ECF Vital Practices April 2015: Advocacy New Articles

April 1, 2015

In her Easter message, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reminds us we can find Jesus still rising, “if we will go stand with the grieving Marys of this world, if we will draw out the terrified who have retreated to their holes, if we will walk the Emmaus road with the lost and confused, if we will search out the hungry in the neighborhood called Galilee. We will find him already there before us, bringing new and verdant life. The only place we will not find him in is in his tomb.”

This month, we continue to share stories of individuals, congregations, and organizations who have chosen to stand with the grieving Mary’s of this world. What all of them have discovered is the strength that comes from seeking out others responding to the same, or similar, call; the wisdom gained by sharing their stories, experiences, and resources.

Here are our April offerings:

Because of the commitment of Lee and Charlie Manning and with the support of the St. James' Episcopal congregation in Payette, Idaho, 20 men at the Snake River Correctional Institution know that God loves and cares for them, even while they are in exile. Brian Thom and Lucinda Ashby share the story of this heartfelt ministry in “Hearts and Hands of Jesus” which also includes a letter describing the impact this ministry has had on inmate Steve Bulleit.

Jackie Whitfield says it was the hand of God that brought us together at Kanuga: She was finishing her icon workshop as I was arriving for the Church Leadership conference. In “God Called. We’ve Got Work to Do.” Jackie shares the series of ‘God moments’ that led All Saints Episcopal Church in Concord, North Carolina to help alleviate a much-too-long waiting list for public preschool by partnering with the school system and providing space for a new public preschool.

"Church with Garden and Food Pantry Seeks Same” by Nathan Davis names a challenge many congregations have experienced: You’re about to begin something new and would really like to talk with others already engaged in that ministry, when you discover that there isn’t a list of who’s doing similar work. Now, thanks to the Asset Map, a resource from Episcopal Relief and Development and The Episcopal Church, there’s a source for creating these lists, and an invitation for every congregation,
diocese, and agency to participate.

A question from a senior warden looking for advice on ways to engage with her suburban community sparked the idea for “Listen. Connect. Act.” What processes are congregational leaders using to help them learn how to listen for what God is calling them to do in their community and how might we all become better at listening for and seeing those things that might not be easily seen or heard.

These new Vital Practices articles represent just a small portion of the resources available on the ECF Vital Practices’ website. Use the Topics index on each page of the site to find other resources related to serving on the vestry including past Vestry Papers articles, blog posts, and the many resources found in the Your Turn and Tools sections.

If you are interested in Spanish language content, please visit the searchable index of our Spanish content here.

If you find these articles helpful, please consider sharing them with your colleagues and invite them to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices. Subscriptions are free; click on the Subscribe tab on the upper right hand corner of this page.

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