Reports

Region I

In 2010, Region I continued its efforts to follow Christ’s teachings in our area.  We heard from Henry Burt from the diocesan office and Kirk Gibson of Shrine Mmont. Under the expert guidance of Ben Hicks, our new Webmaster, our Web site has been completely revamped and updated; we provided financial support for mission trips, clergy sabbaticals, a congregational emergency fund and the Canterbury Club at the University of Mary Washington. 

Our greatest achievement was a regional retreat (at Belmont, Falmouth) where we established eight initiatives to guide our Region: regional dinners, increase participation, involve other Regions, align our budget with the Bishop’s priorities for ministry/mission, help the Diocese communicate more effectively, add youth activities, enhance Regional communication and ensure that our actions reflect a social conscience.

With God’s help and under the excellent leadership of Ed Jones, new regional president,  Region I plans to go forward, guided by these initiatives.

Submitted by Ms. Mary Jo Browning, President

Region IV
Region IV is composed of the eight parishes in Alexandria – Christ Church, St. Paul’s, Grace, Immanuel on the Hill, Emmanuel, Church of St. Clement, Church of the Resurrection, and Meade Memorial.

Each year, these eight parishes contribute nearly $6,500 to support regional activities, primarily an outreach program to assist organizations that benefit a wide range of community activities.  In 2010, Region IV contributed $4,750 to help nine organizations, churches or other entities.  Among these were contributions to the new Hispanic church plant in Falls Church (La Iglesia de Santa Maria), the Diocese of Virginia to support the program of youth mission vouchers, and the Church of St. Clement to support its winter shelter program for the homeless.  Other contributions went to organizations that support families, children, the homeless, and immigrants – ALIVE, Healthy Families Alexandria, the Child and Family Network, Carpenter’s Shelter and Liberty’s Promise. Another contribution went to the Board of Lady Managers at Alexandria hospital, which raises money for new equipment and facilities at the hospital.

Beyond its outreach endeavors, Region IV each year sponsors programs to educate our representatives on issues or other matters of importance to Episcopalians.

In 2010 a program in September featured a presentation on the work of the Haiti Micah Project by its founder, the Rev. Joseph Constant of Virginia Theological Seminary. Begun in 2005 to help Haiti’s impoverished children, the Haiti Micah Project by 2009 had opened a 24-bed residence to serve orphaned and at-risk children.  The devastating earthquake in January 2010, made the work of the Haiti Micah project all the more urgent, and the project has more than doubled its financial support for its feeding and education program.  All money donated to the Haiti Micah Project goes to the program, with none diverted to fundraising. Region IV has encouraged its parishes and their members to support generously this worthwhile program.
In November of 2010, Region IV sponsored a program for our delegates on the Anglican Covenant, which will be an issue debated at General Convention in 2012.  The proposed Anglican Covenant is now being debated throughout the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. 

Finally, Region IV, with the assistance of the Diocese, has revamped our Web site at www.region4.thediocese.net to supplement the Web sites of individual parishes.  The regional Web site is now a more effective resource for programs and outreach shared by the eight parishes of Region IV. It also posts upcoming meetings, events and other useful information.

Submitted by Mr. Cleve Corlett, President

Region V
Region V council conducted four meetings during 2010.

A draft UTO Grant Application proposal was received from Dr. Henry Ziegler, Episcopal missionary and health advisor to the Anglican Diocese of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania requesting Region V endorsement. Dr. Ziegler and his wife, Priscilla, are requesting funds for the initial phase of a building program for the first Christian hospital in Dar es Salaam.  The initial phase will be a Women and Children Center and Hospital which would allow a great expansion of deliveries and initiation of C-sections for those women at highest risk.  The Region V Council heard the proposal and voted to send a letter of endorsement to Bishop Johnston.  The endorsement was forwarded with strong recommendation to the Diocese of Virginia in December.

Each year for the past several years Region V has sponsored and funded an Appalachian mission trip to Dungannon, Va. Approximately 50 teenagers and adults from St. Anne’s, St. Timothy’s and St. Thomas’ attended the week-long event, providing repairs (plumbing, flooring and roofing) for low-income families.  Region V provided $4,050 in funding for this mission trip.

Work was initiated on a Region V Web site.  A committee was appointed to look at information/content that might be useful and to examine what other regions have done with respect to Web site development.  A prototype of the Web site is under construction.

Mr. Henry Burt, secretary of the Diocese, was our invited guest at a Region V Council meeting.  Mr. Burt gave an update on events/issues in the Diocese and answered questions from the assembled delegates and clergy.

A 2010 budget for Region V was developed and approved by council.

At the December meeting of regional council a regional representative and alternate for the diocesan Executive Board were elected (Mr. Roland Blocksom, representative; Ms. Sharon Nachman, alternate).  Nominations of candidates for the Standing Committee and deputies to General Convention were endorsed.  A draft Council resolution on the subject of Blessing of Same-Gender Unions (update to last year’s R-14) was presented and discussed.  The region council voted not to endorse the draft resolution.

Submitted by Ronald Blocksom, President

Region VIII
Regional Council met four times during the year.  During Lent, combined Lenten programs were held on Wednesday evenings preceded by a soup and salad supper.  The programs were held at a different church each week and were well attended.  The council considers its greatest areas of impact in our region are in the areas of youth and multicultural activities and that such activities should be in areas that are better done as a larger group than can be done as a single  parish. These guidelines are being factored into our planning for future events.  As we went through the process of electing a youth delegate to Diocesan council, we were introduced to several youth who were leaders in their own parishes and were well qualified to be our youth delegate to council yet we would not be providing this opportunity to serve until 2013 under present rules. With the increase in emphasis on youth in our own region and in the Diocese as a whole the council approved submittal of a proposed amendment to the constitution of the Diocese to provide for annual election of a youth delegate from each region.

Submitted by Mr. Walter Barbee, President

Region XIV
The Region held three meeting in 2010. Highlights include:

  • A focused discussion to validate our mission and direction, which led to a new budget structure addressing Bishop Johnston’s five near-term goals;
  • Annual potluck supper featuring an entertaining and informative talk by Henry Burt on the state of the diocese and a status report on the diocesan law suit;
  • A presentation on the Native American ministries task group of the Diocese of Virginia, “Work/Study at the Pamunkey Reservation”;
  • The Region developed a Web site to keep members of the region informed and to assist people in the Shenandoah Valley learn about the Episcopal churches and their location. www.valleyepiscopanians.thedioese.net;
  • Preparation of a courtesy resolution for the Rev. Frederick Trumbore for the 50th anniversary of his Ordination to the Sacred Order of Priest;
  • Christ the King’s project to “Stop Hunger Now Event” raising over $10,000 – preparing 40,000 meals for children in Haiti;
  • The Rev. Daniel Robayo elected to the Executive Board;
  • Calvary Episcopal Church held a service and reception honoring Frederick Trumbore on his 50th anniversary of his Ordination to the Sacred Order of Priest. The regional dean and president were part of the service and several priest and regional representatives were present for the event.

Submitted by Mr. Frank Baxter, President, Region XIV

Region XV
Region XV is comprised of 19 churches within the county of Albemarle and in parts of Greene, Fluvanna, and Orange counties.  

The Region XV Council met four times since our last diocesan Council meeting. Each of our gatherings was held at a different parish within our region.  Each evening began with Eucharist at 6 p.m., followed by time for a reception, fellowship and dinner.  The business meeting usually began at 7:30.  An average attendance for each meeting was approximately 40 delegates and clergy.  

On Thursday, March 25, the Council met at Christ Episcopal Church, Charlottesville where the speaker was the Rev. Canon Susan Goff, canon to the ordinary of the Diocese.   The May 25 meeting was held at St. John the Baptist, Charlottesville with Frances Caldwell, director of Development and Stewardship of the Diocese, as our guest and speaker.  At the September 25 meeting at Holy Cross, Batesville, the Rev. Anthony Andres and his wife, Emily, presented a slide show about their recent trip to Bhutan, Asia about their culture and the emerging Christian churches there.  We met again on Thursday, November 18 at Buck Mountain, Earlysville with Buck Blanchard, director of Mission and Outreach for the Diocese, and Suzanne Johnson making a presentation about the Carpenter’s Kids program in Dodoma, Tanzania.

Region XV has five significant outreach ministries which it supports.  The Schoolhouse Thrift Shop at Rio just celebrated its 18th anniversary.  It continues to be not only a wonderful place of fellowship for members of the region who volunteer there, but is also a very much needed ministry to the community.  The Thrift Shop also continues to be a large contributor to the outreach budget of the region.  The Ministry with the Aging, under the guidance of three marvelous missioners, continues to meet the needs of many elderly within the region.  AIM serves to help those in emergency situations by helping with prescriptions, utility bills, and transportation.  PACEM is a local homeless shelter and program.  Again this year Region XV built a house for Habitat for Humanity, our third of five that the Region has pledged to build within a five year period.  We were able to make an additional $5,000 donation in November to complete the funding.

The Rev. Miller Hunter of St. Paul’s Ivy answered a call to a parish in North Carolina and we have elected as his replacement on the Diocese Executive Board the Rev. Dr. Linda V. Hutton of St. Thomas’, Orange.

Bloomfield Foundation
Bloomfield awarded grants totaling $129,433 for the year 2010 with additional grants still pending. Financial support from churches and individuals enable fulfillment of many requests for equipment and services, unavailable from other sources, enhancing the lives of those who are physically challenged. The majority of grant recipients are on Medicaid and unable to obtain the upgraded equipment often times needed.Grants are made to renovate bathrooms as handicapped accessible, chairs that enable a person to stand up so that school can be attended, ramps for vans and home, and summer camps that are available to suit their needs. All unusual requests are reviewed by the Board. Bloomfield Trustees make concerted efforts to follow up on all grant recipients and are vigilant as to progress being made with difficult cases. Past residents of Bloomfield home (sold in 1994 due to the government decision to no longer fund such facilities) continue to receive support when needed while some have obtained the ability to live independently.The Board has appointed two more members from Southwestern Diocese and two from the Southern Diocese. As a related organization of all three dioceses of Virginia, Bloomfield welcomes it's new member additions.

Submitted by Ms. Courtney Kohler, President

Committee on Church Planting
2010 for the Church Planting Commission (now committee) continued as a year of maintenance of our present plants and planters under the leadership of Bishop Jones.   We continue to plan for future plants.  Hopeful signs are found in the start-ups of Latino congregations worshipping within existing churches.

The schedule of 3-4 meetings per year (with one retreat held at Roslyn in late November) was maintained, but with added emphasis on annual face-to-face meetings with each Church Planter and his/her leadership team, where progress in all areas is reviewed.  At our retreat in November we attended the Sunday worship gathering of an “emergent” church, where we had an unusual, moving, and stimulating experience learning about a church that is reaching new Christians.  We continue to consider our ecumenical work with our ELCA partners to be of prime importance.

