In August, EHF’s Congregational Engagement team launched the 2023 Transformation Cohort program to enhance the impact of congregational ministries. Participating congregation teams will interact with their communities, develop partnerships, and shift their mindset from charity-based outreach to transformative and community-centered ministry.
We are pleased to announce the seven Episcopal congregations participating in this year’s cohort and a look at their ministry ideas:
All Saints Episcopal Church, Crockett: All Saints aims to establish an outreach ministry to tackle poverty and racism in their community. More specifically, the team is exploring how to support students with activities and food on Friday’s given Crockett ISD’s four-day school week. The team intends to implement their ideas thorough collaboration with a neighboring church.
Episcopal Church of the Cross, Austin: The Church of the Cross is currently working on strengthening their role within their community. While their outreach ministry currently focuses on addressing food scarcity, they are uncertain if this is still the most efficient approach to best serve their community. They are seeking guidance on how to use their resources effectively to find any unaddressed community needs.
Church of the Holy Apostles, Katy: Holy Apostles has many outreach ministries and partnerships but would like to develop a ministry that serves the local community. The team recognizes there are untapped connections to the community and aims to create an outreach ministry focusing on mental health and immigrant support. To accomplish this goal, they are looking for the most effective method to connect with community members.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Dickinson: To better support low-income school children, Holy Trinity wants to expand their current outreach ministry through the development of a hot meal program. They would like guidance on building community partnerships and evaluating the necessity of this initiative within their community.
St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, Lufkin: St. Cyprian’s currently provides financial assistance through their outreach committee and hopes to reframe their outreach to involve parishioners outside of the committee. The team would like to focus on recovery, food insecurity, and those with developmental differences and through the process would like to develop stronger community partnerships.
St. Francis Episcopal Church, Tyler: St. Francis aims to amplify their Young at Heart ministry in Tyler and East Texas to address the prevalent issues of chronic diseases and food insecurity. They are seeking more partners to support their current beneficiaries and identify more people in need of assistance.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Center: St. John’s is currently has a variety of outreach programs that aim to educate the community on personal finances and offer temporary housing to those in need. The team would like to enhance their Money Matters program by building partnerships with churches, community organizations, and Texas A & M to provide regular programming.
Each congregation has a team of at least three members to participate in four 90-minute sessions led by various consultants with expertise in Mental Health, Poverty Alleviation, Community Organizing, Community Development, Racial Justice, and more. To develop or enhance their ministries, each congregation will choose one of the consultants to partner with them over several months on their specific ministry goals. At the end of the cohort, the congregations will all have reached out to the communities they serve to build new relationships to inform and help re-imagine how they do ministry.
These seven churches will spend a great deal of time working towards reshaping their current ministries to address a diverse set of specific community needs. We look forward to working with them and sharing their progress!