Tuesday, June 25, 2019

St. Paul's, Newport News, makes the decision to close

The members of St. Paul's, Newport News, have made the difficult decision to close their 139-year old church. The last service will be on Sunday, July 14, and Bishop Magness will deconsecrate St. Paul's on Saturday, July 20 at 11 a.m.

St. Paul's was established out of the work of the Reverend Charles J.S. Mayo, associate rector at St. John's in Hampton in 1880, who was assigned the renewal of the Episcopal Church in what is now Newport News. In 1881, Mayo began holding interdenominational worship services in a railroad workers' dormitory. On Easter Monday in 1883, Episcopal members of that church formally organized St. Paul's and elected its first vestry.

St. Paul's parish house served as a center for armed forces personnel during World War I. During World War II, it was again used as a canteen for troops leaving from and returning to Newport News. A wing, including a new kitchen and library, was added for the operation of a community Hospitality House program. About 16,000 military personnel made use of the Hospitality House each month.

St. Paul's helped establish other Episcopal Churches in Newport News, including St. Augustine's in 1897, and St. Andrew's in 1919.

St. Paul's has remained in downtown Newport News, despite the significant changes to that area over the past few decades. The area is now dominated by Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding, which employs one of the largest work forces in Virginia. Downtown residents moved out, and other churches closed their doors or relocated. St. Paul's chose to remain to serve the poor, the homeless, and the few neighbors who remained.

St. Paul's partnered with other churches, civic organizations, and individuals to address hunger and poverty in Newport News through the formation of the Community Action Network. It combined traditional ministries, such as feeding programs, clothing and laundry, with counseling, job training, transportation, financial counseling, and employment services, seeking to empower those in need to lift themselves out of poverty. Dwindling resources caused St. Paul's to consider scaling back some of these services, but they decided to continue due to the high level of need. Much of the church's budget went to the Community Action Network.

While St. Paul's is closing, the needs of the people in downtown Newport News are not going away. Those who volunteer and those who are served at St. Paul's are hopeful that the other churches and organizations that helped make up the Community Action Network will seek out new avenues and will continue to minister to their neighbors downtown. 

Camp Chanco 2019 off to a great start

Thank you to all who have entrusted their campers to us this week for First Session. Monday's key words were "pause", "listen", "turn", and "choose" and Monday's challenge was "to try something new". Many campers tried new activities with archery, paddle boarding, the ropes course and zip lines, to name just a few! In chaplain program, campers made prayer flags. And from the looks of their flags, the future of the world is bright!  Our chaplain program this year is based on the Most Rev. Michael Curry's The Way of Love. If you think your camper would enjoy fun, challenging new activities and benefit from a message of love, there is still time to register for Sessions 2-4, Ropes Camp, Family Camp, and Senior Week! Visit www.chanco.org for more information or to register today! Questions? Contact us at hospitality@chanco.org or 888-724-2626.

Camp Chanco FUNdraiser benefiting scholarships

Every year, Chanco has more scholarship requests than funding. Click here to purchase an awesome baseball camp designed by a Camp Chanco alumni offered in multiple colors with a feather that represents friendship, spirit and love - everything we strive for our young people to experience here at Chanco. All proceeds benefit Chanco scholarships. You may also support our scholarships by making a gift today. Click here to make an easy on line donation and indicate "scholarship" in the notes section or you may mail a check to Chanco (394 Floods Drive, Spring Grove, VA 23881) with "scholarship" in the memo line. Thank you for your support!

Coming soon: Episcopal Church digital invitation kits for Back-2-School and Back to Ministry

Continuing the invitation to connect The Way of Love more deeply to the seasons of the year, The Episcopal Church is developing additional free and downloadable resources for congregations. Coming this summer are Back-2-School Digital Invitation Kit and the Back to Ministry Digital Invitation Kit.

Each of these kits include: a customizable poster and postcard; a social media-ready graphic; and a Facebook cover image. Each kit also includes a video prayer message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry which can be embedded on a church's website. These resources are themed both with and without Way of Love graphics. All resources will be available here.

In addition to the back-2-school, ministry fair, and previously-released Easter Digital Invitation Kits, similar resources are planned for the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.  They will be offered in Spanish and English.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Safe Church Training for VBS volunteers

If you have Vacation Bible School (VBS) volunteers who need to complete Safe Church Training, we are offering a VBS-focused training option that VBS Directors can facilitate with their VBS volunteers. The training format consists of an online training module and a PowerPoint presentation highlighting key safe church issues, as well as best practice guidelines. Given that the training focuses exclusively on the VBS setting, the Safe Church certification will expire immediately after the VBS program concludes. If you are interested in this training option please contact Susan Allen at sallen@diosova.org to gain access to the VBS training materials. 

