2022 ANNUAL REPORT: PROGRAMS & OPERATIONS
In 2022, Bishop Mariann
- Presided over the diocese’s second virtual annual Diocesan Convention in January
- Conducted 35 parish visitations
- Confirmed, received, and reaffirmed 267 people from 38 parishes at two confirmation services at Washington National Cathedral and while conducting visitations
- Ordained the Rev. Catherine Manhardt and the Rev. David Potter, first to the transitional diaconate, and then to the sacred order of priesthood
- Ordained 10 individuals, the Rev. Jessica Ault, the Rev. Rosa Briones, the Rev. Sally Ethelston, the Rev. Martha Jenkins, the Rev. Alethea Long-Green, the Rev. Francisco Serrano, the Rev. Thom Sinclair, the Rev. Melissa Sites, the Rev. Nancy Stockbridge, and the Rev. Adela Vasquez, to the sacred order of deacons
- The Rev. Anne-Marie Jeffery as Canon for Congregational Vitality
- The Rev. Jonathan Musser as rector of St. Anne’s, Damascus
- The Rev. Christopher Wilkins as rector of St. Mark’s, Fairland
- The Rev. Sarah Odderstol as rector of Grace Church, Silver Spring
- The Rev. Kristen Pitts as Chaplain of Washington Episcopal School
- Jalene Spain Thomas as Head of School for St. Patrick’s Episcopal School
- Attended the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland
- Attended the Lambeth Conference, a once a decade assembly of bishops of the Anglican Communion convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in England
- Participated in Paula Clark’s Consecration as the Bishop of Chicago on Saturday, September 17
- Blessed the new altar at Bishop Walker School
- Made herself available to clergy and leaders for pastoral support
- Convened quarterly sessions with staff to track progress on strategic plan objectives
Diocesan staff experienced these transitions in 2022:
- The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell joined the staff as the Missioner for Faith Formation and Development
- The Rev. Dr. Anne-Marie Jeffery was installed as Canon for Congregational Vitality
- Hazel Monae departed diocesan staff
- Peter Turner retired from diocesan staff after more than 25 years of faithful diocesan service
- J. Keely Thrall was promoted from Communications Manager to Director of Communications
- Rudy Logan joined the staff as the Missioner for Equity and Justice
- Araceli Ma, Latino Communications Assistant, departed diocesan staff
- The Ven. L. Sue von Rautenkranz, Archdeacon and Diocesan Liturgist announced her retirement and departs staff after January’s Annual Convention
- The Ven. Steve Seely joined the staff as Archdeacon
- The Rev. Jenifer Gamber departed diocesan staff, answering a call to become rector of St. Peter’s, Arlington
- The Rev. Emily Snowden was promoted from Program Coordinator for the School for Christian Faith and Tending Our Soil to Missioner for Congregational Renewal
Continuing our commitment to fostering a joy-filled, collaborative work environment, diocesan staff gathered each quarter for team building, vision casting, and shared meals.
In 2022, the Rev. Dr. Robert Phillips, Canon for Leadership Development and Congregational Care; the Ven. Sue von Rautenkranz, Archdeacon and Diocesan Liturgist; and the Rev. Yoimel González Hernández, Dean of the Latino Deacons School, led operations with the Commission on Ministry for the ordination process in the diocese. In 2023, the Ven. Steve Seely will assume Archdeacon Sue’s duties in the deacons ordination process.
Priesthood formation process
- 6 people were made candidates for ordination in 2022 and were ordained to the transitional diaconate at Washington National Cathedral on January 19, 2023; God willing and the people consenting, these persons will be ordained to the priesthood this summer
- There are 3 postulants in the priesthood formation process
- 2 individuals were ordained first to the transitional diaconate and then to the priesthood, the Rev. Catherine Mandhardt and the Rev. David Potter
- As part of an intentional programmatic decision, no individuals were accepted into the priesthood formation process in 2022
Diaconal formation process
- 6 people were made postulants
- 10 people were ordained as vocational deacons, including the first 3 Latino deacons in our diocese
- A Workshop Day on the Diaconate was held in the fall of 2022, resulting in 7 people who are currently discerning a call to the diaconate
Latino Deacons School
- The Spanish language 1-year academic curriculum has been fully developed and added to the learning management platform of the School for Christian Faith and Leadership. Other dioceses are now able to use this curriculum; Rev. Yoimel and Archdeacon Sue have had several meetings with the leadership in dioceses throughout The Episcopal Church interested in using this material.
