Resolutions

R-1a Combatting Wage Theft (Amended by Resolutions Committee)
R-2s Way of Light Liturgy (Amended by Resolutions Committee)
R-3 Family Leave for Church Employees
R-4 Call for Election of Additional Bishop Suffragan
R-5 Implementation of Title III, Canon 1
R-6a Improved Public Transportation in Central Virginia (Amended by Resolutions Committee)
R-7a Support for the 2015 Paris Climate Accord and Energy Efficiency Improvements (Amended by Resolutions Committee)
R-8a The Inclusion of Transgender Youth in our Churches, Schools, and Camps (Amended by Resolutions Committee)
R-9a Support for the Triangle of Hope (Amended by Resolutions Committee)
R-10a Support for Our Bishops' Statement on Charlottesville Violence (Amended by Resolutions Committee) 

 

This resolution is to be submitted on the floor of convention and will require a 2/3 majority vote to move forward and to be considered by the convention.
Diocese and Congregations Address the Drug Crisis in America

Courtesy Resolutions 

CR-1a The Reverend Linda Wofford Hawkins (Amended by Resolutions Committee)
CR-2 Courtesy Resolution for David W. Donaldson
CR-3a Charles 'Buck' Blanchard (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

R-1a Combatting Wage Theft (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Resolved, by the 223rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, recognizing that wage theft is repeatedly condemned by the Prophets and remains a serious modern problem victimizing the poor and particularly undocumented workers, so that wage theft in our time not only includes failure pay basic wages in full, but also that failure to pay overtime, agreed upon benefits, and employer shares of taxes; and be it further

Resolved, that the congregations, clergy, vestries and laity of this Diocese are urged to:

  • Pay their employees promptly, in full, according to the terms of their employment agreements and as if federal, state and local minimum wage, overtime and similar requirements applied;
  • Clearly and expressly recognize the valuable contributions made through volunteer labor in service to the church at all levels, in-kind contributions that few congregations and diocesan organizations could afford to pay for;
  • Require contractors working on church business and for us in our secular occupations to certify compliance with applicable federal Fair Labor Standards Act, state and local labor law requirements (including minimum wage, overtime pay, and benefit requirements) and to certify full and timely payment of employee wages, benefits, and tax withholding obligations;
  • Refuse to patronize vendors, establishments and contractors who decline to certify compliance or who are reliably reported to fail to pay their workers the full and timely wages and benefits owed;
  • Support additional appropriations at the local, state, and federal level to fund increased enforcement actions under existing law to combat the theft of wages by unscrupulous employers, as well as to support enactment of additional legal protections to assure workers are timely paid the full wages and benefits they are promised; and be it further

Resolved, That the Diocesan Chancellor, relying upon volunteer pro bono counsel, is requested to provide appropriate contract forms for use by congregations to seek appropriate certifications from their vendors and contractors.

Submitted by the Rev. Fletcher Lowe

Rationale

This rationale is taken from the original resolution and its “whereas” clauses with minor revisions as set forth below:

Whereas, the Bible commands employers to “pay [workers] their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it;” (Deuteronomy 24:15); and

Whereas the Bible also warns: “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages” (Jeremiah 22:13); and

Whereas, our Lord, Jesus Christ, preached compassion and commitment for the poor; and

Whereas, working people are entitled to all of the wages they have earned; and

Whereas, wage enforcement policies express the moral values of the public, including our valuation of honest work and honest pay; and

Whereas, the General Convention of The Episcopal Church has recognized the importance of wage enforcement policies, when it joined other faith groups in issuing a statement in 2009 to the U.S Congress saying, “As communities of faith, in devotion to our common religious traditions of justice and compassion, we are concerned that wage theft is harming the most vulnerable in our society, drawing working people deeper into poverty through dishonest employment practices that the Department of Labor has not been able to address adequately;” and

Whereas, some employers seek to minimize labor costs, by withholding wages from workers or committing payroll fraud; and

Whereas, wage theft occurs when workers are not paid all their wages, denied minimum wage or overtime pay they are due, or are not paid at all for the work they perform or their tips are stolen or they are called independent contractors when they are really employees; and

Whereas, wage theft is a common problem for many low-wage workers and some middle-income workers particularly in sectors like agriculture, landscaping, restaurants, retail, hotels, construction, car wash and janitorial/cleaning services; and

Whereas, Virginia has a crisis of wage theft, very weak laws protecting workers against wage theft and only a handful of state staff enforcing the wage theft laws.

