At the October meeting, the Episcopal Church Executive Council approved grants totaling $1,797,000 for church planting and Mission Enterprise Zones.
Resolution D005 and Resolution A012 approved by General Convention in July 2015 authorized new and continued funding for church plants and Mission Enterprise Zones throughout the Episcopal Church. Newly created grants have been and will be awarded to dioceses and already-established ministries exploring possibilities for new initiatives or expansion. The funding also calls for the creation of a community of practice for equipping the church with resources for assessment, coaching, networking, and the sharing of best practices.
Executive Council member the Rev. Susan Brown Snook of the Diocese of Arizona and chair of Local Ministry and Mission Committee said that the work of church planting "is some of the most exciting work we see happening in our church today in the mission priority area of evangelism. Just a few years ago, we saw very few new church initiatives in the Episcopal Church. Now, we see an inspiring variety of new ideas, energy, and enthusiasm for reaching new people with the good news of Christ through new and creative initiatives to plant new congregations, in both traditional and non-traditional ways."
She reported that so far this triennium, 68 applications have been received. “Of these,” she said, “34 were approved and 34 were recommended for denial.”
The Rev. Jane Gerdsen, chair of the Genesis Group (General Convention Advisory Group on Church Planting), noted, "This is an exciting new moment in the life of the Episcopal Church and we are thrilled by the energy and willingness of the church to follow Jesus in new ways into our communities and neighborhoods. This new energy is represented not only in the number of submissions, but more importantly the diversity of places, people, and expressions of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement. We want to encourage and celebrate all who are part of this movement."
The 34 initiatives approved include 12 new church plants, seven new Mission Enterprise Zones, five discernment grants, seven renewal grants for church plants originally funded in the 2013-15 triennium, and three renewal grants for Mission Enterprise Zones originally funded in the 2013-15 triennium.
The new church plants include nine Latino churches, two focused on young adults, one on the homeless population, and several focused on other ethnic ministry groups. All of the Mission Enterprise Zones grants focus on populations that are under-represented in the Episcopal Church.
Listed by category, grants were awarded to:
New Church Plants
Christ’s Beloved Community, Winston- Salem, NC, Diocese of North Carolina; $100,000
Good Samaritan, Brownsburg, Indiana, Diocese of Indianapolis; $100,000
Millennial Church Start, Savannah, GA, Diocese of Georgia; $100,000
Southwest Florida Church Plant, Diocese of Southwest Florida; $100,000
Hope Sandwiches, St. John’s Bernardino, CA, Diocese of Los Angeles; $100,000
El Corazon, Diocese of Western Michigan; $100,000
Chaplain on the Harbor, Diocese of Olympia; $100,000
Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Plano, TX, Diocese of Dallas; $75,000
La Iglesia Episcopal en Lynn, Diocese of Massachusetts; $100,000
Iglesia Episcopal St. James, Diocese of Oregon; $78,000
Church Plant, Hermitage, PA, Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania; $100,000
Slate Project, Baltimore, Diocese of Maryland, $75,000
Total for Category $1,128,000
Mission Enterprise Zones
Supper @ St. Martin’s, Diocese of Pennsylvania; $20,000
St. John’s, Cleveland, OH, Diocese of Ohio; $23,000
Breaking Bread, Diocese of Northern Michigan; $15,000
Plainsong Farm, Diocese of Western Michigan; $20,000
4 Saints’ Food Pantry, Diocese of Fort Worth, $20,000
Table 299, St. Paul, MN, Episcopal Church in Minnesota; $20,000
The Bridge, St. Peter’s Dartmouth, MA, Diocese of Massachusetts; $5,000
Total for Category $123,000
South Bronx Team Ministry, Diocese of New York; $5,000
Emmaus Episcopal Church, Surprise, AZ, Diocese of Arizona; $5,000
Grace Church, Montpellier, France Convocation of EC in Europe; $5,000
Elizabeth Easton, Diocese of Nebraska; $2,500
Pamela Mott, Diocese of Western Massachusetts; $5,000
Total for Category $22,500
Bread and Roses, Charlotte, NC, Diocese of North Carolina; $12,500
Church on the Square, Baltimore, Diocese of Maryland; $15,000
The Abbey, Birmingham, Alabama, Diocese of Alabama; $75,000
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Seattle, WA Diocese of Olympia; $100,000
St. Gabriel’s, Leesburg, Virginia, Diocese of Virginia; $75,000
San Pablo Apostol, Seaside, CA, Diocese of El Camino Real; $96,000
San Pedro/San Pablo, Portland, OR, Diocese of Oregon; $45,000
St. James, Diocese of Pittsburgh; $50,000
The Abundant Table Farm, Diocese of Los Angeles; $35,000
Warriors of the Dream, Diocese of New York; $20,000
Total for Category $523,500
The next deadline for submission is January 15, 2017.
Application, guidelines and information are available here
More information about the church planting initiative is here
For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the Genesis Group (General Convention Advisory Group on Church Planting) and their dioceses are: the Rev. Jane Gerdsen, chairperson, Southern Ohio; the Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer, Newark; Erendira Jimenez-Pike, Kentucky; the Rev. Michael Michie, Dallas; the Rev. Alex Montes Vela, Texas; the Rev. Katie Nakamura Rengers, Alabama; the Rev. Zachary Nyein, East Tennessee; the Rev. David Perkins, Lexington; the Rev. Canon Jesus Reyes, El Camino Real; Bishop George Sumner, Jr., Dallas; the Rev. Canon Janet Waggoner, Fort Worth. The Rev. Canon Frank Logue of Georgia is the liaison from Executive Council. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings are Ex Officio members. The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers is staff advisor. The Rev. Tom Brackett is the staff liaison.