Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Seeds of Hope: St. Thomas brings Youth Empowerment & Senior Pals to the Freeman community

The fourth of seven in a series about the recipients of this year's Seeds of Hope Grants to develop and expand social justice ministries in Southern Virginia. Learn more about Seeds of Hope grants here. 

St. Thomas, Freeman, was awarded two Seeds of Hope grants this year. One will fund the expansion of their Youth Empowerment program. The second grant will help grow the Senior Pals program.

Located in an impoverished area of the state, St. Thomas' Youth Empowerment Progam offers important enrichment and education for the youth of their community, as well as parents. The program offers both spiritual and cultural nurturing. Youth are able to participate in cultural activities, receive skills development and mentoring. Their parents also can participate in workshops designed especially for them. This year's grant will allow St. Thomas' to add workshops to help single mothers develop skills that will help them find jobs and a sewing class.

The Senior Pals program provides encouragement and support to senior citizens of St. Thomas' community. This year's grant will allow the program to add Emergency Preparedness workshops to their offerings.

These programs have made a measurable difference in the lives of Freeman residents. "I have truly enjoyed the cooking class, learning to use what you have to make a good but healthy meal for the family. May God continue to bless St. Thomas church family." - participant in St. Thomas', Freeman, Senior Pal "Back to Basics" cooking class.

Nominations for Annual Council due Dec. 14

Annual Council nominations deadline is December 14, 2012. Candidates are being sought for the following positions:
  •  Standing Committee: 1 laity, 1 clergy
  •  Disciplinary Board: 1 laity, 1 clergy
  •  Provincial Synod: 1 laity, 1 clergy
More  information and nomination form are available here. Please complete and mail the Nomination Form by December 14, 2012 to Leah Sicignano, 600 Talbot Hall Road, Norfolk, VA 23505. All nominations must be received by mail as they require original signatures.

Ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests on Dec. 15

On Saturday, December 15, Bishop Hollerith will ordain Eve Butler-Gee, Terry Davis Edwards, Roger Alan Hungerford, Henry Philip McQueen, and Wendy J. Wilkinson to the Sacred Order of Priests. The service will be at 11 a.m. at Christ & St. Luke's, Norfolk. Clergy: red stoles.

Presiding Bishop's Advent message: What is it that you are more waiting for?

Noting that Advent is a time of waiting for "the coming of the Prince of Peace, the one who will reign with justice over this world," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori focuses on two questions in her Advent 2012 message: "What is it that you are most waiting for?  And, how are you going to wait this year?" The Presiding Bishop's Advent 2012 message, videotaped in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd on the grounds of General Theological Seminary in New York City, is available here. The text of the message is available in English and in Spanish.

Daughters of the King hold Advent Quiet Day

The Daughters of the King of the Diocese of Southern Virginia invite all women of the Church to share in an Advent Quiet Day, entitled "Mary in Advent".  Our Daughters of the King Diocesan Chaplain, the Rev. Jack Lynch, will guide us through a very special advent experience featuring Holy Eucharist, meditation, and reflection. Our Advent gathering will take place on Wednesday, December 12, from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Christ the King, Tabb. Please bring a notebook or journal and your Bible. The cost of the event is $5, which includes morning coffee and lunch. RSVP to Ronda Toll at

Online Advent calendar from the Episcopal Church and the Society of St. John the Evangelist

The Episcopal Church and the Society of St. John the Evangelist have teamed up to bring you an Advent calendar using the social network Pinterest. You do not have to have a Pinterest account to view the calendar. Beginning December 2, go to each day during Advent. Every day a new window opens offering you a moment of solace and reflection as to the true meaning of Advent and the coming Christmas Season. Each window will reveal a special Advent word, meditation and beautiful image. 

Mission Cross makes a wonderful gift

The Mission of the Holy Spirit is an urban outreach ministry serving an at-risk community in Norfolk spiritually, emotionally, educationally and physically. Its focus is on empowering youth and their families through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Mission Cross was created to honor and support the ministry and community of the Mission of the Holy Spirit. Uplifted hands receive the Holy Spirit: holy hands that worship, praise and heal. Each cross is handcrafted of nails, a gentle reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made for each of us and that we are vessels of the Living God, called to go forth in his name.

