2018 has been a very busy and exciting year for the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF). This year, ECF continued to focus on its mission to be a comprehensive and holistic resource to help vitalize Episcopal faith communities and build up transformational lay and clergy leaders. Read our highlights from the year below.
New ECF video: ECF is thrilled to share with you all a new video that encapsulates the spirit of who we are as an organization, what drives our mission and how we work in community with so many across our Church to vitalize Episcopal faith communities. We ask that you please share the video with members of your community, and others who may want to learn more about ECF’s mission and ministry.
Finance Resource Guide: Coming soon! ECF has been hard at work this year to find out the types of resources leaders in the Church need. This work has led us to develop the Financial Resource Guide (FRG), which will be released in 2019. Grounded in scripture, the FRG inspires readers to face their discomfort about money and engage the question of why money is important in our congregations. Stay tuned for more about the FRG in the coming months!
New partnership for ministry: This year, ECF was pleased to announce the beginning of a formal partnership with Forma—The Network for Christian Formation. ECF recognizes that the most effective lay and ordained leaders are formed disciples who have the capacity to form other followers of Jesus. In partnering with Forma, ECF looks forward to broadening its scope in the critical area of Christian formation and thereby expanding its products, tools, and resources.
Fellowship Partners Program: Since 1964 ECF has awarded 225 Fellowships to individuals pursuing advanced academic studies and special ministries with the aim of educating and equipping future lay and clergy leaders. In 2018 we named two Fellows – Sarah Barton and Joshua Rodriguez-Hobbs. Learn more about them and their work here. The application for the 2019 Fellowship is now open.
Endowment Management Solutions: Our endowment program for Episcopal parishes, dioceses and other entities continues to expand. As of January 2019 two new customized investment options for accounts under $1 million will become available, providing world class service and investment options at a reasonable cost. Client fees continue to decline as services continue to expand, as total assets under management are now over $330 million.
Capital Campaigns: Interest in our Capital Campaign Management Services remains strong. During 2018, our consultants worked with 63 Episcopal entities (including parishes, cathedrals and camp/conference/retreat centers) in varying stages of campaigns. 16 clients completed – or have nearly completed – their solicitation phases raising over $11.5 million in 2018 alone!
Lilly Endowment National Initiative: In 2016 ECF received a three-year grant as part of the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. In the third year of the grant, ECF hosted a Seminary Summit of Episcopal seminary deans/faculty at Washington National Cathedral to explore the role of seminaries in addressing the economic challenges facing pastoral leaders. Building on last year’s congregational-level Boot Camps, ECF held its first Diocesan Leadership Initiative (DLI) for eleven bishops and their diocesan teams. ECF continued this year with a second Spanish Boot Camp in Berkeley CA, two more “Success after Seminary” conferences, and extended MEF grants to seminarians to help reduce seminary debt. Learn more here.
Impact stories: As we work with Episcopal churches and congregations across the country, we continue to lift up their inspirational stories. Read about a successful strategic solutions program at St. Thomas Episcopal Church and a first-hand capital campaign account from Trinity Episcopal Church. Learn how one congregation in Washington, D.C. used a capital campaign to spark a legacy society and how St. Vincent’s Center’s well managed endowment is allowing their ministry to thrive. Want to read more? Click here to read how ECF works with Episcopal communities across the country.