February 2017 Vestry Papers: Vestry Leadership

February 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

As Episcopalians, we experience and enjoy a distinctive church governance system while also encountering its unique challenges. This is especially true for vestries. In this issue, we lift up stories of planning and processes to identify, nurture, and strengthen church leaders in the face of the all the change around us, while celebrating what makes us uniquely Episcopalian.

A vestry retreat, if planned thoughtfully, can be a time of fruitful work, relationship building and most importantly, honest conversations about the life and health of a church. In The Vestry Goes on Retreat, Nathan E. Kirkpatrick shares his thoughts on how to make the most of this invaluable time.

What will our Episcopal church look like in 100 years? Numbers and trends suggest a drastic makeover is in order. In New Leadership for a Changing Church, ECF President Donald V. Romanik, alerts us to the swiftly changing landscape, and shares how church leaders can work together to secure our future.

In Discernment in the Vestry Process, Bruce A. Freeman draws from personal experience to emphasize the importance of a careful, spiritual discernment process by and for congregational leaders to ensure the work of the church is relayed and continues without interruption.

How did you learn about lay leadership and decision making in the Episcopal Church? In Trust the Process, Jade Mohorko Ortiz, shares her moving personal story of coming into the Episcopal Church, in which she learns the value of order and process, and more notably, a leadership system that is rooted in collaboration and respect. This article is available in both English and Spanish.

Do you have a new vestry member or leader in your church? Please share this issue of Vestry Papers and encourage them to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices for upcoming issues, blogs and more.

Would you like to become an ECF Fellow? Open to lay and ordained Episcopalians, the Fellowship Partners Program supports emerging scholars and ministry leaders throughout the Church. The deadline for applications is March 10, 2017. Learn more about the program and how to apply here.

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


Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECFVP