Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Join the Consecration Choir!

Come and sing with the Consecration Choir to help celebrate the election of the Rev. Susan B. Haynes as the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia! The Ordination & Consecration of the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia will be held February 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Bede Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg. We are hoping singers from across the Diocese will join in this special event.  
You do not need to be a member of your church choir to participate. You must commit to attend at least one of the regional rehearsals and are encouraged to attend more than one rehearsal if your schedule permits. You must attend the choir warmup on Saturday, February 1 at 9 a.m. at St. Bede's Church in Williamsburg. Proficiency in choral music reading ability (4 part singing) is recommended. Click here for complete details and registration. 

American Guild of Organists presents Repertoire You Can Count On!

Calling all church musicians, organists, choir members, choir directors!  The American Guild of Organists Tidewater Chapter presents Repertoire You Can Count On!  Join us for a wonderful educational opportunity to explore 'tried and true' repertoire for choirs and organists.  Five of our experienced colleagues will bring us five compositions each which they enjoy using.  These choral anthems or organ works are their 'go to' pieces and they will share them with YOU!  This event will take place on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1004 Graydon Ave, Norfolk.  Free and open to all.  For more information and to RSVP, please contact Deborah Carr at or call/text 757-406-4970.  

2019 Virginia LARCUM Conference

Please plan to join us at this year's Annual State  (Lutheran, Anglican/Episcopal, Roman Catholic, United Methodist) LARCUM Conference being held in Virginia Beach, Virginia at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, 2019. Fr. James Loughran, SA, Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute will present the historical development of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the challenges to the modern day movement and practical ways in which local ecumenical communities can celebrate this year's theme "They Showed Unusual Kindness". Please visit to learn more. Registration fee is $35 and includes a box lunch - registration closes November 8, 2019.

New Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life resources for small group use

A year after the introduction by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life, The Episcopal Church continues to offer new resources for congregations interested in following the Way of Love as a way of life. New this fall are the FAQ's for Small Group Ministry video, a social media infographic, as well as a postcard-sized infographic. These resources are available here.
The nine-session Living the Way of Love in Community curriculum is designed for small groups organized for the purpose of exploring The Way of Love. Group members study and experience each of seven practices: turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, and rest. These intentional small groups may choose to meet weekly, every other week, or once a month. The facilitation guide offers leaders a process for guiding an intentional small group for nine, 90-minute sessions with an option for extending a session 30-minutes should a group choose to gather over a meal. Each session includes prayer, a check-in process, discussion, practice time, a check-out process, and worship. Suggested scripture readings and hymns are also included.

Young Adult Service Corps accepting applications for 2020-2021 placements

Applications are now available for 2020-2021 placements with the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC), the international missionary program of The Episcopal Church. YASC offers Episcopalians ages 21-30 the opportunity to follow the Way of Love into deeper relationship with God and the global Anglican Church while spending a year living and working with communities around the world. From Guatemala to Oman, the Philippines to England, El Salvador to South Africa, and dozens of countries in between, YASC volunteers are building relationships that transform their lives and their faith.  
These young adults serve as teachers in church-run schools, work alongside development professionals who seek to empower their local communities, and participate in the daily life and ministry of churches and cathedrals around the Anglican Communion. Potential placements for 2020-2021 include (but are not limited to) Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Tanzania. Additional information, as well as the application form and instructions, for a 2020-2021 placement is available here. The application deadline is Friday, January 10, 2020. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Message about hurricane recovery efforts from Bishop of the Bahamas

