Wednesday, June 21, 2017

St. Paul's, Newport News, inner city improvement project awarded $23,400 UTO grant

The United Thank Offering (UTO) of the Episcopal Church awarded 34 grants last week and one of them went to a project here in Southern Virginia. St. Paul's, Newport News, was awarded a grant of $23,400 for its Inner City Improvement project.

Newport News and Hampton have high rates of drug and alcohol dependent individuals who are homeless and unemployed. Drug and alcohol dependencies result in health crises and repeated arrests and convictions. When released, individuals have no resources with which to re-engage in the community, nor the coping skills to prevent relapse.

The UTO grant funds will be used to provide housing for AmeriCorps volunteers - working alongside St. Paul's clergy, staff and volunteers - as they provide education, outreach and connect individuals and families with services.

St. Paul's project aims, through a holistic approach, to change not just the lives of individuals, but the life of the community as a whole. "Most inner city neighborhoods haven't seen the Resurrection; they're still living in Good Friday. Resurrection is transformational."

2017 Seeds of Hope Grant applications now being accepted

The 2017 Seeds of Hope Grant application is now available and applications are being accepted. Applications must be postmarked no later than August 31. Awards will be announced and distributed no later than November 30.

Seeds of Hope grants are available to congregations and diocesan groups to begin or expand ministries for social and economic justice causes as they relate to the Five Marks of Mission. The Five Marks of Mission are an important statement on mission which expresses the Anglican Communion's common commitment to an understanding of God's holistic/integral mission.

These grants are "seeds" in the form of matching grants when possible so as to act as a catalyst to help parishes and other diocesan-affiliated groups begin or expand their ministries that reflect the biblical call to care and advocate for the "widow, the orphan, and the stranger." It also includes the opportunity for special grants for economic justice causes.

Click here for more info and an application. 

ECW News: New issue of Grapevine newsletter; Becca Stevens to speak at Fall Meeting

The Grapevine
The new issue of the Diocesan ECW newsletter, The Grapevine, is available here.  This issue includes:

ECW scholarship awards 
President's message - "Love thy neighbor" 
Women-to-Women announces new project 
ECW Scholarship award for Malawi 
and much more
Becca Stevens to speak at Fall Meeting
On Saturday, November 4, the Rev. Becca Stevens will be the keynote speaker for the Diocesan ECW Annual Fall Meeting at St. Francis, Virginia Beach. Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and Stevens talk is planned for around 11 a.m.  Parish Book Store will be on hand with copies of Stevens' books.

Webinar: Dementia Friendly America

There are more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer's disease in the United States. Learn about how your community can become a friendlier place for people living with dementia and their care partners. Join this webinar on Dementia Friendly America, July 11, 2 to 3 p.m. Click here to register.

Through the work of over 35 national, leading organizations, the Dementia Friendly America (DFA) initiative is catalyzing a movement to more effectively support and serve those who are living with dementia and their care partners. There are now over 45 communities across 36 states that are part of the Dementia Friendly America network. These communities are working across sectors (such as with partners in health care, business and banking, legal and financial, faith communities, and local government) to ensure they are friendly places for people with memory loss and their caregivers to live.

Join this webinar to learn more about Dementia Friendly America, why it is more important than ever before and how your community can join the movement.

Day of Prayer offered by Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee

The Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia is sponsoring a Day of Prayer on August 19 at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. The speaker for the day will be Pastor Richard Bansemer. Pastor Bansemer will lead us in two group sessions considering how and why to pray, whom to pray with, resources for prayer, prayer and the liturgical year, and will share other personal prayer practices. Click here for details and registration.

Presiding Bishop Curry's message for World Refugee Day

In the late 1930s, as the world was on the verge of being plunged into an apocalyptic Second World War, Episcopalians and the Episcopal Church gathered together and began work to resettle those who were refugees fleeing terror in Europe, helping to resettle families, helping to resettle young people, helping to resettle people in this country in safety and security.
Since the 1930s, Episcopalians have been involved in the work of resettling families and people who are refugees, some 80,000.
At that time, in the 1930s there was a poster that depicted Mary, the baby Jesus, and Joseph. Mary was on the donkey. They were clearly on a journey. They were fleeing Palestine. They were seeking to find safety in Egypt. They were refugees. The poster from the 1930s read, "In the name of these refugees, aid all refugees."
In the name of Mary, Joseph and the Lord Jesus, aid all refugees today, for most of the refugees like the Holy Family themselves, are families, and most are children.
I invite you to observe June 20 as World Refugee Day to learn more about the crisis and to find ways that you can both pray and help in other ways.
God bless you, God keep you, and you keep the faith.

Click here to watch video of Bishop Curry's message.

Click here for Episcopal Migration Ministries' resources for World Refugee Day.

