Monday, August 27, 2018

ODU students - connect with the Canterbury Center

The Canterbury Center at Old Dominion University in Norfolk is a place for ODU students to come for Noonday Prayer and lunch at 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays, and Eucharist at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner on Sunday evenings. Students can always find a food and a place to study, relax, engage in Bible study (usually on Tuesday afternoons) with other students. Therapy dogs Kuma & Kimba are there to relieve stress. The chaplain, the Rev Wendy Wilkinson, is there Tuesday, Thursdays and Sunday evening and is always ready to listen and engage students as they seek a deeper relationship with Jesus or just need a compassionate listener. If you are at ODU this semester, stop by for lunch and meet us! We will be joining with William & Mary, Longwood University, and Hampden-Sydney for a retreat at Chanco the first weekend of November. The Canterbury Center is at 1526 W. 49th St across from ODU. For more information contact the Rev Wendy Wilkinson at

September 9 is UBE Sunday: Honoring the Rev. Alexander Crummell

On Sunday September 9, we celebrate the life and legacy of our notable saint, the Rev. Alexander Crummell. It is also designated as Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) Sunday to commemorate the racial justice ministry of this organization which was an outgrowth of the Rev. Crummell's advocacy. The UBE invites you to use this in your bulletin on Sunday, September 9 or on any other Sunday that you are reflecting on racial reconciliation.
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Alexander Crummell, whom you called to preach the Gospel to those who were far off and to those who were near. We thank you for his faithfulness though gravely oppressed by racism. We also thank you for empowering his courageous and prophetic witness for racial justice; and against spiritual wickedness in high places within the Church and the world. Raise up, O Lord, in this and every land, evangelists and heralds of your kingdom. May the Union of Black Episcopalians and the larger Church proclaim justice and all the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
About The Rev. Alexander Crummell 
Born March 3, 1819 in New York City, Alexander Crummell struggled against racism all his life. As a young man he was driven out of an academy in New Hampshire, dismissed as a candidate for Holy Orders in New York and rejected for admittance to General Seminary. Ordained in 1844 as a priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts, he left for England after being excluded from participating in diocesan convention. After receiving a degree from Cambridge he went to Liberia as a missionary. A model Christian republic seemed possible in Liberia. He traveled extensively in the United States urging blacks to immigrate to Liberia and support the work of the Church there. On returning to Liberia he worked to establish a national Episcopal Church. Political opposition and a lack of funding finally forced him to return to the United States. He concentrated his efforts on establishing a strong urban presence of independent black congregations that would be centers of worship, education and social service. When southern bishops proposed that a separate missionary district be created for black congregations, Crummell created a national convocation to fight the proposal. The Union of Black Episcopalians is an outgrowth of that organization. His faith in God, his perseverance in spite of repeated discouragement, his perception that the Church transcended the racism and limited vision of its rulers, and his unfailing belief in the goodness and greatness of black people are the legacy of the Afro-American pioneer.

Historic St. Luke's hosts Living History event

On Saturday, Sept. 8, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Virginia's oldest church building, Historic St. Luke's in Smithfield, will host a living history event, 17th Century Isle of Wight County. Event activities include a presentation on early 17th-century clothing and adornment, period vendors selling their wares, reenactors/living historians demonstrating sword play and more, a concert by the Locrian Consort introducing instruments such as the sackbut, and much more. Click here for complete details and to purchase tickets.  

VTS offers online course: Digital Literacies for Ministry

The Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary is offering an eight-week online course, Digital Literacies for Ministry. This course is for all faith leaders - Christian formation leaders, church communicators, and others. The Digital Literacies class will begin on September 25 and go for eight weeks. There will only be two times when the class will meet synchronously for bible study. That time and day will be determined after the class begins. All the work will be done online in the VTS learning management system, Brightspace, and Zoom. Cost is $150. Click here to register.  

