2019 has been a wonderful year of growth and change for the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF). With each new program and partnership, ECF grew in its mission to be a comprehensive and holistic resource that helps vitalize Episcopal faith communities. This year ECF also celebrated 70 years of service to the Episcopal Church. Our 70th anniversary was celebrated by ECF staff, supporters and the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Below are some significant highlights from the year.
Finance Resource Guide: In November ECF released a new publication - the Finance Resource Guide (FRG), now available through Forward Movement. The FRG serves as a handbook for congregations and vestries, providing in-depth financial management practices and principles and promoting year ‘round, theologically driven stewardship. The FRG will stand alongside ECF’s popular Vestry Resource Guide (VRG) as an important companion volume.
Forma: Effective January 2020, The Network for Christian Formation (Forma) will become a collaborative ministry of ECF. A formal partnership between the two organizations was launched in 2018. Moving forward in partnership, both organizations will live into their respective missions in new and creative ways, starting with the Rooted in Jesus 2020 conference on January 21-24 in Atlanta, Georgia. Register here.
ECF Vital Practices: Vital Practices offers leaders the resources and tools they require to respond to the changing needs of the Church. In our May and June Vestry Papers and blogs, we highlighted articles and experiences shared by millennials in the church. Subscribe to Vital Practices here.
Fellowship Partners Program: Since 1964 ECF has awarded 229 Fellowships to individuals pursuing advanced academic studies and special ministries with the aim of educating and equipping future lay and clergy leaders. In 2019 we named four Fellows – Tucker Adkins, Francisco Garcia, Christopher McNabb and Callie Swanlund. Learn more about them and their work here. The application for the 2020 Fellowship is now open.
Gathering of Leaders: This year, ECF entered into a collaborative partnership with The Gathering of Leaders (GOL).This partnership will connect ECF directly with over 600 clergy leaders who are responding to the missionary call of Christ with a hope-filled vision for the Episcopal Church. It will also explore pilot gatherings for laypersons who are involved in creative and innovative leadership. Read more here.
Endowment Management Solutions: This year the Diocese of Maryland and the Seminary of the Southwest, along with many others chose to invest their endowments with our Endowment Management Solutions (EMS) program. The EMS program has over $460 million in assets under management and includes partnerships with dioceses, churches, schools and other Episcopal organizations across the country. Learn more about the EMS program here.
Lilly Endowment National Initiative: Early this year, ECF received a second three-year grant as part of the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. This grant will support ECF’s initiative entitled “From Economic Challenges to Transformational Opportunities – Scalability, Impact and Discipleship.” Programs that were established in the first round of the grant will be standardized and incorporated into ECF’s greater programmatic offerings. For more information about ECF’s Lilly Endowment Initiative, click here. Impact stories: As we work with Episcopal churches and congregations across the country, we continue to lift up their inspirational stories. Read how planned giving can be accomplished by large institutions like the Diocese of Wyoming, and by individuals like Dawn Radtke. Learn how two different programs in the Lilly National Initiative, the Ministerial Excellence Fund and Congregational Leadership Initiative (formerly Boot Camp), have empowered leaders in their communities. For more, click here to read how ECF serves Episcopal communities across the country.