From the Editor


December 4, 2013

On the first Sunday in Advent, I was catching up on my reading and discovered this article on the front page of The Boston Globe: “A gift of warmth for and from the homeless.” This ministry – started by people who formerly were homeless and who trained alongside congregational leaders at the diocese’sLeadership Development Initiative - is a powerful witness to what can happen when people venture beyond their comfort zones and begin to build relationships with those they might otherwise ignore.

This month, Vestry Papers continues our theme ofAnswering Jesus’ Call with stories from congregations and individuals who choose to live their lives as agents of Jesus’ mission to make the world more loving and more just. There are many stories like this across our church. Here are the four chosen for this month’s Vestry Papers:

Sometimes the way to get people ‘back to church’ is by starting a different kind of church. Better yet, offering individuals or small groups the freedom to design their own form of worship. In “Laundry Love,” Nancy Davidge shares the story of a tiny worshipping community in Southern California where community engagement takes precedence over worship.

Ruth Meteer’s “College Ministry to Go” describes how the relationship between St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church and the University of Rhode Island has become stronger thanks to two students interested in addressing issues of hunger on campus.

One of the country’s first diaper banks began in a small Episcopal Church in McHenry, Illinois. “Diaper Bank” by Lu Stanton León shares the story of how given the increased need for diapers, St. Paul’s changed their strategy and invited others in the community to join them in this ministry.

There is no more sacred moment in our lives than when we are able to serve those around us with love and humility. In “I’ll Go With You” Ema Rosero-Nordalm shares how she discovered a gift we can offer each other in times of anxiety and fear. This article is available in Englishand Spanish.

Each article includes a list of linked resources offering additional information and/or practical tools.  Interested in what else might be on the ECF Vital Practices’ website? Use the Topics index on each page of the site to find other resources related to leadership including past Vestry Papers articles, blog posts, and the many resources found in our Your Turn and Tools sections.

For those reading this who only receive Vestry Papers, please consider subscribing to ECF Vital Practices andVestry Papers. Click on Subscribe on the upper right hand corner of this page and complete the registration form to have Vestry Papers and ECF Vital Practices content delivered twice a month to your email inbox.



Nancy Davidge
Editor, ECF Vital Practices

PS: To make it easier for congregational leaders to find the resources offered through ECF Vital Practices, please consider adding a link to ECF Vital Practices to your website. Here’s how: Using your websites ‘add a link’ tool, insert our full URL –  http://www.ecfvp.org/.

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Tools & Resources

Advent Resources: Links to free Advent resources, calendars and devotions, reflections, St. Nicholas Day, and preparing for Christmas visitors at your church.

Advent Devotional Calendar 2013: A beautiful, simple, and low tech calendar for Advent. Download, print, and share.

Build a Healthy Vestry: January elections are right around the corner. Here are some tools to help with finding new members for your vestry.

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