Southern Virginia is one of the dioceses that has contributed to hurricane recovery and general outreach in the Bahamas. On September 30, Bishop Laish Z. Boyd, Sr. sent this message to the bishops and dioceses of The Episcopal Church:
My Sisters and Brothers:
Sincere and warm greetings from my Diocese. We are comprised of 46 parishes on 25 islands: 21 islands in The Bahamas and 4 islands in The Turks and Caicos Islands, with 96 individual congregations in all.
As you know two of our islands, Grand Bahama and Abaco, were devastated by Hurricane Dorian recently. These two islands are the second and third largest economies, respectively, in the country. This category 5 system was a monster storm. We have never experienced or imagined anything like it: catastrophic damage to homes, businesses, infrastructure, two economies, landscape and crops. More than fifty persons are confirmed dead so far and the number is expected to rise significantly.  
The most heart-breaking aspect of this is the humanitarian crisis: between the two islands, 70,000 persons disrupted, many dislocated, many homeless, some have lost loved ones, many people are still unaccounted for, not to mention thousands evacuated. The Bahamas nor the Diocese has the capacity to recover from alone.  
Thank you for the compassionate reception which our dilemma received at the recent House of Bishops meeting. We appreciate your prayers and your generosity in supporting short term relief and long term rebuilding efforts. We are particularly grateful to Episcopal Relief and Development for agreeing to journey with us along this difficult road.
We need assistance of any and all kinds from you, and your Dioceses as we seek to continue to recover from the worst natural disaster in this country's history. We will have many long-term rebuilding and development needs. At this time money would be extremely helpful.
The Rt. Rev. Laish Z. Boyd
Bishop of the Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands

Nominations for elections at Annual Council now being accepted

The following elections will take place at Annual Council:  
  • Standing Committee (one lay and one clergy)
  • Disciplinary Board (two lay and one clergy)
  • Provincial Synod (one lay)
  • General Convention 2021 (4 clergy deputies, 4 lay deputies) Note: Alternate deputies will be elected in 2021
Visit the Annual Council page of the diocesan website for more information about these elections and to obtain a nomination form.

Historic St. Luke's Twilight Cemetery Tour tickets now available

Dead men don't tell tales, but their tombstones do! Historic St. Luke's Church in Smithfield has been the site of burials since the 1600's. Enjoy the stories of local saints and sinners on a guided tour through the Ancient Cemetery. They have two dates for cemetery tours this Halloween season: an Adults Only tour on October 18, and a family-friendly tour on October 19. Learn about local lore and ancient curses through a historical lens, and separate fact from fiction. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Registration is live for November Weekend!

November 22-24 at Chanco  
For youth in grades 6-12
The demands of our daily lives can often be stressful and draining. We simply can't rest and replenish our souls when we are on the go all the time, multi-tasking, constantly bombarded with noise, and always on our phones. November Weekend is an opportunity for youth to come together with friends from all over the Diocese and to spend time in retreat with God. This year we will explore the ongoing process of personal growth and the inner strength that God's great love provides us all.
Fellowship is fun, spiritual, motivating, musical, and active... AND it's at Chanco, so register now at!
Sign up today! Happening #71 registration closes Oct. 10
Happening #71 will be held November 8-10 at Chanco on the James. 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! Details and registration can be found on the Youth page of the diocesan website, Sign up now - registration closes Oct. 10.

CE-Net gathering on October 10

Join CE-Net (Christian Education Network) for an informal roundtable conversation on Thursday, October 10, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Diocesan offices. Please share one thing from your ministry that is going well AND one thing that is a growth opportunity in your ministry. If you are available, please join us for a Dutch treat lunch at a nearby restaurant. Hope to see you there!

Cursillo #167 - a retreat full of grace

Thank you to all the team and participants of Cursillo #167 held September 26-29. Thank you to all who prayed for and supported this Cursillo. Thank you to our Rector, Laura Frank Sale, for her leadership of love and grace. And special thanks to Bishop Magness for officiating our closing Eucharist. It was a weekend full of new friendships, fantastic music, joyful worship, wonderful discussions and new tools for living our lives ever closer to Christ in our Fourth Day. Don't miss our Day of Deeper Understanding November 9 at Chanco! Missed this Cursillo? Never fear! We have a weekend upcoming this spring - watch for more information. Questions? Contact Lay Director Lydia Dyson Cersley at

Rooted in Jesus 2020 Conference

A diverse group of presenters will be coming to Atlanta, Georgia January 21-24 for the Rooted in Jesus Conference, a collaborative effort of Episcopal Church Foundation, Missional Voices, Forma, Episcopal Evangelism Society, Forma, Forward Movement, Episcopal Preaching Foundation, Diocese of Atlanta, Evangelism Matters, and of course, The Episcopal Church. 
Tracks reflecting the various aspects of discipleship will be offered: formation, mission, stewardship, evangelism, preaching, leadership, and communications, or you can chart your own course from the long list of workshops, panels, and plenaries. For more information, please visit Group discounts available.

