Monday, November 25, 2019

Advent: Transitioning into the dark time of the year

A new blog post from Bishop Magness
By another name, transition is change. The longer I live the more I recognize, and at times even accept, that living a balanced life is largely contingent upon how successfully I handle the transitions in my lives.  Ready or not, new events and occurrences happen in our lives and invite us to change. Transitions and changes occur when we move to a job or change positions; when we move to a new school or start a new grade; when children are born into our families and then grow up; when new friends appear and old friends leave; and when our Christian faith community leaders prepare to depart as new leaders prepare to arrive.

Diocesan ECW seeking vice president and historian

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of the Diocese of Southern Virginia announces the following vacant positions: Vice President; Historian. Click here for information about these positions and their requirements.  
If you are interested, please contact Laura L. Manigault, Diocesan ECW president, or Deborah Austin, Nominating Committee chair, Please also make this announcement to your ECW Chapter in your parish.

Jackson-Feild: Sponsor-a-Child for Christmas

For most of us the Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year filled with symbols and traditions that are happy and joyous. Sadly the girls and boys at Jackson-Feild have been denied these happy holiday memorials. Christmas is often the worst time of the year and triggers memories of past trauma which causes anger, sadness and depression.
Thankfully you can make this Christmas the best one the girls and boys at Jackson-Feild have ever had----one they will cherish for a lifetime.
Please make a gift by sending your tax deductible contribution to Jackson-Feild Homes, 546 Walnut Grove Drive, Jarratt, Virginia 23867. Or you can visit their web site,, to make an online or credit card gift. If you have any questions please call the Development Office at 804-354-6929.
Since 1855 Jackson-Feild has been helping hurting children. Please help ensure that these children are not forgotten by sending a gift today. Thank you and bless you.

A Colonial Christmas Concert at Historic St. Luke's

St. Luke's Historic Church & Museum in Smithfield invite you to A Colonial Christmas Concert featuring the Choraliers Ensemble of Smithfield High School. Performances will be held Friday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Advance ticket purchase is encouraged as seats are limited. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at St Luke's is located at 14477 Benn's Church Blvd. in Smithfield.  

Churchwide Bible reading initiative begins in Epiphany 2020

Forward Movement, along with partners from across the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, invites followers of Jesus to participate in the Good Book Club, a churchwide Bible reading initiative. The Good Book Club will focus on the Gospel of John, with participants reading a section of scripture each day during the Epiphany season, starting on January 6, 2020.
"The Good book Club is helping us to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the holy scripture, anew in our time," said Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry. "The Good Book Club is a helpful tool to engaging in 'Learn,' one of the seven Way of Love practices for a Jesus-centered life.
Click here for more information and resources.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Church Stories: An Interview with the Rev. Joseph N. Green, Sr. & the Rev. Robert O. Johnston

Saturday, December 14, 2:00 p.m.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 228 Halifax Street, Petersburg, Virginia
The Rev. Joe Green 
The Episcopal Project invites you to a very special event. Enjoy the stories and experiences of two Southern Virginia churchmen of the Greatest Generation. The Rev. Dr. Joseph N. Green, Sr. (age 93), and the Rev. Robert O. Johnston (whose 100th birthday is this month) will take the stage and, in an interview format, share their stories: their journeys to becoming Christians and priests, their journeys in the Episcopal Church and the parishes they served, and how these journeys were experienced within the times in which they have lived.
The Rev. Bob Johnston was the rector of Bath Parish in Dinwiddie County in the 1970s and early 1980s and director of Jackson-Feild Home from 1975 and 1979. The Rev. Dr. Joe Green, Sr. is rector emeritus at Grace Episcopal Church in Norfolk and a former Norfolk vice mayor and City Council member. Both men are veterans of World War II.
The  Rev. Bob Johnston 
The event will be moderated by the Rev. Willis Foster, Sr., rector of St. Stephen's in Petersburg. The Rev. Foster served as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot before his ordination to the priesthood. He attended Virginia Theological Seminary.
Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Event begins at 2 p.m. A social hour follows the event.
The Episcopal Project
This event is also an opportunity to get to know The Episcopal Project and the historic preservation work being done in the Diocese of Southern Virginia. The Episcopal Project's mission is to help Episcopalians collect, preserve, protect, and share their stories. In so doing we will help the Episcopal Church use its history to care for its people, now and into the future.
Please Register
RSVP by December 3. Go to to register.
Click here for for a printable version of this invitation. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Important information about filing your 2019 Parochial Report