Applications accepted for Stewardship of Creation grants

The Episcopal Church Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation is accepting applications for grants that focus on local faith-based projects for mitigating climate change and safeguarding the integrity of Creation.
This marks the next cycle of grantmaking by the Episcopal Church Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation, enabled by Resolution A030, Create Task Force On Climate Change, approved at General Convention 2015 and charged with the responsibility to develop a grant process to support local ecologically responsible stewardship of church-related properties and buildings.
Recommendations will be made for grants up to $10,000. Further information regarding this grant process and how to submit an application is available here. Deadline for applications is August 20.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Save the date: Becca Stevens to speak at Diocesan ECW Fall Meeting on Nov. 4

On Saturday, November 4, the Rev. Becca Stevens will be the keynote speaker for the Diocesan ECW Annual Fall Meeting at St. Francis, Virginia Beach. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and Stevens talk is planned for around 11 a.m.
Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. After experiencing the death of her father and subsequent child abuse when she was 5, Becca longed to open a sanctuary for survivors offering a loving community. In 1997, five women who had experienced trafficking, violence, and addiction were welcomed home. Twenty years later, the organization continues to welcome women with free residence hat provide housing, medical care, therapy and education for two years. Residents and graduates earn income through one of four social enterprises. The Global Market of Thistle Farms helps employ more than 1,800 women worldwide, and the national network has more than 40 sister communities.

Understanding Addiction & Supporting Recovery: Strategies and tools for clergy and pastoral leaders

This seminar on Thursday, August 17 at Bruton Parish House, Williamsburg, is a unique opportunity for clergy and other congregational leaders to receive the latest information, resources and strategies on how to educate and give hope to individuals and families suffering from the impact of addiction. It is presented by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and The Clergy Education and Training Project® of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), with its partners SpiritWorks Foundation and the Addictions and Recovery Commission of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Cost is $15 for lunch. Seminar will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more info and registration.  

Jackson-Feild graduates 10 students

June 9 was a milestone day for ten students at the Gwaltney School at Jackson-Feild Homes as they graduated from high school. The Baccalaureate Service and Commencement Exercises were held at Southside Virginia Community College's Golden Leaf Commons.
Five students received their high school diploma and five students received their GED. This was the largest graduating class since 2009. In its 20 year history, a total of 167 students have graduated from the Gwaltney School.
Dr. Bill Bowling, Director of Education, presided over the ceremony. Three students, Aureana, Genya and Fidel were the commencement speakers. Their speeches provided everyone in the audience an understanding of how important this day was to them as well as their deep gratitude towards the faculty and staff who helped them along the way.
Five scholarships were awarded to students to help them with the expenses to further their education. In addition to the scholarships awarded, there were special gifts that were given to all the graduates. Among these were cash gifts, gift cards, flowers for the girls and wallets for the boys. Helen Sharpe-Williams, President of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Southern Virginia was in attendance and presented each graduate with a cash gift as a token for their accomplishment. An anonymous donor gave each graduate a $100 gift certificate and each girl a bouquet of red roses and each boy a wallet. Each student also received a class ring that was funded by an anonymous donor.
This ceremony is one of the highlights of the year for both children and staff as it culminates and validates the mission of Jackson-Feild and celebrates the accomplishments of it children.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

CE-Net and Digital Faith Formation

For many of us just saying the words Digital Faith Formation can instill feelings of inadequacy, perceived technical challenges or perhaps outright avoidance of the subject.    Fear not! CE-NET has collaborated with Jared Rendell, Partner for Digital Strategies, at Vibrant Faith to present several sessions over the summer to help us reduce our digital angst. 

The first opportunity will occur on June 15 at 10:00 at the Diocesan Center, 11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101 Newport News. Jared will help us explore some basic information about a few key "must use" digital platforms and guide us in re-orienting our perceptions of the digital landscape.  As we begin to explore the topic the following key points should emerge:
  • Digital formation is not a tool to be used, but rather a space to gather in.
  • Digital formation is not just posted information, but rather active engaged faith formation.
  • You have what it takes to have a digital presence and it is a shared responsibility for all who are engaged in faith formation.
  • Digital formation is a planned, integrated ministry.  It's not a standalone effort but rather it should complement and connect to  our brick and mortar presence
  • Effective digital formation should create opportunities to live out our mission and create ways to connect to each other and to God.
Please join us and share your thoughts.  We will conclude at noon and you are welcome to bring a lunch if you would like to continue the discussion during the lunch hour.  Please confirm you attendance by email,

"Journey to Generosity" stewardship conference available free online

The 2017 TENS Conference, "Journey to Generosity" was held in May in Minneapolis.  Those in attendance were inspired by three outstanding keynote speakers and eight workshops challenged and trained people on topics from the "Spirituality of Philanthropy" to "Planning Your Annual Campaign."
The TENS Board of Directors has decided to make the entire webinar available to all TENS members, FREE! Through our diocesan membership, you can access the videos on the Member Resources page of the TENS website, If you are interested in any of the workshops, please contact Caroline Black at for the login and password.

