Bishop Goff's Remarks on Clergy Call June 9

Clergy Webinar Week 13

Opening Prayer

A Prayer for Conscience and Courage by Joan Chittister.  Written at beginning of COVID-19 outbreak with words that speak powerfully for us now. 

Let us pray: 

Loving God,
lead us beyond ourselves
to care and protect,
to nourish and shape,
to challenge and energize
both the life and the world
You have given us.

God of light and God of darkness,
God of conscience and God of courage
lead us through this time
of spiritual confusion and public uncertainty.
Lead us beyond fear, apathy and defensiveness
to new hope in You and to hearts full of faith.

Give us the conscience it takes
to comprehend what we’re facing,
to see what we’re looking at
and to say what we see
so that others, hearing us,
may also brave the pressure that comes
with being out of public step.

Give us the courage we need
to confront those things
that compromise our consciences
or threaten our integrity.

Give us, most of all, 
the courage to follow those before us
who challenged wrong and changed it,
whatever the cost to themselves.


Thank you for being a part of this time today.

Let me tell you our line-up and make two announcements before we dive in. 

Our centerpiece presentation will be from Diocesan Chancellor JP Causey regarding a Temporary Protocol for Congregational Meetings During Social Distancing.  He has been working on this on our behalf for some time, striving to ensure that the protocols we follow will be consistent with the Canons of the Diocese.

Our team leaders for our phased regathering work are among the panelists to answer your questions about that.

Bishop Porter Taylor, who officially begins as Assisting Bishop in the Diocese on July 1, is also among the panelists.  At some point, Bishop Porter and his wife Jo will move to one of the houses at St. Andrew’s, Arlington, and they will be in residence there about three weeks of every month.  Until a move makes sense and physical presence has a context, he will be a part of our life and ministry in the same way we are all able to be together now - and that is virtually. 

I want to give you a heads up that I will put out to the diocese a letter in support of the removal of the Robert E. Lee Memorial in Richmond, citing the teachings of Jesus and our baptismal vows.  I’ll also cite the statement on Confederate Monuments written by the American Historical Association after the violence in Charlottesville in August of 2017.  

On a personal note, I continue to do well during chemotherapy.  I moved into a new phase with hair loss just this week, so I’ll be using head scarves in appropriate liturgical colors for the foreseeable future.  Lots of purple for penitence and joyful anticipation. 

Clergy Q & A here

JP Causey's Presentation here