Summer camp season has begun with All God's Children camp

All God's Children
camp at Chanco serves young people with one or both parents incarcerated and offers them fun, fellowship and faith in God's creation. So far the campers have enjoyed games, soccer and swimming and a favorite meal has been tachos (tater tots topped with taco meat and all the fixings)! At night they enjoy fellowship in their cabins and have an opportunity to journal about their day and reflect upon where they found God that day. Please keep all the All God's Children campers and staff in your prayers this week as they challenge themselves with new activities, enjoy living together in Christian community, and find God's spirit in each other and in the great outdoors.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Clergy transitions

The Rev. John Kerr, Vicar, left St. Luke's, Blackstone, May 31, 2019.
The Rev. Bruce Cheney, Rector, left St. Paul's, Newport News, and began as Priest in Charge, at St. George's, Newport News, June 1, 2019.
The Rev. Wendy Wilkinson, Rector, will be leaving Good Samaritan, Virginia Beach, June 16, 2019. She also will leave as Chaplain to Old Dominion University Canterbury Center. 

Video: Presiding Bishop's message for World Refugee Day

"When we welcome the stranger, we welcome the Lord God himself. We welcome Jesus," commented Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry in his 2019 World Refugee Day Message. "On World Refugee Day, pray, learn about refugees, learn about what you can do, and do whatever you can to help the strangers in our midst." 
Click here to watch the video.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Pride Month statement honors LGBTQ Episcopalians

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry honors LGBTQ Episcopalians in his Pride Month statement --- "In my years of ministry, I have personally seen and been blessed by countless LGBTQ sisters, brothers and siblings. Dear friends, the church has in like manner been blessed by you. Together with many others you are faithful followers of Jesus of Nazareth and his way of love. You have helped the church to be truly catholic, universal, a house of prayer for all people. You have helped the church to truly be a reflection of the beloved community of God. You have helped the church to authentically be a branch of the Jesus movement in our time."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Come join the celebration at Chanco holds the first Eucharist in the NEW Spirit Center!

Chanco is hosting an Evening of Celebration with Bishop Magness presiding over our first Eucharist in our NEW Spirit Center. Please join us June 18 beginning at 6 p.m. for dinner, camp staff commissioning and Eucharist followed by a dessert reception. We hope you can join us for this special event in Chanco history. Questions or to RSVP (by June 10) to the event, please contact Chanco Administrative Coordinator Marjorie at hospitality@chanco.org  or 888-724-2626. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Parish Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group to meet June 13

The Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group will meet on Thursday, June 13, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at Redeemer, Midlothian (2341 Winterfield Road, Midlothian). This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other parish administrators and treasurers to talk about common issues. There's no agenda for this gathering - just an opportunity to get together, share, encourage, support, and ask questions. Bring your own lunch; beverages will be provided. RSVP to Diocesan Comptroller Judy Dobson, jdobson@diosova.org or 757-213-3386 if you plan to attend.

Jackson-Feild Spring Fling is a night to remember

On May 23, Robinson-Withers Gym at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services was transformed into an elegant ballroom for the evening’s “Spring Fling” prom. JFBHS would like to recognize and thank everyone who worked so hard to ensure the event would be a success.
The residential program staff prepared and hung decorations throughout the gym. JFBHS food service staff prepared special foods and sweets for the event. Staff member and professional photographer Leon Robinson snapped photos throughout the evening while staff member and a professional DJ provided the music that kept the boys and girls dancing all night.
The children were outfitted in their prom attire that was provided by the students at the Collegiate School in Richmond. They provided prom dresses, shoes, and accessories through their Fairy Godmother Program. For many residents it was the first dance in their life and they were overjoyed.
Prom is a rite of passage for most American teenagers, and JFBHS is committed to providing this special event that residents will cherish for a lifetime.

New podcast: The Way of Love with Bishop Michael Curry

The Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry is a new podcast which launches on Pentecost, June 9. These weekly conversations, featuring Bishop Curry along with podcast hosts Kyle Oliver and Sandy Milien, explore living a life committed to living the way of God's unconditional, unselfish, sacrificial and redemptive love. Each week in Season 1, Bishop Curry introduces one of the seven Ways of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life. Listeners are invited to deeper engagement with each practice as Kyle and Sandy share their insights and offer questions for reflection or small group discussion. New episodes air Tuesdays, through July 30.

The Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry is available on all podcast apps and at episcopalchurch.org. Visit the Way of Love podcast webpage to subscribe to the podcast through Apple iTunes, Google Play or Spotify, and to sign up for notifications of new seasons as well as additional featured content. 

Sacred Ground race dialogue series informational webinar June 11

Individuals or groups interested in learning more about  Sacred Ground: a film-based dialogue series on race and faith are invited to an introductory webinar hosted by Katrina Browne, Sacred Ground curriculum developer, and producer/director of the acclaimed documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, and the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, canon to the Presiding Bishop for evangelism, reconciliation, and creation care.

Built around a curriculum of powerful documentary films, videos, and readings, Sacred Ground is a 10-part series that considers some of the major chapters of the United States of America's history of race and racism.  It focuses on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian American histories as they intersect with European American histories.  It also invites participants to weave in the threads of personal and family story, economic class, and political and regional identity.

