Monday, April 25, 2016

eFormation: A conference on ministry is a digital world

Is your congregation getting serious about its online presence, or hoping to take it to the next level? Would you like to learn with other ministry practitioners using technology in faith formation, communication, and other ministries?
If so, jump-start your learning with hands-on training and big-picture inspiration at e-Formation 2016. Join our supportive learning community June 6-8 at Virginia Theological Seminary near Washington DC for just $289 or by webinar for just $89. Limited Spanish interpretation and inexpensive evening programing in Spanish and in English are also available.

Explore the full program,  webinar schedule, and registration options  at You can join the conversation using #eform16.

Lay Eucharistic Ministry 101 and other new courses from ChurchNext

ChurchNext has just launched three new courses. For those interested in training and working in Eucharistic Ministry in a congregational setting, Lay Eucharistic Ministry 101 offers training in the practicalities of offering the chalice to communicants, but also offers a great deal more. Another new course, How to Become a Christian, discusses the journey towards becoming a Christian and practicing Christian faith. Finally, there's a very inspiring course, My Church is Not Dying: finding Hope in the Mainline Church, offers a sobering and practical view of just how well poised mainline churches are to address the spiritual needs of a new generation.

ChurchNext is a website 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. Classes are available for both groups and individuals.

2016 Episcopal Health Ministry Conference September 15-17 at St. Christopher's Church in Carmel, IN

"Love Your Neighbor as Yourself" - the 2016 Episcopal Health Ministry Conference - will be held September 15-17 at St. Christopher's Church in Carmel, Indiana. Keynote speaker will be the Rev. Melford E. (Bud) Holland Jr. Holland has been assisting groups and individuals to understand more fully the complexities of transitions and their gifts and assets to work effectively within them. He was involved in the early organization of National Episcopal Health Ministries. He has worked with dioceses, the wider church, urban to suburban congregations, and groups that were seeking to discover new ways in their work, and individuals seeking to strengthen their vocations. Click here for more information and registration.

Zumba keeps the kids at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services moving

On any given Monday or Wednesday afternoon, the gym at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Systems is practically alive. The music is loud, and the beat is heavy. What is it? It's ZUMBA!
Darlene Reed, a licensed Zumba instructor and a personal fitness instructor whose studio is in South Hill, is teaching the boys and girls at JFBHS, and they are loving it! With an average class size of 20, Darlene allows the participants to choose the music and spend the first 15 minutes warming up. After that, it's all high energy, intense physical activity that builds strength, encourages motion, and improves posture all while having fun.
"I'm very impressed," Darlene says, "with all the students, especially the boys. It's not often that I have guys in my classes, and it's very gratifying to see how much they enjoy the music and dance."
She loves what she is doing in getting the kids and staff up and moving to burn 600 calories with cardio and toning. Her goal is to have them become healthy and fit.

News from The Episcopal Church

General Convention 2018: July 5-13 in Austin, TX

The General Convention Office has announced the nine legislative dates for the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church: Thursday, July 5 to Friday, July 13, 2018.
General Convention 2018 will be held at The Austin Convention Center,  Austin, Texas (Diocese of Texas).
"The Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements and the General Convention Office are already hard at work to plan and enhance our meeting In Austin for the 79th General Convention," noted the Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer and chair of the committee. "Building upon the successful innovations in Salt Lake City, and guided by the evaluations we received, the Committee is excited about our meeting in 2018."
The Episcopal Church's General Convention is held every three years, and is the bicameral governing body of the Church. It is comprised of the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 active and retired bishops, and the House of Deputies, with clergy and lay deputies elected from the 109 dioceses and three regional areas of the Church, at more than 800 members.

Campus ministry grant applications accepted for 2016-17 academic year

Applications are now accepted for grant proposals for the 2016-2017 academic year from dioceses, parishes or community colleges/colleges/universities for new as well as current campus ministries in higher education institutions located throughout The Episcopal Church.

"These grants are intended to provide funding for an Episcopal ministry (or ecumenical ministry with an Episcopal presence) in a diocese, congregation or community college/tribal college/university campus who are doing or seek to do ministry with young adults on and off college campuses," explained the Rev. Shannon Kelly, Episcopal church Missioner for Campus and Young Adult Ministries.  "The proposals for grants are meant to assist in the start-up of new ministries or the restart of dormant ministries for young adults on and off college and university campuses."

