2023 JacksonvilleAnnual Conference

Wednesday, March 8 thruSaturday, March 11, 2023

Register Today!

Welcome to EPN’s 38th Annual Conference

The Episcopal Parish Network (EPN) invites you to join us in Jacksonville, Florida, for unparalleled connection, learning, and networking at our 38th Annual Conference—the largest and most anticipated annual conference in the Episcopal Church.

As the Church responds to a shifting cultural landscape, including economic uncertainty, persistent racial inequities, unprecedented health challenges, and disruptive climate change, the need for vital, parish ministry responsive to local communities has never been greater. Join EPN as we bring together over 800 lay and clergy attendees to confront and address important questions including:

How do we engage with, respond to, and nurture our communities as part of our Christian witness? What is a calming presence for those we can foster? When are we called to take uncomfortable positions, and speak out as we live into our baptismal covenant? How do we serve and lead to strengthen local ministry?

We will explore these questions through provocative keynote conversations, engaging role-based pre-conferences, and compelling workshops. Besides deep learning, the conference will offer a great opportunity to network with friends and colleagues.

2023 Annual Conference

Agenda

2023 Annual Conference Virtual Pre-Conferences

Endowment Virtual Pre-Conference
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Women’s Clergy Virtual Gathering
Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 11:00 a.m. (ET)


2023 Annual Conference Schedule

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Episcopal Preaching Foundation Lunch
Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Pre-Conference Session #1
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Trinity Church Fellows Reception 
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Pre-Conference Dinners
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Thursday, March 9, 2023

Breakfast
7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Pre-Conference Session #2 
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Women’s Clergy Gathering
11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Networking Lunch at St. John’s
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Workshop #1
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Keynote Conversation featuring Jon Meacham
with the Very Rev. Randolph Hollerith
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Opening Reception 
5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Breakfast 
7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Workshop #2  
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Keynote Conversation featuring Mari Kuraishi
with the Very Rev. Katherine Moorehead Carroll
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Networking Lunch – Food Trucks at the Jessie
Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Workshop #3
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Keynote Conversation featuring Archbishop Thabo Makgoba
with the Rev. Phillip Jackson
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Conference Worship – Prelude
5:00 p.m.

Conference Worship
5:30 p.m.

Post-Worship Reception and Tours
7:00 p.m. to End.

Seminary Receptions
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Saturday, March 11, 2023

Breakfast
7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Keynote Conversation featuring Bishop Vincentia Kgabe
with The Rev. Yejide Peters Pietersen and the Rev. Winnie Varghese
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Keynote Conversation featuring Dr. Sam Wells
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

2023 Annual Conference

Keynote Speakers

The Right Rev. Dr. Vicentia Rofiloe Kgabe

Bishop of Lesotho

Bishop Kgabe was born and raised in Soweto, South Africa, and is currently the Bishop of Lesotho. She served for seven years as the Rector and Principal of the Transfiguration Theological College based in Grahamstown/Makhanda  the only residential seminary and training center in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Kgabe lectured in Pastoral Care and Counselling as well as Youth Ministry. She also was a facilitator of the College of Transfiguration Leadership Development Program.

In the Diocese of Johannesburg, Kgabe served as a parish priest in eight parishes, served as an Archdeacon, and directed the ordination process.

Kgabe is passionate about issues of leadership, social justice, and active citizenry. She is the chairperson of the Board of HOPE Africa, the Social Development Program for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, and she is the co-chair of Makhanda (Grahamstown) Circle of Unity. Kgabe is a research fellow in the Desmond Tutu Center for Religion and Social Justice.

She is a scholar with several degrees including a Diploma in Theology, College of Transfiguration; Bachelor of Arts in Theology (summa cum laude), University of Pretoria; PhD in Practical Theology, University of Pretoria; and Post Graduate Diploma in Enterprise Management; Rhodes University Business School, among others.

The Right Rev. Dr. Vicentia Rofiloe Kgabe

Mari Kuraishi

President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund

Mari Kuraishi is the president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, leading the Fund’s efforts to create communities of belonging for the places and institutions that Jessie Ball duPont knew and loved by fostering inclusive growth and reducing structural and systemic barriers to resources and opportunity.

Prior to joining the Fund, Kuraishi co-founded the groundbreaking crowdfunding philanthropy site GlobalGiving with Dennis Whittle and served as President until 2018. GlobalGiving connects donors with grassroots projects around the world, providing a vetting platform for donors and training and education for nonprofits. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has connected more than 1.5 million donors to 32,000 projects in more than 175 countries around the world, generating more than $727 million in funding for their projects.

In 2011, Kuraishi was named one of Foreign Policy’s top 100 Global Thinkers for “crowdsourcing worldsaving.” Prior to founding GlobalGiving, she worked at the World Bank where she created and managed some of the Bank’s most innovative loans and programs, including founding its innovation engine, the Development Marketplace. Kuraishi currently serves on the boards of GlobalGiving, DataKind, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, and the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, as well as on the advisory boards of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, the U.S.-Japan Council, and LISC Jacksonville.

