In 2017 ECF focused on building up transformational lay and clergy leaders, while seeking to promote innovative and mission-based ways to be an integral part of the Jesus movement and the Church of the future.
ECF Vital Practices: This year we launched a new version of the ECF Vital Practices website. Incorporating feedback from readers across the Church, we spent several months improving the site to make it more effective and easier to use. New features include the ability to save your favorite resources, easier searching, and one-click social media sharing. The ECF Vital Practices team put together a quick tutorial on how to navigate this new website: click here to view it and learn how to best use it for resources, tools and articles to help you respond to your unique church needs. Subscribe to ECFVP here.
Lilly Endowment Inc.: In 2016 ECF received a three-year grant as part of the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. ECF’s initiatives are providing lay and clergy leaders of the Episcopal Church with resources, tools and other support to help address the financial and leadership challenges of congregational ministry in the 21st century. In the second year of the grant, ECF continued to implement innovative programs including a fourth Boot Camp, two regional meetings for seminarians on “Success after Seminary” and MEF grants to priests. Learn more here and watch a Boot Camp video here.
Endowment Management Solutions: Due to the growth of our investment program, client fees are now at their lowest in the program’s history, providing even more funds for ministry. More and more parish and diocesan accounts of all sizes continue to join ECF’s community of Episcopal investors, bringing our total assets under management to over $305 million as of November 30, 2017. Click here to find out more.
ECF First Step: First Step is an on-line assessment tool designed specifically for parishes to help articulate challenges and/or growth opportunities as a first step towards prioritizing needs. This year we utilized First Step as a comprehensive and holistic approach to the marketing and delivery mechanisms for all our programs and services for congregations. The assessment tool can be printed or taken online here.
Impact Stories: As we work with Episcopal churches and congregations across the country, we continue to lift up their inspirational stories. Read about a successful capital campaign program at Church of Our Redeemer and a first-hand capital campaign account from Holy Comforter Episcopal Church. Learn how one congregation in Arkansas used planned giving to breathe new life into their cathedral and hear from individuals who share how they have benefited by creating a Donor-advised fund.
Church Leadership Conference: Presented by ECF and Kanuga, the Church Leadership Conference brings together vestries and church leaders for learning, reflection, and formation. In 2017 the theme was Finding your Place. Learn about and register for next year’s conference here which will feature four specialized workshop tracks: strategic leadership, financial planning, creative communications and a Spanish language track.
Fellowship Partners Program: Since 1964 ECF has awarded 223 Fellowships to individuals pursuing advanced academic studies and special ministries with the aim of educating and equipping future clergy and lay leaders. In 2017 we named five Fellows - Jennifer Adams-Massmann, Stewart Clem, Ashley Graham-Wilcox, Renee McKenzie-Hayward, and David Peters. Learn more about them and their work here. The application for the 2018 Fellowship is now open.