Monday, August 5, 2019

Chester Rotary presents corn hole sets to Jackson-Feild

On a hot summer evening members of the Chester Rotary Club met with residents of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services to present six corn hole sets. Members of the club constructed the sets and residents helped them with the final assembly. The club also donated bags for each set.
The construction of these sets was a labor of love headed by Rotarian Peter Adler and his Rotarian helpers. The Chester Rotary Club has constructed sets for our charities and causes in the past.
After the final assembly of the legs and the presentation of the sets to the children the Rotarians, children and staff sat down to an old fashioned ice cream social. Brownies and cookies were also a part of the fare. Nothing tastes as great as ice cream on a hot summer night.
The residents of Jackson-Feild are most grateful to the Chester Rotarians for constructing these sets which will give them hours of enjoyment in the future.

Bishop Search Update

Information for Walkabouts
The Transition Committee invites everyone in the Diocese of Southern Virginia to attend the Walkabouts September 4-8, 2019.  Walkabouts are opportunities to meet the candidates for our 11th Bishop, hear their responses to questions and help them to learn more about you, our diocese. Click here to learn more about the candidates.
Our hope is that you are able to attend one of the locations in the east, our Saturday central location at Chanco or in the west on Sunday.  If you are not able to attend one of these locations there will be a live stream on Friday evening from the Galilee Walkabout.  This live stream will also be recorded and available on our website following the event.  Perhaps congregations could gather in their home parishes and watch the live stream together for those who cannot attend in person!
You may submit questions ahead of time for the Walkabouts to  Please note which walkabout you plan to attend when submitting your question.
The Walkabouts will take place on:
Thursday, September 5 at 6:30 pm (Please note time change) 
Hungars Parish, 10107 Bayside Road, Machipongo
Friday, September 6 at 7:00 pm
Galilee, 3928 Pacific Avenue, Virginia Beach
NOTE: We will be available live and on-demand this evening on the diocesan website
Saturday, September 7 at 1:00 pm
Chanco on the James, 394 Floods Drive, Spring Grove
NOTE:  This is a great opportunity to bring the youth to this location to meet the candidates!
Sunday, September 8 at 3:00 pm
Johns Memorial, 400 High Street, Farmville
Questions?  Contact Transition Committee Chair the Rev. Chris Epperson,, or Vice Chair the Rev. Gini DiStanislao,

Thursday, July 25, 2019

National Acolyte Festival Oct. 12

Washington National Cathedral in DC will once again host the National Acolyte Festival on Saturday, October 12. This annual event is a celebration of service:
  • Join the grandest of processions with acolytes, servers, and vergers from across the nation
  • Bring your processional crosses, banners, flags, torches, streamers and thuribles
  • Begin the day with the Holy Eucharist and stay for a festive afternoon, including workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, vendors, food, and games
Register by phone or online, 202-537-2228,  

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Happening #71 registration open!

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! Happening #71 will take place November 8-10 at Chanco on the James. Details, registration and staff application can be found on the Youth page of the diocesan website,  

Province III youth pilgrimage

Trail to Truth is an opportunity for youth to journey from DC to Philadelphia with other youth in the Episcopal Church while learning about racism and reconciliation in our country. Along the way we will visit historical sites, hear from leaders in the church and struggle against racism, and become a part of the Beloved Community, as we seek to increase racial understanding, healing, and reconciliation. The pilgrimage will cost only $50 per participant for the weekend of Oct 11-14. This includes 10 meals, lodging, and transportation by charter bus during the event, entrance fees and workshops, and any other regularly planned activities during the Pilgrimage.  If you or your youth are interested in attending this event, please contact Megan Dern at or at 757-423-3393 no later than August 10th. The number of seats for our province is limited to 6 seats and will be filled by first come first served.

Safe Church training

Upcoming Universal Trainings:
July 22, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - St. Luke's, Powhatan. Register here 
July 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Trinity, Portsmouth. Register here 
August 14, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Grace, Yorktown. Register here 
Upcoming Specialized Trainings:
September 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Redeemer, Midlothian. Register here 
October 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Emmanuel, Franklin. Register here 

Host a Safe Church training at your church
Both Universal and Specialized Safe Church training workshops are now being scheduled for the fall. If your church would like to host a training, please contact Susan Allen,, regarding which type of training you would like to host, along with potential dates for hosting. 

Training for Vacation Bible School volunteers
If you have Vacation Bible School (VBS) volunteers who need to complete Safe Church Training, we are offering a VBS-focused training option that VBS Directors can facilitate with their VBS volunteers. The training format consists of an online training module and a PowerPoint presentation highlighting key safe church issues, as well as best practice guidelines. Given that the training focuses exclusively on the VBS setting, the Safe Church certification will expire immediately after the VBS program concludes. If you are interested in this training option please contact Susan Allen at to gain access to the VBS training materials. 

Safety for Faith-Based Organizations

Often people view places of worship as safe zones and get lulled into a false sense of security. However, our faith communities can be extremely vulnerable, and violence can occur.
The Diocese of Southern Virginia in conjunction with the Virginia Fusion Center is providing a conversation starter presentation to offer guidance to help our faith communities balance the need to be both welcoming and safe at the same time.  First Sergeant Austin White, Deputy Director of the Virginia Fusion Center will facilitate the training and will discuss the following topics:
  • Threats and vulnerabilities to houses of worship
  • Addressing potential threats
  • Policy and planning
  • Safety in outreach settings
  • Civilian response to active shooter
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Developing a mindset of preparedness to respond to threats
Please join us on Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to noon for this important discussion at Trinity, South Boston (520 Yancey Street, South Boston). This presentation is free. Click here to register.