Thursday, July 25, 2019

National Acolyte Festival Oct. 12

Washington National Cathedral in DC will once again host the National Acolyte Festival on Saturday, October 12. This annual event is a celebration of service:
  • Join the grandest of processions with acolytes, servers, and vergers from across the nation
  • Bring your processional crosses, banners, flags, torches, streamers and thuribles
  • Begin the day with the Holy Eucharist and stay for a festive afternoon, including workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, vendors, food, and games
Register by phone or online, 202-537-2228,  

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Happening #71 registration open!

Happening is an experiential weekend retreat for young adults in grades 10 and up that may just change your life. Come and see what it's like to be transformed by God's love! Happening #71 will take place November 8-10 at Chanco on the James. Details, registration and staff application can be found on the Youth page of the diocesan website,  

Province III youth pilgrimage

Trail to Truth is an opportunity for youth to journey from DC to Philadelphia with other youth in the Episcopal Church while learning about racism and reconciliation in our country. Along the way we will visit historical sites, hear from leaders in the church and struggle against racism, and become a part of the Beloved Community, as we seek to increase racial understanding, healing, and reconciliation. The pilgrimage will cost only $50 per participant for the weekend of Oct 11-14. This includes 10 meals, lodging, and transportation by charter bus during the event, entrance fees and workshops, and any other regularly planned activities during the Pilgrimage.  If you or your youth are interested in attending this event, please contact Megan Dern at or at 757-423-3393 no later than August 10th. The number of seats for our province is limited to 6 seats and will be filled by first come first served.

Safe Church training

Upcoming Universal Trainings:
July 22, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - St. Luke's, Powhatan. Register here 
July 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Trinity, Portsmouth. Register here 
August 14, 6:30 to 8 p.m. - Grace, Yorktown. Register here 
Upcoming Specialized Trainings:
September 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Redeemer, Midlothian. Register here 
October 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Emmanuel, Franklin. Register here 

Host a Safe Church training at your church
Both Universal and Specialized Safe Church training workshops are now being scheduled for the fall. If your church would like to host a training, please contact Susan Allen,, regarding which type of training you would like to host, along with potential dates for hosting. 

Training for Vacation Bible School volunteers
If you have Vacation Bible School (VBS) volunteers who need to complete Safe Church Training, we are offering a VBS-focused training option that VBS Directors can facilitate with their VBS volunteers. The training format consists of an online training module and a PowerPoint presentation highlighting key safe church issues, as well as best practice guidelines. Given that the training focuses exclusively on the VBS setting, the Safe Church certification will expire immediately after the VBS program concludes. If you are interested in this training option please contact Susan Allen at to gain access to the VBS training materials. 

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, November 9 from 10 a.m. to noon for this important discussion at Trinity, South Boston (520 Yancey Street, South Boston). This presentation is free. Click here to register.  

Camp Chanco FUN(draiser) benefitting scholarships

Every year, Chanco has more scholarship requests than funding. Click hereto purchase an awesome baseball camp designed by a Camp Chanco alumni offered in multiple colors with a feather that represents friendship, spirit and love - everything we strive for our young people to experience here at Chanco. All proceeds benefit Chanco scholarships. Each camp session has their own "campaign". Session One is in the lead with 52 caps sold. Over 80 caps have been sold so far! You may also support our scholarships by making a gift today. Click here to make an easy on line donation and indicate "scholarship" in the notes section or you may mail a check to Chanco (394 Floods Drive, Spring Grove, VA 23881) with "scholarship" in the memo line Thank you for your support!

Episcopal Church digital invitation kits for Back-2-School and Back to Ministry now available

The Episcopal Church has developed a free Back-2-School Digital Invitation Kit and the Back to Ministry Digital Invitation Kit, both based on The Way of Love and available here.

