in Vestry Papers and filtered by Buildings and Grounds
By Sarah Bartenstein
How might a church in a suburban neighborhood reclaim its [the church’s] historic role as a hub of community life? Sarah Bartenstein’s “Church as Village Green” shares the story of how a borrowed idea has taken root, resulting in a dynamic year-round Farmers Market from which a variety of other community programs and ministries have grown.
By Bill Livingston
“Resiliency” by Bill Livingston helps congregations consider the potential impact of a devastating disaster, looking beyond the immediate physical needs and issues related to long term recovery, to the church’s unique role of offering a theological understanding and assistance with emotional and spiritual recovery.
By Lori Hale Babcock
Burdened with their building, Lori Hale Babcock tells us in “Being at the Edge” how her congregation’s leadership courageously faced its challenges - and now thrives.
By Michael Sniffen
The sense of powerlessness that sets in following a crisis can be paralyzing. At St. Luke and St. Matthew Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, the fire not only caused significant damage, having been ruled arson, it also threatened to engender fear. “From the Ashes” by Michael Sniffen relates the congregation’s decision to embrace rather than fear their neighbors, choosing to stand in the prophetic line of faithful communities who have given themselves up in service to the Gospel.
By Deborah Johansen Harris and Frances A. Hills as told to Nancy Davidge
Grace Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts rose from two congregations that started their visioning and planning process in two very different places. For one, a wall fell down in the church; for the other, the recognition that ‘business of usual’ would be the death of their parish. Deborah Johansen Harris and Frances Hills share details of this story in “Becoming Grace.”
By Demi Prentiss
In “God’s Gift of Chaos,” Demi Prentiss shares how embracing the messiness of the unknown can help a congregation become unstuck from the things that prevent meaningful change from occurring.
By Sarah Peveler
Last year, I asked five clergy –- evangelical and mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, and Jewish -– to record a short meditation from their own tradition that answered the question, Why should we spend money on our buildings when there is so much need in the world?
By Christopher L. Webber
Rightly, the Episcopal Church is attempting to emphasize mission and noting that we often focus our efforts on maintenance. As a vestry member, you are familiar with the problem. Here are some suggestions.
By Eliza Linley
Episcopalians have moved beyond the era when, as the old joke went, evangelism meant unlocking the door on Sunday mornings. But how often does force of habit make us blind to our worship environment – without regard to design flaws and neglect that give a negative message?
By Annabelle Radcliffe-Trenner
Serving on a buildings and grounds committee is probably one of the most thankless tasks you will ever be asked to do for your church.