The membership of the 2010 Commission was composed of:

  • The Rev. Tom Bosserman (ELCA)
  • Mr. Tyler Fox, Staff Liaison
  • The Rev. Paul G. “Chip” Gunsten (ELCA)
  • The Rev. Geoffrey Gwynne
  • The Rev. Paul Johnson
  • The Rt. Rev. David Jones, Suffragan Bishop
  • Dr. Lissa Power-deFur
  • Mrs. Lucy-Lee Reed, Chair
  • The Rev. John Thomas Sheehan

The roster of Church Planters in 2010 is composed of:

  • The Rev. Geoffrey Gwynne, Vicar, Christ the King Episcopal Church, Harrisonburg
  • The Rev. Barbara Marques, Vicar, All Souls Episcopal Church, Atlee
  • Mr. Roberto Orihuela, Pastoral Leader, La Iglesia de Santa Maria, Falls Church
  • The Rev. J. David Niemeyer, Vicar, St. Francis, Goochland
  • The Rev. CC Schroeder, Vicar, St. Gabriel’s, Leesburg

At the November retreat, Mrs. Reed expressed her desire to retire her duties as chair, and the Rev. John Sheehan was named by Bishop Jones with the consent of the committee to lead it going forward. 

Although these are lean times for church planting, we continue to try to strengthen and support the plants we have, explore new models, and pray for that future major gift or gifts that will allow us to begin new plants once more.

Submitted by Mrs. Lucy Lee Reed

Committee on Congregational Missions
The Committee on Congregational Missions (CCM) assists the bishop suffragan in his delegated oversight of diocesan mission churches.  Its members serve as lay liaisons or as area priests.  Lay liaisons work closely with their assigned churches and provide regular reports concerning their spiritual well being and financial stability to the bishop suffragan and to the other members.  Area priests act as resources for the liaisons and the mission churches and may represent the bishop suffragan when a diocesan response is needed.

Meetings are held at mission churches throughout the diocese. Representatives of the host church report  about themselves, their successes and their challenges.

Liaisons assist the mission churches in preparing their budgets and requests for financial assistance from the diocese. Each request is carefully reviewed by the budget committee of CCM and by Bishop Jones before being submitted to the full Committee.  Only then is the request for funding sent to the Executive Board for inclusion in the diocesan budget.

A committee within CCM is developing a more structured approach to the way in which we allocate funds to the diverse congregations.  Another group is working to form a document which will become a covenant between CCM and each mission church.  This document will allow each church, with the assistance of the liaison, to present  its plan for the coming year  as well as the means for achieving their vision.

In May, CCM partnered with the Committee on the Stewardship of Creation to present Small Church Day 2010.  The theme was “The Stewardship of Creation – Practical and Spiritual Perspectives.”

In September, CCM held its first one day retreat. We focused on finding ways for CCM to become better stewards of diocesan  funding as we assist the wide variety of mission churches in their unique, individual callings.

In 2010, Christ Ascension Church, Richmond, a mission church for approximately 10 years became a full parish;  Varina Church, Richmond, became a mission church.

CCM continues to offer training for the members and has created a handbook to assist them in their work with the churches.

The members of CCM give generously of their time and expertise to the missions they serve.  We are grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of the Diocese.

Submitted by Mr. Dick Shirey, Chair

Committee on Ecumenical & Interfaith Relationships
The Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Agnew serves as ecumenical officer and the Rev. Diane Carroll as associate ecumenical officer of the Diocese.  The ecumenical officer and associate ecumenical officer also serve as co-chairs of the Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Committee (DEIC).  In 2010, your ecumenical officers and the DEIC have been involved in a number of activities to promote the unity of the one Church for whom our Lord prayed on the eve of his death.  

An essential element for all ecumenical relations is the nurture of personal relationships.  These relationship must take place between judicatory heads and those who work in the area of ecumenical relations on their behalf.  Relationships of this type take time to develop and once developed need to be sustained over a period of years.   The work of your ecumenical officers and of DEIC is about developing  and sustaining our ecumenical relationships.  It also involves our joint witness with other Christians to the Gospel through mission and through the exploration of theology.In response to the Call to Common Mission agreement of Full Communion between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) we have continued to seek ways in which we can more fully live into this relationship.  The Rev. Dr. Christopher Agnew attended the Annual Assembly of the Virginia Synod of the ELCA.   Approximately once a month the Metropolitan Washington Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Coordinating Committee has met.    This committee is made up of representation from the Episcopal Dioceses of Washington and Virginia as well as the Metropolitan Washington Synod of the ELCA.  The Rev. Dr. Christopher Agnew and the Rev. Dr. David Harper serve on this committee for the Diocese of Virginia.  Bishop David C. Jones and Bishop John Chane of the Diocese of Washington and Bishop Richard Graham of the Metropolitan Washington Synod of the ELCA meet with the Joint Coordinating Committee twice a year.   January 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of Full Communion and the Metropolitan Washington Lutheran-Episcopal Joint Coordinating Committee has planned a celebration to take place at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C. on January 14-15, 2011.

In response to the LARCUM (Lutheran-Anglican-Roman Catholic-United Methodist) covenant, your associate ecumenical officer, the Rev. Diane Carroll and Ms. Jean Mary Taylor (a member of the DEIC) have served on the state-wide planning committee for the Annual LARCUM meeting.  In 2010 the conference was held in Fredericksburg on December 3-4.  The theme “LARCUM Covenant: Growing Grassroots Ecumenism” was presented by the Bishop James F. Mauney of the Virginia Synod of the ELCA.

Annual Council in 2011 meets during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which stretches from the observance of the Confession of St. Peter on January 18 to the conversion of St. Paul on January 25.   Your commission has submitted to Annual Council a resolution that calls for observance of this annual ecumenical event.  

The National Workshop on Christian Unity and annual meeting of the Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Officers took place this year in Tampa, Florida April 19-22. There are numerous seminars and presentations at the Workshop and the Diocese of Virginia sends two members of the Commission in order to cover most of the presentations and report back to the commission.   The presiding bishop and her deputy for ecumenical and inter-religious relations participated in this year’s workshop.  

Dr. Agnew serves as ecumenical coordinator for Province III of the Episcopal Church and is a member of the Executive Board of the National Episcopal Ecumenical and Interfaith Officers.  He also serves as a member of the Board of the North American Academy Ecumenists.  The NAAE held its annual conference in Montreal, Quebec. September 24-26 on the topic “New and Renewed Strategies for the Ecumenical Mission.”

The principal ecumenical agencies supported by the Diocese of Virginia are the Interfaith Center for Public Policy and the Virginia Council of Churches.   The Center for Public Policy under the very able direction of the Rev. C. Douglas Smith works on behalf the faith community with the General Assembly. 

The Rt. Rev. David C. Jones and the Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Agnew serve on the Coordinating Committee of the Virginia Council of Churches and Dr. Agnew serves on the Steering Committee of VCC as well.  The Virginia Council of Churches has two major program units that work in the areas of Refugee Resettlement and Rural Family Development.  Other program ministry of the council includes the Campus Ministry Forum and Infant Mortality.    The council has worked for federal recognition of the Virginia Tribes and has also been involved in disaster preparation.  The theological work of the council is done through the Commission on Faith and Order, which is chaired by the Rev. Dr. Christopher Agnew.   Each year the Faith and Order Commission helps sponsor the Joint Ecumenical Retreat which takes place in the fall at Rosyln.    

The Virginia Council of Churches established a Lifetime Ecumenicist Award in 2003.  This award recognizes persons who exemplify a lifetime commitment to the ecumenical movement.  In 2010 this award was bestowed on the Rt. Rev. David C. Jones.  

Members of DEIC welcome the opportunity to speak to each Regional Council at least annually on our current ecumenical commitments and interfaith developments.  We also are prepared to speak to individual parishes.

Submitted by the Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Agnew, Ecumenical Officer, and the Rev. Diane Carroll, Associate Ecumenical Officer, Co-Chairs of DEIC

Education for Ministry
Education for Ministry (EfM) is a formation program available to all our parishes by virtue of a contract by the Diocese of Virginia with the School of Theology of the University of the South at Sewanee. EfM is a theological education by extension for laity and includes both individual and group work in weekly seminars under the guidance of trained mentors. The four-year
program of study includes the Old Testament, the New Testament, church history and theology.

Every Christian receives the call to Christ’s ministry at baptism. EfM provides the basics of a theological education in order to enhance knowledge and develop confidence about the ministry we all share. Through individual and group study, shared worship and the process of theological reflection, participants in an EfM community move toward a greater understanding ofthe fullness of God’s kingdom and in so doing, discover opportunities for responding to their own personal call to ministry.

An EfM seminar group is composed of six to 12 students guided and administered by a trained mentor and perhaps a co-mentor. Mentors may be laity or ordained but must attend a training session sanctioned by Sewanee in order to be accredited as a mentor. Mentor training will be available in the Diocese of Virginia from July 24-26, 2011 at the Roslyn Conference Center. In July 2010, the Diocese sponsored one of the largest mentortraining events in the nation, where 57 participants from dioceses throughout Virginia and the surrounding states worked with certified trainers from Sewanee to either be accredited as first-time mentors or to reaccredit their status as active mentors.

There are EfM groups meeting throughout the United States and the world.There are even online EfM groups. The Diocese of Virginia currently sponsors 40 active groups in parishes throughout the Diocese. Parishes interested in finding out more information about EfM are encouraged to visitthe EfM Web site for the Diocese of Virginia at www.efmvirginia.com or email me at wendy@efmvirginia.com for more information. As EfM coordinator forthe Diocese of Virginia, it is my ministry to support and promote EfM in theDiocese by assisting current groups, helping parishes that wish to explore EfM, locating groups for individuals looking for an EfM group, andcoordinating training opportunities for existing and new mentors.

Submitted by Ms. Wendy Gayle, EfM Coordinator

Executive Board
Bishops Johnston, Jones and Gulick, delegates to Council, and guests.  I am Jane Delbridge and I am a member of All Saints Sharon Chapel in Alexandria, Region VI.    It is my privilege to have served for the past two years as a member of the Executive Board and for this past year as its vice president.

The Executive Board is composed of one elected member from each regional council and the bishops of the Diocese.  Bishop Johnston serves as president of the Board.  At this time I would like to recognize the current elected members of the Executive Board and thank them for their tireless service to the Diocese.