In addition to her native Japanese, Kuraishi also speaks Russian, Italian, and French. She earned an undergraduate degree in history from Harvard University and did graduate work in Russian and Japanese history and politics at Harvard and Georgetown Universities. Kuraishi also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Mari Kuraishi

William H. Lamar IV

Pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church

Washington D.C.

William H. Lamar IV is pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. ¾ a congregation committed to worship, liberation, and service. He previously served congregations in Monticello, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; and Hyattsville, Maryland.

Lamar was the managing director of Leadership Education at Duke University Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, from 2008 to 2011. Through his association with Duke, he convened and resourced executive pastors of large churches, denominational finance executives, young denominational leaders, Methodist bishops, and the constituency of Lilly Endowment’s Sustaining Pastoral Program.

For 20 years, Lamar has been actively involved with Direct Action Research Training (DART), Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), and the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) to organize for justice in local communities. Most recently, he has collaborated with Repairers of the Breach, Poor Peoples Campaign ¾ A National Call for Moral Revival, Center for Community Change (CCC), and People Involving Communities through Organization (PICO) to enact social and economic justice and to exhibit a real embrace of the beloved community.

Lamar earned the Bachelor of Science degree in public management with a minor in philosophy and religion and a certificate in human resource management (magna cum laude) from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. In 1999, he earned the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School. Lamar is currently a doctoral student in the inaugural cohort of Christian Theological Seminary’s Ph.D. program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric.

William H. Lamar IV

The Most Rev. Thabo Cecil Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town, Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of South Africa

The Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba (PhD) was born and spent his early years in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, until he and his family was forcibly removed to Soweto. He trained as a priest at St. Paul’s College in Grahamstown, where he earned a Diploma in Theology.

After ordination, he served in various positions in Johannesburg including St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Church of Christ the King in Sophiatown, and as Anglican chaplain at Wits University. During this time, Makgoba also graduated from Wits with a BA in Applied Psychology and an M Ed in Education Psychology. He earned his PhD from the University of Cape Town.

He was elected Bishop Suffragan of Grahamstown in 2022, serving as Bishop of Queenstown, then as Bishop of Grahamstown from 2004 and as Archbishop from 2008. Makgoba pioneered the concept of indaba in the worldwide Anglican Communion as a means of addressing differences and was decorated by the Archbishop of Canterbury with the Cross of St. Augustine for his contributions to the Communion.

Makgoba is fully engaged in higher education teaching and lecturing on leadership, ethics, and stewardship, among others at various universities. He serves on the boards of several NGO’s as well as ecumenical and interfaith bodies. Archbishop Makgoba is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees.

He has published three books including Connectedness (2005), Workplace Spirituality in a South African Mining Context (2012), and Faith and Courage: Praying with Mandela (2017).

The Most Rev. Thabo Cecil Makgoba

Jon Meacham

Historian, Author, and Teacher

Jon Meacham is a renowned presidential historian, commentator for numerous news outlets, contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, contributing editor at TIME, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

His book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, was a New York Times bestseller. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2009, the book was cited as an “unlikely portrait of a not always admirable democrat, but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life.”

Meacham’s other New York Times bestsellers include Thomas Jefferson: The Art of PowerFranklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation, and The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, among others.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Society of American Historians, Meacham is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. He is a contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, a contributing editor of Time, and has written for The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington PostVanity Fair, and Garden & Gun. Meacham is also a regular guest on “Morning Joe” and other broadcasts.

A former executive editor at Random House, he published the letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and books by, among others, Al Gore, John Danforth, Clara Bingham, Mary Soames, and Charles Peters. After serving as Managing Editor of Newsweek for eight years, Meacham was the Editor of the magazine from 2006 to 2010. He is a former editor of The Washington Monthly and began his career at The Chattanooga Times.

Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham was educated at St. Nicholas School, The McCallie School, and graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, with a degree summa cum laude in English Literature; he was salutatorian and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

A trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, The McCallie School, and The Harpeth Hall School, Meacham chairs the National Advisory Council of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. He has served on the vestries of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and of Trinity Church Wall Street as well as the Board of Regents of The University of the South.

Meacham received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and holds honorary doctorates from Middlebury College, Wake Forest University, the University of Tennessee, Dickinson College, Sewanee, and several other institutions.

Jon Meacham

The Rev. Dr. Sam Wells

Vicar, St. Martin-in-the Fields (London)

Founder, The HeartEdge Network

Ordained in 1991, Wells served Church of England parish appointments for 14 years in Newcastle, Cambridge, and Norwich. He spent ten years of his ministry in areas of social disadvantage. For six years, he was involved in establishing a community-led development trust, called the North Earlham, Larkman and Marlpit Development Trust. Wells also was involved in the Body, Mind, and Spirit Project at St Elizabeth’s Earlham, offering children opportunities to participate in creative play.

Wells became dean of Duke Chapel and research professor of Christian ethics in 2005 at Duke University Divinity School in North Carolina. He developed and chaired the Faith Council, which consisted of 12 members from different faith traditions. He initiated dialogue and led discussions on faith and ethics.

While acting as the Dean at Duke Chapel, Wells coordinated the ministry and music of the chapel, preached, and led worship. He also oversaw the campus ministries and taught in the divinity school as well as the school of public policy. He worked with the local Durham community through organizations such as the Religious Coalitions for a Nonviolent Durham to foster a closer relationship with the university and the city.

Since 2012, Wells has been the vicar of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields in central London.  As vicar, in addition to his pastoral ministry, Wells is a trustee of The Connection at St Martin’s, and of the St. Martin-in-the-Fields Trust. Wells is the founder of The HeartEdge Network, an ecumenical network supporting local ministry. He has been a regular contributor to Thought of the Day on BBC Radio 4.

The Rev. Dr. Sam Wells

2023 Keynote

Conversation Partners

The Very Rev. Kate Moorehead Carroll

Dean, St. John’s Cathedral; Jacksonville, Florida

The Very Rev. Kate Moorehead Carroll is the 10th Dean of St. John’s Cathedral. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College, a Carpenter Scholar at Yale Divinity School and has a Master of Divinity degree cum laude from Virginia Theological Seminary.

Dean Carroll is the author of eight books, the most recent are Vital Signs of Faith: Finding Health in Your Spiritual Life, Angels of the Bible, and Healed: How Mary Magdalene Was Made Well.

She will be in conversation with Mari Kuraishi, president, Jesse Ball duPont Fund.

The Very Rev. Kate Moorehead Carroll

The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope

Provost, Washington National Cathedral; Washington, D.C.

The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope was appointed provost of Washington National Cathedral in 2015. As provost, she oversees the cathedral’s development department and works closely with the dean and the cathedral’s leadership on its strategic vision, ministry, and mission. Prior to this appointment, Canon Cope was the vicar of the cathedral as well as the associate rector of St. David’s Church in Washington, D.C.

She graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary and holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Virginia Theological Seminary. She is an adjunct professor of preaching at Wesley and a contributing meditation writer for The Bible Challenge and The Pilgrim Way of Lent: Meditations from Washington National Cathedral.

Canon Cope will be in conversation with the Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, Vicar, St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London) and Ms. Judy A. Smith, Founder and President, Smith & Company.

The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope

The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson

Rector, Trinity Church Wall Street; New York City, New York

The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson was named the 19th Rector of Trinity Church Wall Street in February 2022, serving as the spiritual leader of the parish, and managing operations, parish programs, the clergy, staff, and facilities of the church. Prior to his institution as rector, he served as Priest-in-Charge for two years.

Fr. Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Amherst College, where he currently sits on the board of trustees. He also was awarded a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School and a Master of Divinity degree from The Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

He will be in conversation with the Most Rev. Thabo Cecil Makgobe, Archbishop of Cape Town.

The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson

The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith

Dean, Washington National Cathedral; Washington, D.C.

The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith was named the 11th Dean of Washington National Cathedral in 2016 after serving as the rector of St. James’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia, for 16 years. He holds degrees from Denison University and Yale Divinity School.

During his tenure at the cathedral, Dean Hollerith has led the creation of a five-year strategic plan, raised $23 million for the renovation of the Cathedral College, and reoriented the institution toward radical welcome and hospitality, with a particular focus on racial reconciliation and outreach to the nation’s veterans.

He will be in conversation with Jon Meacham, historian, author, and educator.

The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith

The Rev. Yejide Peters Pietersen

Associate Dean and Director of Formation, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale; New Haven, Connecticut

The Rev. Yejide Peters Pietersen was appointed the Associate Dean and Director of Formation in 2021. Previously, she served as vicar of St. Chad’s with St. Mary’s and St. Alkmund’s in Shrewsbury, England. She is a graduate of The University of Michigan and received her Master in Divinity degree from Yale University.

She has provided board leadership for Forward Movement and Rural Migrant  Ministries, among others.

The Rev. Pietersen will be in conversation with the Rt. Rev. Dr. Vicentia Kgabe and the Rev. Winnie Varghese.

The Rev. Yejide Peters Pietersen

Ms. Judy A. Smith

Founder and President, Smith & Company; Washington, D.C.

Ms. Judy A. Smith is the Founder and President of Smith & Company, a leading strategic advisory firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and New York. Over the last 25 years, Ms. Smith has brought her unique combination of communications skills, media savvy, legal, and political acumen to clients facing a wide array of issues and challenges throughout the United States and abroad.

As a result of her wide ranging and ground-breaking career, Shonda Rhimes developed an award-winning television drama, Scandal, about the world of crisis management inspired by Ms. Smith. She has been featured in numerous national publications and serves on several boards including Washington National Cathedral, among others. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from Boston University and graduated from the American University Washington College of Law.

