Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Trinity Institute 2016 to be live webcast at Diocesan office

The Trinity Institute's 45th annual conference - Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice - will be webcast live at the Diocesan office in Newport News, Jan. 21-23, 2016.

This year's conference focuses on racial justice. It is for anyone who is interested in a theological perspective on racial justice and a fuller understanding of present realities and ways to transform them. Featured speakers include Nicholas Kristof, Anna Deavere Smith, Emilie Townes, Michael Curry, and many more.

Get more information and register online at

Liturgical resource for Day of Repentance & Reconciliation

Annual Council Resolution R-1 (2013) resolved that "November 2, 2014, All Souls Day, will be designated as the 'Day of Repentance and Reconciliation' in the Diocese of Southern Virginia and parishes will annually hold this observance during the octave of All Saints."

We encourage all parishes to live into R-1 and plan a meaningful service during the octave of All Saints. In the diocesan service we used a story format.  "Repentance, Reconciliation and Healing: A liturgical resource for congregations" follows the format of Holy Women, Holy Men. This booklet offers several options for readings and psalms.  

If you need further assistance or have questions, please contact Canon Caroline Black,, or a member of the Repairers of the Breach Commission.  

Day of Repentance & Reconciliation events

St. George's, Pungoteague will hold a Solemn Evening Prayer for Racial Justice on Sunday Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m.. Celtic and Appalachian hymns by fiddler David Kohut.
Good Shepherd, Norfolk, will host a series of events leading up to a Holy Eucharist for Repentance, Reconciliation and Healing for the Sin of Racism at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5.
Sunday, November 1, 7:00 pm - Hymn Sing. All are invited to come together for a good old fashioned hymn sing. There choirs and musicians from the local community joining us. Please come out and raise the rafters! There will be a reception and nursery! Bring your kids! Monday, November 2, Dinner 6:00 pm, Presenter 6:30 pm - Aditi Dutt, Family Educator at Bon Secours Health System, will speak to us on the topic of cultural diversity. Appropriate for teens and adults, we encourage all to come and engage this important topic. Nursery provided. Wednesday, November 4, Dinner 6:00 pm, Presenter 6:30 pm - Anthony Holley, Youth Advisor and Board Member at Teens With a Purpose, along with some of the youth involved with TWP, will present on their work with teens and their mission to raise up the next generation of leaders. Especially appropriate for teens, please encourage your youth to attend. Adults are also welcome. Nursery provided. Thursday, November 5 , 7 p.m. - Holy Eucharist for Repentance, Reconciliation, and Healing for the Sin of Racism. Join us as we finish our week of song, presentations, and reflection with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Deacon Candidate Genevieve Nelson will be our guest preacher. A reception in the Narthex will follow the service. Nursery provided.

St. Augustine's, Newport News; St. Cyprians, Hampton; St. John's, Hampton; and Emmanuel, Hampton, will be coming together for a service of Repentance, Reconciliation and Healing at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8.  The service will take place at St. John's, Hampton.  Four choirs will present a special anthem in addition to a performance by Weyanoke. Weyanoke is an a cappella vocal ensemble specializing in the songs and stories of the African Diaspora. Canon Michael Spear-Jones will be preaching. This service is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a wider community and reflect on our history while embracing a hope filled vision for the future. In this service we acknowledge that we are called as a Christian community to repent of our sins so that we can be reconciled and one day healed. After the service there will be a reception that is hosted by the St. John's young adult group with contributions from all of the participating churches. 

St. George's, Newport News, invites you to join them for an evening of fellowship and prayer on Thursday, November 5. Acknowledging the sin of racism in our past and in our present, they will gather for a time of repentance, reconciliation and healing. All are welcome. There will be a free dinner at 6 p.m. and the service will begin at 7 p.m. Clergy, please vest and process - green or multicolored stoles. St. George's is located at 15446 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. Call 757-877-0088 for more information.

