Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Camp Spirit Song serves children affected by opioid addiction

Camp Spirit Song is a summer camp program that provides youth in grades 4-8 whose lives have been touched by addiction with the opportunity to feel safe, feel supported, and develop life skills that promote resiliency while in the camp environment. The camp is a program of the Spiritworks Foundation, a recovery community organization based in Williamsburg. Spiritworks is the ministry of the Rev. Jan Brown, co-chair of the diocesan Addictions & Recovery Commission and deacon at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg. Jan is the founding/executive director of Spiritworks Foundation and she participated in Camp Spirit Song this past summer. The camp was featured in BBC News and Radio reports, and included interviews with Jan. Click here to watch video. Click here to listen to the radio report. The full documentary, Addicted: America's Opioid Crisis, can be viewed here. If you would like to learn more about Camp Spirit Song and how you can get involved, please contact the Rev. Jan Brown,

Convocation VIII ECW gathers

Convocation VIII Episcopal Church Women (ECW) Fall meeting was held on Saturday, October 26, at St. Paul's  Memorial Chapel, Lawrenceville. The speaker was Ms. Carol Edwards of St Mark's, Bracey, whose topic was "Have you ever been Disappointed." There were four churches represented: St. Marks, Bracey; St.  Thomas, Freeman; St. James, Warfield; and St. Paul's, Lawrenceville.

Convocation VIII Chair is Dr. Angela M. Parker. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Messy Church webinar on Nov. 6

Join the Rev. Roberta Egli, team leader for Messy Church USA, for a webinar on Wednesday, November 6 at 6 p.m. to discover the basics of Messy Church. You will learn about how the Messy Church global movement began and why it works in many different 'flavors' of the Christian church. In addition you will discover how the five foundational values of Messy Church (Christ-centered, Hospitality, Creativity, Celebration, All ages together) weave in and out of the Messy Church worship experience. You will also be given resources as you consider beginning your own Messy Church.  Click here to register. There is no fee to attend.  
The Rev. Roberta Egli led a team to start a Messy Church in Eugene, Oregon in the fall of 2013 and now works as the team leader for Messy Church USA. She is an ordained elder in the Oregon-Idaho conference of the United Methodist Church and serves in extension ministry to Messy Church USA.

Canterbury Fall Retreat Nov. 15-17

College students are invited to attend the Canterbury Fall Retreat at Chanco on the James, November 15-17. Our retreat will consist of corporate reflection and prayer time, conversation, lots of free time, eating, campfire, and the famous Chanco ropes course. The cost of the retreat is $20 to help defray the expenses related to lodging, meals, and activities. After you finish filling out the sign-up form, click submit and then submit your payment by clicking the link on the last page.
Register here

Creating Safe Havens: Recovery Ally Training for Churches

Nov. 23 - Christ & St. Luke's, Norfolk
Dec. 7 - St. David's, North Chesterfield
The Addictions & Recovery Commission (ARC), in partnership with the SpiritWorks Institute for Recovery & Resilience (SIRR), is excited to offer Recovery Ally Training for Faith Communities.  The aim of Recovery Ally Training for Faith Communities is to foster church's ability to provide a safe haven for individuals, children, youth and other family members in or seeking recovery.  Safe Havens allow people affected by addiction to feel accepted, to be empowered to live genuinely, to feel comfortable asking for help and to be celebrated by the faith community.  By becoming a Recovery Ally, you and your parish are declaring to the addiction & recovery that you embody these ideals. Click here for more information and registration.

John Randolph Foundation awards grant to Jackson-Feild

Thanks to a recent grant provided by The John Randolph Foundation, students at Gwaltney School at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) will now be able to conduct science experiments. A portable science lab table - a first for Gwaltney School - will offer active, hands-on learning designed to promote and develop scientific thinking in students.
While in treatment for their mental health disorders and/or substance use disorders, students are able to continue their education according to the education plan mapped out for them upon arrival. This science lab table is a tremendous addition to the science curriculum at Gwaltney School, and the students and faculty thank the board and staff of the John Randolph Foundation for this grant in support of education.
Gwaltney School, located on the JFBHS campus, is licensed by the Virginia Department of Education and accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Educational Facilities.
The John Randolph Foundation partners with donors and organization in the Tri-Cities area of Virginia to support healthy communities and bright futures. Since 1995, the Foundation has invested over $18 million in the community through grants and over $1.6 million in scholarships.

Chanco Volunteer Work Weekend

On Saturday, Nov 2nd we invite you to help us keep Chanco beautiful. Projects will include painting, landscaping, and some light carpentry. All skill levels welcome - we will find the job for you! This is a free event and lodging is provided for those who wish to stay.  Our work day will begin at 9 am on Saturday and will conclude around 4 pm. Dinner will be a cookout - please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Click here for more information and to register.  Questions? Email Director of Programs Nathan Hoyt at We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Join the Consecration Choir!