- 1 postulant was formed through the Latino Deacons School
- All Deacons School coursework and classes are bilingual
- 6 postulants are participating in Deacons School, our 18-month program in practical formation
CLERGY AND PARISH TRANSITIONS
Under the leadership of the Rev. Canon Robert Phillips, the diocese assists clergy and parishes in transition, leaning into the opportunity for congregations to examine their parish through the lens of the Vital Signs of Parish Heath.
- There are currently 33 parishes in transition in the Diocese of Washington
- 30 priests were called to new parish ministries
- 10 rectors/priests-in-charge/vicars
- 5 interims
- 9 associates
- 2 other (chaplain at National Cathedral School and Associate Dean for Strategic Implementation and Priorities at Virginia Theological Seminary)
- 15 parishes currently rely on supply and long-term clergy
- 9 priests participated in Genesis, the diocesan program designed to onboard priests in new calls to better equip them for success. They will complete the program in 2023.
- 3 parishes are undergoing the Canon 54 assessment process
- After undergoing the Canon 54 process, Trinity Episcpal Church in Upper Marlboro transitioned to become Trinity Episcopal Mission. The first worship service was held in July and the Mission’s organizational meeting took place on January 17, 2023 with Bishop Mariann presiding
There are 6 Spanish-speaking faith communities active in the Diocese of Washington serving God’s people and welcoming strangers. In 2022, Mildred Briones Reyes, Missioner for Latino/Hispanic Ministries and Diocesan Initiatives supported leaders of Latino/Hispanic congregations and worked to provide bilingual resources not only to our diocese but the wider church.
In 2022, we:
- Established Misión Buen Pastor at Good Shepherd in Silver Spring, MD under the leadership of the Rev. Anna Olson, who serves as the Interim Rector of Good Shepherd and the Vicar of Buen Pastor
- Celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month in the Diocesan Bulletin and in our parishes
- Increased reach of Spanish language communications, particularly in social media and bilingual resources
- Offered Becoming Beloved Community antiracism workshop to 30 Spanish-speaking lay leaders from four of our Latino faith communities
In addition, Bishop Mariann accepted an award on behalf of the diocese from CARECEN for the work our congregations are doing to assist migrants arriving in the DC area from our southern border.
In 2023, Latino/Hispanic Ministry will continue to:
- Convene a Latino/Hispanic Ministry advisory council
- Equip Latino/Hispanic leaders with resources and tools for skill development, awareness building, spiritual growth and faith formation
- Develop strategies to engage with critical Equity and Justice issues affecting Latino/Hispanic communities throughout the Diocese
Diaconal ministry continues to flourish in the Diocese of Washington. We are grateful to the Ven. L. Sue von Rautenkranz for her service as Archdeacon and for the foundation work she has put into creating both a diaconal formation process into place and a framework for deploying deacons throughout the diocese. We are also grateful for the Ven. Steve Seely, who will take over leadership of diaconal ministry upon Archdeacon Sue’s retirement. Deacons serve as the bridge between parishes and communities and have become an essential part of our diocesan ministry.
- There are now active deacons serving in 40 congregations in the diocese.
- Deacons are engaged in a variety of food pantries and feeding programs, advocacy efforts around homelessness, returning citizens, and creation care. However, the most significant shared ministry of deacons throughout the diocese centers around refugee and migrant assistance.
- 2022 saw the start of the work of the Deacons Council. This group, under the leadership of the archdeacon and formed by the bishop, assists with the organization and wellness of the community of deacons. Work began on the creation of a deacon’s manual and members of this group took on the planning and leadership of the annual deacons retreat.
- In the fall of 2022, the transition of the leadership of diaconal ministry in the diocese began with the bishop’s appointment of Steve Seely as the new archdeacon, who will take over the responsibility of leading the diaconate when Archdeacon Sue retires at Diocesan Convention in January.
