Diocesan eNews
February 9, 2021
Please note that the Diocesan Office will be closed on Monday, February 15
for the Presidents Day holiday.
A Word from Bishop Haynes and the Health Advisory Panel

Every day the Diocesan Office receives requests for permission to regather for in-person public worship. We are ALL eager to go once again into the House of the Lord to worship. We are encouraged that new case rates are declining as is percent positivity (at least in some areas). The Commonwealth of Virginia is now inching under 10% and is moving more closely to that desired 8%. Just a reminder that in order to safely re-gather for indoor in-person worship, percent positivity should be below the 8% rate for two weeks.

We are encouraged that vaccination rates are moving up and that the Commonwealth of Virginia is reaching the level of almost 10% of the population vaccinated. The Health Advisory Panel urges you that if you are able to take a COVID-19 vaccine, please do so. Also, churches are encouraged that one outreach ministry they could embrace is to contact their parishioners to make sure they know how to sign up for a vaccine.

We are called to prayer for the healing of our world, including its healing from this pandemic. For all that are called to this prayer, we give thanks. If you would like to combine your prayers with some action, the Health Advisory Panel suggests that you might give prayerful consideration to becoming a Virginia Department of Health Community Ambassador. This VDH Community Ambassador program is a grassroots effort whose goal is to spread the word about COVID-19 and its vaccination As a VDH ambassador, you would receive COVID-19 updates from the Virginia Department of Health, from top experts and sources, which you could then pass on to friends, colleagues, social media and even your own faith community.


…for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
129th Annual Council is Feb. 22-27
 
This year's Annual Council is completely virtual and will be spread out over the week of Feb. 22-27. Most of the events during Council Week will be open to everyone and no advance registration is required. You can see the full Council Week schedule and the planned live events here.

Complete information about Council Week, and delegate materials, can be found at www.bit.ly/diosova129.
"Rooted in Love" - Keynote speaker Jerusalem Greer

Everyone is invited on Friday, February 26 at 7 p.m. for “Rooted in Love: Where Good News, Spiritual Practices and our Baptismal promises meet” -- How does our baptism inform our ministries and our lives? What does Good News sound like? What exactly is the purpose of formation? Join Jerusalem Greer, Staff Officer for Evangelism for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, as she shares about the Way of Love, Episcopal Evangelism, Discipleship, and why our "why" matters most of all.

Jerusalem Greer is the Staff Officer for Evangelism for The Episcopal Church in the Office of the Presiding Bishop. She is also a member of the Way of Love creation and leadership team and serves on Episcopal Relief & Development’s Council of Advice. Jerusalem has authored two books and a host of curricula. She lives with her family on hobby farm in rural Arkansas, where they are attempting to live a slower version of modern life. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Virtual Council includes a Virtual Exhibit Hall

Visit the Virtual Exhibit Hall which features links to some of our favorite Annual Council vendors.

There's still time to be part of the Virtual Hymn Recording!

For Annual Council we’ll be recording Hymn 25, O Gracious Light. You - and your friends and family! - are invited to be a part of the recording! Click here for complete details and instructions. Deadline for recordings extended to Saturday, February 13.
Youth Game Night this Wednesday!

Youth Game Night is changing nights! Join us this Wednesday, February 10, 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. This year we are going to be trying a new night to gather. We will be meeting on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. Youth from all churches are invited to come join us for fellowship and prayer. Due to hot demand, for our first game night back we will be playing AmongUs. Join us February 10 at 5:30 p.m. for our first game night back. Sign up here.
Online event: Getting Started with Messy Church

Messy Church USA in cooperation with the Diocese of Southern Virginia is offering an online “Getting Started With Messy Church” event on March 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The training session will highlight best practices to use in starting a Messy Church program. Diocese of Southern Virginia participants are eligible to receive a discount code.  Contact Lynn Farlin at lfarlin@diosova.org or 757-213-3377 to obtain the discount code before registering. Each participating church will receive one PDF issue of the magazine Get Messy.  The cost to attend (prior to discount code) is: Individual $45, Groups of 2-4 $130, 5th person and over—additional $ 10 per person. Click here to register for the event.
New resource: Lent at Home in Community

