Monday, August 12, 2019

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Warren Hicks, Priest-in-Charge, will be leaving St. Mark's, Hampton, August 17, 2019.
The Rev. Martin Bagay, Interim Rector, will be leaving St. James', Accomac and St. George's, Pungoteague, August 31, 2019.
The Rev. James Young, Interim Rector, will be leaving St. Thomas', Chesapeake, August 25, 2019. 
The Rev. Roger Robillard will begin as Priest-in-Charge at St. Barnabas, North Chesterfield, September 1, 2019.
The Rev. Warren Hicks will begin as Rector at St. Thomas', Chesapeake, September 1, 2019. 

Bishop Search Bulletin inserts available

The Transition Committee has created a series of four bulletin inserts to help congregations prepare for the bishop election process, including the Walkabouts: Information about Bishop Candidate Walkabouts and Walkabout map; What is a Bishop?; What is the Role of Bishops Today?; What Kind of Person Should We Be Looking For in Our New Bishop? The Transition Committee has also created a handout listing the six bishop candidates and their experience. These materials can be found on the diocesan website here.  


Join us for Cursillo #167

Did you know Cursillo retreats have been occurring in this diocese since 1978? Come see why this retreat enjoys such longevity and join us on September 26-29, 2019 for an adult co-ed retreat designed to help us grow closer to Jesus Christ. Cursillo is designed to build disciples in Christ, leaders in our Church, and to help us discover new tools for living a life of service and grace. It is also a wonderful opportunity for fellowship with others from throughout our diocese.  For more information on Cursillo or to apply to be a candidate, please visit the Cursillo website at or contact Cursillo #167 Rector Laura Frank Sale at  

Food for the Soul Retreat

Join us October 5-6 for a retreat of nourishment of the body and soul. This retreat is designed for ages 21 and up or a young person attending with a parent/guardian. Food for the Soul will feature incredible food, a cooking lesson with Chef Rafael, & learning about and tasting Virginia wine as well as discussions about the importance of nourishing your spirit. Fellowship, a bonfire and gourmet s'mores are all a part of the relaxation, fun and fellowship of this event. Registration coming soon. Questions? Contact us at or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626).

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Bishop Magness joins Presiding Bishop Curry in inviting churches to take part in Healing Day National Bell Ringing

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bishop Magness invite Episcopal churches to take part in a national action to remember and honor the first enslaved Africans who landed in English North America in 1619 by tolling their bells for one minute on Sunday, August 25 at 3:00 p.m. The national bell ringing is among the Healing Day events being held at Fort Monroe National Monument to commemorate the 400th anniversary 
Watch Presiding Bishop Curry's video message here.
"The National Park Service is commissioning, and asking, churches and people from around this country to commemorate and remember that landing and the bringing of those first enslaved Africans to this country by ringing bells. And if possible, by tolling the bells of churches and to do so on August 25 at 3:00 in the afternoon," said Curry. "I'm inviting us as The Episcopal Church to join in this commemoration as part of our continued work of racial healing and reconciliation. At 3:00 pm we can join together with people of other Christian faiths and people of all faiths to remember those who came as enslaved, who came to a country that one day would proclaim liberty. And so we remember them and pray for a new future for us all." 
The national bell ringing is among the Healing Day events being held at Fort Monroe National Monument to commemorate the 400th anniversary of that landing.  
"The 2019 commemoration of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to North America is for me a highly personal occasion," said Bishop Magness. "As a descendent of slaveholders, and as a white male who came of age in the racially polarized south during the 1950s and 1960s, I am painfully aware of my own complicity in furthering and perpetuating the subjugation of my African American brothers and sisters.  At a time when the racial divide in this country seems to be growing rather than diminishing, we are in dire need of a moment, an event when we can stop and take stock of our responsibilities to bring the races together, perhaps in a new manner that truly is an embrace of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ."    
Click here for more information. 

