May 2017 Vestry Papers: Evangelism and Discipleship

May 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

Our ability to live into our life of faith deepens and evolves as we share it with others, and sharing our faith journeys allow us to better discern what God is calling us to be as the Body of Christ in the world today. In this issue, we’re exploring how evangelism and discipleship are realized in our unique context as Episcopalians in the 21st century.

What does evangelism mean for an Episcopalian today? Grounded in our Presiding Bishop’s vision, members of the Presiding Bishop’s Evangelism Initiatives Team, the Task Force for Leveraging Social Media for Evangelism, and other partners, created a definition that embodies the joyful sharing of our stories, inviting others into the good news of Jesus’ loving presence and celebrating our gift of everlasting life. Read about it in A Practical Theology of Episcopal Evangelism.

Building strong Christ-led communities are a vital part of our experience of evangelism. In Asset Mapping as Evangelism, Tamara Plummer shares the Episcopal Asset Map, a grassroots populated website that makes sharing our faith experiences easier and more accessible for all.

Disciples are often formed in groups – we learn from each other’s struggles and stories in our journey towards God. Community is, therefore, an integral part of discipleship and in Surviving and Thriving in Community, Br. Curtis Almquist gives us practical ways to help a community engage and grow together as disciples.

The Episcopal Evangelism Society’s grants program has been instrumental in shaping several projects of innovative evangelism within the Church. In Evangelism for the 21st Century, Day Smith Pritchartt shares some of these stories to inspire us to re-examine our church ministries through the fresh lens of innovative evangelism.

Would you like to join the ECF Book Club? The first book we’re reading together is Living on the Border of the Holy: Renewing the Priesthood of All by ECF Fellow William L. Countryman (available in print and e-book format). If you’d like to join us, please read the book and join us for an online discussion on May 18 facilitated by ECF President Donald V. Romanik. Register here and be sure to tweet your questions, comments, and critiques to @EpisChFdtn with the hashtag #ECFBookClub.

To learn more about ECF and our programs, please visit our website.

Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECFVP