Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Youth Events: Register now for October Weekend and Happening #65

October Weekend: You Could Be a Hero
Oct. 7-9 at Chanco on the James
Join us for our annual fall retreat for teens at Camp Chanco!  The event includes a variety of activities and opportunities to make new friends, including zip lines, small group conversations, music and singing, a dance, and so much more! Click here for details and registration.

Happening #65
Nov. 11-13 at Chanco on the James
Happening is an experiential weekend retreat developed by teens for teens. Come and see what it's like to be transformed by God's love!
Open to all youth in grades 10-12 and adults who have never attended a Happening program. Click here for details and registration. 

Mark you calendar now and plan to participate in all of the 2016-2017 diocesan youth events. More info events and registration coming soon to www.diosova.org/youth.
  • October Weekend (grades 8-12) - October 7-9, 2016 at Chanco on the James. Click here for details and registration.
  • Pre-Happening Staff Weekend - October 29-30, 2016 at Chanco on the James.
  • Happening #65 (grades 10-12) - November 11-13, 2016 at Chanco on the James. Click here for details and registration.
  • November Weekend (grades 6-9) - November 18-20, 2016 at Chanco on the James.
  • Winter Camp at Chanco - January 13-15, 2017 at Chanco on the James.
  • Annual Council - February 9-11, 2017. Be a part of the official Youth Delegation to Council.
  • Pre-Happening Staff Weekend - February 25-26, 2017 at Chanco on the James.
  • Happening #66 - March 10-12, 2017 at Chanco on the James.
  • May Weekend (grades 6-12) - May 19-21, 2017 at Chanco on the James.
  • Episcopal Youth Event (EYE17) - July 10-24, 2017 on the campus of University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK.

Southern Virginia to host Gathering 2016 of the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church

Southern Virginia is pleased to be hosting the 2016 Gathering of the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. Gathering 2016 will take place Nov. 3-5, 2016 at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg. This year's theme is "Called to Transformation: The Church's Response to Addiction in the 21st Century". Keynote speaker will be Kevin McCauley. Event includes an optional half day seminar by Tom Ryan, author of Ashamed No More. Click here for complete information and registration.  

GraceInside prison ministry

If you're looking for a way to answer Christ's call to visit those in prison, be sure to check out GraceInside, www.graceinside.org. For nearly a century this unique ministry has changed the lives of thousands of offenders throughout Virginia.

By distributing Bibles, conducting worship services, providing counseling and coordinating volunteer programs, GraceInside's chaplains are like lighthouses beckoning toward a new port for the 30,000 currently incarcerated in Virginia's state prison system. Prisons can be treacherous seas, but they can also be transformative ones.

Virginia is unique in that chaplains are not state employees. Chaplains are privately funded by caring individuals, churches, denominations, foundations and businesses. GraceInside's mission is to provide full-time chaplains in all of Virginia's state adult and juvenile prison facilities.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry statement in support of the people of Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry has issued a statement in support of the advocacy of the people of Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
"Water is a gift from the creator, respect it, and protect it."  I was deeply moved by these words printed on the sign of a person standing with hundreds of others to protect the Missouri River.  In the Episcopal Church, when we baptize a new follower of Jesus Christ, we pray these words over the water of baptism.  "We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water." We then recall how God used water to bless his people in the Bible, from the story of creation in Genesis, the emancipation of Hebrew slaves in Exodus, to the baptism of the Lord Jesus in the River Jordan.  Indeed, "Water is a gift from the creator." To sustain it and to protect it is to "safeguard the integrity of God's creation," and therefore to protect human and other forms of life created by Almighty God.  That work warrants our full and prayerful support. Click here to continue reading

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Upcoming Safe Church training

There are two upcoming Safe Church classroom trainings:

Mission of the Holy Spirit online fundraiser

Mission of the Holy Spirit, Norfolk, invites you to support them by doing something you already do - shopping online. The Mission's online fundraiser with Mixed Bag Designs runs now through Dec. 31. Shop for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts and for yourself! The online shop offers gifts, tote bags, accessories, gift wrap, housewares and more. Prices start at less than $10, orders over $75 ship free!

Go to www.mixedbagdesigns.com/?fundraiserid=587652. Make sure our ID# 587652 is at the top of the website before shopping.

Please share with family and friends!  Click here for a flyer you can post at your church or office. Thank you for your support!

