Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Register now for May Weekend, May 19-21

May Weekend is a weekend retreat May 19-21 for all teens in grades 6-12 at Camp Chanco sponsored by the Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) Board. Click here for details and registration. This year's retreat schedule includes:
  • Friday Night- Icebreakers, Music and Social, Opening Assembly, First Small Group Meeting, Compline
  • Saturday- Morning Prayer, Large and Small Group times throughout the day, EYC Board Candidate Speeches, Noonday Prayer, Free Time with Ropes and Zips, Eucharist, Dance
  • Sunday Morning- EYC Board Elections, Warm Fuzzies, Senior Moment, Closing Prayers
Rising 10th-12th graders are invited to run for the EYC Board. If you are interested, please bring the application with you to the weekend. You can find it here

Now is the time to register VBS volunteers for Safe Church training

Registration is now open for all of this year's Safe Church training classes. Now is the time to have your Vacation Bible School volunteers register for training:
  • April 8 - St. Michael's, Colonial Heights. Click here to register. Registration closes on Apr. 4.
  • April 29 - Christ Church, Smithfield. Click here to register. Registration closes on Apr. 25.
  • May 13 - Epiphany, Danville. Click here to register. Registration closes on May 9.
  • May 20 - St. George's, Pungoteague. Click here to register. Registration closes on May 16.
  • June 10, 2017  - St. Michael's, Bon Air. Register here. Registration closes on June 6.
  • September 16, 2017 - St. Cyprian's, Hampton. Register here. Registration closes on Sep. 12.
  • September 30, 2017 - Emmanuel, Virginia Beach. Register here. Registration closes on Sep. 26.
  • November 4, 2017 - Good Shepherd, Richmond.  Register here. Registration closes on Oct. 31.
Click here for more information about Safe Church Training, and about the availability of online training.

Easter invitation video available

The Acts 8 Movement is once again offering a video Episcopal churches may use for free to advertise their Easter liturgies. The video is available in English and Spanish. You can download the videos here to post to your church's Facebook page or you can just link to the video on YouTube here.

Click here for more information about the videos and how to use them.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Communications Officer Ann Turner, aturner@diosova.org or 757-213-3388.

Soles for Soul: Donate shoes, save lives

Each day in the United States 144 people die from fatal drug overdoses; the majority are opioid related.  In Virginia, fatal drug overdoses are the number one cause of unnatural death. During 2016 drug overdose deaths in Virginia increased by 25%. In response to the worsening drug addiction epidemic, the Virginia Department of Health declared the opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency in November 2016.

One way to prevent overdose deaths is to make Naloxone more available to first responders. Naloxone temporarily reverses the effect of opiates by counteracting the life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, thereby allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally.   In Virginia, the first people to arrive on the scene in a suspected overdose emergency are law enforcement officers. Currently fewer than 10% of law enforcement departments are equipped with Naloxone.

SpiritWorks Foundation has chosen to become part of the solution by teaching others how to respond to opioid overdose. After becoming trainers through REVIVE!, the Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Education Program, we have begun training law enforcement officers, probation & parole officers, family members, community members and individuals on how to use the life-saving reversal drug to prevent fatal drug overdose.

Through June 15, SpiritWorks is holding a fundraiser, Soles for the Soul, to collect shoes to raise money to purchase Naloxone (Narcan) for law enforcement officers. Through Soles for the Soul, SpiritWorks is hoping to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic in our area and to raise funds to help prevent it. Save lives. Donate shoes.

For more information call the Rev. Jan M. Brown or the Rev. Lauren McDonald at 757-903-0000 or leave your gently used shoes in the drop box at the SpiritWorks Foundation Center at 5800 Mooretown Rd. in Williamsburg at any time.

Help GraceInside provide full-time chaplain at Nottoway Correctional Center

GraceInside provides 12 full-time and 19 part-time chaplains to serve over 30,000 incarcerated men and women in Virginia. With your help, they can do even more. Chaplain Robert Ball at Nottoway Correctional Center needs your help to serve full time. If GraceInside can raise $5,000 earmarked for Chaplain Ball at Nottoway, they can increase his paid time to 40 hours per week.

Go to www.graceinside.org and click the "Donate" button at the top right of the screen. Fill out the form and click "yes" in the "Designated Giving" section. A drop down menu will then appear where you can select "Nottoway CC."  You can choose to receive a receipt via mail or email.

