I won’t try to give a full accounting of the three-day event, but I do want to mention a few things that struck me as interesting:
- Episcopal Relief & Development is not well known throughout The Episcopal Church. Many parishes are largely unaware of ERD and provide no support for it. Not all bishops are enthusiastic about ERD, apparently because they are more interested in other fund-raising efforts.
- ERD will soon be 75 years old. It was started in 1940 as the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief. It has continued under its current name for nearly 15 years.
- The mission of ERD has changed over the years. It began as a refugee settlement effort. It is now involved in improving the food supply, economic improvement, improving health and fighting disease, and responding to disasters. It is best known for disaster relief and the NetsForLife® program.
- Approximately 90% of contributions to ERD go directly to program. This is the result of low administrative and fund-raising costs and the availability of earnings from endowment.