New course and one free month from ChurchNext

ChurchNext has two new courses available:
  • Ministering with Millennials - Millennials are the largest generation alive today. They are not only important to the faith community; they are a necessity if we want to bring the church into the new world - a world they will be running in just 20-30 years.
  • Is My Loved One Addicted? - This course is designed to help family members and churches combat the disease of addiction. Jonathan Benz, a certified substance abuse counselor, author and speaker discusses ways to recognize the signs of addiction and what to do once your realize that a love one is struggling with addiction.
ChurchNext is also making a free offer - They will give your church a free, one-month Congregational Membership test drive with no obligation. ChurchNext offers over 300 courses for individuals and groups that can help your congregation learn and grow in their faith. To take advantage of the free offer, just email  

Presiding Bishop on the President's action and the Paris Climate Accord

With the announcement by President Donald Trump of his decision to withdraw the commitment made by the United States to the Paris Climate Accord, I am reminded of the words of the old spiritual which speaks of God and God's creation in these words, "He's got the whole world in his hands." The whole world belongs to God, as Psalm 24 teaches us. God's eye is ever on even the tiny sparrow, as Jesus taught and the song says (Luke 12:6). And we human beings have been charged with being trustees, caretakers, stewards of God's creation (Genesis 1:26-31).
The United States has been a global leader in caring for God's creation through efforts over the years on climate change. President Trump's announcement changes the U.S.'s leadership role in the international sphere. Despite this announcement, many U.S. businesses, states, cities, regions, nongovernmental organizations and faith bodies like the Episcopal Church can continue to take bold action to address the climate crisis.  The phrase, "We're still in," became a statement of commitment for many of us who regardless of this decision by our President are still committed to the principles of the Paris Agreement.
Faith bodies like the Episcopal Church occupy a unique space in the worldwide climate movement. In the context of the United Nations, the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, we are an international body representing 17 countries in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia and the Pacific. We also are an admitted observer organization to the UNFCCC process, empowered to bring accredited observers to the UN climate change meetings. Furthermore, the Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third-largest Christian tradition, and we remain committed to ensuring that Anglicans everywhere are empowered to undertake bold action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
We know that caring for God's creation by engaging climate change is not only good for the environment, but also good for the health and welfare of our people. The U.S. is currently creating more clean jobs faster than job creation in nearly every other sector of the economy, and unprecedented acceleration in the clean energy sector is also evident in many other major economies.
My prayer is that we in the Episcopal Church will, in this and all things, follow the way, the teachings and the Spirit of Jesus by cultivating a loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, all others in the human family, and with all of God's good creation.
In spite of hardships and setbacks, the work goes on. This is God's world.  And we are all his children. And, "He's got the whole world in his hands."
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church

The Presiding Bishop's statement is available online here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Practical Resources for Churches assists with all areas of ministry

Practical Resources for Churches (PRC) is an ecumenical resource that works with churches of all sizes and denominations, assisting with all areas of ministry. PRC's goal is to provide time-effective, cost efficient and results oriented programs and services and to use technology as efficiently as possible to assist church leaders to further and enhance their ministry moving forward. The newest and most ambitious project is an Online Resource Center at It offers links and online resources in sixteen categories where information can be obtained on a range of sub topics.

The site features lots of webinars and their catalog of previously recorded sessions is free to access. PRC has just released their schedule of webinars for the rest of the year and some of the upcoming events are:
  • E-giving for Every Church (Aug. 8)
  • Getting Ready - For CE Directors (Aug. 10)
  • Let's Kill Sunday School - before it kills the church (Aug. 22)
  • Digital Activism 101 (Sep. 12)
  • Faith at Home - How to support cautiously Christian parents (Sep. 26)
  • Transforming Attitudes about Dementia in the Church (Oct. 3)
  • Faith Formation at Home - Tools your families can use (Oct. 19)
  • Helping Others Find God in the Digital Space (Nov. 2)
  • Reaching People Under 30 While Keeping People Over 60 (Nov. 7)

Southern Virginia mourns the loss of the Rev. William Hoffman

Southern Virginia mourns the loss of the Rev. William Charles Hoffman who passed away on May 20 at the age of 93. The Rev. Hoffman was ordained to diaconate in 1951 and to the priesthood in 1952 here in Southern Virginia by Bishop Gunn. Hoffman served from 1951 to 1954 at Pruden Parish, Gretna, and 1954 to 1988 at St. Bride's, Chesapeake.

A funeral service will be held at St. Bride's, Chesapeake (621 N. Sparrow Road) on Saturday, June 10 at 11 a.m. Clergy: White stoles. Please keep the Hoffman family in your prayers.

Jackson-Feild hosts Spring ECW meeting

By Nancy Smith, St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach

The Rev. Dr. Robin Jones, celebrates eucharist in All Saints Chapel at the ECW Spring Annual Meeting hosted by Jackson-Feild May 20.
Shiny new floors, colorful furniture and freshly painted walls brighten up the Marshall Cottage at Jackson-Feild. Even the bathroom is getting a facelift thanks to the ECW's $20,000 donation earmarked for the cottage's renovation. A visit to the cottage to see the renovations was the highlight of the day for Episcopal Church Women from six convocations gathered at Jackson-Field for the ECW's Spring Annual Meeting May 20. "We were happy to see the work that had been done," said ECW Diocesan President, Helen Sharpe-Williams.
The day began with the business meeting in Jackson-Field's recreation hall. The room showed no signs of the students' prom held there the night before the meeting.   Meredith Melo, Assistant Director of Advancement, Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) welcomed visitors, gave an overview of Jackson-Field programs and served as the renovation tour guide.
President Sharpe-Williams spoke about her president's project, "Love Thy Neighbor." The focus is on ending abuse. She announced Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest, who is president of Thistle Farms, the largest social enterprise in the US run by abuse survivors is the keynote speaker for the Diocesan ECW Annual Fall Meeting at St. Francis Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach, November 4, 2017.          
The Rev. Dr. Robin Jones invited the women to celebrate eucharist in the beautiful renovated All Saints Chapel. The chapel was closed in 2011, when Jackson-Field last hosted an ECW meeting. In August 2014, the chapel was rededicated after a capital campaign to make repairs and improvements. The day ended with a delicious lunch. Many thanks to Jackson-Feild.

