Reports

Annual reports from diocesan committees, commissions and related organizations.

Region I

In some organizations, planning retreats have acquired a bad name. Too often, those who spend a day or a weekend conjuring up Big Thoughts come down to Earth too quickly when the retreat is over. Sometimes the goals that sounded exciting and challenging “on the mountaintop” turn out to be too much trouble when it comes to actually making them happen.

Region I has managed to be the exception to that rule. We spent a good part of 2011 living into the goals we set at our 2010 retreat. That follow-up has put us in good stead to continue in 2012 to build community and inspire ministry among our 19 churches, which stretch from the Culpeper and Madison County foothills of the Blue Ridge to the Northern Neck town of Colonial Beach.

Here are highlights from the three Region I Council meetings and one dinner held during the past 12 months:

Chatting with Bishops
We began our year with a delightful question-and-answer session with our new assistant bishop, Ted Gulick, at Christ Church, Spotsylvania. We concluded our year with a dinner and reception for our soon-to-be-retired suffragan bishop, David Jones, at St. Stephen’s in Culpeper.

Both events drew large crowds, and both were filled with insight and humor.

In the process, we re-established the tradition of an annual Region I Dinner with a noted speaker, which we hope to continue in 2012

Reconnecting with Region I Youth
In support of our Diocese’s priority for youth activities, we spent a Region I Council session focusing on a program that has inspired a number of Region I young people. Building on the recent visit to Region I by Paris Ball, director of Christian Formation for the Diocese, we hosted a delegation from FredCamp—an innovative and growing ministry in the area that connects young people to home improvement projects for needy recipients during a week in the summer.

Reaching Out in Love—at Home and in Haiti
We spent portions of two Council sessions discussing mission work in Haiti with Carey Chirico, who is leading St. George’s efforts to grow her church’s relationship with a church and school in Port-au-Prince. One additional Region I church is already actively collaborating with St. George’s and we hope to help facilitate volunteers for this effort from other Region I churches.

We also allocated $3,000 for earthquake relief to churches in Louisa, Culpeper and Caroline counties. We authorized a number of other outreach and world mission grants as well, including a donation to the NetsforLife Inspiration Fund that helps protect African children from malaria.

Staying in Touch
Better communication not only allows us to become more efficient managers of our time, energy and resources, it also builds community.

That’s what we’re finding from the launch this year of our new, information-filled Web site. From historical essays on our 19 churches to the latest listings of parish offerings all over the Region, our website will help us learn from each other. We salute our webmaster, Ben Hicks of St. Peter’s, Port Royal, for his outstanding work on the site. Take a peek at regionone.thediocese.net.

Thanks to these efforts, we look forward to a 2012 that will continue to increase participation in Region I events, offer new opportunities for ministry in Haiti for Region I churches, and help grow community among our historic churches.

Submitted by:
Ed Jones, President

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Region II
Our Ongoing Canonical Responsibility:
Each regional council, with its officers, clergy and delegates, shall be responsible for seeing that the ministrations of the Episcopal Church are made available to every person living within the boundaries of the region. As a regional structure, while functioning as a unit in matters of common concern, the welfare of our churches and the care of needy people within our region shall be given our highest regard.  

Region II Activities and Events During 2011:
The Diocesan Native American Ministry:
At the 216th Annual Council last January, Bishop Johnston discussed and called for a diocesan- supported Native American Ministry. Region II, in its entirety, responded to this call by offering to the Diocese our energy and ideas during the development of this ministries goal.

Later this same day, members of this region attended a tribal workshop to learn about current needs and support provided within Virginia and beyond.  In the months that have passed, we visited tribal museums and also attended Indian Pow-Wows.  Our friendships have begun to grow.

An initial co-operative project has been found within the Rappahannock Tribal area; that is the renovation of an abandoned historical church. This church, St. Marks, Beasley, was attended by some members of the tribe whose strong emotional connection is evident today. Region II has developed building demolition and renovation plans for the restoration of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. We are ready to assist the Rappahannock Tribal group in obtaining the building permit and to assist with the realization of the project. Region II, and the Native American Ministry Team, and the Rappahannock Tribe invite members of our Diocese to join this Ministry Partnership.

Assisting Needy Regional Parishes, and People Elsewhere:
Our regional council recognized early this year that the best way for us to identify and to become aware of needs that may exist within a parish is for us to visit our churches to meet their vestries and congregants alike. This year, members of our region have been regularly visiting and worshiping with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are identifying and acting where we can be helpful.

Supporting Our Needy Youth
Region II has an annual budget line item for assisting our youth to attend summer programs at Shrine Mont. Earlier this year, our regional council realized it needed assistance from a source with the knowledge and ability to better identify and fairly evaluate the neediest of those to receive the benefits of our financial program.

Our best source for the advice needed became our own director of youth programs, Paris Ball. We chose to permit her staff to evaluate the applications of needy youths, and to select the most needy of children from within our region and beyond to benefit from our ministry.

Our partnering from within to provide this service has been successful during 2011. Region II has increased its 2012 budget, and is ready to commit the donation to the director of youth programs for its continued use after a first successful year.

Assisting Diocesan Committees and Commissions
Region II and its council recognize an ongoing need to continue improving internal communications and the sharing of work products, between diocesan committees and our churches. We assisted in the preparation of Resolution R1a (2011 Council) which provides a means for sharing and communication via a Church Stewardship Partner. The program gained notable success a year earlier at the Stewardship of Creation Committee, where 25 percent of our churches named a representative. During 2011, Region II continued to promote the partner concept.

We have encouraged our clergy and the clergy of other regions to name their designated representative or to use their current Council lay delegate as their representative until a permanent person is found.

Some areas where representation is needed are:

  • A positive distribution of notices to churches of workshops and conferences.
  • Assisting diocesan staff in getting their messages onto bulletin boards in our churches.
  • Naming a church’s point of contact to communicate with the diocesan Disaster Preparedness and Response Team.  
  • To have a one person communicate with the leaders of committees and commissions of the diocese, thereby receiving reports and advisories prepared for use within our churches.

Region II will continue its efforts with our clergy and delegates to assure that a representative is available from each church.

Our Annual Evensong
The Region II Annual Evensong and Picnic continues, and once again is open to the people of all churches of the region and beyond.  At Grace Church, Kilmarnock, we will gather for the Annual Evensong which will be followed by a picnic dinner on the grounds of Grace Church. This year, the Rev. Canon Susan Goff will attend our evensong as our guest preacher.

Activities in our Regional Churches
To be brief, herein are named the activities which occurred in our Region this past year. We hope you too will find an exciting idea which can become a new ministry for your Church, Always, we are open to hear new ideas from everyone; which we will share.

  • Saving lives through Blood Donor Programs. St. Margaret’s, Woodbridge – 17 new donors were registered at the November Blood Drive.
  • Outreach ministries that include providing emergency meals within the congregation.
  • Many “Stop Hunger” ministries invite others whose smaller contribution of time and/or effort is an important to a larger success.
  • Clothes closets are developing within the region. Donated used clothing is being supplied to needy families and to the Haven (A Women’s Shelter) for sale at their own shop or personal use.
  • St. Paul’s, West Point once again, last May 2011, presented its one-of-a-kind Steel Drum Festival with southern and Caribbean cuisine.
  • Billie Barnes, ECW president, Region II invited members of the Rappahannock Indian Tribe to speak at their 2011 Annual Meeting.
  • Members of our Churches are attending Native American Pow-Wow’s throughout 2011. Watch for upcoming events notices this spring. Each event is interesting to all members of families, especially the kids!
  • October 2011, once again, was Oktoberfest at St. Mary’s, Fleeton. This festive annual event should be put on your 2012 Calendar now. A great fund raiser to support St. Mary’s active outreach ministry program.
  • Abingdon Church continued its Holiday Meals-on-Wheels, and hosting a Community Thanksgiving Dinner for nearly 100 persons.
  • Abingdon has also forged a partnership with the local elementary school where book bags are packed with non-perishable foods for children to take home. Other ministries with the school include the providing of a home cooked meal to teachers on work days; and tutoring and mentoring programs.
  • St. Mary’s, Fleeton completed its first full year of its very special housing repair project for the needy.
  • Outreach at St. Mary’s includes a weekly “night-at-the-movies” at the parish hall for the community.
  • Grace Church, Kilmarnock is the largest rural Episcopal Church in the state of Virginia, and also the trustee of the nationally known Historic Christ Church. There is much to be learned from the ministries at Grace Church, too voluminous to be published here. However, too good to be missed; therefore, for an understanding of Grace’s ministries, programs and ideas, contact the rector parish administrator to receive a copy of their welcome publication: 804-435-1285.

Additional information is available regarding any of these church and community activities. Contact Rocco V. Tricarico, president, Region II at NorNeck@Hughes.Net.

A Regional President’s Annual Retreat:
Following an initial meeting last spring with Bishop Ted Gulick, he agreed that we undertake, under his guidance, a meeting of the presidents to develop an understanding of their duties, and a means to accomplish these duties at the highest level. This will be an experience in sharing of ideas. As a result of the initial conversations, and Bishop Johnston’s subsequent approval, the first Annual Presidents Retreat and Conference will occur at Shrine Mont during June 2012.

Among the many things the presidents will discuss is how we can advance effective communications throughout the Diocese, most importantly to our 80,000 person membership.  

Submitted by:
Rocco V. Tricarico, AIA, President.

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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 money through Region IV to support local and diocesan organizations, primarily through an outreach program to assist entities that benefit a wide range of community activities. In February, 2011, Region IV voted to contribute $4,250 to help 11 organizations, churches or other entities. Among these were contributions to the Hispanic church plant in Falls Church (La Iglesia de Santa Maria), the Diocese of Virginia to support the program of youth mission vouchers, the Church of St. Clement to support its winter shelter program for the homeless and Meade Memorial Church to support its lunch program for those in need. Other contributions went to organizations that support families, children, the homeless and immigrants – ALIVE, the Child and Family Network, Carpenter’s Shelter, New Neighbors ESL and Friends of Guest House. Other contributions went to the Board of Lady Managers at Alexandria hospital, which raises money for new equipment and facilities at the hospital, and to the Inova Hospital Foundation in support of chaplain’s services at Alexandria 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 May 2011, we welcomed Bishop Ted Gulick, who shared with us his concerns and plans for ministry. In September, we heard from the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary, and the Rev. Barney Hawkins, associate dean of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies and professor of pastoral theology at VTS, who presented a report on plans for a new chapel at the Seminary to replace the historic building that burned in 2010.

In October and November, Region IV began a discussion of how we might revamp our outreach programs to make them more effective. One possibility is to leave it to our parishes to support the local ministries to which we give small grants each year and concentrate our outreach on one or two programs where our support would have a bigger impact. We are also examining the relationship our parishes have with the Alexandria Department of Human Services to determine if we might better coordinate the feeding, shelter and other programs we offer to the poor and homeless.

Submitted by:
Cleve Corlett, President

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Region V
Region V council conducted four regular meetings during 2011 (in March, May, October and December).

