The Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes has called Joseph R. Swimmer as its new executive director. Swimmer, major gift officer at Washington National Cathedral, begins his new work April 1.

“We are thrilled that Joe has accepted our call to lead the consortium at this exciting time in the organization’s history,” said the Rev. Matthew F. Heyd, new president of the consortium and rector of the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City. “Our board of directors unanimously and enthusiastically selected Joe this week after a year-long national search while meeting at our annual conference in San Antonio.”

Swimmer’s most recent work has been renewing Washington National Cathedral’s congregation while securing funding for earthquake repair. Baptized and formed in the faith in Oklahoma, Swimmer is an active citizen and leader in the Cherokee Nation. He is a graduate of Stanford University and its law school, and studied American Indian history at the University of Tulsa.

“Together with the board of directors, membership, and other stakeholders, we will continue as a resource and catalyst in the ministries of our members,” Swimmer said. “We will explore where the Holy Spirit is leading the consortium in its work of building up the Episcopal Church and doing the work of the gospel.”

The Rev. Luke Back, immediate past president of the consortium and the new rector of Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois, said Swimmer will be a partner with the board of directors and the consortium’s membership in developing a strategic narrative for the next chapter.

Swimmer succeeds Cynthia Cannon McWhirter, who has served as the consortium’s executive director since 1999. “Cynthia put in hard work, determination, and drive, but she gave far more,” said the Rev. Canon Jamie Callaway, former board president. “She brought her artistic passion to the enterprise and look what it has led to. At [our] foundational meeting in 1985 when that initial band stepped up to the newsprint to sign on, we were seeking a network to unlock gifts of mission in our own congregations to spread across the Episcopal Church. Cynthia’s leadership as executive director saw the consortium’s commitment to mission multiply its reach so that it is now becoming a movement across the Episcopal Church.”

Adapted from CEEP [PDF]

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