Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Diocesan Council Listening Process

We have had five of the six Diocesan Council Listening Process events and will hold the final event at the end of May. A digest of the data will follow when the process has finished and Diocesan Council has had a chance to go over the results. We thought you\'d like to know some of the information that has been gathered from the large amount of data already received.

We ask parishioners to list three main ministry passions in their congregations. A lot of wonderful ministries are going on in this diocese. Among them:

Youth ministry - J2A, Godly play, Creation Week Camp, youth groups, service projects involving youth, acolyte programs, youth involved in liturgy.

Music - choirs, music programs, innovative music offerings.

Outreach - programs to support and interact with the extended community. We have feeding programs, clothing closets for adults and children, thrift shops, soup kitchens, food pantries. Also advocacy efforts like Rural and Migrant Ministries, Network of Spiritual Progressives, gay/lesbian ministries including efforts with young people, and prison ministries. We have people tutoring children in inner city schools and rural school districts, churches offering radical hospitality through the RAIHN program and joint efforts with other faith communities including the Amish community in the Southern Tier.

Community Building - parish suppers, coffee hour, bible studies, and other activities that allow parishioners to intermingle and develop community. Coffee houses, rummage sales, antique shows, teas, spaghetti dinners, chicken barbecues, and various festivals take place all around the diocese.

Inter-parish Relations - cooperation between different parishes in outreach ministries, worship, and social events. Parishes cooperate with other Episcopal congregations and also ecumenically with other churches in their cities, towns and villages.


'We want to be a welcoming community.'

'We give away a lot-without worrying what\'s in the bank.'

'We\'re discovering we need more intergenerational relationships in worship, fellowship, and music.'

'Congregations have common ministries. There are synergies to be found.'

We ask parishioners to suggest ways in which the Diocese can support their passions. Some common themes here are:

Training - adult education, training programs, guidance in leadership, finance, technology, communication/public relations techniques, and community building would be helpful.

Diocesan Resources - a desire to see the diocesan staff out in the congregations, and to draw on diocesan expertise and resources for congregational development and enrichment.

Money - Diocesan funding or assistance in seeking out funding for ministries. Seminars on writing grant proposals and fundraising have been suggested. Diocesan mission grants and the redevelopment/loan program are appreciated and more of this kind of financial support is always welcome.

Communication - The listserve is good, the website is definitely improving. Want to increase ease of communication among parishes and between parishes and diocese. Different forms of communication are helpful to reach broadest audience.

Collaboration and Cooperation - an eagerness to work with other congregations on joint ministry efforts is a common theme at these sessions. Also, a desire to work together to do youth events, especially to coordinate diocesan wide youth events and district wide events is another common theme.

'Is there a go-to person for youth?'

'Get the singers together from all churches, maybe two times a year, for an all-Diocese choir.'

'We have an interest in knowing what others are doing and finding a way to connect across parishes.'