Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Update on Bishop Search

Nominations and Applications closed Friday March 15. We received over 40 applications. Candidates were contacted by both phone and email and had until Friday March 22 to submit the requested documents. The Nominating/Search committee will now begin the process of assessment using a common rubric for the documents submitted. The candidates who will move forward to the next stage in the process will be contacted and phone interviews with teams of committee members will be set up. Additional materials will be requested and submitted. Those not moving forward will also be notified. Face to face interviews will be conducted with candidates who move forward following the phone interviews. These will take place in early June.
The committee asks your prayers as we move through this discernment process. We pray God's guiding hand will be with each of us as we move through this assessment period. Please join us in using the prayer below as we move into this important phase of the process.
Gracious and loving God, who speaks to us in the deep places of our hearts, grant us the wisdom to listen for your voice and to follow your will in our lives. We humbly ask that you guide us as we seek a shepherd for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Support with your grace those that you have chosen to respond to this call. Let your Holy Spirit so direct them and us, that together we may discern your call for the next Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. We ask this in the precious name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pam Pringle
Chair Nominating/Search Committee
More about the Search for the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia and the Diocesan Profile can be found at www.diosova.org/bishopsearch.  

Certificate of Lay Delegates and Alternates due June 30

It is now time to submit a new Certificate of Lay Delegates and Alternates for Diocesan Council. Elected delegates and alternates will serve for an entire conciliar year beginning July 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2020. This term includes eligibility to vote at the election of our next bishop on September 21, 2019, as well as Pre-Council Convocation meetings in January, Annual Council on Feb. 28-29, 2020, and any other Special Council or other called meetings that may occur during this period.
Click here for instructions and the form for sending in the name(s) of delegate(s) and alternate(s) elected by your vestry for Council year 2019-2020. Forms are due by June 30, 2019.
Important! Parochial Report submission is required prior to submitting your Certificate of Lay Delegates & Alternates (Parochial Reports were due March 1, 2019). 

Panel conversation: A Faithful Response to Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

Virginia Theological Seminary has launched "Faith in the Field," a series of panel conversations addressing current issues and featuring faithful responses. The first Faith in the Field panel is "A Faithful Response to Addiction and the Opioid Crisis" on Monday, April 1, 2019 at 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Many sectors of our society are working on responding to the opioid epidemic, but how is the Church called to respond? Can we see ourselves as first responders? How can we put our faith into action in our affected communities?

This Faith in the Field panel includes the Rev. Jan Brown, Executive Director of SpiritWorks Foundation for the Soul in Williamsburg and deacon at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, and Heidi Christensen, Public Affairs Specialist at the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This event is free but registration is requested; click here to register. This event will take place at VTS in the Addison Academic Building - Room 201, 3630 Bishop Walker Circle, Alexandria.  

Church Pension Group webinar series

Church Pension Group (CPG) will present a lineup of interactive webinars designed to assist those managing employee benefits. Clergy, wardens, vestry members, and staff responsible for oversight of employee benefits or property and casualty insurances are encouraged to participate. Webinars include: CPG Overview; New Administrators Webinar; Annual Enrollment; Church Insurance; and Top 10 Takeaways from the Episcopal Business Administration Conference; and many more.Sessions begin in April and registration is free. Click here for the full list of webinars and registration. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Renewal of Ordination Vows

The annual Renewal of Ordination Vows for clergy will take place on:
Tuesday, April 16, 2 p.m. at St. Stephen's, Petersburg (228 Halifax Street, Petersburg)
Wednesday, April 17, 10 a.m. at St. Paul's, Suffolk (213 N. Main Street, Suffolk)

Campaign donors Hard Hat Tour an enormous success

Thank you to the over 50 campaign donors that joined us Saturday for our first ever Sneak Peek Hard Hat tour! Our friends enjoyed learning more about the progress of our campaign, a guided tour through our buildings under construction and a worship service led by The Rev. David Davenport in our mid-construction Spirit Center. We closed our event circled up in the Spirit Center singing the Chanco Song followed by refreshments and fellowship. Thanks be to God!
However, we are not done yet! Chanco is still working to blow past our $3 million stretch goal in order to achieve all of our dreams for this place to the best of our ability and for the strongest ministry impact in Chanco's future. Join us in this generational  milestone moment in Chanco's long history. Contact Campaign Director Talley Banazek at talley@banazek.com or 804-399-4019 for more information on how to join us!