Click here for more information and to submit a proposal. Applications must have the approval of the diocesan bishop and must be submitted online. Deadline for submitting proposals is May 23.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Three new deacons in Southern Virginia

Jan Brown, Genevieve Nelson and Linda Ricker were among the nine deacons ordained on Saturday at Christ Church, Glen Allen. They are the first class of graduates of The Deacons' School, a collaboration between the three Episcopal dioceses in Virginia - Southern Virginia, Southwestern Virginia, and Virginia -to form future deacons of the Episcopal Church. The Rev. Jan Brown is from Bruton Parish, Williamsburg and will be serving at Bruton Parish. The Rev. Genevieve Nelson is from Ascension, Norfolk, and will serve at Good Shepherd, Norfolk. The Rev. Linda Ricker is from St. Luke's, Powhatan, and will serve at St. John's, Chester.

Spring Clergy Day May 3 at Chanco

2016 Spring Clergy Day will be Tuesday, May 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Chanco on the James Program will be "Loving the Addict in the Pew: The Journey to Wholeness" presented by Jan M. Brown and Cindy Barnes. What if we believed addiction was really a disease? How might we respond to those who are struggling in our midst? This presentation will assist clergy in defining addiction, understanding recovery, and knowing their role in ministering to families as well as the individuals themselves. Click here for information and registration. Deadline for registration is April 24.

Digital ministry conference June 6-8

This year webinar access is available to much of the e-Formation Conference and the cost to attend online is just $89. Get more information and register here. The full conference program is available here. Webinar participants will also receive access to the recordings after the conference ends at no additional cost.

eFormation is an ecumenical conference on ministry in a digital world. It's an excellent opportunity for lay leaders and clergy, especially those involved in faith formation and  communications ministries. You can participate in person on the Virginia Theological Seminary campus or via live webinar. The conference is June 6-8.

Fairy Godmother celebrates 10 years of helping Jackson-Feild students

For the tenth year running, The Fairy Godmother program at Collegiate Schools in Richmond recently helped residents of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services shop for prom outfits at no cost to the girls and boys.
Founded in 2006, the Fairy Godmother program has provided prom outfits to more than 350 residents. Their mission is to provide a special high school prom experience for children whose circumstances would otherwise exclude them from attending a high school prom.
Throughout the year, Collegiate students collect donated prom attire and conduct fundraisers to purchase supplemental items needed to complete an outfit. They also solicit donations from individuals, corporations and foundations in support of their effort. They store the items in a SmartBox provided by the owner of the local franchise, Bryan Bostic, and on April 8 the box was transported to the JFBHS campus for the day.
The Collegiate students met with JFBHS residents and helped them select the right outfit for the prom which will be held in May. Based on the smiles and laughter throughout the room, everyone had a wonderful time shopping for prom. For ten years now, these special volunteers from Richmond have provided not only the clothing to make prom special, but they have helped the children at Jackson-Feild feel valued and important.

GraceInside seeking part-time prison chaplain

GraceInside (Virginia's State Prison Chaplaincy Ministry) will soon have a part-time prison chaplain opening. It is a 25-hours-per-week position at River North Correctional Center in Independence (Grayson County), VA. Position will be vacant as of July 1.  However, we would prefer the new chaplain to begin on or near June 1 to have time to shadow the current chaplains and take all of the mandated state training. Click here for more information. 

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls for prayer for Ecuador

Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry has called for prayers for the people and Dioceses of Ecuador following a devastating earthquake on April 17.
Two dioceses of the Episcopal Church are located in Ecuador: Litoral Ecuador led by Bishop Alfredo Morante; Central Ecuador led by Bishop Victor Scantlebury. A magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit the South American country on Sunday, April 17.  News reports indicate the death toll is over 200 people with 2500 injured.
The following is the message Presiding Bishop Curry sent to the bishops and people:
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Please know that your brothers and sisters throughout the Episcopal Church are praying for you. We will be with you during this time and in the days ahead. You are not alone. May the love of God embrace and strengthen you.

