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Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia
11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101
Newport News, VA 23606-3071
757-423-8287 Main
800-582-8292 Toll Free
757-595-0783 Fax

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The diocesan offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for directions to the diocesan office.

Christian Formation

 

Christian Formation is a lifelong process the purpose of which is to support the people of God as they seek to live out the Baptismal Covenant and to express their unique calling as followers of Jesus Christ. One of the greatest challenges for the leadership of the Church is the empowerment of all Christians through both formal and informal learning opportunities and experiences. It is the responsibility of the leadership in each congregation to establish and to develop an environment which enables people to discover themselves as God’s people and to carry out the ministries to which they are called. It is through this vision and leadership that the whole congregation comes to feel its responsibility for community and total ministry within the life of the Church.

The office of the Canon for Formation can assist you with Christian Formation questions and program planning.

Formation Re-Gathering Guidelines

Many of us are desiring opportunities to connect with members of our congregations and worshipping communities and are wondering how we can engage in Christian Formation events safely. Here is information drafted by the Christian Formation Sub-Committee of the Diocesan Re-Gathering Panel on this topic. I would like to express my gratitude to Canon Lynn Farlin, Diocesan Canon for Formation, Vicky Koch of St. Paul's in Norfolk, and Jacqueline Beardsley of Christ & St. Luke's in Norfolk for their work in drafting these guidelines. Should you have any questions please contact Canon Farlin at the Diocesan Office. With every blessing, Bishop Susan

Colleague Groups

Would you be interested in forming a colleague group in your area of the Diocese? The Norfolk Formation Colleague Group has been a much-needed thing during this time. We are a group who supports one another 100% and shares our challenges and love of ministry. If you would be interested in forming a group, contact CE-Net Co-Chairs, Vicky Koch, vkoch@stpaulsnorfolk.org or Gizelle Moran, gizelle@trinity-portsmouth.org and we’ll help you get started.

CE-Net: Christian Educators Network

We are educators, laity and clergy, volunteer and professional, who work with Christian Formation in parishes around our diocese. CE-Net is committed to life-long, transformational Christian Education through leading, serving, pastoring and developing partnerships in the name of Christ. CE-Net meets five or six times a year for support and sharing. Upcoming gatherings are listed here

For more information on CE-Net contact:
Vicky Koch, vkoch@stpaulsnorfolk.org, 757-627-4353, ext. 23
Gizelle Moran, gizelle@trinity-portsmouth.org, 757-393-0431

Formation resources for online use

Creating Sacred Space at Home a video by Canon for Formation Lynn Farlin

Season of Creation - The Season of Creation, September 1st through October 4th, is celebrated by Christians around the world as a time for renewing, repairing and restoring our relationship to God, one another, and all of creation. It is an excellent opportunity to try out an outdoor formation event or outdoor worship service where safe, as a source of joy and connection with animals and with God's creation.

Virtual Vacation Bible School - Amazing Stories, Unexpected Storytellers, a virtual Vacation Bible School curriculum created by Southern Virginia's CE-Net (Christian Education Network), and other VBS resources for congregations and families.

Pentecost at Home - Looking for Pentecost at Home suggestions or resources to send to families? The Norfolk formation group recently met and suggested ideas for families to celebrate Pentecost during Covid 19 and who parenting, working and teaching from home. The resources list provides easily done at home ideas with whatever materials you have are on hand.

Youth Group at Home  Galilee, Virginia Beach, has put together some awesome youth group at home ideas for the whole family. For more information email Marty O'Rourke, marty@galileechurch.net.

Bruton Forum Lecture series with topics range from Scripture, and Science & Faith to the Doctrine of God

Introducing Matthew - A free course from ChurchNext and part of the Good Book Club. A live class beginning April 23.

A COVID-19 Spiritual Survival Kit - A free course from ChurchNext to help you tap into resources to help us deal with the pandemic in healthy ways. Course is available for individuals or for groups.

Faith@Home Daily Faith@Home is providing a new way to equip families and friend groups to participate in daily formation and discipleship practices at home. Each resource is designed to be experienced inter-generationally, and is provided via email. Click here for more information.

Illustrated Ministry Free weekly faith formation resources for all ages for use during this time of suspended services and programs

Prayer & Worship in Our Homes  a free course ChurchNext focusing on prayer, designed for those who might be seeking alternatives to group formation/worship as churches navigate Covid-19 (the coronavirus) in our communities. The course can be utilized either individually or via a zoom-style classroom.ChurchNext is offering two other free courses: Bridging the Political Divide with Parker Palmer and Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse, sponsored by the Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church.

The Work of the People - A spiritual visual library. They offer a number of FREE films for streaming and their videos can be streamed in Zoom gatherings (here's how to do that).

Rule of Life songs for children (videos) from Anne Zobel, Director of Christian Formation, and Rev. Robert Foxwell, Organist/Choirmaster, at All Saints, Virginia Beach. Click here for the lyrics to the songs so you can sing along.

The Salt Project has many formation resources, including a Holy Week Tenebrae devotional for use at home (there is a fee for these resources)

Our Diocese supports children and family formation including Christian eduction. Here are some resources that may help you with Sunday School and other Christian formation activities.
Online resources, as well as books and DVDs available from the Christian Formation office.
Safe Church training is grounded in our call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being.
Action alerts and other resources
A resource for exploring our history with racism in Southern Virginia.
Useful and effective stewardship resources for congregations.
Learn about spiritual direction and find spiritual directors serving clients in Southern Virginia
EfM
Education for Ministry is a course for lay persons - a source of education, theology, and individual development.
Cursillo is a movement within the Episcopal church to help us grow closer to Jesus Christ.
Ordination Exploration assists in discernment of a call to ordination.
Aging is the only way to live. But what are we doing about it in our Diocese?
Funds to assist lay leaders with education and skill development.
The Diocese of Southern Virginia is a welcoming sanctuary for all people who are struggling and/or healing from the effects of addictions.