St. Francis is a parish in Region V of the Diocese of Virginia. The Diocese of Virginia is descended from the first Anglican Parish in the "New World," dating back to the Jamestown colony of the early 1600s. Officially organized in May 1785, today it is the Episcopal Church's largest Diocese, including 38 counties in central and northern Virginia. Headquartered in downtown Richmond, the offices of the Diocese of Virginia reside primarily in the Mayo House, a converted 1840s mansion.
The Diocese is headquartered in Richmond but also maintains a Northern Virginia office at The Falls Church-Episcopal, in Falls Church.
The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, the Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, and the Rt. Rev. Ted Gulick
The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, who was elected and consecrated in 2007, began his ministry as the 13th Bishop of Virginia on October 1, 2009. He is joined in his Episcopal ministry by the Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan, who was consecrated on July 28, 2012. In January of 2011, the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. "Ted" Gulick, retired bishop of Kentucky, began serving our diocese as Assistant Bishop.
Bill – Great Falls
The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is the largest and oldest diocese in the country. While it has all the strengths of a vibrant and established church, it also has the warmth and sustenance of a family. One story will illustrate my point. Several months ago my wife and I became aware of a very thoughtful blog posting by one of our fellow parishioners at St. Francis. We were so taken by the posting that we sent a link to the blog to many of our friends, neighbors and fellow Franciscans. We even overcame our usual reticence about such things and sent it to our three Diocesan bishops whose e-mail addresses we found easily on the Diocese website. Within days we had personal responses from each of the three bishops. Each had followed the link, read the posting and responded with thoughts and encouragement. That is our Diocese.
David – Oak Hill
My wife Kristi and I have been members of St. Francis for fifteen years, and we have three children; two are now in college. All were raised in the parish and served as acolytes. Kristi and I have served on the Vestry, and I’ve represented St. Francis at the Diocese of Virginia for seven years.
Although most individual parishioners here don't demonstrate tremendous interest in diocesan life, St. Francis has always been strongly represented by our rector and several parishioners on the Diocesan Executive Committee. We’re always been represented at quarterly Region V meetings and the Annual Convention as well. There is opportunity to strengthen our participation at these levels, especially by involving our youth in diocesan programs. The real strength of St. Francis is local fellowship and a true family feel where nearly everyone feels connected.
Bishop Ted Gulick and Interim Rector, Lyndon Shakespeare at the St. Francis 50th anniversary celebration.
St. Francis parishioners benefit from annual visits by one of the three bishops, who join us to celebrate Confirmation or other special rites. In the past year, we have particularly benefited from the support and presence of the bishops and Diocesan staff during our time of transition.
Our Diocese is blessed to have Shrine Mont, which includes The Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration. This is the cathedral seat for our Bishop Johnston. The only diocese with an outdoor cathedral, the Diocese of Virginia also hosts a 96,000 square foot conference center at Shrine Mont. Every year Franciscans look forward to joining our neighbors at St. John's, McLean for an early summer retreat at the conference center.
St. Francis regularly sends representatives to the Region V diocesan meetings and delegates to the Annual Council. St. Francis is hoping to become more involved in diocesan youth opportunities, and sent a youth delegate to Annual Council in 2014.
The Diocese owns and operates six secondary schools and has part ownership and operation of five continuing care retirement facilities. The Diocese enjoys the benefits of the Virginia Theological Seminary, the world's largest Anglican Seminary, as a resource for education.
For more information, visit www.thediocese.net.