Ms. Smith will be in conversation with the Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, Vicar, St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London) and the Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope, Provost, Washington National Cathedral.

Ms. Judy A. Smith

The Rev. Winnie Varghese

Rector, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church; Atlanta, Georgia

The Rev. Winnie Varghese is the 23rd rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She also has served as the Priest for Ministry and Program Coordination at Trinity Church Wall Street as well as the Rector and Priest-in-Charge at St. Mark’s in the Bowery of New York.

She serves on the Board of Trustees of Union Theological Seminary and has chaired the General Convention’s Committee on the State of the Church from 2015 to 2018. She earned a bachelor’s  degree from Southern Methodist University  and a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary.

The Rev. Varghese will be in conversation with the Rt. Rev. Dr. Vicentia Kgabe and the Rev. Yejide Peters Pietersen.

The Rev. Winnie Varghese

2023 Annual Conference

Pre-Conference Luncheon

Wednesday, March 8 – Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Episcopal Preaching Foundation: Lay Preacher Training Initiative

Lay Preaching and the Renewal of the Church

In the early church, as witnessed in the Books of Acts, lay preachers were a central feature. Sharing the pulpit with lay preachers today is broadening the appeal and relevance of the Gospel message, especially at a time when preaching is consistently identified as a primary driver of church attendance. The different and complementary roles of rector, assisting clergy and lay preaching will be assessed. Addressing this topic will be:

The Rev. Dr. Sam Wells – Vicar, St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London)

The Rev. Stephen Smith – Convener, Lay Preacher Training Initiative

 

This is a ticketed event and space will be limited. Please register today.

Thursday, February 23 – 11:00 a.m. (ET) – Virtually
Thursday, March 9 – 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Women's Clergy Gathering

This annual gathering is just one of many highlights of the Annual Conference. This two-part series is free and open to all Episcopal women and non-binary clergy.

Part-one will commence on Thursday, February 23 at 11:00 a.m. (ET), when we will gather virtually for featured speakers, as well as facilitated storytelling and conversation. On Thursday, March 9 at 11:00 a.m., we will regroup in Jacksonville for part-two. Childcare will be available in Jacksonville, but you must request it when you register.

Planning our time together are:

The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows – Bishop, the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis; Indianapolis, Indiana

The Rev. Jeanne Leinbach – Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Cleveland Heights, Ohio

The Rev. Anne Marie Witchger – Associate Rector and Chief-of-Staff, Church of the Heavenly Rest; New York, New York

 

Registration is required. Please register today.

2023 Annual Conference

Pre-Conference Sessions

Wednesday, March 8 – 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 9 – 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Episcopal Parish Network’s (EPN) Pre-Conference Sessions are designed for colleagues and peers working within specific roles to share, to learn, and to inspire each other in their ministries. Pre-Conference Workshops are led by clergy, laity, and consultants engaged in the local ministry of the Church in communities, parishes, and dioceses across the country.

Rectors and Deans

Leading God’s People Now: To What End?

Rectors and deans are adaptive leaders who lead their parishes and cathedrals to meet this moment of change in the Church and in society with optimism and realism. How do we begin to imagine transformative change in our communities? What are the practical ideas we can implement? How do we measure success and pivot when we must? During this three-part conversation, rectors and deans will explore these questions and more.

First Conversation – How to Make Big Ideas Happen

During the first conversation on Wednesday afternoon, the Rev. Dr. Sam Wells will join EPN board member and education sector leader, Richard Ammons, and nonprofit strategy expert, Lauralyn Lee to discuss make big ideas happen. This conversation centers on the reality that this moment calls for reimagining our place in the community and Church. Together Lauralyn and Richards will discuss with Sam, a global thought leader within Anglicanism, how he has transformed St. Martin-in-the Fields (London) and institutionalized this methodology through the HeartEdge Network. As change agents in higher education, nonprofits, and church structures, they will share how they imagine transformative change and implement it in their communities.

Mr. Richard Ammons – EPN Board Member and Education Sector Leader; Durham, North Carolina

Ms. Lauralyn Lee – Chief of Staff, Washington National Cathedral and Nonprofit Strategy Expert; Washington, D.C.

The Rev. Dr. Sam Wells – Vicar, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and Founder of the HeartEdge Network; London, United Kingdom

Second Conversation – Forming Leaders

Our second conversation will build on the first as we discuss how to form leaders, particularly lay leaders, to take on transformative work in your church and community. Sam will return with the Rev. Doyt Conn and Aleta Payne for a discussion moderated by Dr. Liz DeGaynor. These thought leaders will focus on the formation of leaders within our congregations for service in the church, to the community and for the wider world. Together this group will start a conversation on how we form our people to have Christian imagination and Gospel-crafted approaches to leading at this time.

