After fifty years of service to the poor in Minnesota, Episcopal Community Services (ECS) is ceasing operations as of January 1, 2013. On that day ECS closes one chapter of its history to enter into a new manner of delivering its mission. The mission of ECS has always been “to help the Episcopal Church in Minnesota more effectively meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable in Minnesota.” Instead of operating social services that mission will now be carried out by a new Missioner for Community Engagement on the staff of Bishop Brian Prior of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. You can follow the development of this new manner of mission by going to the website for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, www.episcopalmn.org.
The history of the first fifty years of Episcopal Community Services will not be forgotten. Former ECS board member Verne Pickering is in the process of writing ECS’ Golden History with the hope of completing it by next fall. There is a great story to tell from ECS’ initial inspiration in the mind and heart of Bishop Philip McNairy through its beginnings under the leadership of the Rev. George LeMoine through its heyday when Cyril Murphy was running one of best residential treatment centers in Minnesota for troubled youth at the Archdeacon Gilfillan Center in Bemidji Minnesota to these last years when new and effective programs supported poor and homeless Minnesotans gain capacity for self-sufficiency. However, it became clear this year that ECS’ present manner of delivering its mission was financially unsustainable. Fortunately, the ECS Board of Directors made a courageous decision in August 2012 to change the manner by which ECS’ mission would be delivered in the future. With that decision enough resources have been preserved to support the new Missioner for Community Engagement on the staff of the Episcopal Church of Minnesota for years to come.
There is more good news. Almost all of Episcopal Community Services’ present programs have been transferred to new agencies. Below is a listing of how you can contact those programs at there new agencies.
Episcopal Community Services wishes to thank all those individuals, households, congregations, foundations, businesses, and branches of government that have supported its work over all these years. Though the closing of the present chapter of the work of ECS has been challenging, we look forward with gratitude and hope for the new manner by which the mission of ECS will live and serve the church, our communities, and the State of Minnesota through its efforts to meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable in Minnesota.