Stewardship of our Assets – Workshops on Business Methods

by | Aug 8, 2019

Kathleen Hall, Director of Human Resources and Administration, presents at Human Resources best practices

This summer, diocesan staff launched Stewardship of Our Assets, a new initiative intended to help raise awareness among our parish leaders of key business practices and operations via an introductory overview workshop. Over 90 parish leaders, representing 40 congregations, have participated in the three workshops held so far. We give thanks to St. Mathew’s/San Mateo, St. Columba’s, and Christ Church, Kensington for hosting and to all who attended. A workshop for parishes in Southern Maryland will take place at St. Paul’s, Waldorf, on Saturday, September 28 from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

These business methods workshops are designed as a primer for Church leaders with responsibilities for finance and administration to ensure their familiarity with requirements and best practices for the business side of Church Affairs. Four areas are covered: financial management (internal controls, financial reporting, and audits); information technology and cybersecurity; risk management; and human resources best practices.   

Each presentation provides an overview of core topics essential for careful stewardship of our assets and foundational to the ability to pursue our mission as parishes and as the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Sound management is a critical element for achieving the fruit envisioned by our developing strategic plan. 

A panel of experts presents on financial management

A secondary objective for the workshops is to provide an opportunity for leaders from different parishes to meet with others who routinely deal with the same issues. Our time together offers a forum both for asking questions of diocesan staff and peer to peer learning. We are grateful to those parishioners and administrators who served as panelists in the workshops offered to date, generously sharing their expertise. As we plan more opportunities to develop collaboration within the diocese, we will continue to seek out similar high level talent, experience, and wisdom. 

The materials from the Stewardship of our Assets workshops can be found on the EDOW website. These workshops are intended as an introductory overview and reflect the best practices of the moment. As requirements and best practices evolve, so will the material we cover. We will offer the introductory overview periodically throughout the year to insure new parish leaders have access to the latest information.  

The Stewardship of our Assets workshops are expressly intended to be an introduction to the four key areas listed above and, as such, cannot address fully all aspects of any of these topics. To address this second level of training, diocesan staff is planning a series of live webinars that will roll out over the course of the coming year. 

In the meantime, please be assured that diocesan staff is  available to assist parishes with challenges in any of these areas.

Please contact Don Crane, Chief Operating Officer, with your questions.