The story of Virginia is a story of God’s amazing grace, and we’ve chosen to thread our story through the words of a hymn known to all of us to embody our struggle and our faith. Our story includes the Grace of an energetic church amidst a wider decline, the Grace of opportunity and breadth, the Grace of outspoken and faithful leaders who did not always need to agree. Yet, it is also the story of Grace given despite many faults and failings, through which we continue to grow, learn, and seek the beloved community of God.
We are a Diocese showing the Spirit’s grace in wide and beautiful ways: food pantries and advocacy, preschools teaching a curious faith, a diocesan camp that has shaped the faith of generations, and countless ministries showing the love of Jesus. We are a treasury of magnificent church buildings, from the oldest colonial to vibrant modern experiments. We are also a Diocese funded in part by enslavement, which embraced the Confederate cause, which is beginning to disentangle itself from structural racism. We are a church of humans, fallen and beautiful, broken and striving, a community of believers who love one another, enough to live amid difference, who are seeking after the kingdom of God in our midst. We are a Diocese of crackling tinder, ready to be aflame for God with the right spark.
Amazing grace is a hymn about people like us, its writer a sinner of God’s own redeeming, and its final lines remind us of the end of our story. It ends not with our success or failure, but with God’s own triumph, in the light of the resurrection. Let us tell you about the work God has done in this beloved place and walk with us toward that Easter light.