Data from 2017 Parochial Reports available

The Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of the General Convention, has announced that data from the 2017 Parochial Reports of the Episcopal Church is now available in English and Spanish here. Canon Barlowe observed that the 2017 data "continues recent trends, with decline in key membership and attendance figures," although "congregational income through pledges and other offerings has increased," even as overall numbers of congregants have decreased.
The Parochial Report is the oldest, continuous gathering of data by the Episcopal Church. By tradition and canon, the reporting requirements are developed by the House of Deputies' Committee on the State of the Church, using a form approved by the church's Executive Council. Overseen by the Executive Officer of General Convention, the Parochial Report touches every congregation of the church. Together with other data, including that of the Recorder of Ordinations and the Registrar of General Convention, the Parochial Report provides an insight to the state of the church.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Save the date: Fall youth events

November Weekend    
This year's November Weekend for grades 6 through 12 will be Friday, November 16 to Sunday, November 18, 2018 at Chanco on the James. Teens along with their adult leaders are invited to attend this faith, fun retreat.  Stay tuned for our theme and registration information. 
2018 National Acolyte Festival
This year's festival is Saturday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Washington National Cathedral. Parishes, this is fantastic opportunity to take your acolytes to a morning service of re-dedication and Holy Eucharist and workshops are offered in the afternoon for enrichment.  Click here for more details and to register.

New program available to assist congregations with disaster planning and preparedness

A new disaster management program is now available to help congregations plan for potential incidents, provide direction during times of crises, and foster cooperation in recovery efforts.
Heading this program for the Diocese is Dr. Bill King, diocesan volunteer disaster management coordinator, and the Rev. Willis Foster, rector of St. Stephen's, Petersburg. Both have extensive experience in planning, training, and operations associated with disaster preparedness and incident management.
The central focus of the disaster management program is assisting congregations to develop and maintain an All-Hazard Disaster Management Plan (AHDMP). This AHDMP will enable congregations to evaluate their infrastructure, identify threats, and assess specific vulnerabilities, and develop a plan to address them.
Plan development training for your disaster management team is now available. You should anticipate an eight-hour training session. For additional information and scheduling, please contact Dr. Bill King at 757-572-3853 (cell) or 804-479-3301 (home), or For documentation and training materials contact Diocesan Communications Officer Ann Turner at 757-213-3388 or

Recovery Month services

Friday, August 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day
In honor of the day SpiritWorks Foundation, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, and the diocesan Addictions and Recovery Commission are hosting a Service of Remembrance at 7 p.m. at Bruton Parish.  Please join us as we remember those who have lost their lives to addiction and support their families and friends who mourn. There will be a short prayer service and an opportunity to light a candle of remembrance. Refreshments and fellowship will follow in the Custis House across the street from the church. Parking is available on Duke of Gloucester Street during the service. Click here for a flyer you can post and share.  
September is Recovery Month
SpiritWorks Foundation is hosting the First Fridays Recovery Eucharist on September 7, at 5:30 p.m. at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg. The service is designed with prayers and readings that focus on helping people find ways to live faithfully in the midst of any kind of suffering, especially individuals and their loved ones who are living with addiction, co-dependence, mental illness, and trauma. We pray for those who are continuing to struggle, mourn those who have died, and celebrate with those who are experiencing the joy of recovery. Parking is available on Duke of Gloucester Street during the service.
For more information contact 757-903-0000 or