Bishop Search Update: Petition Candidates Announced

In early July, the Standing Committee of the Diocese received the Petitions of two priests who sought to be included on the slate of candidates for Bishop of Southern Virginia. After appropriate background and reference checks, the Standing Committee approved the Petitions of the following individuals: The Rev. Harold J. Cobb, Jr.; The Rev. J. Derek Harbin. Click here to meet these candidates. Their names will appear on the slate of candidates for the election which takes place on September 21, and they will be included in the walkabouts to take place in early September. As soon as possible, the website will be updated.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Justice & Advocacy Resources on diocesan website

The diocesan website has a new page - Justice & Advocacy Resources, located in Congregational Resources. The resource is a work in progress and additional material will be added on an ongoing basis. In addition to resources addressing creation care, peace building, racial reconciliation, and others, there are also current alerts to help you take action on issues important to you.

Chester Rotary presents corn hole sets to Jackson-Feild

On a hot summer evening members of the Chester Rotary Club met with residents of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services to present six corn hole sets. Members of the club constructed the sets and residents helped them with the final assembly. The club also donated bags for each set.
The construction of these sets was a labor of love headed by Rotarian Peter Adler and his Rotarian helpers. The Chester Rotary Club has constructed sets for our charities and causes in the past.
After the final assembly of the legs and the presentation of the sets to the children the Rotarians, children and staff sat down to an old fashioned ice cream social. Brownies and cookies were also a part of the fare. Nothing tastes as great as ice cream on a hot summer night.
The residents of Jackson-Feild are most grateful to the Chester Rotarians for constructing these sets which will give them hours of enjoyment in the future.

Bishop Search Update

Information for Walkabouts
The Transition Committee invites everyone in the Diocese of Southern Virginia to attend the Walkabouts September 4-8, 2019.  Walkabouts are opportunities to meet the candidates for our 11th Bishop, hear their responses to questions and help them to learn more about you, our diocese. Click here to learn more about the candidates.
Our hope is that you are able to attend one of the locations in the east, our Saturday central location at Chanco or in the west on Sunday.  If you are not able to attend one of these locations there will be a live stream on Friday evening from the Galilee Walkabout.  This live stream will also be recorded and available on our website following the event.  Perhaps congregations could gather in their home parishes and watch the live stream together for those who cannot attend in person!
You may submit questions ahead of time for the Walkabouts to  Please note which walkabout you plan to attend when submitting your question.
The Walkabouts will take place on:
Thursday, September 5 at 6:30 pm (Please note time change) 
Hungars Parish, 10107 Bayside Road, Machipongo
Friday, September 6 at 7:00 pm
Galilee, 3928 Pacific Avenue, Virginia Beach
NOTE: We will be available live and on-demand this evening on the diocesan website
Saturday, September 7 at 1:00 pm
Chanco on the James, 394 Floods Drive, Spring Grove
NOTE:  This is a great opportunity to bring the youth to this location to meet the candidates!
Sunday, September 8 at 3:00 pm
Johns Memorial, 400 High Street, Farmville
Questions?  Contact Transition Committee Chair the Rev. Chris Epperson,, or Vice Chair the Rev. Gini DiStanislao,

Thursday, July 25, 2019

National Acolyte Festival Oct. 12

Washington National Cathedral in DC will once again host the National Acolyte Festival on Saturday, October 12. This annual event is a celebration of service:
  • Join the grandest of processions with acolytes, servers, and vergers from across the nation
  • Bring your processional crosses, banners, flags, torches, streamers and thuribles
  • Begin the day with the Holy Eucharist and stay for a festive afternoon, including workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, vendors, food, and games
Register by phone or online, 202-537-2228,  

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Happening #71 registration open!

Happening is an experiential weekend retreat for young adults in grades 10 and up that may just change your life. Come and see what it's like to be transformed by God's love! Happening #71 will take place November 8-10 at Chanco on the James. Details, registration and staff application can be found on the Youth page of the diocesan website,  

Province III youth pilgrimage

Trail to Truth is an opportunity for youth to journey from DC to Philadelphia with other youth in the Episcopal Church while learning about racism and reconciliation in our country. Along the way we will visit historical sites, hear from leaders in the church and struggle against racism, and become a part of the Beloved Community, as we seek to increase racial understanding, healing, and reconciliation. The pilgrimage will cost only $50 per participant for the weekend of Oct 11-14. This includes 10 meals, lodging, and transportation by charter bus during the event, entrance fees and workshops, and any other regularly planned activities during the Pilgrimage.  If you or your youth are interested in attending this event, please contact Megan Dern at or at 757-423-3393 no later than August 10th. The number of seats for our province is limited to 6 seats and will be filled by first come first served.

