Here you'll find stories and reflections about Bishop Skirving's visits to congregations around the diocese this Fall, in order of recency.
March 19, 2022: St. Thomas, Ahoskie
March 19, 2023: St. Thomas, Ahoskie Visit
Happy to have worshipped with the good people of St. Thomas Ahoskie on this 4th Sunday in Lent. Acolytes Millie and Gates were delightful! And I heard lots about the various ways that members of the church are involved in feeding members of their community, including through this Blessing Box. Now, if only we could introduce them to the next priest whom God is calling to be with them ….
March 5, 2023: Holy Innocents, Seven Springs
March 5, 2023: Holy Innocents, Seven Springs Visit
Great thanks to the photographers from Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Seven Springs NC for capturing so many images from today's worship and meal (You can click through the slideshow above). It's always a joy to be with these faithful folks, some of whom come to church in three and four generation family groups! So many of them expressed their gratitude to have the Rev. Whit Stroud serving as their priest, and for their new relationship with the people of St. Francis Church in Goldsboro.
As preacher, I brought together the images from our readings from Genesis and John's Gospel. When God told Abram to "go" we hear that Abram "went." We're not sure if Nicodemus eventually responded the same way, accepting the invitation of Jesus to "see" and "enter" the kingdom of God. May God's Holy Spirit move each of us to be born again...and again and again!
February 26, 2023: St. Luke's, Currituck
A few years ago (pre-COVID!), the people of St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Currituck County, NC worked hard to create stained glass windows for their worship space, as part of an effort to transform the former restaurant more fully into their idea of "church." This cross, given to me today during my visit with them, was made from the same glass as their windows. This thoughtful gift will be occupying a place of honor in one of my offices!
After worship this morning, we shared a tasty meal and some good conversation about the ways in which God is calling them to be church and to serve in their fast-changing community. Always too long between visits!
February 19, 2023: Absalom Jones Service at St. Andrew's, Goldsboro
To see the Absalom Jones Celebration service, click here.
February 12, 2023: Christ Church, Elizabeth City
Glorious music this morning at Christ Episcopal Church - Elizabeth City …led by a fifteen voice choir that was supported by organ, piano, violin, viola and cello. Good job, Jason Evans! What a joy! Good to be together with these folks for worship, with a good number of adults confirmed and received and with one who reaffirmed her baptismal vows. I enjoyed time with the Vestry, responding to their questions and learning a little more about the challenges and opportunities that they face in the life and ministry of their congregation. It's always good to be with their rector, Daniel Cenci and his wife Jessica. Also good to be with the Rev. Anne Dale for the first time since she has joined Daniel as an assisting priest at Christ Church. Really glad to have Sandy with me for the early morning drive in the rain, and for the ride home afterward!
February 5, 2023: St. James, Belhaven
February 5, 2023: St. James, Belhaven Visit
There was a real sense of God's Holy Spirit moving in the midst of those gathering this morning at St James Episcopal Church in Belhaven! We had a happy time, with three confirmed in their faith and one received into The Episcopal Church. I'll let the pictures tell the story!
One of the ways this congregation is serving the rest of the Diocese is by making their recently renovated rectory available to Tommy Drake, as he continues his formation toward ordination and leads East Carolina's inventory of the leadership needs of our smaller congregations! Great to partner with the people of St. James in this work!
January 29, 2023: St. John's, Wilmington
January 29, 2023: St. John's, Wilmington Visit
Lots of excitement and energy at St John's Episcopal Church in Wilmington today! After a quieter service at 8:30am, including one confirmation, Sandy and I gathered for coffee, breakfast goodies, cake and lots of conversation in Elebash Hall with folks staying after the early service and arriving for worship at 10am. The pictures tell a little bit of the story of the second worship gathering, with warm hospitality, great music, 35 members being confirmed, received and reaffirming their baptismal vows, and lots and lots of children!
Always good to be with the Rev. Eric Moulton and the people of this growing congregation. It really seems as if God's Holy Spirit is moving powerfully in the midst of this community of faith.
With my preaching today, I brought together the readings from Micah and Matthew, using in part the words of a meditation by Becca Stevens in which she suggests we ought to "preach what we practice" rather than the other way around.
January 22, 2023: St. Francis, Goldsboro
January 22, 2023: St. Francis, Goldsboro Visit
Jesus ~ "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." This was one of the key verses of today's gospel reading, and an inspiration for the altar frontal at St Francis Church, Goldsboro Nc. This visit was rescheduled from a Sunday in June that would have been one of the first Sundays for their new priest, Whit Stroud, to be with them. Now he's a veteran! The warm welcome extended to me was also offered to a group from Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church, Goldsboro, who came to support one of their members who was to be confirmed. After worship, we enjoyed a great brunch and a time of questions and answers.
It was great to be with the people of St. Francis for the first time post-COVID, and for the first time since they entered into a priest-sharing partnership with the people of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Seven Springs. God continues to be at work in our midst, bringing new life!
January 15, 2023: St. Timothy's, Greenville
“Come and see.” These words from this morning’s gospel reading express an invitation by Jesus to two of the followers of John the Baptist. Only three words, but lots to think about as congregations consider their life and witness. Today I was with the people of St Timothy's Church in Greenville for the first time since before COVID. Here’s a picture of two of the five buildings on their campus, a sharp contrast between the new worship space on the left and the older chapel on the right.
January 8, 2023: St. Mary's, Gatesville
Between worship and lunch today, the people of St. Mary’s Church in Gatesville posed for a picture with me. Behind us you can see a banner promoting their “Open Wide Outreach Ministry.” With the support of other churches in the county, they gather food to load into backpacks for about 75 elementary school and 20 middle school students to take home on Fridays and eat on the weekends. Truly a powerful ministry in Gates County, stronger because of its ecumenical nature!
Always good to be with these faithful folks! And grateful to share with the Rev. Jeff Douglas in the leadership of worship today. In his “retirement” Jeff provides this congregation with priestly support!
Please submit your past-due reports ASAP! If you have questions, reach out to Litisha or LaTonya. 2023 Due Dates for Canonically-Required Reports and the 2023 Parish Contact Form and 2023 Audit Criteria Request Form are now available in our Resources. You can also find them here: