Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Seeds of Hope Grant applications now being accepted

Seeds of Hope grants are available to congregations and diocesan groups (e.g., affiliated institutions, commissions and task forces) within the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. Grants must support the development of new programs or support the expansion of such ministries that are already in action within congregations of the diocese.

Applications must be postmarked no later than August 31, 2018. Awards will be announced no later than Nov. 30, 2018. Click here for more information and an application.

GraceInside Impact Update 2018

GraceInside, Virginia's prison chaplain service, has released its mid-year impact update. Click here for testimonies from two men - one on the outside and one on the inside - impacted by GraceInside, by God, and by your support.

Jackson-Feild's Dr. Bowling retires

On June 30, Dr. William D. Bowling will retire as Director of Education at Jackson-Feild's on-campus Gwaltney School. For 24 years, he was progressive in creating and developing innovative educational services to meet the needs of children with severe mental health disorders.
Before Jackson-Feild, Bowling was a high school teacher; a principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels; a Secondary School Supervisor; a Director of Instruction; and a Superintendent of School for several public school divisions.
As invaluable as Bowling's background and experience has been to Jackson-Feild, it been especially so to its students. For students wanting to take college-level coursework, Bowling established online education programs with the University of Nebraska, University of Missouri, and Brigham Young University. He also partnered with Southside Virginia Community College to provide career and technical education.
Under Bowling's leadership, classrooms at Gwaltney School were equipped with the technology necessary for distance learning. He developed the "student on a string" effort in which students who have left Jackson-Feild are able to remain enrolled in Gwaltney School so that they are able to complete their education and earn their GED. He outfitted the classrooms with the technology for distance learning.
Bowling will be deeply missed at Jackson-Feild. His vision, foresight, and leadership have left an everlasting and indelible impact on everyone, especially the students who have attended Gwaltney School.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cursillo Co-ed Weekend Sept. 27-30

The next Cursillo Weekend will be Sept. 27-30 at Chanco on the James in Surry. Linda Tandy is the rector for this weekend. Go to www.curisllodiosova.org for information and an application.

Cursillo is Spanish for "Short Course." For us, it's a short course in Christianity. The moevement was started many years ago in an effort to help young Christian men grow closer to Christ. Today, there are Cursillo movements all over the world. On the three day weekend, candidates learn how to grow as leaders in their communities and in their own personal journey with Jesus.

First Fridays Recovery Service on July 6

The next First Fridays Recovery Service will be held on July 6, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg (331 W Duke of Gloucester St.). First Fridays is a service designed for people in any kind of recovery and their loved ones. Join us for a candlelit hour in the the church where tears are welcome, joy is celebrated, and all are embraced exactly as they are in their brokenness. During the service participants may light candles and write prayer requests. All are welcome, whether or not you're in recovery. Parking is available on Duke of Gloucester street in front of the church during the service. For more information contact SpiritWorks by phone, 757-903-0000, or email, lauren@spiritworksfoundation.org.

New Diocesan Connection newsletter available

The April-June issue of the Diocesan Connection newsletter is now available. The newsletter offers a digest of stories from our weekly Parish News and Diocesan eNews. Please print and share a copy with church members who do not have email, and post a copy on a bulletin board or in your narthex.  
You can also find the Diocesan Connection on the News & Publications page of our website. 

New issue of ECW newsletter is here

The Summer 2018 issue of the The Grapevine, the Diocesan ECW newsletter, is now available here. The Grapevine is a quarterly print-ready newsletter for individuals and churches to receive via email. Some of the stories inside this issue are:
  • ECW Love Gifts for Boy's Home and Jackson-Feild Graduates
  • ECW Awards Over $19,000 in Scholarships
  • Jackson-Feild Alumna, Leslie Ludwig, A Survivor, Speaks at ECW Annual Spring Meeting
  • St. Mark's, Suffolk Friendship Tea
  • ECW Will Zoom in September

Religion & The American Revolution lecture at Historic St. Luke's

Historic St. Luke's in Smithfield invites you to join them on June 30 at 1 p.m. as Museum Interpreter John Ericson discusses the relationship between religion and the American Revolution. The presentation will explore how the clergy entered the political sphere during the revolution, causing both Patriots and Loyalists to often interpret the conflict through the lens of their religious faith. Tickets are $15 per person. Seating is limited so advance ticket purchase is encouraged. Click here for more info and to purchase tickets. 

