Monday, April 29, 2019

Holy Land Pilgrimage with Bishop Magness in 2020

2017 Holy Land pilgrims in Cana
The next Holy Land Pilgrimage led by Bishop Magness will be February 3-14, 2020. Bishop Magness invites you to join him in the spring of 2020 for our second Diocesan pilgrimage to the "Land of the Holy One." For a number of years he has been making trips to Israel and Palestine for the purpose of both pilgrimage and building relationships. In coordination with Lightline Pilgrimages Bishop Magness has developed a splendid pilgrimage. If you choose to be one of our 2020 pilgrims you will have an incredible opportunity to both renew your faith and expand your knowledge of the land where Jesus lived out his ministry. Quite literally, you will be walking in the places where Jesus walked, and you will be experiencing the world that our Lord experienced. Space is limited to 35 people. Registration deadline is June 7, 2019.
Click here for the trip brochure and registration form.

From the Stewardship Commission: Attention seniors of a certain age

The April 15 tax deadline has passed. Some of us who usually itemize deductions were surprised by the new standard deduction being the choice to lessen our tax liability. Be not dismayed - you have an opportunity to make qualified charitable contributions to your church for 2019 and beyond without having to itemize deductions. You can manage your retirement assets to benefit you and your family, reduce your tax burden, all while supporting the ministries of the church. When you reach the age of 70 1/2 you must begin making required minimum distributions (RMDs). A portion of your RMD may be sent as a tax-free gift from your IRA custodian (financial institution) directly to the Church by means of a QCD (qualified charitable distribution).  
For a QCD to count toward your current year's required minimum distribution, the funds must come from your IRA after the date that you turn 70 1/2 and by your RMD deadline, which is generally December 31 each year. To report a QCD,follow the 1040 instructions for lines 4a and 4b. These gifts are easy to make; ask your tax adviser and your financial institution how you can take advantage of this tax break.

Register for Camp Chanco - the time of your life!

Check out our new video here of all the wonderful things Camp Chanco offers your child and then visit while space is still available in your session of choice! Do not miss the summer memories of a lifetime! Questions? Contact us at 888-724-2626 or We can't wait to see you back in the magical forests where 'friends are friends forever!"

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Youth Leadership for Youth Task Force applications being accepted

There is a wonderful opportunity for youth to participate in this year's May Weekend in a leadership role. We are inviting youth in grades 10-11 to apply to be leaders for this program.  This year's theme, God's Love Is ..., was developed by the current seniors on the Youth Ministry Task Force.  
This offering is a faith-based retreat for your peers and adult youth leaders in the diocese. You will have the opportunity to lead worship, assist behind the scenes, help with music if so inclined, to MC the weekend, and to build mentoring relationships with your peers. The time commitment will be as follows: Thursday, May 16 (7:00 p.m.) - Sunday, May 19 (2:00 p.m.) at Chanco on the James, and one or two planning meetings (1 hour and half to two hours in duration) prior to the weekend (may be conducted virtually).
Clergy, Formation Leaders, and Youth Leaders, please encourage your youth to apply.  Selected Youth Leaders will receive a discount for May Weekend.
The deadline for this application to be submitted by mail or e-mail is Wednesday, April 17. Click here for more information and application form. 

Safe Church Training workshops scheduled

The following Safe Church Training Workshops are now open for registration. These workshops consist of a single session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with lunch included. Completion of one of these workshops will satisfy the safe church training requirements for any employee or volunteer in the diocese.
More training workshops will be added for the Fall of 2019. Get more information about Safe Church Training and registration for these workshops here
  • April 27 - Hickory Neck, Toano
  • May 4 - St. Paul's, Petersburg
  • May 18 - Trinity, Portsmouth
  • June 1 - Emmanuel, Hampton
  • June 8 - Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach
  • June 15 - Christ & St. Luke's, Norfolk
  • June 22 - Trinity, South Hill 
  • September 28 - Redeemer, Midlothian

Apply now for Cursillo #166 weekend, May 2-5

Cursillo #166 Co-Ed Weekend will be held May 2-5 at Chanco on the James. Cursillo is an adult retreat designed to help us grow closer to Jesus Christ. It's also a community where we're encouraged to live joyfully and serve faithfully in grace. For more information on Cursillo or to apply to be a candidate, please visit the Cursillo website at

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Keith Gentry began as priest-in-charge at St. Paul & St. Andrew, Kenbridge on March 10, 2019.
The Rev. Alan Mead, interim Episcopal co-pastor, left Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach on April 7, 2019.
The Rev. Mario Melendez will begin as Episcopal co-pastor at Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach, on April 14, 2019.