Those who would like to know more about GraceInside can contact the Rev. Lynn Litchfield, Director of Development, at lynnlitchfield@graceinside.org

Why Serve 2017: An Episcopal vocational discernment conference for young adults of color

Young adults of color are invited to examine their gifts and explore opportunities at an Episcopal Church retreat, Why Serve 2017, Monday, June 12 to Thursday, June 15.
Sponsored by the Episcopal Church Department of Ethnic Ministries, Why Serve 2017 will be held at Bexley Seabury, Chicago, IL.
Invited to attend this conference of fellowship, training, discernment, and self-care are young adults (age 18-30) from the Asiamerican, Black, Indigenous/Native American and Latino/Hispanic communities of the Episcopal Church, as well as those desiring to serve in ethnic ministries. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Register now for Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Oct. 17-28

Through the assistance of Lightline Pilgrimages, this pilgrimage has been designed just for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. The pilgrimage will be led by Bishop Jay Magness and Bishop Hollerith will be among the participants. Pilgrims will have the incredible opportunity to walk in the places where Jesus walked and seeing many of the things that our Lord saw.
This pilgrimage is limited to 35 people. Click here for the pilgrimage brochure which includes a detailed itinerary and registration form.

Upcoming Safe Church classroom training

Registration is now open for the following upcoming Safe Church training classes:
Click here for a complete list of upcoming Safe Church training opportunities, online training, and more info about the Safe Church program.

March 23: One-day Justice Conference

Following the cancellation of the three-day Mid-Atlantic Regional Justice Conference that was to take place March 21-23, 2017, there was interest to proceed forward with a scaled down event because content was sorely needed in the area. So, some of the speakers originally scheduled decided to come anyway if there was a way to make it happen.
Hence, Mid-Atlantic Just Conference Lite - Thursday, March 23, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at New Life Church, 1525 Power Plant Parkway, Hampton. The day is FREE except for a $6 charge for Chic-Fil-A lunch box. Speakers include:
  • Verlon Fosner from Seatlle, WA - "Dinner Church, Reach the Unreachable, Eat and Remember Me"
  • Robert and Sharon Yazzie, who live on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona are coming to talk about life on the reservation and to take us into a deep spiritual praise and worship through song
  • Byron McMillan with Jobs For Life national office in Raleigh, NC to impart some wisdom about poverty and addressing the needs of the lost and disenfranchised in our communities through Christian Community Development
  • Plus many, many more presenters and exhibitors
Please register by calling the Peninsula Baptist Association office at 757-596-4587 or email midatlanticjusticeconference@gmail.com.

Webinar: Snapchat and the Church

Join Virginia Theological Seminary's Center for the Ministry of Teaching in an online webinar Wednesday, April 5 at 3 p.m. Carolyn Clement, Travis Walser, and Sarah Stonesifer will demystify Snapchat, the most opaque and misunderstood social media platform.

Can't make it? The webinar will be recorded and saved for later viewing! RSVP here for notifications and reminders.

Registration open for 2017 Young Adult and Campus Ministry Leadership Conference

Register now for the 2017 Young Adult and Campus Ministry Leadership Conference, CULTIVATE: Resilient Hope, slated for June 25-28 at St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin, TX (Diocese of Texas). CULTIVATE: Resilient Hope is an Episcopal conference for leaders in ministry with young adults on and off college campuses. The focus will be on how leaders and mentors can cultivate resilient hope in the midst of everyday lives, the current events in our country, and in our communities.  Click here for more information.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Stand to Support Refugees: An invitation to support Episcopal Migration Ministries

Episcopal Migration Ministries, the refugee resettlement agency of the Episcopal Church, invites participation in supporting its life-saving work through Stand to Support Refugees, a fundraising campaign to maintain a strong, viable ministry network to welcome those fleeing war, violence and persecution. Donations to Stand to Support Refugees will help strengthen important ministry to some of the most vulnerable throughout the world.

Episcopal Migration Ministries is a ministry of the Episcopal Church, and is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the United States in partnership with the government. Episcopal Migration Ministries currently has 31 affiliate offices in 23 states.
Like other agencies that resettle refugees and assist them with housing, job training, and other services, Episcopal Migration Ministries receives the bulk of its funding from federal grants. As a result of the March 6 Executive Order, funding is being dramatically reduced for the remainder of 2017, potentially resulting in significant negative impact to core ministries offered by Episcopal Migration Ministries.

To learn more about Episcopal Migration Ministries or to make a donation, go to www.episcopalmigrationministries.org.

