Who Should I Call?
Have questions about the Diocese, our ministries or our congregations? Call 800-DIOCESE to speak to staff in the following departments.
Development & Stewardship / Christian Formation / Communications
The bishop provides ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese. (Learn more about our bishops.)
The office of the Secretary handles a variety of governance and management issues in the Diocese of Virginia. This includes knowledge of the Constitution & Canons of the Episcopal Church and Diocese and include staff support to the Standing Committee and the Executive Board. The planning for every Annual Council also occurs in this office. The Secretary’s office is also involved with legal and property matters in the Diocese. The Secretary of the Diocese has traditionally served as the Chief of Staff at the Mayo Memorial Church House, overseeing staff issues and hiring. The Secretary also serves as one of the bishop’s senior advisors, along with the Canon to the Ordinary and the Treasurer, on a wide range of matters.
Office of the Treasurer
The Office of the Treasurer handles “the business” of the Diocese in overseeing the collection, disbursement and management of the funds of the Diocese and several of the related organizations.
This office manages and implements the process of financial planning and budget preparation for the Diocese and long-range planning of diocesan finances related to diocesan properties, and assists the Standing Committee with canonical matters. With the administration of the insurance programs of the diocese (Health, Dental, Life, Long-term Disability) handled through this office, as well as being the primary conduit to the Church Pension Group and all related provisions of CPG, this office is central to diocesan and parochial personnel management of staffing and compensation. Financial staff assist churches with accounting practices, understanding payroll, clergy taxation, church management software, parochial reports, parish audits, employment practices, and property and casualty insurance. The diocesan Risk Manager works through this office and can assist churches in gaining a better understanding of their insurance coverage and how best to maintain elements of the church property.
Finance office staff plan a popular annual Treasurers and Business Managers Conference, typically held in autumn.
In addition to the core diocesan financial functions, oversight of global auditing processes and key financial management are maintained for the Diocesan Missionary Society (loans), Shrine Mont, Trustees of the Funds (investments) and Roslyn.
Office of Episcopal Ministries
The Office of Episcopal Ministries includes the Canon to the Ordinary and the Transition Ministry Officer.
An Ordinary, from the Latin meaning an overseer who keeps order, is the Diocesan Bishop. A Canon, from the Latin meaning one who lives under a rule of life, is a person who serves on a Bishop’s staff. The Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Virginia is a senior priest who serves at the pleasure of the Bishop as his assistant and advisor to help diocesan affairs run smoothly. The Office of the Canon to the Ordinary oversees and administers a variety of canonical ministries (those defined by the canons or laws of the church) on the Bishop’s behalf. These areas of ministry are:
* Discernment of calls to lay, diaconal or priestly ministry
* The formation process for the ordination of deacons and priests
* Continuing formation for clergy
* Transition ministries for clergy seeking new positions and congregations seeking new clergy
* Prevention of sexual misconduct
* Response to incidents of misconduct
* Implementation of disciplinary canons
* Response to conflict in congregations
* Congregational development
The Transition Ministry Officer works with parishes in search of new clergy and clergy in search of new ministry, leading each through the transition process while offering support and guidance. The Transition Ministry Officer also maintains a list of open positions for clergy and lay people throughout the Diocese. This office oversees the Fresh Start Program, a ministry that seeks to promote healthy relationships among clergy, their congregations and their dioceses during times of transition.
Office of Christian Formation
The Office of Christian Formation helps Episcopalians in the Diocese of Virginia live into their baptismal covenants by offering program and formation opportunities.
Formerly the Program Office, the Office of Christian Formation works to strengthen programming while developing new opportunities for fellowship, worship, education and spiritual exploration. The Office aims to support a Diocese that is filled with healthy congregations that are able to equip and empower their parishioners of all ages in their journeys with Christ.
Their ministry areas include youth and young adult formation; Shrine Mont Camps; diocesan-wide workshops; retreats; and Christian education programs.
Paris Ball, Director of the Office of Christian Formation, x1042
Michael Wade, Assistant to the Director of the Office of Christian Formation, x1027
Meg Schwarz, Assistant to the Office of Christian Formation, x1041
Office of Mission & Outreach
The Office of Mission and Outreach works to coordinate, facilitate and strategically plan various aspects of mission and outreach ministries engaged in by diocesan parishes. Churches throughout the Diocese are involved in a variety of mission trips, both domestic and international, and others are seeking to begin or expand their mission efforts The Office of Mission and Outreach is available to help with those mission trips. We also maintain a database of mission opportunities and can provide assistance with mission funding.
Reaching out to neighbors in need through local outreach is an integral aspect of God’s calling to us. The Office works to encourage and network churches to increase these outreach efforts. The Office of Mission and Outreach also serves a coordinating role with various social ministries, including Race Relations, the Triangle of Hope, Refugee Resettlement, Prison Ministry and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.
Buck Blanchard, Director of the Office of Mission & Outreach, x1016
Mary Anne Bryant, Administrative Assistant for the Office of Mission & Outreach, x1017
Ashley Cameron, Intern to the Office of Mission & Outreach, x1019
Office of Development & Stewardship
The office of Development and Stewardship, in addition to raising annual operating funds and building an endowment for the ministries we share as a Diocese, serves as a stewardship resource for all of our congregations and related organizations. The focus of this office is on year-round stewardship programs which include annual giving, planned giving, time and talent giving, and preparations for capital giving, remembering always that stewardship is what we do with all we have all the time.
As Episcopalians, we do our work in community – in our churches, through our Diocese and as part of the Episcopal Church. It is in community we learn, give, and receive; it is in community that our faith will grow by leaps and bounds; and it is in community that we use our wealth, wisdom and work to build our ministries and to touch lives in our communities, across the nation, and around the world.
When we combine our money, time, and abilities, together we do great things with love and transformative impact. As we care for the gifts God has given each of us, we feed others as we feed ourselves. For information about what the Diocese offers your congregations and about good stewardship practices for your parishes and parishioners, please contact the office of Development and Stewardship.
Stephanie Gurnsey Higgins, Bishop's Assistant for Congregational Support, x1031
Office of Communications
The Office of Communications works to tell the story of the Diocese through various print and Web offerings. By sharing news from around the Diocese and across the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion, the Communications Office strives to keep the clergy and lay leaders of the Diocese informed, sharing stories of our various mission and ministries in action.
Publications coming out of the Office of Communications include the bimonthly Virginia Episcopalian newspaper and the weekly e-Communique electronic newsletter. This Office is also responsible for maintaining the diocesan Web site and the Journals of Annual Council.
This office is also available as a resource for congregations looking to improve their communications efforts and strategies.