224th Annual Convention Recap

Highlights of the 224th Annual Convention
The Pastoral Address of the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston at the 224th Annual Convention
The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff’s Address to Annual Convention



In elections for Standing Committee, for the clerical order, delegates voted to elect the the Rev. Andrew T. P. Merrow, of St. Mary's, Arlington, and the Rev. Barbara "Bambi" Willis, of Trinity, Fredericksburg. Ms. Ashley Cameron, of St. Mary's, Goochland, and Ms. Christie Thomas, of St. Paul's Memorial, Charlottesville, were elected in the lay order.


R-1 Adoption of the “Way of Love” Rule of Life in the Diocese of Virginia
R-2 Diocese of Virginia Response to Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre
R-3 Authorization of the Creation of the Position of Assistant Bishop and Appointment Thereof

CR-1 The Rev. Dr. Donald Binder
CR-2 The Rev. John Armfield Weatherly
CR-3 Courtesy Resolution to Commemorate the Service of the Rev. Edward O. Miller, Jr., to St. John’s Episcopal Church, McLean

R-1 Adoption of the “Way of Love” Rule of Life in the Diocese of Virginia

Resolved, by the 224th Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, that Convention adopt, as the primary focus of our Diocesan ministry until General Convention 2021, the three priorities set forth by our Presiding Bishop and General Convention as the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement for the next three years:

  • Evangelism
  • Racial Reconciliation
  • Care of Creation; and be it further

Resolved, that Convention acknowledge and celebrate the good work of the Diocesan Racial Reconciliation Committee and the Diocesan Care of Creation Committee; and be it further

Resolved, that we recognize that The Episcopal Church (TEC) has prepared excellent resources, entitled the Way of Love Rule of Life,

available for use throughout TEC as an effective means to equip us better for more effective Christian ministry, including evangelism, racial reconciliation and care of creation; and therefore, be it further

Resolved, that in order to carry out these priorities more effectively than we have to date, Convention recognize that each lay and clergy leader in our diocese must model Christian discipleship more intentionally and help our people and congregations live more fully into the robust practice of our Christian faith; and be it further

Resolved, that Convention ask that each parish vestry member, lay and clergy diocesan convention delegate, rector and vicar:

  • Make a public commitment to follow the Way of Love Rule of Life set forth by our Presiding Bishop, and endorsed by General Convention;
  • Make education about and training of their congregations about practicing this Rule of Life a primary focus of their congregational work and ministry in the coming year, doing so by means best adapted to the needs of each congregation; and be it further

Resolved, that the Office of the Bishop is asked, by November 16 to publicly designate a person on Diocesan staff to respond to requests for assistance in helping congregations as they work to implement this rule of life.

Submitted by Diocese of Virginia’s 79th General Convention Deputation:

Mr. J.P. Causey, Mr. Russ Randle, Ms. Cindi Bartol, Ms. Helen Spence, Ms. Ellyn Crawford, the Rev. Lucia Lloyd, the Rev. Dr. Robert Prichard, the Rev. Randy Alexander, the Rev. Justin McIntosh and the Rev. Jane Piver.

R-2 Diocese of Virginia Response to Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

Resolved, by the 224th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, that, in accordance with our Baptismal Covenant:

  1. The Diocese of Virginia condemn anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence in the strongest possible terms and extend its profound sympathy and assurance of prayer to the Jewish congregations of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and to everyone in the wider Jewish community;
  2. The Diocese of Virginia reaffirm the strong support expressed for the Jewish community by Virginia Episcopalian, President George Washington, in his 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, in which he stated that our Government shall give to bigotry no sanction and to persecution no assistance, and that “all possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship” and enjoy the right to worship God in their own way;
  3. The Diocese of Virginia ask that all its clergy and people carefully study that letter, as a model of the respect owed by all Christians to our Jewish brothers and sisters, and to all who have different faiths than ours;
  4. Recognizing that the Tree of Life Synagogue was targeted in part because of refugee resettlement work identical to that done by Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), the Diocese of Virginia remind all our congregations of our duty to welcome the stranger (Mt. 25:35) and to love the alien as ourselves (Lv. 19:34; Ex. 23:9), just as we were aliens in the Land of Egypt (Dt. 10:19);
  5. The Diocese of Virginia commend all Virginia parishes and missions which are engaged in interfaith work and in joint services such as Thanksgiving, in many cases partnerships which have endured for several generations in helping the poor and worshipping Almighty God; and
  6. The Diocese of Virginia strongly encourage all Virginia Episcopalians, working with their congregations and neighboring synagogues during November or December, to attend a Shabbat service at a local synagogue as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish community in a time of murderous persecution.

Submitted by Russell V. Randle, Christ Church, Alexandria

Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport

George Washington

August 21, 1790


While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.

