The beginning of ECSF

The driving force behind the development of ECSF was the fact that the Diocese of Southern Ohio prior to 1988 had two budgets – assessment (required) and parish pledge (voluntary). The funding of works of mercy, while usually initiated by resolutions at one or more annual conventions, beyond the day to day operation of the administration of the diocese was often pledged by congregations, but not fulfilled.

In 1988 the diocese passed a unified budget with the understanding that there would be an opportunity created for congregations and individuals to support works of mercy beyond the assessment apportionment. In 1991 that “unified budget” became the “Mission Share Budget” reflecting the concept that it was a congregation’s “share” of the mission and ministry of the diocese.

Two options were familiar to those in Episcopal circles: to ‘own’ charities, or to fund charities. The recommendation to the bishop and Annual Conventions of the research group charged with making the recommendation was that we should provide a funding vehicle that would support ministry in which Episcopalians were involved in local congregations.


Bishop Herbert Thompson

Bishop Thompson agreed with this decision, and added the creation of a funding agency into his vision for the Diocese of Southern Ohio. The 1989 and 1990 Annual Conventions adopted resolutions supporting the creation of an ECS Foundation and it – our Episcopal Community Services Foundation – was subsequently incorporated in the State of Ohio in early 1991.

Our logo comes from the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. Reported in all four Gospels, this story starts with the disciples suggesting Jesus withdraw from a hungry crowd. “There is no need to turn them away,” he said. “Give them something to eat yourselves” (Matthew 14:16). They presented a gift from a generous boy and 5,000+ people were nourished from a pocketful of food.