R-2s Way of Light Liturgy (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Resolved, by the 223rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, that the following resolution be presented to the 79th General Convention:

Resolved, the House of ______________ concurring, That the 79th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to study the proposed “Way of Light Liturgy,” attached hereto, during the coming triennium and to make appropriate recommendations to the 80th General Convention for possible inclusion of such a liturgy, with any appropriate revisions, for use in The Episcopal Church and possible inclusion in the next revised edition of The Book of Occasional Services.

Submitted by the Clericus of Region VI of The Diocese of Virginia

Rationale

Notes from Resolutions Committee:  Based on reports from General Convention Deputies, including two who have served in the past on the Committee which has jurisdiction over the approval of new liturgies, it is believed unlikely that the Committee will approve ANY new liturgy, no matter how meritorious, without a careful and rigorous review, something that the compressed schedule of General Convention, and heavy workload make very unlikely to happen. Given this reality and the apparent absence of consultation with the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, the Committee recommends that this be put forward as a resolution requiring study by SCLM in the upcoming triennium so that the liturgy, with any appropriate revisions, can be presented for approval at the 2021 General Convention in Baltimore.  The Resolution Committee’s proposed substitute does so.

The rationale for the original resolution, together with a link to the liturgy referred to, is set forth below.

Whereas, in December, 2001, the Vatican officially endorsed the liturgy, “The Way of Light” (Via Lucis), which incorporates fourteen stations of post-resurrection appearances, culminating in the account of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost; and

Whereas, the said endorsement stated that “the Via Lucis . . . can effectively convey a living understanding to the faithful of the second moment of the Paschal event, namely the Lord's Resurrection” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 153); and

Whereas, no comparable liturgy of The Episcopal Church is or has been available for liturgical use by congregations in any of its official publications; and

Whereas, one of the clergy of Region VI in the Diocese of Virginia has crafted an Episcopal version of this liturgy, retaining the outline of the fourteen stations in the Roman Catholic edition, but exclusively incorporating collects and scriptural texts from The Book of Common Prayer and the NRSV translation of the Bible; and

Whereas, at the Bishop's Spring Conference for Lay Professionals, Clergy and Spouses in May of 2017, members of that Conference participated in a spiritually meaningful enactment of this liturgy; and

Whereas, the clergy of Region VI of this Diocese have reviewed and discussed this liturgy (available to view here or below), and in several instances made use of it within their congregations.

R-3 Family Leave for Church Employees

Resolved, by the 223rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia that the following resolution be presented to the 79th General Convention for consideration:

Family Leave Study and Possible Expansion by the Church Pension Group

Resolved, the House of _________ concurring, that the 79th General Convention urge the Church Pension Group, acting consistently with its fiduciary obligations and with applicable insurance law, to act through appropriate means, including possible provision of an additional benefit through the Denominational Health Plan, to expand the availability of paid family leave for clergy and lay employees.  The objective of such family leave benefit is to increase the paid time off available to new mothers for recovery from childbirth and for bonding with the newborn, and to provide for paid leave for covered members of a household to address the adoption of a child, for spousal leave when a new-born or newly adopted child is brought into a covered household, and for paid leave when a covered member of a household is obliged to care for a sick or dying child, parent, or other close relative by blood or marriage, and be it further,

Resolved, that the Church Pension Group report to the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church by January 1, 2020, the detailed results of its analysis, including any efforts it has made and any efforts it is planning to make in order to expand paid family leave provided through the Denominational Health Plan or other means; and be it further,

Resolved, the Church Pension Group shall make a follow-up detailed report to Executive Council about implementation of any such efforts by January 1, 2021.

