Through all the difficulties of 2020, this year has been a year of growth and adaptation for the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF). Throughout the year, ECF has adapted its programming and resources to remain a comprehensive and holistic resource that helps vitalize Episcopal faith communities. Read our highlights from the year below.
COVID-19 resource hub: Back in March, ECF began to curate a list of resources from across the Church designed to inform and support us through the COVID-19 pandemic. The list is updated regularly and includes resources on topics ranging from finances, worship, general information and online events. Find the list here.
ECF Vital Practices: It is a goal of the Vital Practices team to provide relevant resources for the wider church throughout the year. In service to that goal, the team gathered and shared resources on racial justice and reconciliation for the months of July and August. The full issue of Vestry Papers was dedicated to the topic. Other topics covered this year included Transformative Vestries, Telling our Story and Spiritual Wellbeing. Subscribe to ECFVP here.
Racial Justice Resources: As a part of ECF’s long-term commitment to racial justice and reconciliation, the Vital Practices team created a Racial Justice resource page. On it you will find four sections – Read, Watch, Listen and Act, and multiple resources for groups, individuals, children and youth at varying levels of learning and comfort. The team’s goal was to collect and curate these resources on an ongoing basis, so there are always fresh voices and ideas to learn from. Para recursos en español, siga estos enlaces: Leer, Ver, Escuchar, Actuar.
Congregational Vitality Assessment: ECF, in partnership with FaithX, launched the new Congregational Vitality Assessment Tool in September. Available at no cost and for immediate use, the Congregational Vitality Assessment tool is designed to provide a congregation with an assessment of its Vitality (how healthy it is) and its Sustainability (whether it has the people, financial, and contextual resources necessary to survive). Learn more here.
Rooted in Jesus 2020: From Jan. 22-24, nearly 1,300 people convened in Atlanta at the Rooted in Jesus 2020 conference. Produced in collaboration between ECF, the Episcopal Church, Forward Movement, Forma, the Episcopal Evangelism Society, Missional Voices, the Episcopal Preaching Foundation, Membership Vision, the Diocese of Atlanta and more, Rooted in Jesus 2020 was a first of its kind gathering in the Episcopal Church. The conference enabled participants to have conversations about discipleship through seven different tracks: Formation, Evangelism, Mission, Leadership, Stewardship, Preaching, and Communications. Join the ongoing conversation here.
Partnerships: ECF has renewed its commitment to partnerships with organizations from across the Church throughout 2021. In partnership with organizations such as Forma, the Gathering of Leaders and FaithX, ECF has been able to expand on its missional offerings. Moving forward, partnerships will provide us with the strength to work together and carry us into a hopeful future.
Fellowship Partners Program: Since 1964 ECF has awarded 231 Fellowships to individuals pursuing advanced academic studies and special ministries with the aim of educating and equipping future lay and clergy leaders. In 2020 we named two Fellows – Hannah Mudge Armidon and Sarah Monroe. Learn more about them and their work here. The application for the 2021 Fellowship is now open.
Impact stories: As we work with Episcopal churches and congregations across the country, we continue to lift up their inspirational stories. Read how two schools, St. James Episcopal School in North Philadelphia and St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC, are using their endowments to fulfill their ministries and mission. Learn how ECF’s Success After Seminary program gives seminarians resources to help them address financial, administrative and practical challenges in their ministry and how one rector is using ECF’s Finance Resource Guide in a strategic and missional way. Read about 2002 ECF Fellow Carla Roland Guzmán’s vocational journey. Want to read more? Click here to read how ECF works with Episcopal communities across the country.
In November, Donald Romanik reflected on change and the Church during his fifteen year tenure as the President of ECF. Asked about the future, Donald said, “I think the Church is going to be leaner, more nimble and more relevant to where people are.” Donald also sees a significant role for ECF in shaping the future direction of the Church. “I think this pandemic has created an opportunity for an organization like ECF to be more proactive about helping the church confront some of its issues, whether organizational, leadership, financial, strategic or visioning and planning.” To read more of his reflections, please click here.
ECF’s mission and strategy are adapting to these unforeseen times, but what hasn’t changed is our core calling to walk with fellow Christians, all of us together, on the path to transformational ministry. We are so grateful for the community, support and encouragement we have received this year. For more information about ECF and ways to support and partner with us, please click here.