The Rev. Doyt Conn – Rector, Epiphany Parish; Seattle, Washington

Dr. Liz DeGaynor – Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Formation, Virginia Theological Seminary; Alexander, Virginia

Ms. Aleta Payne – Senior Associate Editor, Faith & Leadership, Duke Divinity School; Durham, North Carolina

The Rev. Dr. Sam Wells – Vicar, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and Founder of the HeartEdge Network; London, United Kingdom

Final Conversation – Our Prophetic Presence and Voice

On Thursday morning, we will wrap up our pre-conference time together with a discussion on navigating our pastoral and prophetic presence and voice in the public square. The Rev. Canon Jan Cope will facilitate this conversation with strategic advisor and communications expert Judy Smith and Jon Meacham. This discussion will focus on the role of the rectors and deans in sharing the distinctive witness of the church in this curious age. We will consider how congregational leaders help shape the local and national conversation around the questions of our common life.

The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope – Provost, Washington National Cathedral; Washington, D.C.

Mr. Jon Meacham – Canon Historian at Washington National Cathedral, Author, Historian; Nashville, Tennessee

Ms. Judy A. Smith – Founder and President, Smith & Company; Washington D.C., Los Angeles, California, and New York, New York

Vestries and Wardens

How Do Other Vestries Handle This? Learning from and with fellow vestry members.

Vestry or chapter members in Episcopal parishes and cathedrals have unique responsibilities for the fiscal and physical wellbeing of their churches.

As vestry/chapter members, we are responsible for the wellbeing of our clergy and congregations, act as fiduciaries for the church’s financial health, provide efficient governance for our congregational life, and ensure our churches are engaged with the broader church and surrounding communities.

While a fulfilling ministry, lay leadership as a vestry/chapter member also can be challenging and exhausting. The good news is you are not alone.

During our time together, we will engage in a facilitated conversation among leaders of five congregations of varying sizes but all facing similar opportunities and challenges. Following this conversation, we will split into small groups based on parish/cathedral sizes for intimate conversations about particular subjects. We will close our time together with challenging conversations like handling clergy issues, managing financial opportunities/challenges, and recruiting vestry and chapter members, among other topics.

Join us to strengthen your ministry as a vestry/chapter member and return home with inspiration and hope for your church’s future and your collective ministry.

Attendance at this pre-conference is limited to members of vestries or chapters. This Pre-Conference Session will involve follow-up virtual meetings throughout 2023 with the goal of developing a Community of Practice to support EPN lay leaders throughout the year. Facilitating our time together will be:

Mr. George Belshaw – Christ Church Parish; Greenwich, Connecticut

Ms. Stephanie Curcuru – Junior Warden/Vestry Member, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church; Washington, D.C.

Mr.  Britton Gregory – CFP(r), Seaborn Financial, LLC; Austin, Texas

Dr. Raymond Hill – Cathedral of Saint Philip; Jacksonville, Florida

Ms. Nicole Spencer – St. James Cathedral; Chicago, Illinois

Senior Associates, Chiefs of Staffs, and Vicars

Leading from the Second Chair

This pre-conference seeks to gather “second chair” clergy leaders for a dedicated time of learning, processing, and connecting. Number Two clergy leaders in parishes and cathedrals–senior associates, chiefs of staffs, vicars, and sub-deans–navigate complex systems and play a vital, but often not well-understood role.

The first session will involve facilitated learning from the Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick of Saison Consulting (Durham, North Carolina). The second session will be a time of candid conversation and support amongst colleagues who face the same opportunities and challenges, co-facilitated by two “second chairs”—the Rev. Abi Moon (Senior Associate, Trinity Church in Boston) and the Rev. Ken Brannon (Vice-Rector, St. Michael and All Angels in Dallas). There are also hopes that this pre-conference experience will continue through an online, cohort community.

The Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick – Partner, Saison Consulting, LLC; Durham, North Carolina

The Rev. Abigail Moon – Senior Associate, Trinity Church in the City of Boston; Boston, Massachusetts

The Rev. Ken Brannon – Vice-Rector, Saint Michael and All Angels; Dallas, Texas

Associates and Curates

Cultivating Voice and Vocation: The Associate as a Parish Leader

The variations within the role of associate or assistant clergy in an Episcopal congregation make it one of the most interesting and complex in the Church. In this Pre-Conference Session, you will have the opportunity to learn from experienced leaders in the Church about the challenges and possibilities of this unique role. You also will be able to share your own vocational questions with peers from around the country in a confidential and collegial setting.

The Rev. Canon Alicia Schuster-Weltner – Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta; Atlanta, Georgia

Parish Administrators

Annual Roundtable

Every year, our parish administrators, business managers, and others with administrative leadership responsibilities gather for this Pre-Conference Session for a “closed-door” discussion on pressing challenges and opportunities.