Submitted by the Diocese of Virginia deputation to the 79th General Convention

Rationale 

Clergy and covered lay employees in The Episcopal Church have the same kinds of family obligations as people working in secular jobs. Unlike some large secular employers, which have generous paid family leave policies, many small churches are financially unable to provide for much or any paid family leave. The inability of many churches to provide such help is particularly an impediment to deploying able younger clergy and lay employees who face these family obligations and whose energy and vision are critical to growing the church and connecting with younger people. These issues are also generally an impediment to the movement of clergy, as the absence of such a safety net makes people more reluctant to move away from places able to provide such help, or where long relationships in a community may substitute for such church help.

Accordingly, to the extent permissible with sound financial planning and with the obligations of applicable insurance law, this resolution urges the Church Pension Group to analyze, and to the extent feasible, to expand the availability of such family leave.

The resolution specifically distinguishes the issue of leave for mothers who have delivered children, where current disability insurance products provide for some paid time off, and other issues such as spousal leave, leave to address adoption of a child, and family leave to address care of a sick or dying child, spouse, or other close relative.  In the latter cases, disability insurance does not ordinarily address the funding of paid time off, suggesting the need to explore other potential insurance programs to do so.  Finally, the resolution requests detailed reports on such expansion efforts, recognizing that there are complex legal, financial, and actuarial issues to address in any such expansion.

R-4 Call for Election of Additional Bishop Suffragan

Whereas, the Right Reverend Shannon Sherwood Johnston, Bishop of Virginia, has called for the election of an additional Bishop Suffragan; and

Whereas, Bishop Johnston has referred this call for an election of a Bishop Suffragan to the Standing Committee of the Diocese, which has concurred with the Bishop’s request; therefore be it

Resolved, that the 223rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, in response to the request of the Bishop of Virginia, hereby expresses its desire to carry out the request of the Bishop by the election of an additional Bishop Suffragan; and be it further

Resolved, that such election shall take place at the 224th Annual Convention to be held on November 1-3, 2018, at the Downtown Marriott Hotel, Richmond, Virginia, or at a regular or special diocesan convention as soon as possible thereafter, such schedule to be determined by the Bishop and the Standing Committee; and be it further

Resolved, that the Standing Committee proceed to obtain the consents of a majority of the Bishops having jurisdiction and of the several Standing Committees to the holding of such an election; and be it further

Resolved, that the Bishop in consultation with the Standing Committee appoint Nominating and Transition Committees for the election of an additional Bishop Suffragan of  the Diocese of Virginia; and be it further

Resolved, that the 223rd Annual Convention calls upon the Bishop and the Standing Committee to prescribe such rules and procedures as may be deemed necessary for the election of an additional Bishop Suffragan according to Canon III.11.1(a) of the Episcopal Church.

Submitted by the Rev. Jo Belser, President of the Standing Committee, on behalf of the members of the Standing Committee

Background

CANON 11: Of the Ordination of Bishops.  Sec. 1 (a) Discernment of vocation to be a Bishop occurs through a process of election in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Convention of the Diocese and pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of this Church. With respect to the election of a Bishop Suffragan, the Diocese shall establish a nominating process either by Canon or by the adoption of rules and procedure for the election of the Bishop Suffragan at a regular or special Diocesan Convention with sufficient time preceding the election of the Bishop Suffragan.

 R-5 – Implementation of Title III, CANON 1

Resolved, that this 223rd Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia approves the following resolution for submission to the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:

Resolved, the House of __________ concurring, that the 79th General Convention, in recognition of the Jesus Movement and the calling of all the baptized in their daily life and work, appoint a task force to study the implementation of

Title III, CANON 1: Of the Ministry of All Baptized Persons which reads:

Sec. 1. Each Diocese shall make provision for the affirmation and development of the ministry of all baptized persons, including: (a) Assistance in understanding that all baptized persons are called to minister in Christ's name, to identify their gifts with the help of the Church and to serve Christ's mission at all times and in all places. (b) Assistance in understanding that all baptized persons are called to sustain their ministries through commitment to life-long Christian formation; and be it further

Resolved that such task force be appointed by the Presiding Officers jointly and that a report be given to the 80th General Convention with its recommendations for the implementation of Canon III.1 in all parishes, dioceses, provinces, and the wider church, focusing on full engagement of all the Baptized in their ministries beyond Sunday in their daily life, work, and leisure.

