April 25, 2024 by Lisa G. Fischbeck

On All Things Considered, a program of National Public Radio, the story was told of two couples in Brooklyn, New York, maintaining a practice begun in the days of COVID isolation. Every day they lean out a window or stand at their doorstep and ring bells, shake a tambourine and bang wooden spoons together in support of health care workers. Because, they maintain, health care providers still need our support.

Now the odds are there aren’t many healthcare workers who know about this ongoing sign of support for them, at least until NPR ran the story. But the support was there nonetheless. And one neighbor observed, “it’s kinda cool” that his neighbors are remembering those who can so easily be forgotten, and he likes being reminded of the importance of health care workers each night.

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April 16, 2024 by Haley Bankey

"Drawing from the Pulse campaign's insights, we're reminded to be bold in conveying our identity and rooted in our baptismal covenant and the Way of Love."
--Canon Mike Orr, The Episcopal Church in Colorado and Caffeinated Church

If you’re Episcopalian and on any kind of social media, you probably saw the responses to the “He Gets UsFoot Washing and Who is My Neighbor ads shown during the Super Bowl. Some people praised the ads for putting Christianity on such a wide-reaching platform. Others panned the advertisements as an improper use of money or a ‘bait and switch’ where the content of the ads didn’t necessarily match the beliefs of those who paid for it. One thing is for sure though... the ads got noticed.

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April 12, 2024 by Jacob Sierra

Last Fall, five faith communities from across the country embarked on their Pivot journey, an experience that now leaves them full of excitement, energy, and a sense of abundance for what’s ahead.

The Pivot program is a year-long, cohort-based online learning experience that allows smaller, under-resourced communities of faith to discern what God is calling them to be in their particular place and time while building relationships with other congregations from across the country. It also provides space for small church leaders to “pivot” their mindsets away from scarcity and failure, into identifying the key assets their congregation offers and the opportunities to engage and support their wider communities.

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April 11, 2024 by Juliette Acker

Endowment fund oversight is a significant undertaking. If you are a vestry, board, or committee member with this responsibility, you likely oversee investments and monitor spending. Increasingly, you also have a pivotal role in aligning the endowment with the future of your organization.

Strong endowment policies are anchored in an organization’s vision and goals. With a regular policy review, you can ensure that your endowment policies reflect any changing circumstances and continue to match your long-term objectives. These reviews can also help to re-engage committee members and encourage them to reflect on their roles and evaluate their stewardship of the endowment. In these meetings, you may ask questions like: Are we fulfilling our fiduciary responsibilities? Do we have a solid framework to address unforeseen changes or needs? And, crucially, how do we ensure that our endowment not only thrives but also makes a lasting impact?

The infographic below will help facilitate a thoughtful endowment policy review at your church or organization.

ECF has sample endowment policies that include vestry/board resolutions, endowment committee guidelines, an investment and spending policy, and various gift acceptance policies. Please email endowment@ecf.org for a copy. We can help you consider how to adapt them for your church or organization.

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Topics: Endowments, Finance