Filing of the 2019 Parochial Report opens January 2, 2020. To begin preparing for the upcoming filing year, downloadable forms and instructions are available on the Episcopal Church website here. The online filing site has been moved to 
Due to site security and convenience, a Unique Episcopal Identifier (UEID) and PIN are no longer being used or provided as login credentials. That means beginning January 2, you will be asked to create a new login. Complete information is available here
Please note that the canonical deadline to submit your reports to your diocese is March 1, 2020.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Harry Potter and the Sacraments

Join us at Holy Trinity, Onancock from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 16 for an inter-generational event as we have some fun while exploring  some of the Christian themes that J.K. Rowling wove into the Harry Potter series. We will  enjoy some Harry Potter themed treats and some friendly house competition for a chance to win some Chocolate Frogs. Costumes are welcome but not required. A free event.

Free webinar: Overcoming Anxiety on the Fresh Expressions Journey

Fresh Expressions is offering a free webinar on Wednesday, November 13 at 12 noon - Overcoming Anxiety on the Fresh Expressions Journey. Anxiety is normal, but if it is left unmanaged it can wreck the new work God is calling you to do. Learn tools that can help you break free of long term anxious patters, diagnose team health issues and encounter God at a deeper level. In this webinar you will learn:  
  • What anxiety is and how it spreads through groups
  • how to navigate an anxious church, organization or team
  • how to tell the difference between God's voice and your anxiety
Click here for more information and registration. 

Women's Guided Gratitude Workshop

Save the date! The Diocesan Episcopal Church Women (ECW) will host a Women's Guided Gratitude Workshop at Chanco on the James on Saturday, December 7 with an optional evening event on Friday, December 6. This special Time for Reflection in Advent is open to all. Details and registration information coming soon! 

The Episcopal Church responds to the Opioid Epidemic - Members invited to participate in survey

Responses requested by November 27, 2019
The Task Force to Respond to the Opioid Epidemic, created by legislation at the 79th General Convention, is seeking input from lay and ordained leaders throughout the church about the local response to the opioid epidemic through the short survey here in English and here in Spanish.  
Resolution 2018-C037 Call to Respond to Opioid Epidemic calls on all dioceses and parishes in The Episcopal Church to respond to the opioid epidemic with training, pastoral care, advocacy, and liturgy. Central to this response are partnerships with local responders and others in the medical community, other faith communities and local recovery programs to offer pastoral care to those affected by this epidemic, and with other faith leaders to advocate with local and state government regarding policies and laws to promote healing and wholeness for those affected by this epidemic.

This brief survey is designed to gather information in two areas: what is currently working in local contexts, as well as what kind of resources are still needed. There are eight survey questions and an open-ended space for sharing additional resource needs.
The information collected will help the Task Force to shape their work as they curate and create resources for real-life, church-based opioid response ministry for use by churches, organizations, and others in the communities we live, work, and worship in.

Please take a few minutes to help with the important work of loving our neighbors that this Task Force has been called to address. Your participation is greatly appreciated!

New Digital Invitation Kits for Advent

New and updated Advent resources for congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith are now available: Way of Love Digital Invitation Kit, updated Journeying the Way of Love Advent calendar and curriculum, AdventWord 2019, Sermons That Work compilation of Advent and Christmas selections, Advent reflections from Episcopal Migration Ministries, and bulletin inserts. Also offered again this year are digital Christmas Eve services. All resources are available here