If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

  1. Washington

R-3 Authorization of the Creation of the Position of Assistant Bishop and Appointment Thereof

Resolution for Diocesan Convention

November 1-3, 2018

Resolved, that the 224th annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, receiving the opinion of Bishop Susan E. Goff that additional episcopal services are required for The Diocese, with the consent of the Standing Committee, approve the creation of the position of Assistant Bishop, and authorize Bishop Goff, with the consent of the Standing Committee, to appoint a bishop for the position under such conditions as she may determine.

Submitted by:

The Standing Committee

Authority:  General Convention Canon III.12.5

CR-1 The Rev. Dr. Donald Binder

Whereas, the Reverend Dr. Donald D. Binder haws faithfully served the congregation of Pohick  Episcopal Church for 17 years as Rector; strengthening the congregation and its spiritual ties to the community; initiating multiple new ministries that have equipped and empowered his flock to nurture their spiritual gifts; and holding the Pohick Church together during difficult times in the Episcopal Church and in the Diocese of Virginia, through his provision of openness, acceptance and the encouragement of differing views, and by setting an example of allowing space for all viewpoints to thrive;

Whereas, Fr. Binder has promoted and maintained exceptional stewardship of the History of Pohick Church, protecting the buildings, grounds and historical documents and overseeing renovations, repairs and improvements exceeding a half million dollars, raised by the congregation and endowments above the annual budget;

Whereas, Fr. Binder has served the Diocese of Virginia in numerous capacities, including Dean of Potomac Region (VI), providing pastoral oversight of eleven congregations in the Potomac Regions (VI), Chair of the Commission on Liturgy & Music from 2007-2011, providing oversight for diocesan liturgical services, including ordinations and consecrations, developing liturgical and musical resources, and hosting liturgical and musical workshops at diocesan gatherings; and Field Education Mentor of 7 seminarians from the Virginia Theological Seminary;

Whereas, Ft. Binder has provided chaplaincy of George Washington’s Mt. Vernon and George Mason’s Gunston Hall, strengthening and maintaining an enduring partnership with Mt. Vernon, the Ladies of Mt. Vernon, and Regents of Gunston Hall;

Whereas, Fr. Binder has offered opening prayer at the beginning of the Virginia State Legislature for 17 years;

Whereas, Fr. Binder has raised our awareness of the Persecuted Church, led two pilgrimages to St. George’s College in the Holy Land, and taught enlightening short courses on many aspects of the Bible, church history and Christian development/living;

Whereas, the Pohick Church music programs have flourished through Fr. Binder’s participation and leadership, growing significantly over the past 17 years;

Whereas, Fr. Binder has composed, arranged and performed ‘Shrine Mont Soliloquies,’ a twelve-track CD of Christian themed songs;

Whereas, Fr. Binder has created a liturgy, ‘The Way of Light,’ endorsed by the 223rd Convention of the Diocese of Virginia and approved, by the 2018 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, for inclusion in the next revision of The Book of Occasional Services;

Whereas, Fr. Binder has authored Into the Temple Courts: The Place of the Synagogues in the Second Temple Period, 1999; co-authored The Ancient Synagogue from Its Origins to 200 C.E.: A Source Book, 2008; and co-edited A City Set on a Hill: Essays in Honor of James F. Strange, 2014;

Whereas, Fr. Binder has accepted a three-year appointment to serve as Chaplain to The most Reverend Suheil Dawani Archbishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East, where he will accompany the Archbishop on his monthly visits to the diocesan church and hospital in the volatile Gaza strip, and assist the Archbishop with the oversight of our congregations in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Iran;

Resolved, the 224th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia commends, congratulates and thanks the Rev. Dr. Donald D. Binder, his wife Christine Binder and their children Christopher, Peter and May for their more than 17 years of service to the Pohick Episcopal Church, the Potomac Region (VI) and the Diocese of Virginia, and for his more than 29 years of service to the Episcopal Church, and offers its prayers and best wishes for success in his new ministry.

Submitted by the congregation and vestry of Pohick Church and the Potomac Region

CR-2 The Rev. John Armfield Weatherly

Whereas the Reverend John Armfield Weatherly was ordained as a deacon June 6, 1981, by the Rt. Rev. Albert Wiencke VanDuzer (eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey) and ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church December 10, 1981 by the Rt. Rev. George Phelps Mellick Belshaw, suffragan bishop of New Jersey 1975-1982; and

Whereas Father Weatherly served as vicar at St. Andrew’s Church and Christ Church, Trenton, NJ where he also served as president of the founding board of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen; and

Whereas following his marriage in 1986 to the Reverend Beverly Kay Hill, John and Kay accepted the call to serve as missioners for three years to the Iglesia Episcopal do Brazil, in Brasilia during which time their two oldest children Kathryn and Andrew were born; and

Whereas from 1988-2011 John served as a Chaplain in the Virginia National Guard, US Army, including tours of duty to Tuzla, Bosnia 9/2001-3/2002 and Anbar Province, Iraq 2005-2007, retiring from the guard in 2011 with the rank of colonel; and