Applications accepted for 2019-2020 UTO Julia Chester Emery internship

In 2015, the United Thank Offering (UTO) Board began an internship program for young women, named for the organization's founder, Julia Chester Emery. This program supports the work of UTO in addition to participating in the work of a local ministry. UTO is now seeking a fourth Julia Chester Emery intern for 2019-2020.
The internship will be in conjunction with Jasmine Road, a Thistle Farms Affiliate, in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. Jasmine Road exists to offer women who are trapped in a cycle of sexual exploitation and addiction a path to freedom, a haven for healing, and the opportunity to flourish, leading to generational change and the betterment of the Greenville community.
For the 2019-2020 internship year, in addition to work with Jasmine Road, the intern will participate in the UTO Pilgrimage to Spain in October, represent UTO as support staff for The Episcopal Church delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York City in March, attend one of the Thistle Farms Training Conferences, join UTO Board Meetings or events planned during the year, and travel to speak at public events regarding work with UTO. The internship begins on September 20, 2019 and includes housing, travel costs, a stipend and intentional mentoring. Click here for more information and application. Applications are due June 1, 2019.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Don't miss these exciting spring events

Chanco is not just summer camp! Check out this video to see fun camp activities plus all the fantastic events that occur at Chanco year-round!
2019 Official Chanco Promo Video
And then check out one of our upcoming events this spring including:
  • Camp Chanco Open House Events: March 30 and May 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. for all ages. Free and open to the public.
  • Women's Retreat in Lent: April 12-13. Open to all women 18 and older. Theme: "Room at the Table"
  • Spring Work Weekend and Alumni Social: May 3-5. Volunteer to help spruce up Chanco for summer camp season and enjoy fellowship with friends all over the diocese. All ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian.
  • Cursillo #166: May 2-5. Co-Ed Weekend for adults 18 and over. Visit www.cursillodiosova.org for more information and an application.
Visit www.chanco.org for more information and registration for these fantastic spring events. Questions? Contact us at hospitality@chanco.org or 888-7-CHANCO.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Care of Creation pledge and reflection guide available

Episcopalians and friends concerned about all of God's creation are invited to join Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in pledging to take action to protect and renew God's world and all who call it home. The goal is to gather at least 1,000 pledges with concrete, personal commitments by Earth Day, April 22. Building from the Episcopal Vision for Care of Creation Statement developed by the Presiding Bishop's Office and the Advisory Council on Stewardship of Creation for the 79th General Convention, this pledge, and the accompanying Reflection Guide, is a tangible and practical way to show love for God's world. Click here to learn more.  

"Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action" training on refugee resettlement issues June 27-28 in DC

Registration is now open for "Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action," a two-day interactive training for clergy and laity interested in developing or improving their advocacy skills and having the opportunity to advocate directly to members of Congress and their staff about protections for refugees. Sponsored by the Office of Government Relations in partnership with Episcopal Migration Ministries, "Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action" will be held Thursday-Friday, June 27-28, in Washington, D.C. Click here for more information.

Bishop Magness to host online meeting with youth on Mar. 21

Calling all youth in the Diocese of Southern Virginia!  Bishop Magness is hosting a listening session via Zoom on March 21 at 6:30 p.m. to provide an opportunity to hear your thoughts and dreams about Episcopal Youth Community events and programming.  To join the conversation send an email to aturner@diosova.org  to get the Zoom meeting login.

Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group to meet

The Administrators & Treasurers Lunch Group will meet on Thursday, March 28, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Diocesan Office in Newport News. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other parish administrators and treasurers to talk about common issues. There's no agenda for this gathering - just an opportunity to get together, share, encourage, support, and ask questions. Bring your own lunch; beverages will be provided. RSVP to Diocesan Comptroller Judy Dobson, jdobson@diosova.org or 757-213-3386.

