Trinity Church Wall Street Awarded The Episcopal Preaching Foundation For Their Lay Preaching Training Initiative

Episcopal Preaching Foundation receives Trinity Church Wall Street grant to fund lay preaching initiative

Trinity Church Wall Street team has awarded $100,000 to the Episcopal Preaching Foundation for the first of what is hoped will be a three-year program to train a support lay preachers in the Episcopal Church.

The overarching vision of the foundation’s new Lay Preacher Training Initiative is to establish lay preaching and lay leadership as a fourth dimension of diocesan leadership in the Episcopal Church alongside bishops, priests, and deacons.

The goal is to develop a robust cadre of powerful lay preachers drawn from within their local communities who can supplement ordained clergy in the pulpit. The lay preachers will serve congregations lacking full-time or bi-vocational clergy, provide second-language preaching where the need exists, and offer a different voice of the Good News from within the community, as well as provide schedule relief on the preaching roster as needed.

The EPF’s Board President Canon Charles Cesaretti shared: “The Episcopal Preaching Foundation is honored to partner with Trinity Church, Wall Street, in this ground-breaking lay leadership project.  The EPF is envisioning the formation of a lay ministry that is trained and certified with a skilled preaching capacity, enabling the laity to fulfill their Baptismal Covenant.”

The grant will fund the first year of a three-year pilot program to create curriculum, staffing, and an institutional knowledge base for the sustainable training and support of lay preachers in participating dioceses. Following a 12-month development process, the pilot program will create a support structure for the trainee lay preachers within six participating pilot dioceses, then recruit and train six lay preacher “candidates” per diocese over the course of the subsequent two years.

Trinity’ Grants and Mission Investing team made the grant as part of its efforts to prepare faith leaders for action in the Church and world by promoting and sharing innovations in practical, faith- and skills-based leadership development in theological education,

Bishop Kimberly Lucas of the Diocese of Colorado and member of EPF’s Advisory Committee for the Lay Preacher Training Program added: “As we live into this new church landscape, we are seeking more sustainable models of church, especially for our rural and remote communities.  I am excited about equipping our lay leaders and training them to share the Gospel more effectively.”

EPF is currently preparing for the beginning of the formal grant period in January 2021. Foundation staff is connecting with potential diocesan partners and recruiting a program manager.

Interested dioceses should contact Peter Wild, Executive Director, email: pwild@preachingfoundation.org 

The job description and application information for the program manager position is posted at www.preachingfoundation.org.

The foundation has assembled an advisory council of preachers, teachers, and bishops to consult on the pilot project.  A curriculum-development committee will soon form as well.

Gary Shilling, Founder and Chairman of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation summarized the importance of this program for the EPF: “All the studies show that good preaching is perhaps the most consistent hallmark of a vibrant parish. With the growing role of lay ministry this is the moment for the EPF to extend our programs to support these committed individuals in their proclamation of the Gospel through their own unique power and authenticity.”

About the Episcopal Preaching Foundation

The Episcopal Preaching Foundation encourages excellent preaching in the Episcopal Church. The EPF strongly believes in the foundational role of preaching to energize and build church membership and attendance in today’s challenging environment, as recently documented by Gallup and the Pew Research Center. Founded in 1987, the foundation began its programs in earnest immediately. Since then, more than 1,800 seminarians have passed through its Preaching Excellence Program, including numerous bishops and one presiding bishop. More recently, the EPF has expanded programming to embrace practicing parish clergy through the annual conference (“PEP-II”) and ad hoc diocesan and deacons’ conferences.

For more information, please contact

Episcopal Preaching Foundation

Peter Wild (Executive Director)

500 Morris Ave., Ste. 304
Springfield, NJ 07081
(973) 376-6014

pwild@preachingfoundation.org

About Trinity Church Wall Street

Now in its fourth century, Trinity Church Wall Street is a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish of more than 1,200 members that seeks to serve and heal the world by building neighborhoods that live Gospel truths, generations of faithful leaders, and sustainable communities. The parish is guided by its core values: faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice, and stewardship. Members come from the five boroughs of New York City and surrounding areas to form a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse congregation. More than 20 worship services are offered every week at its historic sanctuaries, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission, and online at trinitywallstreet.org. The parish welcomes approximately 2 million visitors per year.

For more information, please contact:

Episcopal Preaching Foundation

Peter Wild (Executive Director)

Mobile (203) 448 8801

500 Morris Ave., Ste. 304
Springfield, NJ 07081
(973) 376-6014

pwild@preachingfoundation.org