Whereas John served as rector of Holy Trinity Church, Hampstead, NC (1989-1992) where his youngest daughter Meaghan was born and where he also served on the Board of Episcopal Farmworker’s Community, Newton, NC; and

Whereas John served as Associate Rector, St. Luke’s Parish, Darien, CT (1993-1995) during which time he earned his ThM in Pastoral Care and Counseling from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ (1995); and

Whereas John served as Priest-in-Charge, St. Barnabas Church, Temple Hills, MD (1995-1997); and

Whereas in 1997, 21 years ago, John was called as Rector of St. Mark’s, Alexandria in the Diocese of Virginia; and

Whereas John served as Region VI Member of Executive Board of the Diocese of Virginia from 2000-2002, as Dean of Region VI, from 2011-2013, and as a member of the Hispanic Church Plant Committee of the Hispanic/Latino Task Force, and as a tireless advocate for San Marcos Episcopal Mission in the Potomac Region; and

Whereas the Reverend John Weatherly was a finalist candidate for Suffragan Bishop of the Armed Forces; and

Whereas John Weatherly has never been silent when there is a good story to tell, or an injustice to right, or an opportunity to witness to the abundant goodness of God; and

Whereas despite being frightened beyond description in the theater of war and despite being separated from his wife and children and parish for more than two years while ministering to countless men and women challenged by the depth of suffering produced by war, and the estrangement and brokenness produced by multiple deployments into military service, John has held fast to his companionship with our Saviour and helped countless others hold on to their trust in the love, mercy, and goodness of God;

Be it resolved that this 224th Convention of the Diocese of Virginia join the people of St. Mark’s, San Marcos, and the Potomac Region in sending our congratulations and thanksgiving to the Reverend John Armfield Weatherly and his wife, the Reverend Beverly Kay Hill Weatherly, for their 21 years of service to St. Mark’s, San Marcos, the Potomac Region, and the Diocese of Virginia; for John’s 23 years of service to the men and women of the Virginia National Guard, U.S. Army; and for John’s 38 years of ordained service to the Episcopal Church in six dioceses, and four different countries on three continents.

Submitted by the congregations and vestries of St. Mark’s and San Marcos and the Potomac Region

CR-3 Courtesy Resolution to Commemorate the Service of the Rev. Edward O. Miller, Jr., to St. John’s Episcopal Church, McLean

Whereas, the Reverend Edward O. Miller, Jr., a priest of this Diocese completed his 22-year ministry as Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, McLean, on July 31, 2018; and

Whereas, Ed Miller previously served as assistant minister of Trinity Church in the City of Boston, and Rector of All Saints’, Belmont, Massachusetts before being called to St. John’s in 1996; and

Whereas, Ed Miler has lived into his baptismal and ordination vows through his pastoral presence, his discerning preaching, and his welcoming manner; and

Whereas, Ed Miller, through his ministry, empowered the laity of St. John’s, mentored applicants for ordination through his work with the Commission on Ministry, and encouraged and strengthened many; and

Whereas, Ed Miller led the church through two capital campaigns improving the building and grounds for the purpose of extending and expanding many programs and ministries; and

Whereas, the church school, EYC, adult education, local outreach ministries and other church programs grew substantially under Ed Miller’s leadership; and

Whereas, Ed Miller’s emphasis on the importance of music in worship and parish life has led to more significant musical presentations at weekly worship services and for special programs; and

Whereas, Ed Miller has demonstrated a gift for meaningful and powerful liturgy, not just in weekly worship, but also in times of celebrations, such as the church’s 150th anniversary, and also great sadness, such as the terrorist attacks of 911; and

Whereas, Ed Miller served on the Standing Committee of the Diocese and as its chair; and

Whereas, Ed Miller chaired the Board of Governors of Christchurch School, and became President of the Church Schools of the Diocese of Virginia; and

Whereas, Ed Miller worked ecumenically with other churches in McLean on outreach ministries, especially through work with Martha’s Table, SHARE, Habitat for Humanity, the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, and the Colin Powell Leadership Club; and

Whereas, Ed Miller forged the relationship between St. John’s, McLean and Iglesia San Gabriel, Consuelo, Dominican Republic in 2002 and created a strong and continuing partnership; and

Whereas, the congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church will miss him greatly but celebrates with gratitude the indelible impact he has made on our church worship and community; now therefore be it

Resolved, the 224th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia thanks the Reverend Edward O. Miller, Jr. for his faithful leadership and service and commends its prayers for continued service to all; and

Be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be provided to Ed Miller and that it be recorded in the minutes of the 224th Annual Convention.

Submitted on behalf of the congregation of St. John’s Church by the Vestry and the St. John’s Convention Delegates; and the Reverend Christopher Miller