Friday, May 27, 2016

Zika virus fact sheet from Episcopal Relief & Development

Across the US, Episcopalians are gearing up for summer activities like VBS, mission trips and summer camp. But this summer, with concerns about the Zika virus moving north into the continental US, new questions are popping up. Responding to these concerns, Episcopal Relief & Development assembled a taskforce of experts in public health and safety, disaster response, church programs and communications to sort through the information floating around about the Zika virus, and to create a resource that would help Episcopal churches in the United States to respond appropriately.
Click here for a copy of Episcopal Relief & Development's Zika Fact Sheet.

The overall message is that while Zika is a concern for women who are pregnant or could become pregnant, most people who are infected with Zika do not become sick, and there is a low chance that there would be an epidemic in the continental United States. As long as normal mosquito bite prevention is practiced (protecting skin with clothing or repellent, using window screens or mosquito nets), there is no reason to cancel summer camp or mission trip plans - unless you are part of a couple that is currently pregnant or planning to be. 

James Solomon Russell chapter of UBE meeting

The James Solomon Russell chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) will meet on Thursday, June 9, 10:30 a.m. at Grace, Norfolk (1400 E. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk).

This chapter of the UBE meets the second Thursday of every month at 10:30 a.m. at Grace, Norfolk. All Episcopalians in the Diocese of Southern Virginia are invited and encouraged to join the UBE and become members of this diverse and concerned group. For more information contact David Flores,

The mission of the UBE is to unite the diverse cultures, concerns and gifts of black Episcopalians. By providing preparation and encouragement for living the Baptismal covenant and fully participating in the mission and governance of the Episcopal Church. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Election Toolkit helps Episcopalians engage in nonpartisan activities

The 2016 election in the United States remains the top of the news in media outlets, and it is inevitably a topic in personal conversations. To provide education about the election as well as assisting in being prepared, The Episcopal Church has developed an online toolkit with a webpage that outlines how individual Episcopalians and congregations can participate in the electoral process through a number of nonpartisan activities.
Through the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN), information is also available on an important initiative, the Episcopal Pledge to Vote.  The EPPN is calling on all Episcopalians to pledge that they will cast a vote in the general election. You can make your pledge to vote and find the toolkit which is designed to assist Episcopalians in being informed and engaged voters on the EPPN election webpage.
Among the possible non-partisan activities offered are: engaging young adults who are eligible to vote for the first time; hosting a candidate forum; advocating for voting rights legislation; and hosting Get Out The Vote campaigns.

In search of an affordable family vacation? Family Camp, Aug. 18-21

Is summer looming and the hotel, dining and travel costs of a family vacation have you down? We have the answer for you! Family camp is perfect for all generations as there is something for everyone and you can be as active or relaxed as you wish. Campers ages 0-100 can come and laugh, sing, play and pray together. Enjoy our NEW paddle boards, swimming, boating, archery and the adventures of our zip lines and rock wall or simply relaxing by the pool or river. Family Camp is also a fantastic way to introduce a younger child to camp before attending on their own. With all meals and activities included, Family Camp is a bargain at $125 per person to stay in chalets or $225 per person for motel lodges. Questions? Contact us at 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626) or Visit for more information and easy on line registration.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Golfers swing their way to help Jackson-Feilds' children

Members of the Modern Woodmen  
winning team
May 9 could not have been a better day for a golf tournament. The weather was perfect and the course at The Country Club at the Highlands in Chesterfield County was in excellent shape. The 83 golfers who participated enjoyed their time on the links and the volunteers who worked the event had a great time, but it was the children at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services were the ultimate winners of the 21st annual Go Golfing for the Kids tournament.
Proceeds from the 2016 tournament will be matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous foundation and be used to build an outdoor recreation center with a sports court and swimming pool. Over the years, proceeds from the tournament have been used to finance a variety of special needs such as start-up initiatives and children's programs in addition to providing scholarship funding for children with no money for their care.
JFBHS would thank the following: Boddie-Noell Enterprises for being the tournament sponsor for the 21st year in a row; Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial for being the presenting sponsor; Jones LTC Pharmacy for being the dinner sponsor; and Hardee's for providing delicious box lunches to all the participants and volunteers.