In this webinar, Spellers and Browne share the "why and how" of the Sacred Ground series, including an overview of all of the elements of this resource. They will take participants through the online Sacred Ground curriculum and resources, including the password-protected pages. There will be time for questions. This free one-hour webinar is offered on Tuesday June 11, 1pm Eastern; register here.
You can view previously recorded webinars here

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Bishop Vaché Scholarship applications being accepted

The Bishop Vaché Scholarships provide funds to assist both low-income and minority undergraduate 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 $500 to $2500 per academic year. 2019 applications are due July 1. Click here for more information and application form. 

Upcoming Safe Church Training workshops

Two levels of Safe Church Training are now offered - Specialized and Universal. Click here to find out which training you should take, and to register for a training workshop.   
Specialized Training Workshops: 
  • June 8 - Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach
  • June 15 - Christ & St. Luke's, Norfolk
  • June 22 - Trinity, South Hill 
  • September 28 - Redeemer, Midlothian
Universal Training Workshops:
  • June 5, 6 to 7:30 p.m. - Ascension, Norfolk
  • June 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Galilee, Virginia Beach
  • June 25, 6 to 7:30 p.m. - St. Andrew's, Newport News
Safe church training can still be done online, but the number of modules needed to satisfy Universal and Specialized training requirements differ significantly. If you are required to take Specialized training we recommend that you consider completing the training via the workshop format.

Register now for Cursillo #167

Cursillo #167 will be held September 26-29 at Chanco on the James. Cursillo is a movement within the Episcopal church designed to help us grow closer to Jesus Christ. Cursillo is also a community where we're encouraged to live joyfully and serve faithfully in grace. Participants begin by attending a Cursillo Weekend. Go to www.cursillodiosova.org to learn about Cursillo and an application form.  

Chatham Hall summer programs; 25% discount for members of the Diocese

Chatham Hall is an Episcopal boarding and day school for girls grades 9-12 in
Southern Virginia. Every summer, Chatham Hall offers programs that introduce students to some of the best parts of being a Chatham Hall girl, beginning at age 10. Check out all of the camp experiences held on their beautiful campus, and as a fellow member of the Southern Virginia Diocese, take 25% off registration by using promo code P&G. Register and learn more at www.chathamhall.org/summer

Monday, May 20, 2019

Deep Roots, Wild Branches: Re-missioning the Church from the Outside In

Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Andrew's, Newport News  
The God who "makes all things new" is up to something. Amid a Christian landscape that looks and feels like a desert of decline, new oases of the Spirit are springing forth. Congregations are cultivating "fresh expressions" of church and experiencing forms of revitalization. Revitalization occurs through re-missioning from the outside in, when the whole people of God join what the Spirit is up to in our neighborhoods and networks. Click here for more information and registration for this day of interactive learning, sharing tools and practical processes presented by Fresh Expressions US.  

Information from the Office of Government Relations: Summary of General Convention policy on abortion and women's reproductive health

In response to questions related to The Episcopal Church's position on abortion, the Office of Government Relations offers a summary of General Convention Policy on Abortion and Women's Reproductive Health. Additional information, including the text of the official policies and statements of the General Convention and Executive Council of The Episcopal Church may be found here

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Summer Renew & Refresh for Christian Educators

Summer' Renew & Refresh is an event for Christian Educators in the Diocese of Southern Virginia on Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at All Saints', Virginia Beach. This is an opportunity to spend a casual day with colleagues engaged in enlivening conversations about both longings and successes. Participants will hear about highlights from the Kanuga Christian Formation Conference and experience relevant takeaway ideas that are adaptable to various ministry settings. We will have time to renew connections with colleagues in addition to  experiencing some Sabbath time as we walk the God's Garden path at All Saints' new Eco Garden. Participants will also have the option the end the day on the beach of the Chesapeake Bay. There is a $10 fee to cover the cost for lunch. Click here to register

Cemetery Preservation Workshop at Historic St. Luke's in Smithfield

Join Historic St. Luke's for a hands-on Cemetery Preservation workshop on Saturday, May 18, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will learn techniques for cleaning and preserving historic tombstones based on industry best practices. Lunch and the necessary tools for the workshop will be provided. RSVP required! Please contact Rachel Popp, Education Coordinator, at rpopp@historicstlukes.org to reserve your spot(s) for the workshop. Historic St. Luke's is located at 14477 Benns Church Blvd., Smithfield.   

Chanco on the James: Help a child in need come to camp

Year after year Chanco receives more requests in scholarship assistance than our scholarship endowed funds provide.  However, year after year our donors make the difference. Our annual scholarship gifts each year mean that we are able to accept every child who wishes a Chanco experience but is prohibited by cost. Thank you! Again this year, we have received a large amount of scholarship requests, including multiple full scholarships to youth from Boy's Home of Virginia and ForKids, an organization for homeless families. Once again we need our friends to help make a Chanco experience possible for our youth in need. Click here to make your on line donation today and please note "scholarship" in the notes section. Or you may make your check to Chanco on the James with "scholarship" in the memo line and mail to Chanco (394 Floods Drive, Spring Grove, VA 23881). Questions? Contact Development Director Talley Banazek at 804-399-4019 or talley@banazek.com. We thank you in advance for your prayerful consideration of a gift.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Lay and clergy leaders spend a day with Tod Bolsigner

The parish hall at Redeemer, Midlothian, was filled this past Saturday for "Leading in Uncharted Territory" with Tod Bolsinger, author of "Canoeing the Mountains." Throughout the day, Bolsinger shared a combination of illuminating insights and practical tools to help participants re-imagine what effective leadership looks like and how the church can go forward into our rapidly changing world. Bolsinger helped participants dig deeper into the Fresh Expressions introduced by this year's Annual Council speakers.