Episcopal Relief & Development launches ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE

Episcopal Relief & Development announces the launch of
ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE, a $3 million grassroots Church-wide fundraising campaign dedicated to expanding the organization's global programs improving the lives of children up to age six. The campaign started on September 4, 2019, and will run for 1,000 days, ending May 31, 2022.
"Love allows us to bridge great distances so that children an ocean away are as precious to us as the little ones living right down the block," said the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church and Honorary Co-Chair of ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE. "Episcopal Relief & Development's programs with children share our love with thousands of children in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With your help, we can demonstrate God's love to thousands more."
Research shows that the first 1,000 days for children are critical in setting a foundation that affects their ability to grow, learn and thrive over their entire lives. Around the world, 155 million children under five are stunted due to inadequate nutrition and health care. Episcopal Relief & Development works with communities to ensure that children have access to food, clean water, and quality health care.
Episcopal Relief & Development invites individuals, congregations and dioceses to join ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE by engaging in acts of love of their own. These acts can include:
  • Learning about the campaign and the organization's work with children. 
  • Sharing the campaign with their congregations and communities on social media, through online peer-to-peer fundraising and other creative campaign activities.
  • Giving as an individual or congregation to help expand the organization's work with children.
To learn more about ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE and how individuals and congregations can participate, visit

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

National Hispanic Heritage Month 2019

Did you know: Federal policy defines “Hispanic” not as a race, but as an ethnicity; it prescribes that Hispanics can in fact be of any race; this means that a Hispanic can be Black, White, Asian, etc., or a combination of two or more groups. Some famous Hispanic/Latino people include Admiral David Farragut, Rita Hayworth, Cesar Chavez, Lynda Carter, Guillermo del Toro, Bruno Mars, Salma Hayek, and others.

The etymology of “Hispanic” goes back to “Hispania” during the Roman Empire.  Hispania was the region comprising the Iberian Peninsula, now occupied by Portugal and Spain. When those countries conquered America, their culture and influence spread from modern day United States to Argentina. Another fact: St. Augustine in Florida was established as a Spanish fort in 1565, the first permanent European settlement in the United States before the English settlement of Jamestown in Virginia later in 1607. The oldest and active government building in the United States is “La Fortaleza”, the house of the governor of Puerto Rico. 

When it comes to reporting their racial/ethnic identity, Latinos stand out from other Americans. In the 2010 census, for example, 94% of the U.S. population selected at least one of the five standard, government-defined racial categories – white, black, Asian, American Indian or Pacific Islander. But among Latinos, just 63% selected at least one of these categories; 37% of Latinos, or 19 million, instead selected only “some other race,” with many offering write-in responses such as “Mexican,” Hispanic” or “Latin American.”[1] In my case I have used “Hispanic”, “White-Hispanic” (when it is an option), “Latino”, and “Puerto Rican.” All of these categories of course can lead to interesting conversations since “Hispanic” or “Latino” could mean different things to different people. 

Today, 57.5 million people or 18% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population. Here in Virginia the “Hispanic population in Virginia is the 15th largest in the nation. About 732,000 Hispanics reside in Virginia, 1.3% of all Hispanics in the United States.”[2]  

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) I ask for your prayers on behalf of my ministry to our siblings in Christ in our diocese. You can also share in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. We are your neighbors, friends, co-workers, doctors, fellow veterans, and those of us that come into your life for only a moment. Blessings to all of you. 

Gracias, The Rev. (Padre) Mario
Missioner for Latino/a/x Ministries  

[1] Gonzalez-Barrera, Ana and Hugo-Lopez, Mark. “Is being Hispanic a matter of race, ethnicity or both?” Pew Research Center.

[2] Pew Research Center: Hispanic Trends. “Latinos in the 2016 Election: Virginia” Pew Research Center.

