Resources to help you build a healthy, skilled vestry.
Vestry Training Days
Healthy, skilled vestries who understand their role in the life of the church and their relationship to the clergy and congregation are essential in creating and maintaining vital congregations. The Diocese offers annual Vestry Training Days in several locations across the Diocese, typically in late February or early March. Information is posted here as soon as it is available. These workshops are designed for all vestry members, and include:
- Presentations on the role and duties of the vestry
- Best practices
- Opportunities to interact with members of other vestries
- Discussion of common challenges that vestries face and the impact of contextual change on congregational life
Click here for the materials handed out at the 2017 Vestry Training Day.
Episcopal Church Foundation – www.episcopalfoundation.org
ECF partners with congregations, dioceses, and other Episcopal faith communities, empowering them to engage in visioning and planning, develop effective lay+clergy leadership teams, and raise financial and other resources for ministry. ECF’s programs, products, and services help congregations respond to the changing needs of the Episcopal Church in the 21st century.
ECF Vital Practices – www.ecfvp.org and Vestry Papers – www.ecfvp.org/vestrypapers
ECF Vital Practices offers vestry members, and other people of faith, resources and tools to respond to the changing needs of the Church. Building upon the spiritually grounded, practical Vestry Papers articles that have inspired and informed vestry members since 1995, Vital Practices uses the internet to expand both its offering and its audience. Resources for everything from leadership development to stewardship; from Christian formation to small church resources.
Congregation Assessment Tool
A powerful, customizable assessment good for Strategic Planning, Succession Planning or New Clergy Search, Financial Campaigns, and getting a read on the Overall Health and Vitality of your church. Provides measurements on areas such as worship, clergy leadership, hospitality, spiritual vitality, conflict management, energy and satisfaction, adaptability vs. stability. The instrument costs between $415 - $620 depending on the size of the congregation + interpretation by a trained diocesan consultant. (Approximately $250-500, depending on the level of consulting). There is a modified version for congregations with an Average Worship Attendance of under 35 for only $115.00. Partial scholarships can often be made available from the Diocese. Contact Canon Caroline Black or Canon Charles Robinson. Sample reports available here.
ChurchNext – www.churchnext.tv
A learning resource with video classes on everything from Parenting, Pre-Marital Workshops, Various Faith Traditions, Spirituality, Evangelism and a host of other topics. Unlimited classes per individual membership at $9 per month.
Sermon for Every Sunday – www.asermonforeverysunday.com
America's best preachers deliver fresh, lectionary-based video sermons to your church's door in time for worship each week. It’s a great resource for small churches, Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and individual use. Free of charge for the foreseeable future, thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor.
Congregational Development Basics 101 – Diocese of Texas www.epicenter.org/development-basics-101.
Links to a variety of articles and resources, including the 12 Marks of Healthy Church Behavior and its 12 Marks of Healthy Church Behavior Assessment Tool. Also on that site: Newcomer Ministry resource available: “Invite · Welcome · Connect” www.invitewelcomeconnect.com
Mission Insite Demographics - Click here
Who lives in your neighborhood? Where should you target a mailing if you want to reach parents of preschoolers? What’s the income and giving potential of your congregation? What can you do in worship, program, and ministry that will most likely reach the people in the neighborhoods you are targeting? Get FREE professional demographic reports through our diocesan subscription.
Church Trustees - Click here
Helpful information about the role of and forms for the appointment of trustees.
Resources for parish administration - Click here
Employees, benefits, pension, and more.
Diocesan Grants – Click here
On the diocesan website, you can find links to Diocesan grants for a) Seeds of Hope (Outreach based grants); b) Small Church Emergency Maintenance Fund; c) as well as Scholarships for students.
Episcopal Church Building Fund – www.ecbf.org
Offers access to consulting services and events, including conferences such as Buildings for a New Tomorrow and the JumpStart Program, which helps parishes explore new ways of being Church. In addition, The ECBF also makes non-mortgage loans to Episcopal congregations and organizations. Loans are made for building projects, renovations, repairs, improvements, refinancing, and or purchase of land or buildings.