In May, Bishop Ted Gulick was our invited guest for the Region V Council Meeting.  He shared some reflections and an account of some of his recent activities, and answered questions.  In December, Bishop David Jones was our invited guest for the last time prior to his retirement.  He shared some reflections on his ministry and answered questions.  The Council thanked Bishop Jones for his many years of being such a vital part of the life of this diocese.

In October, the Rev. Peter Gustin and Mary Beth Henry of the diocesan Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry Team were our invited guests.  They talked with us and provided information about disaster preparedness in the Diocese, and about what our parishes can do.

The Region V council had several discussions in 2011 regarding its budget and budget priorities.  The sense of council seemed to be to focus more on funding projects (1) which have a specific nexus to our concerns, mission and life together as a region, (2) in which several regional churches are involved or have a shared interest, and (3) which align with Bishop Johnston’s identified priorities for the Diocese.  Following a useful discussion on our basic priorities in December, final action on the details of the 2012 budget was deferred until the next regular meeting in March 2012.

In support of our youth and young adult (20s and 30s) ministry (a diocesan priority), Region V Council funded and supported the establishment of a Young Adults Fellowship (YAF) of 20s and 30s in Region V.  The group has had bi-monthly gatherings at a pub in downtown Falls Church.  In December, with the help of Region V funding, YAF held a three-day retreat for young adults in Shenandoah River State Park.

As in previous years, Region V sponsored and funded a week-long Appalachian mission trip to Dungannon, VA, in which teenagers and adults from several parishes in the region provided repairs (plumbing, flooring, and roofing) for low income families.  We propose continuing to support this mission next year, and there is a consensus among Council members that this is an excellent model of how we can work together and help foster a spirit of regional, inter-parish cooperation in mission.

Among other budget items, we increased our contribution to campus ministry (also a diocesan priority), and made a contribution to Nets For Life.

In December, Region V council voted unanimously to sponsor a courtesy resolution, composed by the vocational deacons, to be submitted to Annual Council honoring the memory of the Rev. Deacon Dana Buchanan.

In March, Eleanor Braun of Holy Comforter, Vienna was our invited guest and led a discussion to explore the desirability of setting up a task-force to facilitate communication within Region V in the area of social justice.  Since then, some parishioners in Region V have been exploring options for setting up a Peace and Justice Network.  This would most likely function as a grassroots (as opposed to Council-directed) region-wide group and would, inter alia, facilitate communication between parishes about local opportunities for parishioners to become involved in social justice activities and advocacy.

On an administrative/procedural level:  The Region V council approved a change to the by-laws which liberalized the requirements for election of regional officers.  We also had several discussions about a proposed change to our by-laws to permit limited e-mail voting.  Because of concerns by some about the practice, Council instead passed a resolution in October, authorizing the officers to take certain limited actions between meetings on behalf of the full Council.

In 2012, both as a region and as region council, we hope to explore new options for ways in which we can work together effectively and increase a sense of shared purpose, community and inter-parish cooperation, and through which we can thereby also enhance our ability to further together our common mission.

The Very Rev. Penny Bridges is completing her final year as our dean in Region V.  We all deeply appreciate the exceptional dedication, leadership and skills that she has brought to this mission.  Thank you, Penny.

Submitted by:
Mr. John Schwarz, St. Anne’s, Reston, President, Region V

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Region VI
The primary mission over the years for our region has been the support of church expansion. That has been on hold pending the resolution of various property rights issues, although we have a strong interest in what will happen in Woodbridge and the rest of the area south of the Occoquan and how we can be involved. We also financially support La Iglesia de San Marcos.

We have started to explore other areas of joint ministry, tasking an executive committee to come up with some suggestions. We gave support to Support on Suspension Centers, which provides tutoring services in the Mt. Vernon area.

This year, the council continued to hear from various diocesan ministries concerning how each of our various parishes can be involved. These included Rocco Tricarico representing the Stewardship of Creation and the Rev. Rete Gustin representing Disaster Preparedness and Response. We also had a visit from Bishop Jones.

We elected the Rev. Tuck Bowerfind to the Executive Board, starting in 2012.

Submitted by:
Dr. Ed Schneider, Region President

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Region IX
Region IX consists of seven parishes in an area that starts in eastern Richmond and runs down the James River to include eastern Henrico, James City and Charles City Counties.

Region IX had another successful year, meeting quarterly on the second Thursday of February, May, September and November.  The Regional Council continued its long-standing tradition of eating together before each meeting, with each church taking turns hosting. 

In February, Varina Church hosted the Regional Council, and in May we gathered at historic St John’s Church.  In September, the Region continued its practice of meeting at Richmond Hill, an ecumenical Christian retreat center that is located on Church Hill in Richmond and is within the boundaries of Region IX.  And in November Regional Council met at St Paul’s Richmond.

At the May meeting the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick, Jr. was our guest.  The bishop spoke about his views of where he sees the national church heading in the future. He also spoke about how warmly he has been welcomed back in Virginia, and about his delight in serving the Diocese.

At the September meeting we welcomed Emily Cherry, the diocesan communications officer.  Ms Cherry provided an enlightening overview of all the ways that the Diocese is prepared to help parishes communicate with their congregations and with those in their communities.

Region IX looks forward to another eventful year in 2012, which will see a new regional president elected at the November meeting.

Submitted by:
Mr. Brian L. Carr, President

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Region X
Region X is the smallest region in the Diocese, comprised of five churches: Grace & Holy Trinity, Holy Comforter, St. Andrew’s, St. Mark’s and St. James’s, all located in the near west end of Richmond.  Although small, we have been busy.  This year we have seen a change in clergy:  the Rev. Margaret Watson has left as rector of St. Mark’s and the Rev. Whitney Zimmerman has departed St. James’s.  The Rev. “Buck” Aiken is filling in admirably while St. Mark’s is searching for an interim.  St. James’s has welcomed two new assistants:  the Rev. Carmen Germino, assistant rector for outreach and mission; and the Rev. Alex Riffee, assistant rector for youth and young adults.

The churches of Region X have many shared ministries.  The VCU Campus Ministry, run out of Grace & Holy Trinity, receives the bulk of Region X’s money.  Funds were also contributed to the social justice ministry of Greg Lowden in Guatemala.  All congregations support CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond Involved to Assure Shelter) and the ACTS (Area Congregations Together in Service) ministries, interfaith programs that provide shelter for the homeless and work to prevent homelessness.  Another shared ministry is support for the Anna Julia Cooper School, a tuition free middle school serving students with limited financial resources in Richmond’s East End.  St. Andrew’s and St. Mark’s have a shared ministry of a soup kitchen and food pantry at St. Mark’s on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month.   Lastly, mission trips from the Region X churches were far-reaching and included Haiti, Honduras, New Orleans, Appalachia, Belize, Uganda and the Sudan.

Notable activities this year from Region X churches include the following:

  • Grace and Holy Trinity participated in the Mayor’s Youth Academy Work Program this year and, as an outgrowth of their relationship with the Diocese of Liverpool, 9th – 12th graders were offered the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage (with mission experience) to Liverpool and London.  GH&T is also the home of the VCU Campus Ministry.
  • Holy Comforter held “Jesus on Trial” programs and is participating in “Carpenter’s Kids” program, which serves needy children in a community in Tanzania.    The program provides clothes, education and food for the neediest children as selected by the village elders.
  • St. Andrew’s has been working to increase neighborhood involvement and has been active in homeless outreach.  They have also made a trip to, and are supporting, the Circle of Peace School in Uganda.  Another mission trip to this school is being planned.  St. Andrew’s shares the food pantry/soup kitchen ministry with St. Mark’s and provides person hygiene items for St. Andrew’s school and ACTS.
  • St. James’s is the center of the ACTS ministry and the home of the St. James’s Children’s Center, a preschool and daycare program for under-privileged and at-risk children.  Among other things, St. James’s has collected food for the Central Virginia Food Bank; participates in a mentoring program with the Anna Julia Cooper School, Peter Paul Development Center and Richmond City Public Schools; and works with the garden project at the Peter Paul Development Center.
  • St. Mark’s provides support to the Anna Julia Cooper School in the form of school supplies, equipment and volunteers.  St. Mark’s is also the site of the food pantry/soup kitchen ministry shared with St. Andrews.

Submitted by:
Mickie Jones, President

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Region XII
Region XII is composed of 10 churches in the far west Richmond portion of the Diocese: All Saints’, Christ Church, Grace, St. Bartholomew’s, St. Francis’, St. John’s, St. Martin’s, St. Mary’s, St. Matthew’s and St. Stephen’s. Our goal is to strengthen camaraderie among our members and to do together that which we can in the area of outreach. Gifts to the Region from our member churches are designated for outreach.

A meeting is held each January and March, a Region-wide worship service on Ascension Day in September and an annual Region-wide dinner for our member church’s staff and leadership in November. 

In 2011, our January meeting at St. Mary’s featured secretary of the Diocese Henry Burt, who gave an overview of the upcoming diocesan Council. The March meeting at St. Bartholomew’s was for election of officers and representative to the Executive Board. At that meeting, we voted to send half of our bank balance to Episcopal Relief and Development for earthquake relief in Japan.

The Ascension Day worship service was held at St. Stephen’s and was based on the Celtic worship service that is held there each Sunday evening. Bishop Gulick was celebrant and preacher. In September, we met at Christ Church and heard a timely presentation from Frances Caldwell, director of Development and Stewardship for the Diocese. The year was brought to a close with a well-attended dinner at Roslyn with Bishop David C. Jones as the speaker.

Submitted by:
Mr. Tom Crockett, President

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Region XIII
Region XIII is made up of 17 churches in Fauquier, Loudoun and Rappahannock counties.

During 2011, through the Mission Grant fund of Region XIII we were able help St Gabriel’s with their budget with $10,000. We gave $1,000 to a girl from St. Matthews, Sterling, who was going on a mission trip with SAMS to Uganda. In September she came to our meeting and showed us with her pictures and story how our gift changed her life and those with whom she came in contact. We get these funds from asking our churches to contribute one percent of their NDI.

This year some of the churches of Region XIII have joined together to fund the support of a vocational school for adults in the town of Trouin, Haiti that is operated by St. Marc in Trouin. This is a partner parish of St. James, Leesburg.

This year will be our 12th annual luncheon at council. We find this a good way to answer questions about what the region does, and to explain the needs of the mission grants.

Our region president, Rob Buchanan, lost his wife, the Rev. Dana Buchanan. He has had to give up being president and as vice president I have taken over the presidency.

We met 5 times this year.

Submitted by:
Ursula Baxley, President

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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 p.m.  An average attendance for each meeting was approximately 40 delegates and clergy, with 60 in attendance for Bishop Jones.  