Rationale

Canon 1II.1 has been underutilized.  For example, few dioceses have a Commission on Lay Ministry or its equivalent that focuses on empowering all the Baptized in their daily life. This resolution seeks to provide a remedy. The Canon calls on The Episcopal Church to “equip the saints for ministry” (Ephesians 4).  Adopted in 2003, it provides the skeleton that now needs to be enfleshed. In the Catechism under The Ministry (BCP 855) the first order of ministry is lay persons.  They represent the 99 % of The Episcopal Church. The Baptismal Covenant (BCP 304-5) is the “job description” for all the baptized in their respective orders.  This task force’s work is to recommend processes so that the church can affirm the calling of all the baptized, especially its lay persons, and empower them in all the areas of their ministry in work, home, community, and wider world as well as in the Church.

Submitted by: The Rev. Fletcher Lowe, The Rev. Deacon David Curtis, The Rev. Sue Eaves, The Rev. Canon Robert Hetherington, The Rev. Dr. Hilary Smith, and J.P. Causey Jr., Chancellor

R-6a Improved Public Transportation in Central Virginia (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Resolved, by the 223rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, that Convention recognizes that the absence of a public transportation system serving critical transportation arteries in suburban Richmond and central Virginia results from decisions in the 1960s and 1970s intended to perpetuate patterns of segregation, and that such decisions have had the demonstrable effect of limiting the educational and employment opportunities of Richmond residents, particularly the poorest residents and people of color, by cutting them off from most employers in the area and from community colleges; and be it further

Resolved, that Convention calls on the political and economic leaders of the Richmond area and of Central Virginia to unite quickly in order to start and carry forward the hard work needed to provide a first class public transportation system for the entire Richmond area and Central Virginia, as a tangible way to dismantle this pernicious legacy of segregation, a legacy currently harming thousands of people by making it much harder to obtain well-paying employment and training at community colleges; and be it further

Resolved, that a summary of the RVA Transit Vision Plan be circulated to all the congregations in Richmond and Central Virginia as one example of such a transportation plan; and be it further

Resolved, that Secretary shall forward this resolution to the Diocese of Southern Virginia and its Convention, as well as to leaders of all Christian judicatories in Central Richmond, and to leaders of other religious communities in this region; and be it further,

Resolved, that the Bishop be requested to convene a meeting of representatives of those religious bodies to seek common cause in this most fundamental establishment of communication through public transportation for all God’s people in RVA and Central Virginia.

Submitted by Ms. Susan Bland on behalf of Region IX and additional sponsors: The Rev. Abbott Bailey, the Rev. Molly Bosscher, the Rev. Ben Campbell, the Rev. Sue Eaves, the Rev. Carmen Germino, the Rev. Shirley Smith Graham, the Rev. April Greenwood, the Rev. Laura Inscoe, the Rev. Gary Jones, the Rev. Fletcher Lowe, the Rev. Claudia Merritt, the Rev. Bo Millner, the Rev. Penny Nash, the Rev. Bill Sachs, the Rev. Hilary Streever, the Rev. Amelie Wilmer, the Rev. Sarah-Scott Wingo.

Rationale

Note from the Resolutions Committee: The substitute presented seeks to state in the resolved clause language briefly explaining that the poor state of public transportation is actually a legacy of decisions intended to perpetuate segregation in fact if not in law, and that action is needed to eradicate this legacy of segregation and the continuing harm it is inflicting upon residents of the City of Richmond, where it has pronounced adverse effects upon people of color by depriving them of educational and employment opportunities by making it much more difficult for them to reach places of employment and training.