From Crib to Cross Lutheran-Episcopal Retreat June 24-26 at Shrine Mont

All Episcopal Clergy and Rotered Leaders in the Episcopal Church and ELCA are invited to a retreat in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley to meet with other clergy and leaders as we continue to live into our full communion partnership. Guest speakers are Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan of the Episcopal Church in Canada and Dr. Timothy Wengert of Philadelphia Seminary. Both speakers will help us explore the impulses of our traditions (the "Crib" and the "Cross") and how our distinctions help us understand our own traditions better. There will be time for conversation among participants as well as free time and activities. Priests and Pastors looking to explore this special partnership will be enriched by this retreat. Sponsored by the Virginia Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Committee. Click here for details and registration.  

Save the date: Opening of James Solomon Russell - Saint Paul's College Museum & Archives

The grand opening of the James Solomon Russell  - Saint Paul's College Museum & Archives will be held Saturday, August 10. The day will begin with worship at Saint Paul's Memorial Chapel at 10:30 a.m. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. at the former Saint Paul's College Student Union Building, 100 Athletic Field Drive, Lawrenceville. For more information, contact James Grimstead, director,  

Jackson-Feild makes presentation to placement professionals

Jackson-Field's Donna Creasy presented information regarding Neurofeedback to a symposium of professionals who are tasked with finding the most appropriate and effective treatment for their locality's youth with emotional and behavioral issues. The topic was Neurofeedback and its utilization in residential treatment
There was a keen interest on the part of these professionals regarding Neurofeedback and its effectiveness in treating specific disorders including substance abuse. Neurofeedback is an evidence-based practice that uses electroencephalography or EEG to map brain activity. The goal is for youth to understand their brain functioning and gain control over their thoughts and behaviors. They learn how to connect stimuli which are undesirable that associate with negative thoughts and emotions such as depression, anxiety, impulsivity, etc. They learn how to manage these thoughts and feelings and control and improve their behaviors.
Jackson-Feild has used Neurofeedback as an effective treatment intervention for over twenty years. It is the only nonprofit organization in Virginia that uses it. Jackson-Feild does not receive any reimbursement for this service. JFBHS believes so strongly in this intervention since it has been so effective that it raises funds to cover this expense.
Ms. Creasy' s presentation was very well received and participants walked away with a new appreciation and understanding about the importance Neurofeedback could make in helping their youth.

Alumni Work Weekend & Social May 3-5

Chanco is hosting a volunteer work weekend/alumni reunion May 3-5. With more than 35 registered so far, some from as far as Georgia and North Carolina, you won't want to miss this fantastic reunion of Chanco friends while giving back to the place we all love. Since we are volunteering as we prep Chanco for its busiest season, the event is FREE! Don't miss it! You must register at and we expect this event to fill to capacity, so don't wait! Register today. Bring clothes you don't mind getting paint on, beverages and snacks to share, any tools or paintbrushes you might have, work gloves and your smiley self. Skill level required = none (though we will accept master painters and carpenters). Questions? Contact Director of Programs Nathan Hoyt at or 888-7CHANCO (888-724-2626).

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

James Solomon Russell celebrated

The James Solomon Russell Commemoration Committee held a celebration of the life and work of the Rev. James Solomon Russell on Sunday, March 31 in South Hill. Bishop Jay Magness was celebrant and Bishop Ronald Thornhill, senior pastor of Tabernacle of Zion, preached. Descendants of James Solomon Russell, pictured here with Bishop Magness, were on hand for the celebration.

May Weekend registration is open!

God's love is so many things. How would you define it? Join other teens from around the diocese for a weekend retreat that will fill you with God's love and help us finish the sentence "God's love is..."
For grades 6-12, May 17-19. Fellowship, fun, games, music, and moving worship... AND it's at Chanco, so register now! Click here for details and registration.  