On Tuesday, February 27, we met at Christ Church, Gordonsville with Bishop Ted Gulick, assistant bishop of the Diocese, as the keynote speaker.  Thursday, May 12 we met at St. Paul’s Memorial, Charlottesville.  The program was an introduction to the Integrity organization which is working for the full inclusion of gays and lesbians into the full life of the Episcopal Church.  On Thursday, September 8, we met at Grace Church, Standardsville.  The Rev. Donald C. MacNicoll, coordinator of Centurions for Hope, was the keynote speaker.  This is a new faith-based Christian outreach ministry in Central Virginia to military veterans and their families. Our final meeting of the year was held on Tuesday, December 13 at Grace Church, Keswick.  Bishop David Jones was our honored guest as we celebrated his 17 years of service to the Diocese of Virginia.  The Region made a $2,000 pledge to the new fund established in his honor to assist with small church ministry and church planting.

Region XV has seven significant outreach ministries which it supports.  The Schoolhouse Thrift Shop just celebrated its 19th anniversary.  The Thrift Shop continues to be a large contributor to the outreach budget of the Region.  The Ministry with the Aging, under the guidance of three 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 fourth of five that the region has pledged to build within a five year period.  This year we added the Grace Alliance of Greene County and the Christian Emergency Council of Orange County as new charities to support financially.

We also elected Brad Bush of St. Thomas, Orange as a youth delegate to Annual Council. The Very Rev. Jim Richardson continues to serve faithfully as our dean, and the Rev. Dr. Lin Hutton serves on the diocesan Executive Board representing our region.

Submitted by:
Mr. Stephen C. Wachenfeld, President

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Bloomfield
Bloomfield Foundation received many grant requests for physically disabled children and young adults in 2011. A request for an access ramp for a church was also provided.

The following are examples of grant requests provided:

  • Adapted bicycles, providing children the ability to play and interact with their peers;
  • Power stander seats that enabled young adults to stand when atttending classes in high school and college;
  • A car adapted so the young person could drive independently to college or a job;
  • Vans made accessible with ramps when necessary;
  • Remodeling a bathroom to enable independent showering;
  • Camps that provided two weeks of recreation for the physically disabled;
  • Riding camps that enhanced balance while also providing physical therapy.

All of the recipients ar eon Medicaid and do not have the ability to obtain any extra equipment except through an organization such as Bloomfield. Some were residents when Bloomfield was a residential facility and the Board maintains communication with them and supplies some of their needs.

The Foundation Board members are volunteers that reside in all sections of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Administrative costs do not exceed three percent of all funding.

Grants are provided via application forms provided by the Foundation.

Submitted by:
Courtney G. Kohler, President

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Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry Team
The Diocesan Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry Team has spent the past year pursuing two general endeavors:  first, establishing and maintaining communications with dioceses that have suffered from recent disasters (e.g., floods in North Dakota, New Hampshire, and Vermont); and second, establishing communications with each of the 15 regions in our own diocese to introduce congregations to the tools and benefits of disaster preparedness and response.

Members of the team continue to visit regions and congregations upon invitation, and we hope to complete our regional visits by mid-2012.  The DOVDPR is hosting a volunteer day on Saturday, February 25, 2012, at Aquia Church, Stafford, where representatives from disaster-affected dioceses will be present to tell their stories and discuss their continuing needs; representatives from Episcopal Relief and Development will be on hand to describe their role in response and recovery operations; required workshops on sexual misconduct prevention will be offered; and parish disaster coordinators will be able to meet their colleagues throughout the diocese and begin to build a community with one another.  It will also afford congregations the opportunity to explore their own preparedness and response postures, peruse existing templates and other resources for emergency planning, and enter into the diocesan preparedness and response community.

Following the tornado in Region II and the earthquake in Region I, the DOVDPR has tightened its internal and external notification procedures so that communications with the diocesan leadership and General Church response agencies will be established more quickly, and members of the team will be on site at the affected area earlier in the response/recovery cycle.

If your congregation or entity within the Diocese (church home, school, camp, conference center, etc.) would like a visit from members of our team, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us.  We are available to meet with small groups, vestry/vestry committees, Christian education classes of all ages or entire congregations on Sunday mornings or any other that suits you.  We thank you for your involvement in and support of this ministry and look forward to working beside you in the coming year as we seek to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural, technical, and intentional disasters that are surely to hit within our diocese and throughout the General Church.

Submitted by:
Dan Wilmoth and Pete Gustin, Co-Chairs

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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.  We are thankful for the support of Bishop Johnston who sends letters to every graduate of EfM in the Diocese.\

Every Christian receives the call to Christ’s ministry at baptism.  EfM provides the basics of a theological education 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 of the 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 29-31, 2012 at the Roslyn Conference Center.  The Diocese sponsors one of the largest mentor training events in the nation.  Last July, 73 participants from dioceses throughout Virginia and surrounding states attended training under eight certified trainers from Sewanee to either be accredited as first time mentors or to reaccredit their status as active mentors.   EfM is alive and well in the Diocese of Virginia!

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 visit the EfM Web site for the Diocese of Virginia at www.efmvirginia.com or e-mail me at wendy@efmvirginia.com for more information.  As EfM Coordinator for the Diocese of Virginia, it is my ministry to support and promote EfM in the Diocese by assisting current groups, helping parishes that wish to explore EfM, locating groups for individuals looking for an EfM group, and coordinating training opportunities for existing and new mentors.

Submitted by:
Wendy Gayle, EfM Coordinator.

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Episcopal Church Women
It is with a deep sense of humility and thanksgiving that I offer my last report to this, the 217th Annual Council of the Episcopal Church of the Diocese of Virginia. In doing so, I will borrow from and adapt Robert Fulghum’s beloved poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”  My version is this,  “All I really needed to know about life, love and service, I also learned in kindergarten, but I have had that knowledge reaffirmed during my term as diocesan ECW President.”

The ECW Motto is “Joy in Service.”  It has been my joy to serve the past three years, although it is as my term ends that I feel most capable to perform the role and duties of the position.  Be that as it may, I eagerly and enthusiastically turn the reins over to our most capable newly appointed President Patricia W. Hardy.

Hear what I’ve learned as I share with you some of the ECW activities and ministry highlights.

In his poem, Robert Fulghum says, “Take a nap every afternoon,” “Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you,” and “Clean up your own mess.”   In other words, rest and be rejuvenated. Enjoy life’s simple pleasures and don’t leave others to do the “clean up.” The ECW taught me how to do this by offering periodic prayer and worship retreats as well as working retreats.

Prayer and Worship Retreat
On April 14, 2011, our ECW Prayer and Worship Retreat was held at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah in Spotsylvania.  The retreat was led by the Rev. Erika Takacs on the theme: “The Living Light: Seeing God in Daily Living.” Although we did not take a nap, we had warm cookies, cold milk and we cleaned up our mess when we finished our work.  The retreat was a blessed time of prayer, reflection and renewal. 

Fulghum says, “Live a balanced life- learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” The ECW did that throughout the year and especially during our Spring Open Board Meeting.  

Spring Open Board Meeting
Our Spring Open Board Meeting, held May 19, 2011, was the best ever!   There were close to 100 people in attendance.   The Christ Episcopal Church Family in Spotsylvania “rolled out the red carpet” and did a wonderful job in making us feel welcome and supported.  The Rev. Jeffrey Packard and his staff were awesome!  The Rev. Canon Susan Goff conducted a moving workshop on “Praying with Eyes Wide Open- Exploring and Practicing Visual Prayer” and also served as celebrant during the Eucharist. Other workshops offered were “Joy Robbers and How to Nab ‘Em!” conducted by the Rev. Ann Davis, “Altar Guild- What Can We Do for You?”; “Labyrinths and Spirituality”; “Listening Hearts”; and “Healthy Bodies - Healthy Minds.”

Fulghum says, “Share everything.” Sharing ourselves and what we receive is at the heart of the ECW’s programs and ministries.  We do this with our time, energy and efforts and through the scholarships awarded as well as with our Viva Voce and Communion Alms – not to mention our United Thank Offering Ingatherings.  Specifics about each are addressed in this report.

Gifts & Scholarships:  Each 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 $6,100 in scholarships to six students.   Two scholarship recipients were from Region VI- Pohick Episcopal and All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Sharon Chapel; two were from Region IX- Varina Episcopal Church and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Richmond, one from Region X- Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and one from Region XI- Church of the Epiphany Episcopal, Richmond. 

Since that disbursement, we have received an additional $2,730 given to the Book of Remembrance, $570 to the Gift of Life Book and $2,715.25 in undesignated gifts to the scholarship fund.   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.

Annual Meeting
On October 25, 2011, the 120th Annual Meeting and 122nd UTO Ingathering were held at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Annandale.  We had close to 200 people in attendance representing 40 churches.  The attendees included The Rt. Rev. Shannon S.  Johnston, four past ECW presidents, 12 diocesan board members, two diocesan staff members and 13 clergy.  This meeting welcomed the first ECW president appointed by Bishop Shannon S. Johnston, Ms. Patricia (Pat) Hardy.  Pat has been an active ECW Board Member for many years, having served as VP for administration and Web master along with other key positions.  She is currently the parish administrator for Church of Our Saviour, Montpelier.   

We were treated like royalty by the women of St. Alban’s and the Rev. Grayce O’Neill Rowe, along with other members, who had a part in making our special day a grand success.  Special thanks are given to the women of St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church who provided a scrumptious breakfast that day.  The Rt. Rev. David C. Jones was honored for his service to the Diocese and for his special place in the hearts of the Episcopal Church Women.   Our keynote speaker, the Rev. Martha Macgill reminded us of the road we all travel on the way to experiencing God’s Grace when she spoke on the topic, “Feminine Wisdom through the Generations: A Legacy of Grace.”

Viva Voce: We awarded $1,835.00 among the following Viva Voce recipients: St. Mary’s Community Lunch Program, Colonial Beach, Region I; Child & Family Network Center, Alexandria, Region IV; FACETS-Fairfax Area Christian Emergency & Transitional, Fairfax, Region VII; St. Andrew’s School, Richmond, Region X and Seven Loaves, Middleburg, Region XIII. 

Communion Alms:  We divided over $2,239.80 between our two recipients. Ray Sabalis accepted the gift on behalf of the Chapel for the Ages, Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA and Emma Wright, Lead Youth Representative, did so on behalf of the Bishop’s NetsforLife Inspiration Fund, Diocese of Virginia.

United Thank Offering: The 122nd UTO Ingathering brought our total 2011 gifts to $109,636.18.  The entire amount was sent to the national UTO office. Every penny of this money will be used for this granting year.  The Diocese of Virginia submitted two grant applications and both were funded. We were delighted that  a grant of $10,000 was  made to the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School to help purchase a new van; and an overseas grant of $43,791.78 will be used to build a surgical/delivery building for the St. James Anglican Women and Children Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  As our outgoing UTO Coordinator Jeanelle Moritz says, “Remember, daily thanks improves daily life.”  Our new UTO Coordinator is Cynthia D. Helton of St. George’s Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg.

