Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Registration for Annual Council 2019 is open

"Fresh Expressions of Gospel Relationships"
annual council
The Diocese of Southern Virginia will hold its 127th Annual Council February 8-9, 2019 at the Williamsburg Lodge Convention Center. Go to for complete registration and hotel information, and all the most current information about Council.  
Keynote Speakers
Our keynote speakers will be Gannon Sims and the Rev. Bobbe Fitzhugh of Fresh Expressions, an international movement of missionary disciples cultivating new kinds of church alongside existing congregations to more effectively engage our growing post-Christian society.

Nominations for Elections at Annual Council
The following elections will take place at Annual Council: Standing Committee (one lay, one clergy); Disciplinary Board (one lay, two clergy); Provincial Synod (1 lay, one clergy). Get more info and the nomination form on the Council web page.  
Youth Delegation Application
Youth in grades 9-12 are invited to be a part of the Youth Delegation at Annual Council. Use the application form available  here. Applications are due by January 9, 2019. 
Communicator Credentials
Church communicators are an integral part of connecting their Convocations and congregations with Council. Communicators (volunteer and staff) can apply to attend Council at no cost. Use the application form available here. Applications are due by January 28, 2019.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Give back to the place you love – Chanco Work Weekend

Come help keep Chanco beautiful and reconnect with old friends at our work day Saturday, December 1st! Breakfast is at 8 AM on Saturday with work to begin at 9 AM. Lunch is provided and Watson Lodge is available to those who wish to stay Friday and/or Saturday night. Feel free to hang out after our work concludes at 4PM on Saturday and join us for a cookout. Projects will range from detailed carpentry to basic property cleanup. All ages and skill levels welcome. Contact Director of Programs Nathan Hoyt at with any questions or to register. Food, fellowship and service – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Prayer for the Bishop Search

Please include the Nomination/Search and Transition Committees, and the search for a new bishop in your prayers: 
Almighty and most gracious God, source of all wisdom and guidance, send your Holy Spirit to guide us as we seek and discern a shepherd for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Inspire us with hope, hearts to love you and a desire to serve one another. Grant us grace to entrust you with the future of your Church and all things. We ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.  
News and updates on the search process can be found at

Tidewater Ultreya meets Dec. 7

The Tidewater Ultreya will meet at Emmanuel, Virginia Beach, on December 7 beginning with a potluck at 6:00 p.m., please bring a dish to share. The Ultreya meets from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (no later than 9:00 p.m.) Please mark your calendars and join us for an evening of music, grouping, witness talk and worship. Musicians bring your guitars and share your gift, leading us in song and melody.
Emmanuel Church is located at 5181 Singleton Way, Virginia Beach. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Women's Advent Retreat at Chanco on the James

Join women from all over the Diocese at Chanco's semi-annual Women's Retreat. Come together with meaningful discussions, spiritually renewing worship, and fabulous fellowship. This event is open to woman 18 years and older. This year's theme will be Waiting in Hopeful Anticipation. During the weekend, we will look at the stories of Sarah, Elizabeth, and Mary - three women from the Bible who had to wait. Come Friday and stay the night on Nov. 30 or come just for the day on the Dec. 1. Click here for details and registration.