Applications now accepted for 2016 Jubilee Ministry grants

Applications are now accepted for the 2016 Jubilee Ministry grants to further the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church. The 2016 Jubilee Grants will be awarded in two categories, totaling $65,000: Jubilee Development Grant and Jubilee Impact Grants. The Jubilee Development Grant, up to $25,000, will be awarded to a new or existing ministry that can demonstrate a new or re-visioned strategy and methodology to address systemic issues affecting domestic poverty. This grant is intended to seed a sustainable program that makes a difference locally and can inspire others for similar work beyond itself. The Jubilee Impact Grants, in amounts of $750 to $1,500 for a total of $40,000, will be awarded for initiatives of Jubilee Centers that make a positive and measurable impact in the lives of those in need. Application forms are available here. Deadline for applications is June 17 at 5 p.m. All currently-designated Jubilee Ministries are eligible. Proposals must be approved by bishop of the diocese.

Episcopal Church Evangelism Conference in November

Save the dates for Evangelism Matters, an Episcopal Church Evangelism Conference on November 18-19 in Dallas, TX, for anyone who would like to learn more about evangelism and available resources to share our faith. This innovative churchwide event is co-sponsored by Forward Movement and the Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop's Office, and is hosted by the Diocese of Dallas and Church of the Transfiguration, Dallas, where the activities will be held. Among the planned activities are an address by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, plus plenary sessions and workshops by evangelism leaders. A portion of the Saturday events will be live webcast to allow for individual and group viewing during conventions, discussion groups, and local evangelism gatherings. Schedule, registration and other details will be announced in June.

Episcopal Digital Network launches new service to authors

Authors and publishers are invited to share news about their religious and theological books and publications in the newest section to be launched on the Episcopal Digital Network, the Featured Books section. The Episcopal Digital Network is an ad-supported media network that delivers news, information and resources to church leaders, members and general audiences through the Episcopal News Service, Sermons That Work and Lesson Plans That Work websites. The Featured Books section offers a free space to promote new books and publications, with the option of purchasing a featured listing on the homepages of the network websites and in the newsletters of the Episcopal News Service and Sermons That Work. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Church Periodical Club - changing the world, one book at a time

The Church Periodical Club is an Episcopal institution; its ministry is to supply books, magazine, e-books and educational tapes, videos and computer programs free to those who cannot obtain them and to raise the money to do this. Materials may be religious or secular, but must be used within the mission of the church.

The observance of a Church Periodical Club Sunday is an important way you can support the work of CPC and help make it a concern of the whole church. CPC materials were distributed at Annual Council. Please be sure to display them prominently in your parish. If more materials are required, contact Deborah Austin at or 757-538-1797.

Donations are needed to continue the CPC ministry. If you would like to make a donation to CPC, please make checks payable to Church Periodical Club, note the name of your church on the memo line, and mail check to: Deborah Austin, 2033 Hickorywood Drive, Suffolk, VA 23434. 

CE-Net: Challenges of church in the 21st century

Monday, June 6, 5:30 p.m. at Ascension, Norfolk
Parishes in Southern Virginia, and throughout the church, continue to wrestle with decreasing attendance and participation in formation programs. Join CE-Net (Christian Education Network) for dinner and conversation on Monday, June 6, at 5:30 p.m. at Ascension, Norfolk, as we share and discuss our challenges going forward in 2016 and develop strategies for meeting the new reality of church in the 21st century. Are we doing what we are called to do, or are we just recycling the same programs? Your voice is important! We hope to see you there.  Questions? Contact Lynn Farlin, 757-423-6715 or , or Jennifer Nauroth, 757-759-5107 or

Summer camp & VBS are just around the corner - get staff and volunteers Safe Church training now!

