Congregational Consultants

The Congregational Consultants are a group of knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated lay and ordained individuals from congregations throughout the diocese who serve other congregations. 

The Congregational Consultants assist congregations in a variety of ways, including as facilitators at vestry retreats, in mutual ministry reviews, strategic planning and conflict management.  On the business side, they can help with business, property, technology (e.g. computers, networking, telephony), audits, Parochial Reports and compliance issues.

The Congregational Consultants have a wide range of professional and other experience, including leadership roles in congregations as wardens, treasurers and vestry members; as members of diocesan committees; and professionally as accountants, architects, business consultants, educators, business and finance executives and lawyers, among others. 

Congregational Consultants Services

Congregational Consultants work with congregations to promote congregational health and further their mission with direct assistance from by people who have experience and training in areas that are critical to a congregation's vitality and viability. Examples of consulting services include:

Assistance in compliance with annual audits, Parochial Reports and assessment payments

Bookkeeping system updates

Consultation on best practices in business systems

Consultation using appreciate inquiry

Establishment of annual and capital stewardship programs

Facilitation of vestry retreats; strategic planning and visioning

Guidance on organizational structure, responsibilities and leadership

Information technology acquisition and deployment

Initiation and implementation of collaboration with other congregations and institutions

Long-range financial planning

Mutual ministry reviews

Pastoral care/companionship for parishes merging or closing

Preparation of annual budgets and financial statements

• Property management consultation; building use, solar installations, restoration projects, etc. 

• Technology advice on computers, networking and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephony

• Transition review prior to calling a new rector or priest-in-charge

Development of Resources 

Congregational Consultants work on diocesan initiatives to benefit congregations and have prepared and published guides, model policies and procedures, financial forms and other resources to assist congregations.  These are available here.

Learning Opportunities 

Congregational Consultants offer training programs for congregational leaders, including the library of recorded online seminars available here.

Congregational Consultants are available to meet with deaneries and congregational leadership groups to make presentations on specific topics.

The consultants have developed a curriculum of recorded webinars for congregational leaders on practical aspects of congregational leadership.  New sessions are held occasionally in order to present new information or answer questions.

Recorded webinars include:

  • Annual meetings
  • Audits
  • Basic Accounting and the Chart of Accounts
  • Clergy Compensation
  • Congregational Budgets
  • Congregational Collaboration
  • Investments
  • Parochial Reports I (Financial)
  • Parochial Reports II (Non-Financial)
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Vital Documents
  • What Every Treasurer Should Know
  • Year-End Financial Matters

Recordings of these sessions are available here.


The Congregational Consultants always are looking for new members. Ideal candidates have experience as lay leaders or are clergy with congregational leadership experience, professional credentials, a collegial work style and commitment to promote the mission of the church through healthy congregations.

Requests for Service 

Requests for consulting services should be referred to Edward Rewolinski and Betsy Blagdon at

Contribution for Services 

Many consultant services are provided free, and congregations are encouraged to use their services.  Most short-term consultations are without charge.  Longer-term engagements may involve appropriate remuneration.  The value of these services is considered to be approximately $50/hour, well below fees for similar services provided in the open market by professional consultants.

Some services have a definite cost.  There may be diocesan support available for congregations with financial need.

  • Search consultants are customarily paid by the congregation, and the standard fee is $2,000 plus mileage for the search.  After 18 months, every six months is $500 more.
  • Priest-in-charge consultants are compensated by the diocese at $400/year per congregation.
  • Retreat leaders or mutual ministry leaders are compensated by the congregation.  They negotiate their fees on an individual basis at about $50/hour.
  • Auditors are paid by the congregation, and they negotiate their fees on an individual basis.
  • Transition reviewers are provided gratis, but congregations are encouraged to donate $150 to the diocese.
  • Consultants who provide business or financial advice are volunteers and usually provide services without charge.


The consultants offer technology advice on computers, networking and Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) telephony.  They have found that some technology no longer needed by some churches would be useful to others, and have established a webpage to show available donated technology and to arrange for donations of unneeded technology. Find it here.


A printable summary of this information is available here.


Please visit the Business Practices Resources section of the Document Library for resource documents.