The whereas clauses of the original resolution are reproduced below for further background:

Whereas, metropolitan Richmond is a single economic entity comprising nine major political jurisdictions and more than one million people; and

Whereas, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has responsibility under God for envisioning health and justice for all of God’s people within this area; and

Whereas, nearly 300 clergy in metropolitan Richmond have stated their conviction that we should now step forward in solidarity, telling the world that we intend to be the Capital City of Reconciliation; and

Whereas, we believe that God wants our people to live in mutual prosperity, in constructive relationships, in educated diversity, in justice, and in hope for the future; and             

Whereas, the historic divisions established to maintain economic and racial segregation within metropolitan Richmond still operate decisively through the absence of full-service public transportation, making many jobs and community colleges inaccessible to many of our most needy citizens; and

Whereas, we know that Metropolitan Richmond is currently ranked in the bottom ten percent of American metro areas in public transportation, and can move to the top ten percent by building the four rapid transit lines, which have been identified by the Richmond Transit Vision Plan, Richmond Hill, the Metro Clergy for Rapid Transit, and RVA Rapid Transit.

R-7a  Support for the 2015 Paris Climate Accord and Energy Efficiency Improvements (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Resolved that the 223rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia support Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s admonition for the Episcopal Church to continue to uphold the Paris accord as a global effort by 195 nations, which have volunteered to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with their own national measures as part of the global effort.to address climate change. 

Resolved that the Convention in keeping with prior General Convention and our Annual Convention resolutions urge congregations and individuals in this Diocese to:

  1. Carefully study the theological, scientific, and policy issues around sea level rise, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and economic impacts of climate change, particularly as such developments are adversely affecting poor people and vulnerable communities in Virginia and among our mission partners.
  2. Participate as congregations, families, and individuals in regular emergency preparedness training and planning, including planning work with Episcopal Relief and Development, in order to reduce their vulnerability to weather-related crises such as hurricanes, flooding, drought, and wildfires,
  3. Increase the proportion of renewable-sourced electricity for heating and cooling such as solar and geothermal to the extent available and consistent with prudent financial stewardship,
  4. Improve the energy efficiency of buildings for which they are responsible, including steps to upgrade HVAC system efficiency and improve ventilation and insulation to the extent consistent with prudent financial stewardship.

Submitted by the Creation Care Task Force (formerly the Commission on the Stewardship of Creation)

Background

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry issued a statement on 1 June immediately following the White House announcement that the US intends to withdraw from the Paris accord by 2020.  He urged the Episcopal Church to join the “we’re still in” movement of states, cities, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and faith communities because, in his teaching, caring for God’s creation by engaging climate change is not only good for the environment but also good for the health and welfare of our people.  He drew upon precedence of General Convention’s adoption of the Genesis Covenant at the 76th General Convention in 2012 that accepted the challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide or methane) from General Convention facilities by 50 percent within 10 years. 

In addition, our Diocese adopted R 15 at its 220th Annual Council in 2015 of “Accepting the Duty of Care for God’s Creation.”  In late October 2017, Anglican Archbishops around the world signed an open letter to world leaders urging responsible climate action ahead of the next UN climate change conference opening on 6 November in Bonn, Germany.

The Task Force on Care of Creation believes it is important to keep a light shined on our duty of stewardship for God’s creation.  The current political context characterizes environmental care as a partisan issue, but Bishop Curry rightly points out that it is the reason God put us here in the first place.  This resolution aims to remind Christians to keep their eyes on their duty to care for creation in spite of changing political attitudes.

R-8a The Inclusion of Transgender Youth in our Churches, Schools, and Camps (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Resolved, that the 223rd Convention of the Diocese of Virginia affirm these guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender people in the parishes, missions, schools, and camps of this diocese; and be it further

Resolved, that the 223rd Convention of The Diocese of Virginia submit the following resolution to the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:

Resolved, the House of ___________ concurring, that the 79th General Convention affirm the following guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender people and urge that the Dioceses of the Episcopal Church prayerfully consider adopting and implementing the following guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender people in their parishes, missions, schools and camps:

Submitted by the Rev. David Stoddart and the Rev. Kathleen Sturges

Guiding Principles for the Inclusion of Transgender People in Dioceses, Parishes, Missions, Schools and Camps

We believe that all people are created in the image of God and that all people are beloved children of God.  Because this is true,

