Monday, November 27, 2017

2018 Annual Council: Fear and Love in a Divided World

Registration is now open for the 126th Annual Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, February 16-17, 2018 at the Williamsburg Lodge Convention Center. Bookmark this page,, for the most current information about Annual Council.
Scott Bader-Saye, Ph.D. 
Keynote Speaker: Scott Bader-Saye, Ph.D.
Scott Bader-Saye is the Academic Dean and Helen and Everett H. Jones Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. His publications include two books, Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear and Church and Israel After Christendom. His topic will be "Fear and Love in a Divided World."

Registration & Hotel
You may register individually or you may register your entire delegation. Early registration through January 12, 2018 is $125 per attendee. Clergy spouses/partners, youth aged 18 and younger, and college students may register at the $50 rate. Payment is due no later than Jan. 12, 2017 to avoid a $25 late registration fee. Registration for exhibitors is also open. Attendees will need to make their own hotel reservations. Discounted rates will be available at the Williamsburg Lodge and The Woodlands. Click here for more information.
Nominations for Elections at Annual Council
The following elections will take place at Annual Council: Standing Committee (one lay, one clergy); Disciplinary Board (two lay, one clergy); General Convention (one young adult lay alternate). Get more info and the nomination form here
Youth Delegation Application
Every year a special delegation of 12 youth in grades 9-12 are invited to attend Diocesan Council. Click here for more info and an application form. Applications are due by January 19, 2018.  
Communicator Credentials
Church communicators play an important role in connecting their Convocations and congregations with Council while it is in session and afterward. To help facilitate this work, the Council registration fee is waived for church communicators who submit this application form no later than February 2, 2018. 

Thank you for your support of Episcopal Relief & Development

The Rev. Keith Emerson; St. Paul's, Suffolk; Diocesan Episcopal Relief & Development Coordinator 
I am deeply grateful to the people and parishes of our diocese who have given money to Episcopal Relief & Development over the summer months (July-September). It has been a time of incredible need and we in the Diocese of Southern Virginia have responded generously. During this period, we made 555 contributions for a total of $112,144.37.
I am grateful for donations made by the following parishes and organizations:
Water & Sanitation and Hunger Food Security
Emmanuel, Franklin
St. John's, Hopewell
Sudan Relief Efforts
Bruton Parish, Williamsburg
Undesignated Gifts
Emmanuel, Hampton
Christ Church, Amelia Courthouse
St. Stephen's, Newport News
Church of the Advent, Norfolk                                                    
Christ and Grace, Petersburg
St. Luke's, Powhatan
All Saints', Virginia Beach
US Disaster/Hurricane Harvey Relief
Christ Church, Amelia Courthouse
St. Luke's, Blackstone
St. Mark's, Bracey
St. Thomas', Chesapeake
St. Matthew's, Chesterfield
St. Cecelia Guild, Eastville
Emmanuel, Hampton
St. Martha's Guild, Hopewell
Manakin, Midlothian
St. Andrew's, Newport News
St. Paul's, Norfolk
St. Michael's, North Chesterfield
Christ and Grace, Petersburg
St. Mark's, Suffolk
Old Donation, Virginia Beach
Emmanuel, Virginia Beach
Good Samaritan, Virginia Beach
Christ the King, Yorktown
Once again, thank you to everyone who has contributed. Together we are healing a hurting world.

October United Thank Offering donations bountiful

Ronda Toll; Christ the King, Tabb; Diocesan UTO Coordinator 
Donations to the United Thank Offering (UTO) collected during October ingatherings throughout the Diocese have been coming in at a swift and steady pace - what a blessing! Monies will be collected and sent for 2107 through December 10, 2017. Please send donations to Ronda Toll, Diocesan UTO Coordinator, at the following address: 42 Cherbourg Drive, Newport News, VA  23606.  
ECW Falls in Love with New UTO Prayer
The National UTO Board recently created a simple prayer (memorable and easy enough for children to recite) that can be said when making an offering in a Blue Box. This prayer, which will soon be featured on Blue Boxes, was shared by the Diocesan UTO Coordinator at the ECW Annual Fall Meeting on November 4. The reaction was immediate. The ECW loved it! Here's the new prayer: Almighty God, I give you praise for blessing me in many ways. Create in me a grateful heart and with this gift, a blessing start. Amen.

Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group to meet in Newport News on Dec. 14

The Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group will meet on Thursday, December 14 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at St. Stephen's, Newport News. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other parish administrators and treasurers to talk about common issues. 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 the Diocesan Comptroller Judy Dobson, at or 757-213-3386. St. Stephen's is located at 372 Hiden Boulevard, Newport News. 

Advent resource for Preparing to Become the Beloved Community

A newly developed Advent resource is now available to help Episcopalians everywhere to take up Jesus' ministry of reconciliation and healing. Every congregation will soon receive in the mail Preparing to Become the Beloved Community, a multi-fold poster and resource pack with prayer, reflections and activities for each week of Advent. The resources can also be downloaded here. Preparing to Become the Beloved Community was developed by the Episcopal Church's Racial Reconciliation Team. The resources are designed for group use among all ages, including adult forums, Sunday school, women's and men's groups, Advent preparation, vestry meetings, and more. Click here for more information.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bishop Magness speaks at retreat for combat vets

Bishop Magness was the keynote speaker at the closing ceremony for the Welcome Home Initiative retreat for combat zone veterans. During the ceremony, Bishop Magness presented the Rev. Nigel Mumford, retreat leader, with a Chaplain's (camoflage) stole.  
The Welcome Home Initiative program is an intense, focused three-day retreat for military veterans, and their spouses, who served their country in combat and may be suffering, in varying degrees, from post-traumatic stress. Click here to learn more.

