February 5, 2021
Dear Delegates to the 226th Annual Convention,
I am grateful to you for your commitment and investment in our common life, represented by your participation at our 226th Annual Convention on November 14, 2020. I write to you today to ask for your continued commitment and investment in a Special Convention this spring to complete our work.
When the motion to adopt the diocesan budget for 2021 was defeated on a vote by orders, I told the assembly that the budget would be returned for action to the Executive Board, which carries forth the work of Convention between Conventions. The Executive Board met in a regularly scheduled session in December and in a special meeting in January. A summary of each meeting was sent to the people of the Diocese within hours of adjournment.
In December, the Executive Board adopted a "Schedule of Payments," according to Canon 19.2, to empower the Treasurer to pay the expenses that support our ministries for three months. In January, the Executive Board discussed the wisdom of adopting a Schedule of Payments each quarter to carry the Diocese through to the 227th Convention in November, 2021, as well as the wisdom of holding a Special Convention in the spring of this year. The Board engaged the exercise intentionally and creatively, naming upsides and downsides of each option.
After listening to the discussion and listening in prayer to God's movement through the Holy Spirit, I have determined that a Special Convention will provide an opportunity for the greatest clarity, transparency and engagement with the budget process for the entire Diocese. I therefore call for a special Convention, pursuant to the Constitution of the Diocese, Article VIII, Section 1.
- The Special Convention for the Adoption of the Budget will be held on Saturday, April 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., via ZOOM.
- After determining the quorum and accomplishing the other organizational work required, our sole order of business for this Special Convention will be the presentation and vote on the budget, and any relevant resolutions directly associated with the budget.
- During the Special Convention, we will worship together.
- An Open Hearing on the Budget will be held on Saturday, April 17, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. via ZOOM.
- Because there will be a gap between the end of the first quarter schedule of payments on March 31 and the Special Convention on April 24, I will request that the Executive Board adopt a supplemental schedule of payments for April and May to authorize the treasurer to pay bills until the approval of a 2021 budget.
- Delegates for this Special Convention will be those who were elected and certified for the 226th Convention last November.
- The registration fee, which will cover the costs of tech support and translation services, will be determined.
- Registration materials and more details will be provided to you in early March.
God has called us to mission and ministry together in Jesus' name here in the Diocese of Virginia. We take on our roles in God's mission with utmost joy and with thanksgiving for the responsibilities entrusted to us. Let us begin our prayers for this Special Convention and for the opportunities it presents us to live in God's love and service.
Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with all who will take counsel in a Special Convention of the Diocese of Virginia for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority