Julie Simonton joined the bishop’s staff as officer for congregational development and stewardship in August 2013. Her role is to provide hands-on guidance and resources to congregations in all areas of congregational life, focusing especially on development, including robust stewardship, creative hospitality and spiritual health. Her profile includes creating comprehensive annual giving programs for churches and directing diocesan retreats, conferences, and programming for annual conventions.
Julie loves to be on the road presenting workshops at rural churches, around the Beltway, or at national conferences. She especially delights, though, in conversations over coffee, during vestry retreats, or out in any-given parking lot when the Holy Spirit begins to bubble and people authentically engage where Jesus is calling them to use the gifts that God gives us to do the work God calls us to do.
Before joining the Diocese of Virginia staff, she was lay associate minister for family ministries and parish life at Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Va. Julie has served on diocesan committees in Hawai`i, as adjunct instructor at VTS, on lay staff at Christ Church in Alexandria, Va, and in a variety of international education positions in Germany and Virginia.
She earned her BA in politics and modern languages from Converse College, her MA in German literature from the University of South Carolina, and her MTS from Virginia Theological Seminary. Her childhood in Georgia was infused with family travel adventures, and she has since lived in Kailua, Hawai`i, Bamberg, Germany and many points in between.