Leadership Program for Musicians Fall Workshop

The Richmond chapter of the Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM) is pleased to announce what promises to be an amazing fall workshop, led by St. James Music Press president and editor Mark Schweizer.
The workshop will take place on Saturday, October 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Richmond, VA. Participants will read through music from St. James Press and have a chance to glean some church music wisdom from Mark's considerable experience. Snacks and beverages are included.
The cost is $45 per person, and the deadline to register is October 1. To register use the PayPal button on the LPM website: www.lpm-va.org and email your name, address, phone number, and church name to lpmvacoordinator@gmail.com. Click here for a brochure and registration form. 
Don't let this pass! Make the most of this opportunity to meet Mark Schweizer, discover new music, and support your local LPM chapter.

Free class on politics and faith with Parker Palmer

Registration is now open for the latest free ChurchNext course: Bridging the Political Divide with Parker Palmer which can be taken anytime between September 5-19.

As we know, we are in the midst of what may be the most polarizing and contentious elections in recent U.S. history. Many observers note that the political rancor and rhetoric has reached all time highs, injecting unprecedented fear, division, and unease into our culture. How do we make sense of this? How do people of faith respond? How do we remain calm and centered amidst our difference and tension, taking our roles as peacemakers and even prophets, seriously? Educator, author, and activist Parker Palmer has written extensively on faith and democracy issues. In this course, he offers thoughtful insight into how we might approach divisive political issues with grace and grit.

Register for free by clicking here or go to churchnext.tv, click on the Menu select The Big Class.Once registered, the course can be taken for free from September 5-19. It will take an average student 45 minutes to complete. No special software is required. Want to take this class with your congregation or small group? Here are some support materials.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offers video election message - voting is "a Christian obligation"

"Voting and participation in our government is a way of participating in our common life," Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry said in a video election message.  "And that is a Christian obligation.  Indeed, we who follow in the Way of Jesus of Nazareth are summoned to participate actively as reflections of our faith in the civil process."
The Presiding Bishop's video election message is here. Closed-captioning is available in English and Spanish. Click here to read the text of his message.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New lunch group and email listserv for parish secretaries and communicators

Diocesan staff have been hosting monthly lunch groups and an email listserv for church staff and volunteers involved in parish administration. Over time this group has focused more and more on financial issues, becoming less useful to parish secretaries and communicators.
For that reason we're exploring the possibility of an additional lunch group and email listserv that will focus on secretarial and communication issues.

The monthly brown bag lunch gatherings are very casual. There's no agenda, just come with whatever questions you have, or just to socialize. It's a great way to connect with and learn from colleagues and share frustrations with folks who understand. The listserv offers easy email access to a peer group to share resources or get answers to questions.  

If you are a church staff person or volunteer involved in these areas, we want to hear from you. Contact Communications Officer Ann Turner if either of these opportunities would be of interest to you, aturner@diosova.org or 757-213-3388. 

Mark your calendar for 2016-2017 Youth Events

Mark you calendar now and plan to participate in the 2016-2017 diocesan youth events. More info and registration coming soon to www.diosova.org/youth.
  • October Weekend (grades 8-12) - October 7-9, 2016 at Chanco on the James.
  • Pre-Happening Staff Weekend - October 29-30, 2016 at Chanco on the James.
  • Happening #65 (grades 10-12) - November 11-13, 2016 at Chanco on the James.
  • November Weekend (grades 6-9) - November 18-20, 2016 at Chanco on the James.
  • Winter Camp at Chanco - January 13-15, 2017 at Chanco on the James.
  • Annual Council - February 9-11, 2017. Be a part of the official Youth Delegation to Council.
  • Pre-Happening Staff Weekend - February 25-26, 2017 at Chanco on the James.
  • Happening #66 - March 10-12, 2017 at Chanco on the James.
  • May Weekend (grades 6-12) - May 19-21, 2017 at Chanco on the James.
  • Episcopal Youth Event (EYE17) - July 10-24, 2017 on the campus of University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK.

How you can help flood victims in Louisiana

Extreme weather has caused catastrophic flooding in the south, especially in Louisiana. Residents were caught off guard by the severity and speed of the weather. The extent of the flooding and damage is still being assessed. The Diocese of Louisiana is coordinating relief efforts through Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD), as well as communicating with the parishes to match need with relief assistance. The Diocese has assurance of immediate short-term funding from ERD for $20,000. This will be a significant help to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable victims.

