ECF Vital Practices (www.ecfvp.org) is live!
Update: May 6, 2013
When we began working on our new content for May - focusing on leadership during a time of crisis - it never occurred to us how timely this issue might be. The recent tragedies in Boston and West, Texas, as well as the continuing violence and natural disasters that affect our communities large and small, all impact our faith communities and test our ability to fulfill our role of providing a place of sanctuary and understanding that God is with us even in the midst of a terrible tragedy.
As we worked with our contributors, a common theme emerged: vital and healthy congregations recover more quickly. In each article, you’ll find practical advice and resources developed by congregational leaders in response to crisis situations.
Here’s what we’re sharing with you this month around the theme, Leadership in a Time of Crisis:
Resileincy, by Bill Livingston who lives in Brevard, North Carolina. A retired priest, he is often called on to do interim work in special need situations as well as parish and vestry consultation relating to disaster/conflict, mutual ministry review, and strategic planning. Bill serves as a faculty member for CREDO, Journey Partners (a 2-year course for training spiritual directors) and as a member of Partners in Response (a post-disaster team for Episcopal Relief and Development. He has presented on emotional and spiritual disaster resiliency at national and diocesan events and co-authored “From Honeymoon to Disillusionment to Reconstruction – Recognizing Healthy and Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms Within Your Congregation and Community and Encouraging Resiliency,” a chapter of Disaster Spiritual Care: Practical Clergy Responses to Disasters, and “Church Attendee Help Seeking Behavior after Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi and Louisiana,” International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 2012;14(1):15-20.
Crisis Communications: Managing In, by Linda Hanick and Nathan Brockman. Linda Hanick is the chief communications officer for Trinity Wall Street. She is a member of the senior executive team and oversees the communications and marketing for the parish ministries and business enterprises. Nathan Brockman is the director of communication for Trinity Wall Street. He is the editor of Trinity News, trinitywallstreet.org, and provides editorial direction for Trinity’s digital and social media platforms.
Finding God in the Raging Storm, by The Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade who has served as an Episcopal priest since 1966. After serving congregations in his native West Virginia for seventeen years, he was called as Rector of St. Alban’s Parish on the grounds of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. until his retirement in 2005 and as interim dean of Washington National Cathedral in 2012. He continues to serve as a consultant to a variety of congregations and church institutions and is a frequent contributor to Forward Movement publications including Forward Day by Day.
Suwa Bona . . . I see You, I Hear You, by Kay Collier McLaughlin, Deputy for Leadership Development and Transition Ministries in the Diocese of Lexington and author of the forthcoming Church Publishing Inc Morehouse Book Becoming the Transformative Church: Beyond Sacred Cows Fantasies and Fears (Aug. 2013) where a more complete description of the Holy Conversation process can be found.
About ECF Vital Practices:
ECF Vital Practices is the online extension of Vestry Papers and is a brand new resource for Episcopal leaders.
Since 1995 ECF and Vestry Papers have provided vestry members with spiritually-grounded, practical resources to help vestries build healthy congregations in srvice to God's mission. ECF Vital Practices will build upon that heritage in new and innovative ways, reaching even more people who are dedicated to building healthy, vibrant, and vital congregations.
In addition to the Vestry Papers articles by experts and peers that our readers have come to expect, ECF Vital Practices will include practical tools for parish leaders, a lively blog where readers can share ideas and experiences, examples of congregational practices, and live chats with leaders, teachers, authors, and more. Additionally, ECF Vital Practices is edited by Nancy Davidge whose strong experience in church communications will help shape this new ministry.
ECF Vital Practices, free to everyone, offers us even more opportunities to create community among Episcopal leaders and foster learning about congregational issues not only among vestries and rectors, but also all lay people and clergy who lead congregations.