Monday, February 29, 2016

Renewal of Ordination Vows services

Holy Week Renewal of Ordination Vows services will be held on Wednesday, March 23 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul's, Newport News, and 2:30 p.m. at St. Matthias, Midlothian.

Updated Constitution & Canons online

The updated Constitution & Canons (2015) of The Episcopal Church are now available online. You can find them, along with the 2016 Constitution & Canons of the Diocese of Southern Virginia on our website here.

Apply now for the ECW Scholarships!

The Elise Holladay Scholarship, funded by Episcopal Church Women, awarded $9,885 in grants, ranging from $500 to $1000, to 14 young men and women throughout the Diocese last spring. Also, the ECW Beverley D. Tucker Scholarship is available and provides assistance to men and women in church-related training in an accredited Episcopal school. Use the same form, available on the diocesan website here, to apply for either scholarship. Only complete applications will be considered and must be postmarked by April 27, 2016 for the student's application to be considered for the fall semester. A student may receive funds twice. If you have questions, call Susan Broaddus at 757-623-0205. Send the complete package to: ECW Scholarship, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, 11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101, Newport News, VA 23606-3071 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Administrators & Treasurers Lunch on March 17

Our next Administrators & Treasurers Lunch will be on Thursday, March 17, noon to 1:30 p.m. at Emmanuel, Virginia Beach (5181 Singleton Way, Virginia Beach). This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other parish administrators and treasurers to talk about common issues. 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. If you plan to attend, RSVP to Comptroller Nancy James at 757-213-3386 or

Thank you for your support of Episcopal Relief & Development

By The Very Rev. Dr. Keith Emerson, Diocesan ERD Coordinator, St. Paul's, Suffolk

I want to thank the parishes and organization in our diocese that made a contribution to Episcopal Relief and Development between October and December of 2015:
Gifts to the Syrian Response Fund:
$100 - Christ Church, Smithfield   
$589 - John's Memorial Church, Farmville
$1,600 - Merchants Hope, Prince George      
$100 - Emmanuel Church, Cape Charles
$1,246 - Grace Church, Yorktown

Gifts for US Disaster Relief:
$296 - St. Paul's Church, Norfolk 
$250 - Emmanuel Church, Franklin

A Gift for Disaster Relief and the Syria Response Fund:
$10,000 - Bruton Parish, Williamsburg

An Undesignated Gift and a Gift for US Disaster Relief:       
$690 - St. Andrew's Church, Newport News

Gifts for Special Projects:
$215 - Christ Church ECW, Amelia Court House
$145 - Emmanuel Church, Hampton

75th Anniversary Fund
$300 - The Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, Kenbridge
$500 - St. Luke's Church, Blackstone

Undesignated Gifts:
$197 - St. Anne's Church, Appomattox    
$100 - St. Luke's Church, Powhatan          
$925 - St. Matthias' Church, Midlothian   
$100 - St. Luke's Church, Powhatan          
$700 - Church of the Ascension, Norfolk   
$500 - St. James' Church, Warfield         
$100 - St. Luke's Church, Powhatan          
$200 - St. George's Church, Newport News        
$125 - St. Michael's Church, Chesterfield 
$300 - The ECW of Christ and Grace Church, Petersburg
$500 - Christ and Grace Church, Petersburg
$678 - Church of the Redeemer, Midlothian

While every gift is appreciated, these undesignated gifts allow the staff of Episcopal Relief & Development to apply funds where they are most urgently needed. Please know I am grateful for the ongoing generosity of the people in our diocese.

Presiding Bishop Curry urges participation in the Good Friday Offering for Jerusalem, the Middle East

"Our journey as Episcopalians also includes remembering our sister and brother Christians in the Holy Land who maintain the faith which we hold so dear," Presiding Bishop Michael Curry wrote to the clergy of The Episcopal Church. "Their witness is an inspiration."
Presiding Bishop Curry wrote in the annual Good Friday letter to all congregations asking them to consider assistance for Jerusalem and the Middle East.
"This tradition is decades old and is an important statement of our solidarity with the members of the four dioceses of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. We have a Gospel imperative to be sure they know they are not forgotten behind the headlines or because of the distractions in our own lives."
Funds collected from the Good Friday Offering are gathered and distributed to the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East which includes the Dioceses of Jerusalem and Cyprus and the Gulf, all members of the Anglican Communion.
Information and resources for the Good Friday Offering are available here and include bulletin inserts, posters, Holy  Week meditations from St. George's College in Jerusalem, and a Lenten Education series from Diocese of Jerusalem. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Convocation 5 gets new Dean

The Very Rev. Ronald Ramsey has bee appointed by Bishop Hollerith as the Dean of Convocation 5 (Jamestown). Ramsey is the rector of St. Cyprian's, Hampton.

You can find a list of all Convocation Deans and a map of Southern Virginia's nine convocations here.