Shop with an ELF and make Christmas merrier for Mission of the Holy Spirit

Christmas time is nearly here again. Soon we will be untangling strings of lights, carefully unwrapping nativity scenes and trying our best to shine a light on dark winter nights. We would like to invite you to join us at the Mission of the Holy Spirit in helping our families celebrate this Christmas. Last year's program, "Shop with an ELF" was a resounding success - great fun was enjoyed by children and volunteers alike - so we are happy to be presenting the program again this year.
We would like to invite churches and individuals to partner with us in this ministry. Volunteer ELFs would be a great opportunity for your ECW, Men's Group, EFM, outreach committee or other church group! We need volunteers (aged 16+) to sign up to be elves to go shopping with a child. We also need monetary contributions so each child will be able to choose exactly what he or she wants for Christmas.  
The festivities start at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 8 at Good Shepherd, Norfolk (7400 Hampton Blvd.) with a mandatory orientation for volunteers. Afterwards, children will be paired with an ELF (volunteer) and share breakfast together with Santa Claus. Immediately following breakfast, our bus will take the children and meet the volunteers at Walmart, where the kids will make their purchases escorted by their ELF.  
Please call the Mission office at 757-858-0010 to sign up to be an ELF (please leave your name, phone number and let us know you want to be an ELF if there's no answer), or send donations (marked "ELF" in the memo line) to the Mission in the enclosed envelope. All volunteers must sign up by November 28, and contributions for ELF shopping must in the office by that date as well. Please join us in "Shop with an ELF" and help make the holiday season brighter for our struggling families.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bishop Search: Convocation Listening Sessions

The Nominating/Search Committee invite all Laity and Clergy to come to one of our Convocation Listening Sessions. We will share what we are learning from the responses to our questionnaire and we want to hear from you the people of the diocese. These Sharing Sessions will help us to complete a vibrant and living profile of our diocese, one that reflects who we are. There is a meeting planned for each con-vocation. If you are unable to attend the meeting in your own convocation please come and join us at one of the other sessions. Click here for dates and locations.

Register now to visit the Holy Land in 2019 with Bishop Magness

A renewal of wedding vows at Cana during the
2017 Holy Land pilgrimage.
Bishop Magness invites you to join him in the spring of 2019 for the second diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This is an incredible opportunity to both renew your faith and expand your knowledge of the land where Jesus lived out his ministry. Walk in the places where Jesus walked, and experience the world that our Lord experienced.

This pilgrimage is limited to just 35 participants. The deadline for registration is November 15, 2018. After that, registration will be open to persons outside of the diocese. Click here for the tour brochure and application form.

ECW holds Fall Annual Meeting

Nancy Smith, St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach
L to R: ECW Diocesan President, Helen Sharpe Williams, Grace Church, Norfolk; Treasurer, Nancy Smith, St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach: Parliamentarian, Dr. Renee Escoffrey Torres, St. Cyprian's, Hampton;First Vice President, Odessa Maxwell, Good Shepherd, McKenney; President, Laura L. Manigault, St. Cyprian's, Hampton and The Very Reverend Dr., Ronald E. Ramsey, Rector, St. Cyprian's.
The Very Reverend Dr. Rodney E. Ramsey, rector, St. Cyprian's, Hampton, installed ECW Diocesan Board Members at the Fall Annual Meeting. St. Cyprian's hosted the meeting Saturday, October 20. The following officers were elected by acclamation:
President, Laura L. Manigault, St. Cyprian's, Hampton; First Vice President, Odessa Maxwell, Good Shepherd, McKenney; Treasurer, Nancy Smith, St. Aidan's, Virginia Beach; Parliamentarian, Dr. Renee Escoffrey Torres, St. Cyprian's, Hampton;   Church Periodical Club Director, Nancy Sands, Christ Church, Danville; and Student Work Chair, Deborah Austin, St. Mark, Suffolk. The board members take office in January.
ECW Diocesan President, Helen Sharpe-Williams, presided at the meeting. She will complete her two-year term at year-end. To commemorate her service, Barbara Taylor, St. Francis, Virginia Beach, ECW Diocesan President 2013-2014, presented Helen with the Past President's Cross. In 1979, ECW President, Barbara Grice, received the first Past President's Cross fashioned by her husband, Alexander Grice III. To make the cross, Alex used wood from a cherry tree located on Jamestown Island, hewn down to make way for the Jamestown Island development. A silver Jamestown cross is superimposed on the wooden cross.
ECW presidents are bound together by the cross in the past joy and privilege of serving as ECW President, and, their responsibility to move forward in continued loving service to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to the Episcopal Church Women.
During Helen's term, her goal has been to raise awareness about the plight of women and children in our diocese suffering from abuse, homelessness and trafficking. To launch her outreach project, Love Thy Neighbor, she invited the Rev. Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms, to speak at last year's Fall Annual Meeting. Over 200 people attended the annual meeting Love Heals Conference. Helen has shared a wealth of information on who we can help and how we can help them. Many thanks for a job well done.
Beblon Parks, ECW President, Province III, keynote speaker at the meeting, announced that Province III ECW will celebrate its 100th Anniversary of founding this spring.  The Diocese of Easton and the Diocese of Pennsylvania will host the meeting in Philadelphia. Watch for details to be announced. Beblon was elected to serve a three-year term in office in 2017. She has served as the Social Justice, Member at Large on the ECW National Board and as ECW President, Diocese of Virginia.
Terron Watkins, Assistant Director of Advancement, gave an update on activities at Jackson-Feild Homes. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Jackson-Feild children hold Breast Cancer Walk