  • Region I, The Rev. Brad Jackson
  • Region II, Dr. Barbara Allison-Bryan    
  • Region III, The Rev. Kim Coleman
  • Region IV, The Rev. John Hortum
  • Region V, The Rev. Jackie Thomson
  • Region VI, The Hon. Jane Delbridge
  • Region VII, Ms. Helen Spence
  • Region VIII, Mr. Bill Forester
  • Region IX, The Rev. Barbara Marques
  • Region X, Dr. Craig Anderson
  • Region XI, Dr. George Spagna
  • Region XII, Mr. Rick Gibbs
  • Region XIII, The Rev. Joie Weiher
  • Region XIV, Ms. Jean Mary Taylor
  • Region XV, The Rev. Miller Hunter

The ECW president, an ex officio member of this Council, also has by custom a seat and voice at meetings of the Board.  This past year we have been pleased to welcome again the ECW president, Ms. Beblon Parks, a member of St. Philip’s Church, Richmond and to learn from her more about the continuing Christian formation workshops at ECW retreats and meetings as well as the mission and scholarship activities of the Episcopal Church Women.

Executive Board terms are for three years, and one third of the Board will end their service at the close of this Council. The Executive Board is blessed with the professional, dedicated and caring support and guidance from the staff of the Diocese.  In particular, I would recognize Henry Burt who serves as coordinator for the Board and Director of the Staff at Mayo House, and Michael Kerr, treasurer of the Diocese, who actually makes wrestling with budgets and financial documents almost fun. Each member of the diocesan staff works to make Council and the work of the Executive Board run flawlessly.  Whether they are reacting to a major snow storm and getting all necessary business done before recessing Council and continuing it in a different city a few weeks later, without missing a beat, or managing major litigation without a disruption to program and business of the Diocese, or coming out to speak to parishes or region meetings or designing and carrying out an outstanding Communication Workshop or answering the  many calls, e-mails and questions of Executive Board members and parishioners from all over the Diocese, they are quick to respond, so informed and able to provide the necessary assistance, inspired in their creativity, energetic and devoted to the mission and work of the Diocese.  Thanks to each and every one of you. 

The Executive Board met six times since the last Council.  Two of the meetings—those in April and November—were held jointly with the Standing Committee, the regional deans and the regional presidents.  The Board met in March at St. Christopher’s in Springfield; in April at St. George’s, Fredericksburg; in June at Aquia Church in Stafford; in September at St.James’ Church in Warrenton; in November at St. Stephen’s in Richmond; and in December at Mayo House.  We would like to thank these parishes and the staff at Mayo House for their hospitality.

If, between regularly scheduled meetings of the Board, there is a need for action on issues concerning the Board, this is handled by the Executive Committee of the Board.  The Executive Committee is comprised of the bishop, the vice president and the chairs of the two working groups.

The Executive Board, as many of you know, is the governing body of the Diocese in between sessions of this Council.  The Canons of the Diocese direct that the Board “shall prepare and recommend diocesan programs, and the proposed funding of such programs.”  To discharge these functions, the Board has organized itself into two standing working groups:  a working group on the budget and a working group on program.  The budget group was led this year by the Rev. Jackie Thompson and the program group by the Rev. Brad Jackson.

The work of the budget group during the year culminates with the presentation of the budget at Council, and members of the budget working group are, by custom, also appointed to the Budget Committee of Council.  During this year, the principal budget issues have been the redesign of the Denominational Health plan (health insurance plans for all church employees), redesign of budget forms, review and acceptance of the auditors’ reports, and accommodating the unusual demands placed upon our resources by the ongoing litigation involving the congregations who voted to leave the Episcopal Church and attempt to appropriate Episcopal Church property.  As you probably already know the costs of litigation have to date been financed through use of a line of credit.  The retirement of this debt will be with funds from the sale of unconsecrated land owned by the Diocese. Real estate market conditions having improved, some of that land is under contract of sale at this time.  This plan has limited the impact of litigation and its costs on the program and activities of the Diocese.  Parrish pledge dollars designated to the Diocese have not and will not be used to pay litigation costs.

In addition to the above mentioned issues, the budget work of the Executive Board this year has been to respond to the constant pressures of the continuing economic turndown and its effects on parish pledges and the payment of those pledges.  The Board receives and reviews regular reports on parish pledging and giving, and members serve as liaison to churches in their regions. The total revenue budgeted for 2010 was $4,885,464.  As of December 9, 2110 we had received $4,137,110.  That is slightly over fifteen percent of our annual budgeted income not yet received three weeks before the end of the budget year.

The working group on program is responsible for reviewing and recommending appointments to various committees of the Diocese and for reviewing the recommendations for Mustard Seed Grants and Human Need Grants made by the Commissions on Human Need, Congregational Development, Youth and World Mission. Funds were approved and dispersed as Mustard Seed Grants in the Spring and Human Need Grants in the fall of 2010.  This year the program group worked closely with Paris Ball and Emily Cherry and other members of the staff of the Diocese to study and reorganize the Commission and Committee structure of the Diocese in order to better utilize the talents, time, and energy of  those generous volunteers who man those committees. The reorganization was undertaken with goals to improve communications between persons and groups who may be working on common goals and yet be unaware of the other groups efforts, and to better support and work to accomplish the five priorities of the Diocese which arose out of the listening group/townhall meetings led by Bishop Johnston in 2008 and enumerated in his Pastoral Address to the 215th Annual Council. This effort resulted in the formation of five Commissions dedicated to the following priority areas:    

  • Commission on Christian Formation   
  • Commission on Strengthening Our Churches   
  • Commission on Mission and Outreach   
  • Commission on Ministry   
  • Commission on Human Dignity and Justice 

Committees will be organized under and report to the Commission most appropriate to the work of that committee.  Working groups can be organized by committees to work on short term or temporary projects or special study etc. and will serve under such committee and its Commission. Three Executive Board Members will be liaison to each Commission and will be in direct communication with the Commissions. This reorganization was done to honor and preserve the generous gifts of time and energy and dedication by the long time members of diocesan commissions and committees and to best use the dedication and time of those old and new members in the future.

The Executive Board is responsible for implementing the actions of Diocesan Council.  Thus, in the year that follows this meeting, the Board will review the resolutions passed and take any appropriate action necessary to fulfill the will of Council.  The budget adopted here will be monitored by the Board.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Diocese on the Executive Board.  I want to thank those colleagues who will be retiring from the Executive Board at the end of this Council.  Their considered study and deliberation as to the business of this Diocese, as well as matters of our larger church and the world which have been brought to the Executive Board in 2010 has been outstanding.  I also welcome the new Board members and Assistant Bishop Gulick who will be joining us in 2011. We look forward to getting to know each other and working together.   And on behalf of all of the members of the Executive Board, I want to thank Bishop Johnston and Bishop Jones and say what a great honor it has been to work, pray, study and act together with you in 2010 as we seek to do God’s will and spread His word in our Diocese and beyond.

Submitted by the Hon. Jane Delbridge, Vice President

Episcopal Church Women
“Joy to the World!” and “Joy in Service.” These two expressions encompass the vision, mission and ministries of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Virginia. The first is the popular name of a beloved Christmas Carol. The second is the motto of the Episcopal Church Women. Together they make clear that the work we do with joy in our hearts and love in our hands has as its ultimate outcome that of bringing joy to the needy, the disenfranchised, and the less fortunate in our dioceses, state, nation and throughout the world. I will share some of our activities and ministry highlights that have helped us live our motto and fulfill our mission.

As you may recall, the mission of the Episcopal Church Women is to share the love of God by making Christ known in the world and in our community through prayer, education, concern for others and joyful service. In 2010 we lived our mission although the year was filled with successes and challenges coupled with great joys and tragic losses.

Prayer and Worship Retreat: In April we experienced some renewal and revitalization as we learned the value of silence during the prayer and worshipretreat we sponsored within the diocese. Coordinated by Bryn Roth of St. George’s, and held in the serene surroundings of Shrine Mont, we left with a renewed commitment to our work within the diocese and beyond. I must admit that this was my first visit to Shrine Mont but it will not be my last.

Spring Open Board Meeting: Our dreams led us on May 20, 2010 to Glen Allen, Virginia, where the rector the Rev. Paul
Johnson and the assistant rector the Rev. Hillary West and the Episcopal Church Women of Christ Church Episcopal,
under the most capable leadership of Kay Holmes, graciously hosted one of our largest Spring Open Board Meetings. It may have been the attraction of workshops on topics ranging from Labyrinths to Healing Laughter, or the inviting open space of a nontraditional worship setting or the anticipation of a moving sermon by the Rev. Hilary West. Whatever the attraction, we lived out our theme of “Dreaming, Planning and Helping: We’re Getting It All Together…With Grace.”

June brought an opportunity to meet with the ECW President of St. John’s Church Henrico Parish to explore ways the diocesan ECW may be of assistance as the group planned for its Colonial Tea as part of its 400th Anniversary Celebration in 2011. The most productive meeting has lead to what may be a visit by Miss Sallie Stuart herself at that tea!

Gifts & Scholarships: Each year in July, the Episcopal Church Women disburse monies received as of June 30 and award scholarships to deserving students within our diocese. This year we gave $5,000 in scholarships to four students. Our goal is to double that amount in 2011! The scholarship recipients were from St. Mary’s-Region XII; All Saints Sharon Chapel - Region VI; Pohick Church- Region VI, and St. James the Less - Region XI. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 30. Since that disbursement, we have received an additional $2,100 - $1,875 to the Book of Remembrance and $225 to the Gift of Life Book. As a reminder, scholarships are given annually to students in the Diocese of Virginia and are made possible through your contributions to the “Book of Remembrance” and the “Gift of Life Book”. I encourage you to consider making a
contribution to either or both of these in memory of or thanksgiving for a loved one or friend.

Summer 2010: One of our focuses of the ECW has been the ministry to Native Americans in Virginia. This summer, we assisted two Native Virginia Indians in a trip to the Tuscarora Indian Reservation to study privately with an internationally known traditionally raised beadworker. Both of the ladies we helped sponsor have offered to share their skills with us and
within the diocese. Through our South African Partnership Committee, we also provided funds ($3500.00) to support the AIDS Ministry in the Diocese of Christ the King in South Africa.

Historic Meeting with the ECW of the Southern Diocese: On Saturday, September 18something happened for the very first time. That something was a meeting of Board members from the Diocese of Virginia ECW with the ECW Board of the Diocese of Southern Virginia. The meeting took place at Manakin Episcopal Church, Midlothian, VA during the Fall Board Meeting of the Diocese of Southern Virginia ECW. Nancy Smith, President of the Southern Diocese ECW, extended the invitation to me after we agreed to “get together back home” following the 2009 ECW Triennial. Diocese of Virginia ECW Board Member Sharon
Nachman shared information on the Sacristy in a Box” Project she spearheaded while Altar Guild Chair and Jayne Feminella, Diocese of Virginia Region IX President spoke about the successful Advent Luncheon held in her region.

Annual Meeting: Our dreams and “Joy in Service” led us to historic Fredericksburg, VA on October 21 for the 119th ECW Annual Meeting and 121th United Thank Offering (UTO) Ingathering. We had over 235 people in attendance representing 51 churches and 24 Clergy.

