December 2018 Vestry Papers: Hospitality and Outreach

December 5, 2018

Dear Friends,

Addressing the issue of hospitality in our churches requires us to first look outside our doors and begin these important conversations with our community and neighborhood. In this issue we share ideas on how to invite those around us into relationship by asking what is needed and prayerfully seeking ways to make true welcome both our mission and ministry.

How do health and hospitality overlap? In Four Steps to a Public Health Ministry, Joshua Rodriguez-Hobbs lists how parishes can lean on and build up their spiritual gifts by supporting physical healing programs in and through their communities.

What does it look like when a diocese decides to take hospitality seriously? In Taking Church out Into the Community, Bishop David Rice and Anna Carmichael share their experience of focusing on community, outreach and welcome and what it means to begin to see the face of Jesus in “the other.”

What makes a church welcoming to a first-time visitor? In Ten Signs of a Welcoming Congregation, Sandra Montes provides ideas from her travels to various churches across the country, listing qualities she found to be common in parishes that make visitors feel at home and truly welcome. This article is available in English and Spanish.

Placing mission at the heart of our budgeting can drastically alter the way we use the resources entrusted to us for others. In Mission-based budgeting: A Loving, Liberating, Life-Giving Practice, Phyllis Jones raises some critical questions around the types of mission-focused budgets and changing our mindset to view hospitality as an investment rather than an expense.

Strong lay and clergy leadership teams are at the heart of healthy, thriving Episcopal congregations. These teams start with the vestry. Whether you’re a first time vestry member or a seasoned veteran, the Vestry Resource Guide offers an approach for leaders of congregations and faith communities to consider and tailor to meet their own needs. No vestry should be without this easy to use book. The Vestry Resource Guide is available in English or Spanish, and in both print and e-book formats. The Vestry Resource Guide can be ordered at Forward Movement or by calling 800-543-1813.

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

The ECF Vital Practices team would like to wish you and your family peace, joy and love this Christmas season.

Faithfully,

Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECF Vital Practices