Wednesday, May 22, 2013

St. Matthias' youth support Jackson-Feild

Lisa Rose, Youth Coordinator at St. Matthias’, Midlothian, is passionate about helping her sixth and seventh grade youth appreciate their blessings and to be concerned about the plight of those less fortunate.She has many creative ways to help her children appreciate the effect of money and how we choose to use it and especially what it can do for others. One of her exercises involves freezing money in ice cubes in order to work to get to it. Rose’s efforts led to a fund raiser to help children their own age who have experienced misery and pain.  

Over the course of several Sundays, the youth collected jewelry from their families and members of the church. The items were then sold with the proceeds being given to Jackson-Feild Homes at the suggestion of Rose’s mother who has been a loyal supporter of the Home.

On May 9, The Rev. John Boucher presented a check to Jackson-Feild in the amount of $350 during the awards ceremony of the 18th Annual Golfing for the Kids tournament at The Country Club of the Highlands. The Homes’ staff was humbled by this gift and are most thankful for these special youngsters and their youth coordinator.

Representatives from Jackson-Feild hope to be able to meet with St. Matthias' youth group when they reconvene after the summer. The youth group is also interested in doing some "hands on" projects in the future.   

Jackson-Feild Homes provides innovative, intensive therapeutic services using best practice trauma models for boys and girls in residential care and community- based services. All programs work with each youth individually and involve each youth’s family to ensure success. The goal is to return the child to their community as soon as possible. Jackson-Feild works to educate, equip and empower youth to become healthy and confident young adults.

Mission of the Holy Spirit completes 5-week wellness program

By Ann Campbell, Mission of the Holy Spirit Board 
Old Dominion University nursing students have been an active presence with Mission of the Holy Spirit kids. They provide tutoring and help our younger children through focused tutoring and mentoring.

This semester, in addition to tutoring, the students have implemented a five-week program with our teen girls. This series, sponsored by a Seeds of Hope grant from the Diocese, is focused on healthy lifestyles and includes a teaching that addresses topics such as genetics, family history and “owning” your health. The formal lesson is followed by an exercise activity usually with music and dance! The group has applied knowledge about healthy eating to food preparation for the group. The girls assist with the meal preparation and apply safe food handling tips as well as ways to make a recipe healthier to the nightly meal. As a culminating activity we took the girls for a dinner out to apply the healthy food choice teaching they had learned.

Car wash!
The Mission of the Holy Spirit is holding a car wash at Good Shepherd, Norfolk, on Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come by, meet the kids, and help raise funds for this wonderful ministry! 

Saint Paul's College will not merge with Saint Augustine's University

Saint Augustine's University in North Carolina has backed out of plans to merge with Saint Paul's College, Lawrenceville. "After careful due diligence and much deliberation, Saint Augustine's University has decided that to pursue the acquisition is not a fiscally responsible option," Saint Augustine's University said on its website.

In a press release dated May 13, Oliver W. Spencer, Jr., chairman of Saint Paul's Board of Trustees said, "The Board of Trustees and administration of Saint Paul's College were surprised after receiving the correspondence from Saint Augustine's University last week. We had anticipated that as a result of all of discussions and planning, we would be moving forward with the possible merger/acquisition process. However, the Board of Trustees of Saint Paul's College will continue to pursue all options available including continuing discussions with the Saint Augustine's University Board of Trustees."

Friday, May 17, 2013

Connect your college-bound youth with Canterbury

Now is the time to make sure your college-bound youth get connected with Canterbury! You can find a list of Canterbury contacts in Southern Virginia - and in other parts of the state - on the College Ministry page of our website. If you have students headed out of state, or don't see your school listed, contact Youth Missioner Ashley Scruggs for help in finding your contacts, or 757-213-3393.

TREC invites conversation through social media

The Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) is utilizing social media to solicit ideas, info and as a means to hear from the church. And, TREC plans to regularly pose questions, report on its progress, and engage both the wider church and specific groups within the church in an ongoing dialogue throughout the triennium. The TREC website  is at, twitter and Facebook 

According to the Rev. Canon Craig Loya, "An important part of our work during this triennium is to engage the wider church in conversations about church structure and about what God is calling us to be as The Episcopal Church embraces change and creativity in the years to come."

Dr. Katy George noted, "We are committed to transparency and sharing information as our work evolves.  However, what would make this journey relevant, meaningful and productive is the active engagement of the church in this process at all levels.  We welcome you to be part of this journey."

In inviting conversation and engagement, the Rev. Joseph M.C. Chambers said, "It is our desire that our website and social media pages serve as tools for conversation and a platform for sharing information; a bridge to connect every Episcopalian with the work TREC has ahead.  As we share a common love for our beloved Episcopal Church, we invite you to invest in this process.  Join us, and share your thoughts, ideas, dreams and hopes for The Episcopal Church you would like to see."

Other contact information includes:, Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church, PO Box 11641, St Louis, MO  63105-1641.

Church Periodical Club's Miles of Pennies benefits Jackson-Feild Homes

Founded in 1888, the Church Periodical Club (CPC) is an Episcopal institution that provides books, magazines, tapes, videos and computer programs at no charge to those who cannot otherwise obtain them. Within the CPC is a fund called Miles of Pennies that provides grants up to $844.80. Laid edge-to-edge, it takes 84,480 pennies to cover the distance of a mile. Hence, the name of the fund and the maximum amount of grants provided. The Miles of Pennies program focuses exclusively on the book needs of children from kindergarten through high school.

