July 2023
Reimagining Assets

Serving Congregations Sustainably

We all know the struggles facing small congregations in today’s church and world. In this video, we hear about Cathie Caimano’s innovative vocation as a “free-range” priest in partnership with several parish communities. This carefully structured arrangement offers churches the option of sustainable part-time ministry while giving priests a viable new model for serving multiple congregations. Fundamentals include task-based contracts, intentional and ongoing support for lay ministers, digital and in-person ministry, and clear definitions of roles and responsibilities. Cathie argues that small changes in how we serve together can lessen the burdens for both clergy and lay ministers, opening up a hopeful new future in which everyone is free to focus on ministry.

The Rev. Catherine (‘Fr. Cathie’) Caimano is an Episcopal priest and the CEO of Free Range Priest, which empowers ministers to reimagine church in the digital age. She’s also the platform creator for Hearts on Fire Spiritual Practices, an online community for ministry innovators. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and adorable Great Dane. She gets all her best ideas while running.


This article is part of the July 2023 Vestry Papers issue on Reimagining Assets