Safe Church training

Upcoming Universal Trainings:
July 22, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - St. Luke's, Powhatan. Register here 
July 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Trinity, Portsmouth. Register here 
August 14, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Grace, Yorktown. Register here 
Upcoming Specialized Trainings:
September 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Redeemer, Midlothian. Register here 
October 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Emmanuel, Franklin. Register here 

Host a Safe Church training at your church
Both Universal and Specialized Safe Church training workshops are now being scheduled for the fall. If your church would like to host a training, please contact Susan Allen,, regarding which type of training you would like to host, along with potential dates for hosting. 

Training for Vacation Bible School 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 to gain access to the VBS training materials. 

Safety for Faith-Based Organizations

Often people view places of worship as safe zones and get lulled into a false sense of security. However, our faith communities can be extremely vulnerable, and violence can occur.
The Diocese of Southern Virginia in conjunction with the Virginia Fusion Center is providing a conversation starter presentation to offer guidance to help our faith communities balance the need to be both welcoming and safe at the same time.  First Sergeant Austin White, Deputy Director of the Virginia Fusion Center will facilitate the training and will discuss the following topics:
  • Threats and vulnerabilities to houses of worship
  • Addressing potential threats
  • Policy and planning
  • Safety in outreach settings
  • Civilian response to active shooter
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Developing a mindset of preparedness to respond to threats
Please join us on Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to noon for this important discussion at Trinity, South Boston (520 Yancey Street, South Boston). This presentation is free. Click here to register.  

Camp Chanco FUN(draiser) benefitting scholarships

Every year, Chanco has more scholarship requests than funding. Click hereto 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. Each camp session has their own "campaign". Session One is in the lead with 52 caps sold. Over 80 caps have been sold so far! 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!

Episcopal Church digital invitation kits for Back-2-School and Back to Ministry now available

The Episcopal Church has developed a free Back-2-School Digital Invitation Kit and the Back to Ministry Digital Invitation Kit, both based on The Way of Love and available here.

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. Click here for more information.

Monday, July 15, 2019

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 to support the development or expansion of Social Justice ministries sponsored by diocesan congregations and organizations. Awards may be as much as $2,500. All grants are for one year. Applications must be postmarked no later than August 31, 2019. Click here for more information and this year's application form.  

Bishop's Blog: Camp Chanco is alive with the good news of Jesus' love

The summer camping sessions are in full swing at Camp Chanco.  As some of you may know, I have made Chanco my residence this summer.  This decision has given me the opportunity to greet, meet, and make friends with the permanent staff, the seasonal staff, the volunteer counselors and with all of the children who attend the camp sessions. 

When I was about 10 years old and attended my first summer camp session at Kanuga Conferences in Western North Carolina, I had my initial introduction to the positive effects of our Episcopal Church camping programs.  Though I did not know it at the time, I was being given an in-depth immersion to my formation as a baptized follower of Jesus. 
This summer I have been thinking a great deal about the opportunities we have at Chanco to form girls and boys as followers of Jesus.  

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Tom Crittenden began as Interim Rector of Grace, Yorktown on July 14, 2019.  
The Rev. Frederick Willis will begin as Interim Rector of Holy Trinity, Onancock, on August 4, 2019.  

Video: Presiding Bishop's message, "Who is my neighbor?"

"Deeply embedded in the Christian faith, indeed deeply embedded in the Jewish tradition, which is the mother of the Christian faith, and deeply embedded in the faith and traditions and values of many of the world's great religions, is a profound conviction in a sure and certain value and virtue that care for the stranger, the alien, the visitor, is a sacred duty, a sacred vow." Click here to watch the video or read a transcript.

Find migration, refugee, and immigration information and ways you can take action on your own here (EPPN/OGR) and here (EMM).  

Episcopal Evangelism grants available for local and regional efforts

Episcopal institutions can now apply for the next round of the Episcopal Evangelism Grants Program, designed to fund local and regional evangelism efforts in the Episcopal Church. The application deadline is October 1. Congregations, dioceses, provinces, schools, monastic communities, and other Episcopal organizations are eligible to apply. Regional collaborative partnerships with non-Episcopal entities are welcome as long as an Episcopal entity is the project leader, active manager, and reporting agent. Groups receiving grants are expected to make significant financial contributions toward their projects, and to report what they have learned to the wider church. 

