Guide Us Waking, O Lord…

Because ministry is never 9-5

Diocese of Virginia & Liverpool Pilgrimages 2017 October 20, 2016

Greetings Youth Leaders!


I hope this message finds you well and you’re having a great week. I wanted to pass on this information about a really exciting opportunity for youth to go abroad and visit our friends in the Diocese in Liverpool, England. Here’s the information straight from the leadership, Rock Higgins, and a link to fill out a form to learn more. Check it out and be sure to pass it on. See you at Sr. High in a few weeks!

Dear rising 8th-11th graders and Families,
The Diocese of Virginia is seeking a team of pilgrims and chaperones to go to visit our partner Diocese in Liverpool, England next summer, and a few weeks later they will visit us. We are looking at the two trips happening between late July and mid-August of 2017. We will go there first, then host here. We hope to have a representative team from several parishes in Greater Richmond, with a chaperone from each represented parish if at all possible.

The purpose of the pilgrimage is to explore the history of the historic slave triangle and look to a future in hope and reconciliation. Richmond, Liverpool, and the Republic of Benin all share an identical statue, the Slavery Reconciliation Statue. We will visit 2 of these. This will only be one part of the many stories and aspects we will explore in our mutual pilgrimages.

We invite families who are interested to apply. The cost of the 2 parts of the trip per person is estimated to be between $3500 and 4000. We will be doing fundraisers and defraying the cost as much as we can, but need to be realistic of expectations from the outset. Once accepted as a Pilgrim, a deposit and a contract for the remaining cost will be due.

We will have informational meetings as soon as our team is formed, answering as many questions as we can. If you have need of information sooner, please contact the Reverend Rock Higgins at or 804-306-2112.

So, if intrigued or interested, talk with your youth leader at your parish, pray, and consider applying. We hope to have our team formed as soon as possible. We will have a rolling application process, so if you really want to be a pilgrim please apply quickly.


The Reverend Rock Higgins,
for the Dioceses of Virginia & Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage 2017


PYM Sr. High Weekend @ Shrine Mont (Nov 4th – 6th) October 13, 2016

Filed under: Forms,fun stuff!,PYM,upcoming opportunities — mwade91383 @ 1:03 pm

Greetings Youth Leaders!


I hope this message finds you well and you’re enjoying the beginning of what’s been a beautiful fall season. Today I want to share with you some resources for our PYM Sr. High Weekend which is a little less than 4 weeks away (November 4th-6th @ Shrine Mont). The committee has been very active planning and getting organized for our first retreat and we’re really excited about everything lined up including our keynote speaker this year, Brad Grinnen! Brad is no stranger to our Diocese and served our camps as chaplain as well as keynoting Sr. High Weekend in 2011. We’re very excited to have him back again!


The weekend promises to be a big success and we hope you can bring a group from your church, and to help with that recruiting effort we have some resources to share:


-The first resource is the registration packet itself HERE. Please note that pages 3 and 4 are information about the weekend and can be helpful for explaining what exactly the weekend might look and feel like.


-You can also go to our blog’s “PYM 101” page for more information about PYM and our weekends.


-The committee also created two colorful flyers (flyer_1 and flyer_2) that would be perfect for a bulletin board in your parishes or however you see fit.


Registration is NOW OPEN and we’ve already had a few groups sign up. Registration is $150 per participant and that’s all inclusive (room, board, programming). We do have some scholarship money available if needed, please inquire with me directly. Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do. Thank you again so much for all your support, see you all at Shrine Mont in a few weeks!


PYM Fall Youth Day of Service (This Saturday, 10/1 @ Sprout Center) CANCELLED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER FORECASTS September 29, 2016

Filed under: PYM — mwade91383 @ 2:56 pm

Greetings Youth Leaders,


Unfortunately, due to the rain we have to cancel and reschedule PYM Fall Youth Day of Service. Our project this Saturday was supposed to be outdoors and they don’t have the space to host our large group  (over 100 total!) in their very limited indoor space. I spoke with their leadership and they’re obviously really disappointed but unfortunately there aren’t variable alternatives at this time and on such short notice. We’ll reschedule with Sprout Center for later in the year (mid to late October 2017, TBD exactly) so we’re beyond the hurricane/rain season and this is less likely to happen again.


I’m really disappointed it came to this but am very excited by the large amount of support and participants we had sign up. A very good sign of things to come here in the Diocese of Virginia in the world of youth ministry!


Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything else I can do. Have a good weekend and stay safe.


Fall Youth Day of Service Reminder & Waiver (please sign and bring with you!) September 21, 2016

Filed under: Forms,fun stuff!,PYM — mwade91383 @ 1:33 pm

Greetings Youth Leaders!


I have two quick announcements today that I want to pass on. First, a reminder that Fall Youth Day of Service is a week from Saturday and we hope you can make it. Click here for more information. If you’re planning on attending please be sure to RSVP to me directly ( about who’s coming and how many so I can notify the Sprout Center and make sure we have enough lunch. You can bring the forms with you on Saturday.


Speaking of forms, there is one more waiver that each participant needs to fill out which you can access here. I’m sorry I didn’t get this to you sooner. It recently came to my attention we had one more hoop to jump through, I do apologize. I’ll have extra copies with me on Saturday just in case.


Thanks again, hope everyone’s fall program is off to a wonderful start. Have a great week and see you next Saturday!


PYM Fall Youth Day of Service (October 1st @ Sprout Center in Aldie, VA) September 14, 2016

Filed under: Forms,fun stuff!,PYM,upcoming opportunities — mwade91383 @ 11:21 am

Greetings Youth Leaders!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and are as excited about the fall as I am. In my experience, school starting back up always seems to bring lots of fresh energy and enthusiasm and that very much carries over to youth ministry. It’s an exciting time for sure and that’s why I want to use this chance to talk about our first PYM event of the year, PYM Fall Youth Day of Service! Some of you might remember that this is the event last year we tried to make happen but due to weather were forced to cancel. Let’s hope for sunshine this time around!