Come and sing with the Consecration Choir to help celebrate the election of the Rev. Susan B. Haynes as the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia! The Ordination & Consecration of the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia will be held February 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Bede Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg. We are hoping singers from across the Diocese will join in this special event.  
You do not need to be a member of your church choir to participate. You must commit to attend at least one of the regional rehearsals and are encouraged to attend more than one rehearsal if your schedule permits. You must attend the choir warmup on Saturday, February 1 at 9 a.m. at St. Bede's Church in Williamsburg. Proficiency in choral music reading ability (4 part singing) is recommended. Click here for complete details and registration. 

American Guild of Organists presents Repertoire You Can Count On!

Calling all church musicians, organists, choir members, choir directors!  The American Guild of Organists Tidewater Chapter presents Repertoire You Can Count On!  Join us for a wonderful educational opportunity to explore 'tried and true' repertoire for choirs and organists.  Five of our experienced colleagues will bring us five compositions each which they enjoy using.  These choral anthems or organ works are their 'go to' pieces and they will share them with YOU!  This event will take place on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1004 Graydon Ave, Norfolk.  Free and open to all.  For more information and to RSVP, please contact Deborah Carr at or call/text 757-406-4970.  

2019 Virginia LARCUM Conference

Please plan to join us at this year's Annual State  (Lutheran, Anglican/Episcopal, Roman Catholic, United Methodist) LARCUM Conference being held in Virginia Beach, Virginia at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, 2019. Fr. James Loughran, SA, Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute will present the historical development of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the challenges to the modern day movement and practical ways in which local ecumenical communities can celebrate this year's theme "They Showed Unusual Kindness". Please visit to learn more. Registration fee is $35 and includes a box lunch - registration closes November 8, 2019.

New Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life resources for small group use

A year after the introduction by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life, The Episcopal Church continues to offer new resources for congregations interested in following the Way of Love as a way of life. New this fall are the FAQ's for Small Group Ministry video, a social media infographic, as well as a postcard-sized infographic. These resources are available here.
The nine-session Living the Way of Love in Community curriculum is designed for small groups organized for the purpose of exploring The Way of Love. Group members study and experience each of seven practices: turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, and rest. These intentional small groups may choose to meet weekly, every other week, or once a month. The facilitation guide offers leaders a process for guiding an intentional small group for nine, 90-minute sessions with an option for extending a session 30-minutes should a group choose to gather over a meal. Each session includes prayer, a check-in process, discussion, practice time, a check-out process, and worship. Suggested scripture readings and hymns are also included.

Young Adult Service Corps accepting applications for 2020-2021 placements

Applications are now available for 2020-2021 placements with the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC), the international missionary program of The Episcopal Church. YASC offers Episcopalians ages 21-30 the opportunity to follow the Way of Love into deeper relationship with God and the global Anglican Church while spending a year living and working with communities around the world. From Guatemala to Oman, the Philippines to England, El Salvador to South Africa, and dozens of countries in between, YASC volunteers are building relationships that transform their lives and their faith.  
These young adults serve as teachers in church-run schools, work alongside development professionals who seek to empower their local communities, and participate in the daily life and ministry of churches and cathedrals around the Anglican Communion. Potential placements for 2020-2021 include (but are not limited to) Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Tanzania. Additional information, as well as the application form and instructions, for a 2020-2021 placement is available here. The application deadline is Friday, January 10, 2020. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Message about hurricane recovery efforts from Bishop of the Bahamas

Southern Virginia is one of the dioceses that has contributed to hurricane recovery and general outreach in the Bahamas. On September 30, Bishop Laish Z. Boyd, Sr. sent this message to the bishops and dioceses of The Episcopal Church:
My Sisters and Brothers:
Sincere and warm greetings from my Diocese. We are comprised of 46 parishes on 25 islands: 21 islands in The Bahamas and 4 islands in The Turks and Caicos Islands, with 96 individual congregations in all.
As you know two of our islands, Grand Bahama and Abaco, were devastated by Hurricane Dorian recently. These two islands are the second and third largest economies, respectively, in the country. This category 5 system was a monster storm. We have never experienced or imagined anything like it: catastrophic damage to homes, businesses, infrastructure, two economies, landscape and crops. More than fifty persons are confirmed dead so far and the number is expected to rise significantly.  
The most heart-breaking aspect of this is the humanitarian crisis: between the two islands, 70,000 persons disrupted, many dislocated, many homeless, some have lost loved ones, many people are still unaccounted for, not to mention thousands evacuated. The Bahamas nor the Diocese has the capacity to recover from alone.  
Thank you for the compassionate reception which our dilemma received at the recent House of Bishops meeting. We appreciate your prayers and your generosity in supporting short term relief and long term rebuilding efforts. We are particularly grateful to Episcopal Relief and Development for agreeing to journey with us along this difficult road.
We need assistance of any and all kinds from you, and your Dioceses as we seek to continue to recover from the worst natural disaster in this country's history. We will have many long-term rebuilding and development needs. At this time money would be extremely helpful.
The Rt. Rev. Laish Z. Boyd
Bishop of the Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands

Nominations for elections at Annual Council now being accepted

The following elections will take place at Annual Council:  
  • Standing Committee (one lay and one clergy)
  • Disciplinary Board (two lay and one clergy)
  • Provincial Synod (one lay)
  • General Convention 2021 (4 clergy deputies, 4 lay deputies) Note: Alternate deputies will be elected in 2021
Visit the Annual Council page of the diocesan website for more information about these elections and to obtain a nomination form.

