October 9, 2018

Best of Eight Years

In celebration of ECF Vital Practices’ eighth anniversary, we went back through our archives to bring you some of the most popular articles from our past eight years of being an online resource. Each of the following articles was among the most read during a specific year. We curated them to have a variety of topics and writers, and are happy to share them with you here. We hope you enjoy them!

2018: Five things every vestry member should know

In Five Things Every Vestry Member Should Know, ECF President Donald Romanik draws from his long experience as a warden and vestry member to make recommendations for new and experienced vestry members. And none have to do with “the budget, the buildings or the boiler”.

2017: 10 common mistakes in fundraising for congregations

In 10 common mistakes in fundraising for congregations Erin Weber-Johnson addresses a subject many find uncomfortable: fundraising for their congregation. She outlines ten ways that congregations go astray in their attitude and methodology, while sharing important insights into effective fundraising.

2016: From scratch: Explaining Episcopal

Anna Olson explains what it means to be Episcopalian “from scratch” to people who don’t know anything about it in From scratch: Explaining Episcopal. The exercise forced her to narrow down and pinpoint what it truly means to be Episcopalian. See if you agree with her points.

2015: Ten things Churches can learn from Starbucks

It’s not the coffee, it’s about the experience. In Ten things Churches can learn from Starbucks Ken Howard draws an analogy between the famous coffee chain’s methods of success, and lessons that can be learned and implemented by churches.

2014: Pledging: Should clergy know?

In Pledging: Should clergy know? Erin Weber-Johnson asks: Are church leaders obliged to know what people give as a way to care for the parish? Or is it proper to keep that information separate so that the clergy aren’t influenced in their relationships with parishioners? What do you think?

2013: Build a healthy vestry

Janie Kirt Morris, rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Houston Texas, shares with us her prayerful process for raising up healthy, faithful leaders for a congregation in Build a healthy vestry . A far cry from, “he’s retired with lots of free time, he’ll do it!”, her five-step process involves intentional planning, communicating, and keeping the focus on ministry.

2012: What Fresh Hell is This?

What do Advent and Dorothy Parker have in common? In What Fresh Hell is This? Sam Portaro imagines that was what Joseph must have thought along the trip to Bethlehem in the final days of Mary’s pregnancy, “burden heaped upon burden”. Portaro maintains that “this is the season to embrace the difficult truths of our lives…to see these weeks from the perspective of the central characters in the biblical narrative”. For more about advent as an exploration of hope and faith born of endurance, click here.

2011: Welcome Neighbor

Paw Htoo, a refugee widow with three young girls, travelled from Bangkok to Tokyo to Chicago to Atlanta to settle in Lilburn, GA, with the assistance of a local affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries. Daniel Trudeau tells the story of how The Rev. John Sewak Ray and members of Christ the King Episcopal Church came to help their neighbor: Paw Htoo and her children.