The grant application, criteria and additional information are available here. The application deadline is October 2, 2019 at 11 p.m.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Now accepting EYC Board applications

Applications for the Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) Board for the 2019-2020 school year are now being accepted. Board members will have the opportunity to take on a leadership role within the Diocese by representing their peers at diocesan events and helping plan and organize events for the EYC in Southern Virginia. All youth who are rising 10th, 11th, or 12th graders and interested in becoming more involved in the EYC are encouraged to apply. There are nine positions open, and the intention is that each Convocation be represented so that the EYC Board can better serve the Convocations, as well as the diocese as a whole.  
Click here for the application form. Completed applications are due to the Diocesan office by July 29. Please note that for voting purposes, the application process will include posting candidate bios on the diocesan website and other online sites.

RenewalWorks gathering: Leading for Discipleship

Leading for Discipleship: A Gathering for Leaders will be held September 30 - October 2, hosted by the Diocese of East Carolina and St. James Parish in Wilmington, NC. Leading for discipleship in Episcopal congregations can be challenging. It can feel lonely. With that in mind, we hope you will join us for a gathering of clergy and lay leaders, especially appropriate for those who have participated in the RenewalWorks process (a ministry of Forward Movement). We will come together for deeper learning about discipleship, as we support each other in the effort to build cultures of discipleship in Episcopal Church. Click here for details and registration. Registration closes Sept. 23.  

Monday, July 1, 2019

St. Mark's, Hampton, decides to leave their building

St. Mark's, Hampton, has made the decision to give up their building.
The congregation has not made any decisions yet about their next steps, but St. John's, Hampton, has invited St. Mark's to use office and worship space at St. John's while they discern what the future holds for them.
Following a long period of study, prayer and discernment, St. Mark's vestry came to the conclusion that a continuing worship life for St. Mark's was unsustainable in their current building. At its meeting on June 18, the vestry decided to vacate the building. In a letter to the congregation, the Rev. Warren Hicks, St. Mark's rector, said of the vestry's decision that, "One of our guiding questions was, 'is the mission of the church to support the building or is the building to support the mission of the church?' Our answer is clearly the latter."
The last service St. Mark's will hold in the building at 2605 Cunningham Drive in Hampton will be on Sunday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m. Bishop Magness will deconsecrate the worship space on Thursday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. 
St. Mark's was founded in 1963 as a mission of St. John's, Hampton, to serve the growing population of northwestern Hampton. St. Mark's has had a long commitment to radical hospitality and intentional welcoming. They continue to be a diverse community which welcomes individual differences and creativity. St. Mark's was the first church in the Diocese of Southern Virginia to affiliate with Integrity, an organization dedicated to affirming and encouraging the full participation of LGBTQ folk in the life of the church.

Bishop's Blog: A new vision

Bishop Magness has a new post on his blog - A new vision. " is clear to me that our older management style of status quo maintenance will not serve the leaders (either lay or ordained) within our congregations." Click here to read his latest post.  

Singers needed for massed choir for Consecration service

Calling singers from across the Diocese to join the massed choir that will provide music for the Consecration of the next Bishop of Southern Virginia.  The Consecration service is set for Saturday, February 1, 2020 (time: 12 or 1 p.m.) at St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg. All singers must attend one rehearsal in January 2020, as well as the morning rehearsal before the service. Exact rehearsal times and locations will be announced in the fall. 

Summer issue of The Grapevine ECW newsletter available

The Summer 2019 edition of The Grapevine, the newsletter of the diocesan ECW, is now available on our website here.  

The Grapevine is a quarterly print-ready newsletter available for individuals and churches to receive via email. You can sign up to receive The Grapevine by entering your email in the "Sign up to receive news" box at
If you have news you would like included in The Grapevine, contact Vicky Koch,

Save the date! Harvest Hustle to benefit Boys Home

On Saturday, November 2, all are invited to participate in the Boys Home fall fundraiser, the Boys Home Harvest Hustle! The Harvest Hustle will take place at the Intervale Trailhead of the Jackson River Scenic Trail, in Covington, and this year the event has been expanded to include a fun run, 5K, 10K, and half-marathon. All events start and end at the trailhead, following a mostly flat, crushed-gravel surface along the scenic Jackson River. Participants will receive an event T-shirt and commemorative medal. Register early! Prices increase after September 30. Children under 10 are invited to run the 5K or 10K for free. For more information or to register, visit or call Colleen at 540-965-7703. 

