The media release which announces the launch of RenewalWorks:
Forward Movement is pleased to announce the creation of RenewalWorks, a major initiative to revitalize Episcopal congregations and individual spiritual lives. Based on work that has taken place over the last ten years, RenewalWorks measures spiritual vitality in congregations and then helps local churches map a path to increase spiritual depth.
The Rev. Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement, said, “Our historic mission is to reinvigorate the life of the church, and I cannot imagine a better way to do that than to encourage congregations to go deeper in spiritual engagement.” Gunn added, “Across The Episcopal Church, we see that the congregations that are thriving are places where discipleship is central. RenewalWorks has the capacity to change lives, grow churches, and reverse the decline in numbers in The Episcopal Church.”
Starting July1, the RenewalWorks staff will be led by the Rev. Jay Sidebotham, who is celebrating the conclusion of a successful ministry as rector of Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest, IL. Sidebotham said, “I’m excited to begin this work, as we seek growth in our churches by focusing on the spiritual growth of the members of those congregations. It’s all about deeper relationships: with God, neighbor, self and the world.” Sidebotham previously served St. Bart’s, New York City; St. Columba’s, Washington, DC; St. Luke’s, Durham, NC; and St. Martin’s, Providence, RI. He is well known for his cartoons about church life and his animation work on the television cartoon Schoolhouse Rock!