New Episcopal Communities


Without doubt, one of the single best predictors of success is whether a ministry developer is receiving coaching. A good coach will help you focus your work, keep you encouraged and on the right track. The best coaches are outside of your local and diocesan context and are not a part of any supervisory loop. They are here to help you!

Coaching can take different forms as well. Some our mission developers use “content-free” coaches, people who help you focus your work, hold you accountable and help you discover your strengths and weaknesses. Others use “content-rich” coaches, who are more like consultants. They will be more directive, often based on success in starting new ministries themselves and coaching those who have.

When considering a coach, it is highly recommended that you reach out to several and find a good fit for you. Be sure to agree on terms of payment, frequency of conversations and coaching methods. If you get stuck or need some help, let us know how to help!

Coaching Guide

Wondering how a coach can be helpful to you as you lead a New Episcopal Community? Have a look at our guide for some tips on how to find and work with a coach.

Listed below are recommended coaches and how to reach them:

Facilitated Cohorts

In 2023, we’re starting a pilot series of church planting cohorts.  These are designed to connect innovative leaders on the ground, recruit new leaders for future church plants, and help nurture new faith communities toward growth and resilience. More information can be found here.

Content-Free Coaches:

Jason Evans (
Jason Evans is the Canon for Mission in the Diocese of San Diego. Previously, he served as Missioner for Missional Communities in the Diocese of Texas, where he oversaw church planting, campus missions and other missional experiments. He received a Master of Arts from Fuller Theological Seminary and has 20 years experience in starting new Christian communities. Jason is a licensed lay preacher and evangelist in the Diocese of Texas. He and his wife, Brooke, have 3 kids and live in Houston, TX. Jason was trained through the International Coaching Federation. Jason nurtures a non-anxious, creative space for coachees to set and obtain their own goals.

Mary C. Frances (
Mary Frances facilitates thought-provoking, creative conversations to optimize personal and professional potential. Whether you have a new ministry or a specific project, she can help you or your team succeed. In every situation, she draws upon her experience and expertise while respecting yours.

As your coach she will help you discover and clarify what you want to achieve, encourage you to develop creative solutions and actionable plans and then, and hold you accountable for following-through to achieve goals.

She had the privilege of pastoring three congregations in the Chicagoland area before becoming Associate Program Director for New Congregations for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Having worked extensively with new and renewing congregations, she knows what it takes to either start something from scratch or make changes to ensure success. She has been coaching since 2005 and is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coach Federation, the recognized Gold Standard for life-and-work coaches. She lives in Naperville, IL with her husband, Kent, who is a chiropractor and functional medicine physician, and our yellow lab, Kelly.

The Rev. Canon Jane Gerdsen (
Jane is an Episcopal priest serving the Diocese of Southern Ohio as Missioner for Fresh Expressions, working to encourage new forms of Christian community. She is the founder of Praxis Communities, a network of new faith communities. She is an International Coaching Federation trained coach and a founding member of the Episcopal Coaching Cooperative. Jane has experience coaching dioceses, mission developers, and fellow clergy. She has helped start new worshiping communities, worked with immigrant communities, and with not for profits. She is also an experienced facilitator and has been trained in the Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter, and enjoys leading groups of all sizes in visioning and creating the communities we long to be part of. She also has served churches in Dayton and Cincinnati, and is committed to helping churches identify new mission opportunities in their communities. She enjoys helping people discover creative possibilities and navigate change. Jane is also a wife and a mother to two children and loves yoga, gardening, and planning dinner parties.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Kovitch (
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Kovitch is a coach for new church plants and restarts and is a priest in charge at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Community in Westerville, Ohio.

Joseph loves the collaboration of reimagining new ways of being Church in the world! He has been ordained for 26 years and has served in many ministry and mission environments, both ecumenically and interfaith. He has served in team ministry in a large traditional parish, led a redevelopment merger of three congregations into a new mission, served as Rector of a large traditional congregation and as a consultant priest to four congregations in transition.  He now serves a parish as a reimagining missional priest that gathers on Sundays in an Irish pub, owns a community gathering space, and is now incubating church plant and micro church modes in order to serve the greater Columbus area. He has skills in both the inherited/missional model of church, especially those which desire to reimagine themselves into community.

