We report with sorrow the sudden and unexpected death of the Rev. Robert Dilday, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, who died in his sleep of natural causes during the night of December 21, 2019. With the Rev. E. Weston Mathews of Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains, Dilday was co-director of the Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice, whose goal is “to be faithful stewards of creation by supporting resistance to its degradation and exploitation.” He was ordained as an Episcopal priest only a week before his death.
According to the Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice Web page, “Until 2018 he was editor in chief at Baptist News Global, an independent faith-based news organization, and prior to that worked for a religious liberty advocacy group in Washington, D.C.”
He was a leader in Virginia’s pipeline resistance. In his May 2019 article, Toxic Injustice: Ecological Crisis in Marginalized Communities, he wrote about Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Buckingham County, citing it as one of his examples of how “communities of color and poverty are consistent sites for unwanted infrastructure and disposal – in part because energy companies and state regulators assume that residents will be unable to resist powerful political forces.”
Dilday lived out his baptismal covenant, to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.”
Remember that “Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who make this earthly pilgrimage with us, so be swift to love, make haste to do kindness, shower abundant hospitality on friend and stranger, walk in justice, that you may follow the path of mercy and love.”