Congregational Vitality

Congregational Vitality

Every Parish Thriving

Lead Your Congregation in Healthy and Sustainable Growth

A healthy parish is one where people flourish in their faith, leaders are healthy and dedicated, and the whole congregation shares a true passion for spreading the gospel.

We are committed to cultivating congregational vitality in our parishes and Christian communities, and offer support and tools that will help ensure all parishes thrive for the next 100 years. ​We provide consulting, coaching, tools, and programs to help your parish grow so you can create more opportunities for God to work through your congregation.

Congregational Vitality

Collaborate on a Path to Vitality Designed for your Parish

Thriving looks different in every parish. We believe that congregational revitalization begins with pastoring, improving systems, and creating a dynamic ministry and mission. We have consultants with expertise in conflict transformation, community engagement, and governance/administration. We’ll work with you to identify where your parish is finding success and where to strengthen it for the future.

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Congregational Vitality

Access Tools and Resources for Your Church

Discover practical ways to keep your congregation engaged in worship, moving towards active discipleship, and focused on spiritual growth. Get diocesan support from our partners and departments.

Find Resources
Congregational Vitality

Get Training for Both Clergy and Lay Leaders

Encourage education, confidence, and self-care for those who lead your congregation. Our Leadership Development programs, tools, and coaching are designed to help every leader grow.

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Congregational Vitality

Reach More People in Your Community

Take steps to make a lasting impact inside and outside your parish’s walls by hosting events, experimenting with new ideas, and looking toward the future.

Vitality Offerings for Your Parish

Congregational Consulting

Individual, customized coaching for your parish to develop a Mission Action Plan.

›› Schedule a Consultation

Leadership Development

Every leader needs support to thrive. Our programs, tools, and coaching are designed to help your leaders keep doing what they’re called to do as leaders in your parish and our state.

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Congregational Vitality Workshops

We offer workshops three times a year to share best practices and exciting new things the Lord is doing in our parishes. The content is always changing, so we hope you will attend multiple conferences.

Follow the weekly diocesan newsletter for updates, or to make sure you don’t miss the next conference.

Congregational Vitality Email Newsletter

Sign up for a weekly email from Rev. Cn. Geoff Evans and others about best practices and ideas for your congregation.

›› Sign up

Stewardship Support and Resources

We believe that God is a God of abundance without limit. All that we are and all that we have in this life is God’s extraordinary gift and blessing. In response, all Christians are called to give generously as God gives.

The Episcopal Network for Stewardship, or TENS, offers a variety of tools for your annual stewardship campaign, and each church in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama is

provided a free membership. TENS offers webinars, a resource library, and complete annual pledge campaigns that you can use in your parish.

To gain access to these tools or learn more about these resources, contact our Director of Mission Funding, Claire Cotten.

Diocesan Support


We have several departments composed of individuals experienced in business, finance, and architecture. We also have a department composed of clergy and lay persons who serve as a resource for liturgy and music questions.

Providing a second set of eyes to review major plans for renovation or construction in the parishes, our department reviews architectural plans offering comment and insight intended to ensure that plans are sound, cost-effective, and in keeping with the best of church architecture.

Download a copy of the Architectural Process & Standard for Parish Construction Projects

Contact Dara Miller, Director of Finance and Administration

Providing guidance to parishes in the area of finance, investments, and management, our department is composed of persons experienced in business and faithful in their commitment to the Church. Our mission is to ensure faithful, lawful, and smart management of diocesan funds and personnel.

Contact Dara Miller, Director of Finance and Administration

Our department is composed of church musicians, clergy, and lay persons whose mission is to provide support and resources for those involved in worship ministry. One of the yearly events this group plans is the closing worship service for diocesan convention in conjunction with the host parish(es) and any other diocesan worship events when needed.

Contact Rev. Thomas Joyner

Our mission is to offer consultation services, provide yearly educational workshops with diocesan staff and department members, and share the diocesan TENS (The Episcopal Network for Stewardship) membership privileges and resources with all parishes.

Contact Claire Cotten, Director of Mission Funding

The Department of Architecture
The Department of Finance
The Department of Liturgy & Music
The Department of Mission Funding

Supportive Ministries

Doing God’s work in the world.

Our mission is to support outreach ministries at home and abroad by providing resources and opportunities for individuals and parishes. We provide support for individuals and churches for development of these ministries through annual grants, and by developing relationships and opportunities through our companion relationships with other dioceses.

Contact Claire Cotten, Director of Mission Funding

Learning to be good stewards of God’s Creation.

Our mission is to educate the people of our diocese, to advocate for wise and just environmental policy, and to provide service opportunities.

Contact Claire Cotten, Director of Mission Funding

Providing opportunities for spiritual development.

Our commission consists of lay and ordained persons who strive to provide opportunities for spiritual growth by offering retreats, speakers, and resources. Our mission is to connect churches and individuals with resources and spiritual practices to deepen spiritual relationships with God and raise awareness of God’s activity and love in our lives.

