Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two Southern Virginia Episcopalians are LPM students this year

Two Southern Virginia Episcopalians are among the twelve students in Central Virginia's Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM), which began its 2012-2013 year of classes last weekend. Enrolled are Augusta Arthur from Johns Memorial, Farmville and Bruce Dersch from Christ and Grace, Petersburg.

In all this year there are six Episcopalians, four Lutherans, and two United Methodists. LPM is a continuing education program in church music, worship, and liturgy open to people in all denominations who love church Music and want to learn more about it. In the classes you'll find professional church musicians, choir members, people on Worship and Music committee, Clergy, and, well, enthusiastic members of congregations. At the completion of the two year program, students receive a Certificate of Church Music from the National LPM organization.

Classes meet monthly for five months on a Friday night and all day Saturday for this year's four courses - Leading Congregational Song, Resources for an Effective Music Ministry, Hymnody of the Christian Church, and Philosophy of Church Music. LPM is sponsored by the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Find complete details of the program at

Southern Virginia contributes over $27,000 to Rebuild Our Church in Haiti

By Teresa S. Mathes, Program Director, Episcopal Church Foundation 

As Rebuild Our Church in Haiti transitions to the Church Development Office, I'm taking the opportunity to thank people for their leadership and support, but this email is high up on my list of favorites. As of September 7, Episcopal Church Foundation had received $27,716 in gifts from the Diocese of Southern Virginia.  

This project has been a gratifying experience of collaboration between clergy and laity, between the church's organizational structures and the imaginative parishioner in the pew. It represents the Episcopal Church at its best. Thousands of congregations and individuals from 92 dioceses have contributed over $2.8 million, mostly in small gifts. About 60 dioceses ran active campaigns for the project, many like Southern Virginia while doing other significant work as well. The remaining support came through the open source nature of the project, which made it available to anyone with a phone and internet access. The funds we have raised will be transferred to the Episcopal Church office, where they will be disbursed according to a written protocol developed in collaboration with Bishop Duracin.

Clearly, there will be much to do in Haiti for years to come, but you have helped to lay the foundation on which they will rebuild. You can follow the progress of our project here.

Editor's Note: A very grateful thanks is extended to Barbara Byers of Good Shepherd, Norfolk, for spearheading and coordinating the very successful fundraising effort for Haiti here in Southern Virginia.

22nd Annual LARCUM Conference in Richmond

LARCUM (Lutherans, Anglicans, Roman Catholics and United Methodists in Covenant) will hold its twenty-second annual conference in churches in the Lakeside area of Richmond November 30 and December 1. John Borelli, Special Assistant for Interreligious Activities at Georgetown University will speak about the significance and continual ecumenical influence of the Second Vatican Council. Also present will be our bishops who will lead us forward in living out the LARCUM Covenant. Further information, schedules and registration forms may be found on the diocesan website or by contacting the Rev. Paul Phillips at

Seminar: The Babylonian Captivity of the Gospel

On October 16, 7 p.m. at the ODU Canterbury Center, Michael Hardin will provide a seminar entitled, "The Babylonian Captivity of the Gospel."  Hardin is a theologian and author of The Jesus Driven Life: Reconnecting Humanity with Jesus.  Hardin is a founder and Executive Director of Preaching Peace, a non-profit organization dedicated to "Educating the Church in Jesus' Vision of Peace."  He is co-editor of the books Stricken by God?, Peace Be With You and  Compassionate Eschatology.  Hardin is one of the earliest members of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion and co-founder of Theology and Peace.  Additionally, he is a featured participant in the movie HELLBOUND?. Hardin will lead a discussion of the movie following a screening on Wednesday evening, October 17 at The Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk. Click here for more information.

Register now for these upcoming youth events!

Stop Hunger Now meal packing event   
Oct. 7, 1:00 4:00 p.m. at Eastern Shore Chapel, Virginia Beach
 Join us for a special Stop Hunger Now meal-packing event.  All youth and their advisors are invited to participate. Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world.  At our event, we will assemble more than 10,000 highly nutritious meals to be used in crisis situations and in school feeding programs in developing countries. The event will conclude with a celebratory Eucharist. Click here for more information and registration.

October Weekend 2012: Universal Connexion
Oct. 12-14 at Chanco on the James
Visit Chanco on the James for a weekend in the woods with teens from all over our diocese!  October Weekend  features great music, small groups, socials and games, meaningful discussions, a dance, and really incredible worship experiences. Come experience the presence of God in community! Open to all youth grades 8-12 and their adult advisors. Hurry - registration closes Oct. 1. Click here for more information and registration.  

Happening Alumni Reunion
Nov. 10-11 at Chanco on the James
Join Happening alumni from all over our diocese for a weekend of reconnection, relaxation and refreshment! Learn more about exciting developments in the Happening program, share memories and experience great worship and activities. Click here for more information and registration. 

Deadline for Mission Initiative Grant applications is Oct. 1

The Mission Network is again making available grants of up to $1000 per Convocation to be used in an Evangelistic Mission Initiative. You know your context and culture best, so we are allowing you to use the money in a way that makes the most sense for your situation. Be creative! How can you raise the visibility of the Episcopal Church in your area? How could you better equip the congregations in your Convocation to be more inviting and welcoming? Get more information on our website. Deadline to apply is Oct. 1, 2012.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Educational opportunities around the country

The Value of the Small Church
October 1-3, Union Seminary, Richmond
Many small congregations suffer from low esteem, and yet there is wonderful ministry going on in small churches.  This practical and participatory workshop will look at small church basics, with an emphasis on the positive attributes of the congregation of fewer than 100 worshippers on an average Sunday. Leader is Marilyn Johns is director of program development for the Leadership Institute at Union Presbyterian Seminary, and former leader of two significant grant projects related to the small church. Got to for more information. Scholarship funds may be requested by contacting Caroline Black at

Claiming the Episcopal Future: Practical leadership skills for ministry  
September 27-29, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL  
The Anglican tradition and the Episcopal Church have much to offer the 21st century, but to realize the future that is within our grasp, laypeople and clergy must be effective leaders, sound administrators, and inspiring teachers. This innovative conference, featuring Diana Butler Bass,  will sharpen the skills we need to lead the Episcopal Church in today's world. Click here for more information.   

Praying Shapes Believing
Online work from September 4 through December 11 and three intensive weekends:  October 12-13, November 9-10, December 7-8 at Seabury Western Theological Seminary, Chicago 
Lay people and clergy are invited to join Bishop Frank Griswold at Seabury to explore Anglican spirituality and the rhythm of our worship. Praying Shapes Believing will include reading and reflection with a community of students led by Bishop Griswold, former Bishop of Chicago and former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Click here for more information.