We were treated like royalty by the women of St. George’s led by ECW President Barbara Teal and the Rev. Jim Dannals along with every other church member who had a part in making our special day a grand success. Special thanks go to the women of Aquia Episcopal Church for a scrumptious breakfast and the women of Trinity Episcopal for general assistance and planning. In addition to serving as celebrant during the Eucharist, the Rt. Rev. David Colin Jones installed our new officers and board members. The new board members are Kay Holmes, vice President for Administration, Christ Church Episcopal, Glen Allen; Barbara Teal, Ministries Display Chair, St. George’s, Fredericksburg; Billie Barnes, Region II President, Grace Episcopal, Kilmarnock; and Phenie Golatt, South African Partnership Committee Co-Chair, St. Philip’s, Richmond. We could not have had two more perfect speakers for the day. The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick, Jr., Assistant Bishop - who I believe has a little “Baptist minister” in him - gave a rousing keynote peppered with thought provoking stories and inspiring words on the subject, “From Self-Absorption to Generosity: The Costly Impact of Grace.” He struck a chord with many as he wove stories about forgiveness and how giving and receiving generosity can transform one’s life. The Rev. Erika Takacs rounded out the day with her sermon on our theme, “Feeling the Spirit through God’s Glorious Grace.” She interwove her mission experience in the desert with the scripture from Galatians 5:22. The imagery evoked during her message of those who were so thirsty that they would “drink the sand” was most poignant.

Viva Voce: We awarded grants over $2,443 to the following Viva Voce recipients: Doorways, Arlington, Region III; Alternative House, Dunn Loring, Region V; Annandale Safe Youth Project Annandale, Region VIII St. David’s Community Development Center, Aylett, Region XI and GRACE Alliance, Standardsville, Region XV.

Communion Alms: We divided over $2916.45 between our two recipients Jackson Feild Homes in Jarratt and Richmond,
VA and Jericho Road ECW Housing Initiative Project, New Orleans, LA. The 121th UTO Ingathering brought our total 2010 gifts to $98,766.85. The entire amount was sent to the national UTO office. Every penny of this money will be used for this granting year. Regrettably, the Diocese of Virginia did not receive a UTO grant in this granting year. We did submit one application, but it was withdrawn because it duplicated one submitted by another diocese. There are several possibilities for applications for the new granting year. Each diocese is allowed to submit two applications and we anticipate submitting that number. As our UTO Coordinator Jeanelle Moritz says, “Remember that participating in the UTO is a “win/win” proposition: you will be blessed when you remember your blessings and others will be blessed by your Blue Box offerings.”

St. Andrew’s School Lunch Program: One of our outreach ministries that eludes the spotlight is the Hot Lunch Program sponsored at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. St. Andrew’s is a tuition free school in the Oregon Hill section of Richmond, VA. The school does not have the capability of serving hot lunches each day. So, the ECW led by Kay Holmes and Jodie Pully make arrangements for volunteers from various churches and the community to provide a hot lunch once a month for the 87 students at St. Andrew’s. We are always in need of assistance so why not organize a group from your church to offer this most rewarding and charitable service.

Overnight Board Meeting: Our work continued during our Overnight Board Meeting Planning Retreat at Roslyn November 10th and 11th. We welcomed new board members and bade goodbye to long standing member Gladys Lewis. We engaged in workshops and had a time for spiritual growth and renewal. In attendance were 28 board members and two guests from Diocese of Christ the King, South Africa, Nandi Tshaka and Patience Damini. Our guests made a presentation on the HIV/AIDS Ministry and the various components of that ministry including work with AIDS orphans and the families and caregivers of HIV/AIDS patients. We also renewed our commitment to our goals.

Executive Board Meetings/Other Activities: I continue to enjoy my journey as president of the Episcopal Church Women for the Diocese of Virginia. I have attended almost all of the diocesan Executive Board meetings. When I couldn’t attend, our past president or vice president attended to represent the ECW. On November 17, 2010, I enjoyed having the opportunity to facilitate one of the groups at Christ Church Episcopal, Glen Allen during the diocesan Listening Session coordinated by the Rev. Canon Susan Goff, canon to the ordinary. It was a most productive session with sincere expressions of beliefs, ideas and concerns. Our diocesan ECW joined in partnership with the Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE), the National ECW and the Episcopal Women’s Caucus (EWC) to promoted and participate in the anti-violence campaign entitled “Sixteen Days of Advocacy Against Gender Violence.” Recognizing that for many in the church actions begin with prayer, we encouraged people - women and men, girls and boys - to use selected prayers, individually or corporately, to mark the 16 day period from November 25, 2010 to December 10, 2010. These prayers are available on the ECW Web site. We continue to encourage all people to take a stand against all forms of violence, especially violence against women and girls.

I would be remiss if I did not remind you of the many women who paved the way for women today to take our places in the leadership of the church today. The Episcopal Church Women have evolved and been transformed from our beginning as the Women’s Auxiliary. From Miss Sallie Stuart, whose cross I wear, and whose vision led to the formation of our organization in 1892, to those who fought for equality, the women of the ECW have led the way by providing training and leadership  opportunities for women. In our Diocese, there are those like Martha, Deborah, Nan, Ann, Ruth, Pat and Anna Lou who worked for the infirmed, the incarcerated, the homeless, the lost and those plagued by illness and disease. They worked to help the dejected and rejected, like those removed from their home and put in institutional settings. I also want to recognize and
thank the ECW officers and board members who served with me. Without their support and counsel I would not be standing before you today.

During my last year, I look forward to seeing the goals we have set come to fruition. In 2010, I visited 11 churches and spoke with their Episcopal Church Women. One of my personal goals this year is to meet or double that number. Additional ECW goals are as follows:1)To award more and larger scholarships by increasing the funding for our scholarship program. We are doing this by seeking an increase in the contributions to our Book of Remembrance and our Gift of Life Book; 2)to strengthen
our support for children and their education through enhanced support of our current ministries and partnerships; and 3) to grow the ECW by increasing the involvement of young women and girls in the ECW through the reestablishment of groups within the diocese such as the Junior Church Women and the Girls Friendly Society. I’m pleased to share that the refurbishing the ECW Presidents’ Wall at the Mayo House is well underway.

I closed my oral report last year with a quiz regarding the top 10 steps for building the ECW in churches and parishes. Many of those present chuckled to themselves as the quiz progressed. No quiz will be given this year, but spot notebook checks will be conducted. The notebook referenced is the ECW Yearbook distributed yearly to each church. This yearbook is the link
between churches and the Diocesan ECW. Check to see if your church has its Yearbook and it if doesn’t, contact us through our Web site or e-mail addresses. You may also obtain updates for outdated yearbooks on the ECW Web site: www.ecw.thediocese.net. We’ll be making spot checks for the most vibrant and active group of Episcopal Church Women in the Diocese of Virginia. Will your name be called when accolades are given and awards presented to the women who are bringing Joy to the World by living the ECW motto “Joy in Service”?

Submitted by Ms. Beblon Parks, President

Committee on Human Need
Mission: The Commission on Human Need (COHN) encourages local involvement in outreach projects, and challenges church leaders to envision and implement new forms of mission and ministry across the Diocese. COHN meets twice each to year to review and make recommendations to the Executive Board for Mustard Seed grants (spring) and Fund for Human Need grants (fall). In 2010, the Executive Board approved COHN recommendations for grants totaling $21,730.

Members:
Current commission members include: Mr. Scott M. Broetzmann, Chair (St. Paul’s, Alexandria); Mr. Ron Field (All Saint’s Sharon Chapel); Ms. Ruth Gibson (Buck Mountain Church); Ms. Barbara Merchant (Grace, the Plains) Mr. Linn L. Power (St. Stephen’s, Catlett); Ms. Jodie Pully (Grace & Holy Trinity, Richmond); Mr. Frank Saunders Jr. (St. Phillip’s, Richmond); Dr. Emerson Smith (Calvary, Front Royal); Ms. Judy Tulis (St. Mary’s, Whitechapel)

2010 Mustard Seed Grants
Mustard Seed grants totaling $6,750 were recommended by the Commission and approved by the Executive Board at its June, 2010 meeting.

  • St. John’s Episcopal, Columbia – Ecumenical Community Barbeque,$500 for food for community barbeque event
  • Church Of The Messiah, Fredericksburg – Larcum House,$3,000 for a well and septic system
  • Grace Church, Casanova - Come, Grow, Go,$1,500 for audiovisual equipment
  • Aquia Episcopal Church – Aquia’s Table, $1,750 for food 2010
Fund for Human Need Grants

Fund for Human Need grants totaling $14,980 were recommended by the Commission and approved by the Executive Board at its November, 2010 meeting.

  • Christ Church, Millwood – Christ Church Cares Community Pantry, $4,600 for a refrigerator, freezer, and shelving
  • Christ The King, Harrisonburg – Stop Hunger Now Packaging Event, $3,000 for food and promotional activities to support event
  • St. Andrew’s, Arlington – Community Vegetable Garden, $1,500 for general support and gardening supplies
  • St. Andrew’s, Richmond – Children’s Breakfast Program,$2,880 for breakfast foods
  • St. Paul’s On-The-Hill, Winchester - St. Paul’s Table/Men’s Ministry programs$3,000 for food

Submitted by Mr. Scott M. Broetzmann, Chair

Committee on Mental Health
The diocesan Mental Health Committee continues to work to promote understanding, awareness, advocacy and action for and on behalf of those affected by mental illness throughout the Diocese.  Our emphasis remains on educational opportunities to provide knowledge and clarity about mental illness/wellness.  Our goal is to alleviate the stigma that overshadows the mentally ill, thereby promoting understanding, awareness, compassion, inclusion and mental wellness.

During 2010, our monthly meetings have continued generally on the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. at Trinity Church, Fredericksburg.  Members of the Committee have made presentations at various churches throughout the diocese: for example, Don Bruce, Ph.D., made a presentation at St. James-The-Less, Ashland.  Other committee members and “friends” made mental health presentations and facilitated discussions about mental health in various parishes.  

2010 activities include:

A new Web site, www.VAmentalhealth.org.  Meetings are open, so that other interested people may attend.  Minutes of the monthly meetings, agenda and information and details about special projects are available on the Web site.  

A Mental Health Conference, “Making the Connection: Mental Health and Our Faith Communities” in October 2010, a workshop on responding to bipolar/depression co-sponsored by VOCAL (Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership) with introduction and opening remarks by Marta Engdahl, chair, lead speakers the Rev. Matt Johnson, associate rector, Grace Church, The Plains, and Brian Parrish, executive director, VOCAL, a program on bipolar depression by Donald Bruce, Ph.D., small group discussion facilitated by Robert DiCalogero, followed by large group report, and closing remarks and dismissal by Ellen Osborne.  Further details and conference report may be found on the above website or requested from the Chair.