Bishop Magness addressed these very same issues in his latest blog post -- "this new era of ministry delivery and congregation forming may be so new to us that few have any idea of what to expect.  From where I stand, it appears to be an era of opportunity.  Yet, we'll only be able to see the opportunities when we learn to look in the right places." -- Click here to read the post.

Watch the eNews for another Fresh Expressions event coming this summer! 

Golfers help Jackson-Feild's children

On May 6, Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) was pleased to host the 24th annual Go Golfing for the Kids tournament at The Golf Club at The Highlands. P
roceeds from this year's event will go toward purchasing molded, high-impact, fire-retardant polyethylene bedroom furniture for our cottages. According to the manufacturer, the furniture is "solid as a rock, yet features seamless construction with rounded corners for added safety and security. Each piece can be easily sanitized."
Following a lunch provided by Hardees, nineteen teams from all over Virginia and parts of North Carolina enjoyed a beautiful day on the links. Following play, the golfers returned to The Reserve at the Highlands to enjoy the awards dinner and find out who won the various raffle prizes donated by a number of restaurants, museums, jewelry stores, and more. In addition, having the highest bid meant that one golfer took home a gas smoker donated by Parker Oil, and another took home the prize of a week-long vacation at Kill Devil Hills donated by a former JFBHS director of education.
Without the support of a number of sponsors, this tournament would not have been possible. JFBHS is tremendously grateful to tournament sponsor Boddie-Noell Enterprises, presenting sponsor Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, and awards dinner sponsor Jones LTC Pharmacy. Additional sponsors were Old Point Trust, Virginia South Psychiatric & Family Services, ITA International, WellsColeman, Kim & Steve Winston, Tod Balsbaugh, Partlow Insurance Agency, Inc., Parker Oil & Propane, Boyd Chevrolet, Diamond Springs, Wilson Clary & Associates, Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, The Wilton Companies, Commonwealth Exterminators, Eric Thompson & Family, and Old Dominion Landscapes, LLC.
Planning has already begun for the 25th anniversary tournament to be held in May 2020, and all are invited to sign up to play. More details will be available at a later date.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Ridley Scholarship applications due June 20

Ridley Foundation Scholarships are available to college students who are: Southampton County residents; Franklin, VA residents; children of Episcopal clergy; children of diocesan employees; and lay Episcopal residents of the Diocese. Students must be accepted at an accredited college or university and be pursuing a full-time degree program. Click here for more information and application.

The Very Rev. Susan Grimm, rector of Trinity, South Boston, and St. Timothy's, Clarksville, shared how Ridley and ECW Scholarships had made such a difference for two students in her congregation. "I was talking with the single parent of two young women at Trinity Church in South Boston just this weekend," she said. "One will graduate with a degree in engineering from Duke this month, and the other continues to pursue nursing at JMU. Their mother wanted me to know how much the scholarships her daughters have received through the Diocese and the Diocesan ECW have meant to her family. I enourage all clergy to make sure families know about these opportunities and encourage them to pursue them.  It's another way we can encourage our young folks!"

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Mark Wilkinson, rector, left St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach, on April 21, 2019.

Jackson-Feild's Bible School benefits others

Several times a year, Jackson-Feild holds a voluntary Bible School for interested boys and girls. Led by Jackson-Feild's chaplain The Rev. Dr. Robin Moore, an average of 39 residents and staff participated in the most recent daily Bible School activities.
With the theme "Sharing God," a key component was for residents to witness and experience how everyone can
be in service to others. Each Bible School session includes a service project in which children do something for others in the community. In this session, they made 48 pairs of "Silly Socks" for residents of Emporia Manor, a local assisted living facility. Starting with a pair of plain white socks, and an array of paint, the participants decorated the socks with their own unique designs.
Give a kid puffy paints, a pair of socks, and a little time, and something magical happens. While some children worked individually, others worked in teams. The children's creativity came alive through their designs, and the men and women of Emporia Manor will surely enjoy keeping their feet warm with a pair of happy "Silly Socks."

Grand opening of James Solomon Russell - Saint Paul's College Museum & Archives is Aug. 10

The grand opening of the James Solomon Russell - Saint Paul's College Museum & Archives will take place Saturday, August 10, 10:30 a.m. at Saint Paul's College in Lawrenceville. The day will begin with worship at Saint Paul's Memorial Chapel at 10:30 a.m. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. at the former Saint Paul's College Student Union Building, 100 Athletic Field Drive, Lawrenceville. For more information, contact James Grimstead, director, gsmus@aol.com. Click here for event flyer and souvenir booklet ad form.  