Contact Natalie Isom Sansom

Responding to communities in need.

Our mission is to provide support to communities affected by disasters. We provide financial support, material resources, and provide opportunities for service.

Another way to support communities around the world in need after a disaster is Episcopal Relief & Development (ER&D), which brings together the generosity of Episcopalians and others with the needs of the world.

Mission & Outreach:
Stewardship of Creation:
Disaster Recovery:

Our Partners

Episcopal Church Women (ECW): Empowering, motivating and nurturing the women in the Episcopal Church in Alabama.

The life of Episcopal Church Women begins in local congregations and continues at the diocesan, provincial and national levels. Each group has its own unique characteristics which enable the mission and ministry of women.

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Acknowledging the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Order of the Daughters of the King® was founded in 1885 by Margaret J. Franklin to promote our Anglican tradition through prayer, service, and evangelism. Members undertake a Rule of Life, incorporating the Rule of Prayer and the Rule of Service, and reaffirm the promises made at Baptism and Confirmation.

Contact Miki Heaton to learn more 

Bringing men and boys to Christ.

The Brotherhood seeks to inspire, empower, and equip men and boys to fulfill the Great Commission, to support dioceses and congregations in their efforts to develop and expand ministry to men, and to mentor and raise up the next generation of young men throughout the Episcopal Church.

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Growing in faith through community.

Cursillo begins with a three–day weekend at Camp McDowell, where lay people and clergy share their experiences and perspectives on a variety of topics related to the love of God, the Christian life, and Christian community. Our community extends the weekend experience by working together to persevere in carrying out our Baptismal vows.

Learn More

Episcopal Church Women (ECW)
The Order of the
Daughters of the King (DOK)
Brotherhood of St. Andrews

Funding Sources for Parishes and Individuals

  • Grants
    Parish-Based Outreach Grants
    The Diocesan Department of Mission and Outreach offers parish-based outreach grants which open in the spring and close in the summer. Funds must be used for a new outreach ministry, a new component of an existing ministry, or a new cost associated with an existing ministry.


    The Episcopal Church Grants
    The Episcopal Church gives thanks that it is able to allocate nearly $10 million each year in grants and scholarships from budgetary lines and from trust funds it manages. Grants are available for a range of projects including evangelism, care of creation, education, and more. For more information about these grants, contact Claire Cotten, Director of Mission Funding.
  • Scholarships
    ECW Scholarship Fund
    For Episcopalians with financial need who are seeking higher education. Over the last decade or more, the ECW has awarded over $100,000 in college scholarships to students in the Diocese of Alabama. Learn more


    ECW Women at the Well Scholarship
    The Women at the Well Scholarship is available to women, both lay and clergy, seeking refreshment through a spiritual or religious program or lecture. Learn more


    Leslie Manning Scholarship
    For former campers and staff at Sawyerville who live in Hale County, AL and who are seeking higher education. Learn more


    Robert Emmet Gribbin, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund
    For children of either active or retired clergy who are attending the University of Alabama. Rev. Gribbin was the chaplain at Canterbury Episcopal Church at the University of Alabama from 1953-1973. Contact Claire Cotten, Director of Mission Funding for more information


Your Congregational Vitality Leaders

Congregational Vitality

The Rev. Geoff Evans, Canon to the Ordinary

Geoff was born in Huntsville and was baptized at the age of eight at Church of the Nativity during the Easter Vigil. In college, he attended and was sponsored to seminary by St. Andrew’s in Birmingham. After attending Virginia Seminary, he served as associate clergy at Saint Mary’s on the Highland’s before serving as rector at Holy Trinity in Auburn. Geoff is married to Emily, who serves as a children’s minister at Saint Mary’s on the Highland’s, and is father to Lucy and Parker. Geoff’s passion is helping churches grow. Contact Geoff at

Congregational Vitality

Rev. Kelley Hudlow, Canon for Vocations and Community Engagement

In her role, Kelley works with leaders (lay and ordained) and with those in discernment and formation for ordained ministry. She was ordained a priest in November 2020 and has served churches in Birmingham, Heflin, and Roanoke. Kelley leads Leading in Hope, the Lay Preaching Course, and the Alabama Integrative Ministry School (AIMS), and helps shape continuing education offerings for clergy in Alabama. She is also available to lead adaptive leadership training for vestries and lay leaders. Kelley lives in Birmingham. Contact Kelley at

Congregational Vitality

Claire Cotten, Director of Mission Funding

Claire is a lifelong Episcopalian raised in the Diocese of Alabama. After graduating from Sewanee, Claire joined the Episcopal Service Corps in New Orleans. She then returned to Alabama and served on the year-round staff of Sawyerville for seven years. In her current role, Claire partners with parishes and ministries to support their stewardship efforts, and she coordinates Equipping the Saints, a transformative capital campaign for the diocese. Claire met her husband, Andrew, at Camp McDowell. They have two little girls, Laurel and Ella, and attend St. Stephen’s in Birmingham. Contact Claire at