Friday, January 26, 2018

Keeping a Holy Lent: Resources for groups and individuals

The Good Book Club - The Episcopal Church invites you to join in the reading of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts during Lent and Easter.

Civil Discourse Curriculum - A five-week curriculum to guide discussions about politics, policy, and legislation, while strengthening our relationships with each other.

Ash Wednesday Meditation Invitation - An invitation from the Presiding Bishop and President of House of Deputies to the Church as it examines ways in which the Church has failed to stand with women and other victims of abuse and harassment.

Episcopal Relief & Development Daily Reflections - Daily reflections co-authored by faith leaders from across the church. Each meditation is in English and Spanish. You can receive them daily by email or get them in booklet form.

Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John - this Lenten study is from the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE), in partnership with Virginia Theological Seminary's Center for the Ministry of Teaching.

Luke the Liberator - a free online course from ChurchNext; designed to complement the Good Book Club reading.

Lent Madness - from Forward Movement, this is a fun and unique Lenten program that is a great way to learn about the women and men of the Church's Calendar of Saints.

Clergy Continuing Education Grant application deadline is April 1

Applications for Clergy Continuing Education Grants are due to the Diocesan Office by April 1. The primary purpose of the grants are to support participation in educational programs that are essentially theological in emphasis. Click here for more information and application.

Clergy Continuing Education Grant applications are considered twice annually and the application deadlines are April 1 and October 1. If the continuing education experience is to occur between June and October, the application will be considered in April. If the continuing education experience is to occur between November and May, the application will be considered in October. 

Fundraising 101: Coffee & Conversation with the Stewardship Commission

While you're at Council, join members of the diocesan Stewardship Commission on Saturday morning, Feb. 17 from 8:30 to 9 a.m. for Coffee & Conversation. They'll be introducing the new Fundraising 101 program being offered to churches. It will also be a great opportunity to ask questions about and share experiences with stewardship. 
The 126th Annual Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will be held February 16-17 at the Williamsburg Lodge Convention Center. Go to for the most up-to-date information about Annual Council.

Join Chanco in celebrating half a century!

Join us at Chanco on the James May 4-6 and celebrate with us Chanco's half century birthday! This golden anniversary of Chanco's ministry will celebrate 50 years of camp programs and many years of Cursillo, EYC, Happening, and retreats. We have been working for almost a year to plan the BEST anniversary celebration possible! Reunite with old friends, experience archery, ropes, water activities, hayrides, campfires, live music, a pool-side luau and more.  
This event is expected to sell out quickly for Chanco's retreat lodges, so don't wait - click here for more info and registration. Questions? Contact us at or 889-724-2626. We can't wait to see you back in Chanco's magical forest where "friends are friends forever."

Monday, January 22, 2018

Civil Discourse Curriculum: A program for reflection, consideration, discussion

The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations has developed a five-week Civil Discourse Curriculum, focusing on civil discourse and designed for reflection, consideration and discussion. Available at no cost here, it is a five-week curriculum to guide discussions about politics, policy, and legislation, while strengthening our relationships with one another. The Curriculum is designed for church groups, adult forums, campus ministries and youth groups (not recommended for younger than 14 years old). 
"The Civil Discourse Curriculum was created as a resource to help folks understand and practice civil discourse, particularly as it relates to discussion about politics, policy and legislation, and why it is so important to living out our Gospel call and solving the problems facing our communities, country and the world," explained Alan Yarborough, Office of Government Relations Communications Coordinator and Office Manager.
Civil discourse is defined as an engagement in conversation intended to enhance understanding, and has important applications for public policy and civic engagement.  
"We created the curriculum to be a five-week program so people can use it during Lent, but you can engage in it at any point throughout the year," noted the Rev. Shannon Kelly, Officer for Young Adult and Campus Ministries. "Lent is a particularly good time to pause, read, reflect and learn about the nature of civil discourse, how we can practice it, and why."

Friday, January 12, 2018

Save the Date: Vestry Training Days and Bishop's Day with Senior Wardens

Vestry Training Days will be held March 17 at St. Paul's, Norfolk and again on March 24 at St. Matthias, Midlothian. More information and registration available soon. These workshops are designed for all vestry members, and include: presentations on the role and duties of the vestry; best practices; opportunities to interact with members of other vestries; discussion of common challenges that vestries face and the impact of contextual change on congregational life.

Bishop's Day with Senior Wardens will be held March 24 at St. Matthias, Midlothian (concurrently with Vestry Training Day). More information and registration available soon. Bishop's Day for Senior Wardens is designed for Senior Wardens from all parishes and is an excellent training opportunity for new Senior Wardens. Led by the Bishop, assisted by senior diocesan staff, this workshop includes: discussion of issues and concerns particular to the office; best practices; how to develop a relationship with the rector; opportunities to have conversations with other senior wardens; opportunities for one-on-one time with the Bishop.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Absalom Jones Celebration on Feb. 10

Grace, Norfolk, will host the Absalom Jones Celebration on Saturday, February 10. The day will include:
  • Violence and Church Safety Symposium, 9 to 11 a.m. - a panel discussion with Virginia State Police and Petersburg Chief of Police
  • Lunch, 11 a.m. to noon - RSVP is required (see below)
  • Service of Celebration of Absalom Jones' Life and Work, 1 p.m. - Guest speaker will be the Rev. Canon John Harmon of Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington DC; Celebrant will be Bishop Hollerith. A reception follows the service.
If you plan to be there for lunch, please RSVP to Grace Church, 757-625-2868 or Grace Church is located at 1400 E. Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk. 
Absalom Jones (November 7, 1746 - February 13, 1818) was an African-American abolitionist and clergyman. After founding a black congregation in 1794, he was the first African American ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church, in 1804. He is listed on the Episcopal calendar of saints and remembered liturgically on the date of his death, February 13, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as "Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818".

Monday, January 8, 2018

Clergy transitions

Deacon Dana vanVliet-Pullin left St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach, on December 17, 2017.