The Miles of Pennies program is a national program funded through the work of local coordinators within every diocese of the Episcopal Church USA. The Presiding Bishop of each diocese designates one Sunday each year as Church Periodical Sunday, and donations are collected to support the Miles of Pennies Fund as well as other funding programs within the CPC. Each year, a total of $18,000 to $25,000 is awarded to worthy recipients with 95% of the funds coming from Episcopal Church Women throughout the country.

Jackson-Feild Home's Hayden Gwaltney School recently received a full grant of $844.80 from this fund.  Over the years, The Gwaltney School has received more than $6,900 from the Miles of Pennies program, and the students have benefited enormously. This year's grant was used to purchase 77 books that focus on healthy relationships, history or classic literature. Jackson-Feild Home, The Gwaltney School, the teachers, and the students are very pleased to once again be the recipients of this grant and thank all who contribute each year to the Miles of Pennies program.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New partnership with FaithStreet will help newcomers find our churches

We're pleased to announce that the Diocese of Southern Virginia is partnering with FaithStreet, a service that is helping the millions of people who use the internet to find a church home, to connect to churches in our diocese. Several of our churches have already signed up. 

We have a "Find a Church" page on our Diocesan website, but research shows that the denominational affiliation of a church is not important to most people who are looking for a church or who are exploring Christianity. FaithStreet's goal is to help us reach those people more effectively. However, the addition of our diocesan FaithStreet network allows us to include zip code search on our "Find a Church" page - and that's super helpful to Episcopalians visiting or moving to Southern Virginia who do come to our diocesan website looking for a church. For all of these reasons, we would like for ALL our congregations to participate in this new network.

FaithStreet is really easy to use, and allows you to create a great looking church profile designed around reaching newcomers. And there is no cost to you! If your church isn't already on FaithStreet, click here to get started. (If your church is already on FaithStreet, you have automatically been included in our network.)

Registration for Godly Play teacher training is open

A Godly Play training is planned for Saturday, August 3, 8:30 to 2, at St. Martin's, Williamsburg. Kathleen Capcara will lead this training. Click here for details and registration.

We would like to hear from you what aspects of the training you need the most. Go to our Formation in Southern Virginia group on Facebook and let us know.

Convocation II youth gather for worship

  Youth from Convocation II (Virginia Beach) came together for "Jordan Rocks," a special worship service. There were 51 youth from five churches at the event which was held at Galilee, Virginia Beach. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Diocesan Day of Service

Saturday, May 4, was a Day of Service in Southern Virginia. Congregations took part in a variety of service projects in their communities. Pictures from some of the day's events can be found on our Facebook page.  If you have pictures from your project, please send them to so that they can be included.  

Emmanuel, Cape Charles, members spent their Day of Service doing work for their local library. They also provided brownies for the Brownie Walk Brownie during International Migratory Bird Day at the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge.

Members of St. Paul & St. Andrew, Kenbridge, spent the day clearing an historic community graveyard.

Petersburg churches teamed up to provide a Day of Service to the HOPE Center in Petersburg. The center provides a variety of assistance to community residents.  

All Saints', Virginia Beach participated in the Day of Service for the Ministry of the Baptized.  Through their Jr. Warden, they secured from the City of Virginia Beach the address of a home that was about to be condemned, and with the owner's permission undertook the clean-up of her front yard.  A very tired and wet crew felt revitalized by this opportunity to minister to a citizen in need.

The congregations of Convocation II (Virginia Beach) assisted Good Samaritan, Virginia Beach, with their annual Spring Community Day as part of the Diocesan Day of Service. The day was all about "Building Safe Communities," and there were a variety of city agencies and services there, along with lots of food and entertainment. Over 2,000 people from the neighboring community attended the event. Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms was also there.

Saturday morning seven people from St. John's, Chester, participated in the Day of Service by building four kitchen tables for CARITAS clients transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing.  CARITAS is a Richmond organization which seeks to meet the immediate needs of the homeless for food and shelter and to provide help with job skills, drug rehabilitation, and housing to break the cycle of homelessness.

Convocation III (Norfolk) churches held their Day of Service in April. They came together to perform much needed maintenance and repairs at the ODU Canterbury House.

Integrity hosts screening of "Love Free or Die"

Integrity will hold a screening of "Love Free or Die" on Tuesday, May 21, 7:30 p.m., at St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach. "Love Free or Die" is a documentary about the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson. Admission is free. All are welcome! Contact Integrity for more information,

Godly Play training coming in August

A Godly Play training is planned for Saturday, August 3, 8:30 to 2, at St. Martin's, Williamsburg. Kathleen Capcara will lead this training. We would like to hear from you what aspects of the training you need the most. Go to our Formation in Southern Virginia group on Facebook and let us know.

Ridley Foundation accepting scholarship applications

Through the great generosity and charity of Miss Roberta Ridley, an endowed trust was established many years ago to provide financial support for continuing education for qualified members of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Southern Virginia and for residents of Southampton County and the City of Franklin. Scholarships are based on academic excellence and financial need. Applications are due by June 20. Click here for more information and application form.