Get to know Boys Home and how you can help

Boys Home has a new video tour of campus, including drone footage. We would love everyone to come to campus and see Boys Home in action, but we hope this new video tour can give you a better idea of what campus is like on a day-to-day basis.

If your congregation would like a visit from Boys Home, contact Sarah Jones,, to set that up. Boys Home makes a great mission trip destination as well. Trinity, Portsmouth, and Galilee, Virginia Beach, will both be returning to Boys Home this summer for mission trips. What other ways can you help? Invite your friends and members of your parish to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Donations can be mailed to Boys Home of Virginia, 414 Boys Home Rd. Covington, VA 24426 or online at 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Presiding Bishop Curry: A Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have issued a joint statement calling for prayer, fasting and advocacy. The statement, For Such a Time as This: A Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy, calls for fasting on the 21st of each month through December 2018, at which time the 115th Congress will conclude. The 21st of each month is targeted because by that time each month, 90% of SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits have been used, thereby causing the last week of the month as the hungry week in America. The fast launched with a group of national and local leaders doing a three-day fast together May 21-23. These leaders include Presiding Bishop Curry, Presiding Bishop Eaton, and leadership throughout the Episcopal Church.

More about the joint statement is here.

The Presiding Bishop's video message is here.

Full communion proposal for Episcopal Church and United Methodist Church

The Episcopal Church - United Methodist Dialogue group have prepared A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness; The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church - A Proposal for Full Communion, the result of dialogue for a formal full-communion relationship. The proposal can be found here. In the coming months, opportunities for feedback, regional gatherings, and discussions will be slated.

Church Communicators Manual updated & revised

Among the communications resources available here on our website is the Church Communicators Manual. The manual has been updated and revised. You can download a copy here.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Judy A. Dobson joins the diocesan staff

Judy A. Dobson joins the diocesan staff on May 17 as diocesan comptroller.

Judy has a M.S. degree in Accounting from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. She was employed for 17 years as a special agent of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and was the agency's leading expert on financial investigations. Prior to that, she was a marine police officer for the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and also served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Judy is a member of Abingdon Episcopal Church in White Marsh, VA (Diocese of Virginia), and has served as the church's treasurer since 2016.

Mark your calendar for 2017-2018 youth events!

Mark your calendar now for these 2017-2018 youth events at Chanco on the James! More info and online registration will be available on the Youth Programs & Events page of our website: 
  • Aug. 13-18, 2017 - Secret Session 5 at Camp Chanco for grades 10-12
  • Oct. 28-29, 2017 - Pre-Happening Staff Weekend
  • Nov. 10-12, 2017 - Happening #67 for grades 10-12
  • Nov. 17-19, 2017 - November Weekend for grades 6-12
  • Feb. 8-10, 2018 - Youth Delegation to Annual Council, for grades 9-12
  • Feb. 24-25, 2018 - Pre-Happening Staff Weekend
  • Mar. 9-11, 2018 - Happening #68 for grades 10-12
  • May 18-20, 2018 - May Weekend for grades 6-12

Certification of Lay Delegates & Alternates to Annual Council

Your Certificate of Lay Delegates and Alternates for Annual Council should be sent to the Diocesan office by June 30, 2017. 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 2017-2018.

Your elected delegates and alternates will serve for an entire conciliar year beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018. This term includes eligibility to vote at Pre-Council Convocation meetings in January 2018, Annual Council February 9-10, 2018, 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   

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ECW Spring Annual Meeting registration deadline is today!

The ECW Spring Annual Meeting will be held May 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jackson-Feild Home in Jarratt, VA.
Come join us as we learn about the deep roots the ECW have with Jackson-Feild. A tour of the campus will include the Marshall Cottage which was renovated using the gift from the ECW last fall. 

Registration and coffee will begin at 9 a.m. and the meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Following Eucharist there will be a tour of Jackson-Feild and lunch will be served. Gathering will adjourn at 2 p.m.

To register for the meeting, contact Tia Morings, 757-650-8809 or by May 10
. Registration cost is $20 per person. Please advise Tia of any dietary restrictions. Money will be collected during meeting check-in. Registration deadline is May 10, 2017.

Clergy transitions

Deacon Edith Raby retired from Christ Church, Smithfield, on May 1.

The Rev. Kathie Price began as Interim Rector at St. George's, Newport News, on May 7.

