Episcopal Church Building Fund announces ecumenical model to expand product, service portfolio

Episcopal Church Building Fund
Posted Mar 9, 2018

The Episcopal Church Building Fund (ECBF) announces a new, ecumenical collaboration with Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation, a non-profit organization that assists churches with ministry assessments, provides leadership development programs, and facilitates the resulting transformation of both leadership and ministry.

ECBF joins other church extension funds from four mainline Protestant denominations, including Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the United Church of Christ. Like ECBF, church extension funds within each denomination provide capital financing to churches for building purchases and/or renovations, as well as property redevelopment projects.

This collaboration will expand the product and services portfolio of ECBF. The Hope Partnership offers four main programs, including: (1) New Beginnings, a six-month facilitated and coached process for congregations facing sustainability challenges; (2) Epiphany, a one-year facilitated and coached process for churches ready to imagine and live into their future ministry story; (3) Mission Pathways, an individualized, three-month self-guided service for healthy congregations looking at new ways to do ministry; and, (4) Recasting, a one-year process that brings together up to six congregations to form and launch their own future ministry options.

“Churches who work through the transformational process frequently make a bold decision and find a renewed missional calling for their future.” says the Rev. Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, Interim-President ECBF. “Under this new business model it will also now be sustained both financially and operationally by the collaboration of these church extension funds.”

To support transformational congregations, the best of each denomination’s church extension funds programs and services, network of colleagues, and decades of experiences, leadership and faith have been pooled to form Hope Ecumenical Services. With a growing national network of trained facilitators bolstered by this ecumenical collaboration, Hope Partnership assists both struggling and thriving congregations to move into new, sustainable, life-giving expressions of mission. Its services guide congregations through conversations about vision and mission in America’s changing cultural and spiritual climate.

“We take a holistic approach that respects the uniqueness of every congregation in its context,” says Gilberto Collazo, president of Hope Partnership. “And, the result is empowered, sustainable congregations that are transforming lives in their communities.”

Interested church leaders should contact Sally O’Brien, M.A., M.S.W., Vice President, Hope Partnership, Indianapolis, IN; Episcopal Church Building Fund, Richmond, VA at 203-820-3700, or email her atsobrien@hopepmt.org. More information can be found at www.hopepmt.org and www.ecbf.org.