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The Rev. Shirley Smith Graham Called as Minister for Congregational Vitality

Jul 8, 2024 | News Releases

Rev Shirley Smith Graham

The Rev. Shirley Smith Graham has been called as the diocesan Minister for Congregational Vitality. She will begin this new role on August 1, 2024. The Rev. Shirley Smith Graham’s vocational journey began with a dream of supporting multiple congregations in their growth and vitality. After over twenty years as an ordained priest, five as associate rector, 14 as rector, and two as Transition Minister for the Diocese of Virginia, she welcomes this opportunity to live into that dream.

“It is with great excitement that I announce the calling of the Reverend Shirley Smith Graham as the Minister of Congregational Vitality for the Diocese of Virginia. Shirley’s gifts for ministry have been evident to many over the years, particularly as she has served as the Transitions Minister for the diocese. She brings a deep love for Jesus, and for the Church, to her work, and I thank God for her.”

– Bishop Stevenson

“Upon my arrival in Virginia, it did not take long to learn of Shirley’s passion and expertise as it relates to Transition Ministry and Congregational Development. Shirley possesses a welcoming presence that invites discernment, collaboration, and strategies that foster growth and development within our congregations. Acknowledging that we received applications from across the church, Shirley stood out to me and the committee as one who not only has a proven track record in this area of ministry, she is also living into a vocational call that brings her such joy.”

– The Rev. Canon d’Rue Hazel, Canon to the Ordinary

“Jesus promised to be with the disciples ‘always, to the end of the age.’ It’s my great joy to see evidence of this promise fulfilled every week in the people and clergy of this Diocese. It is tangible in worship and prayer, fellowship, and acts of mercy, love, spiritual growth, and giving from an abundance of love. I’m grateful to Bishop Stevenson for seeing the need to dedicate a staff member to coach and companion congregations and clergy as they seek to grow in vitality, resilience, and mission. I’m doubly grateful for the opportunity to engage in this work with churches and clergy as we seek to be salt, light, and yeast in God’s world.”

– The Rev. Shirley Smith Graham, Minister for Congregational Vitality

A search will soon begin for a new diocesan Transition Minister. Congregations currently in transition will continue to receive diocesan support during this staff change.