allowed us to serve numerous families. This year we have seen great changes and have enjoyed the growth of our members in the following ways: Currently our Sunday service has a Eucharistic presence on the second and fourth Sunday, we now have a number of parents who attend weekly and actively participate in the worship experience alongside their children. This helps to create a stable environment both at the Mission and in their homes. Our enrichment program has assisted many of our youth to achieve academic success. We continue to offer support to our college students and are excited about the members who will graduate this May. We have another exciting year of health and wellness with nursing interns from ODU here to assist our members and encourage healthy life choices for our children, adolescents, and adults.
Overall we are doing well, but there is a continued need for funding and the development of continued resources for the Mission. Remember that people tend to give to the organizations they know and trust, so this is why I'm sharing our successes and educating you about the needs we strive to meet.
While I am grateful for the support of all the Individuals and churches, we especially need your continued support for the following:
  • Groups and individuals to assist with donations for Christmas gifts for the children and Christmas food baskets
  • Volunteers to assist with enrichment and other programs
  • Volunteers who can help coordinate regular fundraising activities
  • Volunteer who wish to become members of our board
As we work to leave the hardships of our past behind us and live in the present, we must keep looking toward the future. Remember: "He who is not courageous enough to take risk will accomplish nothing in life." --Muhammad Ali

For more information or to volunteer, contact the Mission at 757-858-0010 or info@MissionoftheHolySpirit.orgClick here for the Fall 2015 newsletter.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Safe Church classroom training in 2016

The 2016 Safe Church classroom training schedule is online. You can learn more about Safe Church training and register for upcoming classes here. Upcoming classes are:
  • Jan. 23, 2016 - Johns Memorial, Farmville
  • Feb. 27, 2016 - Good Shepherd, Richmond
  • Mar. 19, 2016 - St. John's, Hopewell
  • Apr. 23, 2016 - Hickory Neck, Toano
  • May 21, 2016 - St. Christopher's, Portsmouth
  • Jun. 18, 2016 - Good Shepherd, Norfolk
  • Sep. 17, 2016 - Galilee, Virginia Beach
  • Oct. 1, 2016 - St. Augustine's, Newport News

Latest issue of ECW Grapevine newsletter is here

The ECW Grapevine is a quarterly, print-ready newsletter with occasional special editions. The deadline for the next issue is Friday March 18.  Please help us with distribution via email or, printed copies for folks who don't have computers. If you have news you would like included in The Grapevine, or would like to be added to the email list, please contact Nancy Smith, nsmithwtr@aol.com. In this November 2015 issue you'll find:
  • President's letter from Nancy Sands
  • Getting to know Diocesan ECW Board members
  • A real-life love story
  • Women to Women update

Lost Boys Foundation: Volunteers needed

Outreach Africa: Lost Boys Foundation helps our Sudanese refugees (many of whom are now citizens) as advocates in the complexities of American life. It also raises money to help their younger relatives get an education in Kenya. Founder Julie Hill is in need of volunteers on the Peninsula to help with patient advocacy and with fair housing issues. Go to  http://lostboysUS.org to learn more about the Foundation and the Lost Boys or contact Julie at 757-749-3644 or julhill@cox.net to learn how you can help!

Robert B. Wynne elected to Board of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services

Robert B. Wynne, an associate in the tax and employee benefits department at McGuireWoods LLP has been elected to the Board of Trustees of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services.
A native of Cary, North Carolina, Mr. Wynne received his Bachelor of Arts from Sewanee: The University of the South, his Juris Doctor with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Master of Laws in Taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Wynne and his wife Tsveti reside in Richmond, and he looks forward to his board service to an organization that helps children with mental health disorders.

Young Adult and Seminarian Grant Programs from United Thank Offering

Young Adult and Seminarian Grant Programs from the United Thank Offering are accepting applications. In addition to grant applications from Young Adults, the UTO Board has also created a process for seminarians to apply for UTO grants for projects either at their field education site or in their home diocese.
There are a couple of changes from last year for the Young Adult grants. Instead of awarding one per province, the Board will select the top ten applications to fund. A video is not required, but applicants are welcome to submit one if they feel so called. Young Adult grants are for projects led by people 21-30 not for projects to minister to that age group.
All of the applications are also available on the UTO website, www.unitedthankoffering.org. The deadline for applications is January 29 at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November Weekend 2015 hits maximum capacity!

