Take off your shoes. This Diocese of Southern Virginia is holy ground. As Moses stood before the burning bush, as Isaiah cried out to the Lord high and lifted up in the Temple, as the Magi entered the home of Jesus, we are aware that God is walking in the cool of the evening and is painting the eastern sky before the dawn. We also acknowledge that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but we are not alone. We invite you to enter into our searching for the next bishop of this diocese. We ask you to explore the path we have travelled thus far and to contemplate the opportunities and challenges that are ahead in the future of the Diocese of Southern Virginia.
We know a few things are true of us that are true for all Christians everywhere. We believe God is calling us to reach out and to show his love in our actions and in our words, but we often struggle to give shape and form to our local response in our individual parishes. We want to spread the Good News and encourage others to be in fellowship with Jesus, but we sometimes hesitate to speak up when the perfect moment arrives. We are and have been fragile, fallible, and fractured, but nonetheless we remain faithful. Our hope is that this profile will give you every opportunity to see and know the Diocese of Southern Virginia in all its beauty, potential, and breadth.
From the beginnings of the Episcopal Church in the United States after the first landing (April 26, 1607) at Cape Henry, Virginia Beach, we were the earliest Anglicans on our way up the James River to Jamestown to establish the first permanent English settlement in the New World. We were on the shoreline of North Bend Plantation in 1619 when the first slave ship arrived. We justified slavery. We were conductors on the Underground Railway. We supported Massive Resistance. And we participated in the Triangle of Hope. We are both a scarred and a sacred people. We wish to grow into the full stature of Christ with God’s help.
Get to know us as we are today, a mix of city and rural parishes, in varying sizes, spreading from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the mountains in the west and from the James River in the north to the border of North Carolina in the south.
Discover the breadth of ministries undertaken by the people of this diocese and, through their own words, encounter the possibilities of our hopes and dreams. As we continue to seek God’s guidance in this process, we pray that you also will seek to discern whether God is calling you to ministry with us in Southern Virginia.
Almighty and most gracious God, source of all wisdom and guidance, send your Holy Spirit to guide us as we seek and discern a shepherd for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Inspire us with hope, hearts to love you and a desire to serve one another. Grant us grace to entrust you with the future of your Church and all things. We ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.