Mission and Development

Commission on Mission and Development (COMD) 

COMD is tasked with working with congregations who are aided parishes, parishes facing serious difficulties or those who want to improve their leadership or ministry. We are appointed by the Bishop. We do not have a chair, rather we have a convener who is selected by the members and approved by the bishop. We work collaboratively using consensus to make decisions. 

 As a commission of the diocese, we are committed to:

  • Supporting the ministry of the diocese.
  • Developing healthy congregations.
  • Providing resources including tools, programs and people (as speakers or facilitators).
  • Making connections and links for congregations and the diocese.
  • Encouraging congregations and leaders to take risks, to be innovative.
  • Creating dialogue and conversation about the now and about the future by raising the opportunities for this to happen, providing formation experiences and asking tough and challenging questions.
  • Identifying possible new missions and ministries and assisting those developing new missions and ministries.
  • Dreaming of the future.
  • Being a proactive force within our diocese.

 As a ministry team, we value and see ourselves:

  • As expecting opportunities for ministry to happen and being committed to working to create them.
  • As seeking to discover how church is ‘done’ and how is God calling our parishes and diocese to be church today and in the future.
  • As energetic hard working and have that expectation for all members.
  • As listeners to the parishes, the diocesan leaders and our Bishop.
  • As both supporting and challenging our bishop and our diocesan leaders.
  • As a learning community and then as leaders or facilitators of that learning to the larger community.

 Major Tasks for COMD:

  • Continue to learn about congregational development. This is accomplished in a variety of ways including, where possible, having a focus topic or issue that is explored over a period of time. 
  • Address the issues facing our congregations in a changing culture.
  • Help conversation happen between congregations, communities and leaders.
  • Oversee grant opportunities.
  • Review of parish requests to the Standing Committee regarding encumbering of parish property including sale or purchase of property and entering into loans
  • Provide or make possible workshops and training in leadership and congregational development for vestry members and/or wardens and treasurers.
An Update on Our Diocesan Aid Process

The Commission on Mission and Development is in a season of transition, discernment, and hope with our approach to diocesan financial aid to parishes. Over the past few years, the COMD and other parish and diocesan leaders have been working hard on a number of fronts to move towards greater sustainability for our parishes. Thanks to a bold debt-reduction program, four parishes are no longer dependent on aid to assist with mortgage payments. Several regional collaborations and parish partnerships are taking shape, to share resources and ministry effectively. Also, we’ve committed to supporting parish revitalization in several key locations with great potential for growth.  

During this time of change, we will continue to accept applications for aid using a similar process as in the past. However, starting in 2017, we anticipate that we will be offering less aid to fewer parishes. We encourage parishes seeking aid for 2018 both to apply for the assistance you anticipate needing, and also to begin conversations among your parish leadership about what sustainability and renewal might look like in your context. Please know that Canon Peggy Bean and the members of the Commission on Mission and Development are available and happy to be resources and conversation partners for you!  

Application for Financial Aid for 2018

Special Note regarding the Spring and Fall ministry grants―they will continue and have given wonderful expressions of ministry and mission throughout the Diocese. Application information is available online: 

2018 Fall Ministry Development Grant Application

In 2016, St. Mark's, South Milwaukee applied for and received a Ministry Development Grant. As part of receiving the grant, they agreed to update the diocese about the implementation of the grant (e.g., what worked well, what didn't, what you learned). St. Mark’s, South Milwaukee received a grant to begin connecting with a new development in their area. We are grateful for their initiative in reaching into the community and for what they learned. Click below to read about their experience:

St. Mark's, South Milwaukee 2016 Grant Update


Peggy Bean, Canon for Congregations
(800) 236-3028 x158

Numbers and trends


What do the numbers in this new report mean for your parish?

NOTE: Click HERE to access the new report on the results of the 2014 survey of Episcopal congregations, conducted in conjunction with the Faith Communities Today (FACT) ecumenical/interfaith survey project.

What do the numbers really mean? I encourage you to read this report and think about your own numbers and trends regarding growth and decline. What are the numbers saying and what are they missing?Hopefully they start the conversation on this important subject, rather than ending it. 

In talking about what is going on in your church and how you are living into your mission, be sure to ask how you are being a good neighbor? Do you know what is changing in the neighborhood? So many of our churches talk about how people drive in to church and that is great but I also challenge you to look at what it would mean to be a neighborhood church. Would it look the same?

These conversations are great for the vestry to have while addressing  mission and looking at how connected the congregation is to the wider world, community and neighborhood. I encourage you to keep records of Worship on Sunday AND how the building and grounds are being used during the week AND what activities, events, teachings etc. the congregation is involved in away from the building. What are these numbers and trends telling you about:

  • church and the community
  • people and the community
  • people and the church   

Questions? Please contact Peggy Bean at or (414) 272-3028/ext. 158 or (800) 236-3028/ext. 158.  

Projects and Grants


Spring and Fall grants provide financial resources for congregations to start a new project, improve an existing ministry or to join others in local opportunities. We asked those who received grants to tell us:

  • Why they did what they did? What was it based on?
  • What happened? How did the plan come together and what was the review process?
  • What does success look like? Did it succeed, some, or not at all?
  • What did you learn?

Take a look and see what others are doing, trying and learning.

St. Luke’s, Racine (page 1) and St. Luke’s, Racine (page 2)

Lake County Churches

St. Mark’s, Milwaukee

St. Simon the Fisherman, Port Washington

St. Dunstan's, Middleton

Resources for Congregations


The Vestry Resource Guide, published by the Episcopal Church Foundation, is available in English and Spanish through Forward Movement at the following link, which also contains information on ordering digital versions of the Vestry Resource Guide:

Vestry Resource Guide

The Diocese of Milwaukee is member of TENS (The Episcopal Network of Stewardship). We will have access to a monthly newsletter as well as other resources. Simply follow these steps.

Congregations can go to:

Member Resources                               

Enter, using all lowercase letters:

Username:         living

Password:          generously



The Episcopal Church has a contract with Percepts―a company that provides local demographics for a three-mile radius around your church. If you would like to review and discuss this material with your vestry, click HERE.

You will need the Mosaic descriptions to understand the trends they are talking about for your particular community. You can download from the website or click HERE

Another way to find out who is in your neighborhood is to walk it. Do you know your neighbors? What is happening in the local community? What are the growing needs? 

If you would like more conversation starters, we have them for you.



Click HERE to access Parochial Report information/workbooks on the National Church website. Contact the Diocese of Milwaukee Finance Office at Nicholson House for assistance or more information.