Last weekend, nearly 70 individuals gathered at Chanco for our annual middle school retreat, and we used every available conference room to host these teens. This year's turnout was the largest ever; the program has grown steadily since it originally kicked off as an overnight lock-in at St. Martin's, Williamsburg, in 2010. Now November Weekend runs from Friday evening through Sunday morning at Chanco and features engaging worship, music, mixers and games, a dance, zip lines, and field games. To learn more about our diocesan youth programs visit www.diosova.org/youth or contact diocesan Youth Missioner Ashley Scruggs at ascruggs@diosova.org.

Registration open for Holiday Lock-in at Chanco for youth in grades 6-12

What's even more fun than a lock-in?  A lock-in at Chanco! Come with your parish youth group, or by yourself, or make plans to reunite with favorite camp friends from all over the diocese at this fantastic youth event for teens in grades 6-12. Friday, December 4 through Saturday December 5, we will be hosting an overnight full of fun games, creative worship and a jamming dance! Teens will stay lock-in style in our two large conference rooms, so bring your own pillow, sleeping bag and toiletries. Snacks Friday night, breakfast and lunch on Saturday are provided. Check-in is on Friday after dinner between 7-8 pm and pick up is at 3 pm on Saturday. Fantastic food, friendly fellowship and fabulous fun can be yours for the very low cost of $15 per person plus a donation of two canned goods for our Christmas Food Drive. This is the perfect opportunity to reunite with camp friends, bond with your youth group outside of church and/or to try Chanco for the first time and meet some wonderful new friends! Don't miss it! Click here to register. Questions? Contact Diocesan Youth Missioner Ashley Scruggs at ascruggs@diosova.org

Watch & Read: Video and books to help you prepare for Trinity Institute 2016

The Trinity Institute's 45th annual conference - Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice - will be webcast live at the Diocesan office in Newport News, Jan. 21-23, 2016. This year's conference - TI2016: Listen for a Change - focuses on racial justice. TI2016 is for anyone who is interested in a theological perspective on racial justice and a fuller understanding of present realities and ways to transform them.

To help you get a taste of Trinity Institute and prepare for the rich conversations at this year's conference on racial justice, click here for books and videos from this year's speakers.

The books from TI2016 speakers as well as other important voices are a great preface to the issues that we'll discuss at TI2016, including structural racism, mass incarceration, and policy change. Click here for a reading list you can download.
Get more information and register online at www.diosova.org.

Southern Virginia is participating in the Asset Map of The Episcopal Church

The Asset Map of the Episcopal Church is the first platform of its kind, housing information about all of the ministry programs and institutional resources in United States Episcopal network in the same place. The purpose of the Asset Map is to equip churches and institutions to share their own good news, and connect with the larger networks of mission and ministry diocesan and nationwide. The map could benefit any number of programs, including disaster preparedness and response work, and collaborative ministry development.
"The Asset Map is a visual catalog of The Episcopal Church at large, enabling diocesan leaders, church members and church seekers alike to see at a glance and in depth what the Church's presence looks like in their area, both infrastructure and programs," said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development's Senior Vice President of Programs. "It has wide-ranging potential to facilitate the development of new ministries and partnerships, and support the mobilization of resources and expertise."

The interactive map displays pins for each church. Clicking on a pin provides contact information and descriptions of programs at that particular location. Scan and search functions help users find ministries in their area or across the country. This short video 
helps explain how the Asset Map works.
The Diocese of Southern Virginia is actively participating in the Episcopal Asset Map project.  Bishop Hollerith has asked churches to designate someone to help manage their presence on the map. Communications Officer Ann Turner is the diocesan map administrator. Please contact her if you have any questions about the Asset Map, aturner@diosova.org.
Whether you have just begun a food pantry and are looking for churches that have done the same, or you are dreaming of teaming up with another church to create a new ministry, the Episcopal Asset Map can be a valuable resource.  Our diocesan page can be found at http://edsva.episcopalassetmap.org/.

YASC Mission to Tanzania: The present is a gift, that's why we call it the present!

By Andy Russell, YASC Missionary, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg

Well folks it's a little hard to believe but I, Andy Russell, am no longer really a stranger to this place called Dodoma.  To be sure, I don't know everything about Dodoma, not even close.  But I know the compound where I live, my walk to work, the CK office, Rose's (where I get lunch most days, as well as a good number of the other store fronts and spots around Dodoma.  This familiarity has brought something else along with it: routine. Click here to continue reading. 

