Dear Friends in Christ—
This weekend is a big one for the Diocese of Virginia. We meet (by Zoom) for our annual
convention. That may sound boring (and, admittedly, nine hours straight on Zoom is a little
rough.). But it includes work that matters to who we are as a parish, as Episcopalians, and as
How can a procedural meeting of resolutions mean so much?
For one, the way we organize ourselves institutionally says something about who we want to be
in the world. There are several resolutions before convention that have implications of equity
and justice. Last year, I was the initiator of a narrowly defeated resolution on parental leave. A
coalition of clergy has been working both last year and this year to ensure that all
parents—same-sex couples, adoptive parents, and foster parents—have equal access to
benefits. The resolution is back on the floor this year, and we hope it will pass.
Mother Nina and I are both sponsors of another resolution that provides for a better ordination
discernment process for Spanish-speakers. We believe this change will increase access and so
equity in the way our church raises up priests.
So, issues justice is at stake. And—the convention also makes a claim about our willingness to
work together. We do not attempt to lead lives of faith as a solo effort. We work with one
another to build up a better world, the kind of world God dreams of. The steps are small. But a
thousand small steps bring us towards our goal.
I encourage you to keep our convention in your prayers this weekend. (If you have questions,
please talk to our clergy or to Mike Jones and June Huber, your convention delegates.)
And—if you want additional evidence of our connections to the wider church—come on Sunday
to hear our guest preacher, Dr. Mark Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Virginia
Seminary. We are blessed to be connected to VTS, and we will be blessed by Mark’s presence.
He is a prophetic voice for justice in the wider church. Fasten your seat belts when you come.
His preaching will move us to places that we need to go.
Yours in Christ,