You can purchase a Mission Cross and support the Mission of the Holy Spirit. Click here for more information and an order form.   

Brooklyn church is operational base for Occupy Sandy relief effort

Episcopal Church Office of Communications 
The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (Diocese of Long Island) is the operational base for Occupy Sandy. They are training and sending out volunteers into the still affected areas of Brooklyn, such as Red Hook and Coney Island, where tens of thousands of people still have no power. The rector, the Rev. Michael Sniffen, opened the sanctuary for use as a staging point to move goods and supplies. More than 20,000 volunteers have assisted, with 10,000 meals a day cooked and delivered. Donations can be made through the church's registry. Video here.

Church Publishing launches BCP ebook

Church Publishing Incorporated has successfully launched two new eBook editions of the Book of Common Prayer to accommodate a variety of applications and most eReader platforms, including all versions of Kindle, Apple, plus other devices and tablets.

"We're not the first to offer an  electronic edition of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), but we wanted to offer the best version possible in multiple formats to cover the widest range of liturgical needs," said Brother Karekin Yarian, Church Publishing's project manager - eProducts.

Church Publishing's eBook edition, available for all eReaders, contains the complete contents of the authorized 1979 Book of Common Prayer, is fully searchable, and features a built-in Table of Contents. This edition is designed to maximize content accessibility on mobile devices and tablets. However, because eBooks are designed to reflow the text according to the size of the screen of the mobile device, designing this edition to maintain the exact page layout and page numbers of the print edition "was neither possible nor desirable," Brother Karekin explained, "As such, the layout of the content may be different, depending on the device you are using."

Church Publishing also offers a PDF version of the Book of Common Prayer, which is available on the Church Publishing website. Each of these versions is hyperlinked and has bookmarking capability. 

"These eBooks give Episcopalians easy access to the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, making it as close as your tablet or eBook reader. I'm delighted that Church Publishing is responding to the needs of the church in this way," said Ruth Meyers, Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific and a member of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music for the Episcopal Church.

"Electronic books are becoming fully integrated now within the life of the Church, so we're meeting the needs of our customers with a variety of digital products," said Church Publishing's Davis Perkins, publisher.  "In addition to an already significant assortment of digital resources, including our eHymnals, riteworship, Living the Good News Online, and Weaving God's Promises curriculums, plus more than 500 CPI titles available as eBooks, the electronic editions of the BCP demonstrate our commitment to delivering important content for the Church via every available channel."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Seeds of Hope: Helping Hickory Neck Church feed the hungry

The third of seven in a series about the recipients of this year's Seeds of Hope Grants to develop and expand social justice ministries in Southern Virginia. Learn more about Seeds of Hope grants here. 

Hickory Neck, Toano, participates in the From His Hands (FHH) program started over six years ago with the objective of providing hot balanced meals to approximately 80 people in the Grove Community of James City County once a week - currently 100 meals are served. Grove represents a major portion of low income and individuals/families in need in James City County. There are 13 churches which have united in support of FHH Ministry. About two years ago, FHH began expanding the ministry to include a motel which housed homeless and near homeless individuals and families and an average of 35 meals were delivered on a weekly basis. About six months ago a second motel was added to the ministry and meals are served there every other week.

Some of the churches serving the motels also provide "room bags" including motel friendly foods like canned soups, canned meats, noodles, snack bars, and hygiene products. Families at the motels which have children are often provided with diapers and infant formula and foods.

Currently, the mission is being supported by grant dollars and each of the member churches provides monetary support, as well as volunteers, to buy, prepare and deliver food. The Salvation Army provides a canteen truck for the delivery of the meals. Over the past six years, most of the protein was donated by grocery stores. Unfortunately, the grocery store providing the bulk of the protein went out of business a year ago as a result of the economy.

Seeds of Hope grant funds will be used to help provide protein for the Grove mission, motels and additional "room bags." The grant funds will allow expansion mainly in the motel side of the mission. Currently, in James City County, there are five motels which house homeless/needy individuals and families. The grant will allow the ministry to expand to as much of that population as possible without forgetting their obligation to the Grove community.

Diocesan pledges due December 1

Pledges to the Diocese for 2013 are due by December 1 to allow for the final budget to be presented to the Executive Board and Annual Council for approval. If you have any questions, contact Comptroller Nancy James, or 757-213-3386.

