"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Wednesday, January 11, 2006 It's a Transition Stage
For the past two months as I was wrapping things up with ECM, stuff would come up for EGR and I would have to say about a lot of it "I'll get to that in January when I'm full-time."
Well, that day has come ... and man is there a lot to do!
The first and most obvious would seem to be setting up my office. I really hope it is in a transition phase right now -- because I really hope it doesn't stay in this state permanently! It's a hybrid of Rockwell House office/old home office -- only to make everything fit, I had to pack up a whole bunch of stuff into boxes and put it in the basement (much to Robin's chagrin when she was looking for a book of hers tonight) and haven't put all the new stuff away yet. But, that's OK ... it's in a transition phase.
My biggest job right now is fundraising. I'm excited because fundraising really is giving people a chance to do something with their money that is really going to make a difference in the world and in the church. The people who have given to us are really excited about EGR and excited about being a part of it. That said, if we don't get gifts, we close up shop. We've only got enough cash in the bank to cover about 6-8 weeks of expenses, and though we have more than that in pledges that total only covers about six months. Our budget is less than $200K a year (which is really small for an organization like ours), and I want to raise 3 years worth of operating pretty quickly so I don't have to spend all my time fundraising. That's big task one right now!
Next is the EGR website ... which is in pretty big need of updating/redesign. We've found a really good webdesigner and I just turned in a site plan that I hope isn't way too ambitious. We'll see. The target is having the basic framework of the new site up in three weeks. If that happens it will be fantastic.
Then there is General Convention -- that every three years gathering of all things Episcopal. EGR is going to have a huge presence there ... mostly because it is the one time that people from all over the church are gathered and are (almost literally) a captive audience. We've got a great group gathering to work on that, so it's exciting work ... but it's a big job.
Finally, there is mobilizing the board so that I'm not the only one doing the work. Great thing is that we've got a great board that is eager to roll up their sleeves. Had a great conversation today with Lallie Lloyd, who is the head of our Communications/Education/Advocacy committee and she's ready to roll and has already started mobilizing the troops. Last week a really cool younger priest from Lubbock, Texas (sorry, Katy, he doesn't know you) emailed me excited about EGR. He's got publications and web experience (AND he's a Mizzou grad!) so he's joining the C/E/A team, too.
Things are starting to fall together ... but it still seems really overwhelming. Just got back from six days in New York. Next week, it's 3 days in Atlanta meeting with board member Debbie Shew, a colleague of hers who is going to give us input (and maybe more) on logo/branding stuff, and hopefully the Bishop of Atlanta and some people who might want to write checks to us!
In the meantime, I'm still doing the stuff I really love. Looking at traveling back to Yale Divinity School in February to work with students on the MDGs. Setting up a time to help a woman in Alexandria, VA who is leading a congregational forum on the MDGs in a couple weeks. That kind of stuff.
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."