Historic St. Luke's Twilight Cemetery Tour tickets now available

Dead men don't tell tales, but their tombstones do! Historic St. Luke's Church in Smithfield has been the site of burials since the 1600's. Enjoy the stories of local saints and sinners on a guided tour through the Ancient Cemetery. They have two dates for cemetery tours this Halloween season: an Adults Only tour on October 18, and a family-friendly tour on October 19. Learn about local lore and ancient curses through a historical lens, and separate fact from fiction. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Registration is live for November Weekend!

November 22-24 at Chanco  
For youth in grades 6-12
The demands of our daily lives can often be stressful and draining. We simply can't rest and replenish our souls when we are on the go all the time, multi-tasking, constantly bombarded with noise, and always on our phones. November Weekend is an opportunity for youth to come together with friends from all over the Diocese and to spend time in retreat with God. This year we will explore the ongoing process of personal growth and the inner strength that God's great love provides us all.
Fellowship is fun, spiritual, motivating, musical, and active... AND it's at Chanco, so register now at!
Sign up today! Happening #71 registration closes Oct. 10
Happening #71 will be held November 8-10 at Chanco on the James. 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! Details and registration can be found on the Youth page of the diocesan website, Sign up now - registration closes Oct. 10.

CE-Net gathering on October 10

Join CE-Net (Christian Education Network) for an informal roundtable conversation on Thursday, October 10, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Diocesan offices. Please share one thing from your ministry that is going well AND one thing that is a growth opportunity in your ministry. If you are available, please join us for a Dutch treat lunch at a nearby restaurant. Hope to see you there!

Cursillo #167 - a retreat full of grace

Thank you to all the team and participants of Cursillo #167 held September 26-29. Thank you to all who prayed for and supported this Cursillo. Thank you to our Rector, Laura Frank Sale, for her leadership of love and grace. And special thanks to Bishop Magness for officiating our closing Eucharist. It was a weekend full of new friendships, fantastic music, joyful worship, wonderful discussions and new tools for living our lives ever closer to Christ in our Fourth Day. Don't miss our Day of Deeper Understanding November 9 at Chanco! Missed this Cursillo? Never fear! We have a weekend upcoming this spring - watch for more information. Questions? Contact Lay Director Lydia Dyson Cersley at

Rooted in Jesus 2020 Conference

A diverse group of presenters will be coming to Atlanta, Georgia January 21-24 for the Rooted in Jesus Conference, a collaborative effort of Episcopal Church Foundation, Missional Voices, Forma, Episcopal Evangelism Society, Forma, Forward Movement, Episcopal Preaching Foundation, Diocese of Atlanta, Evangelism Matters, and of course, The Episcopal Church. 
Tracks reflecting the various aspects of discipleship will be offered: formation, mission, stewardship, evangelism, preaching, leadership, and communications, or you can chart your own course from the long list of workshops, panels, and plenaries. For more information, please visit Group discounts available.

Episcopal Relief & Development launches ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE

Episcopal Relief & Development announces the launch of
ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE, a $3 million grassroots Church-wide fundraising campaign dedicated to expanding the organization's global programs improving the lives of children up to age six. The campaign started on September 4, 2019, and will run for 1,000 days, ending May 31, 2022.
"Love allows us to bridge great distances so that children an ocean away are as precious to us as the little ones living right down the block," said the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church and Honorary Co-Chair of ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE. "Episcopal Relief & Development's programs with children share our love with thousands of children in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With your help, we can demonstrate God's love to thousands more."
Research shows that the first 1,000 days for children are critical in setting a foundation that affects their ability to grow, learn and thrive over their entire lives. Around the world, 155 million children under five are stunted due to inadequate nutrition and health care. Episcopal Relief & Development works with communities to ensure that children have access to food, clean water, and quality health care.
Episcopal Relief & Development invites individuals, congregations and dioceses to join ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE by engaging in acts of love of their own. These acts can include:
  • Learning about the campaign and the organization's work with children. 
  • Sharing the campaign with their congregations and communities on social media, through online peer-to-peer fundraising and other creative campaign activities.
  • Giving as an individual or congregation to help expand the organization's work with children.
To learn more about ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE and how individuals and congregations can participate, visit