Overnight Board Meeting
Our Overnight Board Meeting and Planning Retreat was held November 9-10, 2011 at the Roslyn Conference and Retreat Center.  ECW board members participated in extensive program examination, future planning, fellowship and prayer. The focus of the meeting was on analysis of the results of the diocesan wide ECW Survey conducted along with the transition of the ECW presidency. The survey findings triggered the formation of a task force charged with analyzing the results and making recommendations to the board.  Canon Susan Goff led a most powerful Eucharist which created not only a spiritual bond among those present but also generated heartfelt thanksgiving as outgoing leaders retired from service  but also a sense of optimism and enthusiasm as the new leaders assumed their roles.

Diocesan Executive Committee Meetings/Other Activities
I have enjoyed my service on the Diocesan Executive Committee and the Budget Sub-Committee, attending most meetings during the 2011 calendar year. In my absence the VP of administration, Kay Holmes represented the ECW.

Other activities included visiting several parishes, presenting a workshop at the 216th Annual Council, speaking about the ECW at church forums and bringing greetings to the participants in the UTO “Face to Face” training session for new diocesan coordinators from around the United States held at Roslyn this fall.  We also hosted a dinner for Mrs. Irene Mhologo, wife of the Bishop Mdimi Mhologo of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika.

Our diocesan ECW again joined the Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE), the National ECW and the Episcopal Women’s Caucus (EWC) in  promoting and participating in the anti-violence campaign entitled “Sixteen Days of Advocacy Against Gender Violence.”    The prayers are available on the ECW website. We continue to encourage all people to take a stand against all forms of violence, especially violence against women and girls.

During the past year, the ECW continued working to see the goals we have set come to fruition. These included awarding more and larger scholarships; strengthening our support for children and their education through enhanced support of our current ministries and partnerships; and growing the ECW by increasing the involvement of young women and girls in the ECW.  While progress has been made toward achieving these goals, there is still much work to be done.

Mr. Fulghum reminds us that, “Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.  So do we.”  We experienced with sadness the loss of several diocesan leaders this past year including two stalwarts of the Episcopal Church Women, Mary Jenks and former diocesan ECW president Katherine Farmar.

In closing, I am most excited to share a bit of information about the ECW task force referenced earlier in this report.  The task force, chaired by Sharon Nachman and co-chaired by Joni Langevoort, has been charged to carefully and discerningly analyze the survey summary/findings in light of our current structure, programs, ministries and operations and to make recommendations to the Board regarding what steps need to be taken in order to keep the ECW relevant in this and into the next century.  The task force has met and established the following work groups: Research, Communications, Regions, Remittance & Ministries, Social Media, Public Relations and Structure.  These work groups will facilitate the ECW’s continuation and expansion as a viable, active and resourceful organization in the lives of the women of the Episcopal Church as well as the broader church communities within the Diocese of Virginia and the world. I will remain on the board as past president and do my part to see this project to fruition.

I leave you with two last bits of wisdom adapted from Robert Fulghum’s Poem: “Be aware of wonder” and “Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup; the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why but we are all like that.” The ECW will continue to plant seeds of service, education, community outreach and prayer and worship.  We will look in awe and wonder as the seeds we plant flourish and grow.  And, as Mr. Fulghum reminds us, no matter what your age or where you live, “when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”  The ECW’s hands are ready to hold yours as we go into the world doing God’s work in service and in love!

Submitted by:
Ms. Beblon G. Parks, President

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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 three years as a member of the Executive Board and for the past two years as its vice president.

The Executive Board is composed of one elected member from each regional council and the bishops of the Diocese. The Region elects a Board member to represent that region for a three year term. The Region alternately elects a member from the laity and from the clergy. Bishop Johnston serves as president of the Board. At this time I would like to recognize the 2011 elected members of the Executive Board and thank them for their tireless service to the Diocese.

Region I, Mrs. Mary Jo Browning
Region II, Dr. Barbara Allison-Bryan    
Region III, The Rev. Kim Coleman & the Rev. Leslie Hague during The Rev. Kim Coleman's sabbatical    
Region IV, The Rev. John Hortum
Region V, Mr. Roland Bloxom
Region VI, The Hon. Jane Delbridge
Region VII, Ms. Helen Spence
Region VIII, Mr. Bill Forester
Region IX, Mrs. Mary Holly Bigelow    
Region X, Dr. Craig Anderson
Region XI, Dr. George Spagna
Region XII, The Rev. David Niemeyer
Region XIII, The Rev. Joie Weiher and The Rev. John Sheehan
Region XIV, The Rev. Daniel Robayo
Region XV, The Rev. Lin Hutton

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. Beblon has shared with us much about the programs of Christian formation presented by ECW this year. "Feminine Wisdom through the Generations: a Legacy of Grace" and "From Dreams to Call: Embracing Our Journey with Joy" encourage the participant to embrace the spiritual journey with joy and expectation for discovery of God's plans for each of us. Beblon has completed her term as ECW president and has introduced Mrs. Patricia "Pat" Hardy, the newly appointed ECW president who will be joining the 2012 Executive Board. Welcome Pat, and thank you Beblon for your enthusiastic and creative leadership of ECW and participation on the Executive Board.

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 so fortunate to be able to work with one of the most professional, dedicated and supportive staff ever assembled. Led by Henry Burt, Esq., the diocesan chief of staff who also serves as coordinator of the Executive Board, this staff responds most ably to requests from individual churches as well as all of the diocesan committees and commissions and officers for guidance and assistance in human resource matters, stewardship efforts, work with our youth, emergency preparedness and emergency relief after a disaster such as the recent earthquake, and on and on. Whether they are managing major litigation without a disruption to the program and business of the Diocese, or designing a beautiful new quarterly journal spotlighting the news and mission of the Diocese, or reorganizing the Committee and Commission structure to work more efficiently, or assisting working groups responding to Resolutions passed by Council such as this year's working group on Anti-Bullying and the Study Group to Examine Diocesan Funding, each member of this staff and our outstanding treasurer Michael Kerr are quick to respond, and able to provide just the right information and guidance. 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 February at Church of the Epiphany in Richmond; in April at Christ Church, Spotsylvania; in June at Emmanuel, Harrisonburg; in September at St. James, Leesburg; in November at Immanuel on the Hill in Alexandria; 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 Mrs. Helen Spence and the program group by Dr. Barbara Allison-Bryan. We thank them for their leadership and inspiration.

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 group issues, among others, have been as follows: consideration and recommendation for approval of a policy to address the responsibilities of the Diocese and of the Memorial Trustees of Roslyn regarding the upkeep and preservation of the bishop’s house located on the grounds of Roslyn; selection and approval of a new audit firm for the Diocese; review and approval of several Bishop's Minority Scholarship Grants; reviews and modification of the line of credit which funds the church property litigation; reviews and discussion of the results of the health insurance parity survey and a model therefore and the new budget formula used by the General Church (that will be a work in progress until implementation in 2013).

In addition to the above mentioned issues, the budget work of the Executive Board this year has been to respond to 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 pledge revenue pledged and budgeted for 2011 was $4,356.984. As of November 30, 2011 we had received $3,611,926 in paid pledges. That is slightly over seventeen percent of our annual budgeted pledged income not yet received one month 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 the fall of 201l. The program group has continued to work closely with Paris Ball and Emily Cherry and other members of the staff of the Diocese to evaluate the reorganization of the Commission and Committee structure of the Diocese. Some Commissions have begun working in the newly revised structure. Others are still trying to find the best configuration for the work they are doing. 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 / town hall 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

Three Executive Board members are liaison to each Commission and should 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 longtime members of diocesan commissions and committees and to best use the dedication and time of those old and new members in the future. It is still evolving. Nominations of persons to serve on the above Commissions and the committees there under should be made to the staff person at Mayo house who is liaison to that specific Commission. Those nominations are forwarded on to the Executive Board for its recommendation for appointment by Bishop Johnston.

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 Program Group worked in 2011 with the Study Group on Anti-Bullying to review and make recommendations as to how to best circulate among our churches and share the Study Group's outstanding materials gathered and prepared to share with youth on the problem of bullying and how best the victim can respond to it. More information about this excellent material may be secured from Paris Ball at Mayo House.

The 2012 budget adopted by this 217th Council will be monitored by the Executive Board throughout the year.

One of the most joyous and inspiring duties of the Executive Board is to hear the Petition for Church Status of mission churches which believe they are ready to be granted church status. In November it was our great pleasure to meet with a delegation from St. Patrick's Falls Church led by their vicar the Rev. Tihn Huynh, and members of the Committee on Congregational Missions who requested a favorable vote to approve St. Patrick's to be granted church status. The stories of their very loving and faithful building of a congregation which is very age and culturally diverse and very welcoming and supporting of all who seek the Lord in that place was so heartwarming and affirming. It was with great pleasure and unanimity that the Executive Board voted to recommend to the 217th Council that St Patrick's, Falls Church be granted church status.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to have served 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 - Helen Spence, Bill Forrester, the Rev. Kim Coleman, and the Rev John Hortum. Their devotion and considered study 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 is so appreciated. I also welcome the new Board members who will be seated on the Board at the conclusion of Council - the Rev. DeDe Duncan-Probe from Region VII, the Rev. Tuck Bowerfind from Region VI, Ms. Karen Grane, Region IV, Cindy McLaughlin, Region III and the Rev. Charles Brock of Region VIII. And on behalf of all of the members of the Executive Board, I want to thank Bishop Johnston, Bishop Jones and Bishop Gulick for their outstanding leadership. It is impossible to imagine Executive Board Meetings without the smiling face of Bishop David Jones or a report of where in the world he is spreading God's love. We will miss you Bishop Jones and we wish you great adventures in your next years of retired, but just as enthusiastic mission work.

Submitted by:
The Hon. Jane Delbridge, Vice President

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Church Schools in the Diocese of Virginia
Each of the six Diocesan schools produces an annual report that is both comprehensive and specific. Along with the annual financial statements of the Church Schools Corporation and the six foundations, these reports are history and will join their predecessors in the Church Schools archive.

What follows is offered from the perspective of the Church Schools’ system. It is an illustrative, but in no way comprehensive, list of activity. It was tempting, in considering the contents, to describe the academic year 2010-11 as an extraordinary year, but it was not. With only cursory reflection it is clear that the year was quite typical.

As academic year 2010-11 begun much capital work was visible. A renovated and expanded middle school and dining hall were opened at St. Catherine’s School. Christchurch School opened a new science building, and site work was begun for a faculty housing village on Christchurch Foundation property that will ultimately include five homes. St. Christopher’s School demolished and relocated small buildings, erected temporary dining space and broke ground for the Luck Leadership Center.

Church Schools experienced turnover in key personnel, both volunteer and professional. An interim head of school was identified and a head of school search begun at St. Catherine’s. The Boards of Governors at St. Catherine’s and St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, as well as the Church Schools Trustees, said goodbye to wonderful board chairs and welcomed new chairs. Happily, 2010-11 was the first year in several that Church Schools did not have a new chief financial officer at any of the schools. As the year closed, Church Schools welcomed a new director of admissions, a director of development and directors for two lower and one upper school. Among the most essential staff in Church Schools are the head’s administrative assistants. St Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s said goodbye to Evelyn Staples and Sherry Trainum at year’s end after a combined 40 years of service to five school heads.