Ireland Pilgrimage Sept. 11-21, 2017

The Rev. Dr. Peter Hogg and Toni Hogg invite you to join them for a pilgrimage to Ireland September 11-21, 2017. The trip will include Waterford, Killarney, Galway, Connemara, Sligo and Dublin. Click here for more information. 

Faith, Art and Creative Expression liturgical arts conference at Kanuga

Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina invites you to join them for Faith, Art and Creative Expression: A Conference of Liturgical Arts, August 20-24.

Explore the Divine through artistic expression led by a caring group of instructors in weaving, needlepoint, photography and choral music. Morning classes are followed by afternoons of continued work or relaxation. On August 21, there will be a special excursion to experience the total eclipse, followed by a special outdoor Eucharist.

For more information and to register, please visit

Becoming Beloved Community: Introducing the Episcopal Church's long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation and justice

Following a year of listening, consulting and reflection, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and officers of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies are inviting Episcopalians to study and commit to using Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church's Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice. The full document is here. Read more here.

Thy Kingdom Come: Episcopal Church joins Worldwide Anglican Communion campaign calling for prayer

The Episcopal Church has joined the Worldwide Anglican Communion in Thy Kingdom Come, a campaign initiated by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby calling for prayer by individuals, congregations and families. Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension Day - May 25 - and Pentecost - June 4 - for more people to come to know Jesus.  #ThyKingdomCome
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will lead the Thy Kingdom Come video messages on May 25.
Pledge2Pray kicks off on May 5; sign-up to participate here. Prayer resources for individuals, congregations and/or families can be downloaded here.
After pledging to pray, be a part of the Let the Light shine social media campaign by posting a photo or video holding a candle or tealight, and pledging to pray. Information available here. #Pledge2Pray

Get more info and resources here.

Prepare for hurricane season with resources from Episcopal Relief & Development

Hurricane season begins June 1. Episcopal Relief & Development's US Disaster Program offers a variety of resources to help you, your loved ones, your church and your community to prepare for hurricane season and respond to storms that may occur.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Submit a prayer to the 2018 UTO pocket book of prayers

Every three years, the United Thank Offering gathers original prayers from around the Episcopal Church to create a pocket book of prayers available at General Convention. Last Convention they were able to collect 125 prayers of gratitude in honor of 125 years of the United Thank Offering. This year they are hoping to collect original prayers from nine categories: gratitude, guidance, fear/danger, forgiveness, healing, loneliness, crisis/dealing with disappointment or crisis, love of God, or other. Children, women, men, clergy, seminarians or groups may write prayers for this edition of the booklet and they may be submitted in any language. Prayers can be submitted in any format: collect, litany, free form or prose. Please submit all prayers by July 1, 2017. Prayers must be submitted using this webpage. You'll be asked to select which category your prayer fits into best for the pocket prayer book. You'll also be asked to provide a title for your prayer. You may submit multiple prayers, but you will need to fill out a separate form for each prayer. If you need assistance, contact UTO staff at  

Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows becomes first black woman to lead Episcopal diocese

Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows greets the congregation at her consecration as Bishop Barbara Harris, center, and Bishop Catherine Waynick, left, look on. Photo: Meghan McConnell, Episcopal News Service
The Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows was ordained and consecrated the eleventh bishop of Indianapolis April 29, making her the first black woman to lead a diocese in the history of the Episcopal Church and the first woman to succeed another woman as diocesan bishop. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry led the service as chief consecrator and was joined by more than 40 bishops from across the church.

Among the co-consecrators at the service was the Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion. Before the consecration, Baskerville-Burrows told the Indianapolis Star, "The first thing that comes to mind is how grateful I am to the women that have come before. Barbara Harris will be at my consecration, and when I think about what she's done for me and how I've even encountered little girls saying, 'Oh my gosh. One day, may I discern such a call?' That is just everything."

Click here to read more and to see video of the consecration.

Outward Mindset: A continuing education opportunity

The Rev. Conor Alexander of St. Francis, Virginia Beach, a licensed facilitator for Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset from the Arbinger Institute, is leading a three-day continuing education event at Chanco on the James for clergy and lay employees in the Diocese of Southern Virginia May 23-25. Click here  to read more about this workshop and all it will offer to help support your ministry! Register here. Questions? Contact the Rev. Conor Alexander at

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services elects new trustees

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is pleased to announce the election two members to its Board of Trustees.
Elizabeth Feild, head of global Management and Professional Development for PAREXEL, has more than 18 years of experience with large scale leadership development. She holds an undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University, a masters from American, and certificates in leadership development and business coaching from Harvard and Duke. As the great-granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. George W. Feild - donors of "Walnut Grove" - JFBHS holds a very special place in Feild's heart. Prior to job relocations to England and then Massachusetts, Feild served on the Jackson-Feild board of trustees. Now that she and her family are back in North Carolina, Feild is thrilled to once again be actively involved in continuing the mission of JFBHS.
Stuart C. Leinenbach, Vice President and U.S. Manager for Iluka Resources, served multiple human resources and organizational effectiveness roles throughout his career. Following a seven-year stint in the U.S. Air Force, he joined Siemens AG followed by Reynolds Metals Company. Leinenbach holds an undergraduate degree from St. Leo University, and master's degrees from both Bethany Theological Seminary and George Washington University. He has served on the Virginia Governor's Council of Career and Technical Education, and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies.