News from Chanco on the James

Introducing our newest staff member, Molly Williams  

Chanco is pleased to introduce Molly Williams, our new Director of Programs.  Molly attended Catawba College and graduated in 2011 with a BA in Religion and Philosophy: Outdoor Ministries. She has been involved in Christian camping in some form since she was in the fourth grade, primarily working in United Methodist summer camp and outdoor education programs. Molly shares, "Joining the staff at Chanco has given me the opportunity to fulfill a long time goal of serving Christ in a year round capacity in an outdoor ministry setting. I look forward to becoming a part of the Chanco family and joining in what God is already doing here!"  Please join us in welcoming Molly to the Chanco family!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veterans Day

Washington National Cathedral's Veterans Initiative
This week, the nation will honor our veterans, and Washington National Cathedral is proud to release three short "Honoring Our Veterans" videos that can assist churches and other worshipping communities on starting the conversation with those who have served. You can find the videos on the cathedral's YouTube channel here
Bishop Jay Magness reflects on Veterans Day

"On this Veterans Day 2015, unlike some of my friends in the faith community, I am not all that interested in what we can do for service members and veterans. I am, however, very interested in what these persons can do for the faith communities of America. Service members and veterans, if given the appropriate recognition, honor, welcome, and permission can teach us so very much about the spiritual value of personal and corporate sacrifice."
Click here
to read Bishop Magness' essay.

Bishop Magness is Bishop Suffragan, Federal Ministries of The Episcopal Church. He was formerly Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Southern Virginia.

Diocese of Southern Virginia receives award from Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church

By the Rev. Lauren McDonald, St. Stephen's, Newport News

L to R: Jan Brown; Shannon Tucker, outgoing president of RMEC; the Rev. Lauren McDonald 
The last week in October, Jan M. Brown and the Rev. Lauren McDonald, co-chairs of the Addictions and Recovery Commission (ARC) of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, attended the annual Gathering of Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church (RMEC) at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle. This year's Gathering featured presentations by the Rev. Becca Stevens, Anne Lamott, and Sybil MacBeth. Jan, who was elected Vice President of the RMEC Board during the Gathering, facilitated an afternoon of "telling our recovery stories," in which Gathering participants learned to share their stories in five sentences. It was a powerful afternoon of honest and open sharing.
This year, at the Friday night banquet, RMEC presented two awards that had been given out in the past but had not been awarded recently. One was the Sam Shoemaker Award given to an individual who has made significant contributions in the field of addiction in the Episcopal Community. The other was the Russell Horton Award given to a Diocese with a new or renewed recovery commission that has had a significant increase in activity, a creative/renewed ministry, and has supported RMEC's goals of making a difference in and through the Episcopal Community in the field of recovery from addiction. This year the Russell Horton Award was given to the Diocese of Southern Virginia in recognition of restarting our Addictions and Recovery Commission and working to create Recovery Ready churches and a Recovery Ready Diocese. Jan and Lauren received the award on behalf of DioSoVA, and Lauren gave a presentation to those gathered on what the ARC has done in the past year.  
In 2016 the RMEC Gathering will be held in Williamsburg, hosted by the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Those interested in helping with the conference may contact Lauren at 757-903-0000 or lauren@spiritworksfoundation.org. We look forward to showing the rest of the Episcopal Church our Southern Virginia hospitality.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to preach at Trinity Institute

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preach at the opening Eucharist for the 2016 Trinity Institute. Curry is the first African American to serve as Presiding Bishop. He has been extensively involved in preaching missions, Crisis Control Ministry, the Absalom Jones initiative, the brokering of millions of dollars of investment in inner city neighborhoods, and the founding of day camps, day cares, and educational centers for children and families. He has received honorary degrees from Sewanee and Yale.

The Trinity Institute's 45th annual conference - Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice - will be webcast live at the Diocesan office in Newport News, Jan. 21-23, 2016.
This year's conference - TI2016: Listen for a Change - focuses on racial justice. TI2016 is for anyone who is interested in a theological perspective on racial justice and a fuller understanding of present realities and ways to transform them.

Get more information and register online at www.diosova.org.