Church Schools continues to weather the difficult economy reasonably well. All six schools finished 2010-11 with operating surpluses. More than $15 million was received in gifts of all kinds. The high level of capital work and its accompanying lines of credit and longer term financing caused Church Schools to borrow $45,500,000 and repay $26,100,000 during the fiscal year. All schools maintained or added to reserves.

The Church Schools’ pastoral and responsible approach to personnel matters produced a typical year as well. There were a small number of difficult personnel matters and a few unpleasant student discipline situations. There were great individual joys in our communities and there was deep sadness when illness, death or other tragedy struck individual students, faculty members, alumni/ae or their families.

Many service trips and projects were undertaken. It would be difficult to estimate the number of volunteer service hours given annually by young people and adults in our school communities, but that number would be many tens of thousands. All six schools hung athletic championship banners in 2010-11. The list of colleges and universities that will enroll one or more 2011 Church Schools graduates includes most of the finest institutions in the United States.

During 2010-11, the officers of Church Schools negotiated and contracted with auditors, insurance companies, vendors, banks and retirement fund managers. They represented the Church Schools to the Virginia Council for Private Education, and advocated on behalf of independent schools as well as our schools to the General Assembly. Church Schools was threatened occasionally with legal action and the officers worked with heads and business officers on measures to reduce or prevent the possibility of same. Throughout the year, the CSDV officers and school leaders worked together to exploit the strength and potential of the group without eroding the essential individuality of each.

If academic year 2010-11 was extraordinary, it is only because the experience of a typical year in our community of schools is one of extraordinary accomplishments, challenges, joys, sorrows, wins and losses. Episcopal Church Schools are a human enterprise. Thousands of students and families are served. The schools, students and families are served by hundreds of employed faculty and staff as well as hundreds of volunteer governors, trustees and foundation directors. It is a bit messy, sometimes cumbersome, and almost always deeply satisfying. Great work is done with young people. They learn skills, master content, engage mysteries of this life and the next, and become young adults of integrity and good character.

Great thanks are due to those who serve in and work for these schools. They care about the Church, these schools and the young people and families that are served. Their gifts of time, wisdom, experience, insight, and their personal generosity are essential to the enterprise. I am very proud of the work done in our schools. I know the people of the Diocese of Virginia are as well.

Submitted by:
Dr. David Charlton, President, Church Schools in the Diocese of Virginia, Inc.

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Committee on Congregational Missions
The Committee on Congregational Missions (CCM) assists the bishop suffragan in his delegated oversight of the nearly 40 mission churches in the Diocese, including those designated as Mountain Missions. Its members serve as lay liaisons or as area priests. Each lay liaison works closely with the mission(s) assigned to him or her and provides regular reports to the bishop suffragan and to the other members regarding each mission’s spiritual wellbeing and financial stability. Area priests serve as resources for the liaisons and the mission churches and may represent the bishop suffragan when a diocesan response is needed.

We meet about seven times each year at mission churches throughout the Diocese. At the meetings, representatives of the host churches report on their successes and their challenges. A highlight of our meetings is the opportunity for CCM members to share a meal with the leadership of the host churches and to visit informally with them.

Bishop Jones was the chair of CCM when he was elected bishop suffragan. He has been our diocesan leader for 17 years. CCM will be challenged, particularly in 2012, to continue the work he began and to assist his successor in discerning her or his vision for the future.

CCM is proud to report that the committee recommends that St. Patrick’s, Falls Church be granted church status at Council 2012. Members of Council will vote on this decision. We expect to recommend that St. Peter’s-in-the-Woods, Fairfax Station be granted full parish status at Council in 2013.

Our work includes identifying missions that begin to experience difficulties which might include a reduction in attendance or income, conflict among the leaders or between the clergy and members of the congregation. We work with the area priest and bishop to help the congregation address their problems.

We are beginning to put in place a more structured approach to the allocation of diocesan funds to the mission churches in the form of a covenant between the congregation and CCM. It is important that we have a single process that can be used for each of our diverse congregations.

Our annual Small Church Day was a glorious celebration of Bishop Jones’ ministry. The Eucharist highlighted the racial and ethnic diversity of the mission churches of the Diocese of Virginia.

The members of CCM are a talented, dedicated group. We are grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of the Diocese.

Submitted by:
Mr. Dick Shirey, Chair, Committee on Congregational Missions

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Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
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 Relations Committee (DEIC). In 2011, 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 relationships 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 the Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Committee 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. Bishop Gulick succeeded Bishop Jones in this role at the October 2011 meeting.  

The Diocese of Virginia belongs to the Virginia LARCUM Covenant. This Covenant has been signed by the bishops of the three Episcopal dioceses in Virginia, the two Evangelical Lutheran Church in America synods, the two Roman Catholic dioceses and the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. This year all 10 bishops of these jurisdictions and their ecumenical officers gathered in Waynesboro the day before the annual LARCUM conference. A statement from these bishops will be release during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January 2012. They and their ecumenical officers are committed to meeting together again in 2012. The theme of the LARCUM conference in 2011 was “Living into the LARCUM Covenant.” All the bishops participated in leading the conference. Bishop Jones gave the sermon at the opening worship service. The 2012 LARCUM conference will take place in Richmond on November 30 and December 1. The conference is open to all clergy and laity and we urge you to join us.

The National Workshop on Christian Unity and annual meeting of the Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Officers took place this year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania May 9-12. There are numerous seminars and presentations at the Workshop and the Diocese of Virginia sends two members of the committee in order to cover most of the presentations and report back to the committee. The Episcopal Ecumenical Officers and their counterparts from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church explored ways in which our congregations can work together. One of the highlights of the workshop this year was a plenary on racism as a church dividing issue.

Dr. Agnew serves as vice president of the National Episcopal Ecumenical and Interfaith Officers. On February 10, 2011 he was present in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the Celebration of Full Communion between the Episcopal Church and the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church. The presiding at this service were the three presiding bishops, the Most Katherine Jefferts Schori, the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Miller and the Rev. David Guthrie. “The service included a ceremony of mutual recognition and reconciliation of ordained ministries, represented by the mutual recognition and blessing of each other’s Episcopal ministries.”

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 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 Cabinet of the Virginia Council of Churches and Dr. Agnew serves on the Steering Committee of VCC as well. At the November 2011 meeting of the Coordinating Cabinet the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick succeeded Bishop Jones. 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 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 Roslyn.

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
The Rev. Diane Carroll, Associate Ecumenical Officer
Co-Chairs of DEIC

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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 via conference call to review and make recommendations to the Executive Board for Mustard Seed grants (spring) and Fund for Human Need grants (fall).

In 2011, the Executive Board approved COHN recommendations for grants totaling $39,516.

Members
Current commission members include:

  • Ron Field (All Saint’s Sharon Chapel)
  • Ruth Gibson (Buck Mountain Church)
  • Barbara Merchant (Grace, the Plains)
  • Linn L. Power (St. Stephen’s, Catlett)
  • Jodie Pully (Grace & Holy Trinity)
  • Frank Saunders, Jr. (St. Phillip’s Richmond)
  • Dr. Emerson Smith (Calvary, Front Royal)
  • Judy Tulis (St. Mary’s, Whitechapel)


2011 Mustard Seed Grants
Mustard Seed grants totaling $36,416 were recommended by the Commission and approved by the Executive Board at its June 2011 meeting.  St. David’s, Ashburn grant in the amount of $3,100 was held  for further information and then approved at the September 2011 meeting. (Total Mustard Seed Grant funding $39,516)

Immanuel Church, Old Church, Mechanicsville
$2,500 for community garden

St. David’s, Ashburn
$3,100 – Restoring Eden, vegetable/flower garden

Trinity, Highland Springs
$2,000 – Reading Stars Program

Christ Church, Middlesex
$10,094 – Repair of walls and cabinets; replace floor in Sacristy

St. Mary’s, Colonial Beach
$2,747 – Remodel two bathrooms to be handicap accessible

Trinity Church, Charlottesville
$7,686 – Upgrade two bathrooms

St. Peter’s, Port Royal
$900 – Six ecumenical community dinners over a period of a year

Varina Church, Varina
$2,783 – Replace carpet in Parish Hall

Grace, Alexandria
$5,000 – Haiti Micah – Water purification project

St. Stephen’s, Richmond
$5,300.00 – Isibindi Project – Safe park, Diocese of Grahamstown, South Africa

2011 Fund for Human Need Grants
No grant requests submitted for 2011

Submitted by:
Mr. Buck Blanchard, Director, Office of Mission and Outreach

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Committee on Mental Health
The Diocesan Committee on Mental Health 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 is 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. We are focusing on education regarding resources for referral to mental health within a parish. The goals of the mental health committee are evolving. From a perspective of inclusion as its major objective, it now seeks to give equal priority to prevention and to the assistance necessary to help any Christian find mental wellness.

During 2011, our monthly meetings have continued on either the second or third Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. at Trinity Church, Fredericksburg. Committee members and “friends” have made mental health presentations and facilitated discussions about mental health in various regions and parishes that have been well-received. Meetings are open, so that other interested people may attend. Minutes of the monthly meetings, agenda, and other materials are available on the Web site: www.VAmentalhealth.org.

Products of the Mental Health Committee in 2011
The Committee was responsible for two conferences in 2011. The first, held at Holy Comforter, Richmond focused on the theme of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). In the April 2011 conference, a survivor of PTSD opened the conference; speakers ranged from psychologists and psychiatrists to military case workers and experienced clergy. The audience was interfaith, and many helpful suggestions for Church responses to PTSD were contributed by participants. The videography of the conference is available on the Committee’s Web site.     

The second conference “The Church and Suicide, Compassion and Response,” was a workshop on responding to the tragedy of suicide and/or instituting prevention in October 2011. It was chaired by committee member Paul Ackerman, Ph.D., with introduction and opening remarks by the Very Rev. Oran Warder, rector of St. Paul’s, Alexandria. The conference was designed not only to help clergy and lay persons understand the etiology and suffering of the person contemplating suicide, but to offer suggestions about resources available to clergy and families when suicide become imminent or successful. Lead speakers were the Rev. Katharina Johnson, a Lutheran pastor, who spoke on her personal experience of suicidality; the Rev. Jim May, who spoke on the theology of suicide; and Dr. Robert Stanley Brown, M.D, a psychiatrist treating active military personnel at Fort Lee, VA spoke on prevention/healing in of a suicide situation. Various therapies and programs were also discussed by Carol E. Frazelle, employee assistance program (EAP) coordinator at Myer Henderson Hall at Fort Myer, Va., and Vicki Graham, director, ACTS/Helpline, director of Suicide Help-Line. Robert DiCalogero spoke on suicide statistics. The Rev. John Weatherly, retired U. S. Army Chaplain presented the experience of a parish regarding suicide. Closing remarks were by Marta Engdahl, Committee chair. A healing service was conducted by the Rev. Matt Johnson in the chapel following the conference. Further details and conference report may be found on the above Web site or requested from the chair. The videography of the conference is also available on the Committee’s Web site. A summary of the “Church and Suicide” conference will also become available on the Web site. A key product of the Mental Health Committee in 2011 has been the preparation of a mental health resources toolkit that began for the PTSD conference, and was greatly expanded for the Church and Suicide conference. The current toolkit incorporates listing of all available Virginia state mental health services and provides personnel names and office numbers. The toolkit also lists many internet resources for education and prevention, as well as available organizations offering services to persons with mental health challenges.

