Teaching: ECF 'Stewardship Sessions' will focus on creating campus ministries

March 20, 2007

Budget development, capital campaigns, and stewardship will be the focus of a series of telephone conference calls with experts and peers from campus ministries around the country to grow this vital ministry.

Stewardship Sessions, an initiative of the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF), will begin March 27, from 1-2 p.m. EDT, on the topic, "Budgets: How much is enough?" Sessions on "Capital Campaigns: Lessons from the campaign trail," on May 1, and "Stewardship: What are we REALLY teaching our students?" on May 22, also from 1-2 p.m. EDT, have also been scheduled.

Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters in advance and during the call, and receive resource materials relating to the topic either before or after the session.

"Campus ministries in the Episcopal Church are unique and geographically dispersed," said the Rev. Douglas Fenton, staff officer for Young Adult and Higher Education Ministries. "It is extremely helpful to provide opportunities for them to develop peer networks and learn best practices from each other."

Presenters for the March 27 conference call include Connie Sieracki, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator, Diocese of Northern California; Amy Dierlam, Campus and Young Adult Ministry Developer, Diocese of Northern California; and the Rev. Dr. Peter Antoci, Episcopal Chaplain, University of Maryland.

Using examples from Northern California’s model of parish-based campus ministries and the University of Maryland's full-time chaplaincy, callers will learn the essentials of planning a budget.

"It is consistent with our mission that we work with campus ministries and provide programs and services to help them thrive," said Donald V. Romanik, president of the ECF. "The Stewardship Session series is designed to address questions and concerns relating to the fundraising needs of these ministries. Should a particular ministry require specific assistance to start an annual giving program or to launch a capital campaign, of course we can provide these direct services as well."

The Rev. Timothy Hallett, rector of the Chapel of St. John the Divine at the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, and the Rev. Dr. Stephen L. White, chaplain of the Episcopal Church at Princeton University, will present the May 1, session, helping callers who seek answers about how to discern needs and vision for a campaign and how to communicate with potential donors. Hallet will share how St. John the Divine is concluding a capital campaign to complete its chapel – raising almost $300,000 more than their original $825,000 goal – and White will describe how the Episcopal Church at Princeton is working toward an endowment campaign of $1 million.

"My board is putting together an outreach and fundraising plan to both tell the story of the work we're doing and to shore up financial support for our ministry," said the Rev. Elizabeth M. Stedman from Canterbury Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois. "We want to do both things in the most effective way, which cries out for the kind of help ECF can offer."

The May 22 session will be led by the Rev. Reid Hamilton, Episcopal chaplain at Canterbury House at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, who will talk about how the Canterbury House chaplain, students, and board members have been intentional about how they ask for and give time, talent, and treasure.

"Campus ministries are in all stages of organizational and financial development, and Stewardship Sessions can provide these learning opportunities for both the new and established," said Anne E. Ditzler, special projects manager for ECF. "While ECF can provide professional guidance, I knew they would also value the experience of peers who could share challenges and successes from similar contexts."

Cost of participation is $25 per session, with discounts available for groups and multiple sessions. Registration deadline is the Thursday prior to the session. Once registered, participants will receive detailed instructions about joining the conference call.

For more information about Stewardship Sessions for campus ministries, e-mail Ditzler at aditzler@episcopalfoundation.org or call 800-697-2858.

The mission of the ECF is to strengthen the leadership and financial capabilities of Episcopal organizations to pursue their mission and ministry. For more about the Foundation’s work visit: http://www.episcopalfoundation.org/

Topics for Stewardship Sessions planned fall 2007 include:
• What every new chaplain, and board member needs to know about fundraising
• Best practices in endowment management – it's not just about investing
• Cultivating major donors – how to build relationships that build your ministry