Wednesday, May 13, 2015

CE-Net monthly meeting on May 28

CE-Net (Christian Education Network) invites you to join them on Thursday, May 28 at 9 a.m. at Emmanuel, Hampton as they catch up and discuss future CE-Net meetings. Breakfast will be provided. Feel free to invite anyone you think would be interested. RSVP to Jennifer Nauroth,

Leadership Program for Musicians now accepting registration for Fall classes

The Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM), a national program offering classes for church musicians and those interested in church music, is accepting registrations for the 2015-2016 year.

Courses being offered for the 2015-2016 year are Liturgy and Music: Foundations for Christian Worship (offered online through the Center for Liturgy and Music at Virginia Theological Seminary, visit; Principles of Choral Leadership; Teaching New Music to the Congregation; and Philosophy of Church Music.

LPM gives church musicians the tools and resources to lead congregations to sing well and to participate actively in worship. LPM offers classes that cover key areas in church music and liturgical education, spiritual formation, and teach a full range of church music skills.

For more information visit or contact Jane Barthurst, or 804-883-7112.

Palestine of Jesus: A two-part course offered through Kanuga and St. George's College

Kanuga retreat center in Hendersonville, NC, and St. George's College in Jerusalem are partnering for a two-part course - The Palestine of Jesus. In December, 2015, participants will gather at Kanuga for a three-day program led by St. George's course director, the Rev. Rodney Aist. Students will learn about the Holy Land and the places they will visit during the second part of the course in Israel/Palestine that will take place in February, 2016 at St. George's College. Click here for a brochure with more information.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Advancing to General Convention 2015

What is General Convention?

The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church will meet in Salt Lake City, UT this summer, June 25 to July 3. The General Convention gathers every three years and is a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Deputies, which has more than 800 members (up to four clergy and four lay people from each diocese), and the House of Bishops, which is comprised of more than 300 active and retired bishops.

How does General Convention work?
The General Convention is the primary governing and legislative body of the Episcopal Church. With the exception of the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Constitution and Canons, it is the ultimate authority in the Episcopal Church. General Convention comprises two houses: the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. It meets regularly once every three years; however, the House of Bishops meets regularly in between sessions of General Convention. All bishops, whether active or retired, have seat and vote in the House of Bishops. Each diocese of the Episcopal Church, as well as the Navajoland Area Mission and the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, are entitled to representation in the House of Deputies by four clergy deputies, and four lay deputies. Resolutions must pass both houses in order to take effect.

The first General Convention - Virginians were there!
Before the American Revolution, there had been no Anglican dioceses or bishops in the colonies, thus when the American congregations were separated from the Church of England, "the chain which held them together [was] broken". In 1782, William White, the father of the Episcopal Church, wrote in his pamphlet The Case of the Episcopal Churches in the United States Considered, "it would seem, that their future continuance can be provided for only by voluntary associations for union and good government". The first General Convention of Episcopal Church was held in Philadelphia in 1785, with clergy and lay representatives from Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. The convention authorized the preparation of an American Prayer Book and named itself the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Presiding Bishop nominees announced 

The nominees for the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church have been announced. The 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church will be elected on Saturday, June 27 during The Episcopal Church's 78th General Convention which will be held June 25 - July 3 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah).

Nominated for Presiding Bishop are:
The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio
The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut h
The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith, Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida

The Presiding Bishop serves for a nine-year term.  The Presiding Bishop is Primate, Chief Pastor of the Church, Chair of the Executive Council, and President of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

Praying for the churches of Southern Virginia

As part of our liturgy at Annual Council 2015, each delegation wrote a prayer for their parish. We are sharing these prayers each week in the eNews so that we all can support one another in the upcoming year.

St. Paul & St. Andrew, Kenbridge
Dear, Gracious Father, we pray for your Church and especially the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in Kenbridge. Inspire our witness to your Son Jesus Christ that we may see and respond to the needs in our community and in the world. Give us grace in loving our neighbors and strength to better understand and accept our individual differences. Heal those who are in need in mind, body and spirit and give us the ability to care for them. Grant us the perseverance to know and to follow your will. Prosper our efforts to share the Good News with all whom we meet that we may be the examples of your love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Good Shepherd, Norfolk
Almighty God, we ask you to grant us the will to follow your will, the desire to reach beyond the walls of our church to those in need or want, the heart to work for justice in our city and the world, and the ability to know your Son, Jesus Christ, and make him known in joy, faith, and service. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Young Adult Service Corp: A mission to bring God's people closer together

By Andy Russell, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg

After four years of calling Williamsburg home, it's time to go. William & Mary, Bruton Parish, and Canterbury - I will miss them all greatly.  But in a lot of ways, life is change.  And with the end of my college career, one huge change is coming my way.  Next year, I will be serving as a missionary with the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC).   

YASC, a program through the Episcopal Church, brings young adults into relationship with other members of the Anglican Communion across the globe. Translation: next year, I will be integrated into a diocesan community outside of the U.S. in order to, in some small way, bring the members of Christ's body closer together.

To be sure, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding my mission with YASC.  I do not yet know where my placement site is.   I do not yet know what I will be doing at this placement site.  I do not know any of the people, and I may not know the primary language spoken there. But there are at least two things that I do know.  First, that God is looking out for every single one of us.  And second, that I cannot do this alone.

As such, I invite you to share in this YASC mission with me. I truly need your support.  This support is twofold.  First, YASC missionaries are called to raise $10,000 to help cover the expenses of mission. Second, I know that I will desperately need your prayers and community. Together, with God's help, this is our mission.  We will connect with God's children and we will make a difference in their lives as they make a difference in ours.

To financially support our mission, donations can be sent to Bruton Parish Church (memo line "YASC"), P.O. Box 3520, Williamsburg, VA 23187-3520. To prayerfully support our mission via a Prayer Sponsor List, please send a mail or email address to Please stay tuned for any updates, including my placement!

Episcopal Relief & Development update

By The Very Rev. Keith Emerson, St. Paul's, Suffolk
Diocesan Coordinator for Episcopal Relief & Development

Let me express my thanks to the following congregations who made contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development between January and March of this year:

75th Anniversary Fund:
          $186.00      Merchants Hope Church, Prince George
              $5.00      St. Paul's Church, Suffolk
Ebola Relief Efforts:
            $90.00      St. Andrew's Church, Newport News
Gifts for Life and Other Special Projects:
          $150.00      Emmanuel Church, Hampton
          $210.00      St. Paul's Church, Suffolk
      $1,127.00      St. Michael's Church, North Chesterfield
Undesignated Gifts
          $300.00      Christ Church, Smithfield
          $100.00      St. Luke's Church, Powhatan
          $500.00      Christ and Grace Church, Petersburg
      $3,743.00      Church of the Redeemer Church, Midlothian
          $100.00      St. Luke's Church, Powhatan
          $412.90      St. Martin's Church, Williamsburg
            $65.00      St. Paul's Church, Norfolk
          $100.00      St. Luke's Church, Powhatan
          $668.00      Old Donation Church, Virginia Beach

Your gifts go a long way toward healing a hurting world!

Please consider making a gift to help with rescue and relief efforts in Nepal. Click here to make a donation.