PYM Fall Youth Day of Service is a one day program for 6th through 12th grade youth which focuses on giving back to the community and doing work for others. This year we will be visiting The Sprout Therapeutic Riding and Education Center in Aldie, VA. The Sprout Center is a mission based non-profit organization that provides therapeutic riding and other equine activities to individuals who might not have such opportunities. Check out their website to learn more at! The Sprout Center is located at 40685 John Mosby Hwy Aldie, VA 20105. You can also reach them at (571) 367 – 4555.

The event will start at 10:00 AM and will run until 2:00 PM, rain or shine! Our day will include a welcome, orientation/tour of the center, our service work, pizza lunch (FREE!), and a closing. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes, pants, and some gloves to work in. Clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty would be ideal. They’ve also asked if anyone can bring the following items for the work that would be helpful: Scrub brushes, shovels, and hammers. They’re also looking for consumables to be donated if you have extra: Pine sol, Murphy’s Oil, Windex, Paper towels, Trash bags, and lawn bags.

Here is the flyer and registration form for the event. To register simply fill one out for each participant (both youth and adult) and send back to the Christian Formation Office. If getting forms together is problematic, simply RSVP to me directly with your head- count and bring your forms with you on the 1st. That way both we and the Sprout Center are prepared!

Feel free to pass it on to anyone you think might be interested, the more the merrier! Registration is open now and closes at 5:00 PM on Friday, September 30. Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do. Thanks again, see you all at the Sprout Center!

P.S. There’s still time and space to sign up for Faith Formation Leaders Retreat at the Clagget Center September 28-30. Here is the flyer for more information. Let me know if you’re interested!


Faith Formation Leaders Retreat @ Claggett Center (Sept. 28th – 30th) August 8, 2016

Filed under: fun stuff!,Resources,upcoming opportunities — mwade91383 @ 8:48 am



I hope this message finds you all well. It’s been some time since we touched base and I hope you all have had wonderful summers so far. I realize we’re still in the heat of it (both literally and figuratively), but fall is right around the corner and it’s time to slowly start shifting gears. As you know, school will be back in session soon and everyone’s programming really starts to pick up steam, including ours, so you can expect to hear more from this office in the coming weeks.


In anticipation of the new school/programming year, I want to put something on your calendar that’s new and that I’m really excited about. The Diocese of Virginia and The Diocese of Washington are collaborating to provide a new retreat for leaders of formation in our dioceses. The event promises to be a chance for us to come together to learn and pray about the work we do and help us all discover ways to get better. There will be a series of workshops and large group sessions on important topics such as Inter-generational Worship, Sexuality in 2016, Small Groups/Discipleship, and Church partnerships with Public Education.


If you click here you can access the flyer which I encourage you to check out and pass on to whoever you think might be interested. It’ll provide more details about the retreat itself, registration, the schedule, costs, etc. This is a partnership we hope to continue for some time to help provide more opportunities for growth and development in our work, as well as the chance for fellowship among colleagues.


Paris and I really hope many of you can join us and look forward to spending time with all of you. Be sure to check out the flyer to register and pass it on to anyone you think will be interested. Have a great weekend and everyone stay cool!


Camp Nurses Needed! & The New Youth Leader Facebook Group May 11, 2016

Filed under: fun stuff!,General,PYM,Resources,Shrine Mont Camps,Support,Tips and Tools — mwade91383 @ 9:05 am

Greetings Youth Leaders!


I hope this message finds you well and you’re as excited as I am about PYM 8th Grade Weekend on Friday! I hope many of you are there for our grand finale of the school year. But that’s not what today is about, I have two other brief announcements to share:


#1 – Shrine Mont Camps need nurses this summer! We are having a little trouble filling our last few spots. Here is a blurb and a flyer from Paris Ball, Director of Shrine Mont Camps, Paris Ball:


Shrine Mont Camps is a residential summer camp program in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Located 45 minutes outside of Harrisonburg, the camp program consists of 8 different camps for children aged 8-18 and one camp for families to attend together. We are seeking dedicated, loving and responsible people to work 1-2 week sessions at our overnight camping program as camp nurses. Camp nurses live in the Health Center and attend to sick or injured campers, distribute medications, provide basic first aid, maintain appropriate reporting and logs, and are an essential part of the decision-making team when responding to emergencies.


The work is alternatively peaceful and fast-paced depending on the day so flexibility and the ability to be both calm under pressure and comfortable with “downtime” is required. Pay is $100/day plus room and board for you and a spouse/partner (when applicable). We are looking for RN or LPN with a Virginia State License (or compact license) in good standing. The right candidate loves and has experience working with children and youth and is excited to join a team of zany and caring counselors and staff. Hiring is dependent on passing State and Federal Background checks. For more information or to apply, check out the camps’ website or contact Paris Ball.


#2 – I have started a new Facebook group called ‘Diocese of Virginia Youth Leaders’ and I’d like to invite anyone reading this to join. This is a Facebook group dedicated to both clergy and lay people who work full time, part time, or volunteer with 6-12 grade youth here in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Our hope is that this can be a forum exclusively for adults (no youth) to share resources, ideas, seek out advice, and collaborate on all things youth leadership. Once you’ve been added (one of the admins will approve you) please feel free to add other youth people from here in VA. You can find it here.


That’s all for now everyone. Thanks for your continual support and if there’s anything I can do to be supportive let me know. See you all Friday!


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