  1. We will protect the rights and respect the dignity of transgender persons, refusing to reject, judge, abuse, belittle or in any way dehumanize them.
  2. We will engage the complex realities for transgender persons in our churches, schools, and camps, and not yield to the temptation to ignore those realities.
  3. We will recognize and accept our responsibility to protect the privacy of transgender persons.
  4. We will make decisions about transgender minors in our schools and camps in communication with their parents.
  5. We will provide a safe environment for transgender persons, for those who support them, and for those who do not understand our commitment to these principles.
  6. We will stay flexible in response to the complex and changing ramifications of this work by being open to relevant stories, to emerging information, and to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

R-9a Support for the Triangle of Hope (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Resolved that we the Diocese of Virginia commit ourselves, through the Triangle of Hope, to live in covenantal community dedicated to transforming the long history, ongoing effects, and continuing presence of slavery in our world through repentance, reconciliation, and mission.

Resolved that we commit to sustained teaching and preaching on the freedom and dignity of all human beings in Christ.

Resolved that we shall support financially and programmatically

  • The Youth Pilgrimage between Liverpool and Virginia in its becoming a tripartite pilgrimage with Kumasi.
  • Building an online presence for the Triangle of Hope
  • Establishing relationships of prayer with Liverpool and Kumasi
  • Exploring exchange programs with Liverpool and Kumasi

Resolved that we shall educate ourselves about our own histories and the ongoing impact of slavery, racism, and White Supremacy.

Resolved that we shall listen to our sisters and brothers who have experienced such impact when they share their wisdom and experience.

Resolved that we shall engage theologically both the lived experience of our peoples and the biblical witness, trusting in the hope that what humanity has meant for evil, God can and will transform for good.

Submitted by the Rev. Cayce Ramey

Background

The Diocese of Virginia has from its founding benefitted from and participated in the enslavement of human beings. Alexandria and Richmond were for decades two of the largest slave markets in the United States.[1],[2]

The diocese of Liverpool was a major port for the transatlantic slave trade and by 1795 controlled over 80% of the British and over 40% of the entire European slave trade with over 5,000 slaving voyages started from Liverpool.

The diocese of Kumasi is the modern and historic seat of the Asante Kingdom which served as an important supplier of human captives[3] to the over 60[4] slave trading castles built in Ghana.

Each one of our dioceses was directly involved in the dreadful Slave Triangle. We remember and acknowledge with sorrow that human beings were captured and enslaved for financial gain with no regard for their dignity and humanity. We view this history with great pain and in penitence before Go, the god wo wills in Christ to bring freedom and justice for all.

For more than 15 years our three dioceses have been working toward a true partnership of freedom and justice.

Still, there are more people are enslaved today than ever before in human history[5] while the ongoing legacy of slavery continues in force through systems of White Supremacy and belief in racial superiority.

And since the Bishops of Kumasi (in Ghana), Virginia, and Liverpool have committed to the Triangle of Hope ministry partnership.

[1]  "Freedom House Museum". The Smithsonian Associates. Retrieved Oct 2017
[2] Trammel, Jack (2012). The Richmond Slave Trade: The Economic Backbone of the Old Dominion. The History Press. ISBN 9781609494131.
[3] From Manhyia Palace Museum curator during tour by Triangle of Hope planning team, Kumasi, Ghana, May 2017
[4] Clair, William St. Door of No Return: the History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade. Bluebridge, 2009. Page 1.
[5] United Nations Labor Organization: Profits and Poverty, The Economics of Forced Labor, 2014.

R-10a:  Support for Our Bishops’ Statement on Charlottesville Violence (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Resolved that the 223rd Convention of the Diocese of Virginia support our Bishops’ statement on their non-confrontational protest against the white supremacists’ rally at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville on 12 August 2017, particularly the Bishops’ declaration that “whatever we do, we may not, we must not, be quiet in the face of evil during this era of our lives together.”

