The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan have invested in two major congregational development initiatives, intended to empower leaders and build skills for healthy, sustainable, and thriving faith communities: the College for Congregational Development and Thriving in Ministry.


Join the programs’ leaders for an info session, outlining the programs objectives and processes, giving examples of this work in-action, and encouraging individuals and communities to accept the invitation to invest time and resources into the development of their congregations. We’ll spend the first 30 minutes of our time in presentation and panel discussion, facilitated by Katie Forsyth, Canon for Evangelism and Networking. The final 30 minutes of our time together will be Q&A with attendees.

The AuSable Inclusion Center is a New Episcopal Community in the future Episcopal Diocese of the Great Lakes, preparing to provide programming for rural LGBTQ+ people and those marginalized by their economic status, organized around four pillars: social/emotional support, material support, spiritual support, and education/advocacy. They will also support and resource parishes in the dioceses seeking to deepen their own invitation to this population through education, advocacy, and potential collaborations.

Questions about this event? Please contact ministry developer, the Rev. Beckett Leclaire, at or


The College for Congregational Development (CCD) is a comprehensive training program, rooted in the tradition, ethos, and character of the Episcopal Church, that seeks to nurture and develop congregational development practitioners from within the local community. Originally begun in the Diocese of Olympia, CCD has grown and expanded, now supporting congregational development in over a dozen dioceses. In July of 2023, thirty-five lay and ordained leaders from thirteen congregations/covenant groups helped launch CCD in Eastern and Western Michigan; the 2024 program will take place July 21-26, 2024 in Midland.

Our director of the Eastern and Western Michigan CCD is the Rev. BJ Heyboer, rector of St. Mark’s, Newaygo.

Click here to read the invitation from January or learn more on our websites – East or West.


Last June, a small group of Eastern and Western Michiganders traveled to Virginia Theological Seminary for a one week training to serve as our initial team of mentor/coaches for this two-year, cohort-based program. Together with participants in peer learning groups, we’ll engage and build capacity around connection and bridge building, engaging the local community, collaboration and lay leadership, setting and meeting learning goals, contextualizing the Gospel, new pathways for spiritual practices, assertiveness and conflict adeptness, and bridging the gaps between churchwide patterns and ethnic realities.

Our coordinator of the Eastern and Western Michigan TiM team is Dr. Nancy Foster, member of St. Mary’s, Cadillac.

Click here to read the invitation from April or learn more on our websites – East or West.

Questions? Contact Canon Katie Forsyth at or

Thursday, May 16




Our online info session will take place on Thursday, May 16th at 5:30pm on Zoom. It will be recorded and posted for later viewing on the CCD and TIM info pages of the diocesan websites. Please RSVP.