Issues
The Committee on Mental Health is grateful to the staff of the Diocese of Virginia for the support given to our work to minister to the congregation at large. We have done outreach to include other interfaith communities including the United Methodist Conference, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Presbyterian Church, as well as the Diocese of Southern Virginia and the Diocese of Southwest Virginia. Our interfaith outreach efforts as well as interaction with other Episcopal dioceses will continue.  

Following the presentation of three conferences on current mental health issues, the last conference was strongly supported by the Diocese of Virginia. However, there were very few participants and almost no additional clergy from the Virginia Diocese, so the question of the efficacy of these efforts must be considered. Based on the lack of participation of clergy, the Committee understands the ambivalence and difficulty of dealing with mental health problems in a parish. Therefore, the Committee anticipates making the provision of resources a priority for its coming activities. Only when there is additional help and consultation will clergy or lay persons be more likely to learn the subtleties of psychological dysfunction in their parishes.

The Future
The Mental Health Committee plans to become more assertive about providing toolkits and education in diocesan parishes. The committee will present a workshop at the 2012 Annual Council in which the latest toolkit is distributed and the audience will be given instruction and insight in how to use it. In addition, the Committee will seek to offer similar instruction to educational or in-service programs for clergy in the Diocese.

In the hopes that parish educational planners will include mental health issues in adult education programs, the committee will be developing study guides to accompany the videograph of the “Church and Suicide.” Each speaker talked on a discrete topic that could be the basis for a one-hour video and discussion in an educational program. The Committee on Mental Health seeks opportunities to meet with every region in the Diocese and subsequently every church in the Diocese to assist them in becoming sensitive and aware and able to plan for adequate referral for mental health issues. Personnel in every church should have available the Mental Health Toolkit for referral resources and emergency planning. Awareness and sensitivity to mental health issues is an opportunity to witness to Christ’s love and is a duty and opportunity for every person to the community.

Further conferences in the fall and spring may be planned with the hope of continued outgrowth of support groups in various churches throughout the regions of the diocese. There are many other topics and mental health issues that may become part of the committee’s agenda or toolkit. Contributions will be solicited in 2012, including 1) a church’s response to community crises; 2) bullying prevention; and 3) assisting persons with disabilities and their families with stigma and accessibility challenges.

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.

2012 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:
•    2011 Fall Conference: The Church and Suicide: Compassion and Response
•    2011 Spring Conference: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
•    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);
•    Services of comfort during the holiday season, such as Liturgy for the Longest Night, at St. Paul’s Memorial, Charlottesville December 22, 2011.

View and/or receive the Mental Health Committee Workshops:
•    Bipolar Disorder/Depression
•    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
•    The Church and Suicide: Compassion and Response

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.

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Commission on Ministry
The Commission on Ministry is charged by the general canons of the Episcopal Church, Title III (Ministry), Section 2 (of Commissions on Ministry), 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 membership is comprised of the chairs of committees and several at-large members. Committee reports are below. 

In October, the Commission on Ministry met for its second overnight working retreat prior to the Fall Clergy Conference. This "annual" event has proved to be a valuable time of exchange among members of the various sub-committees. Time together is spent sharing what is happening in each of the committees, brainstorming about different ways of accomplishing the various tasks and responsibilities assigned to each committee. We have found that some of the most valuable conversations centered around the changing needs of church and culture and the impact that change may have, now and in the future, on the ministry of the church, both lay and ordained.

Areas that were identified as needing attention included developing a process of discernment and formation for clergy seeking to "crossover" from other denominations, a re-examination of the purpose and focus of the Mid-Atlantic Parish Training Program for seminarians, a review of the need for requiring Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for Virginia’s seminarians (VTS no longer requires it), continued fine-tuning of the process of formation for deacons, and a continued awareness of our responsibility to revisit all of our structures so that we remain faithful to the realities and needs of the church today.

Submitted by:
The Rev. Debbie Rutter, Chair

The Committee on Continuing Clergy Formation
Fresh Start, a program widely used in dioceses throughout the Episcopal Church, is our key diocesan-led program for transitional deacons or priests in new positions. This includes clergy who are either newly ordained or who have recently moved to a new position in a parish, school chaplaincy, or other ministry in the diocese. The content of the program is based on three key principles: the theory of transition, the importance of relationship-building and the need for self-care. Participation in this two-year program is required by the bishop and the support of the parish or other institution in which the transitional deacon or priest is serving is strongly encouraged as both the clergy person and his or her place of ministry benefit.

Those participating in Fresh Start meet monthly beginning with a retreat either at Shrine Mont or at Roslyn in September and continuing through June. The morning session centers around some particular aspect of ministry led either by diocesan staff members, the facilitators, or guest presenters in various fields of expertise. The afternoon time is spent with the four groups spending time in support of one another in a safe and confidential setting in which they can share their experiences. Both the content of the sessions and the opportunity for building of relationships provides a foundation for successful transition into a new ministry.

For the year 2011-2012 there are 33 participants in the Fresh Start program.  The Fresh Start program is grateful to Trinity Church, Fredericksburg for providing the space each month for our meetings.

Submitted by:
The Rev. David H. Knight, COM Member

The Committee on the Diaconate
The first five candidates for the Diaconate in the Diocese of Virginia were ordained on February 5, 2011.  The second class of three candidates will be ordained on February 11, 2012. The third cohort of seven postulants will conclude their course work and begin their practicum experience this spring in anticipation of ordination in 2013.  A new class will convene in the fall of 2013.   Between now and then, the COD is evaluating and reviewing the curriculum of the Diaconal Formation Institute, reviewing other diaconal formation processes in other dioceses and reshaping our formation program for diaconal ministry.

The COD has also developed a vision statement, with the counsel of Bishop Johnston, to guide those who feel they may be called to the vocational diaconate.  The vision statement is:

“By virtue of our baptism, all Christians are called to make Christ’s redemptive love known through servant ministry. Deacons are ordained to exercise this ministry, particularly to the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely. Deacons model servant ministry in their daily life and work, and are icons of servant ministry through their liturgical roles in worship. At all times, by their life and teaching, deacons are to show Christ’s people that in serving others they are serving Christ himself. It is also the special responsibility of deacons to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns and hopes of the world. Deacons entrust their gifts to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to empower others to name, claim and engage fully the work God gives us all to do. Those who sense they might be called to ordination as a deacon demonstrate servant ministry in the world, either in an institutional setting or in other forms of service, and their calling is clearly rooted in their faith and recognized in their actions.”

Submitted by:
The Rev. Jane Piver, Chair

The Committee on Discernment
The mission of the Committee on Discernment is to develop, oversee and refine the discernment process for leadership ministries, both lay and ordained; train and support Diocesan Spiritual Discernment Facilitators (DSDFs); design and deliver Diocesan Discernment Retreats; serve as a resource on discernment for the Diocese.     

There are currently 20 lay and clergy persons trained as Diocesan Spiritual Discernment Facilitators.  The DSDFs meet several times a year for continuing education and reflection on their work.  Currently this committee is considering the possibility of establishing regional discernment committees that would be offered in addition to Parish Discernment Committees.

  
In 2011, Diocesan Discernment Retreats were held in February, June and October, with 36 participants from 28 congregations. 

Submitted by:
The Rev. Liz Ward and the Rev. Stephen H. Wade, Co-Chairs

The Committee on Leadership Formation
The Committee on Leadership Formation is charged with the development of leadership learning programs for lay and ordained persons in the Diocese of Virginia.

The Committee oversees the Episcopal Leadership Institute (ELI) – an action learning program for leadership development which includes modules on Biblical models of leadership, leadership theory, change processes, conflict and communication, servant leadership and leadership education. 

ELI is currently used as an adjunct program to the Diaconal Formation Institute for the preparation of vocational deacons in the diocese.  Postulants and candidates meet quarterly for six sessions of ELI.  2011 saw the ELI graduation and ordination of our first class of vocational deacons and the completion of ELI for the second cohort.  A third cohort of candidates will complete ELI in the first half of 2012.

Although a solicitation for participants in a cohort of lay leaders did not achieve a critical mass, there are plans underway to extend ELI to other leaders who might benefit from the curriculum, such as church musicians, priests and vestries.

Submitted by:
The Rev. Dr. Sam Faeth, Chair, Director, Episcopal Leadership Institute

The Committee on Priesthood     
The Committee on Priesthood is charged with overseeing the process through which priests are formed for ministry and with guiding and monitoring the progress of those who are in the process.   We work with presenting priests and aspirants from the time of discernment of a call through ordination to the transitional diaconate.  Each person in the process is paired with a representative on the committee and is interviewed when applying for postulancy, candidacy and ordination by members of the Committee.  The Committee on Priesthood makes recommendations to the bishop and assists and advises the bishop in matters relating to the formation of priests.  

In 2011 the Committee recommended six people for postulancy and eleven for candidacy.  Nine people were ordained to the transitional diaconate, nine to the priesthood, and two former Roman Catholic priests were recognized as Episcopal priests. 

Submitted by:
The Rev. John Baker, Chair

The Diocesan Board of Examining Chaplains
The mission of the Board of Examining Chaplains is to 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, and recommend and oversee any additional work required to demonstrate proficiency in the canonical areas examined; 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 2011, the DBEC read examinations of nine 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.

Submitted by:
The Rev. Dr. Craig A. Phillips, Chair

The Young Priests Initiative
The Young Priests Initiative is a committee designed to help young adults, college students especially, discern their call to ministry—whether that be lay ministry or ordained ministry.  The program provides a community for discernment that does much of the work that a parish-based discernment group would do for someone who had a long-term, year-round parish home.  We seek to serve young people who move often, 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 2011, the YPI is journeying with seven young adults in their discernment process. Four of them participated in summer internships, at least three of them are planning to apply for postulancy and go before the Committee on Priesthood in the spring. The remaining three plan on completing summer internships. One is finishing college this spring and will pursue a residential internship through the Episcopal Service Corps; the other two will participate in ongoing conversation as they complete college.

Submitted by
The Rev. Laura Minnich Lockey, Chair

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Committee on Parish Nursing
This year has been a year of answering questions from prospective churches and persons interested in having a parish nurse/health ministry in their parishes.

The committee is still struggling with how to determine all the parishes that have health ministries and/or parish nurses in their churches. No easy solution has come forth at this time. Telephone calls and cards have not yielded much information. We are still looking for a solution.

We have interacted with several persons interested in these programs and in some cases have sent more information to the interested individuals.

I was selected to present a paper at the Westburg Symposium in St. Louis this fall. This is the International Parish Nurse Organization. My paper was on the role a parish nurse can play in a parish when the clergy assignment changes. This included retirement, reassignment, death, serious illness or mandatory change. It was well received by the audience and I would be glad to help any of our parishes with this situation if asked.