Earth Day resources

Click here  for online resources, lesson plans for children, and bulletin inserts and other items assembled by The Episcopal Church for understanding and honoring Earth Day, April 22 by congregations and individuals. Among the resources:
  • A bulletin insert on Earth Day, ideal for congregational use. 
  • Creation Justice Ministries, centering on Care for God's Creatures and includes ideas for hosting an Earth Day Sunday.
  • Earth Day Sunday with information about biodiversity and faith through Creation Justice Ministry's #EarthDaySunday Resource 
  • Earth our Garden Home: Creation Care Lessons for Children and Wild Faith: A Creation Care Curriculum for Youth, a curricula ideal for summer and fall, developed by Cynthia Coe of the Diocese of East Tennessee, an Episcopal Church Mark V fellow, the curricula are ideal for Sunday school and teen discussion groups.
  • Learn about Environmental issues and the Anglican Communion through a video from Episcopal News Service
  • Receive information about The Episcopal Church's environmental advocacy efforts through the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN)
For more information, contact Jayce Hafner, Episcopal Church Domestic Policy Analyst, at

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Rev. Canon Charles Robinson joins the diocesan staff

The Rev. Charles A. Robinson joined the diocesan staff on April 4 as Canon for Transitional Ministry & Clergy Development. He is currently working alongside the Rev. Canon Michael Spear-Jones, current Canon for Transitional Ministry & Clergy Development, who will be retiring at the end of this month.

Born in Oklahoma, Charles spent his formative years in various areas of the Southwest United States. He enlisted in the Navy as a hospital corpsman in 1970 following high school graduation. After completing his baccalaureate degree, he was commissioned in the Medical Service Corps as an environmental health officer in 1980. Charles completed 28 years of service and retired from the Navy as a Commander in 1998. After serving as a corporate health care executive for two years, he returned to work for the Navy as a civilian scientist before leaving for seminary in 2001.

Charles holds degrees from National University and Webster University, and he received the Master of Divinity degree from The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. Prior to joining the diocesan staff, Charles was rector of Saint John's, Suffolk, and served at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, for nearly nine years.

About his new diocesan ministry, Robinson says, "I am honored to have been called to this ministry by Bishop Hollerith and very excited about the future."

Certification of Lay Delegates & Alternates for Annual Council due June 30

Your Certificate of Lay Delegates and Alternates for Annual Council should be sent to the Diocesan office by June 30, 2016. Click here for information about and the form for sending in the name(s) of delegate(s) and alternate(s) elected by your vestry for Council year 2016-2017.

Your elected delegates and alternates will serve for an entire conciliar year beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017. This term includes eligibility to vote at Pre-Council Convocation meetings in January, Annual Council in February, and any Special Council or other called meetings that may occur during this period.

If you have questions, please contact the Rev. Canon Ed Tracy, 757-213-3378 or  

Clergy Transitions

The Rev. Lauren McDonald, will begin as Associate Rector for Outreach & Women's Ministries, May, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg 
Josh Stephens, will begin as Associate Rector for Family Ministry, August, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg

Christian Formation Week: Take. Break. Bless. Give.

Take. Break. Bless. Give. These are the words of our faith, but how do we live them out in this complicated, multi-cultural, technologically advanced century? Learn with us about how to be the Church beyond our houses of worship.

Christian Formation Week at Kanuga, June 13-17, will include more than 20 workshops covering such topics as racism sensitivity training, means of reconciliation, ministry with the homeless, how to host a dinner church and a wide variety of nuts-n-bolts workshops about formation basics.

For more information and to register, please visit

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mark your calendar for Fall youth events

Mark your calendar and plan to attend these great Fall youth events. All events will be held at Chanco on the James in Surry. Watch the eNews and our website for details and registration.
  • October Weekend (grades 8-12) - October 7-9, 2016
  • Pre-Happening Staff Weekend - October 29-30, 2016
  • Happening #65 (grades 10-12) - November 11-13, 2016
  • November Weekend (grades 6-9) - November 18-20, 2016

Stewardship Commission to survey clergy and lay leaders

The new diocesan Stewardship Commission will be sending an online survey to clergy and selected lay leaders within your parish in the next few weeks. The commission is charged with the responsibility of developing stewardship programs, providing stewardship education for parishes, and enabling diocesan giving. In order to accomplish this, it is important that we understand the current state of stewardship within the diocese as well as the stewardship needs and expectations of the individual parishes. To this end we have developed the online survey you will soon be receiving. Your responses to the questions in the survey will help us develop a course of action. Please take time to complete the survey and respond with thorough answers to the questions asked. Also, feel free to add any thoughts you may have that might assist the commission in accomplishing its mission. Thank you in advance for your participation.
- Mike McGraw & Bob Motley, Co-chairs, Stewardship Commission

Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group to meet April 21

The next Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group will be on Thursday, April 21, noon to 1:30 p. m. at the Diocesan office in Newport News. 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,

The Grapevine: News from the diocesan ECW

The Grapevine is a quarterly print-ready newsletter from the diocesan ECW that is available for individuals and churches to receive via email. the March 2016 issue is available here. We appreciate your help sharing the news. If you have news you would like to included in The Grapevine, or know of someone who would like to be added to the email list, please contact Nancy Smith, The deadline for the next issue is May 31.

