Together we are revolutionary.

Boys planting at Trinity Swarthmore

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Acts 2:43-47

Jesus

Know Jesus. Change the World. 

We are committed to empowering churches, spreading the Gospel and addressing pain and poverty in our community and the world. Here are 10 long-range goals we established:

 

  • Centralized hub for learning for clergy and laity. (Serviam Institute).  
  • Plant a school in an underserved neighborhood in our Diocese.
  • Through partnerships, create a network of 10 wellness centers in our churches that serve the physical health needs of communities. 
  • Partner with three agencies and interfaith organizations to effectively address poverty, hunger, violence. 
  • Reestablish effective ministry to the shut-ins, the matriarchs and patriarchs who have laid the foundation.
  • Plant three Canterbury Houses with one on the Main Line.
  • Establish a chaplaincy program for prison ministry and a renewed dedication toward racial healing.
  • Establishment of a time line for those churches that are closed. 
  • Plant five “churches” in six years.
  • Ordain 60 deacons in six years. 

 

We are One Body.  Together.

In the last three years, we have achieved much together. The following are some highlights of that work (updated January 2020):

Empowering Our Churches

  • Created the Growth Development Fund to provide $1.5M to churches over five years.
  • Re-opened three closed churches, creating a process for starting new ministries in closed churches.
  • Stabilized churches in crisis - such as Trinity, Oxford and St. Simon The Cyrenian – using coordinated team approach.
  • Assessed potential for support and ministry of churches by geographic clusters with Deans, no longer just looking at them individually.
  • Created a process to identify and support Missional (DCMM) churches.
    • Five-year timeline and budgets
    • Assisted in coordinating a regular gathering of the vicars of the Missional Churches (DCMM) to provide them with support and boost collaboration.
    • Brought Vicars within Diocesan Staff, oversight
  • Began work of Serviam Institute, to provide digital, online, and in-person resources, training, and collaboration to lay and clergy across the diocese.
  • Began Collaborative Ministry model in NW section of diocese.
  • Created process for increasing ministry viability in churches without clergy leadership.
  • Recruited 14 priests to diocese since 2018, resulting from more than 100 in-person meetings and calls
  • Increased involvement of the Diaconate and the number of Deacons.
  • Implemented new process for those discerning calls to the Priesthood and Diaconate.
  • Streamlined Sunday Missioner/Supply Clergy process, put list online
  • Created a clergy mentorship program.
  • Sponsored teaching days for clergy continuing education.
  • Implemented Data Story as a tool with great potential and learned to use it.
    • Shared data packets and analysis with 10 churches.
    • Used data to create a comprehensive list of churches and their risk level. Identified all high-risk churches.
  • Creation of Bishop’s Office Hours, monthly in churches to provide 1:1 support.
  • Decentralized Youth Ministry to parish leadership through Dinner Church.
    • Created Diocesan schedule with two major events: Bowling with the Bishop and the Bishop’s Ball.
  • Published Diocesan Safe-Church Policies for Children/Youth and Vulnerable Adults.
  • Created partnerships with accountants to provide free and/or low cost services.
  • Established membership with TENS, providing free stewardship materials to churches.
  • Coordinated online pledge resource for parishes.
  • Created coalitions beyond the deanery model to support churches based on their size and unique needs.
  • Engaged partners to provide free assistance with financial questions, website development, parochial reports, and property management. Cheii, a company out of the Diocese of the Navajoland, has an agreement with this diocese to create free or low-cost websites for our churches.
  • Created a donate function on website to support historically black churches in underserved neighborhoods, mission churches, wellness centers, youth programming, veteran’s ministries, and evangelism initiatives.
  • Performed an inventory of buildings and needs throughout the diocese.
  • Assembled a list of Certified Contractors for parishes.
  • Created Disaster Preparedness plan and resources.
  • Facilitated vestry and leadership retreats. Annually, we lead 35-50 vestry retreats on topics such as evangelism, community engagement, and changing culture.
  • Published guide for Eucharistic Minister and Visitors.
  • Provide assistance on ongoing basis to 52 committees/commissions.
  • Provided website consultations to 10 churches, social media consultation to eight churches.
  • Created Caminos magazine, highlighting the work of the churches and the diocese.
  • Initiated retreats with Standing Committee.
  • Began Live Streaming of Convention, enabling those not in attendance to participate.
  • Created Employee Covenant.
  • Revised Conflict of Interest Statement
  • Created process and policy for churches in transition.
  • Expanded ministry to retired clergy through Chaplains to the Retired.
  • Began new mission for Diocesan Council.
  • Created human resources manual.
  • Created Developers Group
  • Moved the Offices of the Diocese to the Diocesan House, created Center City Office at St. Stephen’s in order improve accessibility to resources, mobility of staff, and take the ministry of the Bishop to places of need.
  • Bishop involved in larger Church and Anglican Communion

 

Spreading the Gospel

  • Creating network of evangelists, securing people from 12 churches with goal of recruiting 100 people by the end of 2020.
  • Initiated lay chaplaincy program.
  • Created the Liturgy Resource Guide.
  • Sponsored E-Formation Conference.
  • Co-Sponsored Discipleship Matters Conference.
  • Co-sponsored New Camino Conference with The Episcopal Church Latino/Hispanos Ministries.
  • Created Covenant with Episcopal Community Services.
  • Managed two years of the Bishop’s Bible Challenge.
  • Increased connection with Episcopal Academy.
  • Built closer relationships with Episcopal/Lutheran Seminaries.
  • Created Bishop’s History Committee on Economic Development.
  • Created the Bishop’s Shepherd in the Field blog, communicating on a variety of issues.
  • Launched new website with buy-in from 20 lay and clergy leaders.
  • Fostered relationships with other dioceses.
  • Created a Plan for planting Small House Churches.
  • Created a Plan to Develop Canterbury Houses and expand Campus Ministry across the Diocese.

