The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) and the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) have formed a unique partnership that will enable ECF to assist and empower UBE to develop financial, informational, and leadership resources for its mission and ministry.
"This collaboration offers a chance for us to work on the mission of reconciliation and interdependence in the church," said the Rev. Nelson Pinder, president of UBE, at a June 15 reception in Columbus, sponsored by the church's Office of Black Ministries. "It also allows us the opportunity to deal with issues that are multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual."
The partnership is reciprocal in that UBE would then assist ECF in connecting with multicultural Episcopal congregations and in developing leadership resource tools.
"UBE brings a long standing connection to the people in the pews and empowering them for mission," said Donald V. Romanik, foundation president. "ECF brings knowledge of fundraising, developing resources and partnering. It's a wonderful partnership to move forward."
The Rev. Angela Ifill, Office of Black Ministries missioner, said this is "a unique opportunity" for both organizations and for her office to "enhance powerful leadership and mission at the congregational level."
John E. Harris Jr., UBE treasurer, remarked that while UBE "will maintain our focus on our core mission; this partnership creates opportunities for re-visioning the work of UBE and building relationships with the wider church. We are very excited."
UBE encourages the involvement of Black people in the life of the Episcopal Church — mission, stewardship, evangelism, education, liberation, leadership, governance, and politics. Its goal is to eradicate racism within the church.
An independent, lay-led organization, ECF strives to be an innovative force for excellence in leadership formation and resource development in service to God's mission. It offers a full spectrum of fundraising services to Episcopal congregations, dioceses and other organizations, as well as reaching out through parish-focused studies and publications, teaching and networking partnerships. ECF empowers lay and ordained Episcopal leaders with the resources they need to grow their ministries.
"This is an exciting opportunity for two organizations with rich histories to combine resources and engage in transformational ministry in the Episcopal Church," said Romanik.