Resolved that this Convention support in particular the program the Bishops recommended for the kinds of peaceful actions in the face of white supremacists’ violence, including calls for the Virginia General Assembly to enact legislation to track hate crimes in Virginia and for prayers for our civic and religious leaders who have to contend with racist and anti-Semitic violence, for those who died or were injured in Charlottesville, and for peace in our nation. 

Resolved that this Convention request the Virginia Attorney General to rigorously enforce current state law regulating armed militias in order to prevent them from fomenting and committing violence and intimidating law-abiding, peaceful citizens and that appropriate amendments to current state law be presented to the General Assembly to tighten such regulations in order to better protect the peace, prosperity, and liberty of citizens of the Commonwealth from unlawful armed forces. 

Submitted by Peter Wehmann, President of Region III, on behalf of the clergy and churches of Region III

Background

Our Bishops were there in Charlottesville and witnessed the tragedy of violence and loss of life as it unfolded on 12 August.  They wrote that their hearts were broken by what they saw.  They admonished us to “heed God’s call to love our neighbors through prayer, speaking out, and for other concrete action” such as being clear about the issues, creating conversation groups with people of different political views, and doing a moral inventory of ourselves, for example, asking ourselves how we feel about free speech and its limits.  Our Bishops expect to see more divisive rallies in the country in the months ahead.  It behooves us as an entire Diocese to support and follow our Bishops’ peaceful admonition.

One of the lessons from the Charlottesville violence is that armed militias dressed in military fatigues came to Charlottesville creating an even greater possibility of violence and adding to an already dangerous situation.  There are Virginia statutes on the books now being used as the basis for a lawsuit against some of the groups thought to have participated in the violence.  Note that the Second Amendment of the US Constitution specifically recognizes regulation of militias as a state prerogative.

 

Diocese and Congregations Address the Drug Crisis in America

This resolution is to be submitted on the floor of convention and will require a 2/3 majority vote to move forward and to be considered by the convention.

Resolved, That the 223rd Annual Convention recognize that the drug crisis in America is a critical national concern that directly impacts our congregations. 

Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and every congregation strive to be an agent of healing for all people affected by the disease of drug addiction.

Resolved, That because drugs such as prescription pain relieversheroin, and synthetic opioids affect the public health and the social, environmental, and economic welfare of our communities, that the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and every congregation acknowledge its spiritual, moral and ethical responsibility to provide:

  1. prevention programs targeting both youth and adults in the congregation and the community;
  2. access to professional organizations that target the illness of substance abuse and learn how to appropriately address the problem and stigma associated with the problem at home, at church, and in the community;
  3. educational resources and professionals to facilitate educational programs;
  4. spiritual support for individuals whose loved ones suffer from addiction.

Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia work in partnership with The Episcopal Church Medical Trust, Recovery Ministries of The Episcopal Church, and community-based organizations to address most effectively prevention, intervention, education, advocacy, treatment, and recovery, including developing a list of trained therapists and consultants who are available to assist clergy and laity in this education process.

Submitted by: The Rev. Ann Stribling (Retired); Mr. Karl C. Colder, St. David’s, Ashburn; the Rev. Daniel Vélez Rivera, St. Gabriel's, Leesburg; the Rev. Mary Kay Brown, St. David's, Ashburn.

Courtesy Resolutions

CR-1a The Reverend Linda Wofford Hawkins (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Whereas, the Reverend Linda Wofford Hawkins served the congregation of St. Barnabas’ Church for 15 years as rector, strengthening the congregation and its spiritual ties to the community; and

Whereas, Linda led the charge in increasing mutual understanding with our community’s Muslim brothers and sisters, demonstrating leadership both within and beyond our Christian family; and

Whereas, Linda served as a dedicated ambassador for our parish’s commitment to social and racial justice, with the parish of St. Barnabas’ receiving the first Meet Me In Galilee award from the Diocese in 2015; and

Whereas, Linda helped to bring the Annandale Safe Youth Project to our space, supporting at-risk 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in our community, and was honored to present the first scholarships to “graduates” of the ASYP program in 2016; and

Whereas, Linda grew the parish with young families who felt the culture of caring and appreciation for children that she fostered; and

Whereas, Linda brought also with her the gift and blessing of her family in our midst, especially daughter Ellen Hawkins with her beauty, grace, and zest for life; let it now be

Resolved, that this 223rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia give thanks for the ministry of the Reverend Linda Wofford Hawkins, retired as Rector of St. Barnabas’, Annandale and wish her well in her new adventures; and be it further

Resolved, that we send her our best wishes in retirement, and offer our prayers for her new ministry in the Diocese of Western North Carolina.

