December 1, 2011

December 2011 Editor's Letter

Advent is the season for preparation and waiting: Watching for signs of God’s presence as we await the birth of Christ. And, as we wait and pray and listen and look, opportunities to heal and reconcile the brokenness in the world appear.

For our December Vestry Papers articles we are sharing stories of God’s presence among us and the many ways ordinary people leading ordinary lives are sharing the gifts God gave them and discovering the gifts God gave others to give in return.

Articles include:

Available in both English and Spanish, Ariel Miller’s “From Casseroles to Congress” shares how Episcopalians in Ohio have joined forces with other nonprofit and civic organizations to ensure people who qualify for Federal safety net programs have access to benefits available to them.

Daniel Trudeau’s “Welcome Neighbor” tells the story of two congregations whose work with Episcopal Migration Ministries is enriching the lives of both the resettled families and the volunteers who offer welcome, friendship, and support.

Strengthening Communities from Within” by Faith Rowold showcases the power of partnership and the impact an education can have on students, their families, and their communities.

Each article includes links to resources and/or videos designed to help a congregation learn more about the ministry described in the article.  

In recent months, ECF Vital Practices has posted other stories and resources related to mission. These include:

  • Richelle Thompson’s “Charting a New Path,” shares how Episcopal Churches in Dayton, Ohio are collaborating to reach people hard hit by current economic circumstances.  
  • Peter Strimer’s “Work Hard, Play Hard,” reflection shares how the Seattle youth group was transformed through participation in New Orleans’ Beacon of Hope program.
  • Miguel Escobar’s “TRUE Stories” report on outreach ministries.  
  • Nancy Davidge’s “Damon and Clint: Asset based community development’ looks at a model for mission based on recognizing and sharing of gifts rather than focusing on filling needs.
  • Anne Ditzler’s “Strategy and Relationships” training for mission focuses on five key leadership practices designed to unleash the power and potential of every person.

Together, these stories, articles, and resources provide inspiration for a world where people come together to share with and teach each other to think through stereotypical barriers of who each other is based on their social context. By shattering the social construct of who gets to give and who needs to receive we open ourselves to experience the giftedness in each of us and the fullness of a life where all are truly welcome at the table.

A blessed Advent to all,


Nancy Davidge 
Editor, ECF Vital Practices

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