Camp Chanco Staff Week in full swing - register today while space available!

Our camp staff are hard at work this week in training to prepare for Chanco's best summer ever! Please keep our staff and campers in your prayers as we kick off another fantastic season of camping ministry.  Still haven't registered your child? There's still time. Summer camp registration is rolling and with registrations ahead of this time last year, you don't want to wait to register for the summer camp session of your choice! With one-week, two-week and specialty sessions, there is a program perfect for your camper! NEW this year is a High School camp week in August for those who have completed grades 9-12. Click here for a flier with more information on Camp Chanco. Easy on line registration is available on our website at www.chanco.org. You may also stay tuned to our Facebook page for the latest news and photos of all Chanco programs. Click here and check out our new promotional video and see a glimpse all the adventure and fun Camp Chanco offers. We can't wait to see you this summer for the first time or for your ninth+ visit in Chanco's magical forests where "friends are friends forever!" Questions? Contact us at 888-724-2626 or hospitality@chanco.org.

Presiding Bishop's message for World Refugee Day

"Our work with and for refugees began when we began to follow Jesus, to follow His way and His teachings. It is because we are followers of Jesus, because we follow the way of love, because we follow the way of compassion, because we follow the way of human decency and kindness that we must be passionately committed to helping the refugees and displaced persons of this day," commented Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry in his 2018 World Refugee Day Message. "When World Refugee Day comes on June 20, I invite you and ask you - help the refugees of this day. Support Episcopal Migration Ministries."
The Presiding Bishop's video message can be found here.  
On World Refugee Day, held each year on June 20, we celebrate the strength, resilience, and courage of refugees worldwide. Refugees bring gifts, skills, and talents to our communities, enhancing the very fabric of our nation.
Episcopal Migration Ministries is the Episcopal Church's foremost response to refugee crises. Working in partnership with offices and groups within the church as well as with governments and non-government organizations (NGOs), Episcopal Migration Ministries assures safe passage and provides vital services for thousands of refugee families upon their arrival in America: English language and cultural orientation classes; employment services; school enrollment; and initial assistance with housing and transportation. For each family, the goal is self-reliance and self-determination. After years of living in limbo, refugees now have the opportunity to begin again on a strong foundation that honors their stories and dignity, thanks to Episcopal Migration Ministries.
Get more information and resources here

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Dr. Daniel Wade McClain began as Canterbury Chaplain at The College of William & Mary, and Bruton Parish, Williamsburg on June 1, 2018.
The Rev. Martin Bagay will begin as Interim Rector at the Churches of St. George's Parish (St. George's, Pungoteague and St. James', Accomac) on June 15, 2018.

Boys Home students join Uganda mission

Students attending Uganda Summer Mission, L to R: Nickolas Schwartz, Christian Bass, Evans Weber.
Boys Home is excited that three students are preparing for the opportunity to participate in a summer mission trip to Uganda in July. The students, plus two staff members, will be in Uganda for two weeks installing solar lights at an orphanage. Galilee, Virginia Beach, is organizing the trip.  
 When asked, the students said they are most excited to meet new people and to have the opportunity to help others. They also spoke of their upcoming opportunity to teach a Bible class to the children in Uganda. The students explained that they are each responsible for teaching their very own study and are working hard to prepare Bible lessons for the children.