Submitted by Ms. Sharon M. Jones, delegate, St. Barnabas’ Church, Annandale, Va

CR-2   Courtesy Resolution for David W. Donaldson

Whereas, a hallmark of Anglican worship is the central place of music in praising God; and

Whereas, David Donaldson retired on September 30, 2017, after thirty-eight years of devoted service as the long-serving music director and choirmaster of St. Michael’s, Arlington; and

Whereas, David composed the psalm setting, and occasional anthems, that have enhanced or weekly worship; and

Whereas, David led the chancel choir and initiated the Bell Choir that enriches its ministry on feast days; and

Whereas, David nurtured and encouraged young singers through their participation in the Children’s Choir; and

Whereas, he shared with worshippers the beauty of the parish’s first pipe organ through his performance of preludes, postludes and other musical offerings; and

Whereas, David served as a key member of the organ Committee responsible for the acquisition of our pipe organ; and

Whereas, David has a special gift for selecting hymns to support the weekly Scripture readings; and

Whereas, the vestry of St. Michael’s wishes to honor David with the title Director of Music Emeritus; therefore, now be it

Resolved, that this 223rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia joins the members of St. Michael’s, Arlington in extending its gratitude and deep appreciation to David Donaldson for his faithful service.

Submitted by the vestry and congregation of St. Michael’s, Arlington

CR-3a Charles ‘Buck’ Blanchard (Amended by Resolutions Committee)

Whereas, Mr. Charles “Buck” Blanchard served for eleven years as a dedicated staff member of the Diocese of Virginia as its Director of Mission and Outreach; and

Whereas, Buck’s efforts to inspire and support mission and outreach efforts, small and large, in our backyards and around the world, transformed the lives of so many members of our Diocese and of others all over the world; and

Whereas, Buck is blessed with a loving family that includes his wife, Weezie, the rector of St. Mary’s, Goochland; his sons Charlie and Mac; and his daughters Ann Pearman and Franny; and

Whereas, Buck’s eloquence and humor made him a sought-after speaker in our parishes and a moderator at our Annual Conventions; and

Whereas, Buck was an eloquent and able advocate for the Episcopal Church of Sudan and later the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan, visiting Sudan and South Sudan repeatedly in support of our mission partnerships with the church there, visits which were physically taxing, and sometimes harrowing and dangerous, as he did vital work to assure the ECSSS of our continued support for their witness to the Gospel in the face of persecution, warfare, famine, and turmoil; and

Whereas, Buck’s global travels took him from the teeming cities of South America to the militia-controlled bush of the Congo; and

Whereas, Buck left a career as a corporate lawyer and venture capitalist to respond to his calling to the Church; and

Whereas, Buck’s passion for his new vocation was evidenced when he exclaimed “I love my job” as the tiny plane in which he traveled swooshed through the fog of East Africa; and

Whereas, Buck never allowed the diocesan staff members to forget how they are called, above all, to do mission; and

Whereas, Buck departed the Diocese of Virginia staff on October 20, 2017, with the best wishes of his colleagues; and

Whereas, Buck will continue to witness to mission and outreach in his new position with the Diocese of Colorado and with his continuing work for The Episcopal Church; let it now be,

Resolved, that the 223rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia offers its fervent thanks to Charles “Buck” Blanchard for his dedicated and compassionate service to this Diocese, and wish him well in taking on the challenges and joys of the new Rocky Mountain chapter of his life, so close to his beloved University of Colorado; and be it further,

Resolved, that a copy of this resolution be sent to Buck Blanchard as a gesture of appreciation for a job well done.

Submitted by the Chief of Staff,  the Rev. Deacon Ed Jones, on behalf of the staff at Mayo House