Please take time to stop by the parish nurse exhibit table and chat with me. I would love to give you any information you might need to proceed with a health ministry/parish nurse program in your church.

We are grateful to Amy Williams from the bishop’s staff, who has been assigned to this committee. She has been most helpful.

Submitted by:
Ms. Helen H. Zebarth, Chair.

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Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct
The primary work of the Committee continues to be that of offering people of the Diocese training on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and the Prevention of Adult Sexual Misconduct.

Four types of prevention training are now available in the Diocese:
•    Training in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Child Sexual Misconduct: Full four-hour course.
•    Training in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Child Sexual Misconduct: Abbreviated 90-minute course.
•    Training in the Prevention of Adult Sexual Misconduct: Full four-hour course.
•    Training in the Prevention of Adult Sexual Misconduct: Abbreviated 90-minute course.

During 2011, the Committee completed and implemented an abbreviated training for the Prevention of Adult Sexual Misconduct that meets the requirements of those applying for licensure as lay pastoral caregivers.  This workshop includes training that also addresses prevention of elder abuse. A train-the-trainer workshop was offered to clergy and staff in May during the Diocese’s 2011 Shrine Mont Spring Clergy/Staff Conference and was repeated again in October of 2011 during the Diocese’s Fall Clergy Retreat.

The Diocese now requires all clergy and all staff and volunteers to renew training certification at least every ten years. Both of the 90-minute abbreviated prevention workshops meet this requirement. The Diocese is currently working on opportunities for online training to help to make renewal of certification(s) even easier in the future.

In November, at the annual meeting of trainers, Paris Ball and Don Flynn updated trainers on the work being done to implement guidelines supporting safe practices for churches utilizing online social media.

Congregations are reminded that the Diocese’s Policy and Procedure Manual on Prevention of Abuse and Misconduct was revised and streamlined in October of 2011. The updated manual can be located on the Diocese’s Web site at:  www.thediocese.net/Resources/Sexual_Misconduct_Prevention/. 

Accompanying the revised policy manual is a treasure trove of online interactive resources supporting congregations. Among these resources is a new downloadable document that focuses on the question:  Who needs to attend which type of prevention training?  Also available is a real time calendar listing all currently available workshops and also linking users to online registration at: www.thediocese.net/Resources/Sexual_Misconduct_Prevention/.  Handouts for each type of workshop may also now be downloaded from the resource page.

Submitted by:
The Rev. Jacqueline C. Thomson and the Rev. Cathy Tibbetts
2011 Co-Chairs, the Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct

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Committee on Race Relations

  • Ms. Ellyn Crawford, Co-chair, St. George’s, Arlington
  • The Rev. J. David Niemeyer, Co-chair, Trinity, Highland Springs & St. Francis’,Goochland
  • Buck Blanchard, Staff, Diocese of Virginia
  • The Rev. Peter Carey, Emmanuel, Greenwood
  • Mr. William Campbell, St. Paul’s, Alexandria
  • Dr. John B. Chilton, Grace and Holy Trinity, Richmond
  • The Rev. Connie Clark, Buck Mountain, Earlysville
  • Dr. John L. Johnson, St. Mary, Colonial Beach
  • Mrs. Gladys E. Lewis, St. Philip’s, Richmond
  • The Rev. Barbara Marques, All Soul’s, Mechanicsville
  • Mrs. Jeannie Palin, Grace, Standardsville
  • 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
  • Ms. Malinda Collier, St. Mark’s, Richmond

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;
  • Engage and lead conversations across the Diocese about race and racism;

 
Highlights of 2011

  • Concurrent with this report we are submitting the current version of the history of race relations in our Diocese.  It is a work in-progress.  The research for this document was done by our member, Dr. John Chilton who serves as our lead for research and communication.  He was assisted in editing this draft by Dr. Mildred W Robinson, professor of law at the University of Virginia.  To say that we are grateful for John’s work and Mildred’s aid is such an understatement that we hesitate to include this statement. We cannot adequately express what the process and result have meant to the Committee.  
  • By submitting this current version of the Diocese’s race relations history, we will fulfill the obligation of the Diocese set forth in the resolution of the General Convention that each diocese research and disclose it’s involvement the slave trade, and the perpetuation of racism.  Additions will be made to the document before it is submitted prior to the final deadline in Summer 2012.  This current version of the history may be found on our Web site, http://sites.google.com/site/dovracerelations/
  • In January the Committee presented a workshop at the 2011 Annual Council entitled “Many Faces, One Faith.”  We displayed photographs and posters depicting the Christ as seen by members of many cultures around the world.  Interspersed with the Christ photos and posters were pictures of people of diverse origins and backgrounds.  In addition we offered a brief, very high-level presentation about the history of race relations in the Diocese as a taste of what was to come with the first edition of the history.
  • Also at Annual Council, Joseph Royster, who had been nominated by the Committee, was elected as an alternate lay delegate to the 2012 General Convention.  Then, due to the untimely passing of Russell Palmore, Joseph is set to become the first African-American lay delegate to General convention from the Diocese of Virginia.
  • Over the summer the Committee designed a new program for the Diocese.  We were extremely gratified by Bishop Johnston’s reaction to our plans.  “Meet Me in Galilee – A Journey from Repentance to Reconciliation” is a multi-year curriculum that will guide journey-groups through the difficult task of learning about and acknowledging the Diocese’s complicity in the slave trade and racist practices.  Further, though, the program offers the opportunity to study the characteristics and results of the power dynamic at work in race relations and other instances of social conflict, e.g. economic, gender equality.  Finally, the activities of the journey groups offer a path to reconciliation so that a more perfect collaboration can be established for doing God’s work fulfilling the promise of the Baptismal Covenant in the future.The Committee is enormously grateful to the clergy and members of St. Barnabas, Annandale for partnering with us as they pilot “Meet Me in Galilee”.  Engaging and supporting journey groups in this work throughout the Diocese are the Committee’s goal for the next two years.  In addition, the Committee will spotlight both our history and this program this summer in July at General Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Emily Cherry assisted the Committee in conducting a survey in September.  Using the same questions asked in a similar survey of race relations in 1993, congregations in the Diocese were asked to provide a current snap-shot of how we are doing.  Copies of the results are being made available at Annual Council.  In addition, the survey questions and Diocese-wide results have become one of the tools for our “Meet Me in Galilee” program, described below.
  • In October we spent a morning with Bishop Richard Blackburn during his visit to our Diocese from Liverpool.  Throughout this moving dialogue we were privileged to hear from Bishop Blackburn about current race relations in Liverpool. We also had the opportunity to describe our work on in this Diocese.   
  • We offered the workshop, “Seeing the Face of God in Each Other” in November at Trinity, Highland Springs.  Participants were clergy, seminarians and postulants for the vocational  diaconate.

The members of the Committee on Race Relations pray for God’s continuing guidance, grace and inspiration as we continue our work in 2012.

Submitted by:
The Reverend J. David Niemeyer, Co-Chair
Ellyn Lomack Crawford, Co-Chair

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Roslyn

In 2011, the Virginia Diocesan Center at Roslyn hosted over 250 organizations, served more than 25,000 meals, offered complimentary clergy retreats and fed a record crowd at its fifth annual Easter Brunch.  

2011 was also the first full year that the Bishop’s Chapel was in use.  It has been well received, with numerous guests attending chapel services, which are conducted by the groups in residence.  With the addition of the chapel came the question of weddings at Roslyn.  The board and staff are exploring this possibility and will relay wedding options should they become available.

The chapel was also utilized during 2011 for Roslyn’s clergy retreats.  These complimentary retreats for active and retired Episcopal clergy and their spouses continue to gain in popularity.  The gift of time to come to Roslyn for rest, reflection and fellowship was appreciated by many new and returning visitors last year.    

Throughout the year, Roslyn’s board and staff continued efforts to keep expenses at a minimum.  Savings for 2011 were identified through contract negotiations, overtime reduction, monitoring utility usage, and closing the center for most of December. 

Planning ahead, the 2012 operating budget was decreased by $64,000.  In addition, by refinancing an original construction loan and extending its pay off schedule from 20 to 30 years, payments will be lowered substantially – resulting in an annual savings of approximately $160,000.  The refinancing of this debt, budget reductions, and the realignment of responsibilities have realized over $250,000 in cost savings for Roslyn.   

Of additional note for 2012 is the conversion of the East Room in the dining hall into the Chancellor’s Room in honor of Russell V. Palmore,Jr., who was a long-time member of the Memorial Trustees.  The room will include a portrait of Mr. Palmore and will reflect the warmth and caring leadership that he brought to Roslyn during his years of service.  A dedication of the Chancellor’s Room will take place this spring.    

To summarize, Roslyn is moving into 2012 a leaner, more streamlined organization.  It’s prepared to weather today’s economic challenges while positioning itself for future growth.  A lot of hard work has been invested to make this happen.  Many thanks to everyone who has helped to make all of these accomplishments possible.   

Submitted by:
Kass Lawrence, Director

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Shrine Mont
Shrine Mont hosted over 13,000 guests and 700 campers in the 2011 season. 

Some highlights from this year include:

  • Thousands of people worshiped in the Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration and we marked the 86th anniversary of the consecration of the Shrine on August 6
  • 80 parishes from the Diocese held retreats
  • 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
  • Shrine Mont hosted the following programs:  Women’s Retreat, Art & Soul Conference, Arranging For the Fun of It and Digital Photography Workshops
  • Bishop Shannon hosted the 22nd annual Bishops Jubilee on July 4th
  • Bishop Jones hosted the 13th annual Tee with the Bishop’s Golf Tournament raising over $13,000 for Shrine Mont
  • The Gourmet Dinner and Wine Tasting sold out and was a success raising funds for Shrine Mont
  • Fall Camp, a tri-diocesan aging conference, hosted over 200 participants - a record number.  Bishop Gulick served as chaplain for the conference.
  • Three Marching bands kept the mountain hopping in August
  • St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Football team returned to the mountain for training after being away for a number of years
  • Community partnerships included the West Shenandoah Ruritan Club, the Bryce Mountain Lions Club, the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Department Leadership Camp, Shenandoah County Public School retreats and meetings, Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors meeting, the annual Mt. Jackson Chamber of Commerce Banquet and the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival.

Shrine Mont also added new conferences and events to our calendar including:

  • Ring of Kerry, Irish Dance Group
  • VA Association of Community Psychiatric Nurses
  • Numerous women’s, creative art and personal retreats
  • Junior Class of VTS

Shrine Mont continues in our efforts to improve facilities.  In 2011 we continued to raise funds for the reconstruction of St. Andrew’s cottage which will begin in 2012. Over $70,000 was raised to update the wiring, plumbing and interior of Stribling Cottage. Additionally, Shrine Mont purchased two electric vehicles for maintenance use.  These vehicles have been very effective in reducing fuel usage and noise on the Shrine Mont grounds. As budget and donations allow, Shrine Mont will expand our electric fleet in the future.

