Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Directory of spiritual directors

For several years, the Rev. Mike Ferguson convened a group of spiritual directors for a monthly gathering at the diocesan office. Whenever I received a request for names of spiritual directors, I would always contact Mike. Since his death, we no longer have a designated contact person for this ministry, even though we receive requests on a regular basis. To that end, we are asking anyone who is doing spiritual direction, to send contact information to Caroline Black at cblack@diosova.org so we can begin to compile a directory. Thanks for your assistance.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

CE-Net meeting on Nov. 16

CE-Net (Christian Education Network) will hold an informal face to face meeting on Thursday, November 16, 2017 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Diocesan office in Newport News. Please join us as we catch up and discuss future CE-Net meetings. We would love to hear your plans for the upcoming Advent season as well as how your summer programs went.  For those who wish, we can head to a local restaurant for lunch after the conversation. Feel free to pass this invite along to anyone who you think would be interested! Please RSVP to Jennifer Nauroth, jnauroth75@gmail.com, or Lynn Farlin, lfarlin@ascension-norfolk.org

Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group in Farmville on Nov. 16

Attention parish administrators, treasurers, and anyone (staff or volunteer) involved in the financial or administrative functions of your parish -- on Thursday, November 16, John's Memorial will host the Administrators and Treasurers Lunch Group. This is your opportunity to learn, ask questions, share your experiences, and connect with your colleagues in other parishes. There is no agenda other than the one you set. Bring your own lunch. Beverages will be provided. Please RSVP Judy Dobson, Diocesan Comptroller at jdobson@diosova.org. Johns Memorial is located at 400 High Street, Farmville. 

ACS Year-End Documentation Training Dec. 6

ACS trainer Fred Forry will offer a one-day training on year-end documentation on Dec. 6 at the Diocesan Office, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. This is an outstanding opportunity for ACS users to get training on these vital processes. ACS is only offering one other year-end training in the Virginia-North Carolina region. The morning session will focus on contributions and the afternoon will cover financials. Participants should download and bring ACS year-end documentation to follow along in class. Cost of training is $50. Lunch is provided. Click here to register.

Lutheran-Episcopal Day of Prayer on Nov. 14

The Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia is sponsoring a Day of Prayer on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Arlington. The Day of Prayer will be led by the Rev. Katherine A. Grieb, Meade Professor of Biblical Interpretation and New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA. Rev. Grieb 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.  
Day of Prayer in Richmond  on March 8 
There will be another Lutheran-Episcopal Day of Prayer event on March 8, 2018 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Richmond. This day will be led by the Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Click here for details and registration for that event. 

Trinity Institute 2018: Values in Action

St. Paul's, Newport News, will be a Trinity Institute Partner Site for the 2018 conference to be held Feb. 2-3, 2018. Mark your calendar and plan to attend this important event.
We all want to create a better world, and that requires action and connection. Discerning shared values is crucial to forming powerful partnerships and moving forward with courageous intention. Explore how you and your community can set a collaborative course at Values in Action, a Trinity Institute conference designed to help you get grounded and connected so you can get going. The 2018 conference features leading activists, theologians, authors, and experts on how to integrate core values into strategic and effective action, including the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church; Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, and Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet, theologian, and mediator.    
Click here for more information and registration. Cost is $20 per person and includes both days, and lunch on Saturday.

Episcopal Church-United Methodist Dialogue offers report

The Episcopal Church-United Methodist Dialogue Committee met in Washington, D.C., to continue its work on establishing a full communion relationship between the two denominations. The committee has adopted a draft proposal for full communion entitled 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) and is seeking feedback from laity, clergy and bishops in both denominations before an official resolution could be presented to respective legislative bodies. Click here to continue reading.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Where Love & Addiction Meet: An evening with Sandra Swenson

Where Love and Addiction Meet, An Evening with Sandra Swenson will be held at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, on Monday, Nov. 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. SpiritWorks Foundation Center for the Soul invites you to an evening with Sandra Swenson, author of two books about her journey as the mom of a son suffering with the disease of addiction: "The Joey Song" and "Tending Dandelions." Her most recent offering, "Tending Dandelions," is a collection of honest meditations for mothers with addicted children. While Sandra writes from a mother's perspective, the evening promises to be a meaningful experience for fathers and other family members as well. Ms. Swenson will read passages from her new book and answer questions after each. The reading will be followed by a Q & A. After this portion of our event, we will move from the church building to the Bruton Parish Hall for a meet and greet/book signing. Click here for more information and to reserve your FREE ticket. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Invite-Welcome-Connect training Oct. 21

St. David's, N. Chesterfield, made a "cardboard testimony video" last week, sharing what members have found at their church home. What's a cardboard testimony video? Check theirs out here and come to the Invite/Welcome/Connect workshop with Mary Parmer on Saturday, October 21 from 9 until 3 at St. Martin's, Williamsburg. This diocesan event is co-sponsored by St. Martins, St. David's and St. Michael's, Bon Air, and you will be inspired by great ideas for any budget. Click here for more info and registration. 