ECW Board members installed at Fall Annual Meeting

By Nancy Smith, St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach     
Folks woke up to ice-coated windshields in Clarksville on October 18. St. Timothy's, Clarksville, ECW, led by Jean Crowe, ECW President, welcomed women who traveled across the diocese to the ECW Fall Annual Meeting that morning, with fresh-baked donuts and hot coffee.
The principal business at ECW Fall Annual Meetings is the installation of new board members. During the Celebration of Holy Eucharist, the Very Reverend Dr. Susan Grimm, Rector, St. Timothy's, Clarksville, installed the ECW board members: Kathy Haney, Recording Secretary, Christ Church, Danville; Andrea Morgan, Prayer/Worship Chair, Trinity, Portsmouth; Louise Boss, Second Vice President, Christ Church, Eastville/Bridgetown and Deborah Austin, Church Periodical Club Director, St. Mark's, Suffolk. They will serve a two-year term beginning in January 2016.
Megan-Drew Tiller, Church Relations, the Boys Home of Virginia, and Tod Balsbaugh, Vice President of Advancement, Jackson-Feild Homes attended the meeting and received contributions from parishes for God Bless the Children: ECW's 2015-16 Outreach Project. At lunch Molly Kratt, a member of St. Timothy's, shared Seven Stylish Tips for Tying Your Scarf.
ECW dues, $3 per member, are due November 1. Technically, all Episcopal Church Women, are members of ECW. Two dollars ($2) fund donations given to recipients in the diocese, nation and the world through the ECW Diocesan Budget. Imagine what sizable donations those would be, if every women in diocese gave $3. For information about recipients go to the ECW page at

PHOTO: The Very Reverend Dr. Susan Grimm, Rector, St. Timothy's, Clarksville, installed ECW board members at the Fall Annual Meeting October 18. Back row, l. to r.: Kathy Haney, Recording Secretary,Christ Church, Danville and Rev. Susan Grimm. Front row, l. to r.: Andrea Morgan, Prayer/Worship Chair, Trinity, Portsmouth; Louise Boss, Second Vice President, Christ Church, Eastville/Bridgetown; Presenter, Nancy Sands, ECW Diocesan President, Christ Church, Danville and Deborah Austin, Church Periodical Club Director, St. Mark's, Suffolk.

Women-to-Women expanding ministry in Africa

By Susan Broaddus, Christ & St. Luke's, Norfolk 

Women-to-Women have decided to expand from helping only Bukavu Diocese to also helping the new Diocese of Kamango which is being formed out of the Diocese of North Kivu near the Uganda border. Pictured here is Madame Damalie Tibafa (she's the one with the Christ & St. Luke's apron), wife of bishop-elect Canon Sabiti Tibafa who is currently Vice-Chancellor of the Anglican University in Bunia. Here in 2013, she is teaching me to cook a squash and tomato dish, one of my favorites. As the Bishop's wife, she will head the Mothers' Union in that Diocese. Happily, she is trained to do so and was the Provincial Mothers' Union Rep years ago. Help us help them by joining Women-to-Women on Monday, November 2 at 7 p.m. at 1323 Lafayette Blvd., Norfolk. Call Susan Broaddus for directions: 757-613-7004.

Jackson-Feild joins American Association of Children's Residential Centers

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services has joined the American Association of Children's Residential Centers (AACRC), a 160-member organization now including eight in Virginia that treat children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders.
The AACRC believes that children and adolescents, and their families, are entitled to treatment which offers the maximum opportunity for growth and change. AACRC focuses on advancing professional knowledge, increasing public understanding about mental health in children, identifying and sharing information on emerging mental health practices, educating policy makers regarding treatment efforts, and supporting behavioral health organizations in order to provide high quality mental health services.
Jackson-Feild is very pleased to be a member of this worthwhile organization.

Be the first to have a 2016 Camp Chanco t-shirt!

NEW for 2016 Chanco is offering Winter Camp January 15-17, 2016.  Many of our Camp Chanco counselors will be returning to provide camp programming (minus aquatics, of course!) to our campers for a weekend of fun in God's great outdoors! Archery, low ropes course, zip lines, crafts, fun skits and games are just a few of the fun camp activities that will be provided. This session is for ages 7-12 and offers our youngest campers a chance to return to Chanco during the school year, invite a new friend and/or try Chanco for the first time before attending a full session next summer! Free 2016 summer camp t-shirts for all who attend! The cost is $125 and registration is live at Questions? Contact Executive Director Gareth Kalfas at or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626).  

