November 2016 Vestry Papers: Tools for Evangelism

November 2, 2016

Evangelism. Sharing our stories. Being comfortable talking about Jesus and the role faith plays in our lives. Making this easier – and also more difficult – is the array of resources available to almost all of us. At our disposal are tools to make our voices, our words, and even our images, heard and seen, across the room, across our communities, across the entire world. Today we offer ideas and examples of how Episcopalians are using their voices and their gifts to share their stories and understanding of their faith, using both the oldest and the newest forms of communication.
I hope the experiences and ideas of these congregations and individuals spark a conversation in your congregation:

St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Amenia Union, New York was a parish of 16 when priest Elizabeth Fisher accepted their call 10 years ago. “Inspired by the Mustard Seed” shares the story of a tiny church with a mission to do great things who, by using the gifts provided by God, continues to do great things.

How might a church use social media to build community? Nancy Davidge’s “#EvenTalk: Connect via Twitter” describes the approach curate Brian Tarver at St. Dunstan’s in Houston developed to expand their adult formation offerings to people for whom evening meetings at the church were difficult. (It’s working.)

In the first of a two-part series, “Social Media Campaigns” by Charis Bhagianathan shares how Episcopal congregations and dioceses are using Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to educate and engage both parishioners and those in the wider community.

Many of us are familiar with using member testimonials as part of our annual, capital, or other campaigns. In “Making God’s Love Visible,” Robyn Banks shares the videos at the heart of Calvary Episcopal Church, Memphis’ 2016 annual campaign where members share their love of God, their neighbors, and Calvary, their church home. (A video article.)

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.

If you are interested in Spanish language content, please visit our searchable index for Spanish content here.

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Faithfully,

Nancy Davidge
Editor, ECF Vital Practices