Episcopal Relief & Development Celebrates 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World at General Convention

June 17, 2015Episcopal Relief & Development Web Statement

Episcopal Relief & Development joins the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in celebrating 75 years of healing a hurting world, with a special 75th anniversary reception and a booth featuring the organization’s traveling photo exhibition.

Thanking the Church for 75 years of generous support, Episcopal Relief & Development will host a special reception on June 27 for all Episcopalians and agency supporters who will be in Salt Lake City during General Convention.  The event will be held at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek from 6:30-8:00 p.m., with food and music from a live 1940s-style jazz band.  Attendees are encouraged to indicate their plans at episcopalrelief.org/rsvp.

“I look forward to welcoming Episcopal Relief & Development’s community of supporters and friends to this special ‘thank you’ celebration at General Convention, and I am particularly honored that so many of our partners from around the world will be present,” said Rob Radtke, the organization’s President.  “Episcopal Relief & Development had its roots in General Convention 75 years ago, and owes its continued growth to the commitment of bishops and deputies who believe so strongly in its mission of healing a hurting world.”

Episcopal Relief & Development’s booth presence in the General Convention exhibit hall centers on an installation of the organization’s traveling photo exhibition, featuring 33 iconic images from programs worldwide.  An e-docent app (downloadable for iPhone and Android) gives insight into the agency’s history and current programs, with voices of Episcopal Relief & Development staff members and friends including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

“Episcopal Relief & Development provides important tools to help Episcopalians achieve the promise we make in our Baptismal Covenant, ‘to seek and serve Christ in all persons… with God’s help,’” said Sean McConnell, the organization’s Director of Engagement.  “The Photo Exhibition helps us glimpse the Christ in the people we serve now in almost 40 countries, as well as across the past 75 years of responding to human need and supporting community transformation around the world.”

Episcopal Relief & Development’s booth, number 501, is located immediately to the left upon entry to the exhibit hall.  Convention attendees are encouraged to stop by for free samples of Fair Trade coffee and chocolate products from the organization’s new partner, Equal Exchange.  Three coffee blends and three premium chocolates will be offered on a rotating basis while the exhibit hall is open, from June 23 through July 1.

Visitors to the booth will also have the opportunity to try out The Episcopal Asset Map, a joint project of Episcopal Relief & Development and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society that aims to inventory and display the ministry capacity of The Episcopal Church.  Episcopal churches, schools and institutions appear as pins on a web-based mapping platform, with searchable grassroots-populated information about each location.  Map users can explore their home diocese and search for their church, and even submit new or updated information through the online survey form.

“The Episcopal Asset Map has incredible potential as a tool for churches to give and receive inspiration for new and collaborative ministries, which is at the heart of so many discussions right now about what it means to be the Church in 2015,” said Katie Mears, Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program.  “The Asset Map has clear utility for disaster preparedness and response planning, but I think its true power lies in being able to show how churches are forming and serving communities in ways that respond to local needs, and then sharing that expertise.”

General information about Episcopal Relief & Development and the 75th Anniversary Celebration will be available at the booth, as well as fun and educational giveaways and opportunities to engage with agency staff.  Daily booth themes correspond to the 75th Anniversary Celebration campaign areas, which encompass clean water, hunger alleviation, early childhood development and economic empowerment.  Episcopal Relief & Development will be active on social media throughout General Convention, and all Episcopalians and friends are invited to join the conversation using the hashtag #AllHands75.

“Episcopal Relief & Development’s presence at General Convention, both in person and virtually, is about celebrating and strengthening community,” said Sean McConnell, Director of Engagement.  “We want to say thank you, and we want to learn how we can continue to help people grow in faith and in connectedness with each other.”

Episcopal Relief & Development works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs that utilize local resources and expertise. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, Episcopal Relief & Development works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities rebuild after disasters and develop long-term strategies to create a thriving future. In 2014-15, the organization joins Episcopalians and friends in celebrating 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World.