The Very Rev. Tony Pompa, recently retired dean of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, PA, is joining the Episcopal Preaching Foundation (EPF) as vice chairman for advancement and administration.
“Tony’s appointment reflects our ongoing strategy to broaden the reach of the foundation in terms of our administration, programs and our fundraising,” said A. Gary Shilling, the foundation’s chairman and founder. “This will enhance the financial and administrative effectiveness on our team, and help the foundation play an increasingly significant role in shaping new generations of preachers in the Episcopal Church.”
The dean and rector of the Bethlehem cathedral for 14 years, Pompa has served in a variety of diocesan and parish ministries since 1991. In Bethlehem, Dean Pompa worked with leaders to create adaptive strategies for mission and align resources to enhance missional success. The fruit of this work included being part of a successful diocesan campaign that raised $6 million to build schools and a theological college in its partner diocese of Kajo Keji in South Sudan. Soon after that campaign ended and during the 2008-9 recession, cathedral members raised $2.5 million for restoration work at the cathedral and expansion of some of its ministries supported by technology and communications.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the community Pompa led raised $3.2 million for revisions to its campus to better engage the surrounding neighborhood and to provide immediate relief to those with pandemic-related housing and food insecurities, and ensuring Christ inspired mission for a next generation.
“I am thrilled to join in the inspiring and faithful work of The Episcopal Preaching Foundation. EPF has for many years earned a reputation as the go-to resource for preaching excellence among the priests, deacons, postulants, and most recently lay preachers in our Church and is enjoying dynamic growth in its mission to a changing Church. I am humbled and excited to support the foundation’s growth and invite the passionate support and participation of those desiring to be part of EPF’s vital mission to make Christ known through gifted and effective preachers.
“Great preaching makes Christ known. Knowing Jesus, changes people’s lives and the world we live in. I look forward to inviting all to invest their time, talent and treasure to help us in our mission and to help EPF lead the way in the changing Ministry context that is the Episcopal Church”, Pompa said.
He added that he aims to lead the development of an intentional strategy for EPF’s long term missional goals and alignment of financial resources. This work will provide both vision and resource, Pompa said, and will encourage, inspire, and equip “creative, imaginative, and excellent preachers and preaching” fulfilling the mission of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation.
The EPF strongly believes in the importance of preaching in energizing and building church membership and attendance in today’s challenging environment, as recently documented by Gallup and the Pew Research Center.
The Foundation was founded in 1987 and since then, more than 1,800 seminarians have passed through its Preaching Excellence Program (“PEP”), including a number of bishops and one presiding bishop. The EPF also aids practicing parish clergy through the annual conference (“PEP-II”) and diocesan conferences. EPF’s programs also now reach deacons, lay leaders and local formation programs.