The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston has elaborated on a letter he sent to the Diocese of Virginia on May 24. His subsequent letter, sent June 14, clarifies the nature of concerns at the diocesan office, and provides more detail about his thoughts of retiring alongside his wife, Ellen:
What I can say is this: We are not in the midst of any kind of impropriety or malfeasance, whether legal or moral. Moreover, our entire staff remains at work with dedication, purpose, and integrity, and remains fully committed, both personally and professionally. The ministries of the diocese are all right on target and still set a standard. I thank you for the many expressions of support and trust that we have received, and I am confident that we have the resources, the means, and the willingness to address the issues that have been raised.
Those issues are all about internal matters — administrative structure, workplace culture and relationships. Yes, the issues are serious, but we are not facing anything that can’t be made right again. As Bishop, I am utterly committed to that work.
Of course, the other matter I raised in my first letter is that for many months now I have been considering the options for my retirement. I can now tell you that for personal reasons I shall resign and retire earlier than I had planned (which is another reason not to elect a second suffragan at this time). I have not yet determined precisely when that will be, but I am looking toward the summer of next year, 2019. As there is much for Ellen and me to consider and learn about retiring, we are still in the stage of giving this a lot of thought, and I expect to be able to send you a fully detailed notice by the end of this month.