Camp SpiritSong to serve children affected by opioid use of a parent

Camp Spirit Song is offered in partnership with the SpiritWorks Foundation to give the gift of a camp experience to children in Province III affected by the opioid substance use disorder of a parent or other close loved one. The camp will be held August 11-16 at the Claggett Center in Buckeystown, MD. This is the inaugural year of Camp Spirit Song, and the first camp program of its kind on the east coast, and we ask your prayers and support for our ministry this summer.
Camp provides children grades 4-8 with an opportunity to meet God through:
● the support of a Christian community
● fellowship with peers who share a common experience
● time to rest and play away from the distractions of everyday life
It is our mission to offer Camp Spirit Song at no cost to campers' families.You can help make camp a reality for 40 campers this year by sponsoring a camper. $1,000 covers the cost of one camper, including room and board, program materials, and staff fees. Individuals, parishes, and dioceses may donate directly toward camper sponsorship. We have one camper scholarship covered by a parish in the Diocese of Maryland, and look forward to many other donors getting in touch with Claggett to support this camp.
To make or pledge a contribution toward Camp Spirit Song, contact Lisa Marie Ryder, co-Executive Director of the Claggett Center, 301-874-5147 or
Click here to learn more about Camp Spirit Song, and camper applications. Questions or to volunteer, contact Rita Yoe, Program Coordinator at the Claggett Center, 301-874-5147 or

Daughters of the King upcoming events

Annual Diocesan Spring Assembly  
The Daughters of the King will have their Annual Diocesan Spring Assembly at St. David's, North Chesterfield, on Saturday, April 27 beginning at 9 a.m. Following breakfast and a brief business meeting, we will fill gently-used purses and backpacks with basic hygiene products for residents in Menchville House, Natasha House and a few other women's shelters. This 'Purses and Packs' project is a mission focus for the diocesan Daughters chapters this year. The Rev. Kathie Price, diocesan chaplain, will talk about the labyrinth and we will have the opportunity to walk the new labyrinth at St. David's. The meeting will conclude with Holy Eucharist. Contact: Kathy Zinskie, 757-879-9094.
Province III Retreat 
The Daughters of the King Province III Retreat will be held at the Claggett Retreat Center in Adamstown, MD May 31 through June 2. This year's theme is "Creating Your Own Paths to Prayer". The Rev. Dr. Patricia D. Brown, Executive Director and Spiritual Director of the Spiritworks Center for Formation and Leadership in Pittsburgh will lead the retreat. She is an author, pastor, hospital chaplain, professor, and hospice manager. Our retreat will focus on simple gifts of music, prayer and silence and enjoy fellowship, peace and nature. "To be together and to laugh together is a great spiritual practice." For more information, contact Kathy Zinskie at 757-879-9094.

Fairy Godmothers work their magic at Jackson-Feild

For the past thirteen years Collegiate School students have collected and provided prom outfits to residents through The Fairy Godmother Project. Their mission is to provide a high school prom experience for children whose circumstances would prevent them attending a high school prom.
Throughout the year, Collegiate School students collect donated prom attire and conducted fund raisers to purchase supplemental items such as shoes and accessories.
Saturday, March 30, was the "shopping day" for the girls of Jackson-Feild. Collegiate students were able to transform the Jackson-Feild gymnasium into a boutique filled with six racks of prom dresses. Three tables were lined with shoes, an accessory station and even a table for the girls to pick out their make-up.
The gym was filled with laughter and excitement as residents had smiles from ear to ear on their faces after their successful shopping experience. The Collegiate students helped the find the right ensemble that will make them feel and look good at the upcoming prom. The student's generosity and kindness was much appreciated by both children and staff.

Share the Way of Love at Easter

The Episcopal Church offers free, downloadable resources for congregations and communities of faith this Easter. Resources include: a poster with space on the bottom portion for congregations to add their own logo, service information, and web address; a postcard to send to recent visitors or local neighbors; a social media ready graphic; a Facebook Cover image; and the Presiding Bishop's Easter Message video (available April 15). All resources are available here.

Pledge to Care for Creation: 1000 pledges sought by Earth Day, April 22

Episcopalians and friends concerned about all of God's creation are joining 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 for more about the Pledge to Care for Creation. Learn more about the ministry of Creation Care in The Episcopal Church at

Sacred Ground race dialogue series offers informational webinars

Individuals or groups interested in learning more about Sacred Ground: a film-based dialogue series on race and faith are invited to an introductory webinar hosted by Katrina Brown, Sacred Ground curriculum developer, and producer/director of the acclaimed documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North.  
Built around a curriculum of powerful documentary films, videos, and readings, Sacred Ground is a 10-part series that considers some of the major chapters of the United States of America's history of race and racism. In this webinar, Katrina Browne walks participants through the online Sacred Ground curriculum and resources. There will also be time for questions.
This free one-hour webinar is offered:  
Space is limited and registration is required. Click here to explore the Sacred Ground website and to sign up for additional resources.