Presiding Bishop calls for week of prayer for Democratic Republic of Congo

The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs 
"Pray for an end to the conflict, an end to violence and the atrocities, that the needs of the suffering may be supplied, and that peace may prevail," Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in calling for a week of prayer for the Democratic Republic of Congo from November 26 - December 2. Prayer resources are available here and here

The following is Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori's call to action:
Our fellow Anglicans in the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to experience violence and displacement.  Since April, there has been a significant rise in violence promulgated by a new rebel group, M23, and several existing ones.  The violence has caused the displacement of 320,000 within DR Congo, and 60,000 into Uganda and Rwanda.   

The work of the Anglican Church in Congo continues to be of the highest quality and responsiveness, rooted in the love of Christian for neighbor.  During a visit there in July of 2011, we saw firsthand evidence of the work done by Mothers Union and other groups on behalf of the least of these - women, children, and orphans, all victims of the violence of war.  The internal displacement of hundreds of thousands since then, and the flight of still others into neighboring countries, has made the situation much worse.  Many thousands are living with fear and insecurity, hunger, sickness, and poverty, while they yearn to return home and live in peace.

Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Anglican Church of Congo asks us to join in a week of prayer for peace in DR Congo, from 26 November through 2 December, initiated by the Congo Church Association.  Pray for an end to the conflict, an end to violence and the atrocities, that the needs of the suffering may be supplied, and that peace may prevail.

I can think of no better way for the Christian world to prepare for the Advent of the Prince of Peace, and I hope and pray that you will join me in praying during the week leading up to Advent.

Online Advent calendar from the Episcopal Church and the Society of St. John the Evangelist

The Episcopal Church and the Society of St. John the Evangelist have teamed up to bring you an Advent calendar using the social network Pinterest. You do not have to have a Pinterest account to view the calendar. Beginning December 2, go to each day during Advent. Every day a new window opens offering you a moment of solace and reflection as to the true meaning of Advent and the coming Christmas Season. Each window will reveal a special Advent word, meditation and beautiful image.   

Episcopal Church partners with FaithStreet, a new congregational evangelism tool

The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs 
A partnership between the Episcopal Church and FaithStreet paves the way for congregations to connect their church with church seekers through an innovative church locator that offers much more than a search engine. "Our partnership with FaithStreet will give our congregations a new tool to promote their churches," commented Anne Rudig, Episcopal Church Director of Communication.  "FaithStreet not only locates a church, but works with a congregation to present the mission and ministry done there in ways easily understood by a seeker. It goes beyond address and contact info to providing an ethos or 'vibe' of particular churches."

FaithStreet currently showcases 3,580 churches in all 50 United States, in over 1,500 cities. This includes over 100 church networks and denominations representing churches of all sizes, ranging from five to 10,000 members. "FaithStreet is a tech-startup that is making it easy for anyone to find and connect with a great Christian church in their area," explained Ryan Melogy, Co-Founder. "We're creating a personalized church discovery experience, where anyone will be able to find a great church for them."

"Churches will always be able to create a free profile on FaithStreet," noted Sean Coughlin, Chief Executive Officer. "In the future, FaithStreet will offer paid features, services, and advertising plans. These paid services will be always being optional, affordable and effective."

For more information and to join FaithStreet:

Episcopal Church offers Advent sermons for children at no fee

The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs 
To engage children in a more active role during worship this Advent, the Episcopal Church is offering a four-week series of lectionary-based children's sermons. Offered at no fee, the children's sermons provide clergy and lay leaders with step-by-step instructions on how to help the children lead the adults in worship. "The sermons were designed for use in small congregations, but are appropriate for churches of any size and with any number of children, ranging in age from young children to youth," explained Sarah Johnson, Editor of Sermons that Work in the Episcopal Church Office of Communication.

The sermons for the four weeks of Advent are available the Sermons That Work website. The sermons are also available in Spanish on the Sermones que Iluminan website

"These materials provide a subject lesson, rather than an object lesson," explained Teresa Stewart, writer of the children's sermon series and founder of Paper Bag Cathedrals, a website for small-church resources. "Instead of linking some outside object to Advent, these work in the opposite direction. The children's feelings - something they know well - are the subject of the exploration. The children will be asked to imagine, pretend and act out experiences that they are already familiar with. Then you can help link these feelings to this Holy Season. Start with their expertise. It's a whole-body, not brain-only, kind of Christian formation. Experiential, not just cognitive."  

