In January 2012, the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston announced plans for Dayspring, a comprehensive, diocesan-wide initiative involving many leaders in our community as we respond to the January 10 opinion returning Episcopal properties to the Diocese. “I want to have a witness to the world, particularly the Anglican world, not just an ‘outcome’ in the court,” said Johnston. “In my view, the Diocese of Virginia is best positioned of all Episcopal dioceses to make such an epoch-shaping witness.” Henry Burt, secretary of the Diocese, also addressed the subject in his report to Council. “The question will be – always – how can the mission of this diocese and its people best be served by a building, a house, a piece of land or a fund?” said Burt. “Every layer of this diocese will and must have input into this effort.” Read on to learn more about the new day that's dawning in the Diocese of Virginia.
Dayspring is the integrated effort to discern and implement vision and strategy in response to the return of Episcopal properties to the mission of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia. It is an opportunity for the entire Diocese to join together in discerning the work of the Holy Spirit as we examine how to best use our resources for the ministry of the Church. Key to this endeavor, Bishop Johnston has explained, will be open hearts, open minds, patience, constant prayer and a spirit of graciousness.
As properties return to the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia and congregations return to their church homes, there is need to step back and take careful consideration of the options and possibilities that lie before us. Those involved in Dayspring will closely examine the many moving parts of the puzzle to discern the best way forward.
The Dayspring teams have already begun their work and met with the Episcopal congregations. Some work will be completed very quickly. In some circumstances, the work will take months and years. The structure of Dayspring is a flexible one to allow room for growth and change as we discern the road ahead.