The Rev. Susan B. Haynes elected 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia

The Diocese of Southern Virginia elected the Rev. Susan B. Haynes as its 11th Bishop at its Special Council in Dinwiddie on September 21.
One of six nominees, Haynes was elected on the eighth ballot. Haynes, the rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mishawaka, Indiana, received 94 votes in the clergy order and 148 votes in the lay order. Seventy-four clergy votes and 128 lay votes were necessary for election on that ballot.
Haynes earned her Master of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is married to the Rev. Thomas Haynes, and they have two grown daughters.
"I am really excited and looking forward to making the transition to Southern Virginia," Haynes said, addressing Council via Zoom after accepting the election. "Until I can get there I'm going to be saying my prayers and immersing myself in scripture and I would like to ask everyone in Southern Virginia to do the same so that when I get there we can all hit the ground running, doing the work of Jesus Christ and making him present in the Diocese of Southern Virginia."
Pending consent of a majority of the church's bishops with jurisdiction and the diocesan standing committees, Haynes will be ordained and consecrated on February 1, 2020, with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry as the chief consecrator. The service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at St. Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg. It will also be live streamed on the diocesan website and available for on-demand viewing afterward. More information will be available soon. 
Click here for complete Special Council balloting results and to watch video of Bishop-elect Haynes greeting Council.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Special Council convenes Saturday in Dinwiddie

The Special Council to Elect the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia will convene on Saturday, September 21, at Dinwiddie High School in Dinwiddie. Council will open with Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. Complete information about Special Council can be found here.

Results of each ballot will be posted on the diocesan website, Facebook page, and Instagram.

Information about the candidates can be found here. A recording of the Bishop Candidate Walkabout on September 6 at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, is available on our YouTube channel. The recording has been divided into seven shorter videos so that you can view the opening segment, and the individual candidate segments separately.  
Please hold the Diocese, clergy and lay delegates, and bishop candidates in your prayers.
Almighty and most gracious God, source of all wisdom and guidance, send your Holy Spirit to guide us as we seek and discern a shepherd for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Inspire us with hope, hearts to love you and a desire to serve one another. Grant us grace to entrust you with the future of your Church and all things. We ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Holy Land Pilgrimage departing Feb. 9, 2020

Join the Rev. Peter Hogg for a pilgrimage offering a complete immersion in the Holy Land, including the Galilee region, Tiberius, Capernaum, Cesarea, Philippi, Mt. Hermon, the Golan Heights, Nazareth, Jericho, Jerusalem, Bethany, Masada, the Dead Sea, Qumram, and Joppa. An optional Jordan extension of the trip includes Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Petra and Emmaus. This pilgrimage departs February 9, 2020 for 10 days in the Holy Land, and February offers the best weather for travel in this region. This tailor-made tour is limited to just 20 people, offering a more comfortable and intimate experience. It will include unique private events like dinner in a Palestinian home in Bethlehem and an evening at St. George's Anglican Cathedral. Pilgrimage cost is $3,348 and is all-inclusive, includes direct flights (Dulles to/from Tel Aviv), taxes, tips, all entrance fees, etc. The optional three-night Jordan extension is an additional $998.  Click here for a tour brochure with complete details. Contact the Rev. Peter Hogg, 757-635-3557 or

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Video of Bishop Candidates Walkabout available

The Bishop Candidate Walkabout on September 6 at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, was livestreamed. Please note that the livestream experienced technical difficulties that evening. However, a high resolution video recording was made of the event and can now be found on our YouTube channel. The recording has been divided into seven shorter videos so that you can view the opening segment, and the individual candidate segments separately. 

Episcopal Relief & Development providing relief support after Hurricane Dorian

In partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, Episcopal Relief & Development is giving assistance such as food, water, clothing, shelter and other emergency supplies to individuals and families affected by the storm. The organization is also working through the Anglican Alliance to provide support to the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos as they continue to assess the needs of communities.  

Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development's partners respond to the storm in the most efficient way possible. Many partners are not in a position to receive, store or distribute donations of physical goods or effectively use volunteer assistance at this time. Click here to make a donation.  

Episcopal Relief & Development's Disaster Preparedness Initiative equips Episcopal dioceses to prepare for and respond to crises. By offering resources and training and providing emergency support, the program helps vulnerable groups of people to make a full and sustained recovery and helps them to develop resiliency against future disasters. Many of the dioceses impacted by Hurricane Dorian have been working to develop this resilience and were ready to respond as needed. To learn more about building a Season of Resilience and to download disaster preparedness resources, visit