New online class: Digital Strategies for Congregations

ChurchNext has a brand new online course offering - Digital Strategies for Congregations. Learn the best practices around church websites, Facebook and Twitter from expert Kyle Oliver. Kyle is the Digital Missioner for Virginia Theological Seminary and offers sound advice on how congregations can best minister in our increasingly digital environment. Click here for more information.

Another new offering is Building a Spiritually Mature Congregation. The juvenilization of America has altered the way people mature - and the way congregations mature. In this course author and professor Thomas Bergler unpacks the societal factors that promote adolescence and tells us how congregational leaders can help their members mature in Christ. Click here for more information.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Holiday Lock-in at Chanco for youth in grades 6-12

What’s even more fun than a lock-in?  A lock-in at Chanco! Come with your parish youth group, or by yourself, or make plans to reunite with favorite camp friends from all over the diocese at this fantastic youth event for teens in grades 6-12. Friday, December 4 through Saturday December 5, we will be hosting an overnight full of fun games, creative worship and a jamming dance! Teens will stay lock-in style in our two large conference rooms, so bring your own pillow, sleeping bag and toiletries. Snacks Friday night, breakfast and lunch on Saturday are provided. Check-in is on Friday after dinner between 7-8 pm and pick up is at 3 pm on Saturday. Fantastic food, friendly fellowship and fabulous fun can be yours for the very low cost of $15 per person plus a donation of two canned goods for our Christmas Food Drive. This is the perfect opportunity to reunite with camp friends, bond with your youth group outside of church and/or to try Chanco for the first time and meet some wonderful new friends! Don’t miss it! Questions or to register for this exciting event, please contact Diocesan Youth Missioner Ashley Scruggs at ascruggs@diosova.org.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Message from the Presiding Bishop: This is the Jesus Movement

"This is the Jesus Movement, and we are The Episcopal Church, the Episcopal branch of Jesus' movement in this world," Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry says in his first address as Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. Filmed at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City, Presiding Bishop Curry continues, "Now is our time to go.  To go into the world, let the world know that there is a God who loves us, a God who will not let us go, and that that love can set us all free." Click here for video or text of the message. 

Curry installed as 27th Presiding Bishop

From Episcopal News Service

After knocking on the west doors of Washington National Cathedral in the traditional manner and being admitted to the cathedral by the Very Rev. Gary Hall, the cathedral's dean, and Diocese of Washington Bishop Mariann Budde, Curry was asked to "tell us who you are."
"I am Michael Bruce Curry, a child of God, baptized in St. Simon of Cyrene Church, Maywood, Illinois, on May 3, 1953, and since that time I have sought to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ," he replied.
"Michael, Bishop in the Church of God, we have anticipated your arrival with great joy," 26th Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told him. "In the Name of Christ, we greet you," she added, and the greeting was echoed by the more than 2,500 people in attendance.
Curry, the former bishop of North Carolina, promised to be a "faithful shepherd and pastor" and, when asked by Jefferts Schori if they would support Curry in his ministry, those attending roared in reply, "We will."

Click here to read more.

Episcopal Church Young Adult Service Corps: untold opportunities throughout the Anglican Communion

Young adults (21-30 years old) have an opportunity to transform their own lives while engaging mission and ministry in the Anglican Communion by joining the Young Adult Service Corps. Applications are now available for 2016-2017 placements in the Young Adult Service Corps, commonly known as YASC. The application with additional information and instructions is available here. The application deadline is Friday, January 8, 2016.  
Currently YASC missionaries are serving throughout the Anglican Communion and in several international dioceses of The Episcopal Church. They are working in administration, agriculture, chaplaincies, development, education, parish-based and refuge ministries. They are serving in Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, England, France, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, and Tanzania.
New opportunities for service are available each year. Among the possible placements for 2016-17 are Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Tanzania and Zambia.
For more information contact Elizabeth Boe, Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society Global Networking Officer, at eboe@episcopalchurch.org or Grace Flint, Young Adult Service Corps, Networking at gflint@episcopalchurch.org.  