Monday, April 29, 2019

Holy Land Pilgrimage with Bishop Magness in 2020

2017 Holy Land pilgrims in Cana
The next Holy Land Pilgrimage led by Bishop Magness will be February 3-14, 2020. Bishop Magness invites you to join him in the spring of 2020 for our second Diocesan pilgrimage to the "Land of the Holy One." For a number of years he has been making trips to Israel and Palestine for the purpose of both pilgrimage and building relationships. In coordination with Lightline Pilgrimages Bishop Magness has developed a splendid pilgrimage. If you choose to be one of our 2020 pilgrims you will have an incredible opportunity to both renew your faith and expand your knowledge of the land where Jesus lived out his ministry. Quite literally, you will be walking in the places where Jesus walked, and you will be experiencing the world that our Lord experienced. Space is limited to 35 people. Registration deadline is June 7, 2019.
Click here for the trip brochure and registration form.

From the Stewardship Commission: Attention seniors of a certain age

The April 15 tax deadline has passed. Some of us who usually itemize deductions were surprised by the new standard deduction being the choice to lessen our tax liability. Be not dismayed - you have an opportunity to make qualified charitable contributions to your church for 2019 and beyond without having to itemize deductions. You can manage your retirement assets to benefit you and your family, reduce your tax burden, all while supporting the ministries of the church. When you reach the age of 70 1/2 you must begin making required minimum distributions (RMDs). A portion of your RMD may be sent as a tax-free gift from your IRA custodian (financial institution) directly to the Church by means of a QCD (qualified charitable distribution).  
For a QCD to count toward your current year's required minimum distribution, the funds must come from your IRA after the date that you turn 70 1/2 and by your RMD deadline, which is generally December 31 each year. To report a QCD,follow the 1040 instructions for lines 4a and 4b. These gifts are easy to make; ask your tax adviser and your financial institution how you can take advantage of this tax break.

Register for Camp Chanco - the time of your life!

Check out our new video here of all the wonderful things Camp Chanco offers your child and then visit www.chanco.org while space is still available in your session of choice! Do not miss the summer memories of a lifetime! Questions? Contact us at 888-724-2626 or hospitality@chanco.org. We can't wait to see you back in the magical forests where 'friends are friends forever!"

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Youth Leadership for Youth Task Force applications being accepted

There is a wonderful opportunity for youth to participate in this year's May Weekend in a leadership role. We are inviting youth in grades 10-11 to apply to be leaders for this program.  This year's theme, God's Love Is ..., was developed by the current seniors on the Youth Ministry Task Force.  
This offering is a faith-based retreat for your peers and adult youth leaders in the diocese. You will have the opportunity to lead worship, assist behind the scenes, help with music if so inclined, to MC the weekend, and to build mentoring relationships with your peers. The time commitment will be as follows: Thursday, May 16 (7:00 p.m.) - Sunday, May 19 (2:00 p.m.) at Chanco on the James, and one or two planning meetings (1 hour and half to two hours in duration) prior to the weekend (may be conducted virtually).
Clergy, Formation Leaders, and Youth Leaders, please encourage your youth to apply.  Selected Youth Leaders will receive a discount for May Weekend.
The deadline for this application to be submitted by mail or e-mail is Wednesday, April 17. Click here for more information and application form. 

Safe Church Training workshops scheduled

The following Safe Church Training Workshops are now open for registration. These workshops consist of a single session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with lunch included. Completion of one of these workshops will satisfy the safe church training requirements for any employee or volunteer in the diocese.
More training workshops will be added for the Fall of 2019. Get more information about Safe Church Training and registration for these workshops here
  • April 27 - Hickory Neck, Toano
  • May 4 - St. Paul's, Petersburg
  • May 18 - Trinity, Portsmouth
  • June 1 - Emmanuel, Hampton
  • June 8 - Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach
  • June 15 - Christ & St. Luke's, Norfolk
  • June 22 - Trinity, South Hill 
  • September 28 - Redeemer, Midlothian

Apply now for Cursillo #166 weekend, May 2-5

Cursillo #166 Co-Ed Weekend will be held May 2-5 at Chanco on the James. Cursillo is an adult retreat designed to help us grow closer to Jesus Christ. It's also a community where we're encouraged to live joyfully and serve faithfully in grace. For more information on Cursillo or to apply to be a candidate, please visit the Cursillo website at www.cursillodiosova.org.

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Keith Gentry began as priest-in-charge at St. Paul & St. Andrew, Kenbridge on March 10, 2019.
The Rev. Alan Mead, interim Episcopal co-pastor, left Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach on April 7, 2019.
The Rev. Mario Melendez will begin as Episcopal co-pastor at Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach, on April 14, 2019.

From Crib to Cross Lutheran-Episcopal Retreat June 24-26 at Shrine Mont

All Episcopal Clergy and Rotered Leaders in the Episcopal Church and ELCA are invited to a retreat in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley to meet with other clergy and leaders as we continue to live into our full communion partnership. Guest speakers are Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan of the Episcopal Church in Canada and Dr. Timothy Wengert of Philadelphia Seminary. Both speakers will help us explore the impulses of our traditions (the "Crib" and the "Cross") and how our distinctions help us understand our own traditions better. There will be time for conversation among participants as well as free time and activities. Priests and Pastors looking to explore this special partnership will be enriched by this retreat. Sponsored by the Virginia Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee. Click here for details and registration.  