The Diocese of Louisiana has complied a list of the best ways you can help with relief efforts. No donation is too small and all donations will have a positive impact on those will be facing the difficult task of rebuilding their lives.
Episcopal Relief and Development US Disaster Relief Fund
The Diocese will soon receive an emergency assistance grant from Episcopal Relief and Development so our churches in the flood area can assist the most vulnerable people in their communities. Please consider making a donation to support this important work. Click here to donate
Bishop's Discretionary Fund
The Bishop's office is accepting donations (cash only) to assist flood victims. Please make your checks payable to The Bishop's Professional Fund earmarked 2016 Flood Relief. You can send them to: Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, 1623 Seventh St., New Orleans, LA 70115

More ways to help
You can assist people in shelters is by making a donation to any of the following:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Social Media Sunday is Sept. 25

"Christ has no online presence but yours, no blog, no Facebook page but yours."
September 25, 2016, is Social Media Sunday - a day to encourage people of faith to share the gospel and be the church online. It's a day to help people get beyond their fear of using digital media and understand that these are just tools that we can use to do what we are already doing: inviting others, showing care and concern for people, telling friends about our church and showing them Jesus. Social media, when done right, is really about relationships, not technology. Click here to learn more

An invitation to Cursillo

By Ronda Toll, Christ the King, Tabb
Cursillo is a Spanish word meaning "short course"; the topic of this course is Christianity. During a Cursillo, you are introduced to a
method that emphasizes the importance of a balanced life of piety, continued spiritual study, and action. You will encounter Christ on a journey that begins with a three-day weekend.
The Cursillo weekend begins on Thursday with a retreat, allowing everyone to slow down and begin to listen to what God may be trying to say. The next three days are filled with worship, singing, and short talks. There is a clergy team on each weekend to provide sacramental ministry and teaching. After each talk, there is time for discussion, reflection, and to enjoy the beauty of Camp Chanco. The food is legendary and the experience of Christian community and love will touch your heart in a meaningful way.
A Cursillo weekend invites us to dive deeper into the well of our faith and personally connect with God's unlimited love.  Once the weekend is over, Cursillo is an invitation to a pilgrimage which is lived every day for the rest of our lives - in every place that God chooses to plant us. The Cursillo method enables you to:
  • Expand your prayer life.
  • Spiritually grow through an ongoing formation process that increases your knowledge about God's Word and your faith.
  • Form a closer relationship with our King and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • Spread God's Word in a natural way to the people you interact with in the very environments in which you live.
Cursillo is for anyone (including clergy) who wants to go deeper into their spiritual life through teaching and the personal experience of both Christian community and the Holy Spirit. It is ideal as preparation for leadership and lay ministry.
Consider this an invitation should you feel the Holy Spirit calling you to begin the Cursillo Journey. The next Cursillo weekend in Southern Virginia is October 13-16 at Chanco on the James.
Please contact Ronda Toll, rtoll@cox.net or 757-869-8873, to learn more about this amazing experience.www.cursillodiosova.org

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Online diocesan resources you should check out

Southern Virginia has a few online resources - communities, really - that can be a terrific support for your church leadership:

Diosova Admin email listserv - This is an email listserv for parish treasurers and administrators. You can share ideas, ask questions and join in conversations relating to the financial and administrative work that you do for your parish. To learn more or to be added to the listserv, contact Comptroller Nancy James, njames@diosova.org.

Diosova Communicators Facebook group - This is a private Facebook group where folks involved in church communications can ask questions and share resources. Diocesan Communications Officer Ann Turner moderates the group and posts helpful articles and resources there. Since this is a private group, only group members see your posts.

Formation in Southern Virginia Facebook group - This is a public Facebook group for folks involved in Christian formation. It's especially helpful if you aren't able to attend CE-Net meetings. This is a way you can reach out to your peers with questions and get excellent resource recommendations from the diocesan Canon for Formation Caroline Black.

IMPORTANT! To make sure you don't miss any posts from your Facebook groups, be sure to click the "Notifications" button near the top right of the group page and select "All Posts". This way, when you visit your Facebook page, you'll see the posts listed in your notifications.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Advisory Council on Stewardship of Creation offers report

The Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation met in New York City July 20-22 to discern the Church's ongoing response to environmental issues.  The Advisory Council members were appointed by the presiding officers as called for by Resolution A030 adopted at the 78th General Convention. Click here to read the report.  

UBE Sunday is September 4

Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) Sunday is September 4. The UBE invites all Episcopalians, regardless of race, to join them in their mission of fighting racism and encouraging the involvement of Black people in the total life of the church. Congregations are invited to take a special offering for UBE on Sept. 4.

