The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

ECCT Listening & Changes, 2014-2018

2014: REBRANDING & MOVE TO MERIDEN
Randy Herbertson of The Visual Brand and Elizabeth Parker of EP Graphic Design led a year-long series of interviews and meetings with Episcopalians across the state and conducted historical research that ultimately led to adoption of a “brand identity” that expressed who we are as the Body of Christ and how we’re engaging God’s mission. It included reclaiming (from 1784) our corporate name as “the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) and a new visual logo. It coincided with the move of the bishops’ and staff offices from a storied mansion in West Hartford to open space in a repurposed factory in Meriden. The final report reflected our aspirations to be “social entrepreneurs of the living Word of Jesus.” (Link for more info and reports.)

2014-2015: TREC-CT
After two years of work by the Taskforce for Reimagining the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (TREC-CT, which included time for interviews, meetings, discussion, and discernment), ECCT changed its structure and governance to better participate in God’s mission. Elements of this included: Regions (with Regional Leadership Teams); Region Missionaries; Ministry Networks; a Mission Council; changes in our canons (church laws); and a change in the language of our ECCT constitution that recognizes every Episcopalian in Connecticut as a member of the Missionary Society. This was formalized by ECCT Annual Convention in 2015. (Link to final report, which includes the enabling resolutions.)

2016: LISTENING SESSIONS & RESOLUTION 4

After a year of slowly implementing the changes called for by TREC-CT, we approved a resolution (#4) at our Annual Convention in 2016 calling us to ask what next steps we needed to take to “be even more faithful disciples and apostles in God’s mission.” (Link here to final version of Resolution 4). In the months following, we sent Working Group representatives to Region Convocations – starting even before our Region Missionaries were hired – and asked them where they thought they’d be in 10 years and what they needed to do that.  The themes that emerged from those Listening Sessions, held from March through October 2017, told a story that described what ECCT could be in 2027:

  • Parishes and worshiping communities focused on offering hope and the love of Jesus in a changing world
  • Increased collaboration among parishes in Regions: People, resources, and energy
  • A growing reach across denominational lines for working with ecumenical partners
  • An emphasis on God’s abundance and our richness, not on scarcity
  • A celebration and embrace of our diversity as a core part of our identity
  • A communication network that supports parish collaboration across ministries

To achieve these, participants at the Convocations identified needs of:

  • Permission to try on new things
  • Additional training (community organizing, adaptive worship styles, ecumenical collaboration, etc.)
  • Communication and networking infrastructure
  • Financial resources

2017: RESOLUTION 9 & CCS INTERVIEWS/SURVEY

Building on this momentum, and eager for more detail, Convention in 2017 approved a resolution (#9) that authorized the Resolution 4 Working Group to hire a consulting agency to assist it in exploring these questions in more detail. (Link here to the final version of Resolution 9.)

The renamed Resolution 4/9 Working Group interviewed agencies and selected CCS. In the late spring of 2018 the agency’s team had over 350 conversations with people - including 61 parishes, 20 individuals, 26 focus groups, and four Convocations. They also conducted an eSurvey and heard from 504 more people. Their questions, which were developed with the Resolution 4/9 Working Group, asked who we are and how we understand this New Missional Age, how we’re engaged in God’s mission now, and what resources we need to engage more fully. (Link here to the Backgrounder that preceded the interviews.) Link here to the Working Group's overview of the CCS report (submitted to Convention 2018) and link here to CCS' final report..