Diocesan Newsletter
October 5, 2021
Fall Clergy Retreat and Quiet Day 

Our Fall Clergy Retreat will take place at Chanco from October 25-27. The first day will be a quiet day, followed by a two-day retreat. Melissa Perrin will lead us in a time of teaching, reflection, and conversation around the subject, “Always We Begin Again.” As she says, “the title sparks the Benedictine Rule of Life—openness, curiosity, duty, stewardship, right relationship—all of those things we need to cultivate so that we have traction and meaning.” Dr. Perrin is a clinical psychologist whose retreats weave together dimensions of mental and spiritual well-being to help participants on their personal journey of self-discovery and growth. 

Click here for more information and registration. 

Will your attendance require you to arrange child care? Please submit a reimbursement request to Diocesan Comptroller Judy Dobson for those costs.
New Safe Church Training Zoom Sessions Scheduled

We have scheduled two new Safe Church Specialized Training workshops via Zoom: October 16-17 and November 13-14
 
Click here for information about registering for one of the Zoom-based trainings or for online safe church training.
Bishop Haynes Continues Convocation Visits

Instead of asking Episcopalians to come to the diocesan office to visit the bishop or other members of the staff, we are coming to you. In the next few weeks Bishop Haynes and other members of her staff will continue visiting each convocation. During these visits, Bishop Haynes will be holding Open Office Hours in the morning and the afternoon at a designated church in the convocation. Both clergy and lay people may come to spend time with the bishop on a first-come, first served basis. In the middle of the day, the bishop will go to a local restaurant for lunch. Convocational clergy are invited to join her if they would like. The schedule for upcoming convocation visits is below. For specific scheduling questions, please contact the Dean of each convocation. 
 
October 13 – Convocation 6, Merchants Hope Church, North Prince George  
The Very Rev. Robin Teasley, Dean (email)  
 
October 20 – Convocation 7, St. Luke’s Church, Powhatan 
The Very Rev. Dale Custer, Dean (email)
Diocesan ECW Fall Annual Meeting 
 
Come join us at the ECW Annual Fall Meeting, on Saturday, October 16 at 11:00 a.m., when we will present the final program for the year in the ECW President’s Series on Autism Spectrum Disorder, entitled, “Life on the Spectrum: Other Considerations.” This three-part panel discussion will include a variety of topics, concluding with our special guest, the Rev. Julie Graham, Assistant Rector of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, St. Louis, MO. Don’t miss this important culminating event! 
 
Registration information for the Annual Meeting, and for the business meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m., is found in the Fall 2021 edition of the ECW newsletter, The Grapevine – click here.
Chanco on the James Spirit Center Consecration 
Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 
September 15 – October 15 
 
I was asked by a fellow priest to suggest more ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. I would like to ask you to include the Farm Worker's Prayer in your worship services. You can use it as part of closing prayers or during Prayers of the People. Click here for the Farm Worker's Prayer, along with a prayer service especially appropriate during Hispanic Heritage Month.
 
Gracias/thank you, 
 
Padre Mario
Chaplain for Latino/x Ministries
Service for the Rev. Ted Bailey
 
A service celebrating the life of the Rev. Theodore H. (Ted) Bailey will be held at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg on Saturday, October 23, at 1:00 p.m. Burial in the Bruton Parish churchyard will follow the service. All are invited to a modest reception afterwards at the Custis House, across the street from the church. Ted died in April 2020, having served over 60 years as an Episcopal priest. His obituary can be found here.
 
Note that ALL persons entering the church or the Custis House MUST wear masks. Those attending the service may park on either side of Duke of Gloucester Street near the church. For wheelchair access, handicapped parking is around the corner on Palace Green Street.
 
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit;
For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
Keep us O Lord, as the apple of your eye; 
Hide us under the shadow of your wings.
Developing Good Discernment About the Media We Can Trust 

A new report in MIT Technology Review reports that 19 of the 20 most popular Christian pages on Facebook are run by Eastern European troll farms whose intentions are not to build up people’s faith but to inflame and polarize our society. (https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/09/16/1035851/facebook-troll-farms-report-us-2020-election/). Along with the recent revelations from the Facebook executive Frances Haugen, we would all do well to limit our social media consumption to updates about our friends, not news about issues. 

Indeed, because our Baptismal Covenant calls us to seek and serve Christ in all persons, we have an obligation to get information from reliable sources whose goal is not to create more rancor and chaos. The challenge in discerning the reliability of information sources extends well beyond social media. In fact, a Denver attorney grew so frustrated with the lack of transparency and clarity of media bias that she created a non-profit organization to evaluate media. The website here: https://adfontesmedia.com and is worth keeping handy as we read through things posted by our friends on social media and as we read the daily news. Another helpful website is: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com

Also, before reposting or sharing that story that seems perfectly to fit your view of things, you might want to check to see if it’s actually true (because so many stories shared on social media really are urban legends): https://www.snopes.com.
Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary 
 
Click here to see the October online offerings from VTS, including webinars on congregational spirituality, social networks, intergenerational ministry, and the future of the church. These are all outstanding, affordable opportunities for clergy, staff, and lay ministry.
Around the Diocese
Mobilize Recovery Conference

The Ven. Jan M. Brown, Archdeacon of the Diocese, recently participated in a virtual panel conversation facilitated by former President Bill Clinton for the Mobilize Recovery Conference. Along with three other panelists, Jan shared some of her story and answered questions about how to mobilize various segments of the population to address addiction and to promote recovery. Jan spoke on faith and family, discussing how her faith is the cornerstone of her recovery, suggesting how family members can educate themselves with science and kindness, and calling on individuals and communities to remove the logs from their own eyes so that they can help take the specks out of others' eyes and help people heal. The interview was part of the Closing Plenary of the Conference.


Blessing of the Animals at the Virginia Zoo

While many clergy bless congregants’ pets to celebrate St. Francis day, most don’t often get the opportunity to bless emus, squirrels, or monkeys. That’s exactly what the Rev. Jacqueline Soltys did last Saturday when she participated in the animal blessing at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. Read about it here.


Blessing of the Animals at St. Paul’s, Petersburg 

Historic St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Bristol Parish, will be celebrating St. Francis Day with a Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 10 at the 10:30 a.m. service on the front lawn. Your donations of pet food, blankets, or treats will be delivered to our local animal shelters. The loose offering will be given to support the K-9 Corps of the area Police Departments. All are welcome! 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is located at 110 North Union Street in Petersburg. Parking is available on the street in front of the church or in the parking lot behind the church off N. Market Street. For additional information, please contact the church office at 804-733-3415.
Job Postings
Christian Formation Co-Chairs 
 
Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach is hiring two part-time Christian Formation co-chairs. An individual may apply for either the children/youth formation chair or adult formation chair only, OR they may be combined into a "Family Ministry" position in which an individual handles both parts (still part time).

More detailed information on this and other jobs is found on the Employment Opportunities page of our website.
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