The Grapevine ECW newsletter is here

The Spring 2017 edition of The Grapevine, the diocesan ECW newsletter, is available here. In this issue:
  • Meet ECW President Helen Sharpe-Williams
  • Becca Stevens of Thistle Farms to be keynote speaker at Annual Fall Meeting
  • Apply now for ECW Scholarships
  • New ECW Board members
  • Domestic violence: It's everybody's business
  • Church Periodical Club
  • United Thank Offering

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Carlotta Cochrane began as Priest in Charge Time Certain at St. Thomas, Chesapeake, August 28, 2016.
The Rev. Frederick Walker left St. Mark's, Suffolk, on February 28, 2017.
The Rev. Catherine Boyd will begin as Rector of St. Martin's, Williamsburg, on April 9, 2017.

New offerings from ChurchNext: Water & Justice; Family Faith Formation

ChurchNext has added two new offerings to its extensive course catalog:

Water & Justice
Fletcher Harper, executive director of Greenfaith, discusses how Christians should bring a reverence for water into our communities. He teaches about the challenges to water supplies around the world and ways to develop a deeper appreciation of our sense of water as a gift. Fletcher teaches about the impetus, but also the resources, that Christianity gives us to conserve water and minimize the effects of climate change. Click here for more.

Family Faith Formation
John Roberto of Lifelong Faith Ministries, discusses the essential role that families take in raising children in the Christian faith and identifies ways to use technology to offer Christian parenting resources through websites that curate webinars, podcasts, online learning and other technological advances. He discusses way to match this material to the needs of families and to encourage them to use these resources. Click here for more.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Resources and assistance for environmental stewardship

Caring for Creation is one of our Diocesan Stewardship goals: "to inspire and mobilize parishes to play a leadership role in building a just and resilient future through environmental stewardship programs". We encourage you to access the resources that have recently been added to the Stewardship page of the diocesan website, www.diosova.org/stewardship.  

We are looking to connect with parishes who:
  • would like assistance in growing an environmental stewardship program (some of you indicated that in a diocesan survey); or
  • already have an environmental stewardship program and would be willing to share their experiences and resources with others.
If either of these describes your parish, please send your parish name, your name and contact information to diosovagreen@gmail.com. Thank you for your consideration of this important ministry.

Jackson-Feild residents visit Club J316

Eight residents and several staff members from Jackson-Feild recently traveled to True Word Christian Church in Franklin to visit Club J316 - a free Christian club for children in grades 5-12 that is the creation of Jackson-Feild alumna Leslie Ludwig.
At Club J316, high school and college students - some of whom travel as much as 100 miles to perform - give an upbeat concert of hip hop and rap music in a Christian atmosphere.
Ludwig started Club J316 because she felt that teens are bombarded with unhealthy and unhelpful messages. Admitting that she had a great deal of obstacles to overcome in her teen years, Ludwig says, "I always wanted to do something to help other children like me. If I can help only one child with our live Holy Hip Hop and Christian Rap, I will have accomplished my goal."
Ludwig hopes to bring her Club J316 to the Jackson-Feild campus and share her message of hope and grace with all the boys and girls. The residents who enjoyed the concert in Franklin danced the night away and spoke of how moving the experience was.  

An Evening of Prayer in support of "Standing as Stone": Indigenous Nations and Allies Gather in the Washington National Cathedral

On Thursday, March 9, the Episcopal Church will sponsor an interfaith prayer service on the eve of the Rise with Standing Rock: Native Nations March on Washington. All are invited to join An Evening Of Prayer in support of "Standing as Stone": Indigenous Nations and Allies Gather at the Washington National Cathedral beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The service will feature clergy and lay leaders from the Episcopal Church and various denominations and faiths, Native American leaders from throughout the country, and residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.  Among the speakers are Native American Episcopal Bishops Michael Smith of the Diocese of North Dakota, and Carol Gallagher, Bishop Missioner for the Bishops' Native Collaborative in the Diocese of Montana. Click here for more information.
The service will be live-webcast here.

Episcopal Church young adults, campus ministry grant applications available

Applications are now accepted for grants to assist with young adults and campus ministries in the Episcopal Church. Grants are intended to provide funding for an Episcopal ministry (or ecumenical ministry with an Episcopal presence) in a diocese, congregation, or community college/tribal college/university campus that is currently engaging or seeking a new relationship with young adults on and off college campuses. Grants are for the 2017-2018 academic year. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Women's Hózhó Center in Navajoland

By The Rev. Lauren McDonald, Addictions & Recovery Commission Co-Chair 

In late January, the Rev. Jan M. Brown and I answered an invitation from the bishop of Navajoland to travel to Farmington, New Mexico, to consult with the Episcopal Church in Navajoland (ECN) on creating a Women's Hózhó Center.

