Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Soles for the Soul project aims to help reduce overdose deaths

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.
The Rev. Jan Brown and the Rev. Lauren McDonald, co-chairs of the Diocesan Addictions & Recovery Commission, and SpiritWorks Foundation in Williamsburg have 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, they 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.

Click here to watch an interview with the Rev. Jan Brown about the Soles for the Soul project. 

New online courses from ChurchNext include Certificate in Prayer Book Studies

Certificate in Prayer Book Studies
ChurchNext's latest Certificate Program enables you to earn a ChurchNext Certificate in Prayer Book Studies. Produced in partnership with Bexley Seabury Seminary, take all 8 of the courses on The Book of Common Prayer and you'll receive a Certificate of Prayer Book Studies. Courses include The Prayer Book and Scripture with Roger Ferlo, and The Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer with Karl Ruttan. Courses are available for individual or group study. This means you can take these courses on your own, or organize a small group to earn your certificates together. Click here for a list of courses.  
Congregations as Sanctuaries
Also, has your congregation been increasingly interested in the topic of caring for refugees and immigrants? ChurchNext has just launched Congregations as Sanctuaries with Paul Perez, available for individual and group study. Perez, a social justice engagement officer for the United Methodist Church, offers practical and insightful advice to Christians and congregations about how they can help immigrants and refugees who are increasingly frightened about their livelihood. Click here for more.

Fairy Godmothers work their magic

The gym at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) was transformed into a department store recently. It was filled with clothing racks of prom dresses, tables full of shoes and jewelry and even a makeup counter.
For the past eleven years Collegiate School students have provided prom outfits to more than 380 residents through The Fairy Godmother Project. Their mission is to provide a high school prom experience for children whose circumstances would otherwise exclude them for attending a high school prom.
Throughout the year, Collegiate students Polly Sommers and Austin Tyner, co-Presidents of the Fairy Godmother Project, collected donated prom attire and conducted fund raisers to purchase supplemental items to complete the outfits.
The gym was filled with laughter and residents had smiles on their faces after their successful "shopping experience". The Collegiate students helped the girls find the right ensemble that will make them feel and look beautiful at the prom. Their generosity and kindness is much appreciated by both children and staff.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mary's Cafe serves up great food and service

Several times a year, staff members at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) are invited to a special lunch at Mary's Café.
Supervised by Mary Griffith and Shemille Dennis, on April 6 the students in the food occupations class at JFBHS prepared and served a restaurant-caliber lunch of French onion soup, steak, steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and strawberry-topped cheesecake. Not only did the students plan and prepare the meal, they also performed the duties of host/hostess, and wait staff.
In the food occupations class, students learn everything about the food service business from ordering food and supplies to preparing and serving, accepting reservations by phone, fulfilling the role of wait staff, and cleaning the dining and kitchen areas. Students are also taught resume-writing skills and job-interviewing techniques.
The lessons taught by Griffith and Dennis are invaluable to the students. While Mary's Café is not open to the general public, the staff members who participated reported that the service was excellent and the meal was as good as any prepared in a commercial restaurant.

Day of Prayer gatherings to be offered by Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee

The Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia is sponsoring a Day of Prayer on May 17 at Chanco on the James, led by the Rev. John Maxwell Kerr. A Day of Prayer will also be offered on August 17 at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Smith Mountain Lake, led by Pastor Richard Bansemer. Speakers will lead participants in considering how and why to pray, whom to pray with, resources for prayer, prayer and the liturgical year, and will share other personal prayer practices.

Click here for more info and registration for May 17 at Chanco on the James.

Click here for more info and registration for August 17 at Smith Mountain Lake.

Easter Vigil on the York River

Bishop Hollerith was celebrant at the Easter Vigil service on the York River on Saturday, Apr. 15. This was a joint service of Abingdon Church in Gloucester, Grace Church in Yorktown, St. Paul's in Newport News, St. Andrew's in Newport News, Reformation Lutheran in Newport News, and Kingston Parish in Mathews. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Ed Pickup will retire from Emmanuel, Franklin, on July 1, 2017

ECW Annual Spring Meeting; updated Yearbook

Jackson-Feild Homes will host the ECW Annual Spring Meeting on Saturday, May 20. Come join us as we learn about the deep roots the ECW have with Jackson-Feild. A tour of the campus will include the Marshall Cottage which was renovated using the gift from the ECW last fall. To register for the meeting, contact Tia Morings, 757-650-8809 or morings1@gmail.com by May 10
. Registration cost is $20 per person. Please advise Tia of any dietary restrictions. Money will be collected during meeting check-in. Registration deadline is May 10, 2017.

2017 ECW Yearbook & Parish Directory now available
The ECW Yearbook and Parish Directory, updated for 2017, is now available as a PDF file. If you would like a copy, please contact Ann Turner, aturner@diosova.org or 757-213-3388.