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori: I am deeply grateful for what god has been up to in the midst of our journey together

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued the following statement:  "The Episcopal Church has come a long way in the last 10 years.  We are no longer consumed by internal conflict over various social issues.  We are clearer about who we are - a multinational church, with congregations in 17 nations, worshipping in countless different languages, thriving in international, immigrant, and multicultural contexts everywhere, and discovering the abundant life that comes in turning outward to love the neighbors nearby and far away.  We are far more conscious about our vocation as partners in the mission of God to reconcile and heal the world, particularly shaped by the Five Anglican Marks of Mission.  We are holding our identity as Episcopal Christians a bit more confidently, even in the midst of our diversity.  We are also more willing to hold that identity lightly and gracefully in engaging other Christians and people of other religious traditions, searching for what we dream of in common - shalom, the Reign of God, a more just and peaceful world, with abundant life for all creation.
I am deeply grateful for what God has been up to in the midst of our journey together, and I look forward to seeing how this church of the middle way will continue to lead and partner as we travel the road home, into God's fullest dream of abundant life for all.  I thank the people of this Church and beyond for your prayers over the last nine years - especially in recognition that we do this work together, never alone.  May God bless the next chapter of The Episcopal Church's engagement in God's mission, as we go together into Galilee!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Praying for the churches of Southern Virginia

As part of our liturgy at Annual Council 2015, each delegation wrote a prayer for their parish. We are sharing these prayers each week in the eNews so that we all can support one another in the upcoming year.

Emmanuel, Hampton
heavenly Father, we pray for guidance to help us fulfill our baptismal covenant and responsibility as stewards of your gifts and word. help us to attend to the needs of others and focus on the number of lives changed for the better as a result of our inreach, outreach, and all o four ministries. We recognize that we will face challenges and we will rely on your teachings, love and blessings to help us maintain the strength and compassion to serve our community, each other and you as we work through trials and tribulations. Through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

All Saints, Virginia Beach
God of wisdom, God of grace, we give you thanks for the life and witness of All Saints, Virginia Beach. We pray for a continuation of faithful witness to youth, children, and families of all ages so that all may know Christ's love and make Christ known through worship, music, formation and outreach  all to the glory of God and the furtherance of God's Kingdom. All this we pray through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Christ and St. Luke's, Norfolk
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe. You have created us and sustained us, and allowed us to reach this moment. For this and your many blessings, we are forever grateful. Please guide and bless all those who answer your call in this church, especially as we consider the future of Christ and St. Luke's Church community. Enliven them to openly listen and respond to your indwelling Holy Spirit; in themselves and in other. Strengthen their bonds of communal love and service. When they doubt, tire or disagree in their work, let them be open to discerning your guidance, and be centered in serving you to make plans and decisions in harmony with your reign on earth. Protect us and keep us attentive to the needs of our clergy, our leaders, our staff, our members, our neighbors, and ourselves. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

More than Sad: Suicide Prevention Education

Michelle Peterson, co-founder and president of The Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to preventing suicide, will be our featured speaker at CE-NET on Thursday, November 12, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the Diocesan Office in Newport News. 
Michelle will be sharing a suicide prevention program that has clear relevance for faith communities. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24. Michelle's session will educate us about suicide and prompt us to consider how our faith communities can take part in reducing teen suicide. The program has been designed to increase the understanding of the problem of teen suicide, identify risk factors, and highlight warning signs of youth suicide, so that adults who work with youth are better prepared to identify and refer students who may be at risk.
Ms. Peterson is committed to increasing the number and quality of suicide prevention programs provided for adolescents in the high school and middle school years and presents depression awareness and suicide prevention programs for teens, families, and those who work with them. Michelle is a survivor of suicide. In 2014, her daughter, Sarah, died by suicide at the age of fifteen. An active participant in her community, Michelle is a member of the Maury High School Booster Board and is the chairman of the Youth Advisory Committee at First Lutheran Church of Norfolk. As a parent of four children, she has volunteered with many school and community groups as a Girl Scout Leader, Vacation Bible School Director, Sunday School teacher, PTA Board Member, and leader or member of many committees. Michelle earned a B.A. from Michigan State University and is a former school teacher.
Join us for this informative and interactive session! Thursday, November 12, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Diocesan Office, 11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101, Newport News.

Safe Church Training on Nov. 14 in Norfolk

There will be a Safe Church classroom training on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Ascension, Norfolk. Training will be from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and include both Adult and Child modules. Cost is $15 per person. Click here to register.