Hózhó is a Navajo word that is difficult to translate. Its meaning encompasses the concepts of living in balance, wholeness, wellness, beauty, harmony, goodness, and blessing. It's also used as a greeting. ECN is developing the Women's Hózhó Center to help women to heal from the disease of addiction, to live in balance, to set and achieve goals, to find their own voices and identity as Navajo women, and to discover sources of strength and spirituality. Using the experience we've gained leading the Women's Discovery Group at SpiritWorks, we spent the weekend in conversation with Navajo and non-Navajo clergy and laity in designing a Women's Wellness Weekend in March that will begin the programming for the Hózhó Center.

We also visited the mission church, St. Luke's in the Desert, while we were there and were humbled and delighted at the invitation to serve as celebrant and deacon that morning. Jan then facilitated a conversation at St. Luke's annual meeting in which the atmosphere moved from one of gloom at the potential of closing, to one of renewed hope and commitment to restoration and recovery. We were honored and privileged to be invited to walk alongside the Navajo people on their journey toward wholeness.

The Episcopal Church in Navajoland covers territory in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The unemployment rate on the reservation is 50% and the poverty rate is 38%. Alcoholism and addiction continue to be a challenge, with many women, especially, dying from cirrhosis of the liver. Conditions are harsh; resources are few. And yet, in our visit we saw great hope. Several of the Navajo people have attended Episcopal seminaries and are being ordained as deacons and priests. They are working to integrate Navajo culture with their Episcopal faith. They have begun developing social enterprises like the Blue Corn Project, the Bees and Honey Project, and the ShiMa' handmade soap project. They have also developed a group of coders and another group whose expertise is web and graphic design. They welcome mission teams from across the country who come to work alongside them and learn from them. They are eager to develop an ECW for their mission diocese as well as continuing to build programming for youth.

If you are interested in learning more about our work with the Navajo people, please contact Lauren McDonald, lmcdonald@brutonparish.org, or Jan Brown, jbrown@brutonparish.org. We invite you to keep the people of Navajoland in your prayers.

Church Facilities Management: A Stewardship Imperative

At this two-hour seminar you will be presented with data on facilities maintenance and costs affecting all houses of worship in Virginia. Most importantly, we will share industry standards and benchmarks that will empower you to deliver a strong and compelling case to any Vestry. We will share 8 strategies on how to recapture costs, many of which require no or little capital investment. Some of the topics to be presented include:
  • Current Replacement Value (CRV)
  • Maintenance Costs
  • Costs of Utilities; Janitorial
  • "Green" Sustainable facilities is NOT a Fad
  • Preventive Maintenance
Led by Henry Conde, parish administrator at Galilee, Virginia Beach. Seminar is free, but we ask that you register in advance so we can plan appropriately.
  • Click here to register for March 29, 9-11 a.m., at Ascension, Norfolk.
  • Click here to register for March 30, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at St. John's, Chester.

Stewardship Commission invites you for conversation

The Stewardship Commission invites you to join them for informal gatherings for parish stewardship lay leaders to share successes and challenges with parish giving programs. All gatherings begin at 10 a.m. The schedule for the first quarter of 2017 is:
  • March 18 - St. Matthias, Midlothian
  • March 18 - Old Donation, Virginia Beach
  • March 25 - St. George's, Pungoteague
  • March 25 - Good Shepherd, Norfolk
Visit the Stewardship Commission web page - www.diosova.org/stewardship - for numerous resources - including year-round stewardship, planned giving, care of creation and more. 

9th annual James Solomon Russell celebration

The 9th annual celebration of the Feast Day of Archdeacon James Solomon Russell will be held on Sunday, March 26, at 4 p.m. at St. Stephen's, Petersburg. The speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Grady W. Powell. The offering will go to the new James Solomon Russell-Saint Paul's College Museum and Archives.

