The Tending Our Soil thriving congregations initiative seeks to cultivate the changed soil of our congregations so that God’s love might grow in our time and place.

The videos below tell the stories of three of our Tending Our Soil congregations and how the initiative has made a difference in their communities.

Many resources for the Tending Our Soil initiative are available for every congregation. You can find these resources here.

Learn About the Initiative


The Five Key Practices

Accompanied by trained coaches, congregational leaders will be guided by five key practices of

  • listening to God, each other, and your neighbors.
  • reconnecting with core spiritual practices, theological commitments, and Episcopal identity
  • discerning what God is up to and our call to join God on mission
  • cultivating new and refreshed ministries and equipping leaders
  • celebrating new learnings and successes

Through the process, congregations will build capacities for adaptive leadership through action and reflection for lasting impact.

Cultivate Relationships + Build Skills + Launch Ministries

Leaders, lay and ordained, will cultivate relationships marked by vulnerability, honesty, accountability, and partnership as they build skills and capacities to adapt to changing contexts. Congregations will learn together about themselves, their neighborhoods, and God’s will for them in this time and place as they experiment with innovative ways to fulfill a shared  mission to “engage in a changing world with an enduring faith in Jesus Christ so that more people may know God’s love.”

Together, we will strengthen the culture of learning, creativity, and partnership in the Diocese and be transformed to thrive for years to come.

The Three Years

Year 1 : Identity

Who are we?
How are we doing?
Who are our neighbors?

Year 2: Equip and Plan

Discern mission and vision
Identify strategic goals
Learn+ experiment

Year 3: Launch and Asses

Launch new ministries
Reassess and recalibrate
Move towards sustainability

Participating Congregations

Class of 2021
Ascension, Silver Spring
Christ Church, La Plata/Wayside
Christ Church+Washington Parish
Good Shepherd, Silver Spring
St. Dunstan’s, Bethesda
St. John’s, Beltsville
St. John’s, Olney
St. Matthews, Hyattsville
St. Nicholas, Darnestown
St. Paul’s, K St.
St. Timothy’s, DC
Transfiguration, Silver Spring

Class of 2022
Ascension, Gaithersburg
Christ Church, Durham
Epiphany, Forestville
Grace, Silver Spring
Our Saviour, Hillandale
St. Anne’s, Damascus
St. Luke’s, Brighton
St. Mark’s, Fairland
St. Monica and St. James, DC

Class of 2023
All Souls, DC
Christ Church, Chaptico
Grace, Georgetown
St. Luke’s, DC
St. Philip’s, Laurel