Our Long Journey Home: Caring for others through the seasons of death

St. Stephen's, Richmond, invites you to join them for "Our Long Journey Home: Caring for Others through the Seasons of Death," a presentation by Dr. Thomas G. Long on Monday, June 26. Dr. Long is co-author of The Good Funeral and author of The Witness of PreachingAccompany Them with Singing: The Christian Funeral, and other books. He is Bandy Professor of Preaching Emeritus and Director of the Early Career Pastoral Leadership Program at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta Ga.

Dr. Long has been named one of the 25 most influential preachers in America. He will explore the shifting landscape of American death practices; look at some myths and misunderstandings that surround death; examine the best roles of funeral directors, hospice personnel, clergy, and others who minister to the dying and to mourners after death; and lift up the true value and purposes of a funeral.
This event, presented by Bliley Funeral Homes and held at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (6000 Grove Avenue, Richmond) is geared toward clergy and pastoral care staff and begins with refreshments at 3:30. Dr. Long's talk will begin at 4:00. There will be time for a Q&A session before we adjourn at 6:00 p.m. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Click here for a flyer you can share. Register here

Time to submit scholarship applications

Ridley Foundation Scholarship
Through the great generosity and charity of Miss Roberta Ridley, an endowed trust was established many years ago to provide financial support for continuing education for qualified members of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Southern Virginia and for residents of Southampton County and the City of Franklin. Applications are due by June 20. Click here for more info and application form.

The Bishop Vaché Scholarship
The Bishop Vaché Scholarships provide funds to assist low-income and minority college students in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. First-year students as well as returning college students are welcome to apply. Scholarship awards range from $1000 to $5000 per academic year. Applications are due by June 1 and awards will be made by July 1. Click here for application information and form. 

Eight Canterburians confirmed this year

By The Rev. Tyler Montgomery, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg

The William & Mary Canterbury Association was pleased to have eight students called to receive the sacrament of confirmation this year. These students all completed a seven-week Christian Formation course, including a one-on-one session with the Chaplain to discuss and articulate what it means to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In two years, eighteen students have received confirmation and three students have been baptized; several more students have already expressed an interest in Christian Formation and sacramental membership in the Church for the next academic year. It is an exciting time for the Church! Young adults are evidently interested in "coming and seeing" what Jesus is doing in this place and in their lives. As ever, Christianity surprises us in the ways in which it expresses itself, and it seems that we are seeing a revival of sorts in the midst of our establishment at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg. For this, we give thanks to God!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Soles for the Soul project aims to help reduce overdose deaths

Each day in the United States 144 people die from fatal drug overdoses; the majority are opioid related. In Virginia, fatal drug overdoses are the number one cause of unnatural death. During 2016 drug overdose deaths in Virginia increased by 25%. In response to the worsening drug addiction epidemic, the Virginia Department of Health declared the opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency in November 2016.

One way to prevent overdose deaths is to make Naloxone more available to first responders. Naloxone temporarily reverses the effect of opiates by counteracting the life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, thereby allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally.   In Virginia, the first people to arrive on the scene in a suspected overdose emergency are law enforcement officers. Currently fewer than 10% of law enforcement departments are equipped with Naloxone.
The Rev. Jan Brown and the Rev. Lauren McDonald, co-chairs of the Diocesan Addictions & Recovery Commission, and SpiritWorks Foundation in Williamsburg have chosen to become part of the solution by teaching others how to respond to opioid overdose. After becoming trainers through REVIVE!, the Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Education Program, they have begun training law enforcement officers, probation & parole officers, family members, community members and individuals on how to use the life-saving reversal drug to prevent fatal drug overdose.
Through June 15, SpiritWorks is holding a fundraiser, Soles for the Soul, to collect shoes to raise money to purchase Naloxone (Narcan) for law enforcement officers. Through Soles for the Soul, SpiritWorks is hoping to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic in our area and to raise funds to help prevent it. Save lives. Donate shoes.  
For more information call the Rev. Jan M. Brown or the Rev. Lauren McDonald at 757-903-0000 or leave your gently used shoes in the drop box at the SpiritWorks Foundation Center at 5800 Mooretown Rd. in Williamsburg at any time.

Click here to watch an interview with the Rev. Jan Brown about the Soles for the Soul project. 

New online courses from ChurchNext include Certificate in Prayer Book Studies

Certificate in Prayer Book Studies
ChurchNext's latest Certificate Program enables you to earn a ChurchNext Certificate in Prayer Book Studies. Produced in partnership with Bexley Seabury Seminary, take all 8 of the courses on The Book of Common Prayer and you'll receive a Certificate of Prayer Book Studies. Courses include The Prayer Book and Scripture with Roger Ferlo, and The Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer with Karl Ruttan. Courses are available for individual or group study. This means you can take these courses on your own, or organize a small group to earn your certificates together. Click here for a list of courses.  
Congregations as Sanctuaries
Also, has your congregation been increasingly interested in the topic of caring for refugees and immigrants? ChurchNext has just launched Congregations as Sanctuaries with Paul Perez, available for individual and group study. Perez, a social justice engagement officer for the United Methodist Church, offers practical and insightful advice to Christians and congregations about how they can help immigrants and refugees who are increasingly frightened about their livelihood. Click here for more.