College ministries come together for retreat at Chanco

By the Rev. Wendy Wilkinson, Good Samaritan, Virginia Beach, and ODU Chaplain
Four campus ministries - William & Mary, Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University and Longwood/Hampden Sydney - came together for a retreat at Chanco on the James Oct. 30-31. The time away provided an opportunity for the students to build relationships with each other and discuss how their faith impacts their life on campus. The retreat was built around the Daily Offices with the intention that they students would find a place of calm and spiritual renewal in the midst of their hectic class schedules. They found time to enjoy Chanco's zip lines and the high ropes course as well. One of the parts of the retreat that the students found calming was to experience the Great Silence from the evening Compline service until the next morning's opening worship. At the close of the retreat, students were eager to find an opportunity to get together again in the spring.

A Mission to Tanzania: Walking in Dodoma

By Andy Russell, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg and YASC Missionary
Ever wondered what my morning walk to the Carpenter's Kids office looks like? Then you are in luck my friend for this video has been made especially for you.
In all seriousness though, I hope you enjoy this short film. If you have six and a half minutes to spare, I think it gives a small but meaningful taste of life in Dodoma. The compound where I live is in a quieter residential part of town; it's kind of neat to see the changes in sound and scenery as you get closer to a more bustling part of Dodoma town.

Click here to watch the video and read more about Andy's missionary experiences.

Ridley Foundation Scholarship applications due Jan. 15

The Ridley Foundation board will meet in February to consider new applicants for the second semester. New applications and documents are due by January 15. Current recipients need to send their first semester transcript in order to receive the second half of their grant. Click here for more information on the Ridley Foundation Scholarships.  

Episcopal Church women support Jackson-Feild

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of the Diocese of Southern Virginia has a long history of helping the children at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services. The members met recently at St. Timothy's, Clarksville where they collected items from a Wish List as part of their "Bless the Children" project and presented them to Jackson-Feild.
The ECW was founded in 1890 to assist the women of the Episcopal Church to carry on Christ's work. Their mission today is to empower women to do Christ's ministry in the world.

Chanco seeking members for Board of Directors

Do you have a passion for Chanco's ministry and a desire to see it thrive into the next generation of campers and retreat guests? Then we may have the job for you! Chanco is seeking lay and ordained persons to serve on the Board of Directors beginning service in early 2016. There possibly may be no more exciting time to be a part of Chanco's growth than now. All interested persons must be a member in good standing at an Episcopal church in our diocese.  All applications are vetted through the current Chanco Board and Bishop Hollerith. Click here for an application to be sent to Executive Director Gareth Kalfas at director@chanco.org. Questions? Contact Gareth at 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626) or via email.  We are grateful for our Chanco Board and the vibrant ministry they support.

United Thank Offering

Drop one of more coins in your UTO Blue Box this week as you remember and give thanks for those who have positively impacted your life and for those who love you without condition: teachers, parents, neighbors, and children.

It is so easy to put a coin in your United Thank Offering Blue Box: open the wallet, feel around in the change pocket, take out a penny or two or three, drop them in the Blue Box. Countless people have put coins in the box in just that manner, but many more of them have found something else; a joy, a sense of peace, even a way of living that has radically changed their attitudes about stewardship and shown them a clearer path to following Christ's commandments to help the needy.
Many ideas to help women feel empowered in the past have included taking special classes or meditating or finding rituals and spaces of quiet to try to bring joy and peace into one's life. These have all been tried over the years. Out of many self-help ideas that were generated, this one seemed to stand out: that is, to "keep a record for a week or so of things or people that one is thankful for". Wow, how easy! Really, it isn't a new concept.
One woman at a recent seminar shared how this singular action of empowerment changed her life. She wrote her first entry recording her thanks on a scrap of binder paper. The items were the usual list of thanks like being thankful for her home, children, husband, and garden. She continued to record her thanks daily and soon bought a bound book to date and record her thanksgivings and blessings. Pretty soon she started not just listing her thanks but thinking about "why" she gave thanks and recording those thoughts. Eventually she started "paying it forward" in small ways like paying for a soldier who was having lunch in the same restaurant or in the Starbucks line. Soon she was committing "random acts of kindness" like delivering food to the sick or senior citizens homes. She did most of this without thought of a return but just because it "felt good". Her husband and friends noticed that she seemed happier, more positive, was smiling more and they also wondered what change had occurred in her life.
She found that practicing thankfulness and gratitude increased her thankfulness and gratitude; that the more she gave, the more she herself felt gratitude and thankful. Much of her giving was monetary, coins and bills of various denominations all put in the Blue Box over the years. But, she also found she was giving of her time and her talents to others as a way for her to give thanks.