Save the date: Opening of James Solomon Russell - Saint Paul's College Museum & Archives

The grand opening of the James Solomon Russell  - Saint Paul's College Museum & Archives will be held Saturday, August 10. The day will begin with worship at Saint Paul's Memorial Chapel at 10:30 a.m. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. at the former Saint Paul's College Student Union Building, 100 Athletic Field Drive, Lawrenceville. For more information, contact James Grimstead, director, gsmus@aol.com.  

Jackson-Feild makes presentation to placement professionals

Jackson-Field's Donna Creasy presented information regarding Neurofeedback to a symposium of professionals who are tasked with finding the most appropriate and effective treatment for their locality's youth with emotional and behavioral issues. The topic was Neurofeedback and its utilization in residential treatment
There was a keen interest on the part of these professionals regarding Neurofeedback and its effectiveness in treating specific disorders including substance abuse. Neurofeedback is an evidence-based practice that uses electroencephalography or EEG to map brain activity. The goal is for youth to understand their brain functioning and gain control over their thoughts and behaviors. They learn how to connect stimuli which are undesirable that associate with negative thoughts and emotions such as depression, anxiety, impulsivity, etc. They learn how to manage these thoughts and feelings and control and improve their behaviors.
Jackson-Feild has used Neurofeedback as an effective treatment intervention for over twenty years. It is the only nonprofit organization in Virginia that uses it. Jackson-Feild does not receive any reimbursement for this service. JFBHS believes so strongly in this intervention since it has been so effective that it raises funds to cover this expense.
Ms. Creasy' s presentation was very well received and participants walked away with a new appreciation and understanding about the importance Neurofeedback could make in helping their youth.

Alumni Work Weekend & Social May 3-5

Chanco is hosting a volunteer work weekend/alumni reunion May 3-5. With more than 35 registered so far, some from as far as Georgia and North Carolina, you won't want to miss this fantastic reunion of Chanco friends while giving back to the place we all love. Since we are volunteering as we prep Chanco for its busiest season, the event is FREE! Don't miss it! You must register at www.chanco.org and we expect this event to fill to capacity, so don't wait! Register today. Bring clothes you don't mind getting paint on, beverages and snacks to share, any tools or paintbrushes you might have, work gloves and your smiley self. Skill level required = none (though we will accept master painters and carpenters). Questions? Contact Director of Programs Nathan Hoyt at programs@chanco.org or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626).

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

James Solomon Russell celebrated

The James Solomon Russell Commemoration Committee held a celebration of the life and work of the Rev. James Solomon Russell on Sunday, March 31 in South Hill. Bishop Jay Magness was celebrant and Bishop Ronald Thornhill, senior pastor of Tabernacle of Zion, preached. Descendants of James Solomon Russell, pictured here with Bishop Magness, were on hand for the celebration.

May Weekend registration is open!

God's love is so many things. How would you define it? Join other teens from around the diocese for a weekend retreat that will fill you with God's love and help us finish the sentence "God's love is..."
For grades 6-12, May 17-19. Fellowship, fun, games, music, and moving worship... AND it's at Chanco, so register now! Click here for details and registration.  

Camp SpiritSong to serve children affected by opioid use of a parent

Camp Spirit Song is offered in partnership with the SpiritWorks Foundation to give the gift of a camp experience to children in Province III affected by the opioid substance use disorder of a parent or other close loved one. The camp will be held August 11-16 at the Claggett Center in Buckeystown, MD. This is the inaugural year of Camp Spirit Song, and the first camp program of its kind on the east coast, and we ask your prayers and support for our ministry this summer.
Camp provides children grades 4-8 with an opportunity to meet God through:
● the support of a Christian community
● fellowship with peers who share a common experience
● time to rest and play away from the distractions of everyday life
It is our mission to offer Camp Spirit Song at no cost to campers' families.You can help make camp a reality for 40 campers this year by sponsoring a camper. $1,000 covers the cost of one camper, including room and board, program materials, and staff fees. Individuals, parishes, and dioceses may donate directly toward camper sponsorship. We have one camper scholarship covered by a parish in the Diocese of Maryland, and look forward to many other donors getting in touch with Claggett to support this camp.
To make or pledge a contribution toward Camp Spirit Song, contact Lisa Marie Ryder, co-Executive Director of the Claggett Center, 301-874-5147 or lmryder@claggettcenter.org.
Click here to learn more about Camp Spirit Song, and camper applications. Questions or to volunteer, contact Rita Yoe, Program Coordinator at the Claggett Center, 301-874-5147 or ryoe@claggettcenter.org.