Fairy Godmothers work their magic

The gym at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) was transformed into a department store recently. It was filled with clothing racks of prom dresses, tables full of shoes and jewelry and even a makeup counter.
For the past eleven years Collegiate School students have provided prom outfits to more than 380 residents through The Fairy Godmother Project. Their mission is to provide a high school prom experience for children whose circumstances would otherwise exclude them for attending a high school prom.
Throughout the year, Collegiate students Polly Sommers and Austin Tyner, co-Presidents of the Fairy Godmother Project, collected donated prom attire and conducted fund raisers to purchase supplemental items to complete the outfits.
The gym was filled with laughter and residents had smiles on their faces after their successful "shopping experience". The Collegiate students helped the girls find the right ensemble that will make them feel and look beautiful at the prom. Their generosity and kindness is much appreciated by both children and staff.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mary's Cafe serves up great food and service

Several times a year, staff members at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) are invited to a special lunch at Mary's Café.
Supervised by Mary Griffith and Shemille Dennis, on April 6 the students in the food occupations class at JFBHS prepared and served a restaurant-caliber lunch of French onion soup, steak, steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and strawberry-topped cheesecake. Not only did the students plan and prepare the meal, they also performed the duties of host/hostess, and wait staff.
In the food occupations class, students learn everything about the food service business from ordering food and supplies to preparing and serving, accepting reservations by phone, fulfilling the role of wait staff, and cleaning the dining and kitchen areas. Students are also taught resume-writing skills and job-interviewing techniques.
The lessons taught by Griffith and Dennis are invaluable to the students. While Mary's Café is not open to the general public, the staff members who participated reported that the service was excellent and the meal was as good as any prepared in a commercial restaurant.

Day of Prayer gatherings to be offered by Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee

The Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia is sponsoring a Day of Prayer on May 17 at Chanco on the James, led by the Rev. John Maxwell Kerr. A Day of Prayer will also be offered on August 17 at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Smith Mountain Lake, led by Pastor Richard Bansemer. Speakers will lead participants in considering how and why to pray, whom to pray with, resources for prayer, prayer and the liturgical year, and will share other personal prayer practices.

Click here for more info and registration for May 17 at Chanco on the James.

Click here for more info and registration for August 17 at Smith Mountain Lake.

Easter Vigil on the York River

Bishop Hollerith was celebrant at the Easter Vigil service on the York River on Saturday, Apr. 15. This was a joint service of Abingdon Church in Gloucester, Grace Church in Yorktown, St. Paul's in Newport News, St. Andrew's in Newport News, Reformation Lutheran in Newport News, and Kingston Parish in Mathews. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Ed Pickup will retire from Emmanuel, Franklin, on July 1, 2017

ECW Annual Spring Meeting; updated Yearbook

Jackson-Feild Homes will host the ECW Annual Spring Meeting on Saturday, May 20. Come join us as we learn about the deep roots the ECW have with Jackson-Feild. A tour of the campus will include the Marshall Cottage which was renovated using the gift from the ECW last fall. To register for the meeting, contact Tia Morings, 757-650-8809 or by May 10
. Registration cost is $20 per person. Please advise Tia of any dietary restrictions. Money will be collected during meeting check-in. Registration deadline is May 10, 2017.

2017 ECW Yearbook & Parish Directory now available
The ECW Yearbook and Parish Directory, updated for 2017, is now available as a PDF file. If you would like a copy, please contact Ann Turner, or 757-213-3388.

William & Mary Canterbury hosts Silent Auction & Gala

Click here for more information about the Canterbury Association's Silent Auction & Gala.

Space is filling at Camp Chanco - register today!

Chanco is gearing up for its busiest summer season with paddle boarding, rock wall climbing, zip lining, arts and crafts, silly skits, songs & games along with a Chaplain program within a fantastic Christian community for ages 8-16.  You won't want to miss this summer! Click here for a 2017 summer camp promo video to see all the fun happening at Chanco. Still not convinced? Visit us at our open house May 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. and see for yourself! Then visit to register today! Questions? Contact us at or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626). See you soon!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Easter message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

It's taken me some years to realize it, but Jesus didn't just happen to be in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. He wasn't on vacation. He wasn't just hanging out in town. Jesus was in Jerusalem on purpose. He arrived in Jerusalem about the time of the Passover when pilgrims were in the city. When people's hopes and expectations for the dawn of freedom that Moses had promised in the first Passover might suddenly be realized for them in their time.

Jesus arranged his entrance into Jerusalem to send a message. He entered the city, having come in on one side of the city, the scholars tell us, at just about the same time that Pontius Pilate made his entrance on the exact opposite side of the city. Pilate, coming forth on a warhorse. Pilate, with soldiers around him. Pilate, with the insignias of Rome's Empire. Pilate, representing the Caesars who claimed to be son of god. Pilate, who had conquered through Rome the people of Jerusalem. Pilate, representing the Empire that had taken away their freedom. Pilate, who represented the Empire that would maintain the colonial status of the Jewish people by brute force and violence.

