Both Episcopal dioceses in Indiana are collaborating on a major project to help congregations increase vitality and strengthen their mission and ministry by making the most of the assets and opportunities their buildings hold. This project will also advance the mission of the Episcopal Church “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ,” and to support the strategic focus of our dioceses on building parish vitality. Our work together will also respond to the ways the Covid-19 Pandemic is rapidly changing the world that congregations occupy and serve, and the number of challenges to – and growing opportunities for – thriving and serving. While buildings can be difficult to manage and steward, they are also valuable assets for vital ministry and service when used to their full potential. Through this project we uplift and recognize that viable, healthy, well-used parish buildings can help congregations live out their missions more effectively. Diocesan resources will be combined with tools and resources of Partners for Sacred Places and Indiana Landmarks, to help Episcopal congregations maximize the value of their properties via new or shared uses, partnerships with other organizations, and engagement with their communities.
Who and When?
Clergy and lay leaders from all 82 Episcopal congregations in Indiana (from both dioceses) will be invited to participate, starting in 2021 and continuing through 2023. Congregations will participate in cohorts, or groups, of approximately 20 congregations, each represented by a small team. Congregational teams will include clergy and 3-4 lay leaders/volunteers who can dedicate focus and time to the program. Team members will need to contribute an estimate of 5-6 days of their time across the 9-12 months of the project. Moving through all of the program components will take an average of 9 months, following the typical sequence outlined below.