Resolutions

CR-1: Mrs. Karen Glover Glasco, Executive Assistant to the Bishop of Virginia from 1984 to 2009

Adopted as submitted.

Whereas, Mrs. Karen Glover Glasco began serving as executive assistant to the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, 12th Bishop of Virginia, in 1984; and

Whereas, for a quarter century, Mrs. Glasco served Bishop Lee and the Diocese of Virginia faithfully and well, and very often above and beyond the call of duty; and

Whereas, on countless occasions, Mrs. Glasco exhibited deep pastoral sensitivity to and concern for the clergy and laity of the Diocese of Virginia; and

Whereas, Mrs. Glasco was a model of competence, efficiency, professionalism and discretion throughout her service on the diocesan staff; and

Whereas, Mrs. Glasco undertook to train with success and great good humor 21 bishop’s clerks in such competence, efficiency, professionalism and discretion, sometimes against nearly overwhelming odds, and to the clerks’ everlasting gratitude, during her tenure on diocesan staff; and

Whereas, Mrs. Glasco was and remains well beloved by her colleagues on the diocesan staff; and

Whereas, Mrs. Glasco was a founding member of the national Bishop’s Executive Secretaries Together Conference, known as the BEST Conference, and was respected nationally by her peers; and

Whereas, Mrs. Glasco decided to conclude her ministry on the diocesan staff in May 2009; now therefore be it

Resolved, that the 215th Council of the Diocese of Virginia joins with the clergy, laity and staff  of the Diocese of Virginia in expressing its sincerest thanks and appreciation for her ministry among us; and be it further

Resolved, that the Council directs the secretary to forward a copy of this resolution to Mrs. Glasco.


CR-2: The Rev. James D. Chipps
Adopted as submitted.

Whereas, the Rev. James D. Chipps faithfully served God, his country, the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia throughout his ministry and his country as a member of the Armed Forces; and

Whereas, Jim was ordained to the diaconate by the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee in 1990 and to the priesthood by the Rt. Rev. Robert Poland Atkinson in 1991; and

Whereas, he was assistant at St. Stephen’s, Catlett before becoming rector at Grace, Casanova; and

Whereas, he was a diocesan leader including service on the Executive Board; and

Whereas, Jim married his wife, the Rev. Kathleen Chipps, in 1969; and

Whereas, Kate continues active and faithful ministry in the Diocese of Virginia serving as priest in charge of the continuing congregation of St. Margaret’s, Woodbridge; now therefore be it

Resolved, that the Diocese of Virginia gives thanks for the life and ministry of the Rev. James Chipps; and be it further

Resolved, that the secretary of the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia send a copy of this resolution to his wife, Kate. 


CR-3: Mr. Jack Lewis High Jr.
Adopted as submitted.

Whereas, Jack Lewis High Jr., a long-time member of St. John’s Church, McLean, died on December 10, 2009, at age 74; and

Whereas, Jack High contributed his many talents to the well-being of the Church as
parishioner, lay reader, supporter of outreach ministries, vestry member and senior warden; and

Whereas, children especially would respond to his deep, deliberate and resonant voice from the lectern by believing they were hearing the very voice of God; and

Whereas, he enjoyed thoughtful and lively discourse on philosophy and the meaning of life to which he added listening to music as an experience in discovering the beauty and dignity of life; and

Whereas, he routinely demonstrated his understanding of Christian living through random acts of kindness to a wide range of strangers, acquaintances and friends including but by no means limited to the annual birthday delivery of chocolate cake to his rector; and

Whereas, he devoted considerable energy to supporting the ministry of his wife, Martha, whose ministries took her in, around and beyond the Diocese of Virginia, including serving as a member of the Standing Committee for two terms and as president for one year, and whose second term concludes at this Annual Council; and

Whereas, his wife, Martha, his children, Lance and Martha, and their spouses, Annastasia and Christian, and his grandchildren, Karl, Martha, Annastasia, Elizabeth and Mary Catherine were his first loves; and

Whereas, he lived courageously during his final illness; and

Whereas Martha’s Standing Committee colleagues and fellow St. John’s parishioners wish to remember Jack at this Annual Council; now therefore be it

Resolved, that the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia gives thanks to God for the life and example of Jack Lewis High Jr. as a disciple of Jesus and a friend to all; and be it further

Resolved, that the secretary of this 215th Annual Council send a copy of this resolution to his wife, Martha.

 

CR-4: The Rt. Rev. Julio Murray
Adopted as submitted.

Whereas, the Rt. Rev. Julio Murray, Bishop of Panama served as Chaplain to the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia, and powerfully inspired and encouraged our mission with his preaching and presence; now therefore be it

Resolved, by the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia that we express our grateful appreciation for his presence among us and his relationship with our bishop; and be it further

Resolved, that we look forward to continued relationship between our dioceses.   

 

CR-5: The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori|
Adopted as submitted.

