The sacred spaces and holy places in our individual and community lives are great sources of inspiration, wonder and comfort. Whether we are dealing with our own parish church, a great cathedral or a simple grotto in the woods, our bodies, minds and souls are attracted to and nurtured by physical places that are set aside and dedicated to matters of the spirit. The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) recognizes the importance of sacred spaces within the Church and, for this reason, provides programs, resources and tools to help faithful Episcopalians restore, refurbish, expand and maintain their buildings and grounds to engage in mission and ministry within their particular location and context. Through capital campaigns or facilitating legacy gifts or endowment accounts, ECF helps develop financial resources for these important ministries.
In addition to being houses of prayer, these holy buildings are deeply personal spaces as well. Next to our own homes, we find welcome, fellowship and safety in our churches, mosques and synagogues. This is why recent events in Paris, Sri Lanka and California are especially disturbing. While the fire at Notre Dame was tragic enough, the terrorist bombings at churches (and hotels) in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday killing over 250 people and the senseless shooting at a synagogue outside of San Diego at the end of Passover are downright heinous and shake us all to our very core. We are all asking ourselves - if we cannot be safe in our houses of worship, can we ever truly be safe anywhere at all?
During this Easter season, as followers of Jesus we know that death, destruction and evil will never triumph and that the unconditional love of God will ultimately prevail. The thoughts and prayers of all of us at ECF go out to the victims and all those impacted by these terrible events. At the same time, we invite you to join us in taking this opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the promise of the resurrection and embrace its message of love, hope and joy.