Apply now for ECW Scholarships
The Elise Holladay Scholarship, funded by Episcopal Church Women, awards small grants to students throughout the Diocese. Last year 14 young men and women received from $500 to $1000. There is also the ECW Beverley D. Tucker Scholarship which 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 for the student's application to be considered for the fall semester. Start now to give FAFSA, counselors and referees time to help! A student may receive funds twice. If you have questions, do call Susan Broaddus at 757-623-0205 and leave a message.

Residential Education Day at Boys Home

Boys Home invites you to join us on Friday, May 6 for Residential Education Day 2016! We are so excited to open our campus and invite you to come and see what Boys Home is all about. Spend the day with us touring, learning about our programs, meeting the boys and staff, and discovering the opportunities Boys Home is opening for young men from across the country. Boys Home serves boys ages 6-18, who come from a troubled background and need a second chance. Boys Home has been serving young men for over 100 years and we can't wait to share our story with you!

This Open House event will take place on Friday, May 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Boys Home campus. Activities will include: Boys Home School and campus tours, Center for Applied Trades Program demonstrations, chat with residents and staff, FREE luncheon featuring Chefs from Guest Services assisted by Culinary Arts students from JRTC, door prizes.
RSVP to Sarah or Sandra by phone at 540-956-7714, by email at Click here for more information or to RSVP online. 

Lauren Grizzard interns at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services

Lauren Grizzard is a first-year graduate student at
Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Social Work.  Social work emphasizes the integration of theories of human behavior and practice skills, and as part of the MSW program students are immersed in an internship that allows them to put theory into practice and gain real-life experience in the field.
Grizzard received an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia and says that interning at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) has taught her much about Social Work and herself in a short period of time. "Three years ago," she says, "I saw myself helping others, but did not know what that looked like for me.  JFBHS ignited a passion in me for helping adolescents with histories of abuse, neglect, and trauma." 
While at JFBHS, Grizzard spent time in clinical meetings, participated in therapy sessions and observed treatment team meetings. She shadowed different therapists and witnessed their varying styles and techniques which will greatly help her own professional development.  
Grizzard calls her internship at JFBHS "a humbling, yet incredibly rewarding experience." She grew up in the Emporia/Jarratt area and was familiar with JFBHS, but she confesses that she knew little about the extraordinary work that is done there.   At JFBHS, a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, therapists, residential staff workers, and administrative personnel all join together to meet the residents' needs and build them into strong and healthy individuals.
Grizzard observed that the butterfly logo of JFBHS is a perfect representation of the lessons she learned through her internship. "The residents are the caterpillars that turn into butterflies on their own. JFBHS wraps them in a cocoon of compassion and empathy that helps foster a beautiful transformation...and that is what I will strive for in practice.

News from The Episcopal Church

Episcopal Church scholarship applications now being accepted

Applications are now being accepted for educational scholarships from The Episcopal Church for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Scholarships are available for educational training for ethnic communities, children of missionaries, bishops and clergy, and other groups covering a wide range of eligibility. The lists of trust funds and scholarships as well as key information are here.

Requirements for applying for the scholarships include: the applicant must be an Episcopalian and must have the endorsement of his/her bishop. The application form is here. Online applications are required. Deadline for applications is April 30. Only complete applications will be considered. For information, contact Ann Hercules, Associate for Grants and Scholarships,

Church Planting & Missional Initiative grant applications now available

Applications are now open for the 2016 grant cycle for new church starts and Mission Enterprise Zones in The Episcopal Church. Resolution D005 and Resolution A012 approved by General Convention in July 2015 authorized new and continued funding for church plants and Mission Enterprise Zones throughout the Episcopal Church. Additionally, newly created grants will be awarded to dioceses and already-established ministries exploring possibilities for new initiatives or expansion.
Application, guidelines and information are here. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated upon receipt. The applications will be reviewed by the General Convention Advisory Group on Church Planting.
More information about the church planting initiative is here. For information contact