For information please contact James Grimstead at 434-848-2173 or gsmus@aol.com, or the Rev. Willis Foster at 804-733-6228. St. Stephen's is located at 228 Halifax Street, Petersburg, VA

Cursillo: Tidewater Ultreya on March 10

Please join us for the March Ultreya hosted by Ascension Episcopal Church (405 Talbot Hall Rd., Norfolk, VA 23505.) We will gather at 7 p.m. on March 10 to sing, group, enjoy a witness talk, and close with Compline. Musicians bring your guitars and share your gift, leading us in song and melody. A snack or drink would be appreciated after the Ultreya. Please note that the potluck dinner has been cancelled. If child care is needed, please call Nancy Comfort 757-480-0316. For more information about Cursillo and Ultreya, go to www.cursillodiosova.org.  

Cursillo #162 Co-Ed Weekend
Cursillo #162 will be held April 27-30 at Chanco on the James. Rector: Gerry Lopez of Grace Church, Yorktown. To apply to be a candidate or a team member go to www.cursillodiosova.org or contact Gerry at gerrylopez@cox.net.

Valentines for Boys Home from St. John's, Hampton

On Valentine's Day, Boys Home has been blessed by the St. Anne's Guild at St. John's, Hampton, for the last few years. They make sure every boy and every staff member has a Valentine! We know it must take hours to put together these goodie bags for everyone at Boys Home and we're so thankful for the commitment they've made to make a difference in the lives of these young men. The boys love the candy, but they also love knowing that people are thinking of them on holidays. They always remember St. John's for giving them Valentines and are excited to receive them each year.
Thank you, St. John's, for thinking of the boys and making Valentine's Day special at Boys Home!

Jackson-Feild improvements

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services recently completed several improvements in three separate locations on the campus.
Built in 1825, the historic manor home called "Walnut Grove" needed a new front porch due to deterioration in the original wood. In addition, a wheel chair ramp was added to ensure that the facility is ADA-compliant.Two houses originally built as residences for staff members were given a fresh coat of paint and new back decks, and new light fixtures in preparation for an on-campus program that JFBHS will launch in April. Rogers and Marshall Cottages also saw updates with new vinyl flooring to replace the old carpeting. The bathrooms in the 1960s-built Rogers Cottage also received a facelift and remodeling.
This spring, JFBHS is looking fresher and brighter thanks to the work of Larry Pair and his maintenance staff.

Webinar on welcoming refugees

"Love in Action: Episcopal Churches Welcome Refugees" is a free, one-hour webinar that will be hosted by Episcopal Migration Ministries on Wednesday, March 8 at 4 p.m.
Participants will learn about community efforts born out of Episcopal congregations to create a welcoming community for refugees and immigrants. Three faith communities will share stories about their local community and interfaith initiatives to create a ministry of welcome. Registration is required and is available here. If you are not able to attend, the webinar will be available for viewing on-demand after the event. 
For background, it is recommended that participants view the recorded February 1 webinar, The Episcopal Church Welcomes Refugees, before attending the March 8 webinar. The recording is available here.
For more information, contact Duvall at aduvall@episcopalchurch.org.

Episcopal Church scholarship applications for 2017-2018 now accepted

Applications are now being accepted for educational scholarships from the Episcopal Church for the 2017-2018 academic year. Scholarships are available for educational training for ethnic communities, children of missionaries, bishops and clergy, and other groups covering a wide range of eligibility.
Among the requirements for applying for the scholarships are that the applicant must be an Episcopalian and must have the endorsement of his/her bishop. Click here for more information.  

April gatherings designed for Episcopal missional leaders

Two conferences for Episcopal Church missional leaders are slated for April at Virginia Theological Seminary:  
Missional Voices
The Missional Voices gathering for leaders throughout the Episcopal Church is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 21-22. The Rev. Tom Brackett, Staff Officer for New Church Starts and Missional Initiatives, explained the significance of Missional Voices.  "Have you ever wondered about how we take this Jesus Movement back home to the neighborhoods we call home," he asked. "Maybe you are thinking about what 'missional ministry' might look like, as you discern your own call - your vocation. Or maybe you are hungry to connect with other passionate pilgrims pursuing the possibilities of partnership with the Spirit!"

The gathering will feature keynote presentations; short, narrative talks; exploration of new communities; and inspiring worship. Missional Voices registration and additional information is here. Registration is $99; enter promo code GENESIS to register for $70. Registration does not include housing or transportation. Deadline for registration is  April 17.
Genesis Gathering
A pre-conference event, Genesis Gathering, will convene on Thursday, April 20.
Brackett explained, "This will not be considered a training event. This community of practice event is designed for anyone exploring the possibility of missional ministries and for those who are already engaged in ministry and seeking to build community"

Genesis Gathering registration is here. Registration is $50, waived for current grant recipients. Deadline for registration is April 7.