Whereas, our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, graciously officiated and preached inspiringly at the investiture of the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston on January 27, 2010; and

Whereas, since her election in 2006, our Presiding Bishop has thoughtfully encouraged and strongly affirmed the mission and ministry of our congregations and people; now therefore be it

Resolved, by the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia that we express our hearty appreciation for her presence among us and assure her of our continued prayers and support for her in her ministry. 


R-1: Authorizing the Appointment of an Assistant Bishop

Adopted as submitted.

Resolved, that the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia, upon the request of the Bishop, and the consent of the Standing Committee, approves the creation of the position of Assistant Bishop either full-time or part-time as financial resources allow; and be it further

Resolved, that the 215th Annual Council authorizes the Bishop of the Diocese to appoint an Assistant Bishop, with the consent of the Standing Committee. 


R-2s:
Establish the First Sunday of Lent as Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday
Adopted as substituted.

Resolved, that the Diocese of Virginia dedicates the first Sunday in Lent as Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday for a period of seven years (2012-2018), and that parishes and individuals are encouraged to support Episcopal Relief & Development’s life-saving work through prayer and a special offering that will help heal a hurting world with education and materials from our ERD coordinator(s).


R-5a: The Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation

Adopted as amended.

Resolved, that the 215th Annual Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia affirms that Christian faith formation in the Episcopal Church is a lifelong journey with Christ, in Christ and to Christ; and be it further

Resolved, that the Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation be made available on the Web site of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia as a teaching and planning resource for all regions, congregations and people; and be it further

Resolved, that we commend the Committee on Education for its work to assist all in implementing this Christian faith formation.


R-6s: Domestic Violence Prevention

Adopted as substituted.

Resolved, that the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia, in keeping with General Convention Resolution D096, requests that the bishop appoint a taskforce to report to the Executive Board on how training to prevent domestic violence could be coordinated with and possibly integrated into other mandatory training in the Diocese. 


R-7s: Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts

Adopted as substituted.

Resolved, that the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia affirms the Anglican Consultative Council Resolution 14-27 which “urges Anglicans everywhere to be bold in preaching reconciliation and facilitating peace-making dialogues in every situation of war and conflict.”

R-8: Support for Sudan
Adopted as submitted.

Whereas, our Episcopal Church colleagues in the Sudan, now over 4 million strong, face grave danger of resumed warfare in 2010 and 2011 as a secession referendum approaches and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) breaks down; and

Whereas, the 76th General Convention adopted Resolution D-007, asking dioceses and parishes to enter into partnerships with Episcopal Dioceses and bible translation projects in Sudan, which a number of our parishes have done with the support of our bishops; now therefore be it

Resolved, by the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia that:

  1. Congregations are urged to make prayers for peace in Sudan and for the welfare of the Episcopal Church of Sudan a regular part of our public liturgies over the next two years, and for our clergy and laity to make such prayers a regular part of private devotions; and
  2. Congregations, clergy and laity are urged to provide, as they are able, additional support for our bishops in their Sudan work and for our Episcopal colleagues in Sudan to spread the Gospel further and to help work for peace in Sudan.


R-9a: Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

Adopted as amended.

 Resolved, that this 215th Annual Council express support for the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem through actions including the following recommendations to congregations within the Diocese:
a)   that congregations facilitate studies and discussions of the difficulties currently facing the Jerusalem Diocese and the Christian population it serves,
b)   that prayers for the Jerusalem Diocese and the people it serves be included in “Prayers of the People” during worship services,
c)   that congregations provide financial and other tangible aid to the Jerusalem Diocese and its many outreach activities,
d)   that congregations, with assistance by the Diocese of Virginia, facilitate group visits to the Jerusalem Diocese; and be it further

Resolved, that this 215th Annual Council express support for the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem; and be it further

Resolved, that this 215th Annual Council respectfully request our bishop to emphasize the Diocese of Jerusalem as a mission priority. 


R-10a: Commending our Bishops

Adopted as amended.

 Resolved, that the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia commends the Rt. Rev. Shannon Sherwood Johnston and the Rt. Rev. David C. Jones for their commitment to the global Anglican Communion.


R-12a: Study and Report on the Proposed Anglican Covenant

Adopted as amended.

 Resolved, that the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia urges individuals and congregations to examine carefully and prayerfully the proposed Ridley-Cambridge draft of the Anglican Covenant, and to discuss it at the congregational level before the next Annual Council.


R-13: Support for Haiti

Adopted as submitted.

Whereas, the January 12, 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, killed over 270,000 people and did great damage to the country and the Diocese of Haiti; and

Whereas, the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston has repeatedly encouraged the people and congregations of the Diocese of Virginia to provide prayer and aid for Haitian relief; and

Whereas, Bishop Johnston has dedicated the offering from his investiture service to Haitian relief; now therefore be it

Resolved, by the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia that

  1. We commend the January 21 letter from our Bishop about Haitian relief to all of our people and congregations and
  2. We urge our people and congregations to pray regularly and give generously for Haitian relief during the current emergency and throughout the long period of reconstruction.


