Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Safety for faith-based organizations

Often people view places of worship as safe zones and get lulled into a false sense of security. However, our faith communities can be extremely vulnerable, and violence can occur.
The Diocese of Southern Virginia in conjunction with the Virginia Fusion Center is providing a conversation starter presentation to offer guidance to help our faith communities balance the need to be both welcoming and safe at the same time. First Sergeant Austin White, Deputy Director of the Virginia Fusion Center will facilitate the training and will discuss the following topics:
  • Threats and vulnerabilities to houses of worship
  • Addressing potential threats
  • Policy and planning
  • Safety in outreach settings
  • Civilian response to active shooter
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Developing a mindset of preparedness to respond to threats
Please join us on Saturday, March 23 from 10 to noon for this important discussion in Miles Hall at St. Martin's, 1333 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg. This event is free. Click here to register.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Pilgrimage opportunities

St. Michael's Israel Pilgrimage - October 14-28, 2019 
Join the Rev. Jeunee Godsey and St. Michael's, Bon Air, parishioners for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October! This active 15-day trip will visit early Christian sites around Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee and Nazareth and enjoy guest lectures on contemporary issues. The tour Guide will be Iyad Qumri, a Palestine Christian and Canon in the Diocese of Los Angeles.  Accommodations will be at St. George's Guest House and the Sisters of Nazareth. Cost will be approximately $4300 all inclusive, including: tour; airfare; ground transportation; room and meals. Space is limited. Please contact Ann Cronan, trip coordinator, to sign up or if you have questions - cell: 804-539-5041, home : 804-639-1005.

Oberammergau Passion Play & Italy - August 17-28, 2020 
Every 10 years since 1634, the most famous Passion Play in the world has taken place at Oberammergau in Germany. You are invited to experience this ancient, historic Passion Play and the village of Oberammergau with the Rev. Travis Greenman and her husband, Hal, August 17-28, 2020. Following the play, enrich your minds and hearts traveling through the Alps to visit Assisi, Florence, and Rome. You are invited to join this exciting spiritual pilgrimage.  Click here for the trip brochure. 

Boys Home quilt raffle fundraiser

Boys Home of Virginia is sponsoring their annual quilt raffle! This year's quilt is a modified Around the World pattern. It measures 90.5" x 99" and fits a queen-sized bed. Executive Director Donnie Wheatley's sister, Phyllis Gibson, made and donated the quilt. Tickets are $5 each, or 10 for $45. Tickets can be purchased at, by calling 540-965-7703. The winner will be drawn on May 7, 2019.

Nags Head Acolyte Festival March 29-30

St. Andrew's By-the-Sea and the Diocese of East Carolina invite you to join them for their 10th Annual Acolyte Festival in Nags Head March 29-30. All acolytes, directors, youth ministers and parents are welcome and encouraged to attend. Participants will return home with both new skills and a renewed enthusiasm for liturgy. Click here for more information and registration.

St. George's celebrates the Rev. Ted Bailey's 60th anniversary of ordination

The Rev. Ted Bailey and the Rev. Dr. Kathie Price at the  
celebration of the 60th anniversary of Ted's ordination.
The Rev. Ted Bailey was recently honored with a luncheon hosted by the congregation of St. George's, Newport News, and interim rector, the Rev. Dr. Kathie Price on the 60th Anniversary of his ordination in the Episcopal Church. Guests included Ted's daughters from the northeast as well as parishioners from area churches who have been blessed with his interim and supply ministries. Ted was ordained in 1958 and has served many churches in Southern Virginia over his 60 years of ministry: Christ Church, Smithfield; St. John's, Portsmouth; St. Barnabas, North Chesterfield; St. Thomas, Chesapeake; St. John's, Hopewell; Good Shepherd, Norfolk; St. Mark's, Hampton; and St. Anne's, Appomattox. Retired from active ministry, Ted is a regular attendee at St. George's where he shares his gifts, insights and excellent homilies. At age 96, he is a great inspiration to all who know and love him!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Bishop Search Update

Save the dates: Bishop Election and Consecration
The Bishop Diocesan Pro Tempore and Standing Committee of the Diocese of Southern Virginia invite you to save the following dates:
  • September 21, 2019 Election of the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Location TBA.
  • February 1, 2020 Consecration of the 11th Bishop Of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. The Most Reverend Michael Curry presiding. Location TBA, likely near Williamsburg.