Each of these kits include: a customizable poster and postcard; a social media-ready graphic; and a Facebook cover image. Each kit also includes a video prayer message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry which can be embedded on a church's website. These resources are themed both with and without Way of Love graphics. Click here for more information.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Seeds of Hope Grant applications now being accepted

Seeds of Hope grants are available to congregations and diocesan groups (e.g., affiliated institutions, commissions and task forces) within the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia to support the development or expansion of Social Justice ministries sponsored by diocesan congregations and organizations. Awards may be as much as $2,500. All grants are for one year. Applications must be postmarked no later than August 31, 2019. Click here for more information and this year's application form.  

Bishop's Blog: Camp Chanco is alive with the good news of Jesus' love

The summer camping sessions are in full swing at Camp Chanco.  As some of you may know, I have made Chanco my residence this summer.  This decision has given me the opportunity to greet, meet, and make friends with the permanent staff, the seasonal staff, the volunteer counselors and with all of the children who attend the camp sessions. 

When I was about 10 years old and attended my first summer camp session at Kanuga Conferences in Western North Carolina, I had my initial introduction to the positive effects of our Episcopal Church camping programs.  Though I did not know it at the time, I was being given an in-depth immersion to my formation as a baptized follower of Jesus. 
This summer I have been thinking a great deal about the opportunities we have at Chanco to form girls and boys as followers of Jesus.  

Clergy transitions

The Rev. Tom Crittenden began as Interim Rector of Grace, Yorktown on July 14, 2019.  
The Rev. Frederick Willis will begin as Interim Rector of Holy Trinity, Onancock, on August 4, 2019.  

Video: Presiding Bishop's message, "Who is my neighbor?"

"Deeply embedded in the Christian faith, indeed deeply embedded in the Jewish tradition, which is the mother of the Christian faith, and deeply embedded in the faith and traditions and values of many of the world's great religions, is a profound conviction in a sure and certain value and virtue that care for the stranger, the alien, the visitor, is a sacred duty, a sacred vow." Click here to watch the video or read a transcript.

Find migration, refugee, and immigration information and ways you can take action on your own here (EPPN/OGR) and here (EMM).  

Episcopal Evangelism grants available for local and regional efforts

Episcopal institutions can now apply for the next round of the Episcopal Evangelism Grants Program, designed to fund local and regional evangelism efforts in the Episcopal Church. The application deadline is October 1. Congregations, dioceses, provinces, schools, monastic communities, and other Episcopal organizations are eligible to apply. Regional collaborative partnerships with non-Episcopal entities are welcome as long as an Episcopal entity is the project leader, active manager, and reporting agent. Groups receiving grants are expected to make significant financial contributions toward their projects, and to report what they have learned to the wider church. 

The grant application, criteria and additional information are available here. The application deadline is October 2, 2019 at 11 p.m.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Now accepting EYC Board applications

Applications for the Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) Board for the 2019-2020 school year are now being accepted. Board members will have the opportunity to take on a leadership role within the Diocese by representing their peers at diocesan events and helping plan and organize events for the EYC in Southern Virginia. All youth who are rising 10th, 11th, or 12th graders and interested in becoming more involved in the EYC are encouraged to apply. There are nine positions open, and the intention is that each Convocation be represented so that the EYC Board can better serve the Convocations, as well as the diocese as a whole.  
Click here for the application form. Completed applications are due to the Diocesan office by July 29. Please note that for voting purposes, the application process will include posting candidate bios on the diocesan website and other online sites.

RenewalWorks gathering: Leading for Discipleship

Leading for Discipleship: A Gathering for Leaders will be held September 30 - October 2, hosted by the Diocese of East Carolina and St. James Parish in Wilmington, NC. Leading for discipleship in Episcopal congregations can be challenging. It can feel lonely. With that in mind, we hope you will join us for a gathering of clergy and lay leaders, especially appropriate for those who have participated in the RenewalWorks process (a ministry of Forward Movement). We will come together for deeper learning about discipleship, as we support each other in the effort to build cultures of discipleship in Episcopal Church. Click here for details and registration. Registration closes Sept. 23.  