The Diocese of Southern Virginia has purchased a license for a program designed by GenOn Ministries called “Lent at Home in Community” that can be used by churches and households in the Diocese of Southern Virginia.  This six-week resource is centered on the Psalm readings for each Sunday in Lent. Each week participants will focus on one of the following concepts: See, Taste, Hear, Smell, Touch, and Give. The program was designed to be a simple, flexible, in-home resource for households of all ages, sizes and stages to use. A weekly virtual gathering component can be added for those seeking additional small group reflection, but it is not a requirement of the program design. If your church community or household is interested in using this resource please email lfarlin@diosova.org to obtain Lent at Home in Community as well as the distribution/use guidelines. 
Connecting with Jesus across Time and Culture

Let’s be honest. Sometimes we all have those “the Bible is so weird” moments when we are reading or hearing Scripture from our contemporary, Western perspective. This Lent you are invited to join a Zoom class on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m., beginning February 22 and continuing through March 22 to explore some of the ways we misunderstand or don’t understand the ancient culture of the Biblical world. The class is led by The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Soltys, Priest-in-Charge at Good Shepherd, Norfolk. You must register to receive the Zoom link. Please send an email to office@goodshepherdnorfolk.org to sign up. The class will be a mixed lecture and discussion format.
History of the Church in England video course

The Church of the Good Shepherd in Richmond has produced a 12-part video course on the history of the Church in England for its adult education forum. The course is available at www.goodshepherdrichmond.org/christian-education/adult. Senior Warden Dick Hickman wanted to present an overview of church history from the legendary arrival of the first Christian missionary, Joseph of Arimathea, in the Roman province of Brittania, in AD 63, through the English Reformation and the Elizabethan Settlement in 1563. The course is intended for Episcopalians and others who are interested in learning more about the background of the Church of England. The course includes a study guide and 12 video sessions averaging about 20-25 minutes each. The videos were recorded (using an iPhone) in the church sanctuary, and posted on the church web site by Good Shepherd’s new Communications and Technology Committee. This course was originally planned as part of Good Shepherd’s regular adult education hour on Sunday mornings after church, but since in-person gatherings have been restricted, the Christian Education Committee decided to experiment with the video format. For further information contact richard.hickman.jr@gmail.com.
Creating Church Community Among Generations During and After COVID Restrictions

Due to the interest in the GenOn Round Table last month, they are repeating the opportunity to gather with other church leaders via Zoom to discuss and share ways we have and can create community among generations in pandemic times (and times to follow). There is no charge for this online gathering on Monday, February 22, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Click here to register in advance to receive Zoom access information. 
New course from ChurchNext – Raising Resilient Children

Raising Resilient Children is the newest online offering from ChurchNext and can help participants learn how to teach children resilience through practices that help them maintain hope, even during challenging times. Click here for more information and registration.
Change in online Safe Church Training

Safeguarding Online Safe Church Training now requires a valid, unique email address for each registrant in order to participate in online training. To register for online Safe Church Training, click here. Once your registration has been processed, you will receive an email from Susan Allen, sallen@diosova.org, with your login information and instructions. Print this email or write down your user name and password for future reference. Please note that you must be age 16 or older to take Safe Church Training.
Christ Church gives thanks for 19 years of music ministry with Heidi Bloch
By Mary Cole, Christ Church, Smithfield

After 19 years Organist/Music Director Heidi Bloch is leaving Christ Church, Smithfield. Bloch has figured largely in the musical life of Christ Church and the Smithfield community.
 
Bloch participated in Sunday and other services, and musical programs at Christ Church. Bloch is also known in the Isle of Wight community for bringing together choirs from various churches in Smithfield to participate in special services. She often tapped the resources of active composers she knew, having choirs sing pieces written just for them.
 
Bloch was key in developing Sundays at Four, originally a ministry of the church, evolving into Smithfield’s concert series, which also included master classes and youth recitals. Bloch said, “We all delight in following these students in their journey through music schools, conservatories, and as young professionals." She has served as artistic director for Sundays at Four for more than 12 years and will continue in this position.
 