William & Mary Canterbury hosts Silent Auction & Gala

Click here for more information about the Canterbury Association's Silent Auction & Gala.

Space is filling at Camp Chanco - register today!

Chanco is gearing up for its busiest summer season with paddle boarding, rock wall climbing, zip lining, arts and crafts, silly skits, songs & games along with a Chaplain program within a fantastic Christian community for ages 8-16.  You won't want to miss this summer! Click here for a 2017 summer camp promo video to see all the fun happening at Chanco. Still not convinced? Visit us at our open house May 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. and see for yourself! Then visit www.chanco.org to register today! Questions? Contact us at director@chanco.org or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626). See you soon!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Easter message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

It's taken me some years to realize it, but Jesus didn't just happen to be in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. He wasn't on vacation. He wasn't just hanging out in town. Jesus was in Jerusalem on purpose. He arrived in Jerusalem about the time of the Passover when pilgrims were in the city. When people's hopes and expectations for the dawn of freedom that Moses had promised in the first Passover might suddenly be realized for them in their time.

Jesus arranged his entrance into Jerusalem to send a message. He entered the city, having come in on one side of the city, the scholars tell us, at just about the same time that Pontius Pilate made his entrance on the exact opposite side of the city. Pilate, coming forth on a warhorse. Pilate, with soldiers around him. Pilate, with the insignias of Rome's Empire. Pilate, representing the Caesars who claimed to be son of god. Pilate, who had conquered through Rome the people of Jerusalem. Pilate, representing the Empire that had taken away their freedom. Pilate, who represented the Empire that would maintain the colonial status of the Jewish people by brute force and violence.

Jesus entered the city on the other side, not on a warhorse, but on a donkey, recalling the words of Zechariah:
Behold your King comes to you
Triumphant and victorious is He
Humble and riding on a donkey

Jesus entered the city at the same time as Pilate to show them, and to show us, that God has another way. That violence is not the way. That hatred is not the way. That brute force and brutality are not the way.

Jesus came to show us there is another way. The way of unselfish, sacrificial love. That's why he entered Jerusalem. That's why he went to the cross. It was the power of that love poured out from the throne of God, that even after the horror of the crucifixion would raise him from death to life.
God came among us in the person of Jesus to start a movement. A movement to change the face of the earth. A movement to change us who dwell upon the earth. A movement to change the creation from the nightmare that is often made of it into the dream that God intends for it.

He didn't just happen to be in Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday. He went to Jerusalem for a reason. To send a message. That not even the titanic powers of death can stop the love of God.  On that Easter morning, he rose from the dead, and proclaimed love wins.

So you have a blessed Easter. Go forth to be people of the Resurrection. Follow in the way of Jesus. Don't be ashamed to love. Don't be ashamed to follow Jesus.

Have a blessed Easter.  And bless the world.  Amen.
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate

The message is available in Spanish and French here. Video available here.

Residential Education Day at Boys Home, Covington

The Rev. Bill Jones honored with community leadership award

The Rev. Bill Jones and his wife, Lynn 

The Rev. Bill Jones retired as our diocesan Archdeacon, but he's still busy in ministry, and last Thursday received the Ann and Don King Community Leadership Award from HomeAgain, a Richmond organization devoted to helping families and individuals experiencing homelessness secure and maintain a Home, Again. Deacon Bill has served on the HomeAgain board for 11 years, and was honored and humbled to receive this award. Deacon Bill continues to serve every Sunday at St. David's, Richmond.

April is UTO Ingathering month

April is here and you know what that means - it is time for the semiannual United Thank Offering Ingathering.

The United Thank Offering is an outreach ministry of the Episcopal Church that was founded in 1889. It is a personal and family devotional program of the Episcopal Church encouraging men, women, and children to share their thankfulness to God through daily prayer and offerings. By embracing this devotional program, we are reminded to be prayer oriented first and then we are encouraged to give tangible thanks for our blessings as an offering or thanksgiving to God. Each year, the offerings collected are given away in the form of grants. These grants focus on meeting compelling human needs and on expanding the mission and ministry of the church at home and throughout the world. Through these grants, those less fortunate can come to know the love of God.
Where does the money go? Every penny goes to grants. The 2016 UTO grant cycle awarded 32 grants totaling $1,161,314.62. These grants were awarded to projects in 32 dioceses, which included 25 dioceses located in the United States, five non-domestic dioceses, six companion dioceses, one grant to the Episcopal Migration Ministries, and one Presiding Bishop grant.
Please give generously to the 2017 UTO Spring Ingathering. Even the smallest donations, when added together, can make a huge difference in the lives of others.
Contact Ronda Toll, ECW Diocesan UTO Coordinator, rtoll@cox.net or 757-869-8873 for UTO literature, materials, supplies, or for more information.