A collection of new teaching resources for use in Lent and Eastertide was mailed to all Episcopal congregations in January. It includes articles designed to help enhance local church hospitality and evangelism in preparation for a late-summer and fall national advertising campaign.
The packet, Groundwork: Digging Deep for Change and Growth, includes a Guide for Lenten Study and Action (Year A), written by the Rev. James Lemler, director of mission for the Episcopal Church, and the Rev. Charles Fulton, the church’s director of congregational development.
“Groundwork is an educational offering for Lent 2005 that joins together reflection on the study and proclamation of the Lenten Sunday Scripture cycle and learning about evangelism, congregational invitation and mission in the present changing context,” Lemler said. He described it as a part of the goal of personal and congregational transformation that is at the heart of the church’s mission and of the National Advertising Collaborative that has been launched.
The resources can be used for study on Sundays, in mid-week Lenten programs and during leadership/vestry retreats. The materials precede the scheduled spring preview of new television ads designed to reach “Generation X” viewers -- often defined as those born between 1962 and 1981 -- who are unaffiliated with any church. The church’s Office of Communication is developing the ads in collaboration with dioceses and the Episcopal Media Center in Atlanta.
Other components of the packet include:
- Communication and Advertising: A Guide for Congregations by the Rev. Canon Louis C. Schueddig, president of the Episcopal Media Center, and Canon Robert Williams, the church’s acting director of the Office of Cmmunication;
- Welcoming the Visitor: A Guide for Congregations by the late Susy Miller, who was consultant to congregations and the House of Bishops;
- Competence in Cross-Cultural Ministry: A Guide for Congregations by the Rev. Patricia McCaughan of the Diocese of Los Angeles and Williams;
- Ministry with Young Adults and Next Generations, two guides by Thomas Chu, the church’s program director for Ministries with Young People; and
- Vestry Planning for Evangelism: the Groundwork of Leadership by Lemler and Fulton.
The resources are also available online at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/document/groundwork-ii. Links to resources provided in Spanish by the Rev. Isaias Rodriguez of Atlanta and the Rev. Daniel Caballero, the church’s missioner for Hispanic ministry, can be found at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/document/groundwork-ii.