A Report, A Call to Awareness, Advocacy, and Action, September 2010, as a result of data collected in the Mental Health Needs Survey questionnaire distributed and collected at VA Council 215th at the January session in Richmond, and on the adjourned date in February at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria.  This report, containing an Executive Summary, the 2004 founding mental health resolution, Roster of Members and Wellness Planner that was mailed to each and every church (230) in the Diocese in October/November 2010.  This document is also available on the Web site, www.VAmentalhealth.org. The Wellness Planner, Appendix C, is being re-designed into "A Spiritual Guide to Wellness Planning."

An interfaith gathering, Rekindling Our Light, September 22, 2010, at St. Paul’s Memorial, Charlottesville, an interfaith gathering of remembrance and renewal, was also supported by UVA Women’s Center, United Ministries at UVa, SARA (Sexual Assault Resource Agency), SHE (Shelter for Help in Emergency) and White Ribbon Campaign at UVa.

Further conferences in the fall and spring are planned with the hope of continued outgrowth of support groups in various churches throughout the regions of the diocese.

Our workshops regarding bipolar disorder and depression, post traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention are available for distribution and presentation to all parishes in the Diocese.  Our members also are ready and available to provide assistance to parishes that are facing challenges associated with mental illness and the work toward recovery/wellness.  Whether the need is for sound, current information referral to resources, or consultation, we stand ready to serve those in the Diocese of Virginia.

A Mental Health Award based on the Spiritual Guide to Wellness Planning is scheduled for deadline on Christ The King Sunday, November 26, 2011.  

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light. –Matthew 11: 28-30.

2011 Mission Statement
As members of the Body of Christ, we seek to live out the reconciling love of Jesus by offering educational programs and net-working resources so that the Church may be a welcoming sanctuary for people living with mental illness.

You are invited to stop by the Mental Health Committee Exhibit Display Table to learn about our recent projects:

  • 2010 First Annual Mental Health Conference, Making the Connection: Mental Health and Our Faith Communities, October 9, 2010 at Church of Our Savior, Charlottesville, Co-Sponsored with VOCAL, (Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership);
  • Report,  A Call to Awareness, Advocacy, and Action, September 2010 (on the Mental Health Needs Survey Questionnaire, January 2010 and data responses);
  • Participation and Support of Rekindling Our Light, an interfaith gathering of Remembrance and Renewal at St. Paul’s Memorial, Charlottesville September 22, 2010;
  • View and/or receive the Mental Health Committee Workshops: Bipolar Disorder/Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Suicide Prevention
  • Visit with mental health consultants about opportunities for Adult Forum programs/discussions for your parish;
  • Become active as a member, “friend”, or regional representative on the Mental Health Committee

“Take my yoke upon me and you will find rest for your souls.”  -- Matt. 11: 29.

Commission on Ministry
The Commission on Ministry is charged by the canons of the Episcopal Church to advise and assist the bishop in “ the determination of present and future opportunities and needs for the ministry of all baptized persons,” and “the design and oversight of the ongoing process for recruitment discernment, formation for ministry, and assessment of readiness therefore.”

The Chair of the Commission on Ministry during the report year was the Rev. Dr. David T. Anderson, St. Stephen’s, Richmond. We thank him for his years of dedicated and effective ministry as he steps down from this work.     

The Commission is comprised of the chairs of the committees that fall under its umbrella, plus at large members.  The Commission met several times in 2010 to oversee the work of these committees and share common mission.  The Commission also spent 24 hours on retreat to reflect on the present and future needs of the church and on how the Commission can best raise up leadership to meet those needs.  

The Committees which fall under the Commission are:

  • Committee on Discernment   
    Mission:  Develop and oversee the discernment process for leadership ministries, both lay and ordained; recruit, train and support  Diocesan Spiritual Discernment Facilitators; design and deliver Diocesan Discernment Retreats; provide advice and counsel to the Bishop on matters related to discernment; serve as a resource on discernment for the Diocese.  The Chair is the Rev. Stephen H. Wade.  There are currently 20 lay and clergy persons trained as Diocesan Spiritual Discernment Facilitators.  The DSDFs normally meet quarterly for continuing education and reflection on their work. In 2010, Diocesan Discernment Retreats were held in February, May and September, with 38 participants from 21 congregations. 
  • Committee on the Diaconate           
    Mission: Develop and oversee the policies and procedures for formation of (vocational) deacons, including assisting individuals and presenting parishes with the nomination and application process for the diaconate, and evaluation of experience and education; provide continuing support and assistance to persons in the diaconal formation process;  develop and oversee the policies, procedures, and curriculum of the Diaconal Formation Institute (DFI); provide advice and counsel to the Bishop on matters related to the diaconate. The Chair is the Rev. Jane Piver, Grace Church, Stanardsville.   
    The first five candidates for the diaconate are scheduled to be ordained as deacons on February 5, 2011.  There are 13 postulants now enrolled in the Diaconal Formation Institute, and their formation will continue to completion.    Bishop Johnston, with the advice and consent of the Committee on the Diaconate, has called for a moratorium on the admission of new postulants for one to two years to give the Committee adequate time to regularize and strengthen the formation, education and training process.  The Diocese of Virginia remains committed to the diaconate.  It is because of this strong commitment that focused attention ton bolstering the process is needed.  
  • Committee on Priesthood   
    Mission: Develop and oversee the policies and procedures for the formation of priests, including assisting individuals and presenting priests with the nomination and application process for priesthood, provide continuing support and assistance to persons in the priestly formation process; provide advice and counsel to the Bishop on matters related to priesthood; serve as a resource on priesthood for the diocese.  The Chair in 2010 was the Rev. Dr. David T. Anderson, St. Stephen’s, Richmond. As a result of the work of the Committee in 2010, seven persons were ordained to the transitional diaconate, five were persons ordained to the priesthood, six persons were granted candidacy and seven were granted postulancy.  
  • Young Priest Initiative   
    Mission:  The Young Priests Initiative is designed to help young adults, especially college students, to discern their call to ministry—whether lay ministry or ordained ministry.  The emphasis is on support to young people who move around a lot, or are away from their home parishes while in school, or who have come to the Episcopal Church through college ministries and not through traditional parish membership.  In 2010-2011, the YPI is journeying with four young adults in their discernment process.   The Chair is the Rev. Laura M. Lockey, Campus Missioner at James Madison University
  • Diocesan Board of Examining Chaplains   
    Mission: Review and evaluate General Ordination Examinations for persons seeking priesthood, and recommend and oversee any additional work required to demonstrate proficiency in the seven areas covered by the GOEs; assist in the development, administration and evaluation of written and oral examinations for persons seeking the diaconate; develop, administer and evaluate examinations for clergy ordained in other denominations; provide advice and counsel to the Bishop on matters related to GOEs and related examinations; serve as resource on theological education for the Diocese. In 2010, the DBEC read examinations of seven candidates for priesthood and five candidates for the diaconate.  In addition they developed, administered and read the exam for one former Roman Catholic priest seeking to be received as an Episcopal priest.  The Chair is the Rev. Dr. Craig A. Phillips, St. Peter’s, Arlington.
  • Committee on Continuing Clergy Formation   
    Mission:  Develop and administer the Fresh Start program for newly ordained clergy and clergy new to the Diocese; provide advice and counsel to the Bishop on matters related to continuing clergy formation; serve as resource on continuing clergy formation for the Diocese. The two-year long Fresh Start program is now in its ninth year in the Diocese of Virginia.  Approximately 30 participants are enrolled for the 2010-2011 program year.  Three facilitators work with the chair to provide fellowship and continuing education for participants. The Chair is the Rev. James A. Papile, St. Anne’s, Reston.
  • Committee on Leadership Formation   
    Mission: Develop and oversee the policies and procedures for leadership formation for laity, deacons, and priests; develop and oversee the Episcopal Leadership Institute; provide advice and counsel to the Bishop on matters related to leadership formation; serve as a resource on leadership formation for the Diocese.  The Chair is the Rev. Margaret Ann Faeth, Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, Alexandria.
  • Mid-Atlantic Parish Training Program  
     Mission:  Provide an intensive summer internship experience in a parish for those preparing for priesthood.  The Chair is the Rev. Lynn Holland.

Committee on Parish Nursing
This has been a year of frustration in trying to communicate with parishes about their health programs. We are still trying to get a mechanism to be able to determine which parishes have a parish nurse/health ministry program and which do not have one. We have met and talked to eight nurses who are interested in parish nursing. We hope they will be trained this year.

We have had to say farewell to Ann Mingledorf as she is working on a diaconate. We wish her well.

We are pleased that Amy Williams from the bishop’s office will be working with us.

Last, we hope to have a resolution before the Council for a mandatory health ministry in each parish by the end of 2012. This was a resolution coming out of General Convention.More next year!

Submitted by Ms. Helen Zebarth, Chair, Region 14; Ms. Carol Heddleston, Region 6; Ms. Jan Litsinger, Region 2; Ms. Anne Parker, Region 1

Committee on Parish Youth Ministries

PYM. (Parish Youth Ministries) is a committee composed of high school students from across the Diocese. It is the only committee in the Diocese of Virginia that is made up entirely of youth. The members of the group, which ranges from 25-30 members, are the leaders in a series of weekend and day events held throughout the school year.

Annually PYM hosts three large events at Shrine Mont: 6th & 7th Grade Weekend, 8th Grade Weekend and Senior High Weekend. There are also several one-day events held at various locations across the Diocese such as the Fall and Spring Day of Service and Spring day of Play. The main objective of these events is to promote opportunities of fellowship and spiritual growth for the youth in our diocese through music, arts and crafts, games, bible study, small group discussion, initiative exercises, and prayer. The group also spends two weekends a year in retreat for planning and leadership training, and on months where there is not an event the committee meets in Fredericksburg to evaluate the program offerings and plan for future events. A selection of the committee serves as pages at Annual Council.

The PYM Committee elects their two co-chairs; for the 2010-2011 school year the co-chairs are Kathleen Gayle and Tav Hafner. The diocesan liaison is Michael Wade.

Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct

The primary work of the Committee continues to be trainings for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and the Prevention of Adult Sexual Misconduct throughout the Diocese, including the annual training for students at Virginia Theological Seminary (this year in August).  This year we offered 23 trainings for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, 3 abbreviated trainings and 18 trainings for the Prevention of Adult Sexual Misconduct.  Over 600 people received training.  We have continued to train new trainers for the child abuse prevention training, working to have people trained in areas of the diocese that have not had trainers nearby.   The training for adult sexual misconduct has been revised, and we welcome new trainers who would like to be trained in that.  The Committee is developing an abbreviated training for the Prevention of Adult Sexual Misconduct that will be required of lay pastoral caregivers beginning in July, 2011.  A training of trainers for this new training will be offered at several locations in the Diocese.

At the annual meeting of trainers in October, members of St. John’s, McLean shared their experience of developing guidelines for safe practices in internet safety.  Guidelines developed by the Diocese of Connecticut served as one of their resources.