Live and on-demand video of Presiding Bishop installation service

The Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, becomes Presiding Bishop and Primate on November 1.
The Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) in honor of the 27th Presiding Bishop on Saturday, October 31 at 11 am Eastern at the Armory in Washington, DC. A live webcast of the Vigil Celebration will be available at

The Holy Eucharist with the Installation of the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate will occur on Sunday, November 1 at noon at Washington National Cathedral. The service will be reflective of the comprehensiveness of the Episcopal tradition and community. Bishop Curry will preach at the service. 

The Holy Eucharist will be live webcast available here. The live webcast will be closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired. Pre-registration is not required. The webcast will also be available here. On demand video of the Eucharist will be available here.
The worship bulletin will be available for downloading beginning October 23 here.

Chanco seeking members for Board of Directors

Artwork of the bluff courtesy of Christine Truxell
Do you have a passion for Chanco's ministry and a desire to see it thrive into the next generation of campers and retreat guests? Then we may have the job for you! Chanco is seeking lay and ordained persons to serve on the Board of Directors beginning service in early 2016. There possibly may be no more exciting time to be a part of Chanco's growth than now. All interested persons must be a member in good standing at an Episcopal church in our diocese. All applications are vetted through the current Chanco Board and Bishop Hollerith. Click here for an application to be sent to Executive Director Gareth Kalfas at Questions? Contact Gareth at 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626) or via email. We are grateful for our Chanco Board and the vibrant ministry they support. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Treasurer & Administrator Lunches expanding to the Richmond area

Upcoming Treasurer and Administrator Lunches will be held:
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 12 to 1:30 p.m., at the Diocesan Office (11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101, Newport News)
  • Thursday, Nov. 5, 12 to 1:30 p.m. at St. John's, Chester (12201 Richmond St., Chester)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18, 12 to 1:30 p.m., at Galilee, Virginia Beach (3928 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach)
This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other parish administrators and treasurers to talk about common issues - including financial management, administration, communications, and much more. Bring your own lunch; beverages will be provided. There's no agenda for this gathering - just an opportunity to get together, share, encourage, support, and ask questions. RSVP to Nancy James,

NEW! Treasurer & Administrator Lunch expanding to include Richmond area
Comptroller Nancy James and Communications Officer Ann Turner are heading west to expand the Treasurer & Administrator Lunch groups to include the Richmond area. We'll hold our first gathering in that area on Thursday, Nov. 5, 12 to 1:30 p.m. at St. John's, Chester. If you plan to attend, RSVP to Nancy James,

Praying for the churches of Southern Virginia

As part of our liturgy at Annual Council 2015, each delegation wrote a prayer for their parish. We are sharing these prayers each week in the eNews so that we all can support one another in the upcoming year.

Trinity, Gretna and Christ Church, Danville
We pray for the homeless and unemployed in Pittsylvania County and for those elderly who are alone. We pray for the spread of the Gospel in our area and for justice among all peoples. We especially pray for the Holy Spirit to stir up all Christians to live their faith in their daily lie and works. Amen.

St. Stephen's, Norfolk and Mission of the Holy Spirit
God of light and life, break open the good news for us, be with us in our worship , homes and community. Remind us that your light is victorious over darkness. Remind us that we must work to heal pain we face in this world. Strengthen us in our service to you, O Lord, our God. Amen.

2016 Healthcare Open Enrollment is Nov. 4-20

2016 Open Enrollment for clergy and lay employees participating in medical and dental plans is Nov. 4-20, 2015. During the Medical Trust's Open Enrollment period:
  • Current plan members may change their plan selections for the following year
  • Eligible non-participating employees have the option to join a plan
  • Eligible non-participating dependents may be added to a member's plan without the need of a qualifying event
If you have questions about Open Enrollment, please contact Canon for Administration the Rev. Canon Ed Tracy, 757-213-3378 or

