Friday, March 9, 2012

Episcopal Church launches blog for comments on the draft 2013-2015 budget

The Episcopal Church Joint Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) has established a blog for comments on the draft budget approved by Executive Council in January. The blog can be found at "PB&F offers this blog as a place for the Church to comment on the Executive Council draft budget," explained Diane Pollard, PB&F chair. "Concurrently, the purpose of the blog is also to give PB&F an additional way to hear the comments on the Draft Budget." Pollard, a deputy from the Diocese of New York, stressed that the blog is open to all: bishops, deputies, alternates, clergy and lay people. The blog was launched on Thursday, March 8 and will be monitored by PB&F members. Following the approval by Executive Council, the draft budget of $104.9 million was sent to PB&F for review.  In July the information shared on the blog as well as the testimony received at three General Convention hearings will help to inform the budget that is presented to General Convention for approval. PB&F will prepare a proposed budget which then will be presented at a joint session of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops on July 10.  The final triennial budget will be approved by General Convention.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Upcoming events for clergy

Clergy Holy Week Eucharist & Renewal of Ordination Vows
Wednesday, April 4
9:30 a.m. at St. Cyprian's, Hampton 
2:30 p.m. at Manakin, Midlothian   

Spring Clergy Day
Tuesday, May 8 at Chanco on the James
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
A review of Title IV. Details and registration coming soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Safe Church webinar on the use of social media

Many congregations have posed questions on guidelines for social media use in a church, school or camp setting. In response to these requests, Church Pension Group and Praesidium, their partner in the development of misconduct materials, will host a webinar, Social Media and Sexual Abuse: Establishing Healthy Boundaries, on Tuesday, March 13, at 2 p.m. Click here to register. The webinar will deal with the most common uses of social media in these settings; the risks for adult to adult, adult to youth, and youth to youth interactions; and suggestions for developing controls over  the various social media options available to you. Britt Darwin-Looney, the director of Youth Development Services for Praesidium will conduct the webinar.  Questions will be taken during the last 10 minutes of the session and Britt will answer questions by e-mail or phone after the webinar.

ECBF hosts "Buildings for Tomorrow" symposium

The Episcopal Church Building Fund is more than a loan fund. ECBF is hosting a national symposium, 'Buildings for a New Tomorrow,' April 15-17 in Baltimore to bring people together to discuss the complex issues of church buildings, in an open, honest and realistic forum. It will challenge people to think differently--about their buildings, what they represented, how they supported ministry (or do they?), how to use them for revenue, and when to close them. Participants and presenters come from across the country to challenge themselves and each other to think differently, to "Go big or go home". Click here for more information. Learn more about ECBF at

Good Friday Offering for Jerusalem & the Middle East

Marking the 90th anniversary of the annual Good Friday Offering, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has written to all congregations asking them to consider assistance for Jerusalem and the Middle East. "This annual appeal is a unique spiritual opportunity to continue Jesus' work in the land of his birth and early ministry," the Presiding Bishop writes. "Please join me in continuing that incarnate presence of love and healing." Funds collected from the Good Friday Offering are gathered and distributed to the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East which includes the Dioceses of Jerusalem and Cyprus and the Gulf, all members of the Anglican Communion. Among the many projects assisted by past Good Friday offerings are: Diocese of Jerusalem's St. Peter's Elderly Home for Christian seniors, St. Andrew's Clinic for diabetes, educational scholarships, and St Andrew's Housing Projects for young Christian couples; and in the diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, the many medical ministries of Ras Morbat Clinic based at Christ Church in Aden, Yemen, such as a clinic for mothers and babies, eye care, a vocational school, and ministry to seafarers. Information and resources for the Good Friday Offering are available here.

Saint Paul's College Founders' Day

Saint Paul's College will hold its annual Founders' Day Weekend March 10-11. The weekend kicks off on Saturday, March 10 with the Founders' Day banquet which will be held at 6 p.m. in the Student Union on campus. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from the College's cashier's office located in the William H. Scott Administration Building or at the door the night of the event. Founders' Day Convocation will be held Sunday, March 11 at 11 a.m. at Saint Paul's Memorial Chapel. Guest speaker for convocation is the great granddaughter of  Archdeacon James Solomon Russell, Judith K. Deane-Cisco.Celebrating 124 years of existence, Saint Paul's College was founded by the late Archdeacon James Solomon Russell as a way to educate freed slaves and offer educational opportunities not afforded to Blacks at White institutions during the days of legally mandated segregation.The community is invited and encouraged to celebrate Founders' Day Weekend.

Celebration of the Feast of James Solomon Russell

Join us on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 3 p.m. for the Feast of the Ven Dr. James Solomon Russell at St. Mark's, Bracey. We will celebrate the life and ministry of our local "saint" and his anticipated inclusion in the liturgical calendar of The Episcopal Church. Festive dress. Churches, please bring your banners. A reception will follow the service.

Your prayers and donations are also desired in support of the James Solomon Russell Memorial to be erected in Southside Virginia to pay tribute to the legacy of this great evangelist, educator, and churchman. (Patron's list: Individuals, $25 or more, churches or groups $300 or more, paid to the James Solomon Russell Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 608, Lawrenceville, VA 23868-0608, by March 16, 2012).