The residents of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services conducted an annual Breast Cancer Walk for the past five years. This year the event was held on October 30.
Students in the on-campus Gwaltney School studied in advance the impact and effects of breast cancer has on women's health. They prepared posters that were posted around the campus on this topic.Some of the children's lives have been touched by breast cancer and their posters were more personal.
Residents and staff gathered on a bright, crisp October morning to walk around the circular drive around the campus several times. Funds were raised which were donated to help women who are suffering from this dreaded disease.

Advent resources: Journeying the Way of Love and Preparing to Become the Beloved Community

This Advent, the Episcopal Church invites congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith to await the coming of Christ by moving through the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke.  Luke's gospel provides a pattern for understanding how to live the way of love as individuals, as families and friends, as a community, and out in the world.
Journeying the Way of Love 
Journeying the Way of Love is a new, four-week Advent curriculum pegged to readings and themes from the Sunday lectionary. Sessions are designed for use during the Christian formation hour offerings at churches and ministries exploring the Way of Love. Participants are encouraged to read and reflect on passages in Luke throughout Advent and "try on" the spiritual practices of the Way of Love. The Journey of Love Advent Calendar offers daily suggestions for engaging in the seven practices that encompass the Way of Love. The curriculum and advent calendar can be downloaded here. Spanish language materials will be available Nov. 15. 
Preparing to Become the Beloved Community 
Advent is a season of preparation; a time to prepare our hearts and communities for the coming of Christ, the Almighty God who came among us poor and homeless, a stranger and a child. There may be no better time to reflect on how we, as the Episcopal Church, embrace the Holy One who continues to draw near in the neighbor, the stranger, the refugee, or the one who seems the most "other" to you. It is the ideal season to commit to becoming the Beloved Community and growing loving, liberating, life-giving relationships across the human family of God. The journey is framed around the four quadrants of the labyrinth: Telling the truth about our churches and race; proclaiming the dream of the beloved community; practicing the way of love in the pattern of Jesus; and repairing the breach in institutions and society. Groups are invited to "walk" sections of the labyrinth each week in Advent, engaging in scripture, reflections, and activities. The curriculum can be downloaded here. Spanish and Creole materials will be available Nov. 9.

Church-wide Bible reading initiative begins in Epiphany

Forward Movement, along with partners from across the Episcopal Church, invites all Episcopalians to participate in the Good Book Club, a church-wide Bible reading initiative. The Good Book Club will focus on Paul's Letter to the Romans, with participants reading a section of scripture each day during the Epiphany season, starting on January 7, 2019.
Several organizations are partnering with Forward Movement in the Good Book Club, including the United Thank Offering, Forma, Episcopal Church Women, and The Living Church. Partner organizations are creating resources or encouraging their constituents to take part in the effort.
ChurchNext, a ministry of Forward Movement, will offer two six-week live Bible studies, one in English led by the Rev. Jay Sidebotham, author of Conversations with Scripture: Romans and director of RenewalWorks, and one in Spanish, led by the Rev. Glenda McQueen, the Episcopal Church's staff officer for Latin America & the Caribbean, and Hugo Olaiz, assistant editor for Latino/Hispanic ministries for Forward Movement.    The Good Book club website lists the daily readings and resources to support people as they read the scriptures. Spanish resources are available at