In this “no-collars-allowed” roundtable, participants engage in frank conversation on issues ranging from people management to building maintenance to working effectively with clergy colleagues. Join us in this collegial environment to share your insights and resources and to connect with similarly situated lay leaders from across the country and around the church. Many parish administrators describe this roundtable as the most valuable experience of the EPN Annual Conference!  Facilitating our time together will be:

Mr. Zach Beall – Parish Administrator, St. Andrew’s Parish; Kansas City, Missouri

Endowments

Parish endowments are critical to fueling ministry, and their mission-driven management is challenging. Markets are volatile, budgets can be short of funds, church goals change, and new leaders are stepping up. If you are an endowment trustee or clergy/lay leader seeking endowment insights, this unique three-part, cohort-based learning experience is for you.

Part One – February, 7 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern: Online Endowment Primer

This learning experience will focus on the practicalities of serving in a governance role for church endowments. The online session is open to all those with financial responsibilities in the Church.

JoAnn Hanson – President and Chief Executive Officer, Church Investment Group; Atlanta, Georgia

Carsten Sierck – Director, Endowment Management Program Team Leader, Episcopal Church Foundation; New York, New York

Part Two: March 8 Pre-Conference Session

You will experience presentations on key issues in endowment management from practitioners, engage in small group conversations to improve performance, and dig deep into critical topics such as committee issues and portfolio questions, among others. Dinner follows for further conversation.

Part Three: March 9 Pre-Conference Session

We will hear case studies with practical advice from practitioners and their advisors. Session leaders will share from their experiences and save plenty of time for questions. You will leave with practical ideas on how to better evaluate, manage, and enhance the performance of your endowment.

Facilitating our time together will be:

Ms. JoAnn Hanson – Church Investment Group; Atlanta, Georgia

Ms. Carsten Sierck – Episcopal Church Foundation; New York, New York

Ms. Anne Richardson – Senior Program Director for Investor Relations, Episcopal Church Foundation, New York, New York

Stewardship

Join stewardship professionals and volunteers from around the Episcopal Church to learn, share, and explore. Building on the Stewardship Community of Practice webinars taking place throughout the year, the 2023 Stewardship Pre-Conference will focus on building skills and cover the theology of fundraising, reporting, and measuring performance as well as perspectives on planned giving. Finally, we will break into small groups to discuss opportunities and challenges in like-sized parishes.

And new this year—New to the Stewardship Role? Please join us at 1:00 p.m. (an hour earlier) to review The Building Blocks of Church Stewardship & Fundraising.

Ms. Monica Butta – Cathedral of St. John the Divine; New York, New York

Ms. Caroline Marak – St. Michael and All Angels; Dallas, Texas

Mr. David Rocchio – Cathedral of St. Philip; Atlanta, Georgia

More Panelist Information Coming Soon

Communications

Strategically Communicating with Our Congregations and Communities

The Communications Pre-Conference is in two parts split between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. During our first session, we will discuss how to garner earned media for our parish or cathedral and how to handle crisis communications when necessary. For our second session, we will discuss how to create sustainable strategies and effectively execute a strategic plan in the midst of continuing distractions.

Part One: Media Relations and Crisis Communications SOS (March 8)

In this session on Wednesday afternoon, we will share ideas and explore questions like: How do we engage the media as part of our storytelling outreach including op-eds? What are three easy placements I can pursue in the next year? What are the ingredients of a successful story pitch? And what are the best practices to follow ¾ and pitfalls to avoid ¾ when the story we need to tell is dark?

In our last hour, we will be joined by Judy Smith of Smith & Company. Judy is a crisis communications expert from Washington D.C. The Shonda Rhimes television show Scandal was inspired by her crisis communications work, and she has come to be known popularly as The Reputation Fixer. Her clients include politians and entertainers of all backgrounds. Judy will share her insights into crisis communications and engage in a facilitated dialogue with attendees. 

Part Two: Strategic Communications Guided Meditation (March 9)

Productivity, with limited time and budgets, require us to tune out distractions and listen closely for what is essential and sustainable. During this Thursday morning Pre-Conference Session, we will discuss how to tell the two apart and how to create a strategy that ensures buy-in and support? The learning experience will be interactive including short bursts of “free writing.”

Facilitating our time together will be:

Ms. Amanda Skofstad – Public Affairs Officer, the Episcopal Church; Chicago, Illinois

Ms. Judy A. Smith – Founder and President, Smith & Company; Washington D.C., Los Angeles, California, and New York, New York

2023 Annual Conference

Conference Workshops

Workshop Group 1The Dignity of Every Human Being

Workshop #1  How to Build a Strong, Resilient Church Community

Thursday, March 9 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Learn the recipe for building true communities of disciples ¾ followers of Jesus who can weather the storms of discord and who are examining the work God is calling them to do each week together. Building discipleship groups is a complex, lengthy, and intuitive process. During this workshop, you will learn how to birth these groups, support them, and unleash their power on our communities and neighborhoods. Sharing with you will be:

The Very Rev. Kate Moorehead Carroll – Dean, St. John’s Cathedral; Jacksonville, Florida

The Rev. Christopher Martin – Rector, St. Paul’s; San Rafael, California

 

Workshop #2  The Church’s Responsibility to Human Dignity: Florida and Beyond

Friday, March 10 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

 Join leaders in conversation from within and outside the Episcopal Diocese of Florida as they share their witness to the power of God’s love in the church and in the world. This panel discussion will lift us this year’s theme of “Empowering Local Ministries” highlighting specific way in which Episcopalians are living into their baptismal call to “respect the dignity of every human being” through ministry with LGBTQIA+ young people.

