August 19, 2020

Miriam McKenney Shares Five ECF Resources for Healthy Churches

Every month ECFVP offers five resources on a theme. This month we've asked Miriam McKenney, Forward Movement’s Director of Development and Mission Engagement, to choose five resources for healthy churches that resonated with her. Please find her choices below.

I know I'm not alone in thinking ECF’s work was all about finance and stewardship. Only after I got to know some of the staff who work at ECF did I learn about all of the other work they do that is so critically important to the physical and mental health of our church. Here are five resources I really appreciate as a librarian.

The ECF Vital Practices Subscribe page is the first thing you want to do if you haven’t already done it - subscribe! After you input your information, scroll down and feast your eyes on all that the site has to offer. Take your time and select from all the categories you need, from finance to diversity to small churches to racial justice. I admit to using the resources without a subscription, and wish I’d subscribed sooner! Just do it!

The Topics page is where I go to find resources on a particular subject, or when I want to browse for reading material. You’ll notice that some of these topics match up with what you could select on the subscription page. Visit this page to get a glimpse of the wide variety of resources waiting for you. Three I use frequently: discernment, diversity, and stewardship.

Did you do Mad Libs growing up? We always had them in the car when we traveled. On the Stewardship page, I found this excellent resource: All Saints’ Mad-Lib Pledge Card. I’d also use it as an evangelism card. What a wonderful way to help people get in touch with their reasons for belonging to their faith community and discern their giving.

We’re in a time in our lives where if we don’t do everything we can to abolish racism, we will regret it for the rest of our lives. There’s so much information coming out that it can be overwhelming, which can lead to people opting out of this work. Start with these well-curated lists of information, divided into getting started and going deeper. One I love: In This Moment by Heidi Kim from the July 2020 Racial Justice and Reconciliation issue of Vestry Papers.

One resource I can’t do without as a development director is the Finance Resource Guide. I was a huge fan of Funding Future Ministry, and the new Finance Resource Guide incorporates many of those concepts. It’s written for people of all financial backgrounds - including none.

Miriam Willard McKenney is Forward Movement’s Director of Development and Mission Engagement, and she serves on The Episcopal Church’s Way of Love working group. She’s also the Youth Minister at Calvary Episcopal Church in Cincinnati. In the Diocese of Southern Ohio, Miriam serves on the Commission on Ministry and the Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team. She received a UTO grant from the diocese to combine radical honesty and picture books to help congregations enter into the work of racial reconciliation. Before joining Forward Movement’s staff in 2010, Miriam followed God’s call to be a librarian and was a children’s librarian and school media specialist for more than 20 years.