Monday, July 1, 2019

St. Mark's, Hampton, decides to leave their building

St. Mark's, Hampton, has made the decision to give up their building.
The congregation has not made any decisions yet about their next steps, but St. John's, Hampton, has invited St. Mark's to use office and worship space at St. John's while they discern what the future holds for them.
Following a long period of study, prayer and discernment, St. Mark's vestry came to the conclusion that a continuing worship life for St. Mark's was unsustainable in their current building. At its meeting on June 18, the vestry decided to vacate the building. In a letter to the congregation, the Rev. Warren Hicks, St. Mark's rector, said of the vestry's decision that, "One of our guiding questions was, 'is the mission of the church to support the building or is the building to support the mission of the church?' Our answer is clearly the latter."
The last service St. Mark's will hold in the building at 2605 Cunningham Drive in Hampton will be on Sunday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m. Bishop Magness will deconsecrate the worship space on Thursday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. 
St. Mark's was founded in 1963 as a mission of St. John's, Hampton, to serve the growing population of northwestern Hampton. St. Mark's has had a long commitment to radical hospitality and intentional welcoming. They continue to be a diverse community which welcomes individual differences and creativity. St. Mark's was the first church in the Diocese of Southern Virginia to affiliate with Integrity, an organization dedicated to affirming and encouraging the full participation of LGBTQ folk in the life of the church.

Bishop's Blog: A new vision

Bishop Magness has a new post on his blog - A new vision. " is clear to me that our older management style of status quo maintenance will not serve the leaders (either lay or ordained) within our congregations." Click here to read his latest post.  

Singers needed for massed choir for Consecration service

Calling singers from across the Diocese to join the massed choir that will provide music for the Consecration of the next Bishop of Southern Virginia.  The Consecration service is set for Saturday, February 1, 2020 (time: 12 or 1 p.m.) at St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg. All singers must attend one rehearsal in January 2020, as well as the morning rehearsal before the service. Exact rehearsal times and locations will be announced in the fall. 

Summer issue of The Grapevine ECW newsletter available

The Summer 2019 edition of The Grapevine, the newsletter of the diocesan ECW, is now available on our website here.  

The Grapevine is a quarterly print-ready newsletter available for individuals and churches to receive via email. You can sign up to receive The Grapevine by entering your email in the "Sign up to receive news" box at
If you have news you would like included in The Grapevine, contact Vicky Koch,

Save the date! Harvest Hustle to benefit Boys Home

On Saturday, November 2, all are invited to participate in the Boys Home fall fundraiser, the Boys Home Harvest Hustle! The Harvest Hustle will take place at the Intervale Trailhead of the Jackson River Scenic Trail, in Covington, and this year the event has been expanded to include a fun run, 5K, 10K, and half-marathon. All events start and end at the trailhead, following a mostly flat, crushed-gravel surface along the scenic Jackson River. Participants will receive an event T-shirt and commemorative medal. Register early! Prices increase after September 30. Children under 10 are invited to run the 5K or 10K for free. For more information or to register, visit or call Colleen at 540-965-7703. 

Bishop Search News: Walk About dates and locations set

There will be four walk about opportunities around the Diocese. These open public forums with the nominees gives everyone a chance to meet them, ask questions of them and hear their responses.
Thursday, September 5 at 7:00 pm at Hungars Parish, Eastern Shore 
10107 Bayside Road, Machipongo
Friday, September 6 at 7:00 pm at Galilee, Virginia Beach  
3928 Pacific Avenue, Virginia Beach
(will be available live and on-demand on the diocesan website) 
Saturday, September 7 at 1:00 pm at Chanco on the James 
394 Floods Drive, Spring Grove
Sunday, September 8 at 3:00 pm at Johns Memorial, Farmville 
400 High Street, Farmville
Bishop Election 
Election of the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Election will be held Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Dinwiddie High School, 11501 Boisseau Road in Dinwiddie. 9:00 a.m. check-in. 10:00 a.m. Eucharist with election following.
Consecration Service
Consecration of the 11th Bishop Of the Diocese of Southern Virginia will be held February 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m., the Most Reverend Michael Curry presiding. Service will be held at St. Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg. Reception following the service in Kaplan Parish Hall. Information regarding parking will follow at a later date. 
Consecration can be viewed live and on-demand on the diocesan website.