The Rev. Elyse Gustafson – Assisting Priest, The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd; Jacksonville, Florida

Ms. Catherine Montgomery – Director of Children’s Formation and Family Ministries, Christ Episcopal Church; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Cindy Wilson – Founder and CEO, JASMYN; Jacksonville, Florida

The Rev. Joe Woodfin – Rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church; Fernandina Beach, Florida

 

Workshop #3  What Comes Next? After Action in Support of Reconciliation, Healing, and Justice

Friday, March 10 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Parishes and communities of faith across the nation are doing work to engage in respectful and transformative dialogue on race and racism. Often times this can leave people wondering, “What comes next? What do we do now?” This panel discussion brings together organizations who have successfully channeled this pursuit of racial healing in ways you may not expect. The path to honor and affirm all of God’s children can take many forms, and we look forward to sharing creative and thoughtful ideas with you.

Panelist Information Coming Soon

Workshop Group 2Congregational Economics: Conversations About What Stewardship is TODAY

Workshop #1  Pledging: The Original Crowdfunding

Thursday, March 9 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Long before Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Facebook Wishes, and the like, churches have run “crowd-sourced pledge campaigns. What can we learn from new, online crowdfunding platforms that can be adopted or adapted to your church’s next pledge drive? How can we make it easier and more intuitive for people to give and pledge in the 21st century? This workshop will include a panel discuss and time to talk to one another.

Ms. Margo Guernsey – Director/Producer, The Philadelphia Eleven, Documentary, Time Travel Productions; Watertown, Massachusetts

Ms. Cynthia McChesney – Missioner for Stewardship and Legacy Giving, Episcopal Diocese of Newark

The Rev. Bowie Snodgrass – Rector, Christ Church in Short Hills; Short Hills, New Jersey (Moderator) 

 

Workshop #2  Capital Campaigns: Realizing God-Sized Dreams for What’s Next

Friday, March 10 — 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Capital campaigns can be full of many questions. Is your congregation ready? How do you analyze your context and culture to pursue success? What is the ideal invitation into practicing generosity? What are abundance practices to employ for a major initiative? Who will lead the change from the pews? How do you make “The Ask”? Join us for an interactive conversation as we discuss these questions and identify tools for a capital campaign.

Panelist Information Coming Soon

 

Workshop #3  Endowment as Legacy: Living into God’s Abundance

Friday, March 10 — 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Endowments are legacy gifts. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, many faithful have participated in God’s creative action in designating future generations to live into God’s abundance. Yet, many parishes are facing the reality of post-Christian culture and are trapped in anxiety about scarcity of people and resources. Amid this fear, how do we, as beloved children of God, cultivate a spirit of generosity based on God’s abundance? This workshop will focus on the psychology and behavioral practice of abundance versus scarcity.

The Rev. Meredith McNabb – Associate Director of Education, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving; Indianapolis, Indiana

The Rev. Sandy Webb – Rector, Church of the Holy Communion and Trustee, St. Mary’s Episcopal School; Memphis, Tennessee

Workshop Group 3Reimagining Property as Mission

Are your church buildings and its real estate burdens or blessings? Join us for this three-part series to consider how your church’s assets may be transformed for long-term financial stability, social impact, and community building.

 

Workshop #1   Fostering Mission-Driven Development – Session 1: Why do we need to think about this?

Thursday, March 9 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

This first session in a series of three will focus on the urgency of assessing and evaluating your assets in this moment of change. The session will focus on the importance of grounding your evaluation in the current and potential impact of your assets on the congregation and the community. Our panel will include real estate professionals working in faith-based development and experts in sacred space use and impact as well as representatives from the Church of the Resurrection, Alexandria, Virginia.

 

Workshop #2   Fostering Mission-Driven Development – Session 2: Discernment and Preparation

Friday, March 10 — 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

This second session in a series of three will explore how your congregation might identify your “north star vision” as you consider starting the real estate development process. Beginning with asset mapping and moving to thoughtful evaluation of opportunities, this conversation will review key considerations during the discernment process. Our panel will help us review why understanding our assets and engaging in thoughtful conversations within and beyond your congregation will help you identify your missional calling.

 

Workshop #3  Fostering Mission-Driven Development – Session 3: Development, Operations, and Impact

Friday, March 10 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

It can be done! In this final session of the series, we will dive into the development process and examine how to structure a project to enhance congregational life and further impact the community with diligent development and asset management practices. This panel will include discussion of financing options and considerations when assessing a missionally-driven project designed to create long-term sustainability and community engagement.