Bishop Magness visits William & Mary Canterbury

Bishop Magness visited William & Mary Canterbury on Sunday. "I was very impressed by the stimulating conversation we had during supper," the Bishop noted on Twitter. You can follow Bishop Magness on Twitter @DioSoVaBishop.  

Absalom Jones Celebration on February 16

Absalom Jones was an African American abolitionist and clergyman and the first African American ordained a priest in The Episcopal Church. Bishop William White ordained Absalom a deacon in 1795 and a priest on September 21, 1802. Absalom Jones' life and work is commemorated in the Episcopal Church each year on February 13. He faithfully served the people at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia, a church which remains a vibrant congregation today. Please join the African American Episcopal Churches of the Diocese of Southern Virginia on Saturday, February 16 at noon at St. James', Portsmouth, as we celebrate this great man. The keynote speaker will be the Very Rev. Dr. Ronald Ramsey, rector of St. Cyprian's, Hampton. The celebration will be followed by a reception in the parish hall. St. James' is located at 928 Effingham Street in Portsmouth.

Register now for Vestry Training Days, Bishop's Day with Senior Wardens

Our annual Vestry Training Days are designed with new vestry members in mind, but all vestry members are welcome. Healthy, skilled vestries who understand their role in the life of the church and their relationship to the clergy and congregation are essential in creating and maintaining vital congregations. This year we are also sponsoring a training day focusing on the churches of Convocations 8 & 9 and their unique challenges - February 23, 2019 at Johns Memorial Church in Farmville. Click here for more information on these upcoming trainings:
  • February 23 at Johns Memorial, Farmville
  • March 2, 2019 at Good Shepherd, Norfolk
  • March 9, 2019 at St. Matthias', Midlothian
Bishop's Day with Senior Wardens
Bishop's Day with Senior Wardens will be held March 2, 2019 at Good Shepherd, Norfolk, concurrently with the vestry training on that day. Click here for more info and registration.

Jackson-Feild promotes Johnnie McKellar

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) is pleased to announce that Johnnie C. McKeller has been named Director of Education for the Gwaltney School effective January 17, 2019. McKeller began teaching at the Gwaltney School in 2009, and had been serving as the acting director since July 1, 2018.
A resident of Franklin, McKeller earned his undergraduate degree from Longwood University, and his Master's degree from Cambridge College. He has been an educator since 2005 in a variety of capacities with several school divisions in North Carolina and Virginia. He also has been a coach for baseball, football, wrestling, track & field, and basketball.
McKeller is well liked and respected by the students as well as his colleagues, and his promotion has been well-received. With infectious enthusiasm, McKeller is a visionary who constantly seeks to improve himself and the Gwaltney School.  

Camp Chanco registration in full swing - join us for an open house

Winter Camp held last weekend for ages 7-12 was a huge success. We welcomed many first time campers and many who are now excited for summer camp! As one parent shared after the weekend, "Morgan had the best time at Chanco this weekend and cannot wait to go back this summer. Morgan said that she wants to live there!" This is a perfect example of how many come to call Chanco their "second home." See what all the buzz is about and join us at an Open House at Chanco March 30 or May 11, 2019. These events are free and open to the public and will feature tours, information, camp games and refreshments. Can't make it to an Open House and live in the Midlothian area? We have the event for you! Join us at St. Matthias, Midlothian for a Chanco Day on Sunday, April 28 from 2 to 4 pm and meet camp staff, learn about Chanco, and enjoy some favorite traditional camp games! Click here for a camp flyer with more information on all of our summer sessions. Or visit for more information or to secure your spot by registering today! Questions? Contact us at or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626). See you soon where "friends are friends forever"!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Seeds of Hope Grants awarded