 

Addressing the Pain and Poverty in our Communities and the World

  • Created partnerships with five universities, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Behavioral Health, and the City of Philadelphia.
  • Created the first moral injury support group for female veterans in the country and created mental health and Narcan trainings for the diocese.
  • Created Veterans Committee in diocese.
  • Partnered with school district to follow at-risk students through first years of college (offering mentorship, scheduling college tours, college dorm starter kit, tutoring.)
    • Created Poverty Campaign to end student poverty; began by placing washer and dryer in public school.
  • Launched eight wellness centers in churches providing health care to students, homeless, and aging populations.
  • Recovery Ministry created.
  • Created Anti-Gun Violence group.
  • Creating ministry hub to provide legal services, medical care, etc. at St. John’s, Diocesan Center.
  • Supported/supporting parishes to create individualized ministry.
  • Supported the installation of the Octavius V. Catto statue and his memorialization.
  • Completed audit of all parish outreach programs. Manually entered that into Asset Map, which launched in April ’18.

 

Strengthening the Financial Health of the Diocese

  • Met our financial obligation to The Episcopal Church for the first time in at least 11 years.
  • Put hold on parish assessments for three years.
  • Successfully incorporated diocese.
  • Reorganized and reduced diocesan staff, lowering costs.
  • Initiated Letters of Agreement/Contracts for Staff 
  • Initiated review of Fair Share Process.
  • Consolidated budgets (five to one)
  • Held nine meetings on budget each year.
  • Competed the diocese commercial insurance coverage by engaging Church Insurance Co.
  • Increased the transparency and amount of financial data on the DIOPA website by posting all budgets and monthly financial reports.
  • Identified extra money from unrealized gains in the endowment.
  • Initiated a review of all endowment funds.
  • Realized substantial savings by reconfiguring staffing at Wapiti without reducing its availability to churches for retreats.
  • Ordered and completed a Review of Procedures at Wapiti (including conflicts, usage, etc.)
  • Conducted diocesan-wide survey on use for Wapiti, holding an Open House for all to visit and discern possible use.
  • Conducted a parish administrator meeting, providing support
  • Held yearly open enrollment meetings for health care.
  • Promoted and arranged flexible payment arrangements for the payment of Sacred Gifts.
  • Created a team support system for CPG benefit administration.
  • Held six listening meetings for parishes geographically throughout the diocese to discuss the financial challenges and promote balancing the diocesan budget.
  • Analyzed diocesan bank services and vendor arrangements to create efficiencies and cost savings in the Diocesan Support budget.
  • Created DIOPA Amazon Smile Account.
  • Provided support and guidance to parishes for financial matters, benefits, commercial insurance, and property issues.
  • Sold unusable properties:
    • St. Mary’s, Warwick
    • St. Faith’s, Havertown
    • Holy Trinity, Lansdale
    • 631 Lombard Street (St. Stephen’s Rectory)
  • Reduced draw on the endowment.

 

Working together.

 For 2020, your diocesan staff is committed to the following goals to better serve and support you:

Spreading the Gospel

  • Recruit 100 evangelists-in-training
  • Create new campus ministry programs
  • Increase reach of City Camp by extending program to other-abled children

 

Empowering Congregations

  • Stimulate growth at churches by providing vitality check (an eight-week program focused on visioning, community engagement, governance, property usage) for three churches in need of support. Continued engagement with 80 churches. 
  • Increase efficiency for churches by creating a centralized space for available resources (e.g. grants, names of vendors, tools, and templates)
  • Increase income for churches looking to rent property by developing electronic clearinghouse to assist churches in renting their space.
  • Reduce administrative expenses and increase reach for churches by forming two to three collaborative ministry hubs. 
  • Lower costs for churches looking to communicate by creating template materials for use. 

 

Addressing the Pain and Poverty of the World

  • Elevate issue of equal pay by creating committee to review. (2019 Convention Resolution)
  • Increase outreach by creating hubs for ministry in the diocese, providing a home for the veteran’s ministries and Legal Aid Clinic.
  • Open three more free wellness centers to provide medical care/counseling to assist low- and no-income people
  • Establish fund that would collect money to be used to combat poverty. (2019 Convention Resolution.)
  • Increase giving to the diocese by churches, using those monies to fund mission work and The Episcopal Church
  • Increase church collaboration through creation of Five Sacred Days, outreach efforts by five or more churches in each location