Jesus entered the city on the other side, not on a warhorse, but on a donkey, recalling the words of Zechariah:
Behold your King comes to you
Triumphant and victorious is He
Humble and riding on a donkey

Jesus entered the city at the same time as Pilate to show them, and to show us, that God has another way. That violence is not the way. That hatred is not the way. That brute force and brutality are not the way.

Jesus came to show us there is another way. The way of unselfish, sacrificial love. That's why he entered Jerusalem. That's why he went to the cross. It was the power of that love poured out from the throne of God, that even after the horror of the crucifixion would raise him from death to life.
God came among us in the person of Jesus to start a movement. A movement to change the face of the earth. A movement to change us who dwell upon the earth. A movement to change the creation from the nightmare that is often made of it into the dream that God intends for it.

He didn't just happen to be in Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday. He went to Jerusalem for a reason. To send a message. That not even the titanic powers of death can stop the love of God.  On that Easter morning, he rose from the dead, and proclaimed love wins.

So you have a blessed Easter. Go forth to be people of the Resurrection. Follow in the way of Jesus. Don't be ashamed to love. Don't be ashamed to follow Jesus.

Have a blessed Easter.  And bless the world.  Amen.
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate

The message is available in Spanish and French here. Video available here.

Residential Education Day at Boys Home, Covington

The Rev. Bill Jones honored with community leadership award

The Rev. Bill Jones and his wife, Lynn 

The Rev. Bill Jones retired as our diocesan Archdeacon, but he's still busy in ministry, and last Thursday received the Ann and Don King Community Leadership Award from HomeAgain, a Richmond organization devoted to helping families and individuals experiencing homelessness secure and maintain a Home, Again. Deacon Bill has served on the HomeAgain board for 11 years, and was honored and humbled to receive this award. Deacon Bill continues to serve every Sunday at St. David's, Richmond.

April is UTO Ingathering month

April is here and you know what that means - it is time for the semiannual United Thank Offering Ingathering.

The United Thank Offering is an outreach ministry of the Episcopal Church that was founded in 1889. It is a personal and family devotional program of the Episcopal Church encouraging men, women, and children to share their thankfulness to God through daily prayer and offerings. By embracing this devotional program, we are reminded to be prayer oriented first and then we are encouraged to give tangible thanks for our blessings as an offering or thanksgiving to God. Each year, the offerings collected are given away in the form of grants. These grants focus on meeting compelling human needs and on expanding the mission and ministry of the church at home and throughout the world. Through these grants, those less fortunate can come to know the love of God.
Where does the money go? Every penny goes to grants. The 2016 UTO grant cycle awarded 32 grants totaling $1,161,314.62. These grants were awarded to projects in 32 dioceses, which included 25 dioceses located in the United States, five non-domestic dioceses, six companion dioceses, one grant to the Episcopal Migration Ministries, and one Presiding Bishop grant.
Please give generously to the 2017 UTO Spring Ingathering. Even the smallest donations, when added together, can make a huge difference in the lives of others.
Contact Ronda Toll, ECW Diocesan UTO Coordinator, or 757-869-8873 for UTO literature, materials, supplies, or for more information.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Register now for May Weekend, May 19-21

May Weekend is a weekend retreat May 19-21 for all teens in grades 6-12 at Camp Chanco sponsored by the Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) Board. Click here for details and registration. This year's retreat schedule includes:
  • Friday Night- Icebreakers, Music and Social, Opening Assembly, First Small Group Meeting, Compline
  • Saturday- Morning Prayer, Large and Small Group times throughout the day, EYC Board Candidate Speeches, Noonday Prayer, Free Time with Ropes and Zips, Eucharist, Dance
  • Sunday Morning- EYC Board Elections, Warm Fuzzies, Senior Moment, Closing Prayers
Rising 10th-12th graders are invited to run for the EYC Board. If you are interested, please bring the application with you to the weekend. You can find it here

Now is the time to register VBS volunteers for Safe Church training

Registration is now open for all of this year's Safe Church training classes. Now is the time to have your Vacation Bible School volunteers register for training:
  • April 8 - St. Michael's, Colonial Heights. Click here to register. Registration closes on Apr. 4.
  • April 29 - Christ Church, Smithfield. Click here to register. Registration closes on Apr. 25.
  • May 13 - Epiphany, Danville. Click here to register. Registration closes on May 9.
  • May 20 - St. George's, Pungoteague. Click here to register. Registration closes on May 16.
  • June 10, 2017  - St. Michael's, Bon Air. Register here. Registration closes on June 6.
  • September 16, 2017 - St. Cyprian's, Hampton. Register here. Registration closes on Sep. 12.
  • September 30, 2017 - Emmanuel, Virginia Beach. Register here. Registration closes on Sep. 26.
  • November 4, 2017 - Good Shepherd, Richmond.  Register here. Registration closes on Oct. 31.
Click here for more information about Safe Church Training, and about the availability of online training.