Congregations are reminded that both trainings are required of ALL paid employees.  The Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse training is required of all volunteers who work with children and youth at any time other than Sunday morning.  This training, or an abbreviated form of it, is strongly  recommended for those who work with children and youth on Sunday mornings.  As of September 1, 2006, all adults who go on mission trips involving children or youth are required to take the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse training.  Additionally, the designated leader(s) of each mission trip are required to take the Prevention of Adult Sexual Misconduct training.
The diocesan Policy and Procedures Manual contains additional information and is available online through the diocesan Web site.  An up-to-date list of trainings is also on the Web site.  

Submitted by the Rev. Jacqueline C. Thomson, Chair

Committee on Race Relations
Members: Ms. Ellyn Crawford, Co-chair, St. George’s, Arlington; The Rev. J. David Niemeyer, Co-chair, Trinity, Highland Springs & St. Francis’,Goochland; Mr. Buck Blanchard, Staff, Diocese of Virginia; Ms. Carol Burroughs, Trinity, Arlington; Mr. William Campbell, St. Paul’s, Alexandria; Dr. John B. Chilton, Grace and Holy Trinity, Richmond; Mrs. Barbara Jackson, St. Paul’s, West Point; Dr. John L. Johnson, St. Mary, Colonial Beach; Mrs. Gladys E. Lewis, St. Philip’s, Richmond; The Rev. Barbara Marques, All Soul’s, Mechanicsville; Mr. Joseph Royster, Meade Memorial, Alexandria; Mrs. Marion Spraggins,Trinity, Arlington; Mr. Maurice Spraggins,Trinity, Arlington; Ms. Kathryn Thomas, Grace, Standardsville; Mrs. Mareea E. Wilson, St. Barnabas’, Annandale  

Our Mission:
The Committee on Race Relations of The Diocese of Virginia embraces the responsibility to:

  • Develop and implement programs and strategies that affirm our baptismal covenant; and
  • Engage and lead conversations across the Diocese about race and racism.

 At the end of 2009, we set forth goals for this year’s work.  We have made progress in each area.  At the same time, we are acutely aware that to become the Church that Christ envisioned we must, with God’s help, continue to develop and offer information, programs and projects that resonate with Episcopalians across the Diocese.  Our overarching purpose remains to provide safe, creative, prayer-centered opportunities to become an anti-racist Church that sees “ the Face of God in Each Other.”    

Our goals for the past year were to:

  1. Define specific goals and measures for our newly created sub-committees (training, networking, communications and research, budget, and structural analysis) and implement programs that achieve our objectives.
    Before planning and working on our programs and projects, described below, as a committee-of-the- whole, we first worked on the goal cited above.  Guided by the outcome of this discussion, we were able to proceed.
  2. Continue to address racial diversity issues in the diocesan structure.
    The Sub-Committee on Structural Analysis is designing a survey to be sent to a random sample of congregations.  The questions will essentially be the same as those asked in the survey conducted more than 20 years ago. Using these questions will afford us affording the opportunity to measure progress and identify opportunities. Ms. Maurice Spraggins leads this effort assisted by Mr. John L. Johnson and the Rev. David Niemeyer. They intend to report by the end of 2011.
  3. Offer a brief presentation at Annual Council in 2011 in addition to our exhibit presence.
    As a Committee-of-the Whole, we look forward to offering one of the 1 and ¾-hour break-out sessions at Council in January: The Committee on Race Relations invites you to a multi-media colloquium. See and hear a brief presentation about the history of race relations in our Diocese. View many faces of Christ and Christ’s people. Walk the labyrinth and meditate on Christ, our blessed redeemer, teacher and friend
  4. Build on the two workshops offered in 2009; refine and offer anti-racism programs throughout the Diocese in multiple formats including workshops and brief presentations
    The Sub-Committee on Training and Networking has developed two companion programs to the 12-hour workshop, “Seeing the Face of God in Each Other":  A 45-minute program suitable for presentation during a forum that presents a brief history of race relations in the Diocese (part of our break-out session), and a 3-hour interactive program featuring the film “Traces of the Trade.”  The trainers of the Race Relations Committee offered three 12-hour workshops in 2010.  The first was in March for the members of the South African Partnership and the South African Commission.  The second was in October for the vestries of All Souls, Mechanicsville; St. Francis, Goochland; and Trinity, Highland Springs.  Also attending were several seminarians from Virginia Theological Seminary and a rector from the Diocese of New York.  The third workshop was facilitated by the co-chairs of the Committee on Race Relations of the Diocese of Virginia for the Commission on Truth and Reconciliation of the Diocese of Maryland.  The work of this Sub-Committee is proceeding with developing programs which guided the next goal.
  5. Pay particular attention to ensuring that the content is relevant across generations with additional theological emphasis. The Sub-Committee will next work on a program specifically designed to be offered to youth in the Diocese. The work-group is lead by Ms. Marion Spraggins, assisted by the Rev. Barbara Marques, Ms. Kathryn Thomas and Ms. Ellyn Crawford.
  6. Give special effort to researching and documenting the history of our Diocese as it relates to understanding our past and the continuing legacy of slavery and racism.
    The Sub-Committee on Research and Communication has launched and maintains the Web site for the Committee on Race Relations.  In addition, a comprehensive history of race relations in the Diocese is in final draft and will be offered to the Diocese in early 2011, fulfilling the requirement set forth in the resolution passed by of General Convention.    Continuing research and making information available to the Diocese via our website is an ongoing effort. This Sub-Committee is lead by Dr. John Chilton assisted by Ms. Gladys Lewis and Mr. Joseph Royster. 

In August, the Committee had lunch with Bishop Shannon. We brought him up to date on our activities. Following that exchange, he told us of his extraordinary experiences while deeply involved in working to foster improved race relations in Mississippi. We spent the last part of the luncheon meeting speaking of what we can do in the future toward our goal of becoming an anti-racist Diocese that is welcoming and supporting of all God's people.The members of the Committee on Race Relations pray for God’s grace and inspiration as we continue our work in 2011.

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Roslyn
During 2010, the Virginia Diocesan Center at Roslyn hosted 280 organizations with over 9,000 participants.  In addition to hosting these groups, Roslyn was the setting for complimentary clergy retreats, an Easter Brunch and a Blessing of the Animals.  

Roslyn greeted 2010 by opening the doors of the Bishop’s Chapel.  Built in honor of the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, over 300 people participated in the June dedication of the building.  Guests love the addition of the chapel and frequently comment on its beauty and the spiritual sense one feels when inside.  

Roslyn’s clergy retreats continue to be a favorite offering.  The gift of time for diocesan clergy to come to Roslyn for rest, reflection and fellowship has been a welcome one with many repeat visitors as well as many new ones.    

Roslyn’s Easter Brunch welcomed another record crowd in 2010.  Over 165 people enjoyed a delicious meal on Easter Sunday.  We hope to see many of these guests again as we host the fifth annual brunch in 2011.  

A second Blessing of the Animals was held by the outdoor altar in October.  An annual event at Roslyn, the Blessing is the perfect service to hold at Roslyn where so many beautiful animals live in its wonderful environment.    

Looking to 2011, plans to give the upper floor of Tucker Hall a face lift will make eight additional lodge rooms available for Roslyn’s guests.  We look forward to having these extra rooms ready for occupancy by the middle of the year.

This has indeed been a year filled with good fortune.  Thanks to those who have helped make all of these events and activities possible.   

Submitted by Ms. Kass Lawrence, Director

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Committee for South African Partnership
The Committee for South African Partnership (CSAP) seeks mutual partnership with our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Christ the King, South Africa in ways that will encourage both our ministries, foster and deepen our relationships with each other and make us stronger in spreading the Gospel. Each time we meet, we begin with Bible study and reflection, on how that particular scripture speaks to our work in the committee. We hold as our biblical mandate Paul’s words found in 1 Thessalonians 5:11-26

"Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.   But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.  And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them.   See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.   Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,   give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.   Do not quench the Spirit.   Do not despise the words of prophets,  but test everything; hold fast to what is good;  abstain from every form of evil.  May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. Beloved, pray for us.  Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss.”

A large part of our committee time is spent sharing news about the people and churches in our partnerships and praying for them, especially for those “who labor among the people.” We recognize the relative prosperity we have in our portion of the Kingdom, and we feel obligated to help our South African brothers and sisters financially and materially, however we can.

Background: In 1990, the Diocese of Christ the King, South Africa was created to serve a rapidly increasing population in a long, thin area stretching from the southern suburbs of Johannesburg to the Vaal river of South Africa.  Bishop and Mrs. Peter James Lee were guests of Peter John Lee, at his consecration in as bishop of the new diocese, and the CSAP was established in 1991.  The Diocese of Christ the King is located in the Johannesburg area, bordered by the Southwest Township (SOWETO) and the Cape Town freeway. It is a small diocese, with a high percentage of its residents living in extremely poor conditions.  Since the establishment of the Diocese of Christ the King and the CSAP, a number of cultural exchanges and visits have been conducted between the two dioceses with the intent of fostering relationships and understanding.

2010: Two Members of the CSAP spent eleven days in the Diocese of Christ the King in March.  Members stayed at St. Benedict’s Convent as well as the home of the Rev. David Dinkebogile, Rector of St. Cyprian’s Church in Sharpeville.  Committee members visited St. Laurence Church in Small Farms, All Saints, Holy Innocents, Finetown, Church of the Savior in Lenasia, St. Mary’s Children’s Home, St. Monica’s as well as attended the Bishop’s Executive Council planning meeting, a Diocesan Youth Initiative Council meeting, youth group at St. Cyprian’s and a student ministries Eucharist.  Members also had the opportunity to attend the annual Mother’s Union Event, Ladies Day at Church of the Ascension.  The Rev. Ann Ritonia from the Diocese of Virginia was the guest preacher for that event.  Ms. Ritonia also had the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist for a group of retirees at the diocesan retreat center, St. Peter’s Place, as well as concelebrate a three-hour Sunday Eucharist at St. Cyprian’s in Sharpeville.  A highlight of the visit was visiting and walking the 117-acre site for the proposed Diocesan Retreat Center, Eldnsfontein, Thaba ea Jesus, “A Place Apart.” Members of the committee also had the opportunity to have tea with the Mrs. Singer, who donated the land to the Diocese of Christ the King.

The visit to the Diocese of Christ the King was informative, established new relationships, nurtured existing relationships and strengthened the bonds of affection between the Diocese of Virginia and the Diocese of Christ the King. The number of youth that are involved in the life of the Diocese of Christ the King and the depth of commitment to serving Jesus and one another was awe-inspiring.

