From Dream to Reality — The Episcopal Parish Network
The concept of creating a national consortium of endowed Episcopal parishes to share dreams for the Church emerged in 1980 at the College of Preachers, Washington Cathedral. The founding clergy, including the Rev. Roger White, the Rev. Bob Brown, and the Very Rev. Roger Gray, gathered shortly thereafter at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, for a pre-organization meeting. The Rev. Loren Mead served as the consultant to help the group envision and articulate aspirations for the future of the consortium.
The Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) was incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) in the state of Indiana in 1985. Again, Loren Mead led the first membership meeting of CEEP held at the House of the Redeemer, New York City, with the Most Rev. Ed Browning present. Highlighting the first gathering was an “altar call” for attendees to come forward and make financial commitments to the organization. The Rev. Robert MacGill was named the first Executive Director.
The name of the organization has evolved over the years to better reflect the broadening focus of its original mission to serve and empower leadership in parishes. First, the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes was shortened to the CEEP Network. And in 2022, the name became Episcopal Parish Network (EPN) honoring the past, present, and future of the association.
- Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis
- Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati
- Christ Church, Short Hills, NJ
- Trinity Church, Indianpolis
- St. Andrew's, Kansas City, MO
- St. Michael and St. George, St Louis
- St. Luke's, Germantown, PA
- St. Paul's, Indianapolis, IN
- St. Peter's, Morristown, NJ
- Trinity Wall Street, New York City
The First of Many Annual Conferences
The first EPN Annual Conference was held in 1986 at the College of Preachers, Washington Cathedral. Ten members attended along with 30 of their guests. The group elected the Rev. David Hegg its first board president. Lilly Endowment Inc. provided a grant of $11,000 to further support the emerging organization.
Since its first Annual Conference, EPN has hosted keynote speakers, workshops, and peer gatherings to discuss and discern the major social, financial, and theological issues facing its growing number of member parishes. Conference themes have ranged from “Transformative Leadership” in 1982 to “Faith. Power. Possibility” in 2017. And keynote speakers have included some of the most influential thought leaders in the Church including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. Parker Palmer, former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, Dr. Brene Brown, and the Most Rev. Michael Curry, among many others.
The Episcopal Parish Network Today
Shifting from a conference-focused organization to an active network of over 200 Episcopal institutions, EPN today works to strengthen leaders for a changed and changing Church. Through peer-to-peer online education, the largest annual conference in the Episcopal Church, thought leadership initiatives, and colleague groups, EPN brings clergy and lay leaders together across multiple platforms to imagine and to build parish ministry responsive to God’s call.
The Episcopal Parish Network’s Board Presidents
- The Rev. David Hegg (1986)
- The Rev. James B. Lemler (1987)
- The Rev. Dennis O’Prey (1993)
- Dr. Scott Evenback (1996)
- Dr. Charles Kiblinger (1999)
- Ms. Katherine Tyler Scott (2002)
- The Rev. Canon James G. Callaway (2004)
- Ms. Pamela Wesley Gomez (2007)
- The Very Rev. James A. Diamond (2010)
- The Rev. Paul Collins (2011)
- Ms. Cary Gray Kelly (2012)
- The Rev. Donald Fishburne (2013)
- Mr. David Posteraro, Esq. (2014)
- The Rev. Louanne Loch (2015)
- The Rev. Luke Back (2016)
- The Rev. Matt Heyd (2018)
- Ms. Anne Rudacille Schmidt (2019)
- The Rev. Michael Sullivan (2022)
- Rev. Robert MacGill (1985)
- Ms. Nancy Deppen (1987)
- Ms. Marion Faldet (Interim - 1998)
- Ms. Cynthia Cannon (1999)
- Mr. Joe Swimmer (2017 – Present)