Visit United Thank Offering online and on Facebook.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Trinity Institute 2016 to be live webcast at Diocesan office

The Trinity Institute's 45th annual conference - Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice - will be webcast live at the Diocesan office in Newport News, Jan. 21-23, 2016.

This year's conference focuses on racial justice. It is for anyone who is interested in a theological perspective on racial justice and a fuller understanding of present realities and ways to transform them. Featured speakers include Nicholas Kristof, Anna Deavere Smith, Emilie Townes, Michael Curry, and many more.

Get more information and register online at www.diosova.org.

Liturgical resource for Day of Repentance & Reconciliation

Annual Council Resolution R-1 (2013) resolved that "November 2, 2014, All Souls Day, will be designated as the 'Day of Repentance and Reconciliation' in the Diocese of Southern Virginia and parishes will annually hold this observance during the octave of All Saints."

We encourage all parishes to live into R-1 and plan a meaningful service during the octave of All Saints. In the diocesan service we used a story format.  "Repentance, Reconciliation and Healing: A liturgical resource for congregations" follows the format of Holy Women, Holy Men. This booklet offers several options for readings and psalms.  

If you need further assistance or have questions, please contact Canon Caroline Black, cblack@diosova.org, or a member of the Repairers of the Breach Commission.  

Day of Repentance & Reconciliation events

St. George's, Pungoteague will hold a Solemn Evening Prayer for Racial Justice on Sunday Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m.. Celtic and Appalachian hymns by fiddler David Kohut.
Good Shepherd, Norfolk, will host a series of events leading up to a Holy Eucharist for Repentance, Reconciliation and Healing for the Sin of Racism at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5.
Sunday, November 1, 7:00 pm - Hymn Sing. All are invited to come together for a good old fashioned hymn sing. There choirs and musicians from the local community joining us. Please come out and raise the rafters! There will be a reception and nursery! Bring your kids! Monday, November 2, Dinner 6:00 pm, Presenter 6:30 pm - Aditi Dutt, Family Educator at Bon Secours Health System, will speak to us on the topic of cultural diversity. Appropriate for teens and adults, we encourage all to come and engage this important topic. Nursery provided. Wednesday, November 4, Dinner 6:00 pm, Presenter 6:30 pm - Anthony Holley, Youth Advisor and Board Member at Teens With a Purpose, along with some of the youth involved with TWP, will present on their work with teens and their mission to raise up the next generation of leaders. Especially appropriate for teens, please encourage your youth to attend. Adults are also welcome. Nursery provided. Thursday, November 5 , 7 p.m. - Holy Eucharist for Repentance, Reconciliation, and Healing for the Sin of Racism. Join us as we finish our week of song, presentations, and reflection with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Deacon Candidate Genevieve Nelson will be our guest preacher. A reception in the Narthex will follow the service. Nursery provided.

St. Augustine's, Newport News; St. Cyprians, Hampton; St. John's, Hampton; and Emmanuel, Hampton, will be coming together for a service of Repentance, Reconciliation and Healing at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8.  The service will take place at St. John's, Hampton.  Four choirs will present a special anthem in addition to a performance by Weyanoke. Weyanoke is an a cappella vocal ensemble specializing in the songs and stories of the African Diaspora. Canon Michael Spear-Jones will be preaching. This service is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a wider community and reflect on our history while embracing a hope filled vision for the future. In this service we acknowledge that we are called as a Christian community to repent of our sins so that we can be reconciled and one day healed. After the service there will be a reception that is hosted by the St. John's young adult group with contributions from all of the participating churches. 

St. George's, Newport News, invites you to join them for an evening of fellowship and prayer on Thursday, November 5. Acknowledging the sin of racism in our past and in our present, they will gather for a time of repentance, reconciliation and healing. All are welcome. There will be a free dinner at 6 p.m. and the service will begin at 7 p.m. Clergy, please vest and process - green or multicolored stoles. St. George's is located at 15446 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. Call 757-877-0088 for more information.