- Many of our deacons engaged in food pantries and feeding programs around the diocese; most significantly in response to communities that continue to be heavily impacted by the pandemic
The Ven. Sue von Rautenkranz serves as archdeacon of the diocese and also as the diocesan liturgist. We give thanks for her faithful work in the development of the services that help sustain our communal life and wish her well as she moves into retirement.
Diocesan liturgies in 2022 included:
- Worship at January’s virtual Convention
- Spring Clergy Renewal of Vows services
- The ordination of 2 persons to the transitional diaconate and then priesthood at Washington National Cathedral (the Rev. David Potter and the Rev. Catherine Manhardt) in January and July respectively.
- The ordination of 10 persons to the diaconate at Washington National Cathedral in November (the Revs. Jessica Amber Ault, Rosa Luisa Briones, Sally Ann Ethelston, Martha Lynn Jenkins, Alethea Smith Long-Green, Francisco de Jesús Serrano, Thomas Roy Sinclair, Melissa Jo Sites, Nancy Starr Stockbridge, and Adela Vasquez).
- October Clergy Conference offering an opportunity for clergy to come together with their bishop and each other for prayer, refreshment and conversation
- May and October Confirmation services both in the Cathedral to make an adult affirmation of individuals’ baptismal vows. These were some of the first fully attended services since the pandemic.
BUSINESS AFFAIRS OFFICE
The Business Affairs Office tends to the financial and human resource needs of daily diocesan life. In 2022, Kathleen Hall, Director of Administration and Human Resources, and Kelly Cooper, Financial Analyst, in collaboration with the Human Resources and Finance committees and supporting staff, have:
- Transitioned the accounting and accounts payables system to Intacct and Bill.com with the support of Vault Consulting, the accounting system transition will be fully completed by the end of the first quarter of 2023
- Assisted parish leaders in the second phase of transition to Praesidium Academy for Safe Church courses
- Provided technical support to Maryland parishes renewing their tax exemption status.
- Distributed $65,000 to families, food banks, and feeding programs under the auspices of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. In early December, the fund was discontinued and remaining monies were reallocated to parishes with refugee and migrant assistance ministries.
- Processed $145,000 in congregational growth grants and parish assistance grants for 15 parishes
- Conducted in-depth review of 16 parish audits or financial statements submitted to the Diocese
COMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
After over 25 years of dedicated service, Peter Turner, former Director of Information Technology retired from diocesan staff in 2022. Well known throughout the diocese for his friendly professionalism, attention to detail, and care, Peter was dedicated to finding technology solutions that would support parish viability and vitality.
- Out of an abundance of caution to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, we held January’s Diocesan Convention online, our third successful virtual convention
- In the spring and fall, Director of Communications J. Keely Thrall presented offerings through the School for Christian Faith and Leadership on parish communications basics
- The diocese partnered with Worship Times to offer a Parish Website Design and Hosting Program for congregations interested maximizing the potential of their digital “front door”
- 2 parish websites are live, including St. Philips’, Baden and St. Mark’s, Fairland
- 9 parish websites are currently in development
- John White, owner of Computer and Network Resources, Inc., agreed to an ongoing contractual agreement with the Diocese to provide system and network management, tech support to staff and parishes and management of IT vendor relationships
- Email newsletters remain key vehicles for communication in the diocese. The diocese now regularly sends 4 communications:
- The Diocesan Bulletin (biweekly)
- Bishop Mariann’s Reflections (biweekly)
- School for Christian Faith and Leadership (monthly)
- And new in 2022, Faith Formation News (monthly)
- Sign up for our newsletters
- The diocesan social media team stepped up its game, sharing campaigns that ran the gamut from:
- Lighthearted (the Real Housedogs of Church House) to
- Educational (our Sunday School posts on church roles, architecture, and vestments; Creation Care series; posts promoting offerings from the School for Christian Faith and Leadership) to
- Spiritual (posts marking holy days and saint days, the Cycle of Prayer series) to
- Celebrating the Good News at work in all corners of diocesan life, our neighborhoods, the wider church and the world.
- According to Facebook and Instagram analytics, the diocese had a cumulative increase of 19.8% in our social media reach and a 21.7% increase in new followers compared to the year 2021.