The committee this year, in addition to our visit, to fulfill the mission of the Partnership purchased and shipped twelve study Bibles to the Diocese of Christ the King, supporting seminarian and clergy education.  The committee procured a grant from the Marie Cooper Fund for $20,000 dollars, paid over four years.  The grant is to be used for the development of Taba ea Jesus, the Diocesan camp and retreat center.  The first installment of $5,000 dollars was received in December.  The committee continued supporting a seminarian this year as well as seeking additional funding sources for camp development.  A grant of $1,000 dollars was given by region XIV.   Members of the committee also participated in Race Relations training this spring and we all wish to thank members of the Race Relations Committee for their commitment to this important work and the professional manner in which training was conducted.    

The majority and probably the most important aspects of our work are relationship building, mutual prayer and correspondence between Churches and Sunday School children. In addition, some churches are enjoying working with specific outreach projects of their linked congregation, planning mission trips, offering financial support or scholarships, sabbatical visits and the like. Currently pairing with their counterparts in the Diocese of Christ the King are Trinity (Charlottesville), Emmanuel Church, (Rapidan) ,Trinity (Washington), St. Phillip’s (Richmond), St. Barnabas’ (Annandale), St. James’s, (Richmond), Grace Church (Alexandria), St. Gabriel’s (Leesburg), St. Margaret’s (Woodbridge) and Christ Church (Winchester).

In 2010 the CSAP met all budget obligations.  We have grown in partnership through self-funded trips and the gifts of generous patrons, the committee on mission and have  been able to financially support several key area of ministry in our partnership.  We have also been pleased with the growing the relationship between our two dioceses and their leaders.

2011:  Goals for 2011 include proactively establishing a greater number of partnerships, and continuing to support the work of the diocese of Christ the King. A long-term goal of the CSAP remains to partner every church in the Diocese of Christ the King with a sister congregation or congregations in the Diocese of Virginia. This is slow work and due to communication challenges, relationships grow slowly over time.  Also in 2011, the committee will continue to highlight the benefits of parish partnerships, which include mutual prayer, correspondence between clergy and parishioners of all ages, potential exchanges, and support of special congregation-based ministry initiatives. In addition, the CSAP would like to help form additional partnerships between youth groups of both Diocese’s as well as continue to find schools and diocesan organizations that would partner with and support schools in the Diocese of Christ the King. As a committee, we will continue to identify additional avenues to support clergy and lay education. Strengthen the relationship between youth of our respective Diocese through visits as well as arrange for the Diocese of Christ the King, Director of Christian Formation to visit and establish relationships with youth in the Diocese of Virginia through PYM. We will continue to identify additional funding sources for Taba ea Jesus property development as well as support Bishop Johnston’s initiatives between our partner Dioceses.  

The CSAP will support the spiritual needs of the diocese by helping to provide funding and opportunities for ordained clergy and lay ministers, as well as to encourage clergy and laity from this diocese in a sense of mission. CSAP is providing small scholarships to Bishop Peter John Lee for his use in training clergy and lay people, and we are encouraged by the work of Virginia Theological Seminary to provide summer experiences in South Africa, as well as bringing professors from South African to teach in their January term.

As our work proceeds, it is our hope that our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Christ the King, particularly, the seminarian and lay ministers we support through scholarships, and exchanges will make a difference in the lives they touch as ministers of the Gospel and providers of care and support to congregations. We are grateful to all Episcopalians in the Diocese of Virginia who encourage and support our work as a committee.

Submitted by the Rev. Ann Ritonia, Chair

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Shrine Mont
2010 was another fun-filled and exciting year on the mountain.  This year, over 15,000 guests and 650 campers enjoyed our wonderful facility for traditional parish weekends, summer camps, conferences, family vacations and individual get-a-ways.
Some highlights from this year include:

  • Thousands of people worshiped in the Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration and we marked the 85th anniversary of the consecration of the Shrine on August 6.
  • Eighty five parishes from the Diocese held retreat.
  • Nine different camps hosted over 650 youth and families of the Diocese
  • •    125 volunteers attended our Annual Work Weekend providing Shrine Mont an invaluable service in preparing to open for the season
  • The fifth Art & Soul conference was held in July and focused on nurturing our spiritual life through the creative arts
  • Bishop Shannon hosted the 21st annual Bishops Bluegrass Festival on July 4.
  • Bishop Jones hosted the 12th annual Tee with the Bishop’s Golf Tournament raising over $11,000 for Shrine Mont
  • Shrine Mont also added new conferences and events to our calendar including
  • The first annual women’s retreat was attended by 25 participants and was a great success.
  • Our first digital photography weekend was held in the fall.
  • Grace Church Berryville held a mission trip at Shrine Mont and rebuilt the Bear Wallow Camp.
  • Shrine Mont partnered with the Shenandoah Sheriff’s Department to host the first annual Leadership Camp for Shenandoah County middle school students.  This camp offered 30 local youth a unique opportunity to learn from and develop a rapport with local officers.  
  • Shrine Mont entered a new partnership with Bryce Resort giving 175 campers and guests the opportunity to use Bryce’s Zip Line and climbing wall. 

Other community partnerships continued with the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival offering an array of concerts and artists at Shrine Mont. We also hosted a number of luncheons and dinners for various community organizations.

Shrine Mont continues in its efforts to improve our facilities.  In 2010 we raised nearly $160,000 toward the reconstruction of St. Andrews cottage and acquired the Orkney Springs Fire Company property at the entrance to Orkney Springs.  This will ensure that Orkney retains its simple small-town look for all who visit Shrine Mont.

Shrine Mont would like to thank the Shrine Mont Board of Directors, the diocesan staff and all of the guests and donors for their hard work and efforts to continue to make Shrine Mont ”a place apart.”  We are looking forward to another great season in 2011 and hope that every member of the Diocese will spend some time with us.

Submitted by Mr. Kevin Moomaw, Executive Director

Committee for the Stewardship of Creation
History:
The diocesan Committee for the Stewardship of Creation was formed by Bishop Lee in 1992 to respond to a 1991 General Convention resolution which called for Episcopalians “to view Environmental Stewardship as a matter of highest urgency“.
Here we are many years later, and the words “highest urgency” remain significant. As Stewards of God's Creation, this Committee's energy remains dedicated to its original vision to share our faith, our ideas, and by our actions to provide the guidance to conserve and protect God's creation.

Mission:
We provide guidance, support, speakers, newsletters, a Web site and teaching materials to

  1. Help Parishes identify and implement ways to become better stewards of God's creation.
  2. Offer ideas for action to help restore and protect the earth.
  3. Provide theological and scientific materials on environmental matters and spirituality.
  4. Encourage dialogue on the environment and our faith.

The following listing enumerates how we Served our Churches during 2010.

Our Objectives Relate to Our Services
We help people in the parishes and missions of the Diocese to understand environmental issues as religious concerns. The Committee is guided by it's permanent spiritual co-chair, a member of our clergy, to guide us while assuring that we stay on message.

With our spiritual guide, we make clear to those we serve, of the connection between our Christian faith and caring for creation.

We strive to increase awareness throughout the Diocese of the nature and seriousness of the environmental challenges and the faith-derived actions required to help solve these problems.

We encourage and support stewardship of creation ministries at the local parish/mission level with liturgical, spiritual and worship resources and technical assistance.

We share information about ongoing environmental and sustainability issues at state, national and international levels including legislation, education and ecumenical partnerships (below).

We support specific environmentally related activities, e.g., Shrine Mont forest management, renewable energy, energy audit programs, parish energy and water conservation.

We sponsor and conduct periodic conferences on issues related to faith and the environment.

We maintain a list of contacts and resource organizations within the network of relevant faith and environmental groups. An example of these follow in a list of Web sites.

We have developed and distributed lists of Energy Savings Tips to dozens of our churches. These lists are available to everyone via our Committee Web site and the diocesan Web site.

We have, through our co-chair for information and communications, Susan Midland, furnished articles for publication in The Virginia Episcopalian. Most notable recently is the summary of last September's Committee conference on "Our Threatened Water Supply‟. This can be found in The Virginia Episcopalian, January 2011 Issue, on page 22; and, within this report below.

We are exploring a program to encourage other diocesan committees to write about their work, and to share the value of that work with others.

We have participated as speakers and presenters at our diocesan conferences; and when invited, to our sister diocese of Southern Virginia (DioSoVa).

e have partnered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and it's EnergyStar Division to assist them in the expansion of their National Energy Performance Rating System for Houses of Worship.

We represent the Diocese of Virginia on the consultative council of Virginia Interfaith Power and Light as the Episcopal representative. The intention of our presence is to further the sharing of our work with other faith groups.

We manage the Lee-Atkinson Energy Conservation Award. At Council in January 2010, the first annual wward was presented to honor the one church that showed the greatest effort in energy conservation. We look forward to repeated interest in this award program in the future.

We are progressing and enlarging our Church Stewardship Partner Program by continuing to contact all of our churches with a simple request: to select one person from their church who they believe possesses the imagination, desire and dedication to represent their congregation as its stewardship partner, and to become this Committee's point of contact as we share with their church.

At Council, during January 2011, a resolution will be proposed asking that, after the positive response received to date, all other churches simply name that person from their church to interface with the Committee.

Hopefully, through the resolution, the 27 percent of churches that have already responded will grow to all churches.

The Committee envisions that growth in the Church Stewardship Partner Program will enhance the success of interfaith Sharing.

Links to Resource Organizations For Your Information

Environmental Stewardship in the Churches

  • Peace and Justice Ministries, http://www.episcopalchurch.org/1829_ENG_HTM.htm
  • Episcopal Ecological Network, http://www.eenonline.org/
  • Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, http://www.vipl.org/
  • Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, http://www.gwipl.org/
  • The Regeneration Project, http://www.theregenerationproject.org/
  • Native Energy: Carbon Offsets for People and the Planet, http://nativeenergy.com/

Worship Resources

  • Diocese of Minnesota Environmental Stewardship Committee: Lectionary Reflections, http://www.env-steward.com/lectnry.htm
  • UK Christian Ecology Network: Green Pointers for Preachers, http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk/econotes-index.htm#index
  • Web of Creation Green Congregation Program: Worship Resources, http://www.webofcreation.org/Worship/resources.htm
  • Wellsprings: Liturgy of Creation, http://www.wellsprings.org.uk/liturgies/creation.htm

Eco-Theology Education – helps us grow in our understanding of our stewardship responsibilities.

  • Eco-Theology Book List, http://www.cep.unt.edu/ecotheo.html
  • Forum on Religion and Ecology, http://environment.harvard.edu/religion/
  • Theological Perspectives, http://www.earthcareonline.org/theolpersp.html

Green Building Technologies - make our work and worship spaces more environmentally sensitive.

  • EPA Green Buildings, http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/
  • Green Building Pages, http://www.greenbuildingpages.com/links/weblinks_fund.html
  • VA Sustainable Building Network, http://www.vsbn.org/membership.shtml#whoswho

Science Education - the effects of global warming, species preservation, and pollution.

