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Episcopal Community Services

Building Parish and Community Partnerships

Through Episcopal Community Services (ECS) parishes apply for and receive financial support to create partnerships that strengthen communities, give in spiritual fidelity to God, and serve the world as the very body of Jesus.

The Bishop's Annual Appeal & Episcopal Community Services

Through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal communicants and congregations of the Diocese of Ohio support Episcopal Community Services (ECS). This annual fundraising effort provides essential resources for ECS to help parishes fund community ministries. Every year monies raised through the Appeal provide: formational positions for recently ordained clergy; youth and adult mission work in this diocese and beyond; diocesan internships for high school and college students; and other initiatives that build up the vitality for our church. These are ministries in which we share and that we make possible through our combined gifts and ministries.

Funding Criteria

  • Encourage education and advocacy
  • Strong Episcopal Church participation and support
  • Volunteerism: Important to engage Episcopal volunteers from our congregations
  •  Our funds for 2022 grants will be limited, and therefore we will be giving priority to parish programs over coummity programs

Episcopal Church Services and Church Home Grant Request Form Submission deadline, September 30.

Episcopal Community Services (ECS)

Mission Statement: The Episcopal Community Services builds Episcopal identity, collaboration and community in northern Ohio through strategic grant-making on behalf of the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio.

ECS Objectives

  • To serve those in critical need through Episcopal parish programming, parishioners, and collaborative community services;
  • To encourage liberation of those in need through education and through advocating for change in systems that create need;
  • To adhere to our theological mandate to "do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God." Micah 6:8

How We Live Our Mission

  • Through the collection and organization of programmatic and financial resources for the journey, in particular conducting an annual campaign;
  • Through grant distributions to Episcopal congregations and collaborative community initiatives that serve the needs of the community;
  • Through support to Episcopal congregations and collaborative community initiatives that educate and advocate for systemic change, justice, and liberation;
  • Through strategic grant making initiatives that increase Episcopal presence, expand Episcopal witness, and promote the reconciling love of God in the lives of the needy and oppressed in our community.

Episcopal Community Services Development Council

Members of the Development Council:

Ms. Becky Everett, St. Christopher by-the-River, Gates Mills
Ms. Lindsay Graves, Christ Church, Oberlin
Mr. Tucker Handley, St. Peter's, Lakewood
Ms. Catherine Heck, St. Andrew's, Elyria
Ms. Lois Jackson, St. Andrew's, Cleveland
Ms. Celeste McKissick, Church of the Redeemer, Lorain
Mr. Todd Rosenberg, St. Paul's, Akron
Ms. Annie Stricklin, Trinity, Findlay
Ms. Linda Vasconi, St. John's, Youngstown
The Rev. Bryan Gillooly, Christ Church, Shaker Heights
The Rev. Daniel Hinde, Diocese of Ohio
The Rev. Noah Sutterisch, All Saints, Parma


The current tasks of the members of the ECS Development Council are as follows:

  • Meet four times each year at Trinity Commons. Members should make every attempt to attend the four regular meetings per year.
  • Review grants in subcommittees during scheduled phone conferences, and present the recommendations of each grant subcommittee to the ECS Development Council for approval at a regular meeting. Appendix 1 describes this process in further detail.
  • Grant the funds to agencies across the Diocese of Ohio in order to promote mission and outreach among parishes.
  • Make at least 1 site visit per year, and share a written report of each visit with the full committee. Appendix 2 describes this process in more detail.
  • Advocate for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.
  • Contribute to ECS financially through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal as able.

Participate in one or more of the following:

  1. Bishop’s Annual Appeal Advisory Committee meets with Sue Leishman and/or Lael Carter when any funding questions arise. This team may also assist in the promotion of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.
  2. Governance/Continuity Team will answer questions, offer guidance to new members, provide transition planning and an exit plan for those who leave their term of office, and help to assemble the list of grants up for review in a given year.
  3. ECS Review Committee reviews the grant inquiry forms to determine if additional information is needed, whether a full proposal may be sent (Grant Application), or whether the grant applicant should be informed that the ECS is not able to consider their request at this time.
  4. Church Home Grant Review Team, composed of ECS Development Council members, reviews these grants on a two-cycle system.
  5. Speakers will speak to parishes and agencies when requested, or advise and provide materials when other ECS Development Council members are asked to speak. A list of speakers other than members of the ECS committee will be included to the list.
  6. Site Visit Coordinator(s) will coordinate the site visit process.
  7. Episcopal Identity Team will function as a liaison to the Bishop to develop strategies to promote Episcopal identity through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal and ECS activities.