Forming and Supporting a Ministry Network
To form a Ministry Network, you'll need to meet the definition: Two or more Episcopalians from two or more parishes who are collaborating together to serve God's mission.
There is no bureaucracy to review applications, and it's not required to have a bishop's blessing. The bishops, as well as the Region Missionaries, all welcome knowing about the different ways people are engaging God's mission collaboratively through Ministry Networks in ECCT, hearing your stories, and keeping you and your ministry in prayer.
How to get started
- Discern your passion for a particular ministry. The Rev. Leng Lim, an Episcopal priest and consultant, has three spiritual questions he asks of groups. One of them is, "What breaks your heart?" Answering that can call you into joining God's mission of restoration and reconciliation.
- Find someone else who shares your passion for that ministry. If the person is in your church, reach out to another nearby church, also. You can call your Region Missionary for recommendations; you can also ask either of your bishops.
- Decide to intentionally form a ministry network, meaning that you intend to collaborate on the ministry, rather than act in parallel, independently.
- Choose a name that in some way describes the faith-in-action ministry that your particular ministry network has engaged.
- Visit with your parish leadership (rector/PIC and vestry) and describe to them what your ministry network is all about. You will need the parish buy-in for your ministry network to establish your official standing within ECCT.
- Become listed as an Active Ministry Network on the ECCT website by completing this form.
- Share the news! Tell your parish priest and congregation if you haven’t yet, and let your bishops and Region Missionaries know as well. They’ll want to provide encouragement. Depending on what you're doing, you may want to let your neighborhood know, as well.
Supporting a Ministry Network
- Some Ministry Networks will need money to accomplish their work. Look for grants and ways to fundraise; pay attention to the existing grant programs in ECCT and The Episcopal Church. Region Missionaries can help you locate funding sources. It's possible that future budgets of Convention will include a fund for the work of Ministry Networks. That decision can be made by the Mission Council and Annual Convention.
- Keep your congregation informed so they can pray for you and support you.
- Meet with similar Ministry Networks for mutual support and sharing ideas
- Ministry Networks are welcome to use The Commons in Meriden as a meeting location. Contact Canon Tim Hodapp to find a date and room that works for you.
- In addition to face-to-face communication, use digital tools to communicate with members of your network and interested others. Use them for marketing and promotion, too. The ECCT Digital Ministry Network has a list of recommendations here.