Summer camp and Vacation Bible School season is almost here. Time to make sure your staff and volunteers have completed the required Safe Church training. There are two classroom trainings: May 21 at St. Christopher's, Portsmouth and June 18 at Good Shepherd, Norfolk. Online training is also available. Click here for more information about Safe Church training. Questions? Contact Susan Allen, or 757-213-3391.

Festival Gathering of the Network of Biblical Storytellers Aug. 3-6

 Biblical Storytellers from all over the world will gather at the 4H Center in Chevy Chase, MD August 3-6 for a fabulous week of storytelling. The Network of Biblical Storytellers is dedicated to spreading the gospel through the dramatic presentation of Bible stories. This summer's event will feature epic tellings of the entire book of Ruth and the Jacob Saga from Genesis. The Rev. Mark Wilkinson (St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach) and the Rev. Wendy Wilkinson (Good Samaritan, Virginia Beach) will be among the tellers. There are also workshops for everyone from beginners who have never told a story to experienced tellers. The gathering is a wonderful continuing education opportunity for clergy and a great way to involve members of your congregation in worship using the techniques that are taught. More than anything else it is just a lot of fun. Click here for more information or contact the Rev. Mark Wilkinson,

Network of Biblical Storytelling - Tidewater Tellers chapter
The Revs. Mark and Wendy Wilkinson invite you to consider being involved the Network of Biblical Storytellers. The local chapter is the Tidewater Tellers. They meet monthly to practice our skills and also offer storytellers for area congregations. If you would like to learn more or would like the tellers to come to your parish, email Mark Wilkinson, Visit the Network's website at

Join us for our Chanco Open House this Sunday!

This Sunday, May 15, from 1 to 5 p.m. Chanco is open to the public and will be offering tours, hayrides, face painting, games, rock climbing and more. You can even fly along a zip line if you dare (adults, you too)! Join us to learn more about our diocesan summer camp and see why more and more campers are coming every summer to the best summer camp in eastern Virginia (as voted by Virginia Living magazine). Bring a friend! For every new camper you refer that registers, you can receive $50 off your own camp tuition. Questions? Contact us at 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626) or  See you soon!

Episcopal Church Archives unveils new website

The Archives of the Episcopal Church has unveiled a newly-designed and content-rich website here featuring historical items and the rich, important stories of the church.

"The Archives website has been completely reorganized to enable users to locate information more quickly and intuitively," noted Mark Duffy, Canonical Archivist and Director. "The upgrade enables the Archives to reach inquirers with timely news of its holdings and to publish new educational content from the Church's historic collections."
The Archives of the Episcopal Church, located in Austin, TX, is dedicated to observing and honoring the history of the Episcopal Church. "In addition, our mission is to support the faithful in fulfilling the Baptismal Covenant," Duffy added.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ridley Scholarship applications due June 20

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. In addition to the application forms and transcripts, students also submit tax records for themselves and/or their parents, a copy of the FAFSA Student Aid Report, and letters of recommendation from the clergy of their parish. Applications are due by June 20 or consideration for the fall semester. Click here for more information and application forms. 

Report from Province III Synod

Scott Norris elected vice president; Joyce Douglas elected to Provincial Council   

The Province III Synod meaning was held April 25 in Martinsburg, WV. The Rev. Frederick Walker and Andrea Morgan were in attendance as deputies from Southern Virginia. Joyce Douglas and Scott Norris were also present.

Scott Norris is a member of the ad hoc committee formed last year to formulate a proposal for revitalizing our Province, which was presented at this meeting.
In addition, Norris was elected to fill the vice president position that would became vacant when Bishop Mike Klusmeyer was elected President.

Under the Ordinances of Province 3, the members of the Provincial Council are elected by the Synod and need not be Synod deputies. Our deputies selected Joyce Douglas to be our Provincial Council member, and her selection was approved by the Synod.