The four-week series are:
First Sunday of Advent (Year C), December 2: "Wait and Trust: Remember God Keeps Promises"
Second Sunday of Advent (Year C), December 9: "Wait and Get Ready: Make Things Right for All People"
Third Sunday of Advent (Year C), December 16: "Wait and Dream Big: Expect Really Good News"
Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year C), December 23: "Wait and Give Thanks: Celebrate the Promise"

For additional information, contact Johnson at

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Take advantage of our membership in The Episcopal Network for Stewardship

The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS) membership benefits are available to all parishes through our diocesan membership. Benefits include formation and training resources, webinars, giving campaign materials and new ideas and insights from contributing bloggers. If you would like to use these materials, please email Caroline Black at or Nancy James at to receive the login information for

Seeds of Hope: St. Paul's addresses the needs of the aging in Lawrenceville

 The second of seven in a series about the recipients of this year's Seeds of Hope Grants to develop and expand social justice ministries in Southern Virginia. Learn more about Seeds of Hope grants here. 

Saint Paul's Memorial, Lawrenceville, has been awarded a Seeds of Hope Grant of $2500 to support lectures, movies, and cooking demonstrations entitled "Escaping your Comfort Zones" "Your Life Re-imagined."

Saint Paul's and its community are composed of a large elderly population. Every member of Saint Paul's is over fifty. A large number of individuals in their community are as well. The elder generation knows that life does not always go the way you expect it to; sometime the need for help is sudden and unexpected. If plans are in place, it is easier for caregivers to act on their behalf. As a church, Saint Paul's feel it is their duty to provide this information so that individuals can make important decisions without pressure. This grant-funded program will serve individuals from eleven churches, including St. Thomas, Freeman, and St. James, Warfield, as well as the community at large.

Lectures will be on topics that are uncomfortable in most families. Topics will include: Medicare Supplement Plans; Life Insurance; Living Wills; Reverse Mortgage; Wills; Telemarketers; Staying at-Home vs. Assisted Living; How to Fix Quick, Inexpensive, Healthy, Tasty Meals. Resources will come from the office on Aging, AARP and Brunswick Extension. Community Memorial Hospital will also provide assistance.

Your pledge could make it possible: New initiatives

A follow-up to our "Your Pledge Makes It Possible" series on the mission and ministries of the Episcopal Church in Southern Virginia. If you missed any of that series, you can find them all on our website. 

During the Bishop's Day conference in October, Bishop Hollerith outlined the following four new initiatives that he would ask the Executive Board to pursue with him were parishes to give their 10% fair share of giving to the 2013 diocesan budget (initiatives are not in order of priority):
  • College for Lay Leadership - a first-class, ongoing program to offer the lay leadership in Southern Virginia new ideas, new opportunities, and new ways to address issues of congregational vitality in the modern world. Based on the Bishop's Days program, this program would provide a broad framework for ongoing training and development, as well as a community of support for lay leaders in our parishes.
  • Young Adult Missioner - a full or part time diocesan staff position for providing ministry to college age and young adult people. This position would be an individual trained in the newest forms of ministry who would engage the culture, identify possibilities, and challenge local parishes to provide new forms of ministry to this age group.
  • Call an Assistant Bishop - to share in the Episcopal ministry with our Bishop by assisting with Sunday congregational visits, ordinations, Celebrations of New Ministry, etc. An emphasis will be placed on calling someone with experience in small church congregational development. (An assistant bishop is a bishop who has already been elected within another diocese and has either retired or resigned.)
  • Call an Hispanic church planter - to call into the diocese a trained church planter who is not only bilingual, but also bi-cultural. This position would involve helping the diocese identify potential Hispanic communities and to work toward establishing worshiping communities.
NOTE: At present only 20% of churches pledge the minimal asking amount of 10%.

CE-Net Speaker Series welcomes Sharon Pearson of Church Publishing

Mark your calendars for Thursday, January 17, 11 a.m., for the CE-Net quarterly speaker series at Hickory Neck, Toano. Sharon Pearson, Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing, will be our speaker. In addition to sharing the latest available resources, Sharon will talk about how to adapt curricula and resources to fit your particular context. Registration is necessary and there is a $5 charge for lunch. Please contact Judy Rieken at to register.