Grants available from The Episcopal Church

Young Adult & Campus Ministries grant info available  
It's time to start the process of discerning whether to apply for a 2018 Young Adult and Campus Ministry Grants, which provide funding for dioceses, congregations, and community college/tribal college/university campuses for an Episcopal ministry (or ecumenical ministry with an Episcopal presence). The online application will open on January 2, 2018.  However, information is now available and a webinar has been slated to assist in discerning the application process. Click here to learn more. A one-hour webinar to discuss the grants process and answer any questions has been slated for webinar on Thursday, December 7 at 4 p.m. Space is limited. Register here.
Episcopal Evangelism grants available for local and regional efforts
The application process is now open for the new Episcopal Evangelism Grants Program, designed to fund local and regional evangelism efforts in the Episcopal Church. Episcopal institutions (congregations, dioceses, provinces, schools, monastic communities, Episcopal organizations and other Episcopal affiliated entities) are eligible to receive these funds. Regional collaborative partnerships with non-Episcopal entities are welcome, but an Episcopal entity must serve as the project leader, active manager, and reporting agent. Grants are available for up to $2,000 for an individual congregation and up to $8,000 for multi-church, diocesan and regional collaborations. Groups receiving funding are expected to make a significant financial contribution toward the project, as well. Click here for more information.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Presiding Bishop on Texas church shooting

Presiding Bishop Curry offered his comments during a visit to the Scottish Episcopal Church in Aberdeen, Scotland. Text is below. Click here to watch video.
I'm in Aberdeen, Scotland, where last night we had a service at St. Andrew's Cathedral, giving God thanks for the deep roots of the Episcopal Church here in the Scottish Episcopal Church. The Scottish Episcopal Church is indeed the mother church of the Episcopal Church, and we give thanks for the ties that bind us together.
But even as we gave thanks last evening, we received word that in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a gunman entered the First Baptist Church, and now some 26 people have been killed and many more wounded and afflicted. I offer this prayer for those who have died, for those who are suffering, for those who are still healing from physical wounds, and the emotional, spiritual and mental scars. As I pray and invite you to pray the prayer the Lord taught us. I invite you to pray that God's will might be done, that God might guide us to find a better way, to find concrete steps so that this kind of thing doesn't happen anymore. But above all, we pray for those who suffer and for those who have died. Will you pray with me?
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. The Lord bless you and keep you.  
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give us all his peace this day and forevermore. Amen.

Campus Ministries retreat at Chanco

The Episcopal Campus Ministries from Christopher Newport University, Longwood University, Hapden-Sydney College, Old Dominion University, and College of William & Mary joined together for an overnight retreat at Chanco this past weekend. With the theme of "Sabbath Time," the students centered their retreat around the Daily Offices, and concluded their time together with Eucharist. Taking time to nourish themselves in the beauty of God's creation, the students joined together for praying, hiking, zip-lining, rock climbing, guided meditation, and time around a campfire. The students enjoyed having time to be together as members of campus ministry in Southern Virginia. 

2018 Clergy Compensation Guidelines available

The Executive Board has approved a cost of living increase for clergy and lay employees of 2% for 2018. Click here for the 2018 Clergy Compensation Guidelines manual.

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Becky Crites left Epiphany, Danville, on September 30, 2017.
The Rev. Dr. Regina Christianson left Emmanuel, Chatham, on October 16, 2017.
The Rev. Gini DiStanislao will leave St. Paul & St. Andrew, Kenbridge, on November 5, 2017.
The Rev. Dr. K. Drew Baker will leave Epiphany, Danville, on November 30, 2017.
The Rev. Gini DiStanislao will begin as Rector of Manakin, Midlothian on December 1, 2017.
The Rev. Lisa Green will begin as Associate Rector at St. Martin's, Williamsburg, on December 11, 2017.
The Rev. J. Scott Baker will leave St. Stephen's, Newport News, on December 31, 2017.

James R. Chisman recognized by Jackson-Feild

In recognition of and appreciation for 33 years of outstanding and dedicated service to helping children and furthering the mission of Jackson-Feild, the Board of Trustees of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) presented Chisman with a personalized captain's chair at a recent meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Chisman's ties to Jackson-Feild are long. For more than twenty years, his father was a member of the Board of Trustees, and Jimmy himself currently serves as the Chairman of the Jackson-Feild Homes Foundation.
By his own wry admission, Jimmy could all too easily have been a Jackson-Feild child himself. "I was an underachiever as a youth," says Chisman. "I had a number of role models, and - but for the grace of God - I didn't wander down the wrong path."
Chisman has served in a number of important capacities including Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. He was also the campaign chairman for our Act of Faith capital campaign which raised $3,000,000 for campus improvements and for our endowment.
Chisman has devoted countless hours to provide opportunities that improve the quality of life for the boys and girls at Jackson-Feild. Very often, he works behind the scenes to help procure necessities either at no cost or with deep discounts. While he is very committed and faithful in such efforts, Chisman gets particular pleasure and satisfaction in planning events and activities that directly benefit the children.
When asked why it's been so important to him to support the work at Jackson-Feild, Chisman says, "When I look back on my youth, I realize that there is a thin line separating success and struggle, and it's important that we provide our youth the opportunities and support to help them overcome their obstacles."
JFBHS is blessed to have such a wonderful donor and champion, and Jimmy Chisman cherishes and values his efforts and the efforts of his father. "Not a day goes by that I don't think of JFBHS and the children."