Bloch is a multi-term board member of the Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg and has twice served as President of the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Christ Church will miss her leadership, creative services, and professionalism.
Employment opportunities

Sexton
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is seeking a sexton/custodian. Ten to twelve hours per week tending to our church and Day School. No experience necessary, just a willingness to keep things clean and sanitary! 
For more information please call Vel at the church office, 757-466-9392 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Data Entry
The Diocese of Southern Virginia is accepting applications for a part-time Data Entry position. Click here for a position description. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Lynn Farlin, Canon for Formation, at lfarlin@diosova.org or 11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101, Newport News, VA 23606.
News from Chanco on the James
Don't miss an opportunity for huge Chanco discounts!

Chanco will be hosting a live virtual Zoom event at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24. Enjoy learning more about Chanco’s programs, the 2020 year in review, and a campaign update along with a Q & A period to answer all your Chanco questions! BONUS: Chanco will host. drawing of those present for 50% off of: 1) a vestry retreat (for clergy who attend the Zoom), 2) a camp session, and 3) an individual retreat registration. Must be present to be eligible! Stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for more information upcoming. For now, save the date! Questions? Contact us at hospitality@chanco.org or 888-724-2626.
News from The Episcopal Church
Care of Creation Grants now available
Application deadline March 26, 2021

The Episcopal Church’s Task Force on Creation Care and Environmental Racism is now accepting applications for its 2021 Grant Cycle. An informational webinar for those interested in learning more about the grants and the application process is scheduled for February 18th at 3 pm EST.
Read more here (in English and Spanish).
The Episcopal Church offers a new Global Mission Digital Toolkit for World Mission Sunday

Traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday after Epiphany, this year World Mission Sunday is observed on February 14. Read more here (in English and Spanish).
Guidelines developed for amending church records for identity changes

At the request of General Convention (2018-A088), The Archives of The Episcopal Church has prepared a set of recommendations for developing local policy on name and gender changes to Episcopal Church records. The Guidelines for Policy on Amending Church Records for Name and Gender Changes are available on the Archives Website with Spanish translation and supporting resources and links. Read more here (in English and Spanish).
Life Transformed - The Way of Love in Lent
New and updated resources available for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter

New and updated Lent and Easter resources for congregations, dioceses, and communities of faith are available from The Episcopal Church, with additional offerings coming soon. Available and upcoming resources include: Updated Life Transformed – The Way of Love in Lent curriculum; Sermons That Work for Holy Week and Easter; a new podcast series, Prophetic Voices: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community. Find resources here. Read more here (in English, Spanish, and French).
Episcopal Migration Ministries offers daily Lenten devotional series

Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), in partnership with members of the Episcopal Asylum Ministry Network, is offering a daily Lenten devotional series. Written reflections will be released daily beginning Ash Wednesday, February 17, through Easter Sunday, April 4. Reflections will also be available on the EMM website blog. Read more here.
Ongoing & Upcoming
Re-Gathering guidelines and resources
Click here for re-gathering guidelines and information, messages from Bishop Haynes, and many resources for congregations as Southern Virginia responds to coronavirus/COVID-19 in our communities.

Online worship in Southern Virginia
Churches in Southern Virginia are offering a wide range of opportunities for regular online worship - Sundays and weekdays, from Eucharist to Compline to "Pop-up Prayers". Click here for a listing of ongoing virtual worship opportunities.

Safe Church Training 
Currently no in-person Safe Church Training workshops are planned. Zoom based and online Safe Church Training are available. Get more info and register for Safe Church training.

Upcoming Events

Centering Prayer - ONGOING, Wednesday mornings, 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. via Zoom. The Rev. Becki Dean will offer Centering Prayer each Wednesday morning now through Holy Week. All are welcome. No experience necessary. Join us as we learn together as the Body of Christ. To join us, visit www.Zoom.us, enter Meeting ID# 872-8404-8784 and Passcode 630659.