Fish tales from Jackson-Feild Homes

Don Lancaster, host of Fishing Tidewater, and a Jackson-Feild resident fishing.
For the boys and girls at Jackson-Feild, an annual rite of fall is a saltwater fishing trip at the Buckroe Beach Fishing Pier in Hampton. Old Point Bank sponsors the event in conjunction with the City of Hampton Roads Parks and Recreation.
The young anglers - none of whom had ever been saltwater fishing - arrived bright and early and ready to fish using rods, tackle and bait provided by Old Point Bank. Don Lancaster and Matt Smith (hosts of the Fishing Tidewater radio show), Al Nazaruk, and Dan Minnick volunteered their expertise and served as mentors.   Don provided a brief "Fishing 101" lesson in which he showed the boys and girls how to bait hooks, protect their hands from the fins, and then release the hooked fish.
According to one enthusiastic participant, the kids caught "a bazillion fish," releasing most but keeping enough to fill a cooler to bring back to campus for dinner. The new anglers had so much fun that did not want to leave.

When asked why he volunteers each year, Lancaster responded "These youngsters have had so many challenges in their lives. It does your heart good to see them have such a good time enjoying a simple pleasure." 

New online classes from ChurchNext

ChurchNext allows you to learn from expert teachers in Scripture, liturgy, and important Christian topics while interacting in a safe, online environment that's convenient, engaging, and affordable. Check out these new offerings from ChurchNext: 
Approaching Scripture with Vicki Garvey is a terrific introduction to the Scriptures from one of the best Bible teachers in the mainline church. It's available in both For Individuals and For Groups formats.

Can online learning add to your spiritual growth? Read an answer to that question in this ChurchNext blog post.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Liturgical resource for Day of Repentance & Reconciliation

Annual Council Resolution R-1 (2013) resolved that "November 2, 2014, All Souls Day, will be designated as the 'Day of Repentance and Reconciliation' in the Diocese of Southern Virginia and parishes will annually hold this observance during the octave of All Saints."

We encourage all parishes to live into R-1 and plan a meaningful service during the octave of All Saints. In the diocesan service we used a story format.  "Repentance, Reconciliation and Healing: A liturgical resource for congregations" follows the format of Holy Women, Holy Men. This booklet offers several options for readings and psalms.  

We shared our diocesan reconciliation service with St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Clay City, Kansas, which used the liturgy on Sept. 20 for a service of repentance, healing and reconciliation to acknowledge the mistreatment of the only African-American member in the church's 134-year history, Mai DeKonza, who died in 1959. Read more about this service here.

If you need further assistance or have questions, please contact Canon Caroline Black,, or a member of the Repairers of the Breach Commission.  

Jan Brown named to Episcopal Church Commission on Impairment and Leadership

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has announced the members of the newly-formed Episcopal Church Commission on Impairment and Leadership. They include Jan Brown from the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Brown is a member of the board of Episcopal Recovery Ministries and co-Director of SpiritWorks Foundation, a recovery community organization serving individuals affected by the disease of addiction. The members were appointed by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori in consultation with President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings.
Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said, "I pray that this body will help us foster a culture of open awareness and learning about addiction as well as fierce commitment to healing of body, mind, soul, and community."
The enabling resolutions charge the Commission to serve as "an independent commission to explore the canonical, environmental, behavioral and procedural dimensions of matters involving the serious impairment of individuals serving as leaders in the Church, with special attention to issues of addiction and substance abuse." The commission also must prepare a report to "include recommendations for both action and further review, as appropriate, in order to clarify lines of authority, to ensure mutual accountability, and to promote justice, well-being and safety within both the Church and the world."

Praying for the churches of Southern Virginia

As part of our liturgy at Annual Council 2015, each delegation wrote a prayer for their parish. We are sharing these prayers each week in the eNews so that we all can support one another in the upcoming year.

Grace, Norfolk
God our Father, we pray for your forgiveness and we pray for hope, courage and strength to stand for social justice. We ask for your blessings for continued growth of our church, we pray for the healing of divided communities that, with your blessings, we may be one. Heavenly Father, to you we submit our prayers. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Galilee, Virginia Beach
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your love and redemption experienced in and through Galilee Church. We ask you, Lord, to lead, shield and anoint us to take joy in every task you set before us and to live more deeply into our mission and renewal. Amen.