James Solomon Russell celebration on March 31

The James Solomon Russell Commemoration Committee invites you to join them for a celebration of the life and work of the Rev. James Solomon Russell on Sunday, March 31 at 2 p.m. at New Hope Baptist Church in South Hill. Bishop Jay Magness will be celebrant and Bishop Ronald Thornhill, senior pastor of Tabernacle of Zion, will be preacher. Clergy: Festive stoles. For more information contact Mrs. Annie Walker, 434-447-4097. New Hope Church is located at 255 Union Mill Road in South Hill, VA. 

Play golf to help Jackson-Feild's children

If you are a golfer and want to help mentally ill children please make plans to play in Jackson-Feild's 24th annual golf tournament on May 6. Funds raised from this event will be used to purchase special psychiatric furniture which is safe and durable for five cottage's bedrooms.
The tournament will be held at the Country Club at the Highlands in Chesterfield County. Lunch is served at noon and the shotgun start begins at 1:00 p.m.
Jackson-Feild's mission is to provide high-quality mental health services to children who have suffered severe emotional trauma heal and restore wellness so that they can return home.
If you would like to enter a team or would like to play yourself please contact Terron Watkins at 804-354-6929 or email him at twatkins@jacksonfeild.org to enter or go to Jackson-Feild's website (www.jacksonfeild.org).

Thriving in Ministry opportunity for clergywomen

Clergywomen in any denomination across the South serving in their first appointment as a solo or senior pastor (and associates hoping to serve as solo or senior pastors in the future) are invited to apply for the first cohort of the Thriving in Ministry program, which provides resources for women in ministry through regular ecumenical peer group meetings, congregational trainings, transformative retreats (including an international pilgrimage!), financial support for restorative practices that promote pastoral well-being, and spiritual direction and coaching over a 15-month period. This opportunity is funded through a grant from the Lilly Endowment Fund and is offered at no cost to participants. Applications are open for the first cohort, which will begin meeting in September 2019. The application deadline is May 31, 2019. Click here for more information. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Holy Land Pilgrimage with Bishop Magness in 2020

  The next Holy Land Pilgrimage led by Bishop Magness will be February 3-14, 2020. Full details will be available soon. To register your interest and receive a discount voucher of $150 per pilgrim complete this form by March 31, 2019.

Soul Shop: Suicide prevention education

The Christian Education Network (CE-Net) is hosting a Soul Shop program presented by Michelle Peterson, Executive Director of The Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundatio
n, on March 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Diocesan Office (11827 Canon Blvd. Suite 101, Newport News).
Suicidal desperation is a concern for people of every age, economic status, race, gender, and role.  It impacts church members, leaders, and clergy.  In Soul Shop, a Christianity-based suicide prevention training, you will learn how to minister to those who are currently considering suicide, those who are anxious that a family member or friend might be considering suicide, those that have lost a loved one to suicide, and those who have experienced suicidal thinking in the past but are no longer having those thoughts.  Sometimes all people need is a sign that they are supposed to live.  You can be that sign when you learn to talk about suicide and lead people to help.
Michelle Peterson is the Executive Director of The Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives by providing suicide prevention programs and resources. Michelle presents suicide prevention programs for teens and adults in order to inform, educate, and stop stigma. Michelle is a survivor of suicide loss. In 2014, her daughter, Sarah, died by suicide at the age of fifteen. Michelle is a former teacher and is active as a community partner with the Virginia Suicide Prevention Interagency Group and with suicide prevention efforts in the Hampton Roads Region. She also serves on the board of the Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services.
Cost is $5 and includes lunch. Click here to register

Apply now for ECW Scholarships

The Episcopal Church Women offer two scholarships, the Elise Holladay Scholarship and the Beverley D. Tucker Scholarship. The deadline to apply for either scholarship is April 26, 2019.
The Elise Holladay Scholarship is available to young men and women who want to further their education after high school. The Beverley D. Tucker Scholarship provides assistance to men and women in church-related training in an accredited Episcopal school.

Boys Home Church Day April 30

Boys Home of Virginia invites you to spend the afternoon on their beautiful campus on April 30 from 12 to 3:30 p.m. Come and experience lunch with Boys Home students and staff, a walking tour of campus, a showcase of academics and student activities, a Q&A session, and closing prayer in the Chapel. RSVP by calling 540-965-7703 or emailing Colleen Urffer, curffer@boyshomeofva.org. Click here for a flyer you can post and share. Boys home is located at 414 Boys Home Road in Covington.  