Two longtime members of the Shrine Mont board of directors stepped down in 2011.  We are deeply appreciative to Mr. Joe Paxton and the Rev. Debbie Rutter for their hard work and commitment to Shrine Mont and their continued support of the work we do.

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 2012 and hope that every member of the Diocese will spend some time with us.

Submitted by:
Kevin Moomaw, Executive Director

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Standing Committee
The Standing Committee has been vigorously engaged in our responsibilities during this year, and each member has valued the opportunity to serve the Diocese in our distinct roles.  A list of our official acts is printed elsewhere in this Journal of Annual Council.  This narrative report is more general in its presentation of our activities.

It is our canonical responsibility to vote on those presented to us who seek ordination.  This year, in addition to considering a number of people anticipating ordination as deacons first and then as priests, we had the privilege of recommending the first five people to be ordained as deacons (often referred to as vocational deacons) who will remain deacons.  This order of ministry is emerging as a vital enhancement to the wider mission of the church in the Diocese, and we were pleased to have been part of its beginning here.

During the year, we consented to the election of several bishops.  We have tried to incorporate into our consideration of each election both the integrity of the election process and the qualifications of the persons elected as appropriate.  Maintaining the delicate balance between allowing each diocese to make its own choices while trying to safeguard the good of the entire church has led us to take seriously each vote.

The Standing Committee is required to vote on debt incurred by congregations beyond a threshold based on annual parochial income.  We voted on one request this year and advised another congregation on the steps needed to prepare for a request for approval to incur debt.

This year, we experienced more change in membership during the term than is customary.  The Rev. Michael Pipkin accepted a call to a church outside of the Diocese and resigned in the spring.  Paul Brockman, a devoted leader in the Diocese, died in May.  Paul’s distinguished service was augmented by his remarkable perseverance during his final illness and his active participation in the deliberation of the Standing Committee until just a few weeks before his death.

The Executive Board filled the two seats until the next Annual Council with Mareea Wilson and the Rev. Robert Malm.  They have become effective members quickly and have been helpful in so many ways.

Our responsibilities also included approving the appointment of regional deans by the bishop, approving collegiate delegates to Annual Council and nominating members of the Disciplinary Board.

Unfortunately, the Standing Committee did receive a letter with charges seeking a presentment against a member of the clergy.  The timing made it necessary for the first response to be taken under the existing procedures then in effect for Title IV.  The Standing Committee responded, but a report could not be completed by the church attorney before the existing Title IV ended on June 30.  Consideration of the charges was transferred to the new Disciplinary Board under the new Title IV which took effect on July 1.

A crucial role of the Standing Committee is to act as a council of advice to the bishop.  We have valued the many open conversations we have had with Bishop Johnston on numerous subjects.  We are grateful that he attends a part of a majority of the meetings of the Standing Committee, and trust that we have been helpful to him.

We had the periodic responsibility to join with the bishop in establishing the process for the election of a bishop suffragan.  The unique nature of the election involves collaboration between the bishop diocesan and the Standing Committee.  This experience offered a good chance to work together and to establish collaborative decision making as a standard.  We are immensely grateful to the Nominating and Transition Committees, and we join with everyone in the Diocese in expressing our appreciation to the Rt. Rev. David C. Jones and his wife, Kay, for their ministries in the Diocese of Virginia.

Our responsibilities actually focus on the future – the selection of ordained ministers, the approval of newly elected bishops, the incurrence of debt to encourage growing congregations and conversations with the bishop about decisions that will affect us all.  We have often taken time to discuss the broader implications of the decisions we make.  We have found these discussions energizing and informative.

I have valued beyond measure the friendships formed with my Standing Committee colleagues – J. B. Burtch, the Rev. Torrence Harman and Roger Inger in the retiring class; the Rev. Abbott Bailey, Cindi Bartol (secretary of the Standing Committee), Paul Brockman, the Rev. Robert Malm, the Rev. Michael Pipkin and Mareea Wilson in the second year class; and Frank Baxter, Janet Peyton, the Rev. Wes Smedley and the Rev. Jackie Thomson in the first year class.

Submitted by:
The Rev. Edward O. Miller Jr., President

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Committee on Stewardship
The past year continued a good deal of transition and new opportunity for your Committee on Stewardship.

We began the year making the decision to focus our time on the development of a mentoring program.  In September we began a pilot of the Mentoring Program.  The program is designed be facilitated by a member of the Stewardship Committee of your Diocese and will require a six-month commitment of clergy, the stewardship committee and vestry representation from the church being mentored. The church and the mentor will work with a curriculum which will take the church from inception to creation of a theologically sound year round development program, focusing on all of the gifts of God which we bring to our churches.

During this six-month commitment, the mentor will lead the group through the process that will cover the wide range of stewardship ministry, including work and wisdom and wealth of the congregation.  The financial giving needs will focus on establishing strong annual and endowment (or planned) giving and what to consider in approaching capital campaigns.  The program utilizes a curriculum which the mentors and churches will use to help maximize the church’s potential for involving their congregation in the life of the church and creating a strong foundation for the future life of the church.  The program is designed to increase and celebrate involvement in all aspects of ministries of the church, exploring the purpose of and the financial support for the church’s ministries.  The relationship between the mentor and the church will be a close, working relationship, consisting of monthly meetings with planning and prayer commitments between meetings.  All who serve the committee on behalf of the church should be excited about celebrating stewardship in our lives and should support the work of the church with their wealth, work and wisdom.

Presently there are five churches being mentored and a sixth will begin in the spring of 2012.  At the conclusion of these pilot programs, the committee will come together to review the success of the program and the curriculum.  After making necessary curriculum adjustments, we hope to recruit more mentors and double the size of the program in 2013. 

Should you have questions about the mentoring program please contact Frances Caldwell, the Director of Development and Stewardship at fcaldwell@thediocese.net or her assistant, Stephanie Gurnsey Higgins at shiggins@thediocese.net.

Submitted by:
Ms. Keith Nelsen Stroud, Grace, The Plains; Chair, Committee on Stewardship  

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Committee on 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.

THE MISSION OF THE COMMITTEE
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 2011:

OUR OBJECTIVES RELATE TO OUR SERVICES
We share information about ongoing environmental and sustainability issues at state, national and international levels including legislation, education and ecumenical partnerships.  To this end, the SoCC Web site has been revised and revamped to provide access to an increased level of information and resources.  See, generally, http://www.caringforgodscreation.net

The SoCC Vice-Chair (Mr. Tal Day) has initiated a blog on our Web site to provide a forum and a dialogue on issues deemed important to spur additional conversation.  See http://www.caringforgodscreation.net/Blog/.  To date, the SoCC has presented blogs on climate change and justice, energy, water quality, water supply, and sustainable agricultural systems.

We have initiated the “SoCC eBlast” – a weekly e-mail communication to our parish partners for publication in the weekly Sunday bulletins and monthly newsletters.  The eBlast provides topical and practical information concerning the world we live in and how we can all be even better stewards of God’s creation.  (If you are not receiving our eBlasts, please contact Lesley Markham at markhamlesley@hotmail.com!)

We have committee members dedicated to specific interest areas such as energy, communications, interfaith ministries and liaison to other diocesan committees.  See http://www.caringforgodscreation.net/Directory/

We help people in the parishes and missions of the Diocese to understand environmental issues as religious concerns.  The Committee is guided by its permanent spiritual co-chair, a member of our clergy, to guide us while assuring that we stay on “message.”  As a team, we make clear to those we serve the connection between our Christian faith and caring for God’s 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.  See, e.g., http://www.caringforgodscreation.net/News/

We encourage and support Stewardship of Creation ministries at the local parish/mission level with liturgical, spiritual and worship resources and technical assistance.  See http://www.caringforgodscreation.net/SOC_Resources/

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.  The 2010 and 2011 conferences focused on the critical issue of “Water Sustainability.”  The September 2012 conference will bring experts from government and industry to address “Food Sustainability” issues.  See http://www.caringforgodscreation.net/Annual_Conferences/

We maintain a list of contacts and resource organizations within the network of relevant faith and environmental groups. An example of these follow in the form of web based “links.”  We are exploring other denominations and faith’s efforts to care for God’s Creation and how these programs can improve and affect the mission and efforts of the SoCC.  See http://www.caringforgodscreation.net/Church_Programs/

We have developed and distributed lists of energy savings tips to dozens of our churches.  We have developed a list of water saving tips.  These lists are available to everyone via our Committee Web site, and the diocesan Web site.  See http://www.caringforgodscreation.net/SOC_Resources/

We continue to coordinate with the diocesan publication, the Virginia Episcopalian, providing articles and announcements of key SoCC events and information.

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 offer speakers and presenters at our diocesan conferences; and when invited, to our sister dioceses.

We have partnered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and its 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.  

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.

Submitted by :
Mr. Wm. Craig Dubishar, Chair
Mr. Tal Day, Vice-Chair

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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 (CCRCs)

  • 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, 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 CCRCs 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 CCRCs 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 CCRCs, selling their home is a prerequisite for entering the CCRC and the trustees and management of the CCRCs 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.   

VDH also encourages the development of new residential facilities for the aging in the Diocese.  In recent years, several of the CCRCs 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 CCRCs 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.  Because the economics of developing a new residential facility for the aging are very challenging, the VDH trustees have been exploring creative ways to provide services to the aging through one of our existing communities or through alternative structures which circumvent the expense of building a new residential facility.

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, VA  23229, email: maryholly@verizon.net.

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

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Committee on World Mission
General: The Committee on World Mission is organized to encourage the national and international mission efforts of parishes throughout the Diocese of Virginia.  The Committee issues grants for mission trips, develops training materials, organizes informational meetings and conferences and makes mission-related resources available to parishes throughout the Diocese.

Grants: The Committee on World Mission issued the following grants during 2011:

Individual Grants
Holly Hanback, Everyone Everywhere Conf., $250

Church Grants
St. Barnabas’, Annandale, Cuba, $500
Trinity, Fredericksburg, Appalachia, $500
St. Peter’s, Purcellville, Guatemala, $500
St. George’s, Fredericksburg, Honduras, $500
St. Mark’s, Alexandria, Puerto Rico, $500
St. Catherine’s School, Haiti, $500
St. James’, Leesburg, Costa Rica, $500
Emmanuel, Delaplane, Appalachia, $500
St. Alban’s, Annandale, Appalachia, $500
All Saints’, Richmond, Appalachia, $500
Grace, Berryville, New Orleans, LA, $500
Pohick, Lorton, New Jersey, $500
St. Mary’s, Berryville, New Orleans, LA, $500
DOVA Youth Mission Trip, Towel Ministry, NC, $500    

Organizational Grants
Hope for Humanity, Inc., Sudan, $1,000
Five Talents International, International, $500
Dominican Development Group, Dominican Republic, $1,000
AFRECS, Sudan, $1,000
EPGM, International, $500
GEM, International, $500

Total grants given in 2011 as of 12/31/2011: $11,750    

Submitted by:
Buck Blanchard, Director of Mission & Outreach and Staff Liaison for Committee   

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