  • Real Climate: Climate Scientists on Climate Change, http://www.realclimate.org/
  • Photographic evidence of Climate Change, http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists: News, Science, Solutions, http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Reports and Projections, http://www.ipcc.ch/
  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature: Organizations Working Together for Conservation, http://cms.iucn.org/index.cfm
  • Endangered Species, http://eelink.net/EndSpp/
  • Virginia's Natural Environment, Geography and People, http://www.virginiaplaces.org/
  • Environmental News Network, http://www.enn.com/

Energy Saving - saving energy saves money and the environment:

  • Energy Star for Congregations, http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=small_business.sb_congregations
  • Five Steps to Lower Your Energy Use, http://www.interfaithenergy.com/tips.htm
  • Solar Power, http://www.solarpanelinfo.com/

Taking Action - Steps and ideas for you and your congregation to help the environment:

  • Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Church Commits, http://genesis.eds.edu/
  • Creation Care in Personal and Family Life, http://www.earthcareonline.org/perslife.html
  • Web of Creation - Ecology Resources to Transform Faith and Society, http://www.webofcreation.org/
  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network to advocate for renewable energy sources, http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org/index_va.cfm
  • Show the film "Renewal" - religious groups across the country acting for the environment, http://renewalproject.net.s17607.gridserver.com/
  • Earth Ministry - For a "Greening Your Congregation" handbook, http://www.earthministry.org/
  • Volunteer for Nature Conservation, http://greenvolunteers.com/

Try our Web sites for additional links to our resources

  • http://thediocese.net/stewardship_creation.shtml
  •  www.CaringForGodsCreation.Net

Summary of the Recent Conference, "Our Threatened Water Supply"
Every day as we draw water from our faucets we expect clean and abundant water. Too few of us realize the increasing demands that are being placed on our usable water supply, obtained from surface water supplies and aquifers far below the ground surface. We know from daily news reports that in other parts of the world water scarcity is in crisis; yet little to nothing is reported that water supply is an emerging problem here in Virginia.

On Saturday, September 18, 2010, the diocesan Committee on Stewardship of Creation convened a conference and workshop at St. James-the-Less Episcopal Church in Ashland, Virginia to discuss water scarcity in Virginia, particularly in the Coastal Region constituting much of the area encompassed by the Diocese.

The speakers first demonstrated how water shortages worldwide have reached tragic proportions. They demonstrated by example how here at home clear signals have been arising that predict a future scarcity condition that conservation alone will not cure.

The principal presentations at the conference were by Frank Fletcher, a hydrogeologist and fellow of the American Geological Society now living in the Northern Neck of Virginia; Scott Kudlas, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; and, Dudley Rochester, formerly of the University of Virginia, a Committee member, a retired medical doctor and respiratory specialist and our keynote speaker.

During the morning session, the presenters brought to attention the strains on regional water resources resulting from growing water demands. The Committee presented to the churches a list of water conservation tips, describing that list as a worthy church ministry, but a list which should not be considered as the total solution to water supply and sustainability issues.

During the afternoon, participants in the Conference broke into smaller sessions that were facilitated by other specialists and leaders of non-profit safe water and water conservation associations that are active in the area served by the Diocese. The attendees were asked to consider, then translate what they heard during the morning session into lists of new and fresh ideas. The challenge was to seek new solutions that could result in larger conservation and supply results. At a later afternoon session, all reconvened to study each other's lists, reported hereinafter.

Background

  • The extended drought, 1999-2002, called policy-makers' attention to Virginia's lack of preparedness; growing dependence on finite water resources; and, policy-makers' uncertainty about the scale of the problem. In the aftermath, the Commonwealth established a new regulatory structure to monitor and approve permitting for surface and groundwater withdrawals. As of the Conference, approximately two-thirds of the Coastal Plain was encompassed in groundwater management districts. However, a number of withdrawals from ground water and surface water are grandfathered or unregulated even in the areas that are regulated, and the tools used to monitor and model ground water utilization in Virginia have not been updated significantly since the early 1990s.
  • While groundwater is the principal water source for fresh water in the Coastal Plain, there are no federal mandates to monitor and preserve ground water supplies as sustainable resources.
  • Current efforts and funding for data collection relevant to the sustainability of groundwater and aquifer resources are for the most part dependent on state funds. Because of limits on state and local budgetary resources to fund monitoring and modeling, Virginia‟s capacity to assess the health of ground water resources has actually declined.
  • Federal, state and local agencies responsible for regulating water resources sometimes have conflicting perspectives and no mandate to coordinate or to resolve policy conflicts. The decentralization of water regulation in Virginia further limits data development and sharing and limits the effectiveness of the agencies' support for development of policy by the General Assembly.
  • Even with the limited data available from existing collection points, the Conference learned that ground water in parts of the Coastal Plain is being drawn down significantly more than projected in available computer models; and that, subsidence of aquifer sources in some areas along the Fall Line has already occurred as a result of the greater drawdowns. Any subsidence in the source cells for an aquifer limits its capacity to replenish.
  • In some areas within the Diocese, authorities have ceased issuing building permits because water supply is insufficient for the proposed construction.
Needs
  • More data is clearly needed to grasp the magnitude and urgency of the threats to sustainable water resources and to direct resources to address those threats effectively. Abundant water is under serious challenge; Virginia can no longer operate on an assumption that surface and groundwater supplies are limitless. Frank Fletcher contended that Virginia must soon shift to greater reliance on nontraditional water sources, e.g., tertiary wastewater recycling, desalination, and others that have the potential for providing a sustainable supply for our future needs.
  • This shift requires research, development, and funding.
  • The changes necessary to achieve sustainable water supplies cannot be accomplished solely by measures such as shorter showers and rain barrels.
  • Only institutional bodies possess the expertise, the finances, and the collective manpower to bring about a new water supply paradigm that is in scale to the emerging demands on scarce supply.
Small Group Sessions
  • The small group sessions explored the ethical and spiritual implications of how we as individuals, communities, societies, and institutions can address the current and anticipated future struggles for a sustainable water supply.
  • The afternoon sessions reflected on the shifts in thinking necessary to achieve a new paradigm. The conservation practices that households adopt can help give texture to thought as spiritual practices and can give force to leading edge technologies for water saving to help them gain wider market penetration.
  • The significant changes to define a new paradigm require an informed electorate, legislative action, government reorganization, corporate support, and changes in agricultural and industrial technologies.
  • Each group came up with its respective list of action points for dealing with water issues. When the groups reconvened, their action plans were consolidated to identify major points for an action plan based on scientific knowledge and the responsibility of committed Christians to care for God‟s creation.
Action Points
  • For Diocese: Enhance Shrine Mont resources for stewardship inspiration and education; publish articles regularly on moral dimensions of environmental stewardship in The Virginia Episcopalian; make environmental stewardship a regular program component in annual Councils.
  • For Parishes: Model mindful water use through technology retrofits and good stewardship practices; include an environmental stewardship component in parish retreat programs; make publicity for stewardship initiatives a regular feature in parish newsletters.
  • Four Households: Follow the regulatory agendas of water resource agencies; discuss stewardship issues with family and with friends; express views as citizens; support sympathetic advocacy groups; and take steps within homes to support mindful stewardship.
  • For Committee: Members should engage in outreach to parishes as speakers and information and networking resources; the Committee website should continue to develop as a Diocesan portal for information material to stewardship of creation by publicizing relevant church resources: age-appropriate Sunday school curricula, videos, book lists, blogs, etc.

Conclusions

  • At its meeting in May 2011, the diocesan Committee on Stewardship of Creation will consider further the action points identified during the Conference; progress as reported by individual Churches, since the Conference; and, what further additional actions should be considered by the Committee and the Diocese to help address the emerging threats to sustainable water resources in Virginia.
  • The principal message resulting from this Conference; which best addresses the seriousness of water supply and its sustainability is that fresh and big ideas are needed, which must be followed by real action by everyone throughout the State and Nation.
  • This is an Every Person and Every Faith Challenge.
A list of water conservation tips that churches and households can implement and program materials supporting the presentations of the speakers are posted on the Committee Web site.

Submitted by Mr. Rocco V. Tricarico, AIA, Chair

Virginia Diocesan Homes
Virginia Diocesan Homes, Inc. (“VDH”) has been designated by the Annual Council as the diocesan agency through which institutional care of the aging is maintained. VDH’s mission includes encouraging the development of new residential care communities for aging people in the Diocese and maintaining liaison with the existing residential communities for the aging related to the Diocese, namely Continuing Care Retirement Communities (“CCRC’s”):

  • Goodwin House in Alexandria
  • Goodwin House at Bailey’s Crossroads
  • Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury in Irvington
  • Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury in Winchester
  • Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville
  • Westminster Canterbury in Richmond, and
  • Residential (non-continuing care) Communities Lockwood and Elmwood Houses in Arlington

The VDH Trustees elect, or approve the election of, the members of the governing boards of these communities.VDH acts in
an oversight role, monitoring the condition of the communities and their policies and practices on care and services for their residents.Of particular interest for VDH for the CCRC’s are the fellowship resources to provide financial aid to residents.The VDH trustees meet quarterly at one of the communities, which affords opportunities for the trustees to visit each community and meet with its management.

In the recent difficult economy, the trustees and management of the CCRC’s have responded decisively to the economic conditions, controlling costs while minimizing adverse effects on their residents. These efforts have provided substantial peace of mind for the residents, and their families. For many prospective residents of the CCRC’s,selling their home is a prerequisite for entering the CCRC and the trustees and management of the CCRC’s have adapted to the stress on housing markets with creative assistance to prospective residents who have had difficulty selling their home so that they can move into the CCRC.Particularly notable in 2010 was the completion and opening of an addition at Goodwin House – Bailey’s Crossroads adding 106 living units to that community. This complex construction project was accomplished on schedule and marketing, not withstanding the current economy, is ahead of projections. VDH also encourages the development of new residential facilities for the aging in the Diocese.

In recent years, several of the CCRC’s have initiated expansions of their current facilities and the efforts of VDH have been more focused on the potential for facilities for aging people who may lack the financial means to enter a CCRC.Since the CCRC’s continuing care component is a major part of the cost of a CCRC, VDH has examined the potential for residential facilities for the aging which do not provide continuing care, i.e., on-site assisted living or nursing care, as an alternative to reduce costs and make the facility more accessible for people of moderate means. VDH invites churches to consider the needs in their communities for residential care for the aging which might be able to be met as a ministry of a church or group of churches.There are expertise and limited resources available from VDH to assist churches in exploring the potential for new communities for housing for the aging. VDH has consulted with representatives of several churches who have potential interest in participating in development of new facilities and welcomes further inquiries. Although the current economic environment makes the financial feasibility of a new residential care facility challenging, we continue to explore the potential for this important ministry with interested churches or groups. Inquiries about potential new facilities may be made to VDH thorough Mayo House or by contacting Mary Holly Bigelow, 7613 Hollins Road, Richmond, VA23229, email: maryholly(at)verizon(dot)net.

Submitted by Mr. J.P.Causey Jr., President