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Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia
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Newport News, VA 23606-4231
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Parish & Clergy Transitions
Churches and clergy currently in transition in Southern Virginia.

Transitions – July 5, 2022

A number of summertime transitions are unfolding across the Diocese. On June 8, Old Donation in Virginia Beach welcomed the Rev. Lissie Rhoton, formerly of the Diocese of Texas, as Associate Rector. The day before, on Pentecost Sunday, the Rev. Phil Bjornberg officiated at his final Eucharist at St. George and St. James on the Eastern Shore before returning to Connecticut, as recently announced. On June 26, the Rev. Canon Charles Robinson began serving as Pastoral Associate at Hickory Neck, Toano. Then on July 1, All Saints in Virginia Beach welcomed the Rev. Ashley Urquidi, who began serving as Priest-in-Charge after concluding her tenure at Old Donation at Pentecost, Merchant’s Hope in North Prince George welcomed its new Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Peter Stimpson, and Church of the Redeemer in Midlothian welcomed as Priest-in-Residence the Rev. Dr. Jennifer (Jenny) Glaze Montgomery, who joins the Rev. Grace Martien Rigby on the Redeemer staff. Meanwhile, St. Thomas in Chesapeake continued preparations for the arrival of the Rev. Mark McKone-Sweet, whose first Sunday as Priest-in-Charge will be August 7.

Several retirements have also been announced. In Gretna, the Rev. Helen McKee announced that as of July 31 she would be retiring and stepping down as the mission’s Long Term Supply Priest, in Portsmouth the Rev. Connie Gilman announced her retirement as Associate at Trinity as of July 31, and in Petersburg, the Rev. Bob Gilman stepped down as Interim Rector of St. Paul in Petersburg, where he had been serving since November. 

Several parishes have active Search Committees in place, including Christ Church in Smithfield, St. Anne in Appomattox, St. Paul in Petersburg, and St. Stephen in Petersburg. While all are at various stages of their work, any clergy person interested in discerning a call to serve as Rector is encouraged to contact a member of the Diocesan Transitions Team.

Vestries currently discerning the possibility of calling a Priest-in-Charge include Emmanuel in Franklin, St. Bride in Virginia Beach, St. James in Portsmouth, St. Mark in Suffolk, St. Peter in Norfolk, and St. Martin in Williamsburg. Meanwhile, churches open to discussing part-time clergy positions include All Saints in South Hill, Good Samaritan in Virginia Beach, St. Barnabas in Richmond, St. John in Petersburg, and most recently, Trinity in Gretna. 

The Diocesan Transitions Team is ready to assist any clergy person interested in exploring personal discernment or discussing particular openings in the Diocese or elsewhere as churches re-emerge from the effects of the pandemic and seek fresh leadership for all that lies ahead.

Last Published: July 6, 2022 5:18 PM