Bishop Magness: Pray for Holy Land pilgrims

Dear Friends,
As many of you know, from Oct. 17-28, many of your fellow parishioners and friends will be accompanying me on a spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Given the spiritual intent of this trip, I am requesting your prayers for us. While we are always interested in having a safe pilgrimage, the primary reason that I ask for your prayers is for spiritual enhancement during our time in Israel and Palestine. Since I like to pray for people by name, here is the listing of pilgrims: Fritz, Claire, Eric, Judy, Sam, Jane, Grace, Ginny, Betty, William, Ellen, Ann, Dan, Diana, Al, Rachel, Frank, Charlotte, Jay, Nora Ann, Margaret, Lee, Nancy, Michael, Holly, Lizzie, Jay and Carolyn. In advance of your offering of prayers, I thank you for the support you will give us.

Oct. 20 deadline for tickets to ECW Fall meeting

Women and men are invited to come hear the Rev. Becca Stevens
speak at the ECW Diocesan Fall Annual Meeting, Nov. 4 at St. Francis, Virginia Beach.  An author, a Daughter of the King, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, Becca is founder and president of Thistle Farms, the largest social enterprise in the US run by survivors of domestic violence. The Nov. 4 meeting is from 9 to 11 a.m. Becca will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be served at 1 p.m. A lunch ticket ($15.00) is required. The deadline to purchase lunch tickets is October 20. Contact Helen Sharpe-Williams, 757-487-8183 or helen.sharpe-williams@earthlink.net
Thistle Farms is a powerful global community of women healing from prostitution, trafficking and addiction. They employ 50 survivors through social enterprises: Thistle Farms Home & Body, Thistle Stop Cafe, and an artisan studio. Thistle Farms Global helps employ more than 1,500 women. 

Gathering for EfM groups on Oct. 22

EfM groups in Southern Virginia are invited to a special gathering on Sunday, Oct. 22, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. There will be light refreshments and conversation with EfM Executive Director Karen Meridith, Diocesan EfM Coordinator Ann Meyer, and your fellow EfM mentors and participants.  Click here to RSVP.  

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Lorna H. Williams began as Associate Rector for Children & Youth at St. Andrew's, Newport News, on October 1, 2017.
The Rev. Robert K. Marshall will begin as Rector of Redeemer, Midlothian, on October 22, 2017

Virginia LARCUM Conference 2017 is Dec. 1-2

The 2017 Virginia LARCUM Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-2, in Richmond, VA.  This year's conference is "500 Years Later: Ecumenical Dialogue as Gift and Call." The keynote speaker is Susan K. Wood, SCL, Ph.D., a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas is professor of systematic theology in the Department of Theology at Marquette University. She is currently president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Click here for the conference brochure and registration information.

RVA TALKS book and group discussion of "Blues for Mister Charlie" by James Baldwin

James Baldwin's "Blues for Mister Charlie" is an epic drama that confronts us all with the truth of just how widely we are still divided by race in America. This discussion will actively engage the audience examining the questions of race and racism as subject to our own perspective; framed by our history, cultural norms and personal experience.  The stories we know, the ones we have been told, and our lived experiences inform our beliefs and opinions about race in America no matter what the circumstance. Can we create healing space and employ restorative practices as we endeavor to work together and move forward towards change and conciliation? This will be a facilitated discussion on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. It is a collaborative program of The Conciliation Project, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, and the African American Repertory Theatre Company. Please read Blues for Mister Charlie prior to the program. The play will be staged at University of Richmond April 18-22, 2018. St. Mark's is located at 520 North Boulevard, Richmond.  

