Episcopal Deacon to Serve as Digital Minister

Episcopal Deacon to Serve as Digital Minister

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An Episcopal Deacon who has experience working with local churches to move worship and other ministries online has been called as the Southern New England Conference's first Digital Minister.
 
The Rev. Eric Elley has been working as a technology consultant to congregations in Western Massachusetts for eight years, while also serving as Technology Manager for Diocesan Convention for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts. He is also the co-founder of the Big Blue Drop-In Center at Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield, MA. On Sundays, he leads worship at Church Without Walls, a joint Episcopal-UCC ministry with the homeless and disenfranchised in Springfield, and he serves as deacon of St. Mark’s Church in East Longmeadow.
 
“Ordained to the vocational diaconate in the Episcopal Church for over two decades, I have committed my life to proclaiming Jesus’ gospel of love, justice, and peace," he said. "Simultaneously, I have professionally developed my keen interest in technology and digital communications and have assisted many congregations in establishing digital ministries.  I have been blessed with many opportunities to combine my religious vocation with my technological gifts, but the role of Digital Minister will take full advantage of that synergy."
 
"The Jesus Movement is beginning the greatest transformation in the model of congregational ministry that any of us have experienced in our lifetimes and I am enthusiastic about what God will bring out of the changes in ministry taking hold," he said.
 
After the pandemic began in March, the Bridge Conference Ministers and Board of Directors decided to change the structure of the new Conference staff to allow for the addition of a full-time Digital Minister who could assist churches with effectively ministering online.
 
Most of the new staffing structure goes into effect Jan. 1, but Elley will begin working for the Conference Nov. 9. The Board of Directors wanted to bring a Digital Minister onboard as soon as possible.
 
"I am so excited that Eric will be joining our communication team," said Tiffany Vail, Associate Conference Minister for Communications. "Not only does he bring technical expertise, but his passion for ministry in the digital realm is palpable. I believe he will be a huge asset in the months ahead as our congregations strive to strike a balance between continuing to serve people online and returning to in-person gatherings."
 
The historic Massachusetts Conference has a long history of working with the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, having shared the talents of Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Missioner for Creation Care, since 2016.

Elley graduated from Andover Newton Theological School in 2018.  He and his husband Graham, son Jeffrey, and very pampered pooch, Chester, live in the parsonage next to the Congregational Church of Somersville (UCC) in Somers, CT where Graham has served as pastor since 2005.

 

Author

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Tiffany Vail

Tiffany Vail is the Associate Conference Minister for Communications for the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ. 

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