Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Episcopal Relief & Development launches ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE

Episcopal Relief & Development announces the launch of
ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE, a $3 million grassroots Church-wide fundraising campaign dedicated to expanding the organization's global programs improving the lives of children up to age six. The campaign started on September 4, 2019, and will run for 1,000 days, ending May 31, 2022.
"Love allows us to bridge great distances so that children an ocean away are as precious to us as the little ones living right down the block," said the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church and Honorary Co-Chair of ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE. "Episcopal Relief & Development's programs with children share our love with thousands of children in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With your help, we can demonstrate God's love to thousands more."
Research shows that the first 1,000 days for children are critical in setting a foundation that affects their ability to grow, learn and thrive over their entire lives. Around the world, 155 million children under five are stunted due to inadequate nutrition and health care. Episcopal Relief & Development works with communities to ensure that children have access to food, clean water, and quality health care.
Episcopal Relief & Development invites individuals, congregations and dioceses to join ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE by engaging in acts of love of their own. These acts can include:
  • Learning about the campaign and the organization's work with children. 
  • Sharing the campaign with their congregations and communities on social media, through online peer-to-peer fundraising and other creative campaign activities.
  • Giving as an individual or congregation to help expand the organization's work with children.
To learn more about ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE and how individuals and congregations can participate, visit

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

National Hispanic Heritage Month 2019

Did you know: Federal policy defines “Hispanic” not as a race, but as an ethnicity; it prescribes that Hispanics can in fact be of any race; this means that a Hispanic can be Black, White, Asian, etc., or a combination of two or more groups. Some famous Hispanic/Latino people include Admiral David Farragut, Rita Hayworth, Cesar Chavez, Lynda Carter, Guillermo del Toro, Bruno Mars, Salma Hayek, and others.

The etymology of “Hispanic” goes back to “Hispania” during the Roman Empire.  Hispania was the region comprising the Iberian Peninsula, now occupied by Portugal and Spain. When those countries conquered America, their culture and influence spread from modern day United States to Argentina. Another fact: St. Augustine in Florida was established as a Spanish fort in 1565, the first permanent European settlement in the United States before the English settlement of Jamestown in Virginia later in 1607. The oldest and active government building in the United States is “La Fortaleza”, the house of the governor of Puerto Rico. 

When it comes to reporting their racial/ethnic identity, Latinos stand out from other Americans. In the 2010 census, for example, 94% of the U.S. population selected at least one of the five standard, government-defined racial categories – white, black, Asian, American Indian or Pacific Islander. But among Latinos, just 63% selected at least one of these categories; 37% of Latinos, or 19 million, instead selected only “some other race,” with many offering write-in responses such as “Mexican,” Hispanic” or “Latin American.”[1] In my case I have used “Hispanic”, “White-Hispanic” (when it is an option), “Latino”, and “Puerto Rican.” All of these categories of course can lead to interesting conversations since “Hispanic” or “Latino” could mean different things to different people. 

Today, 57.5 million people or 18% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population. Here in Virginia the “Hispanic population in Virginia is the 15th largest in the nation. About 732,000 Hispanics reside in Virginia, 1.3% of all Hispanics in the United States.”[2]  

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) I ask for your prayers on behalf of my ministry to our siblings in Christ in our diocese. You can also share in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. We are your neighbors, friends, co-workers, doctors, fellow veterans, and those of us that come into your life for only a moment. Blessings to all of you. 

Gracias, The Rev. (Padre) Mario
Missioner for Latino/a/x Ministries  

[1] Gonzalez-Barrera, Ana and Hugo-Lopez, Mark. “Is being Hispanic a matter of race, ethnicity or both?” Pew Research Center.

[2] Pew Research Center: Hispanic Trends. “Latinos in the 2016 Election: Virginia” Pew Research Center.