Youth Game Night - February 10, 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. Youth Game Night is changing nights! This year we are going to be trying a new night to gather. We will be meeting on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. Youth from all churches are invited to come join us for fellowship and prayer. Due to hot demand, for our first game night back we will be playing AmongUs. Join us February 10 at 5:30 p.m. for our first game night back. Sign up here.

Addictions & Recovery Commission co-hosts Invitation to Change Approach training - The Addictions and Recovery Commission and SpiritWorks Foundation invite you to participate in a virtual training in the Invitation to Change Approach with Dr. Carrie Wilkins and Dr. Jarrell Myers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Feb. 12 and Feb. 19. This training requires a commitment to both days. This training will provide access to evidenced-based strategies and tools for helping families and the community who are affected by addiction. You will learn to help lead the charge in the faith community of helping members of your parish/community with a program that is supported by science and reflects the Christian values of compassion, and a desire to heal pain. We will be setting up groups across the diocese and church to use this model and will help you with setting them up in your context. Participants will leave the training with a new way of understanding and approaching substance use, as well as a set of practical skills and understandings that will help them better help people with substance use issues. If you have any questions or if the cost is prohibitive, please contact the Rev. Lauren McDonald at lauren@spiritworksfoundation.orgClick here for more information and registration.

Reverend Absalom Jones Virtual Commemoration - February 13, 1 to 2 p.m. via Zoom. You are invited to the Absalom Jones Celebration hosted by the James Solomon Russell Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) Chapter. Theme: “To See the Future, Look at the Past”. Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Joseph N. Green Jr, Rector Emeritus, Grace Episcopal Church, Norfolk, VA. The James Solomon Russell Chapter of UBE invite you to make a gift to: The Absalom Jones Fund for Episcopal HBCUs supports two institutions affiliated with The Episcopal Church since the 1800’s: Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC, and Voorhees College. To donate by mail, please send your contribution to: DFMS – Protestant Episcopal Church USA, P.O. Box 958983, St. Louis, MO 63195-8983. Donations can be made out to “The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society” with Absalom Jones noted in the memo section. To join the Zoom celebration on Feb. 13, click here. Meeting ID: 833 1089 8138, Passcode: 581958. To join by phone, dial 1-301-715-8592.

Connecting with Jesus across Time and Culture - Let’s be honest. Sometimes we all have those “the Bible is so weird” moments when we are reading or hearing Scripture from our contemporary , Western perspective. This Lent you are invited to join a Zoom class on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m., beginning February 22 and continuing through March 22 to explore some of the ways we misunderstand or don’t understand the ancient culture of the Biblical world. The class is led by The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Soltys, Priest-in-Charge at Good Shepherd, Norfolk. You must register to receive the Zoom link. Please send an email to office@goodshepherdnorfolk.org to sign up. The class will be a mixed lecture and discussion format.

Companion Café: Sustenance for the Journey - Starting mid to late February, groups meet for 6 one-hour sessions with small group leader. Are you feeling weary? Would you like companions on the journey during this time of social isolation? Companion Café provides an opportunity for connection with others in a similar ministry context through guided conversation in small groups facilitated by spiritual directors/retreat leaders. This is an opportunity to engage with like-hearted people for fellowship, encouragement, and support in this time of pandemic separation. During the registration process you will be asked questions to best place you into a group. Groups will be formed on an ongoing basis and will begin meeting in mid to late February 2021.

Designing Dynamic Liturgies: A Ten Week Course for Clergy and Musicians, taught by the Rev. Shawn Strout and Ellen Johnston - Beginning February 16, Tuesday evening class at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Are you a musician who is working in the Episcopal Church for the first time? Are you a vocational deacon who desires to know more about the Church’s liturgy? Have you been working in the Episcopal Church for some time but want a refresher course? Or are you just curious about how liturgies are put together? Offered through the Stevenson School for Ministry in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, this course will explore principles and best practices for designing dynamic liturgies. Special attention will be paid to smaller-resourced parishes. Also to be discussed: the liturgical and musical challenges presented by COVID-19. Find more information here.

Using Saints and Holy Days to Teach the Faith at Home - February 18, 3:00-4:00 p.m. via Zoom. What if we talked about saints and holy days in our homes with our families and friends instead of only in the church building? Panelists Allison Liles and Miriam McKenney will be in conversation with host Sarah Bentley Allred about exactly that. They will share methods and concrete ideas with participants.