Bishop Search News: Walk About dates and locations set

There will be four walk about opportunities around the Diocese. These open public forums with the nominees gives everyone a chance to meet them, ask questions of them and hear their responses.
Thursday, September 5 at 7:00 pm at Hungars Parish, Eastern Shore 
10107 Bayside Road, Machipongo
Friday, September 6 at 7:00 pm at Galilee, Virginia Beach  
3928 Pacific Avenue, Virginia Beach
(will be available live and on-demand on the diocesan website) 
Saturday, September 7 at 1:00 pm at Chanco on the James 
394 Floods Drive, Spring Grove
Sunday, September 8 at 3:00 pm at Johns Memorial, Farmville 
400 High Street, Farmville
Bishop Election 
Election of the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Election will be held Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Dinwiddie High School, 11501 Boisseau Road in Dinwiddie. 9:00 a.m. check-in. 10:00 a.m. Eucharist with election following.
Consecration Service
Consecration of the 11th Bishop Of the Diocese of Southern Virginia will be held February 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m., the Most Reverend Michael Curry presiding. Service will be held at St. Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg. Reception following the service in Kaplan Parish Hall. Information regarding parking will follow at a later date. 
Consecration can be viewed live and on-demand on the diocesan website.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Rev. Roy Hoffman to join the diocesan staff

The Rev. Roy Hoffman will join the diocesan staff on July 15, working alongside the Rev. Canon Charles Robinson, as Hoffman prepares to assume the role of Canon to the Bishop Diocesan on August 1 when Robinson retires.
"It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our colleague and friend the Rev. Canon Charles Robinson as he retires after many years of loyal and valiant service to The Episcopal Church and to the Diocese of Southern Virginia," said Bishop Magness. "At the same time we joyfully greet the Rev. Roy Hoffman who will become the next Canon to the Bishop Diocesan. With his exceptional qualifications, Roy will be a significant and positive addition to our excellent diocesan staff."  
A native Virginian, Hoffman is in his twenty-fifth year of ordained ministry. As an Episcopal priest serving in the Navy Chaplain Corps, he has coordinated broad-based religious ministries programs on ships and ashore in the U.S. and the United Kingdom and mentored chaplains from a range of backgrounds and creeds. During his most recent tenure as senior chaplain at Naval Base San Diego, he has overseen a team of ordained clergy and support personnel providing pastoral and spiritual support to 38,000 people and the crews of 54 homeported ships while delivering worship services spanning seven faith traditions.
Hoffman holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University, where he studied forestry, and a law degree from the University of Georgia. He practiced law for several years in Tennessee and subsequently taught law at the University of Cincinnati and Loyola University Chicago.
Before earning his Master of Divinity at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, he devoted six years to urban ministry as a Franciscan friar. Once ordained, he served Episcopal congregations in Knoxville, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois.
While living in the United Kingdom, Hoffman earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation and studied at Oxford. To hone strategic planning skills he earned a Master of Arts degree in 2012 and holds certificates in Spiritual Care in Crisis Intervention from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response from the United Nations. He is a certified trainer in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and a Guardian Quest Diversity Champion committed to bridging racial and cultural divides.
Hoffman is a Cherokee citizen and a member of the worldwide Community of the Cross of Nails. A devoted father to his delightful daughter Ruby, age 15, he and Ruby enjoy the outdoors, music, theater, biking, playing with their four-year-old dog Wendy, and setting out on new adventures.
Hoffman said, "I am humbled and delighted to be called to serve the Diocese of Southern Virginia, which has been my home as an Episcopal priest since 2004 though I have spent virtually all of my ministry since then in places as far flung as the United Kingdom, the Middle East, the D.C. area, New England, and California.  God has been faithful through it all, and I hope and pray that the experience has enabled me to grow day by day in my faithfulness to God."

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 for more information or to register today! Questions? Contact us at 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 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  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, 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 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 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

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 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 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!