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"The ecumenical task is to make the church in which we live more like the church that we confess."

Virginia Council of Churches

The Virginia Council of Churches is the oldest ecumenical body in the Commonwealth, representing thirty seven governing bodies of eighteen Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant denominations. As we work together as Christian communions, we build Christian Unity; as we work together with persons of other faiths, we build human community.


Ecumenical Symposium on Evangelism

Jon Barton - Friday, August 29, 2014

“Engage the Culture…Reach the Community
A Symposium on Evangelism: The Hope for Mission: Transformation”

Place:  Summerdean Church of the Brethren
               6604 Plantation Road, N.E.
               Roanoke, Va. 24019-4767

Date:   October 7th, 2014 – 10:00am to 3:00pm

Registration Fee:  $25 (including lunch)  Register Now

Presenting: E3 Ministry Group, LLC Lead Consultant Team & Coaches


John Neff
For more than 20 years John was the CEO of a successful contracting business, engaged in community leadership and extensive non-profit board experience. He has transitioned from the business and now devotes his gifts and energy to a calling to the pastoral ministry and revitalizing congregations. John has designed and developed the Discovering The Master’s PlanTM congregational revitalization process that engages a church in effective tools and exercises for impacting spiritual growth and vitality.
John is pastor of Lake Side Church of the Brethren, a new church plant in Moneta, VA, and is President of E³ Ministry Group, LLC.

Jeremy Ashworth
Jeremy is sought by many congregations and church leaders for his innovation and creativity in effecting a new paradigm in congregational life and vitality. He brings broad experience in embracing and engaging community, with pastoral and church experience in rural, suburban and urban settings. His passion and charisma has helped launch and facilitate congregational culture change through engaging, vibrant ministries with children, youth and young adults.
He currently serves as pastor of Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren in suburban Phoenix, AZ. He also serves as a writer, consultant and member of the Executive Advisory Team of the E³ Ministry Group, LLC.


Fred Bernhard
Having co-authored five books related to Church revitalization, Fred is a well-known speaker and facilitator of workshops on the topics of hospitality and faith-sharing for congregations around the United States. He brings 42 years of pastoral experience and was a past Annual Conference Moderator for his denomination.
Fred currently is employed part-time with Bethany Theological Seminary and serves on the Executive Advisory Team of the E³ Ministry Group, LLC.


10:00am – A Time of Worship – Leader TBD

10:30am – Introductions/Session 1 – Setting the Stage – John Neff

11:00am – Session 2 -  Babies, Bathwater, & Evangelism – Jeremy Ashworth & Fred
                      -Defining Relational Evangelism – Jeremy Ashworth
                      -Hospitality, Not Optional, Not Safe – Fred Bernhard

12:00pm – Lunch & Fellowship Time

12:45pm – Session 3 – Relationships are the New Nineveh
                      -Making Friends Builds Relationships – Jeremy Ashworth
                      -The Good News in Ordinary English – Fred Bernhard

1:45pm – Session 4  - Leadership, Language & Risk
                      -The Nail Salon Experience – Jeremy Ashworth
                      - Effective Motivational Strategies – Fred Bernhard
                      - Case Study: Body Camp Elementary – John Neff

2:45pm – Group Processing/Questions

3:00pm – Closing


Equiping the Church for the Silver Tsunami

Jon Barton - Sunday, July 27, 2014



Equipping Churches for Senior Ministry
In the Age of the Baby Boomer

September 23, 2014 9 am to 2 pm


Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center 2880 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060. Register Now for this one day workshop provides help to pastors and congregation in understanding and engaging in mission by preparing for the oncoming Silver Tsunami.


Rural Family Development to Administer Caroline County Head Start Program

Jon Barton - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

As of July 1, 2014 Rural Family Development (RFD) of the Virginia Council of Churches (VCC) became the replacement grantee for the Caroline County Head Start (CCHS) program.  For the past nine years the program was operated by Community Development Institute (CDI) out of Denver, CO.

RFD has been working in rural communities as the delegate agency of East Coast Migrant Head Start Project for providing Head Start for the children of migrant farmworkers. 

Ed Rossmoore, the Executive Director of RFD, announced the approval of Dorothy Billups to continue in her role as the Director of the CCHS program that provides pre-school programing for 95 three, four and five year olds.  80 children attend classes in the three elementary Caroline schools of: Lewis & Clark; Madison; and, the Old Bowling Green Elementary.  Fifteen 3/4 year olds are served through the home based option at their homes on a weekly basis.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Jon Barton - Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Church Unity Octave, a forerunner of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was developed by Father Paul Wattson, SA, at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, and was first observed at Graymoor from January 18-25, 1908. Today, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity invites the whole Christian community throughout the world to pray in communion with the prayer of Jesus “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).

In 1966, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Vatican Secretariat (now Council) for Promoting Christian Unity began collaborating as a common international text for worldwide usage. Since 1968 these international texts, which are based on themes proposed by ecumenical groups around the world, have been developed, adapted and published for use in the United States by the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute


End Solitary Confinement

Jon Barton - Tuesday, May 29, 2012
As an officer of the Council for the past two years, I have had the opportunity to be exposed to a number of different issues affecting our state. The most recent of them, is the issue surrounding the recent hunger strike protest put on by inmates at Red Onion supermax prison in Wise County, VA. Last Tuesday, about four dozen prisoners began protesting the use of solitary confinement and other egregious conditions in which they’ve endured while imprisoned in our state’s justice system. As of today, a week later, State officials are saying that the hunger strike has ended, but the question yet remains, “when will the torture stop?”