Highlights of the 225th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia

November 16, 2019
More than 450 lay and clerical delegates from across the Diocese gathered at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, November 14-16, for the 225th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia.
Delegates to Convention have several responsibilities including the election of leaders to governing bodies, passing a budget for the upcoming year, and voting on any resolutions that come before the Convention.
Standing Committee
The following people were elected to the Diocesan Standing Committee, which serves as the council of advice to the Bishop:

Ms. Deborah Gandy, St. Mary's, Arlington
Ms. Diane Miller, St. Timothy's, Herndon
The Rev. Anne Turner, VTS & St. Thomas, McLean
The Rev. Dr. Dorothy White, St. Mark's & St. John's, Richmond
The Rev. Deacon Katherine Ferguson*, La Iglesia de Santa Maria, Falls Church (*filling remainder of unexpired three-year term)


Deputies to 80th General Convention
The following people were elected to serve as deputies to the Episcopal Church's General Convention to be held in 2021 in Baltimore:
Clergy Deputies
The Very Rev. Dr. Hilary Smith, Holy Comforter, Richmond
The Rev. Sven L. vanBaars, Abingdon, White Marsh
The Rev. Daniel Veléz-Rivera, St. Gabriel's/San Gabriel, Leesburg
The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Prichard, St. George's, Arlington & Christ Church, Middlesex


Clergy Alternates
1) The Rev. Justin McIntosh, St. Paul's, Ivy
2)The Very Rev. Randolph J. Alexander, Jr., Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, Alexandria
3)The Rev. Dorota Wright-Pruski, St. Andrew's, Arlington
4)The Rev. Andrew Moore, St. Andrew's, Richmond


Lay Deputies
Mr. J.P. Causey, Jr., St. John's, West Point
Ms. Diane Wright, St. Mary's, Arlington
Mr. Russell Randle, Christ Church, Alexandria
Ms. Patty Gould Rosenberg, Abingdon, White Marsh


Lay Alternates
1) Ms. Ellyn Crawford, St. George's, Arlington
2)Ms. Cindi Bartol, Christ Church, Alexandria
3)Mr. Stevenson T. Walker, Cople Parish, Kinsale


Deputies to Provincial Synod
The following people were elected to serve as Deputies to the Provincial Synod. The Diocese is part of Province III, which includes dioceses in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Washington D.C.

Clergy Deputies
The Rev. Deacon Barbara Ambrose, St. Andrew's, Richmond
Alternate - The Rev. Collins Asonye, Meade Memorial, Alexandria
Lay Deputies
Mr. Karl Colder, St. David's, Ashburn
Ms. Ellyn Crawford, St. George's, Arlington
Alternate - Mr. David Penrod, Emmanuel, Harrisonburg
The Convention delegates approved a budget totaling $5,137,000. The budget featured increased funding for the work of race and reconciliation and continued support for growing ministries across the Diocese.
Resolutions and other Actions of Convention
Delegates to Convention passed the following resolutions:
R-1 Discontinuing Single-Use Plastic Products
R-1calls upon all churches, schools, conference centers and offices of the Diocese of Virginia to make all efforts to discontinue the use of disposable, single-use plastic products and foam products and to transition to reusable, compostable, and washable alternatives. A similar resolution was recently passed by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA.
R-2 Amended Diocesan Alcohol Use Policy
R-2 seeks to establish standards for use of alcohol in church, parish and diocesan settings that 1) respect Virginia law, 2) support those who are in recovery, 3) protect the vulnerable, and 4) ensure that church work is carried out in a conscientious and unimpaired manner. Specifically, it states that no church business is to be conducted during or after serving alcohol. Business includes the work of vestries and all church committees. Further, there will be no consumption of alcohol by adults when leading events which involve youth.
R-3 Requesting Reconsideration of Water Intake Site to Avoid Monacan Nation Ancestral Village and Grave Sites and to Provide Improved Protection of Graves of Native American and Enslaved People
This resolution requests that the local, state and federal water authorities reconsider the location and routing of the proposed JRWA water intake, pipeline and treatment plant in Fluvanna County to avoid the site of a former capital of the Monacan Indian Nation and burial ground. Further, it calls on the Office of the Bishop to seek and support improved legal protections for burial grounds of Native American and enslaved peoples.
R-4 Stipendiary Clergy Pay Equity
This resolution calls for the Diocese of Virginia to continue reporting at every Annual Convention its progress toward achieving pay equity for stipendiary clergy by gender and race. Further, it requires that the Diocese of Virginia and each of its congregations make public its compensation and benefits for clergy by amount and type for each of its stipendiary clergy.

Highlights of Bishop Goff's Pastoral Address
In her pastoral address, the Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority, announced that she will call for the election of the next Bishop Diocesan at Diocesan Convention in 2020. The consecration of the Bishop Elect will likely occur in late summer or early fall of 2022. Bishop Goff said that she will retire in 2023.
In a recorded video address to the delegates, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry expressed his support for the timeline and plan for the election.
The full text of Bishop Goff's pastoral address will soon be available at www.thediocese.net. Videos of both Bishop Goff's address and Presiding Bishop Curry's address are available on the diocesan Facebook page.
Other Highlights
The Diocese's new Assistant Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson was introduced at this Convention. Bishop Brooke-Davidson joined the Diocese on November 4. She was previously Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of West Texas.
Bishop Associate Robert Ihloff made his parting address toward the close of this Convention. Bishop Ihloff will return to the Diocese of Maryland in January of 2020 to serve as a part-time Assisting Bishop.
For continuing post-Convention coverage, visit the Diocese on Facebook and at www.thediocese.net.