Church Leadership Conference 2018

The Church Leadership Conference 2018 will be held at Kanuga Conference Center March 2-4, 2018. This year's conference is "Equipped for Every Good Work: Practical Tools for Tough Times." Kanuga and the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) partner to offer practical tools for the challenges of congregational leadership. Speakers and presenters will address core needs in strategic planning, church leadership and finances. Click here for more info. 
The Church Leadership Conference is an annual gathering of vestry members and other congregational leaders for practical learning, reflection and formation. The conference is designed in partnership by the Episcopal Church Foundation and Kanuga, and the focus is to strengthen, equip and re-energize church leaders for church leadership and ministry. Each year the conference gathers expert speakers and workshop leaders from around the Episcopal Church, to teach, inspire, and share practical tools, ideas and resources. In 2018, there will be four specialized workshop tracks for participants to dig deeper into an area of their need. The tracks are: strategic leadership, financial planning, creative communications and a Spanish language track. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bishops' messages on Nevada, resources

Message from Bishop Hollerith: 
By now you have heard that the people of Las Vegas, Nevada, are suffering through a terrible tragedy - one that the news media is defining as the worst mass shooting in US history. Please pray for those who have died, those who mourn, and for healing of the injured. The Diocese of Nevada is offering its healing ministry to the many affected by this tragedy. Pray also for our nation, as we continue to be a country plagued by gun violence.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Primates of the Anglican Communion prayed to honor the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada:
Presiding Bishop Curry presented a video message here.  

We were greatly distressed to learn of the dreadful events in Las Vegas last night. The scale of the loss of life and the numbers of injured is truly shocking. We are sending our deepest condolences to you and to the people of your diocese - in particular, the people of Las Vegas.
We are praying for the families and friends of those who have died and for the many people who have been wounded. We remember, too, everyone else caught up in this tragedy - including the emergency services (first responders). We pray that the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ will be with the people of Las Vegas as they endure this trauma.
Liturgical Resources from Bishops United Against Gun Violence
A Christian Response to Gun Violence, a ChurchNext resource for groups or individuals

A Lifting of Voices concert to benefit Boys Home

Boys Home of Virginia announces A Lifting of Voices, second annual celebration of uplifting a cappella music. The concert is free and includes four of the Richmond area's finest a cappella groups coming together to perform songs from across the musical spectrum. Every song has been selected to fill your heart and lift your spirit and all proceeds go to children who need our help at the Boys Home of Virginia. The concert will be held at the Robins Theatre at The Steward School in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday, October 29 at 3:15 p.m.
All successful men were once boys. But not all boys become successful men. That's why Boys Home of Virginia is so important. They provide care for boys aged six through eighteen who have encountered obstacles and need a second chance to succeed. Since 1906, the Boys Home mission has been to provide care and education to help boys develop physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. They operate with 97% private funds and no boy is turned away because of their family's inability to pay. As they grow, costs also rise and Boys Home must find more supporters like you to take part in raising successful young men.
To learn more or to reserve your seat today visit, www.liftingofvoices.org.  
Questions? Contact Lauren Ward at lward@boyshomeofva.org  or (540) 965-7714

Don't miss the October Lock-in at Chanco, Oct. 13-14

Join us for a lock in for all teens in grades 6-12 and their adult advisors. This event will include a campfire, icebreakers and games, camp activities, chapel and a fun, won't want to miss party! This is a great opportunity for all parishes to have an already planned for you EYC event.  Just bring your youth and show up! The lock-in is also the perfect time for camp friends to reunite and an opportunity to meet many new ones. Don't miss this fantastic fun fall youth event at Chanco! Ten percent of the proceeds for all diocesan fall youth events will be donated to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma through Episcopal Relief and Development. Questions? Contact Youth Missioner Ashley Scruggs at ascruggs@diosova.org or 757-213-3393.  Click here for more information and registration. We look forward to seeing you there!

A Word to the Church from the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops

The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops Gathered in Fairbanks, Alaska (Diocese of Alaska), September 21-26, 2017. The bishops came to Alaska to listen to the earth and its peoples as an act of prayer, solidarity and witness. Click here to read the bishops' message.
A Prayer for Our Time and for the Earth
Dear God, Creator of the earth, this sacred home we share; Give us new eyes to see the beauty all around and to protect the wonders of creation. Give us new arms to embrace the strangers among us and to know them as family. Give us new ears to hear and understand those who live off the land and to hear and understand those who extract its resources. Give us new hearts to recognize the brokenness in our communities and to heal the wounds we have inflicted. Give us new hands to serve the earth and its people and to shape beloved community. For you are the One who seeks the lost, binds our wounds and sets us free, and it is in the name of Jesus the Christ we pray. Amen.