R-14s: Substitute for R-3 (Inclusiveness in Ordained Ministry), R-4 (Authorizing Rites of Blessing) and R-11 (Defining Sacramental and Civil Definitions of Marriage)
Adopted as substituted.

Whereas, the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston stated in his pastoral address to the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia:

“I do regret that, in this address, some important matters in our common life will seem to be slighted while others are omitted, such as the several topics arising from the debate on sexuality.  But I look for us to address these issues thoroughly in regional forums in 2010. It is unfortunate that some of the weightiest deliberations that come before us cannot be adequately and justly dealt with in the very short time allowed by Annual Council,” [verbatim transcript of the bishop’s pastoral address], and

Whereas, the necessary process will involve both the bishop’s regional forums, which will allow for broad individual contributions on these issues, and the drafting of proposed canons for the effective and consistent exercise of pastoral ministry should same-gender blessings be authorized; be it therefore

Resolved, the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia recognizes that:

1.         Our clergy and people remain divided over the wisdom and theology of blessing same gender relationships, as well as how much weight to give to the views of others in the Anglican Communion about these issues, particularly to views from those with whom we are in mission partnership;

2.         The growing differences between Christian and Civil understanding of marriage and relationships create immediate pastoral issues for our clergy and congregations;

3.         There are numerous same-gender couples in our diocese engaged in long-term monogamous relationships who have engaged in productive and vital ministries for the proclamation of the Gospel.  Many of these couples strongly desire the church’s blessing of their relationships;

4.         These issues deserve to be collectively addressed in an orderly, careful, and deliberate way assisted by appropriate legal and canonical experts; and

Recommends that:

1.         Our Bishop is asked to empanel a group of clergy and lay people, including attorneys admitted to practice in Virginia and recognized experts on canon law, as well as knowledgeable clergy and lay representatives of a variety of theological perspectives on the issue of blessing same-gender relationships.

2.         Such panel shall recommend consistent standards to be written into diocesan canons so that, if services of blessing same-gender unions are authorized, our clergy and people have a clearly understood and enforceable set of rules to guide the application of clergy discretion in providing pastoral care to same-gender couples seeking such blessings. 

3.         In formulating these recommendations, the following issues may be addressed (based in part on General Convention Canon I.1.18 and I.1.19):

 (a) Whether individual members of the clergy have the right, as a matter of theological principle, to decline to conduct any such service, without adverse disciplinary consequences or personnel action;

 (b) Whether individual members of the clergy have the right to decline to conduct such a service for a particular same gender couple, without adverse disciplinary consequences or personnel action, similar to the current rule for clergy asked to conduct weddings;

(c) The age, capacity and degree of kinship, if any, of the parties;

(d) The effect of prior marriages or unions blessed by a licensed clergy person or registered with civil authorities, the responsibility to any former spouse or partner in such union, and responsibility to minor children of any prior marriage or union;

(e) The appropriateness of advance medical screening, if any;

 (f) The effect of any legal union or marriage entered into between the parties in another jurisdiction;

 (g) The appropriate role of the Bishop for advanced review of any proposed blessing of a specific same-gender couple;

 (h) Review of financial arrangements to protect the parties in the absence of state law presumptions governing married couples, presumptions intended to protect the weaker party from potential exploitation, oppression, or improvident action by the other party in the relationship;

 (i) Other factors listed in the General Convention canons for marriage, Canons I.1.18 and I.1.19, including the baptismal status of the parties, the commitment to life-long union, the voluntariness of consent, the absence of coercion, fraud, mistake of identity of the other party;

 (j) The minimum time line between notification of the clergy of a desire to obtain such a blessing and the performance of the ceremony;

 (k) The number of witnesses and the record-keeping requirements for the clergy and any congregation involved;

 (l) Any requirement for written affirmation by the couple that the commitment is to a life-long union;

 (m) Any statement of the theological basis for the union to which the partners are to subscribe;

 (n) Provision to address possible dissolution of a blessed same-gender relationship, including the considerations of factors enumerated in Canon I.1.19 to address marriages which are in distress or which have been terminated by a civil court, as well as the circumstances, if any, under which another same-gender relationship may be blessed where both partners to an earlier such relationship remain living;

 (o) The restriction in the General Convention canon on marriage in the church to heterosexual couples;

 (p) Whether any blessing service for same-gender union may be used in lieu of marriage for heterosexual couples under any circumstances, and if so, what those circumstances are;

 (q) How these might apply to all members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans-gendered community;

(r) Any other factor deemed important by the panel.

3.         If the Bishop appoints such a panel, the panel shall strive to deliver its report (including proposed canonical language) to the Executive Board by All Saints Day, 2010, in time for careful and orderly consideration of its recommendations by the 216th Annual Council of the Diocese.  The panel is not to opine on whether the blessings of same-gender unions should be authorized, but it is to set forth its canonical recommendations to govern blessing such relationships if such services of blessing are authorized.

4.         The consideration of any authorization for Virginia clergy to enter same gender unions should be deferred until after consideration of the preceding process.