Julie Simonton named officer for congregational development in VA

[Episcopal Diocese of Virginia] Julie Simonton has been named to the new position of staff officer for congregational development and stewardship. Simonton, who has served as a lay associate minister for parish life and family ministries at Grace Church, Alexandria, will begin work at Mayo House in Richmond in August.

“I am delighted to welcome Julie to the diocesan staff,” said the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of Virginia. “She brings a proven track record of creativity, passion and commitment to this important new effort. I look forward to her leadership as we work with parishes and congregations on creative ways to strengthen ministries.”

The Rev. Deacon Edward Jones, secretary of the Diocese and chief of staff, added, “We were blessed to have an outstanding field of candidates, and we’re excited about the possibilities ahead. A strong diocesan team just got stronger.”

Simonton has extensive parish experience at both Grace Church and Christ Church, Alexandria. Recently, her responsibilities at Grace have expanded to include adult formation, communications and evangelism. She has served as an instructor for international students in advanced theological writing at Virginia Theological Seminary, where she earned a master’s degree in theological studies, with a concentration on congregational leadership.

In her job, Simonton will provide hands-on guidance and resources to congregations in all areas of congregational life, focusing especially on development, including robust stewardship, creative hospitality and spiritual health.

“This position is an important one for the Diocese,” said the Rev. Canon Patrick Wingo, canon to the ordinary. “Julie’s position will support churches in their focus outward, providing much-needed resources and guidance. She will draw from her extensive experience in serving at the parish level. We’re pleased to have her on board.”

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