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Building connections between Boys Home and the Church
Vol. 4, Issue 6 — July 2018

 Boys Home Riding Ring Dedication
Pastor Anne Grizzle
"All creatures of our God and king, lift up your voice and let us sing, O praise Him, Alleluia," rang out from a crowd assembled for the dedication of the new riding ring at Boys Home on June 13. Visitors, staff, and students sat on new bleachers constructed by a mission group from Trinity Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. Students leading and riding horses stood inside the riding ring, while Chaplain Anne Grizzle, wearing a cowboy hat and boots, led a service of thanks and blessing. 
Executive Director Donnie Wheatley thanked the many contributors who have donated funds for the ring, and Bonnie Wheatley spoke of the equine program that has worked with over 20 students this spring. Diego Jones and Audrey Mosby alternately read Psalm 32 from horseback. Audrey, who is an accomplished rider, is the daughter of the new Development Director Justin Mosby. Pastor Anne reflected on the role of the ring as a place of relationship building, leadership, learning, and joy. When Pastor Anne asked the students what they learned this past semester, many examples included, "to stay calm, respect all living things, and trust your horse." Linda Angle, house parent and assistant riding instructor, led everyone in the Cowboy Prayer. "God bless our horse and keep us safe. I ask this in the name of He who was born in a stable. Amen."
Bundles of grasses with wildflowers were distributed to individuals wishing to bless the ring. Dipping the bundles in buckets of blessed water, they sprinkled them throughout the ring. 
The service was concluded with a rendition of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," including verses relating to horses and riders. 
A celebratory dinner followed and included a memorized rendition of a horse poem called "Sissy Britches," given by guest Susan Richardson.
The riding ring was installed to ensure the safety of all who participate in the equine program, allowing the program to expand to any student who is interested. While some of the funds needs have been donated, additional contributions are needed to fully fund the project. Boys Home has created a thermometer hanging in the dining hall in order to track money raised for the riding ring. Consider joining in the learning and fun by donating! 
Student holds a bundle of grass and wildflowers
while blessing the ring
Riding ring during dedication

Summer Mission Groups
Boys Home is so blessed to have so many wonderful churches willing to help us in such a big way! Thank you to Trinity Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia,
St. Michael and All Angels' Episcopal Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia.
Each of these groups spent about a week with us and worked incredibly hard on very hot days! Trinity Episcopal Church from Portsmouth, Virginia worked diligently to replace front wood panels and insulate the entrance barn. They also installed kick boards in the run-in sheds at the pond and corral barn for the horses. They installed new bench seats on the bleachers by the riding area and began construction of a greenhouse by the garden area! To relax after their hard work, the group enjoyed an afternoon four-wheeler ride up the mountain behind Boys Home.
St. Michael and All Angels' Episcopal Church from Columbia, South Carolina, spent many hours painting the run-in shed and barn near the riding ring, as well as clearing grass from our pond. After all that work, the group found time to enjoy a day of kayaking and caving in the beautiful Alleghany Highlands! 
With the threat of rain, St. Martin's Episcopal Church from Richmond, Virginia helped input the codes to help us raise funds from Coke reward caps. Many thanks for all their help with this tedious and time consuming task! They worked hard to sweep and clean up the gym and clear out the recreation room. They made the trip to the top of the mountain at Boys Home, where they painted the lodge inside and out and began constructing a wood shed. After many hours of work, they visited Douthat State Park to unwind.
Thank you again to these generous groups for all their blessings given to Boys Home!
 Trinity Episcopal Church of Portsmouth, Virginia
with Donnie Wheatley
St. Michael and All Angels' Episcopal Church of
Columbia, South Carolina with Boys Home students 
Members of St. Martin's Episcopal Church of Richmond, Virginia
inputting Coke Rewards

Special Guests Mr. and Mrs. Darif Visit Boys Home
Pictured left to right: Events Coordinator Colleen Urffer, Dino Darif, Martha Darif, Communications Coordinator Lauren Hanna 
Dino and Martha Darif made the five-hour drive to Boys Home from Chantilly, Virginia, one afternoon last June. Martha learned of Boys Home through her church, St. James Episcopal in Leesburg. Boys Home piqued her interest, and she began researching the Boys Home website.
Martha and Dino have two teenage boys and they wanted to donate items they can no longer wear. They graciously gave a variety of clothing items, organized and labeled in totes! 
The Development Department had lunch with the Darif's and then accompanied them on a tour. We were so happy to spend the afternoon with them and to share what we do on "the hill."

How Can I Help?
If your congregation would like a visit from Boys Home, please contact Lauren at and we will work to set it up. We look forward to visiting as many parishes as possible to share the Boys Home story.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

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Address postal inquiries to:
Boys Home Incorporated
414 Boys Home Road
Covington, VA 24426