Mission Possible: Finding Your Congregation’s WHY - Saturday, February 20, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. via Zoom. At the core of what we do as a church is why we do it. Yes, it should all be centered on God, but how each congregation lives into that centeredness has to do with our stories. Stories as a people of God and stories as a congregation serving our community. This workshop offered by Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary is a step-by-step guide to help your congregation find that mission clarity. It will involve examples, exercises, and action steps to help you reach the point where you gain clarity and make your mission possible! A month after the workshop, we will have a check in point where you can talk with the presenters about your work and how to move it forward. Registration is by congregation and is limited to 15 churches. A minimum of 2 and maximum of 8 church leaders from each congregation are welcome to participate. The registration fee is per congregation

129th Annual Council - February 22-27, 2021 VIRTUALLY. Click here for information.

Connecting with Jesus Across Time and Culture - Let’s be honest. Sometimes we all have those “the Bible is so weird” moments when we are reading or hearing Scripture from our contemporary, Western perspective. This Lent you are invited to join a Zoom class on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m., beginning February 22 and continuing through March 22 to explore some of the ways we misunderstand or don’t understand the ancient culture of the Biblical world. The class is led by The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Soltys, Priest-in-Charge at Good Shepherd, Norfolk. You must register to receive the Zoom link. Please send an email to office@goodshepherdnorfolk.org to sign up. The class will be a mixed lecture and discussion format.

Writing as a Spiritual Practice - Thursday evenings, February 25 through March 25, 7 to 8 p.m. via Zoom. What would it be like to write just for you and God? Deepen your awareness of the holy in everyday life and explore new ways that writing can enhance the life of the spirit. Through weekly prompts, workshops and invitations to write both in and outside of class, participants will be invited to explore ways that words can become a way into contemplative prayer – the way of prayer that makes us open and available to God’s love and work in our lives. Sample topics: Writing in Places; People and Encounters; Writing in Nature; White Spaces and Silence. Kathy Staudt, Adjunct Professor in Theological Studies at VTS, leads this five-week course.

Lectio in Lent - The Community of the Gospel (CG), an ecumenical non-residential monastic community with standing in The Episcopal Church announces Lectio in Lent. Using the ancient monastic method of praying the Scriptures, participants will deepen their paschal journeys by focusing on several texts traditionally associated with Lent. The facilitator will be Br. John Charles Westaway, CG, Deputy Guardian of the CG and long-time member of St. Paul in the Desert Episcopal Church, Palm Springs, CA. Br. John Charles is the Chaplain of the Daughters of the King, active in hunger ministries, and involved in diocesan activities. The Community of the Gospel invites all to join in Lectio in Lent beginning Feb. 27 at noon. The event is free of charge. Zoom invites will be issued to those who sign up ahead of time at the Doodle Poll here. For more info contact Br. Daniel-Chad Hoffman at danhoffma@gmail.com. See more here.

Creating Church Community Among Generations During and After COVID Restrictions - Due to the interest in the GenOn Round Table in January, they are repeating the opportunity to gather with other church leaders via Zoom to discuss and share ways we have and can create community among generations in pandemic times (and times to follow). There is no charge for this online gathering on Monday, February 22, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Click here to register in advance to receive Zoom access information.

Getting Started with Messy Church - Messy Church USA in cooperation with the Diocese of Southern Virginia is offering an online “Getting Started With Messy Church” event on March 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The training session will highlight best practices to use in starting a Messy Church program. Diocese of Southern Virginia participants are eligible to receive a discount code.  Contact Lynn Farlin at lfarlin@diosova.org or 757-213-3377 to obtain the discount code before registering. Each participating church will receive one PDF issue of the magazine Get Messy.  The cost to attend (prior to discount code) is: Individual $45, Groups of 2-4 $130, 5th person and over—additional $ 10 per person. Click here to register for the event.
The Diocesan eNews is distributed weekly by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.
Contact Ann Turner, aturner@diosova.org or 757-213-3388

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