Joseph’s goal is to offer whatever experience he has gained (and continues to serve into) as a coach for both individuals and teams that desire to reimagine the best of Episcopal identity into new and sustainable community partnerships. As a practitioner of mission, he also offers resources to the communities that he serves.

Steve Matthews (
Steve Matthews (MA, MDiv) has worked in local churches, served on the staff of the Diocese of Massachusetts and worked as a consultant for The Episcopal Church (missio:Engage!). Most recently he served as Executive Director of the South Coast Mission Hub in New Bedford, MA, a collaborative of Episcopal churches and community organizations working together to build generative neighborhoods through Asset-Based Community Development. Currently he is a consultant with FaithXworking with redeveloping churches and new missional initiatives and as a leadership coach. He is also the producer of a new storytelling initiative in The Episcopal Church called StoryPaths highlighting church/ community transformation.

Steve’s vocation is to create environments of hospitality for individuals and groups to notice, name, and nurture the dynamic nudges of the Spirit in their own lives and in the communities where they live and work. As a coach he brings a sense of how trusted relationships and clear intention can make space for possibility and innovative choices to emerge. He builds accountability in these relationships and works to help people connect diverse assets and gifts in ways that encourage transforming outcomes. Steve has over 100 hours of coaching experience with ministers in The Episcopal Church.

The Rev. David Perkins (
The Rev. David Perkins is a retired Episcopal priest now serving part time as Priest in Charge at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Clifford, VA.  After serving as the planting priest for All Souls Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA from 2002-2010, he devoted eight years to interim ministry before retiring in 2016.

In 2018, David completed the two phases of training toward International Coaching Federation certification as a coach. He focuses primarily on professional coaching of mission developers engaged in new work, but with a half-century of experience in local parish ministry and in college and seminary teaching, he is keenly interested in supporting clergy and educators. When not engaged in those activities, he enjoys chasing trout, mountain hiking (especially waterfall trails), cooking, reading, writing, and hanging with family. 

Casey Perkins-Lawrence
Casey Perkins-Lawrence is a Certified Holistic Coach (ICF) who helps others explore and create their life through spiritual practice, transformative inner work, and the magic of effective communication. A yoga teacher for nearly 15 years, his work also includes physical and energetic practices, group facilitation, speaking engagements and workshops. Originally from southwest Georgia, Casey has a background in marketing and communications – particularly for nonprofit and religious organizations. He has worked in parish lay-leadership serving as head verger for  more than a decade. Casey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Theology at The School of Theology, Sewanee, Tennessee where he lives with his husband Gabriel, an MDiv seminarian and postulant for holy orders. 

Melissa Rau (
Melissa Rau is the Senior Program Director of Leadership at The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF).

She joined the ECF staff in April 2018 and is responsible for overseeing the Leadership Resources areas, which includes Vital Practices, webinars and training, publications, and the ECF Fellowship Partners program. In addition to overseeing ECF’s existing leadership initiatives, Melissa is helping ECF discern its unique contribution to entrepreneurial and transformational leadership in the wider church. Prior to joining ECF, she served churches as a consultant doing strategic visioning, assessments, facilitation, training and coaching. She has studied with Princeton Theological Seminary, the General Theological Seminary, and Candler School of Theology. She has written and published curriculum and numerous articles for online and printed publications, and more recently co-authored the book Ten Solutions for Small Churches. She has extensive ecumenical experience in parishes throughout the country. Melissa was trained as a coach in 2018 and is passionate about guiding and equipping clergy and lay leaders for the challenges of ministry. Melissa is married to the Rev. Mike Rau, Rector at Holy Nativity in Rockledge, PA. They have two daughters and a son. Melissa loves to read and is particularly fond of giraffes and the color orange.

Jesús Reyes (
The Rev. Canon Jesús Reyes is the Canon for Congregational Growth & Development in the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real (EDECR). He works with Diocesan Governing structures, Commissions, Committees and congregations, to reimagine and reengage the Episcopal presence in the EDECR. His church development approach is to “let the context speak and engage it with intelligence and intention.” Thus, the strategy for growth and development would surface organically. Canon Reyes is a Church Planter. He planted La Iglesia de Santa Maria in the Diocese of Virginia. Previously, he did ten years of Social Work in the Alexandria, VA area, managing a wide variety of programs, from economic development to Latino Leadership Development.

