Tending Our Soil: Congregations and Coaches Selected for Year Three

by | May 25, 2023

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

We are pleased to announce the 5 congregations that have accepted the invitation to join the third and final cohort of the diocese’s Tending Our Soil Thriving Congregations Initiative.

    • Christ Church, Chaptico
    • Grace Church, Georgetown
    • All Souls, DC
    • St. Philip’s, Laurel
    • St. Luke’s, DC

Made possible by a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Tending Our Soil is a three-year commitment that leads congregations through a process of deep reflection, strategic goal setting, and experimentation. Congregations clarify their mission and vision, listen to where the Holy Spirit is calling them, and grow in their understanding of how best to contribute to the flourishing of their communities and the world.

As with the first two classes in the Tending Our Soil initiative, coaches will accompany the final class on their journey of congregational revitalization. The coaching process provides space for each parish team to identify learnings, expand possibilities, name action items, experiment, gain support, and build accountability. We are pleased to announce that Anne Tomkinson and Lanita Whitehurst have accepted the invitation to serve as coaches for the Tending Our Soil initiative.

We invite you to pray for the congregations and coaches of the Class of 2023.

If you have questions about Tending Our Soil, contact the Rev. Emily Snowden, Missioner for Church Revitalization


The Coaches

Anne Tomkinson, Tending Our Soil Coach, Class of 2023
Anne Tomkinson is a certified coach with nearly 20 years in People Operations with a focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism. Her work includes transforming organizational culture, leadership coaching, public speaking, and designing, implementing, and facilitating learning for organizations, boards and leadership teams to bring an equity lens to systems and processes. Anne believes that when individuals experience liberation, organizations flourish.
Lanita Whitehurst, Tending Our Soil Coach, Class of 2023
Lanita Whitehurst has lived in downtown Silver Spring with her family since 2001. She and her family have been members of Grace Episcopal Church since 2006. Lanita has worked for more than 20 years in the nonprofit sector in a variety of capacities including project manager, community organizer, facilitator, coach, and fundraiser. Currently, she serves as a Senior Organizer for IMPACT Silver Spring, a local organization whose mission is promoting racial and economic equity and justice in Montgomery County. At Grace Episcopal Church, she served several years as a Sunday School teacher and Acolyte Adviser; and is an active member of Wade in the Water, Grace’s racial justice ministry. Lanita holds a B.A. in English from North Carolina State University and has completed 60 hours of coach-approach training approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF).