Sharing our ministry, resources, community: asset mapping TEC

March 12, 2015
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March 10, 2015: Partnership provides online resources for mapping local ministries: Episcopal Asset Map from the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and Episcopal Relief & Development

An innovative partnership between the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief & Development has resulted in a new online tool--the Episcopal Asset Map--to learn more about local ministries and to enhance them.

The Episcopal Asset Map is an online service showing the location and the array of ministries offered by Episcopal congregations, schools and institutions throughout the United States in dioceses that are participating in the project. The Episcopal Asset Map is available at no fee.

Diocese of Missouri members will note similarities between categories and information shared on diocesan pages and on the national parish pages. We've just begun a conversation to explore how we can upload information parishes have already provided, then include on the dio page additional information entered on the asset map.

The Episcopal Asset Map displays pins on a map interface, with scan and search functions allowing users to explore their local area or the entire country. Clicking on a pin (or a link from the list view) provides contact information and descriptions of programs at that particular location.

Join the map. A simple web-based survey, which can be filled out by anyone with knowledge of the programs, collects information about each location plotted on the map. Images and videos can also be uploaded to provide a detailed description of activities. A diocesan map administrator moderates all submissions before they appear on the location’s page.

History. What began as a pilot in the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana in 2012 and Diocese of New York in 2013 has grown to active participation of 16 Episcopal dioceses as of March 2015. Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program worked with leaders in Diocese of Louisiana and Diocese of New York to build an online platform to catalog and celebrate the ministries and facilities in their dioceses.

"The Asset Map is a visual catalog of The Episcopal Church at large, enabling diocesan leaders, church members and church seekers alike to see at a glance and in depth what the Church’s presence looks like in their area, both infrastructure and programs," said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President of Programs. "It has wide-ranging potential to facilitate the development of new ministries and partnerships, and support the mobilization of resources and expertise."

A short video is available here.

Disaster help. Additionally, the Episcopal Asset Map has particular utility for disaster preparedness and response. The map can show churches and other locations that might be at risk of flooding or near where a tornado has touched down, and what nearby ministries or facilities could be mobilized to help. Increasing collaboration and building on existing resources and expertise are key outcomes supported by the availability of information through the map.

"Coordinating a response is much easier when you can instantly see on a map where the nearest food pantry or shelter ministry is," said Katie Mears, Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program said. "Adding this information to the map can be an important part of disaster preparedness for any congregation or diocese."

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