ECW Board members installed at Fall Annual Meeting

By Nancy Smith, St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach     
Folks woke up to ice-coated windshields in Clarksville on October 18. St. Timothy's, Clarksville, ECW, led by Jean Crowe, ECW President, welcomed women who traveled across the diocese to the ECW Fall Annual Meeting that morning, with fresh-baked donuts and hot coffee.
The principal business at ECW Fall Annual Meetings is the installation of new board members. During the Celebration of Holy Eucharist, the Very Reverend Dr. Susan Grimm, Rector, St. Timothy's, Clarksville, installed the ECW board members: Kathy Haney, Recording Secretary, Christ Church, Danville; Andrea Morgan, Prayer/Worship Chair, Trinity, Portsmouth; Louise Boss, Second Vice President, Christ Church, Eastville/Bridgetown and Deborah Austin, Church Periodical Club Director, St. Mark's, Suffolk. They will serve a two-year term beginning in January 2016.
Megan-Drew Tiller, Church Relations, the Boys Home of Virginia, and Tod Balsbaugh, Vice President of Advancement, Jackson-Feild Homes attended the meeting and received contributions from parishes for God Bless the Children: ECW's 2015-16 Outreach Project. At lunch Molly Kratt, a member of St. Timothy's, shared Seven Stylish Tips for Tying Your Scarf.
ECW dues, $3 per member, are due November 1. Technically, all Episcopal Church Women, are members of ECW. Two dollars ($2) fund donations given to recipients in the diocese, nation and the world through the ECW Diocesan Budget. Imagine what sizable donations those would be, if every women in diocese gave $3. For information about recipients go to the ECW page at www.diosova.org.

PHOTO: The Very Reverend Dr. Susan Grimm, Rector, St. Timothy's, Clarksville, installed ECW board members at the Fall Annual Meeting October 18. Back row, l. to r.: Kathy Haney, Recording Secretary,Christ Church, Danville and Rev. Susan Grimm. Front row, l. to r.: Andrea Morgan, Prayer/Worship Chair, Trinity, Portsmouth; Louise Boss, Second Vice President, Christ Church, Eastville/Bridgetown; Presenter, Nancy Sands, ECW Diocesan President, Christ Church, Danville and Deborah Austin, Church Periodical Club Director, St. Mark's, Suffolk.

Women-to-Women expanding ministry in Africa

By Susan Broaddus, Christ & St. Luke's, Norfolk 

Women-to-Women have decided to expand from helping only Bukavu Diocese to also helping the new Diocese of Kamango which is being formed out of the Diocese of North Kivu near the Uganda border. Pictured here is Madame Damalie Tibafa (she's the one with the Christ & St. Luke's apron), wife of bishop-elect Canon Sabiti Tibafa who is currently Vice-Chancellor of the Anglican University in Bunia. Here in 2013, she is teaching me to cook a squash and tomato dish, one of my favorites. As the Bishop's wife, she will head the Mothers' Union in that Diocese. Happily, she is trained to do so and was the Provincial Mothers' Union Rep years ago. Help us help them by joining Women-to-Women on Monday, November 2 at 7 p.m. at 1323 Lafayette Blvd., Norfolk. Call Susan Broaddus for directions: 757-613-7004.

Jackson-Feild joins American Association of Children's Residential Centers

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services has joined the American Association of Children's Residential Centers (AACRC), a 160-member organization now including eight in Virginia that treat children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders.
The AACRC believes that children and adolescents, and their families, are entitled to treatment which offers the maximum opportunity for growth and change. AACRC focuses on advancing professional knowledge, increasing public understanding about mental health in children, identifying and sharing information on emerging mental health practices, educating policy makers regarding treatment efforts, and supporting behavioral health organizations in order to provide high quality mental health services.
Jackson-Feild is very pleased to be a member of this worthwhile organization.

Be the first to have a 2016 Camp Chanco t-shirt!

NEW for 2016 Chanco is offering Winter Camp January 15-17, 2016.  Many of our Camp Chanco counselors will be returning to provide camp programming (minus aquatics, of course!) to our campers for a weekend of fun in God's great outdoors! Archery, low ropes course, zip lines, crafts, fun skits and games are just a few of the fun camp activities that will be provided. This session is for ages 7-12 and offers our youngest campers a chance to return to Chanco during the school year, invite a new friend and/or try Chanco for the first time before attending a full session next summer! Free 2016 summer camp t-shirts for all who attend! The cost is $125 and registration is live at www.chanco.org. Questions? Contact Executive Director Gareth Kalfas at director@chanco.org or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626).