Jackson-Feild holds 20th commencement exercises

Eleven students from the Edna Hayden Gwaltney School received their GED certificate on June 8. Forty students received their ServSafe food certificate and eight the culinary certificates. Dr. Bill Bowling, Director of Education, presided over the ceremony held at the Golden Leaf Commons at the Southside Virginia Community College Emporia Campus.
Two graduates spoke to those gathered about their experience at Jackson-Feild and at the on-campus, Gwaltney School. The express thanks and gratitude for the help and assistance they received from everyone at Jackson-Feild. Six scholarships were awarded to students to help with college or trade school expenses. These scholarships were given by a number of funders.
Each graduate is given a class ring donated by an anonymous donor. Young ladies are also given a dozen roses and young men a wallet in addition to a cash gift from an anonymous donor. Graduates are also given gift certificates from the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Southern Virginia.
The Gwaltney School at Jackson-Feild has graduated 177 students since its founding in 1998. 

ECW recognizes Jackson-Feild's 11 graduates

L to R: ECW President Helen Sharpe Williams; Jackson-Feild alumna Leslie Ludwig; Ann Chaffins long-time member of Jackson-Feild development staff.
Helen Sharpe Williams, President of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, presented a gift to each of the eleven high school graduates at Jackson-Feild's commencement on June 8. This was the third year the ECW of the Diocese of Southern Virginia has given each graduate a gift to recognize this special milestone in their lives. 
Two graduates spoke to those gathered about their experience at Jackson-Feild and at the on-campus, Gwaltney School. They expressed thanks and gratitude for the help and support they received from everyone at Jackson-Feild.
One of the graduates concluded her remarks saying "Every day at Jackson-Feild I got closer to God and discovered God within me. Maybe it is because just being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees and animals, or the positive energy on campus but I believe it is the people who brought me closer. I hold Jackson-Feild very dear to my heart for opening a bright new world."

Chanco teams up with Seton Youth Shelters to help children with an incarcerated parent

Chanco on the James teamed up with Seton Youth Shelters of Virginia Beach to provide a day of fun and team building on June 2 for participants in Seton's Mentoring Program. The children in the Mentoring Program all have an incarcerated parent. The idea behind the program is to help give the children a positive role model and adult interaction to help guide them through this very difficult time in their lives.  
Seton Youth Shelters shall provide a safe haven, counseling and outreach services, 24 hours per day without charge, to assist youth in crisis throughout Hampton Roads, with the goal of reuniting families. The girls' shelter is located at St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach, and St. Aidan's rector, the Rev. Mark Wilkinson, is president of the Seton board. To learn more about Seton Youth Shelters go to www.setonyouthshelters.org.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

79th General Convention convenes July 5-13

The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church that gathers every three years. Southern Virginia will be sending a deputation of clergy and lay people, along with Bishop Hollerith, to this year's gathering - the 79th General Convention in Austin, Texas, July 5-13.

We'll be using this blog to post news about General Convention before, during and after our time in Austin. In the weeks leading up to General Convention, we'll be posting information that will help you understand how General Convention works and its importance in the life of the Episcopal Church. While we're at General Convention, we'll use the site to post daily updates and photos. You'll also be able to find lots of photos on
our Facebook page and Instagram, @Diosova.  

Alternative safe church training for VBS staff

Due to the unique nature of Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs, the Diocese is offering an alternative safe church training option for VBS directors to use with their VBS staff.  Given that the training focuses exclusively on the VBS setting, the safe church certification will expire immediately after the VBS program concludes. The training consists of one online course that is camp/VBS focused and a PowerPoint highlighting key safe church issues to be aware of and discussed with VBS staff.  If you are interested in utilizing this VBS safe church training option for 2018 VBS programs, please have your VBS director contact Susan Allen at sallen@diosova.org.

Boys Home grads receive gifts, scholarships from Southern Virginia's ECW

L to R: Left to right: Alvin Biggs, Nancy Sands, Shama Baggott
Nancy Sands, former president of the diocesan ECW, traveled from Danville representing the Episcopal Church Women of Southern Virginia at the Boys Home Awards Banquet on May 11. She awarded each of the Boys Home graduating seniors with a gift in the amount of $100.
The Episcopal Church Women of Southern Virginia also presented $1,000 scholarships to two students planning to attend Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. Shama Baggott and Alvin Biggs were the recipients of those awards. Alvin plans to pursue General Studies. Shama will study Information Systems Technology