The Rev. Susan B. Haynes elected 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia

The Diocese of Southern Virginia elected the Rev. Susan B. Haynes as its 11th Bishop at its Special Council in Dinwiddie on September 21.
One of six nominees, Haynes was elected on the eighth ballot. Haynes, the rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mishawaka, Indiana, received 94 votes in the clergy order and 148 votes in the lay order. Seventy-four clergy votes and 128 lay votes were necessary for election on that ballot.
Haynes earned her Master of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is married to the Rev. Thomas Haynes, and they have two grown daughters.
"I am really excited and looking forward to making the transition to Southern Virginia," Haynes said, addressing Council via Zoom after accepting the election. "Until I can get there I'm going to be saying my prayers and immersing myself in scripture and I would like to ask everyone in Southern Virginia to do the same so that when I get there we can all hit the ground running, doing the work of Jesus Christ and making him present in the Diocese of Southern Virginia."
Pending consent of a majority of the church's bishops with jurisdiction and the diocesan standing committees, Haynes will be ordained and consecrated on February 1, 2020, with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry as the chief consecrator. The service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at St. Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg. It will also be live streamed on the diocesan website and available for on-demand viewing afterward. More information will be available soon. 
Click here for complete Special Council balloting results and to watch video of Bishop-elect Haynes greeting Council.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Special Council convenes Saturday in Dinwiddie

The Special Council to Elect the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia will convene on Saturday, September 21, at Dinwiddie High School in Dinwiddie. Council will open with Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. Complete information about Special Council can be found here.

Results of each ballot will be posted on the diocesan website, Facebook page, and Instagram.

Information about the candidates can be found here. A recording of the Bishop Candidate Walkabout on September 6 at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, is available on our YouTube channel. The recording has been divided into seven shorter videos so that you can view the opening segment, and the individual candidate segments separately.  
Please hold the Diocese, clergy and lay delegates, and bishop candidates in your prayers.
Almighty and most gracious God, source of all wisdom and guidance, send your Holy Spirit to guide us as we seek and discern a shepherd for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Inspire us with hope, hearts to love you and a desire to serve one another. Grant us grace to entrust you with the future of your Church and all things. We ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Holy Land Pilgrimage departing Feb. 9, 2020

Join the Rev. Peter Hogg for a pilgrimage offering a complete immersion in the Holy Land, including the Galilee region, Tiberius, Capernaum, Cesarea, Philippi, Mt. Hermon, the Golan Heights, Nazareth, Jericho, Jerusalem, Bethany, Masada, the Dead Sea, Qumram, and Joppa. An optional Jordan extension of the trip includes Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Petra and Emmaus. This pilgrimage departs February 9, 2020 for 10 days in the Holy Land, and February offers the best weather for travel in this region. This tailor-made tour is limited to just 20 people, offering a more comfortable and intimate experience. It will include unique private events like dinner in a Palestinian home in Bethlehem and an evening at St. George's Anglican Cathedral. Pilgrimage cost is $3,348 and is all-inclusive, includes direct flights (Dulles to/from Tel Aviv), taxes, tips, all entrance fees, etc. The optional three-night Jordan extension is an additional $998.  Click here for a tour brochure with complete details. Contact the Rev. Peter Hogg, 757-635-3557 or

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Video of Bishop Candidates Walkabout available

The Bishop Candidate Walkabout on September 6 at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, was livestreamed. Please note that the livestream experienced technical difficulties that evening. However, a high resolution video recording was made of the event and can now be found on our YouTube channel. The recording has been divided into seven shorter videos so that you can view the opening segment, and the individual candidate segments separately. 

Episcopal Relief & Development providing relief support after Hurricane Dorian

In partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, Episcopal Relief & Development is giving assistance such as food, water, clothing, shelter and other emergency supplies to individuals and families affected by the storm. The organization is also working through the Anglican Alliance to provide support to the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos as they continue to assess the needs of communities.  

Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development's partners respond to the storm in the most efficient way possible. Many partners are not in a position to receive, store or distribute donations of physical goods or effectively use volunteer assistance at this time. Click here to make a donation.  

Episcopal Relief & Development's Disaster Preparedness Initiative equips Episcopal dioceses to prepare for and respond to crises. By offering resources and training and providing emergency support, the program helps vulnerable groups of people to make a full and sustained recovery and helps them to develop resiliency against future disasters. Many of the dioceses impacted by Hurricane Dorian have been working to develop this resilience and were ready to respond as needed. To learn more about building a Season of Resilience and to download disaster preparedness resources, visit