Daughters of the King upcoming events

Annual Diocesan Spring Assembly  
The Daughters of the King will have their Annual Diocesan Spring Assembly at St. David's, North Chesterfield, on Saturday, April 27 beginning at 9 a.m. Following breakfast and a brief business meeting, we will fill gently-used purses and backpacks with basic hygiene products for residents in Menchville House, Natasha House and a few other women's shelters. This 'Purses and Packs' project is a mission focus for the diocesan Daughters chapters this year. The Rev. Kathie Price, diocesan chaplain, will talk about the labyrinth and we will have the opportunity to walk the new labyrinth at St. David's. The meeting will conclude with Holy Eucharist. Contact: Kathy Zinskie, 757-879-9094.
Province III Retreat 
The Daughters of the King Province III Retreat will be held at the Claggett Retreat Center in Adamstown, MD May 31 through June 2. This year's theme is "Creating Your Own Paths to Prayer". The Rev. Dr. Patricia D. Brown, Executive Director and Spiritual Director of the Spiritworks Center for Formation and Leadership in Pittsburgh will lead the retreat. She is an author, pastor, hospital chaplain, professor, and hospice manager. Our retreat will focus on simple gifts of music, prayer and silence and enjoy fellowship, peace and nature. "To be together and to laugh together is a great spiritual practice." For more information, contact Kathy Zinskie at 757-879-9094.

Fairy Godmothers work their magic at Jackson-Feild

For the past thirteen years Collegiate School students have collected and provided prom outfits to residents through The Fairy Godmother Project. Their mission is to provide a high school prom experience for children whose circumstances would prevent them attending a high school prom.
Throughout the year, Collegiate School students collect donated prom attire and conducted fund raisers to purchase supplemental items such as shoes and accessories.
Saturday, March 30, was the "shopping day" for the girls of Jackson-Feild. Collegiate students were able to transform the Jackson-Feild gymnasium into a boutique filled with six racks of prom dresses. Three tables were lined with shoes, an accessory station and even a table for the girls to pick out their make-up.
The gym was filled with laughter and excitement as residents had smiles from ear to ear on their faces after their successful shopping experience. The Collegiate students helped the find the right ensemble that will make them feel and look good at the upcoming prom. The student's generosity and kindness was much appreciated by both children and staff.

Share the Way of Love at Easter

The Episcopal Church offers free, downloadable resources for congregations and communities of faith this Easter. Resources include: a poster with space on the bottom portion for congregations to add their own logo, service information, and web address; a postcard to send to recent visitors or local neighbors; a social media ready graphic; a Facebook Cover image; and the Presiding Bishop's Easter Message video (available April 15). All resources are available here.

Pledge to Care for Creation: 1000 pledges sought by Earth Day, April 22

Episcopalians and friends concerned about all of God's creation are joining Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in pledging to take action to protect and renew God's world and all who call it home. The goal is to gather at least 1,000 pledges with concrete, personal commitments by Earth Day, April 22.
Building from the Episcopal Vision for Care of Creation statement developed by the Presiding Bishop's Office and the Advisory Council on Stewardship of Creation for the 79th General Convention, this pledge, and the accompanying Reflection Guide, is a tangible and practical way to show love for God's world.  
Click here for more about the Pledge to Care for Creation. Learn more about the ministry of Creation Care in The Episcopal Church at www.episcopalchurch.org/creation-care

Sacred Ground race dialogue series offers informational webinars

Individuals or groups interested in learning more about Sacred Ground: a film-based dialogue series on race and faith are invited to an introductory webinar hosted by Katrina Brown, Sacred Ground curriculum developer, and producer/director of the acclaimed documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North.  
Built around a curriculum of powerful documentary films, videos, and readings, Sacred Ground is a 10-part series that considers some of the major chapters of the United States of America's history of race and racism. In this webinar, Katrina Browne walks participants through the online Sacred Ground curriculum and resources. There will also be time for questions.
This free one-hour webinar is offered:  
Space is limited and registration is required. Click here to explore the Sacred Ground website and to sign up for additional resources. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Update on Bishop Search

Nominations and Applications closed Friday March 15. We received over 40 applications. Candidates were contacted by both phone and email and had until Friday March 22 to submit the requested documents. The Nominating/Search committee will now begin the process of assessment using a common rubric for the documents submitted. The candidates who will move forward to the next stage in the process will be contacted and phone interviews with teams of committee members will be set up. Additional materials will be requested and submitted. Those not moving forward will also be notified. Face to face interviews will be conducted with candidates who move forward following the phone interviews. These will take place in early June.
The committee asks your prayers as we move through this discernment process. We pray God's guiding hand will be with each of us as we move through this assessment period. Please join us in using the prayer below as we move into this important phase of the process.
Gracious and loving God, who speaks to us in the deep places of our hearts, grant us the wisdom to listen for your voice and to follow your will in our lives. We humbly ask that you guide us as we seek a shepherd for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Support with your grace those that you have chosen to respond to this call. Let your Holy Spirit so direct them and us, that together we may discern your call for the next Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. We ask this in the precious name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pam Pringle
Chair Nominating/Search Committee
More about the Search for the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia and the Diocesan Profile can be found at www.diosova.org/bishopsearch.  

