Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2012 Clergy Compensation Guidelines Now Online

At its September 1 meeting the Executive Board approved a suggested 1.7 percent cost of living increase for clergy compensation. The 2012 Clergy Compensation Guidelines are now available on the Compensation & Benefits page of our website.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Camp Wakonda Seeks New Board Members

Camp Wakonda, the Diocesan day camp for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS has operated for more than 15 years.  While HIV/AIDS is not the death sentence it once was, it still represents a financial disaster to the families of those infected.  For the vast majority of these kids, Camp Wakonda is the only real fun they have all summer.   

The Camp Wakonda Board is looking for some folks with new ideas and energy to join us.  If you would like to become a board member and be a part of this meaningful, rewarding ministry, please contact Boyd Duncan at 757-850-1520 (Home), 757-329-1347 (Cell) or by email at

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blessing of the Animals resources from Episcopal Relief & Development

Episcopal Relief & Development has a brand new "Blessing of the Animals" module of the Abundant Life Garden Project. You can find links to the resource on the Christian Formation for Families & Children page of our website. This module is a Children's Chapel Liturgy of the Word, designed specifically for St. Francis Day and specifically for children. It includes child-friendly prayers, a homily, discussion questions and suggestions for outreach activities. 

House of Bishops issues Pastoral Teaching on the environment

The House of Bishops, meeting in Quito, Ecuador, issued a Pastoral Teaching that addresses the environmental crisis. "Privileged Christians in our present global context need to move from a culture of consumerism to a culture of conservation and sharing. The challenge is to examine one's own participation in ecologically destructive habits. Our churches must become places where we have honest debates about, and are encouraged to live into, more sustainable ways of living." The bishops have committed themselves, and urge every Episcopalian to join them, in honoring the goodness and sacredness of God's creation in these ways:
  • To acknowledge the urgency of the planetary crisis in which we find ourselves, and to repent of any and all acts of greed, overconsumption, and waste that have contributed to it;
  • To lift up prayers in personal and public worship for environmental justice, for sustainable development, and for help in restoring right relations both among humankind and between humankind and the rest of creation;
  • To take steps in our individual lives, and in community, public policy, business, and other forms of corporate decision-making, to practice environmental stewardship and justice, including (1) a commitment to energy conservation and the use of clean, renewable sources of energy; and (2) efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and whenever possible to buy products made from recycled materials;
  • To seek to understand and uproot the political, social, and economic causes of environmental destruction and abuse; 
  • To advocate for a "fair, ambitious, and binding" climate treaty, and to work toward climate justice through reducing our own carbon footprint and advocating for those most negatively affected by climate change.
 You can read the full Pastoral teaching here.

We have a Facebook page... Now what?

A Facebook page is a great way to extend the church to where people are. Of course, to make the best use of Facebook, you have to provide daily posts that encourage interaction and re-distribution. Yes, daily. That can seem daunting if you've just ventured into social media. Here are just a few of the Facebook pages of churches around our diocese who are doing a good job at it:

 Redeemer, Midlothian - The Rev. Nancy Meck, associate rector, attended the Social Media for Congregations workshop and immediately began putting the information to use by creating a new Facebook page for Redeemer. "It was amazing to see the numbers (of people "liking" the page) jump within an hour" and that after posting an announcement on Facebook that "our Women's Bible Study enrollment has doubled." 

St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Newport News - Not only does St. Andrew's keep parents and families updated on what's happening at school each week, they also post lots of pictures. This is a page that's a good source of information for parents and a lot of fun too. 

Old Donation, Virginia Beach - Old Donation's Facebook page is a wonderful mix of posts - pictures, video, links to the church newsletter and online news articles, parish news and news from around the diocese and the national church. 