The Diocese of Southern Virginia makes Seeds of Hope grants to congregations and diocesan groups to begin or expand ministries for social and economic justice causes. The Seeds of Hope Grant Committee is pleased to award the following grants for 2019:
Laundry Love
St. Andrew's, Norfolk
Grant will help Laundry Love provides free laundry service and homework help once a month in the Park Place neighborhood of Norfolk, as well as social events during the year.
St. James, Warfield
Grant will help provide food and materials for the Senior Citizens Outreach Program.
St. Paul's, Lawrenceville
Grant will help fund the Lifelong Learning for Grandparents Raising Children. Grandparents receive educational programming, and workshops are offered for children. The grant will also fund activities for dialysis patients.
St. Thomas, Freeman
Grant will help fund the Youth Empowerment Project, providing supplies, food and transportation for this educational program.
Latino Ministry on the Eastern Shore
Grant will help provide transportation and materials for the Dos Santos Support Groups for women, children and men, serving the Latino community on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Jobs for Life class at St. Paul's, Newport News 
St. Paul's, Newport News
Grant will help the Community Action Network, which serves the homeless and working poor, to create space for a library, conference and training room. St. Paul's also received a second grant to enable them to replace the chest freezer used by their feeding program.
Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach
Grant will provide support for the Manna Pantry Garden Project, in conjunction with the Girl Scout troop that meets at the church, to grow food for the church's pantry.
St. Martin's, Williamsburg
Grant will provide seed funds for Nests in the Shade: Homes for Our Neighbors, assisting homeless individuals and families to transition to permanent housing.
Mission of the Holy Spirit, Norfolk
Grant will help fund Bridging the Gaps, a weekly educational program for Mission families.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Dr. S. Paul Rowles began as Interim Rector at St. John's, Halifax on January 1, 2019.

Registration open for Happening #70

Happening is an experiential weekend retreat for young adults in grades 10-12 that may just change your life. Come and see what it's like to be transformed by God's love! Happening #70 will take place March 15-17, 2019 at Chanco on the James. The weekend will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday evening and end at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening. Cost per participant is $180. Fee includes all meals, retreat lodge rooms with private bath and linens provided. Partial scholarships are available; contact the Diocesan Office. Registration deadline is February 15, 2019. Click here to sign up now!

Thanks to Boys Home Christmas sponsors

The students and staff had a wonderful time at the annual Boys Home of Virginia Christmas Party on December 18. Santa stopped by for a visit and each student sat on his lap and received a present. The students enjoyed pizza and then went to their cottages to open their presents. 
Boys Home would like to thank all of our Christmas sponsors for the Christmas gift program. Sponsors make it possible for each student to have a special Christmas at Boys Home. We are incredibly grateful for the generosity poured out by our sponsors. We wish each of you could see the happy faces of the young men as they open their presents each year. Thank you!

Way of Love resources

To assist congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith to engage the Way of Love throughout the liturgical year, The Episcopal Church and partnering organizations offer resources for every time of the year: 
  • Anytime: The Way of Love Small Group Facilitation Guide and Curriculum (9 sessions): Essential resource for forming a small group, shaping a Rule of Life, and growing in relationship with God and each other.
  • Epiphany - LEARN/The Good Book Club: Along the Way of Love, we read and learn from scripture each day, with a special focus on the life and teachings of Jesus. This Epiphany join any of the Good Book Club efforts and spend a season with Paul's letter to the Romans. Learn more at, an initiative of Forward Movement.
  • Lent and Easter/Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent and Easter: The Episcopal Church provides this seasonal resource, complete with Adult Forums, a Quiet Day and an Easter season of action.
  • Ascension to Pentecost - PRAY/Thy Kingdom Come: Led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Christians around the world will share in 12 days of intentional prayer for the spread of God's love. Learn more and get ready for this energizing global movement of prayer at  
  • Way of Love resources from Church Publishing, Inc. (CPI) include Living the Way of Love, a 40-day devotional by Mary Bea Sullivan, and their recently published Little Books of Guidance - one for each of the seven Way of Love practices. Explore the host of CPI resources at