News from Chanco

Chanco seeking applicants for Board of Directors
Chanco continues to seek interest in serving on its board of directors.  This is one simple way you can give back to Chanco and make a difference in Chanco's future! Click here for a nomination form. For more information regarding serving on the board, visit our website or contact New Board Member Coordinator, the Rev. Marguerite Alley at  Completed applications may be emailed to Marguerite at this address.  Thank you for your prayerful consideration of this important adult and youth ministry of our diocese!

2013 Summer Camp schedule is here!
The session dates for 2013 have been set and registration will go live on our website at on December 1. Give Chanco for Christmas!  Register before January 1 and save on all sessions ($11 savings for one-week; $21 on a two-week session).  Click here for a flier with the 2013 session dates, ages and rates. We look forward to seeing you back at Chanco "where friends are friends forever." Questions? Contact Registrar Stacey Richards at   

Retreat helps prepare for Advent and reduce holiday stress

"While We Wait" is an Advent retreat open to everyone and will be held Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Luke's, Blackstone. We will spend the day preparing for the season of Advent, learning ways to reduce holiday stress and detach from the busyness of the season. The retreat will help us to explore ways to wait, and how we might express our joy even in the uncertainty and waiting. Speakers will be Ellen Johnston, the Very Rev. David Teschner, and Dr. Barbara Morgan. Cost is $10 per person and includes lunch. Scholarships available. Call 434-676-3448 for ticket information. Hosted by St. Luke's, Blackstone, St. Paul & St. Andrew, Kenbridge, and the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Please join us and bring your friends! Click here for event flyer.

Durham Bishop Justin Welby named 105th Archbishop of Canterbury

Episcopal News Service
Following months of anticipation and media speculation, Downing Street confirmed Nov. 9 that the Queen has approved the nomination of Diocese of Durham Bishop Justin Welby as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury. Welby's enthronement as 105th archbishop of Canterbury will be held March 21, 2013, in Canterbury Cathedral.  

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said: "I am delighted to hear of Bishop Welby's appointment as archbishop of Canterbury. He brings knowledge of the immense challenges of the world in which the Anglican Communion seeks to partner in the service of God's mission to heal and reconcile." Read more here

Episcopal Church Veterans Day video message salutes women in the US military

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
In a special Veterans Day video message, Bishop Jay Magness, Episcopal Church Bishop for Federal Ministries, honors women in the military and calls for recognition of their commitment, service and sacrifice. This Veterans Day, Bishop Magness said, "I want to salute and honor the most often unseen members of our service and veteran community - the women who serve and have served in the military." The video is available here.
Noting that 11% of the US military are women, Bishop Magness addresses "the challenging personal sacrifices that women make while serving their country." He also points to the homeless female veteran population in this country, rising at an alarming rate. Every night, he notes, there are "over 5000 female veterans living on the street."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Seeds of Hope: A Safe Place at St. Paul's, Newport News

The first of seven in a series about the recipients of this year's Seeds of Hope Grants to develop and expand social justice ministries in Southern Virginia. Learn more about Seeds of Hope grants here. 

St. Paul's, Newport News, received a $2500 grant to better equip a volunteer who is a licensed social worker assisting guests of A Safe Place adult day center to connect with essential support systems such as potential employers, healthcare providers, Social Security resources.

God's people who gather as St. Paul's Church are committed to the ministry of hospitality and advocacy: to welcome all people who enter in peace and to offer compassionate care to and voice with people who are hungry, ill, without good and safe shelter, unemployed, excluded, in despair. The justice ministries are firmly grounded in Christian hope. Daily life together is shaped by worship, Bible study, and prayer. Seven days each week, St. Paul's Church opens its doors in inner-city Newport News in the name and love of Jesus Christ.  

A retired social worker has been volunteering for some time to help, during the hours of the Adult Day Center, A Safe Place, guests with issues related to employment, social security support, housing and healthcare. Funds will purchase second computer/printer plus internet access will allow the social worker to help guests communicate with employers, healthcare providers, and especially the Social Security Administration.

To learn more about St. Paul's mission and how you can help, go to or like them on Facebook.

