August 2016 Vestry Papers: Buildings & Grounds [& Mission]

August 3, 2016

As our hearts continue to break with news of continued violence and division, our churches, like the 12 who served Jesus, find when they share all they have with their neighbors in need, there is more than enough.

Here are their stories:

For Janice Ford and Peter Kosciusko, their commitment to the full recovery and rehabilitation of men incarcerated in the local county jail was the catalyst for the transformation of the rectory at their Episcopal Church into a sober house, providing a safe and healthy next step for persons with addictions. “Reconciliation House” shares the story of a congregation committed to make this a reality.

Sharing our buildings with others can tax a congregation’s resources. “A Ministry of Space” by Louise Fortuna shares how, on a shoestring budget and without a sexton, this downtown church has become a true community hub.

Some congregations are staying close to home when it comes to mission trips. In “Parish Partnerships” Kimberly Durnan shares the transformation that took place when a church invited unchurched college students to join with parishioners in service and relationship with a struggling, smaller parish in their diocese.

In 2012, neighbors believed the church was closed. It wasn’t. Four years later, there are visible signs of life at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. “Peace Garden” by David Paulsen, with an introduction by Nancy Davidge, tells the story of St. Alban’s most visible ministry, one that is causing the phone to ring and people to stop in.

We encourage you to think about how the ideas presented in this and every issue may provide an impetus for evaluating and reflecting on what you could learn from the experiences of others. To help in your discernment we offer a list of the resources related to the topic at the end of each article. If you have a resource you’d like to share, please email me with the link or add it to the site using the Your Turn feature.

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Faithfully,
Nancy Davidge
Editor, ECF Vital Practices