Boys Home second annual 5K to include costume contest, games and prizes

On October 20, Boys Home of Virginia is hosting the Howl-O-Ween Hustle 5K and Kids Fun Run, at the Intervale Trailhead of the Jackson River Scenic Trail, in Covington, VA. This outdoor event is focused on bringing runners, families, and pets together for some fall-themed fun! Besides the Fun Run and the 5K, participants can enjoy costume contests, face painting, games, and sweet treats provided by Amy's Cups and Cones.
All runners will receive a Boys Home Howl-O-Ween Hustle 5K and Kids Fun Run T-shirt, and pets will receive a special pet bandana. Top finishers will be given a Howl-O-Ween Hustle commemorative pint glass, and all children will be awarded a participation medal.
Through August 31, individual tickets are $25, and family tickets (2 adults plus children) are $40. September 1 - October 20, individual tickets are $30, and family tickets are $50. Runners may also choose to bring a pet, sponsor a Boys Home runner, or participate in our Virtual 5K!
The Virtual 5K is a new option this year. The Virtual 5K is intended for Boys Home supporters who can't be in Covington for the race, who may be physically unable to run or walk, and all who want to support Boys Home in spirit! Those participating in the Virtual 5K can choose to run, walk, hike, or complete the run "virtually" - from the comfort of their living room! Once we receive your registration, you'll receive your event T-shirt in the mail to display proudly on October 20.
To register, fill out a registration form and send to Boys Home of Virginia, 414 Boys Home Rd., Covington, VA, 24426. Or, visit, or call Colleen at 540-965-7703.

The Rev. Jan Brown, co-chair of Southern VA's Addictions & Recovery Commission, to speak at national Recovery Ministries Gathering

You are invited to the 35th annual Gathering  of The Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church at Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville, North Carolina, September 26-29. The program begins Wednesday evening with Compline and a 12-step meeting. This gathering will include noted speakers - including the Rev. Jan Brown of Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, who co-chairs our diocesan Addictions & Recovery Commission. There will also be recovery workshops, bluegrass music, a tour of the Biltmore Estate. Registration for the Gathering is $250; scholarships are available. Click here for more information and registration.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

ChurchNext to offer live, online Bible studies

Starting in September ChurchNext will launch three new, 'live' Bible classes that you can take by computer anywhere in the world. They're taught on the ChurchNext platform, incorporating zoom meeting technology. You can take a class individually or with your group.
There will be three six-week courses:
These classes are taught live - they begin September 12, from 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. You can sign up now and you'll get an email shortly before the class begins with instructions on how to participate. These courses are free to subscribing ChurchNext congregations, dioceses, and individuals who purchase a $9/mo ChurchNext subscription.

Boys Home students participate in Uganda mission trip with Galilee, Virginia Beach

By The Rev. Anne Grizzle, Chaplain, Boys Home of Virginia
Boys Home is in fact a mission, but part of what we do on "the hill" is to encourage our students to spread their kindness and caring beyond the boundaries of our community. 
Boys Home student Christian and  
his new Ugandan friend. 
This summer, three of our students practiced their missionary spirit on a trip to Uganda. Evans, Nikki, and Christian, along with two houseparents, Deborah Darcus and Milliyon Fesseha, joined Galilee, Virginia Beach, and made the trek to Uganda! 
The group served at the Otino Waa Children's Village for the first four days. As part of Solar Light for Africa, the group helped install solar lights in the village. As a way to bring fun to the children of the orphanage, the group spent one day offering a field day filled with soccer, face painting, and many games. The following evening was movie night, and the final evening was a dance night. The students learned that dance is a way of saying goodbye in Africa. Boys Home student Evans won the dance contest!
Next, they had the privilege of spending two days at the Chobe Safari Lodge, within Murchison Falls National Park. There, they were able to experience the amazing wildlife of sub-Saharan Africa! The group was very excited to see elephants, giraffes, water buffalo, hippos, and monkeys! 
Boys Home student Evans joins the dancing.
Next on their agenda was to visit two other children's schools, where they installed and checked on lights. One of the schools was a school for the deaf. The Boys Home students learned how important light is at night because this is how the students could see in order to communicate using sign language.
When asked about the highlights of the trip, Evans responded with "I was in Africa!" Houseparent Debbie Darcus said she found the trip inspirational as they bonded with the children in Uganda and witnessed the great faith of each of them! She also said how helpful, kind, respectful, and hardworking the students from Boys Home were.
Judging by the smiles on all of their faces when they talked about their time together, it is clear that this was a trip where they not only gave, but they also received. 

