Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mission Initiative Grants for 2012

The Mission Network is again making available grants of up to $1000 per Convocation to be used in an Evangelistic Mission Initiative. You know your context and culture best, so we are allowing you to use the money in a way that makes the most sense for your situation. Be creative! How can you raise the visibility of the Episcopal Church in your area? How could you better equip the congregations in your Convocation to be more inviting and welcoming? Work with your convoccation's dean. New this year: Congregations, coordinating with their deans, may apply for a grant after June 1 if their convocation as a whole has not applied. Deadline is Oct. 1. Click here for the 2012 Mission Initiative Grant form, ideas and FAQs.

NACBA Chapter holds 2012 conference in Norfolk

The Tidewater Chapter of the National Association of Church Business Administrators is holding their 2012 conference, "Keeping Your Church Out of Hot Water," on April 27-28 in Norfolk. The conference includes more than 20 workshops on administration and leadership, finance, taxes, banking, insurance, communications, personnel, security and more. Among workshop leaders will be Mark Markuson of Church Insurance who will address risk management, and Ann Turner, diocesan communications officer, who will address communications technology. The conference will be held at First Baptist Church, 312 Kempsville Road, Norfolk. For more information and registration, go to www.nacbava.org.

"Team Episcopalian" takes on the Greenbrier River Trail to raise money for the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association (AMA) is sponsoring a fundraising bike ride on the Greenbrier River Trail in West Virginia from May 17-20. The Rev. Keith Emerson, rector of St. Paul's Suffolk, has formed "Team Episcopalian" to encourage members of the diocese to participate and/or donate. Click here for more information about this event. Contact Keith if you are interested in participating in the ride or have questions, 757-539-2478 or keith@saintpauls-suffolk.org.

Live webcast to address General Convention 2012

General Convention 2012 of the Episcopal Church will be the topic of a live webcast on Wednesday, May 9 at 1 pm Eastern. The webcast, originating from Indianapolis, the site of this year's General Convention, can be accessed live or on demand at  www.episcopalchurch.org. Participants in the live webcast will be: Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori; President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson; Executive Officer and Secretary of the General Convention, the Rev. Gregory Straub; and Bishop Catherine Waynick of the Diocese of Indianapolis, the host diocese. Questions will be accepted via email at publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org and from the invited guests in the audience.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Experts focus on The Intersection of Poverty & the Environment in live webcast on April 21

Experts will examine The Intersection of Poverty and the Environment on April 21 in a live webcast beginning at noon. The program will be available at no charge on the Episcopal Church website www.episcopalchurch.org. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the panelists during the two-hour webcast, originating from St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Salt Lake City, UT. A Facilitator's Guide and resources to optimize viewing and participation are available at www.episcopalchurch.org/intersection. The event will be moderated by Kim Lawton of PBS's Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly. Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will lead the program with her keynote address. Resources such as bibliography, materials for community and individual review, websites, discussion questions, Sunday school lessons, environmental resources will be available. The forum is ideal for group watching and discussion, or on demand viewing for Earth Day observations as well as Sunday School, discussions groups, and community gatherings.

Monday, April 2, 2012

170 year-old church threatened by eminent domain

Bishop Hollerith and other religious leaders from Virginia Beach joined Emmanuel, Virginia Beach, in their fight against that city's use of eminent domain. People and local media packed the church's sanctuary at a press conference on March 27.
"We are not here to debate the City's power to condemn private property for a public purpose. But in the case of Emmanuel Church, the effect of doing so, of taking land used for both sacred and community purposes, is to diminish the life of this community," Bishop Hollerith told the gathering. Bishop Anne Gimenez, the senior pastor of Rock Church International,said, "The city is taking what belongs to God. This ground was dedicated to God."

In 2001, less than two weeks after the completion of a $2 million expansion to their church facilities, the city announced plans to condemn a portion of Emmanuel's property to widen and relocate a six-lane road behind the church. For well over a year, Emmanuel's Road Committee has patiently sought to negotiate with the City for fair compensation, including entering into mediation with an independent authority. A settlement offering land to Emmanuel but with no further financial compensation was accepted by the Vestry in June 2011 to resolve this conflict, even though it was well short of the damage estimated by appraisers. Since then, the City's legal and economic development departments have repeatedly whittled away at the proposed settlement. The City now seems intent to press a lawsuit against Emmanuel in court on October 16th in order to compel the church to accept its inadequate offer as fair compensation for the land and its damage to the historic church.   

You can learn more about Emmauel's fight with the City of Virginia Beach at their website, saveemmanuelvb.blogspot.com. You can also join them on Facebook, facebook.com/SaveEmmanuelVB.  

United Thank Offering ingathering

It's time once again to bring out the blue UTO boxes you've been filling with coins all year. Parish UTO Coordinators are reminded and encouraged to use every creative way possible to bring out the best in parishioners - young and old - as we go into this important phase of our mission to "give thanks for our blessings and, in turn, give generously to those who are in need." April is UTO ingathering month and we are asking that you send contributions to your diocesan UTO Coordinator by the third week in May. Your ingathering are to be sent to your newly appointed UTO Treasurer: Rosalyn Neal, ECW of Southern Virginia, 4661 Truman Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23455.
          -- Ros Neal, UTO Treasurer 

ECW Spring Annual Meeting

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the ECW Spring Annual Meeting at Jackson-Feild Home in Jarratt on Saturday, May 26. The day begins with registration at 9:30 a.m. and includes a business meeting, an alumnae speaker, a tour of Jackson-Feild Home, Holy Eucharist and lunch. The registration fee is $5. Jackson-Feild Home is graciously providing lunch at no charge. Watch for more information soon.