Certificate of Lay Delegates and Alternates due June 30

It is now time to submit a new Certificate of Lay Delegates and Alternates for Diocesan Council. Elected delegates and alternates will serve for an entire conciliar year beginning July 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2020. This term includes eligibility to vote at the election of our next bishop on September 21, 2019, as well as Pre-Council Convocation meetings in January, Annual Council on Feb. 28-29, 2020, and any other Special Council or other called meetings that may occur during this period.
Click here for instructions and the form for sending in the name(s) of delegate(s) and alternate(s) elected by your vestry for Council year 2019-2020. Forms are due by June 30, 2019.
Important! Parochial Report submission is required prior to submitting your Certificate of Lay Delegates & Alternates (Parochial Reports were due March 1, 2019). 

Panel conversation: A Faithful Response to Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

Virginia Theological Seminary has launched "Faith in the Field," a series of panel conversations addressing current issues and featuring faithful responses. The first Faith in the Field panel is "A Faithful Response to Addiction and the Opioid Crisis" on Monday, April 1, 2019 at 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Many sectors of our society are working on responding to the opioid epidemic, but how is the Church called to respond? Can we see ourselves as first responders? How can we put our faith into action in our affected communities?

This Faith in the Field panel includes the Rev. Jan Brown, Executive Director of SpiritWorks Foundation for the Soul in Williamsburg and deacon at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, and Heidi Christensen, Public Affairs Specialist at the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This event is free but registration is requested; click here to register. This event will take place at VTS in the Addison Academic Building - Room 201, 3630 Bishop Walker Circle, Alexandria.  

Church Pension Group webinar series

Church Pension Group (CPG) will present a lineup of interactive webinars designed to assist those managing employee benefits. Clergy, wardens, vestry members, and staff responsible for oversight of employee benefits or property and casualty insurances are encouraged to participate. Webinars include: CPG Overview; New Administrators Webinar; Annual Enrollment; Church Insurance; and Top 10 Takeaways from the Episcopal Business Administration Conference; and many more.Sessions begin in April and registration is free. Click here for the full list of webinars and registration. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Renewal of Ordination Vows

The annual Renewal of Ordination Vows for clergy will take place on:
Tuesday, April 16, 2 p.m. at St. Stephen's, Petersburg (228 Halifax Street, Petersburg)
Wednesday, April 17, 10 a.m. at St. Paul's, Suffolk (213 N. Main Street, Suffolk)

Campaign donors Hard Hat Tour an enormous success

Thank you to the over 50 campaign donors that joined us Saturday for our first ever Sneak Peek Hard Hat tour! Our friends enjoyed learning more about the progress of our campaign, a guided tour through our buildings under construction and a worship service led by The Rev. David Davenport in our mid-construction Spirit Center. We closed our event circled up in the Spirit Center singing the Chanco Song followed by refreshments and fellowship. Thanks be to God!
However, we are not done yet! Chanco is still working to blow past our $3 million stretch goal in order to achieve all of our dreams for this place to the best of our ability and for the strongest ministry impact in Chanco's future. Join us in this generational  milestone moment in Chanco's long history. Contact Campaign Director Talley Banazek at talley@banazek.com or 804-399-4019 for more information on how to join us!

Applications accepted for 2019-2020 UTO Julia Chester Emery internship

In 2015, the United Thank Offering (UTO) Board began an internship program for young women, named for the organization's founder, Julia Chester Emery. This program supports the work of UTO in addition to participating in the work of a local ministry. UTO is now seeking a fourth Julia Chester Emery intern for 2019-2020.
The internship will be in conjunction with Jasmine Road, a Thistle Farms Affiliate, in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. Jasmine Road exists to offer women who are trapped in a cycle of sexual exploitation and addiction a path to freedom, a haven for healing, and the opportunity to flourish, leading to generational change and the betterment of the Greenville community.
For the 2019-2020 internship year, in addition to work with Jasmine Road, the intern will participate in the UTO Pilgrimage to Spain in October, represent UTO as support staff for The Episcopal Church delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York City in March, attend one of the Thistle Farms Training Conferences, join UTO Board Meetings or events planned during the year, and travel to speak at public events regarding work with UTO. The internship begins on September 20, 2019 and includes housing, travel costs, a stipend and intentional mentoring. Click here for more information and application. Applications are due June 1, 2019.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Don't miss these exciting spring events

Chanco is not just summer camp! Check out this video to see fun camp activities plus all the fantastic events that occur at Chanco year-round!
2019 Official Chanco Promo Video
And then check out one of our upcoming events this spring including:
  • Camp Chanco Open House Events: March 30 and May 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. for all ages. Free and open to the public.
  • Women's Retreat in Lent: April 12-13. Open to all women 18 and older. Theme: "Room at the Table"
  • Spring Work Weekend and Alumni Social: May 3-5. Volunteer to help spruce up Chanco for summer camp season and enjoy fellowship with friends all over the diocese. All ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian.
  • Cursillo #166: May 2-5. Co-Ed Weekend for adults 18 and over. Visit www.cursillodiosova.org for more information and an application.
Visit www.chanco.org for more information and registration for these fantastic spring events. Questions? Contact us at hospitality@chanco.org or 888-7-CHANCO.