This series of three workshops will conclude with a walking tour around the Jacksonville Cathedral District and a discussion about some of the next steps your parish might take.

Facilitating this series will be:

Ms. Sara Arney – Trinity Church Wall Street; New York, New York

Mr. Joshua Castano – Partners for Sacred Places; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Rev. James Clark – Trinity Church Wall Street; New York, New York

Ms. Ann Fleming – Vice President, Episcopal Church Building Fund; Golden, Colorado

Mr. Bob Jaeger – Partners for Sacred Places; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Rev. Canon P. Lang Lowrey – Director of the Episcopal and Anglican Studies Program, Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, Georgia

Canon Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale – Canon to the Ordinary for Administration and Evangelism, Diocese of Indianapolis; Indianapolis, Indiana

Ms. Evans Ousley – Director of Communications, Saint John’s Cathedral; Denver, Colorado

Workshop Group 4Thriving as a Leader

Workshop #1  Cultivating Curiosity: How to Create a Culture for Leadership Success

Thursday, March 9 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Using the work of Dr. Brene Brown, you will engage in a participatory workshop that will leave you with practical tools that will ensure leadership success for the congregation and clergy alike. From individual to the system, cultivating a culture of curiosity enables leaders to lead and for congregations to engage and participate within the vision of leadership. Curious about how curiosity can shift your congregation and enable you to be effective in leadership? This workshop is for you.

The Very Rev. Katie Churchwell – Dean, St. Paul’s Cathedral; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

 

Workshop #2  Surviving Struggles as a Leader

Friday, March 10 — 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Before you can influence and direct others, you have to look within to ensure there is congruence between your life and leadership including consistency of character worthy of following. But how does a leader deal with being abandoned or other disappointments that come with being out front? Combining practical principles of Jesus from Scripture with anecdotal insights from a career spanning more than 46 years representing influential (and sometimes controversial) leaders like Dr. Billy Graham, Joe DiMaggio, Dr. Tony Evans, Mel Gibson, and others. You will leave with practical insights into the challenges of leadership, how to work with other leaders (even those you might disagree with), and how you one can remain an overcomer. Leading this conversation will be:

A. Larry Ross – Founder and CEO, ALR Communications; Dallas, Texas

 

Workshop #3   Leading by Learning: Best Practices Garnered from a Global Pandemic

Friday, March 10 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We learned a great deal during COVID from virtual services to maintaining close contact with parishioners. In the waning days of COVID, what are the good discoveries worth keeping and enhancing? What should we let go? Join us for a lively panel discussion on the good, the bad, and the excellent. This interactive conversation will be a learning experience for everyone.

The Rev. Matt Holcombe – Rector, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church; Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Rev. Chip Edens – Rector, Christ Church Charlotte; Charlotte, North Carolina

Workshop Group 5Envisioning and Charting the Future

Workshop #1  Statistics Informing the Future

Thursday, March 9 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Statistical information and analysis can help guide our knowledge of change and progress within the church and trends outside the church that are impactful. It also can help to spot issues that need to be resolved and drive future planning. This workshop will provide important information about trends, congregations, and clergy ¾ national and global. Leading the conversation will be:

Dr. Matthew Price – Senior Vice President for Research and Data, Church Pension Group; New York, New York

 

Workshop #2  Future of Beloved Community

Friday, March 10 — 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

What does Beloved Community mean today? What can we do to build on the origins of this important foundational concept and take action to protect it? What challenges can we expect in the future to Beloved Community? This dialogue requires a commitment from all.

Dr. Catherine Meeks – Executive Director, Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing; Atlanta, Georgia

The Rev. Dr. Canon Altagracia Pérez-Bulluard, PhD – Director of Contextual Ministry and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Virginia Theological Seminary; Alexandria, Virginia

 

Workshop #3  The Future of Congregations

Friday, March 10 — 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Have you thought about how we predict (or guess) what the future might be like? What will our congregations need, want, desire or just be willing to put up with? What are the assumptions we need to make that are specific to our own church or diocese? We will start with questions about 2043: “What is the purpose of our congregation? What is a congregation? Do we separate congregations by regular vs. occasional, in-person vs. remote, new vs. forever, and more. Twenty years may seem like a long time when you are trying to balance the books for this year, but a clear vision is essential for effective planning, stewardship, investments, and collective worship and ministry. Join us for what will be a lively discussion with some thoughts to take home.

Ms. Cynde Bimbi – Director of Communications and Public Relations, the Episcopal Church in Delaware; Wilmington, Delaware

The Rev. Phil Brochard – Rector, All Souls Episcopal Parish; Berkley, California

Mr. Paul Coombs – Management and Technology Consultant; the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea; Palm Beach, Florida

The Rev. Alissa Newton – Canon for Congregational Development and Leadership Formation, the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia; Seattle, Washington