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 www.prcli.org. 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, sjones@boyshomeofva.org, 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 www.give2boyshome.org. 

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 etracy@diosova.org.   

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 morings1@gmail.com 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 www.kanuga.org/liturgicalarts.

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 hmelton@episcopalchurch.org.  

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 stfrancispastor@verizon.net.

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!