You might also want to check out the diocesan Facebook page. This is a good source for content to post on your church's page. Need help getting started with social media? Contact Ann Turner,, and schedule one-on-one/small group training or host a Social Media for Congregations workshop at your church.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Upcoming ECW Events

Fall Board Meeting
The Diocesan ECW Board will hold its Fall Board Meeting on Saturday, September 24, 2011, Good Shepherd, 7800 Lew Jones Road, McKenney, VA from 9:30 A.M. - 2:30 P.M. Board members are requested to bring four copies, marked for the President, Recording Secretary, Communications Chair, and Jamestown Cross Reporter. If you cannot attend the meeting, please send a copy of your report to: Dr. Angela M. Parker, P. O. Box 184, Lawrenceville, VA 23868 or email to: or If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please contact Mrs. LeMoine Jones, Corresponding Secretary, 757-428-5373, Mrs. Becky Winn, Petersburg Convocation Chair, 804-931-6714, Mrs. Grace Martino-Strid, 757-853-8520, or Dr. Angela Parker, Diocesan President, 434-848-2924. Information regarding this ECW Board meeting was sent out to all the churches. Please disregard unless you are an ECW Board Member. 

Time for Reflection 2011
The Prayer & Worship Committee of the ECW proudly announces Time for Reflection 2011: Praying in Color. Led by Sybil MacBeth, author of the book, Praying in Color. October 7-8 at Chanco on the James. Made possible through a grant from The Penick Legacy. Click here for the event brochure and registration form.

Annual Meeting

The Diocesan ECW Annual meeting will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2011, at St. Andrew's, Norfolk, VA. Registration materials will be mailed out later this month to all parishes and all are invited to attend this meeting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Executive Board Takes Next Steps in Determining Future of Talbot Hall Property

The Executive Board is moving forward to explore the future of the Talbot Hall property. In April 2011, the Talbot Hall Task Force - charged by Bishop Hollerith to receive and recommend proposals regarding the property - concluded its work and made its report to the diocesan Properties Committee. After reviewing that report, along with prior property assessments, the Properties Committee voted to recommend to the Executive Board the sale of the Talbot Hall property and the relocation of the diocesan offices to a more demographically central location. This recommendation was presented at the Executive Board's June 2011 meeting. In response, an ad hoc committee of the Board was then appointed to determine what further information was needed in order to move forward. The committee reported to the Executive Board at its September 2011 meeting. The following resolution was approved: "Be It Resolved that the Executive Board authorizes the Properties Committee to explore* the sale of Talbot Hall and to explore* the most feasible location for the Diocesan Office, continuing to respect the neighbors of Talbot Hall and the history of the property." In response to the resolution, the Executive Board established two new committees, a Property Sales Committee and a Location Committee, to gather further information. The committees will provide updates on their progress at the November 2011 Executive Board meeting. 

*Exploring the possible sale of the property will include inquiries into: cost effectiveness, cost comparisons, diocesan demographics, possible locations - including the present location at Talbot Hall, facility use requirements, input from various regions of the Diocese, and other data.

A Start Up! Start Over! Conference for Small Churches

New Chapter: Your Church in God's Unfolding Story 

Come December 1-3,  Thursday afternoon until Saturday noon, to the Williamsburg Woodlands in Colonial Williamsburg for a congregational vitality conference featuring The Rev. Tex Sample - prolific writer, story-teller and  author of nine books on the intersection of faith and culture. Our diocese is partnering with the Episcopal Church Center Office of Congregational Vitality to host this national event especially for congregations with an average Sunday attendance under 75 people. This conference is highly subsidized by the Episcopal Church Center, and provides an excellent opportunity to send a team from your congregation to help you move to the next chapter in your church's life. Discover ways to increase vitality in your congregation by sharing stories of Good News with the world. As an incentive, our diocesan Mission Network is also offering $40 per person rebates to the first 50 people who register with a team of 3 or more people from their congregation or cure. Other need-based scholarships for laity may be available through the Christian Formation department. The Convocational Mission Initiative Grants may also be used to send teams to this conference. Registration is $295/person for a single room; $225/person for a double room; $150/person for commuters. Includes two nights hotel, breakfasts, snacks, Thursday dinner and Friday lunch. Go to to register. For more information contact The Rev. Canon Jeunée Cunningham, 434-603-1782 or .