By Erin Monaghan
What does a diocesan intern do? Broad answer: a lot of things in a lot of offices. Specific answer: work on the asset map.
What is the Episcopal asset map? It’s an amazing tool that brings together information about churches from around the globe into one searchable database. It can tell you where the closest food pantry or young adult’s group is, all within the Episcopal Church.
Where can the asset map be accessed? Edva.episcopalassetmap.org. This will take you directly to the map of the Diocese of Virginia. From here, you can either search by ministries and church groups, or look at a list view to find your church name.
When is the asset map useful? In crisis, connection, and creation. When crises occurs, like a hurricane, the asset map is an available tool to see what churches have kitchens or showers to provide to those who no longer have access to theirs. If you have ever wanted to get involved in a ministry, involving immigrations services for example, you can search the map and see the closest church that you can connect with. When creating a new ministry, such as a community garden at your church, you can search if other Episcopal churches have done so before to receive guidance and advice.
Who runs the Episcopal asset map? All of us! That’s what makes it so amazing. Episcopal Relief and Development made this map so that any person in any congregation can update their church’s information by taking a quick survey. The red “take the survey” button can be found in the upper right corner of a church’s profile page. After they take that survey, the diocesan map administrator (that’s me!) will approve of the changes and they will be available for public viewing.
Why does this matter? Because we are the Body of Christ at work in the world. We as individual congregations, diocesan communities, and throughout the Episcopal church are actively doing the work of Christ. This resource connects us all to one another and allows for an open flow of information so that we can keep serving. As we see the map filling in, and begin to understand the ways that or brothers and sisters in Christ are at work, we can know how to pray for and encourage one another as we serve our Lord.
To visit the map and explore ministries around the diocese go to http://edva.episcopalassetmap.org.
To visit the St. Andrew’s profile and take the survey visit http://edva.episcopalassetmap.org/ch/st-andrews-church-12.