ECW Fall Annual Meeting: Focus on Breast Cancer Awareness

Join us Saturday, October 17, for the ECW Fall Annual Meeting at St. Timothy's, Clarksville. Molly Kratt, an advocate for young women with cancer, will speak. Please bring a scarf as a gift for women who battle cancer. Molly will share the latest scarf fashion tips. We will elect and install new board members. And we will have an ingathering of Jackson-Feild Homes and the Boys Home of Virginia wish list items collected for God Bless the Children, the ECW's 2015-2016 Outreach Project.
Contact Louise Boss, corresponding secretary, to register for the meeting at 757-678-5331 or , by October 9. The $10 registration fee includes lunch
Follow ECW on Facebook
Thanks to Megan-Drew Tiller, Church Relations at Boys Home of Virginia, the ECW of the Diocese of Southern Virginia joined Facebook on Oct. 5. Find us on Facebook here and like us!

Women-to-Women meeting Oct. 12

Women-to-Women is a ministry with Mothers' Union of the Diocese of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is responding the gender-based violence in the region through vocational and literacy training, support, love and friendship. Women-to-Women will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 12 at 1323 Lafayette Blvd., Norfolk. Do join us as we plan ways to support our sisters in the Congo Diocese of Bukavu! Call Susan Broaddus at 757-623-0205 for information and directions.

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Mignon (Sarah) Brockenbrough left Bruton Parish, Williamsburg to accept a call in Diocese of Virginia, 9/20/2015

The Rev. Mark Riley began as Assistant Rector at St. John's, Hampton, 9/21/2015

The Rev. Terrence Walker resigned as Long Term Supply Priest at Trinity, South Hill and All Saints, South Hill, 9/26/2015

The Rev. Mary (Mimi) Lacey will begin as Rector of Emmanuel, Virginia Beach, 11/1/2015

National Church Administration Day: Technology Impact workshop

The Church Network is a professional association of churches and individuals throughout the United States that provides resource materials, training , professional certification, and networking opportunities for anyone serving Christ through ministry leadership and administration. We invite leaders from all local churches and church-related bodies to join the Tidewater Chapter on Wednesday October 14, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Calvary Revival Church (5833 Poplar Hall Drive, Norfolk) for National Church Administration Day. The theme is Technology Impact and will include sessions on Technology and Security, Why Go Mobile?, and Media Matters. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served. Registration is required no later than Monday, October 12 by contacting Sha Simmons at or 757-886-7512. Please indicate name, phone number and email address of each attendee.

Finding Grace in Race, part 2: Cultural Bias

Finding Grace in Race is a public lecture series at Richmond Hill retreat center designed to encourage open and honest dialogue around issues of race and justice.

The second lecture in this series will be "Cultural Bias"  presented by Dr. Allen Lewis  on Monday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Lewis will explore the definition of cultural bias, how people interface with difference, and steps to manage bias. Lewis is Head of JMU Department of Health Sciences and author of We Are All Racists: The Truth about Cultural Bias.
The 45 minute lecture will be followed by facilitated conversation and group processing time among the audience. The evening begins with worship at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., lecture at 7:30 p.m. The requested donation of $20 includes both dinner and the lecture. To register, please contact DeBorah Cannady at or by phone at 804-783-7903.  Click here for more information about the series.

Winter Camp at Chanco

Many of our campers grades 6-12 enjoy returning to Chanco during the school year for events such as October Weekend, Happening, November Weekend, and May Weekend. However, until now there has been no opportunity for our youngest campers to return to Chanco during the school year! We are now offering WINTER CAMP for our youngest campers (ages 7-12). Winter Camp will be held January 15-17, 2016, costs $125 and will involve many of the most loved traditional camp activities such as low ropes activities, zip lines, archery, crafts, evening programs etc. Campers will sleep "lock in style" in sleeping bags in conference center meeting rooms and some of your favorite summer staff will be returning to help lead this fantastic camp weekend. Winter Camp is the perfect opportunity to reunite with your old camp friends, enjoy the gorgeous outdoors of Chanco, and/or introduce a younger camper to Chanco before a one-week or two-week session next summer! Come join us for this fantastic new event! Questions? Contact Executive Director Gareth Kalfas at or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626). Registration is live at We can't wait to see you back or for the first time!