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services elects new officers and trustees

At its annual meeting, Jackson-Feild Board of Trustees elected new officers: T. Darley Adamson, III of Richmond - President; William H. Poarch of Emporia - Vice-President; Anne G. Greever of Richmond - Secretary; and Robert B. Wynne of Richmond and Blacksburg - Treasurer.
Five new trustees were also elected to serve on the board.
  • Beverley Coleman of Petersburg has extensive experience in state and local government working in business development. A graduate of Virginia State University, Coleman has worked for Chesterfield County, Historic Jackson Ward Association, and the Department of Housing and Community Development helping residents as well as businesses. With her talents and background, Coleman will serve on JFBHS' development committee.
  • Dr. Muriel A. Hawkins brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to JFBHS. Currently an Associate Provost and Professor of Educational Leadership at Virginia State University, Hawkins has more than 40 years' experience in higher education as an administrator, faculty member and allied health practitioner. She has served on numerous civic boards and professional educational organizations.
  • Dr. Leslie W. Rose, III, a specialist in internal medicine, treated the children at Richmond's Virginia Home for Boys and Girls for over 25 years. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond, his MD from the Medical College of Virginia, and his MBA from the University of Richmond. Rose has devoted his life to taking care of others and particularly enjoys helping children.
  • Anne W. Hill currently manages professional malpractice claims for the Virginia office of Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company. Prior to her insurance career, Hill was a Trust and Estate/Tax attorney for McGuire Woods in Richmond. She received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University, and her MBA and JD from the University of Richmond. Hill lives in Goochland and is active at Gayton Baptist Church where she serves on the Finance Committee and is Vice-President of the  Missions Counsel.
  • The Rev. James W. Browder, III currently lives in Courtland where he serves as Vicar at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Browder is also a social worker at East Pavilion Nursing Home located at Southampton Memorial Hospital in Franklin VA. Browder earned his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University, MEd at the University of Virginia, and his MDiv at Virginia Theological Seminary. In addition to a number of memberships, Browder is a trustee of the Ridley Foundation, and a member of the Ethics Committee of Southampton Memorial Hospital.

Upcoming session trains advocates, allies, ambassadors for refugee resettlement ministry

Registration is now open for "Love God, Love Neighbor," a three-day training course for clergy and laity that is designed to equip Episcopalians to be advocates, allies, and ambassadors for refugees and the ministry of refugee resettlement.  
Sponsored by Episcopal Migration Ministries, "Love God, Love Neighbor" will be held Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 11-13, at Christ Church Cathedral in Louisville, KY. Information and registration are here. Registration fee of $150 does not include housing or transportation to conference.  
The training provides an in-depth exploration of the global displacement crisis, the United States refugee policy, how refugee resettlement works, faith-based advocacy for refugees, and organizing to welcome and support refugees in your home community. The gathering brings together people not only from across The Episcopal Church, but also from ecumenical and lay partners to learn from one another as we explore different local contexts as they relate to refugee resettlement. The result is an invaluable opportunity to build community and relationships that continue on after the training ends.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

High school aged campers - don't miss Session Five!

Calling all those who completed grades 9 through 12! Maybe you have already attended Camp Chanco this summer and can't bear the thought of not returning to Chanco for an entire year. Maybe you are an older camper who has aged out of Camp Chanco and are happy to have a session for your age to return. Maybe you have never attended Chanco but attend EYC events throughout the year and would like to return for a five-night camp session. We have the session for all of you! Session Five is being held August 12-17 and is especially designed for our high school aged campers. This session is just $525 and involves many of the traditional activities of summer camp along with activities geared for the older camper. And the bonus?! These campers get an upgrade to our retreat lodging with air conditioning and private bath! Don't miss this fantastic session - register today at Questions? Contact us at or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626). We can't wait to see you there!

Parish audits due September 1

Parish audits are due to the diocesan office by September 1. Diocesan Canons, and the Canons of the Episcopal Church, require every parish and mission to provide the diocesan treasurer with a copy of their audit report by September 1 following the calendar year audited. More information is available here