The Office of Congregational Vitality and Formation
Vitality | Evangelism | Renewal | Formation | Leadership | Mutual Ministry
The ministry of strengthening and building a congregation is a truly vital one. The maxim that if you are standing still you are probably really going backwards is as true of churches as it is of businesses. While there are no simple answers—every congregation is different and should celebrate the fact—there are extensive resources available to help each one discern the path that will work best, and then to act effectively.
Working with the Congregational Development Commission and in many other ways, the Canon for Congregational Vitality and Formation assists congregations as they seek to engage and collaborate with their changing contexts to bring new life to their communities in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Congregational Development Commission is charged with raising and strengthening lay and clergy leadership, as well as identifying strategies that serve to revitalize congregational life. We do this by providing training, offering tested programs and delivering resources to support leaders in their work.
In pursuit of its goals, the Commission runs a range of workshops and seminars for clergy and lay leaders throughout diocese over the course of each year. Details are published online on the diocesan calendar, and notices are sent out by mail and electronically.
What Do the Congregational Vitality and Formation and the Congregational Development Commission do?
Parish Consultation by the Canon for Congregational Vitality and Formation
The Canon for Congregational Vitality and Formation consults with congregations about issues of health and vitality, lay and clergy leadership development, evangelism, community engagement and church planting initiatives. These activities are offered on Sunday morning with sermons, coffee hour forums, vestry and key leaders’ workshops, planning sessions and ministry vision work will take place, preferably with several congregations at once.
Diocesan Training Events
The office of Congregational Vitality and Formation and the Congregational Development Commission sponsor annual events to provide tools, strategies, models and resources in support of congregational leadership working toward vitality. These training sessions are offered in significant geographical areas of our diocese: Mid Hudson, Westchester, Staten Island, and New York City. These sessions will be structured for congregational teams in which both, clergy and lay leaders, come together to learn and gain important congregational development skills and best practices.
The Congregational Development Commission together with the Canon for Congregational Vitality and Formation receive applications and distribute grants that help with congregational sustainability and development initiatives. We are now in the process of understanding and reformulating some of the requirements to acquire these grants.
Please contact the Canon for Congregational Vitality and Formation for more information about our partnerships with these programs:
StoryMakers Children and Youth Program
StoryMakers create content tailored towards the developmental stages of children and young teens on their Christian journey. Their offerings include content for the entire year, for camps, weekly Sunday school programing, and holiday seasons.
Communities of Hope International
Communities of Hope International equips lay people to serve in all forms of pastoral care. Pastoral care is when a person is being “present” in a listening, compassionate, noncontrolling manner to an individual or group for the purpose of consciously or unconsciously representing God to them and seeking to respond to their spiritual needs.
Stephen Ministry (Introductory Workshop)
This program has been making it possible for congregations to organize, equip and supervise lay caregivers to provide high-quality, distinctively Christian care.
Canon for Congregational Vitality