A letter from the President: The Rev. Jeffrey Ross

Dear friends,

As the incoming President of NECA, I wanted to share an update on the status of our organization. As you may know, over the last year the board has been exploring the future of NECA. We are conscious of the great achievements of our organization in the past and have been seeking ways to stay relevant in the future. We acknowledge that the 21st Century holds both new opportunities and challenges for ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church. Specifically, we have noted a significant rise in new possibilities of resources online as well as the financial challenges that confront many of our congregations.

In light of the realities of this contemporary context, in the last year we took the following steps:

1) Updated our website-establishing a new portal for resources to clergy which we will be expanding in 2014.

2) Improving communications: migrating away for using US Mail and increased utilization of electronic communications, (i.e. establishing a presence on Facebook)

3) Changed our name from NNECA (National Network of Episcopal Clergy Associations) to NECA (Network of Episcopal Clergy Associations) in recognition that some clergy serve in dioceses without active associations while they are still interested in connecting with others.

4) Lowered our annual dues from $50 to $20 a year in recognition that more of our resources will be available online and decrease national conferences.

5) Continued our annual consultation with Church Pension Fund.

In May of 2014, we gathered as a board in Cape May, New Jersey to assess our progress and plan for phase 2. I am excited to share with you the following:

1) Expansion of the website to provide supportive conversations for clergy-our first topic thread will be for clergy serving in challenging cures. We hope to launch content beginning in September, 2014. In addition, our website will begin to provide a modicum of identity protection, insuring that only clergy can access and participate in “threaded” conversations and webinars. Website will change its name to www.episcopalclergy.org.

2) Recruiting new members to the board with relevant expertise to build and expand our future.

3) Convening a consultation between the officers of NECA and the diocesan clergy association Presidents on what we have done and pondering of next steps. (I look forward to contacting you soon!)

4) Developing a plan for expanding awareness and membership, utilizing upcoming events such as General Convention.

5) Exploration of new partnerships with other organizations such as the Episcopal Women’s Caucus.

I hope you are as excited about these plans as I am! Please know that I am available to speak with you anytime if you have additional ideas, would like to discuss this strategic plan or if you have any further questions. Please do keep us in your prayers as we continue to serve you.

Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Reverend Jeffrey Austin Ross
NECA President, 2014-2015