United Thank Offering

Our God is always more ready to hear than we are to pray and to give more than we either desire or deserve. Give to your United Thank Offering Blue Box this week as God gives to you.
The United Thank Offering has been around for 125 years, and sometimes people think of UTO as something only little old ladies still cling to, something out of date and fading from the modern world. But the goal of encouraging daily thankfulness and generosity in our lives is far from outdated, and that IS the main goal of UTO -- not just collecting money, but creating thankful people.
Every Sunday in our liturgy we say it is "right, and a good and joyful thing to give God thanks." It is our duty to give thanks, but like so many Christian guidelines, what God asks of us turns out also to be good for us and makes us happy. Quite a lot of research has been done on the effects of thankfulness in our lives, and the list of its effects on the thankful person is impressive. Thankful people have stronger immune systems; fewer aches and pains; lower blood pressure; better sleep; more joy, pleasure, optimism, and happiness; are more forgiving; and feel less lonely. A good and joyful thing, indeed!
But like other Christian duties, thankfulness needs to be cultivated until it becomes a habit, and your UTO Blue Box can help you with that. Every day, take just a moment to name something you're thankful for, that day. It can be as big as the love of your family or as small as the beauty of an autumn leaf. Take a few seconds to put some money into your Blue Box to share that blessing with others around the world. The more moments of gratitude we build into our days, the more we are likely to see the benefits of thankfulness - to ourselves and to the world.
The United Thank Offering is not out of date -- it's as current as social media. Like us on Facebook!

Educational webinar examines the global refugee crisis

The Episcopal Church will present a 90 minute webinar on October 15 focusing on the global refugee crisis, U.S. resettlement and how Episcopalians can be involved in this ministry of welcome. Presented by Episcopal Migration Ministries and Episcopal Public Policy Network, the live webinar will begin at 8 pm Eastern.
For more than 75 years, The Episcopal Church has welcomed refugees to the United States, helping them find safety, security and new lives as American citizens. Now, with at least 60 million people displaced from their homes and lives, the global community is facing the largest refugee crisis since the end of World War II.
"Episcopalians from across the church have been reaching out to us on a daily basis asking how they can be involved in mission and advocacy that supports refugees," Deborah Stein, Episcopal Migration Ministries Director. "We hope that this webinar will inspire individuals, congregations, and dioceses to engage this life-saving work in new ways."

Pre-registration is required.  Register for the webinar here. The webinar will be available on-demand following the event. Click here for more information.

Episcopal Relief & Development responding to Syrian refugee crisis

Episcopal Relief & Development is engaging the Syrian crisis through support to agencies in Syria, to the Diocese of Jerusalem's Holy Land Institute for the Deaf and in support of large numbers of people traveling out of crisis areas into Europe.  The agency is in contact with Anglican Communion partners through The Episcopal Church's Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and The Church of England's Diocese in Europe, as well as interfaith partners such as Islamic Relief.
"Our relationships with Anglican Communion and ecumenical organizations enable us to contribute efficiently and effectively to the relief of those fleeing the Syrian conflict," said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development's Senior Vice President for Programs.  "These agencies are leveraging our support to meet critical needs for basic supplies, as well as language and cultural mediation to lower the anxiety of displacement and help people access available services."
In Italy, St. Paul's Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome operates the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center as its primary outreach ministry, providing a safe space for 200-250 individuals per day to access legal, vocational, medical and language services.  Episcopal Relief & Development support will enable the Center to expand its ministry to serve the increased number of displaced people seeking safety and assistance.
The Church of England's Diocese in Europe plans to distribute emergency funds to churches in Greece, Italy, France and Hungary that are responding to the needs of displaced people for food, clothing, shelter materials and medical supplies.  The Diocese is reportedly working with Orthodox churches in these areas as well, which expands the capacity to ensure needs are met.
Islamic Relief is active on the island of Lesvos, Greece, where Syrians fleeing the conflict arrive at the northern town of Molyvos, closest to Turkey, and travel to the southeastern town of Mitilini in order to take the ferry to the mainland.  Arabic-speaking Islamic Relief staff, working with other organizations and local volunteers, are offering food and guidance to those arriving, including information about transportation options such as buses to save the 40-mile journey on foot.
Please continue to pray for all those fleeing violence and unrest. Contributions to the Syria Response Fund will help Syrians fleeing violence as the country's civil war enters its fifth year.

Click here for resources to help congregations and individuals respond to the crisis, including:
  • Prayer for Syria
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Episcopal Public Policy Network
  • UNHCR toolkit for teaching young people about migration and refugees