The Power of Small Churches: June 2021 Vestry Papers

June 2, 2021

Dear Friends,

Small churches in our communities know hardship well. They also know adaptability, flexibility and resilience. So when COVID-19 hit, many small churches were able to quickly flex – rearranging nimbly to become places of light and hope for their communities, even in the darkest times. In this issue, you’ll hear stories of love, strength and a willingness to evolve – all characteristics that we must lean on as we grow together as Church.

How can small churches operate from a mindset of abundance? In Beyond the Numbers, Aisha Huertas shares examples and lists practical ways in which small churches have massive positive impact in the communities around them. This article is available in English and Spanish.

COVID-19 has unforgivingly exposed a challenging vision of the future of our church. In Tension and Release in the Church, Robert Leopold uses the analogy of a “wrist rocket” from the Netflix series Stranger Things and shares how being called to “wade into the tension of our times” might be the pandemic’s hidden gift.

In this heartbreaking and poignant piece - Showing Up at the Holy Borders - Ellen and Kurt Huber narrate the story of the small community of the Cheyenne River Episcopal Mission who gathered to share in the grief of young parents, driving out their deep pain with the warmth of compassion and the living traditions of their ancestors.

Being a small church, doesn’t mean only small things are possible. Quite the contrary, as Dexter Lesieur lists in Inspiration from a Small Congregation, the incredible work his church of 16 has been able to accomplish with enthusiasm, courage and the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Faithfully,

Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECF Vital Practices