The James Solomon Russell chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) meets on the second Thursday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at Grace, Norfolk (1400 E. Brambleton Ave., 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. Annual dues are $70 for individuals, $60 for retired, and $105 four couples. For more information contact David Flores, drf71137@gmail.com.

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Dick Budd began as interim rector at Christ the King, Tabb, on August 7, 2016. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DC Rally4Refugees on August 28

The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations is encouraging Episcopalians to participate in the DC Rally4Refugees on Sunday, August 28, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the midst of the greatest refugee crisis since WWII, volunteers and advocates from across the country will gather at the outdoor Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, DC (rain or shine). The rally will raise awareness about the magnitude of the global refugee crisis, encourage advocacy and U.S. action to alleviate suffering through relief efforts and support, and stand in solidarity with refugees and displaced people worldwide. To learn more the rally, watch refugee stories, find resources and ways you can help, even if you can't attend the rally, go to www.dcrally4refugees.org and visit the Facebook page

News from Chanco on the James

Family Camp - the affordable family vacation 

Have you been working hard all summer and trying to figure out an affordable family vacation? Or was your vacation early in the summer and you are wishing for one last family hurrah before school is back in session? We have the answer for you! FAMILY CAMP! This session is being held August 18-21 and offers campers of all ages a chance to enjoy Camp Chanco together. It includes many of the favorite traditional camper activities including zip lining, rock wall climbing, boating, swimming and bonfires. Relax by the pool or river with a book or be active all day - you choose how to spend your day! Choose to stay in chalets or pay a bit more and stay in our motel lodges. This session is the perfect opportunity to introduce a new camper to Chanco before attending a full session next summer or a great way to reunite with camp friends. It is an incredible, affordable family vacation! For more information or easy on line registration visit www.chanco.org.  Questions? Contact us at 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626) or hospitality@chanco.org. We look forward to welcoming your family this summer!

YASC Mission to Tanzania: Good to be back!

By Andy Russell, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg

Andy Russell, a member of Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, just completed a year in Tanzania as part of the Episcopal Church's Young Adult Service Corps. You can read his mission blog here.
If you ever have the chance to visit Tanzania, probably one of the first Swahili word
s you will hear is karibu (care-ri-boo). The word means "welcome" and you literally hear it everywhere: when you enter someone's house, when they offer you food or a seat, when you arrive in a new place, when you give thanks to someone for something.

The use and meaning of karibu in Swahili, especially in Tanzania, is one of tho
se instances where the language reflects the culture of the people who speak it. In other words, the widespread use of karibu in Swahili is  a reflection of the extreme hospitality with which Tanzanians treat visitors (and one another). You cannot help but feel welcomed in Tanzania; I certainly could not help feeling welcomed in Tanzania. Now I would like to extend a welcome to you!

On Sunday, August 7, from 3 to 4pm in the Bruton parish hall, I will be giving a small presentation (including time for questions and answers) on my time in Tanzania. I want to share the excitement, the struggles, the triumphs, and the feelings of God's presence I have experienced with you all, the people who helped make my YASC mission in Tanzania possible.  So my brothers and sisters in Christ, karibu! Hope to see you soon.

ODU Canterbury staying active this summer

There's been no summer vacation for the ODU Canterbury Center. Students have gathered for Eucharist. Last week they also met for lunch to welcome back students who traveled abroad this summer and to say farewell to those going on to graduate school in the fall. ODU Canterbury Center's mascot, Kuma the dog, joined in the fun!

Register now for Tri-Diocesan Fall Camp Oct. 24-27

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton
This year's Fall Camp, Oct. 24-27 with keynote speaker Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, promises to be another opportunity to gather at Shrine Mont with over 125 folks from all three Episcopal Dioceses in Virginia.
Fall Camp is an opportunity to spend time in the mountains of Virginia with other seniors (but we don't have an age limit) from across the Commonwealth and from other states.  The Camp is an attempt to take seriously the spiritual needs and journeys of primarily retired people. We attempt to challenge participants through keynote speakers, workshops, worship and interaction with one another. We worship together in daily sessions, explore various issues, and participate in one or two session workshops (each session is an hour and a half) on a variety of topics. Click here for a list of this year's workshops. In addition to the scheduled activities, there is plenty of time to sit on the porches, visit with friends, relax, and enjoy the amazing scenery and to explore the surrounding area.  Click here for a Welcome Letter, with lots more info, from the Tri-Diocesan Planning Committee.  Click here for a brochure with registration information.