June 30, 2020
The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) celebrates the ministry of the Rev. Dr. John R. Wimmer. John passed away on June 24, 2020 and we mourn his loss. John was Program Director in the Religion Division of the Lilly Endowment Inc. and was responsible for all three of the Endowment’s economic challenges initiatives. John had a strong passion and commitment to supporting pastoral leaders and their congregations.
"John was both a prophet and pioneer," remarked Donald Romanik, President of ECF. "He had the extraordinary ability to articulate the precise challenges facing the Church in the modern era, while, at the same time, suggesting practical approaches to helping it more boldly proclaim the good news of the Gospel."
We honor his life by recognizing John’s leadership in helping to create the Lilly Endowment’s “National Initiative to Address the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders” of which ECF is a grant recipient.
“Working with John was a transformational experience for us”, said Kate Adams, ECF’s special project director. Through our conversations with and guidance from John on ECF’s Lilly Endowment National Initiative grant process, he helped to co-author a holistic approach to the program components in the arc of ministry. “He will always hold a special place in our programs that now reach all levels of the Episcopal Church – seminary, congregational, diocesan, and national.”
Because of John’s work, ECF’s participation in the National Initiative has had a profound impact on the missional direction of the organization and has empowered us to respond to God’s call in innovative and creative ways. We are embracing the economics of ministry, in the broadest sense, as an opportunity to refocus and realign all our programs with our mission, our purpose, and our core values.
We at ECF are grateful for John’s life; a life lived with grace, integrity, and faith. And we remember John with love and respect.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 (NIV)