Monday, July 7, 2014

Episcopal Youth Event gets under way this week

Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) is a youth leadership conference, the largest gathering of Episcopalians beside General Convention. It takes place every three years and occurs the year before General Convention. During EYE, the youth and their leaders will gain leadership skills and inspiration for mission in their local communities.  

This year's EYE will take place July 9 through 13 at Villanova University in Philadelphia. Youth, youth leaders, priests, bishops, and the Presiding Bishop will be in attendance. St. Andrew's, Newport News, Youth Director Harper Lewis will be joined by three adult youth leaders and 16 youth will travel from Southern Virginia to take part in EYE. Follow the action at EYE on Facebook. Watch the eNews for updates from EYE and our participants. 

Ecumenical news in Southern Virginia

By The Rev. Conor M. Alexander, Ecumenical Officer, Diocese of Southern Virginia

On June 30, the Tidewater LARCUM chapter hosted Dr. Mitzi Budde, Professor and Head Librarian at Virginia Theological Seminary and specialist in Ecumenism and Reconciliation. Holy Apostles' Virginia Beach hosted the evening, and held a program steeped in prayer, hymns, and Dr. Budde's reflections on the current state of ecumenism in the larger Church.

Dr. Budde's presentation focused on three major points: a theological rationale for ecumenism, several hopeful signs for how the movement is continuing, and discussion on two recent ecumenical agreements. Theologically speaking, our baptism is initiation into Christ's body, the Church. This is not limited to one denomination, but to all Christians everywhere. One participant in the evening remarked that for him, ecumenical work is not optional - to follow Christ is to seek Christian unity. Dr. Budde went on to describe several ways in which this theology is working itself out. One particular hopeful sign is the Global Freedom Network, an ecumenical and interfaith organization designed to combat global slavery and human trafficking, and has the support and backing of both Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby.

Two recent ecumenical agreements that Dr. Budde described were Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct put forth by The World Council of Churches, Ponitifcal Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the World Evangelical Alliance, and The Church: Towards a Common Vision again by The World Council of Churches. Both documents are available on the internet.

Update from the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) is continuing its work to prepare The Episcopal Church for the election of the 27th Presiding Bishop at General Convention in 2015. Between now and August 1, the JNCPB will publish three short educational essays.  

The first essay, available here, describes the basic timeline and steps for the nominating and election process. The second essay will outline the current roles, functions, and responsibilities of the Presiding Bishop. The third essay will discuss how the office of Presiding Bishop has changed and evolved from being the senior bishop by consecration who presides over meetings of the House of Bishops to the complex multifaceted position it is today.

It is the hope of the JNCPB that all members of General Convention and all Episcopalians will take the time to read these brief essays to learn the importance of what we will do next summer at General Convention.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Brenda Overfield, will begin as Rector Time Certain at St. Matthias', Midlothian, 7/13/2014

The Rev. Michael Delk, called to another diocese from Hickory Neck, Toano, 7/13/2014 

The Rev. Drew Foisie, called to another diocese from Old Donation, Virginia Beach, 7/20/2014

The Rev. Nancy Meck, resigned as Associate Rector of Redeemer, Midlothian, 8/3/2014 

The Rev. Fred Poteet, will begin as Associate Rector at Old Donation, Virginia Beach, 8/16/2014   

Task Force on Study of Marriage releases study guide, discussion resources

The Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage has released Dearly Beloved, resources for conversation and discussion. It can be downloaded from the task force's website here.

The resource may be used in a variety of settings, and it consists of three different formats, which may be used independently of each other: a 90-minute event (which can be divided into three 35-minute sessions); a variety of 45-minute forums; and a lengthy article for a study group. All three formats cover theology, history, scripture, current trends, and more, with guidelines for presentation and questions for group discussion. 

Access the complete public website for General Convention's A050 Task Force on Marriage here.

Annual Summer Sale benefits Westminster-Canterbury Foundation

Westminster Canterbury will hold their annual Summer Sale August 14 through 16. This gigantic flea market features only the highest quality merchandise for sale by the the residents of Westminster-Canterbury Retirement Community. It will be held in the Cox High School cafeteria (2425 Shorehaven Road, Virginia Beach) August 14-15 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on August 16 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The sale includes just about everything you can imagine - books, china, kitchenwares, linens, clothing, CDs, and much more.

The Summer Sale is the largest of many sales volunteers coordinate throughout the year to raise funds for the Westminster-Canterbury Foundation which provides confidential need-based financial support for future and current residents. These volunteers have been recognized for their efforts by the Virginia Beach Mayor's Commission on Aging and are recipients of the "Aging Award" for demonstrating exemplary service to senior citizens. 

Stewardship resources for your church

The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS) membership benefits are available to all parishes through our diocesan membership. Benefits include formation and training resources, webinars, giving campaign materials and the new Walking the Way program (see below). For more information on stewardship resources from TENS and other organizations, visit the Stewardship Resources page of our website. 

2014 Walking the Way Stewardship program

All congregations throughout the diocese have access to TENS' 2014 Walking the Way Stewardship Narrative Series and Annual Giving Campaign. The Walking the Way series is designed to help your stewardship ministry team lead their congregation step by step through a six-week annual giving campaign. This year, eight contributing writers reflect on the Gospel lections, beginning Sunday, October 5 and continuing through Sunday, November 9, weaving in a stewardship principle or practice that invites the reader to reflect on their own journey of giving and their walk with Christ.  The Walking the Way series includes:
  • Eight Bulletin Inserts to include Worship Bulletins, E-Newsletters, and E-Blasts beginning October 5 - November 9.  Each reflection includes discussion questions that can be used for adult formation gatherings.
  • Pledge card and proportional giving chart
  • Prayers of the People to be used in liturgy over the course of six weeks
  • Introductory and thank you letters 
  • Template to Evaluate Campaign
  • And much more!