fri posted: Fri 2018-02-16 08:04:08 tags: citizenship, faith
Crystallized and committed plans to visit DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival

Finished yesterday's overview of elected representatives:
House rep (NC 4th congressional district) and senators in DC
Governor, state assemblyman (district 11) and state senator (district 17)
County board of commissioners (district 4)
Mayor and city town council
Wikipedia: Cary NC

Wikipedia: Episcopal Diocese of NC
Poring over Episcopal entity filings with the Secretary of State (SoSNC.gov business registration search), I noticed that there was a church web hosting org from 2002-2007. I had pondered something similar in DioSEF, a Diocesan program to leverage economy of hosting scale to host all churches' and other institutions' websites on the cheap. With sopme technical ambition, it could also have supported constituent record management where each participating church's database was a slice of the Diocese's database. I would have to work with parish-management software to figure out just how that's properly done, before I could capably tackle the challenge of leveling it up that way.

I also saw there was an Episcopal Foundation of East Carolina; a little searching then turned up the North Carolina Episcopal Church Foundation. In the absence of a dedicated Diocesan "Episcopal Charities" unit, these growth-oriented (or at least continuity-oriented) foundations are the starting point to build investment in outreach.

ECSEFL was born by the transformative Smith bequest; the bequest was chiefly transformative because it was directed to outreach. Otherwise it would have been easy for the Diocese to say "great, we'll bank this and use the returns to keep up the cathedral and hold onto church properties in the hard parts of economic cycles", with no thought to outreach. If DioNC is to develop a comparable "ECNC", it will demand a call from the Bishop and the support of a like-minded network: Standing Committee members, pertinent canons, clergy and lots of laity with a particular heart for both charity and organization-building, etc.

It's a question worth asking though, SHOULD the Diocese establish its own fundraising-to-service machine, or should it concetrate on ecumenical and community partnerships to strengthen and sustain partner organizations like Habitat and Family Promise? This boils down to a question of whether we're doing outreach because the Spirit compels us, or with an ulterior motive of doing it - not generally in God's name, but specifically in the name of our "arm" (denomination) of Christ's body. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with publicizing The Episcopal Church as a good place to join with others in fulfilling the Christian commission.