Ordination Exploration Process applications now being accepted

Ordination Explorations Process applications are accepted annually from September 1 through December 31. The OEP assists you and the church in providing opportunities for assessment, exploration, and discernment of a sense of call to ordination. For more information about the OEP, go to our website.

Applications for Episcopal Church Young Adult Service Corps due January 4

The Episcopal Church offers untold opportunities for young adults to provide service and share their expertise worldwide through the Young Adult Service Corps. Commonly known as YASC, applications for 2013-14 are now being accepted for the Young Adult Service Corps from young adults between the ages of 21-30. "YASC provides an opportunity for young adults to explore their faith in a new capacity and to live out the Baptismal Covenant by seeking and serving Christ in all persons," noted the Rev. David Copley, Mission Personnel Officer. "Applicants must have a high degree of maturity and possess a faith commitment and the willingness to be a humble guest, and the ability to be an authentic companion."

Current YASC members can be found throughout the Anglican Communion. They are working in administration, agriculture, development, education, and technology. They are serving in Brazil, Costa Rica, Haiti, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania. Read their thoughts and reflections on their blogs here.

Possible placements for 2013-14 include Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama,  the Philippines, South Africa and Taiwan.

The application for the 2013-14 YASC year is available online here . The application deadline is January 4, 2013. For more information contact Katie Webb at or 212-716-6124. 

New Episcopal Church resources focus on older adults, faith formation

Two new Lifelong Christian Formation resources focusing on older adults and faith formation in the Black context are now available for congregational use, in adult forums, study groups, educational seminars, and discussion gatherings. "Aging is Changing" and  "Stories of Transformation: Worship, Witness & Work in the Black Community" are available at no cost on the Episcopal Church website.
Aging is Changing
"Aging is Changing" is a five -part program designed to be incorporated into the life of congregations. Prepared by the Episcopal Church Office for Lifelong Christian Formation and the Executive Council Taskforce on Older Adult Ministries, "Aging is Changing" was developed to help clergy and lay leaders identify issues of older adults, their families, and caregivers, and to identify existing local, state and national resources that might be helpful. It also includes best practices from 60 congregations around the Episcopal Church. "This resource is aimed at changing the perception that older adults become less useful as they age," explained Ruth-Ann Collins, Episcopal Church Officer for Lifelong Formation. "It highlights the potential of this generation and signals us to remember that as Christians, we are called by God. And as a church we have adopted The Five Marks of Mission as a way to answer that call." Aging is Changing is available here. For more information contact Collins as

Stories of Transformation: Worship, Witness & Work in the Black Community
This important offering is a series of stories shared from the personal experience of the writers - a seminarian, theologians, parish priests, activists - and is a direct response to the conversation among the young people about the place and role of storytelling in the family. Prepared by the Episcopal Church Office for Lifelong Christian Formation and the Office of Black Ministries, Stories of Transformation is recommended for congregational use by clergy and lay leaders who want to approach faith formation work in the context of the black community, providing readers the opportunity to go deeper into the stories of the black community. "These stories illustrate the rich heritage of a community with the tension between experiences of deep sadness and the abundance of joy inform how the black community celebrate their relationship with God," noted the Rev. Canon Angela S. Ifill, Episcopal Church Missioner for Black Ministries "This is not just for those ministering in black community. It is a gift to all Christians giving us a significant opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of the black community." Stories of Transformation are available here. For more information contact Ifill at

Jubilee Ministry grant applications now being accepted

Applications for 2012 Jubilee Ministry grants are now being accepted in two categories: diocesan initiatives and health and nutrition. Jubilee Ministries are congregations or agencies with connections to the Episcopal Church whose mission work affect the lives of those in need, addressing basic human needs and justice issues. Grants to Jubilee ministries are awarded annually. All application forms are available here.  
  • Funding diocesan initiatives: due December 1; $1,000 grants to support Jubilee Ministry development plans of the local bishop and the appointed diocesan jubilee officer (dioceses can receive one grant).
  • Health and nutrition: due December 1; $750 grants for Jubilee Ministries that respond to the nutritional needs of people living in "food deserts," defined as those communities in which residents have no easy access to fresh produce, and must rely on convenience stores or fast-food restaurants to provide their meals.
Guidelines, additional information, and applications are here. For more information contact Angeline Cabanban,