Helping Christians understand Islam

John Herbst, who is married to the Rev. Anne Kirchmier, rector of St. Georges, Newport News, has started a website devoted to help Christians understand Islam. The site has entries about Islam in general, along with commentary on current events. Dr. Herbst earned his PhD in Bible from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, and has taught Islam at the collegiate level. He has also lectured on Islam in several churches in Richmond and in Hampton Roads, and he dialogs regularly with Muslims in Newport News. Visit his website at

Home Health Care Aide training at Jackson-Feild

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is now providing home health care aide vocational training for students at its Gwaltney School. Home health care aides provide basic medical services that include administering medications, changing bandages, and checking vital signs.
Nationally, more than one million people are employed as home health care aides, and the profession is growing far more rapidly than other occupations.
Jackson-Feild's program follows a standard curriculum in which students take 60 hours of classroom instruction and participate in 10 hours of off-site training at a facility that provides medical care.
Abbey Webb, a community relations specialist with Southern Care Hospice Services, recently spoke to Gwaltney School students about hospice care; what it is and, how they can become a part this service.
In late February, four students will complete their training and a new group of ten will begin the program.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's message for Lent

"The season of Lent is upon us," Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said in his Message for Lent 2016. "It is a season of making a renewed commitment to participate and be a part of the movement of Jesus in this world." Click the image below to watch the video. Click here to read text of the message. 

124th Annual Council: Racial Justice and the Role of the Church

The 124th Annual Council of the Diocese of Southern Virginia convened February 5-6 at the Williamsburg Lodge Convention Center.

Bishop Hollerith addressed Council on Friday morning. "Without a doubt, the greatest challenge of my episcopate has been one of discerning and helping others to discern what it means to be the Episcopal Church in the 21st century." The bishop shared his thoughts on "what's working" in Southern Virginia. He also spoke about changes experienced in The Episcopal Church and our own diocese in 2015 and a look toward 2016. Click here to read his address.

The preacher for the Council Eucharist on Friday morning was the Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye A. Wilson, rector of St. Andrew and Holy Communion Episcopal Church in South Orange, New Jersey, who was national president of the Union of Black Episcopalians from 1997-2004.
Our keynote speaker this year was the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, MO. Kinman gave two presentations to Council, "#Ferguson Theology" and "Sacred Conversations About Race and Class, Power and Protest". Following the Ferguson police killing of Michael Brown, Jr., Kinman was an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and provided sanctuary for the movement at Christ Church Cathedral.  Materials from Kinman's presentations (slides, with links to videos, and notes) are available on the Annual Council page of our website.

Saturday afternoon, Kinman posted on Facebook, "Today's highlights at Annual Council of Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia:
  • Watching people listen deeply to and wrestle with the wisdom, passion and brilliance of Brittany Ferrell, Alexis Templeton, Traci Blackmon and Ruby Sales.
  • Talking about Jesus and being the church in this Kairos moment that is emerging around human rights in America.
  • Talking about being trauma-informed church and naming our addictive family systems -- and hearing incredible resonance.
  • Leading 400-500 Episcopalians (the majority of whom were white and over 55) in the Assata Shakur chant (3 times, shouting it at the end) because until everyone is free none of us are free. Really wish I had film of that one! 'It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other.We have nothing to lose but our chains.'"
Elections at Council
The following elections took place at this year's Council:
Standing Committee: The Rev. Conor Alexander, Mr. Scott Norris
Disciplinary Board: The Rev. Dale Custer, The Rev. Susan Grimm, Mr. Matthew White
Provincial Synod: The Rev. Frederick Walker, Ms. Andrea Morgan

The two canonical resolutions before Council this year, C-1 and C-2, both passed unanimously.

Visit our Facebook page for lots of photos from Annual Council. Thanks to Jackie Rochelle of Epiphany, Norfolk, and Carlyle Gravely of St. George's, Newport News, for their assistance with photography. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Church Periodical Club's Miles of Pennies benefits Jackson-Feild

Founded in 1888, the Church Periodical Club (CPC) is an independent organization affiliated with the Episcopal Church, and it relies on volunteers, clergy, and friends to promote its Ministry of the Printed Word. In 1988 - on its 100th anniversary - the CPC established the Miles of Pennies Fund focuses exclusively on the educational needs of children from kindergarten through high school.
Grants in the amount of $844.80 are awarded to provide books, magazines, audiotape, videos and CDs. Why $844.80? Because it takes 84,840 pennies laid edge-to-edge to cover the distance of one mile. Hence, the name of the fund and the amount of the grants provided.
The Hayden Gwaltney School at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services recently received a full grant of $844.80 from this fund. Over the years, The Gwaltney School has received more than $7,745 from the program. This year's grant was used to purchase 69 hardcover and 77 paperback books written by a wide variety of authors.
Teachers and students alike are thrilled to be recipients of this grant, and the books are being checked out and read with enthusiasm.