VTS Environmental Sermon Contest

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) invites interested alumni to participate in the second annual environmental sermon contest. Last year, with funding made available through the Kreitler Environmental Fund, VTS offered an opportunity for clergy to prepare and preach an environmentally and/or creation-centered sermon for consideration in a contest. Monetary prizes were awarded for the top three finalists (click here for more info).  
The deadline for submitting a sermon to VTS for the 2019 Environmental Sermon Contest is June 14. Participants are encouraged to focus on Earth Day and its theme of protecting our species or on Rogation Days, traditionally the three days before Ascension Day, that are associated with the stewardship of creation. Earth Day and Rogation Days offer a unique space of time for reflection, writing, and preaching on our collective care and concern for our world.   
To learn more about this opportunity or to submit a sermon, email Linda Dienno, vice president for Institutional Advancement, ldienno@vts.edu.  

Episcopal Church scholarships applications for the 2019-2020 academic year are now accepted

Applications are now being accepted for educational scholarships from The Episcopal Church for the 2019-2020 academic year.  
Online applications are required and the deadline is April 5. Applicants must be Episcopalians and have the endorsement of the bishop. Lists of trust funds and scholarships, application forms, and other important information can be found here.  
Click here for more information.

The Episcopal Church announces launch of Cuba Pension Campaign

In the spirit of welcome and reconciliation with the Episcopal Church of Cuba (ECC), The Episcopal Church today announced the launch of Together Again/Juntos de Nuevo: Cuba Pensions Campaign, which aims to raise funds to provide future retirement benefits for current and retired clergy in the ECC. The campaign follows a vote last summer at the 79th General Convention to readmit the Episcopal Church of Cuba as a diocese of The Episcopal Church after 52 years of separation. The Diocese of Cuba will join TEC's Province II, which includes two other Caribbean dioceses - Haiti and the Virgin Islands.   
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry encourages all Episcopalians to participate in the campaign as a common moment of mission. "This is part of the work of reconciliation, bringing us together across historic divides. This is not just fundraising; it's following Jesus and finding our way back to each other," he said.
When the Episcopal Church of Cuba was separated from The Episcopal Church in 1966, benefits, including pension contributions for the clergy, were no longer available. With readmission, The Episcopal Church believes justice requires that Cuban clergy be treated in the same manner as clergy throughout The Episcopal Church.

Led by the Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado Del Carpio, the ECC is a church that is growing and increasingly having an impact on communities throughout Cuba. With 46 congregations and missions led by 23 priests, along with an active lay leadership, it serves 10,000 Cuban Episcopalians and their neighbors. Its operating budget in 2017, which also includes all clergy compensation, was $155,000.

Currently, the average salary for the current 23 Cuban clergy is $55 a month.  When they retire, clergy members will not be eligible for any state pension or social security because the Cuban government does not recognize their service as employment.

The campaign seeks to raise a one-time amount of $800,000 by June 9, 2019.  This will provide funding for past contributions that will yield future retirement benefits for 23 active clergy, three retired clergy, and one surviving spouse.  The funds will be placed in the Church Pension Fund and eventually make pension benefits available to eligible clergy. 
Donations to the campaign can be made in the form of cash, pledges, or securities. For more information on supporting the campaign or to make a gift, please contact T.J. Houlihan, Development Officer, at 212-716-6271 or thoulihan@episocpalchurch.org, or visit www.episcopalchurch.org/development/pensions-campaign. 
Click here for more information. 

New translations of BCP into Spanish, French and Haitian Creole

"The Episcopal Church is in the process of developing new translations of its Book of Common Prayer 1979 into Spanish, French and Creole," said the Rev. Dr. Juan M.C. Oliver, custodian of the Book of Common Prayer. "For some time now, the Church has been aware of the need for new translations, carried out by professional literary translators of proven ability."  
Dr. Oliver heads the project as chairman of the Task Force for Liturgical Translations, a subcommittee of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of The Episcopal Church. The 79th General Convention mandated and budgeted the project, which will likely be completed during this triennium. In January, the task force met to review plans for hiring professional translators who will prepare a first draft over the next year and a half. These drafts will be sent for feedback to congregations worshipping in the target languages, in the U.S. and abroad. Click here for more information.