Summary of the 228th Annual Convention

November 19, 2022 
More than 377 lay and clerical delegates from across the Diocese gathered at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, November 17-19, for the 228th 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.
Bishop Goff's Final Pastoral Address
Bishop Suffragan Susan Goff, who has also served as Ecclesiastical Authority for four years, announced early in 2022 her intention to retire at the end of this calendar year. "These ten and a half years as Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Virginia, and particularly these four years as Ecclesiastical Authority," said Bishop Goff, "have been filled with challenge and deep fulfillment. I confess that I experienced moments of fear during these years. I also experienced wonder." Reflecting on the past few years, which brought a pandemic and her own battle with cancer," Bishop Goff said she often "felt physically and powerfully sustained by prayer, moments when I felt literally held in the arms of God’s love...I thank you for your prayers. ...It has been the journey of a lifetime for me. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world." The full text of Bishop Goff's pastoral address.
Keynote Speaker
Bishop Eugene Sutton of the Diocese of Maryland was the keynote speaker. He shared the journey that has followed the Diocese of Maryland's 2020 commitment to creating a $1,000,000 seed fund for reparations. The fund is infusing money into programs that are building up Black communities and helping to repair the breach caused by systemic racism in Maryland and the United States.
At the Diocese of Virginia's 2021 Convention, the delegates committed to establish an endowment over the next five years of $10 million to be set aside as an initial investment to begin reparations.
The Convention adopted six resolutions.
The final versions of each resolution are now available. 
R-1a Achieving Net Carbon Neutrality by 2030 - The resolution commits our Diocesan offices and operations to reach this goal by 2030 and urges congregations, our church schools, and retirement homes to also commit to reaching Net Zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2030.
R2a Uniform Family Leave - This resolution calls on the federal government and the Commonwealth of Virginia to institute mechanisms to fund and administer a uniform paid family leave policy to care for newborns, to promote bonding between newborns and parents or adoptees and parents, and to allow for the care of immediate family members during illness.
R-3s Promotes Solidarity with Global Efforts to Expand COVID Vaccines and Treatment particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
R4 History of Episcopal Succession - This resolution provides that all histories produced by our Diocese recognize and include Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority Susan E. Goff in the succession of diocesan Episcopal leadership between Bishop Shannon S. Johnston and Bishop-Elect E. Mark Stevenson.
R-5a Promotion of Civil Discourse - The resolution calls on elected officials, candidates for all offices, and Episcopalians, in particular, to publicly repudiate hate speech and to engage in civil discourse. It also encourages Episcopalians and parishes to make use of the Civil Discourse Curriculum developed by The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations.
R-6 The Creation of Assistant Bishop Positions to support our new Bishop. In anticipation of the retirement of Bishop Susan Goff, December 31, 2022, and with the recent departure of Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, the resolution authorizes the appointment of up to two Assistant Bishops by Bishop-Elect E. Mark Stevenson following his consecration.
The Convention passed a budget balanced at $5,661,700. Featured in the 2023 budget are increased parish pledges of approximately $240,000 reflecting support of the 2021 R1a Covenantal Giving Plan. Also resulting from that resolution are the cost of waiving program fees for Annual Convention and Clergy Conferences. Program highlights are a 25% increase in funding of prison ministry through GraceInside, consulting and other resources for congregations in transition and congregational development, and the full funding of campus ministries. Staffing measures fund three full-time bishops, a Canon for Christian Formation, and a Director of Shrine Mont Camps.

Standing Committee
The following people were elected to the 2025 class of the Diocesan Standing Committee, which serves as the council of advice to the Bishop. They will serve alongside the Standing Committee members of the classes of 2023 and 2024:

Mr. Thomas Beatty, St. Philip's, Richmond
Ms. Helen Penrod, Emmanuel, Harrisonburg
The Rev. Santiago Rodriguez, Grace, Alexandria
The Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, Christ Church, Alexandria
Deputies to 81st General Convention
The following people were elected to serve as deputies to the Episcopal Church's General Convention to be held in 2024 in Louisville, KY.
Clergy Delegates
The Rev. Amanda Kotval, St. Paul's, Ivy
The Rev. Dr. Hilary B. Smith, Holy Comforter, Richmond
The Rev. Sven L. vanBaars, Abingdon, White Marsh
The Rev. Daniel Veléz-Rivera, St. Gabriel's/San Gabriel, Leesburg
Clergy Alternates
1) The Rev. Will Dickinson, St. George's, Fredericksburg
2) The Rev. Kathleen Murray, Emmanuel, Woodstock, and St. Andrew's, Mount Jackson
3) The Rev. Andrew Moore, St. John's, McLean
4) The Rev. Herbert Jones, St. Thomas', Richmond
Lay Delegates 
Mr. Matt Danielson, St. Thomas', Richmond
Ms. Lillian Hardaway, St. Paul's, Alexandria
Ms. Margaret (Mickie) Jones, St. Mark's, Richmond
Mr. Russell Randle, Christ Church, Alexandria
Lay Alternate
Ms. Cindi Bartol, Christ Church, Alexandria
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 Delegate
The Rev. Kathleen Murray, Emmanuel, Woodstock and St. Andrew's, Mount Jackson
Lay Delegates
Ms. Ellyn (Lyn) Crawford, St. George's, Arlington
Ms. Jane Roth, St. James, Leesburg
Other Highlights
It was a moment of great joy and celebration to welcome a delegation from Church of Our Saviour, Montpelier, into the ballroom to be recognized as they were officially approved to move from mission to full parish status. Church of Our Saviour began as a mission of the Diocese 140 years ago. The church was established in 1882 largely through the support of the Episcopal Church in China.
In his update on the work of the Task Force on Reparations, Dr. J. Lee Hill, Jr. said, "Foundational for our work, as we continue to discern it, is developing a healthy and formative spiritual way of being. We have come to understand that reparation is about repair -- the transformation of heart and mind, and the employ of financial resources to right the historic and systemic wrongs that brought about the unequal footing that people of color stand upon. We are clear that our work requires the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit -- which means that we cannot rush through a one-off process but must engage in an intentional time of prayer, discernment, reflection, learning and sharing, before acting."
The Ad Hoc Committee on Shrine Mont Camps reported on its work of the past year. Committee Chair the Rev. Andrew Moore shared the results of a broad, comprehensive survey of camp families. The top five words families used to describe Shrine Mont Camps were: loving, inclusive, welcoming, fun, and spiritual. The Committee’s key recommendations for next steps include: 1) establishing a Diocesan Camps Committee to offer guidance and support to the leadership of the Camps; 2) expanded promotion of Shrine Mont Camps to more communities; 3) creation of a Shrine Mont Camps Alumni Network; and 4) making a top priority to promote the full inclusion of all members of the Body of Christ, especially non-white and LGBTQ+ persons. 
For more post-Convention coverage, check out the diocesan Facebook pageThe recording of the livestream of the full Convention proceedings is available in both Spanish and English.