December 2016 Vestry Papers: Tools for Evangelism

December 7, 2016

What does it mean to communicate in a way that models Christ? How do we share good news with our friends, neighbors and strangers? In this issue of Vestry Papers, we invite you to consider how the sharing of stories can take on many different forms – conversations, pictures, videos or even performances. What they have in common though, is inviting others into fellowship, community and love.

The tradition of Las Posadas involves leaving the church walls, and going into the neighborhood for a time of shared tradition and hospitality. In Strangers to Neighbors, Audra Abt, ECF Fellow and Area Missioner for Intercultural and Community-Based Ministries around Greensboro, NC, shares how this tradition can build bridges, enliven a community and propel real action.

Does the word “evangelism” make you squirm in your seat? For many in the Episcopal Church, this continues to be an uncomfortable word. Nancy Davidge’s A Ministry of Invitation reimagines evangelism in the context of an invitation to share stories, resources and good news.

Why do we often find visuals more compelling than words? Charis Bhagianathan’s Using Instagram Effectively for Church explains how a narrative of images can be a positive and affirming space of interaction, communication and sharing for the church.

Church welcome videos are an excellent way to invite newcomers in and share the joys of the parish community. Too often we are held back by budgetary concerns and the lack of time, but there is an answer! In Your Church Needs a Welcome Video, Christian Anderson and Trevor Black share the EVN Guide, which is a “step-by-step walkthrough on writing, filming, and editing a Church welcome video on a tight budget.”

En Es tu Iglesia, Dios, Alfredo Feregrino comparte sus pensamientos sobre cómo compartir las Buenas Nuevas y dejarle lo demás a Dios. Hace una reflexión sobre sus experiencias personales de sembrar la iglesia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Seattle, WA, su sueño de una comunidad de fe bilingüe y multicultural, y las herramientas prácticas para el evangelismo digital que ha usado. / In God It’s your Church, Alfredo Feregrino shares his thoughts on spreading the Good News and leaving the rest to God. He reflects on his personal experience of planting the Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Seattle, WA, his dream of a bilingual and multicultural community of faith, and practical tools for digital evangelism that he experimented with.

The team at ECF Vital Practices would also like to note that Nancy Davidge, whose leadership helped to guide the first six years of this online publication, is no longer continuing as Editor of ECF Vital Practices. All of us here at the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) are deeply grateful to Nancy for her passion and dedication as editor, and for all her contributions to ECF Vital Practices in its first six years. We hope you will join us in wishing her well in all her future endeavors.

As a result of this major change, the ECF Vital Practices team is going through a period of transition and reconfiguration. We thank you all for your support, and ask for your continued thoughts and prayers as we navigate these changes and work on future issues.

Faithfully,
The ECF Vital Practices team