Assessing Our Resources for God's Mission (2018)
Background (from a letter by Bishop Ian Douglas):
"Our world is changing rapidly around us. Demographic, economic, and cultural shifts are profoundly affecting our nation, our state, and our neighborhoods. The Church is not insulated from these changes as we see all around us the rapid rise of those not affiliated with any church, along with an increase in people of other faiths in our communities. Through all these changes we Christians are called and empowered to live the Good News of Jesus in the realities of a new missional age.
"At our 2014 Annual Convention we in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) took creative steps to respond to the changing world around us by calling for the Taskforce for Reimagining the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (TREC-CT).
With TREC-CT’s leadership and input from parishes and leaders from across the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, our 2015 Annual Convention embraced wide-ranging changes to our common life and structures. Among these: Ministry Networks were empowered to help Episcopalians in Connecticut come together to serve and extend God’s mission, and six Regions were established, each served by a Region Missionary who helps to catalyze new missional energy, connect individuals and parishes, convene gatherings across the Region, and build capability to participate in God’s mission in new and meaningful ways. (final report linked here)
"The reimagining of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut continued when our 2016 Annual Convention called for a Working Group 'to study the current and future financial resources needed to assist Episcopalians in Connecticut to become even more faithful disciples and apostles in God’s mission.' (resolution linked here)
"After a year spent listening, praying, and giving thanks for the new and exciting ways Episcopalians in Connecticut are engaging with each other and their communities, particularly in our new Regions, the Working Group recommended, and the 2017 Annual Convention called for, a Region Needs Assessment. (resolution linked here) The Assessment is intended to identify programs and activities to further participate in God’s mission across parishes and Regions and determine the financial resources necessary to achieve identified goals."
CCS Interviews and Online Survey
The Working Group, which continued, interviewed several consulting agencies to assist with the Region Needs Assessment, and chose CCS. Starting in late April 2018, CCS' team began to interview clergy and lay leaders from a limited number of parishes, proportional to each Region, which are representative of our diversity along a number of criteria. The CCS team is also conducting interviews with our Ministry Networks, Region Leadership Teams, and other leadership bodies and groups in ECCT. The Working Group (members listed below) was responsible for final selections for in-person interviews in the different categories. Scheduling was completed by ECCT administrators at The Commons. View the full "Backgrounder" document shared during the interviews. (linked here)
Our ECCT Region needs assessment included an online survey so that CCS could hear from a broader audience, especially from those who were not part of the limited number of in-person meetings.
Bishop Douglas, with others, took part in a weekly conference call with CCS to review progress. The Working Group continues to meet regularly.
CCS' final learnings will be presented to the Working Group, which will include them in its formal report to the 2018 Annual Convention along with any supporting documents, as needed.
Resolution 4 and Resolution 9 Working Group members include:
- Bishops: The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas; the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
- Officers: Secretary of the Diocese the Rev. Sandra Cosman; Secretary of Convention the Rev. Adam Yates; ECCT Treasurer Mr. Lynn A. Brooks
- Mission Council: The Rev. Lisa Hahneman; Duo Dickinson
- Standing Committee: The Rev. Rowena Kemp; the Rev. Peter Thompson
- Staff: Canon for Mission Finance & Operations Louis Fuertes; Canon for Mission Collaboration the Rev. Timothy Hodapp; Canon for Mission Communication & Media Karin Hamilton
- Fundraising professionals: Maryann Doyle; the Rev. Suzanne Culhane
- Webpage with overview of 2014-2018 listening sessions summarized, includes links below
- Rebranding final report and accompanying visual changes report here
- TREC-CT Final Report (2015)
- Resolution 4, Annual Convention 2016, "Next Steps in God's Mission"
- Resolution 9, Annual Convention 2017, "Assessing Our Resources for Participating in God's Mission"
- Backgrounder (April 2018)
- CCS Survey for ECCT (link no longer enabled)
- Resolution 4/9 Report to Convention 2018; overview of CCS report (link here)
- CCS Final report (link here)