[ECF] The Episcopal Church Foundation today announced that Fresh Start, a popular program for clergy and congregations in transition, has become part of ECF on July 1. ECF has been a partner in Fresh Start since the program’s inception in 2000.
“For nearly twelve years, Fresh Start has helped clergy and congregations in transition make the most of their opportunities for self-reflection and transformation,” said Donald Romanik, president of ECF. “At ECF, we are committed to strengthening the leadership of Episcopal congregations and dioceses. Fresh Start is a great fit, and we’re proud to make it ours.”
CREDO, a wellness program of the Church Pension Group that has housed Fresh Start since 2007, has worked with ECF since late 2011 to ensure a smooth transition.
“Fresh Start is currently running in more than half the dioceses across the Church,” said Miguel Escobar, program director for leadership resources at ECF. “As Fresh Start transitions to ECF, dioceses that are committed to the program will continue to have access to its outstanding curriculum, resources and training opportunities.”
ECF also intends to make Fresh Start available to a wider audience, including lay and clergy congregational leaders.
“It’s our aim to have even more people across the Episcopal Church use Fresh Start through the ECF Vital Practices website and new online training and resources. We are also exploring innovative pilot projects to offer Fresh Start in new ways,” said Escobar, “and we look forward to working with Lynn Schmissrauter and Sandy Kolb, who have been an integral part of the Fresh Start team since 2007, as we develop the program at ECF.”
Leaders from dioceses and congregations interested in learning more about Fresh Start are invited to talk with Escobar at 212-716-6283 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. ECF expects to begin offering Fresh Start resources online in the fall of 2012.