Canon Reyes was also a missionary. He worked in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, with the Zapoteco Indians for 2 ½ years. Later, he did five years of missionary work in Brazil. He presently serves as a member of the Presiding Bishop’s Strategic Cabinet on the Jesus Movement and Evangelism, the Way of Love Working Group, and the Latino/Hispanic Council of Advice.

Canon Reyes’ coaching style is similar to his Congregational Development approach–“let the context speak to you, listen with attention, and respond to it with intention.” His role as Coach is to ask the right questions to the person he works with so that she/he can determine what she/he is able to engage, preserve a high level of integrity with her/his own vision, and celebrate with the client.

The Rev. Sean Steele (
The Rev. Sean Steele is Vicar and founding Church Planter of St. Isidore Episcopal Church, a 3-year-old mission in Spring, TX.  Sean is an entrepreneur who is always on the lookout for people left-out by how we traditionally gather as Church.   He received an MA in Theology from Creighton University, an MDiv from Seminary of the Southwest, and is a fully-trained Mediator and Coach.  He is a founding member of the Episcopal Coaching Cooperative and is passionate about helping people look upward to find hope, inward to find the Holy Spirit, and forward to find direction. 

Content-Rich Coaches:

Teresa Angle-Young (
The Rev. Dr. Teresa Angle-Young is a PCC Coach certified by the International Coach Federation. Dr. Angle-Young is a successful church planter and has a deep understanding of the challenges of missional development. She taught preaching and theology at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and frequently holds workshops and does coaching with clergy and lay leaders on worship, church planting, effective preaching, leadership development, children’s ministry, relationship, and wellness.  Her coaching style is “coach-sulting,” a combination of pure coaching and consulting, where she offers encouragement, support, frameworks and strategies for successful ministry, and solutions. Her credentials include: 

PCC Certified by the International Coach Federation
iRest Teacher (meditation protocols for trauma/anxiety)
Warriors at Ease Certified Meditation Instructor (trauma-sensitive meditation)
IIN Health Coach
Strengthening Families Program Family Coach
UMC Endorsed Coach
Certified in Emotional Intelligence Coaching

The Rev. Chantal Morales McKinney, D.Min.  (
Chantal is an Episcopal priest, church planter, coach, and consultant who has served churches in the Diocese of NC since her ordination in 2002. She began a street ministry in Southside Winston-Salem with community organizing roots in 2014 that grew to include a team of Episcopalians and Lutherans that planted Christ’s Beloved Community/Comunidad Amada de Cristo, a bilingual, multicultural, bi-denominational church that impacts well over 1,000 people each month. Chantal practices and is trained in Asset Based Community Development and community organizing. Going door to door to listen for what God is doing in the neighborhood has been transformative to her ministry and faith life.

Chantal received ICF coach training so that she can support the church’s missioners, church planters, and laity in pursuing their dreams and goals for self-development, missional engagement, church planting, and co-creating life-giving ministries. She is passionate about working with others to ignite the fire of creativity and wisdom from within them that propels a new creation into being. She sees coaching as a powerful catalyst for turning dreams into reality. She has consulted and trained teams of laity and clergy in neighborhood engagement, multicultural ministries, asset based neighborhood development, and more. She has presented at several clergy conferences and missional conferences around The Episcopal Church and is passionate about creating the scaffolding for people in the church to dream and create expansive ways of being church that honors the spark of Divine in all people.

Jim Griffith (
After twenty-years planting and leading five different congregations, Jim entered a full-time coaching ministry to church leaders and congregations. Since 1995 he has coached hundreds of existing and new-start pastors. He wears the coaching mantle with infectious enthusiasm. 

His vast experiences and intuitive skills help leaders discern the directions they need to take. He will collaborate with you as you develop your project. One of Jim’s favorite lines is, “It doesn’t matter what I think. What you think is utmost in our conversation.” This approach to coaching solidifies the partnership between Jim and client. A philosophy that drives his relentless asking of questions. You will never leave a conversation without a self-derived game plan. Jim has coached Episcopal churches in over a dozen dioceses. 

Ken Howard (
Ken is a two-time church planter with 25 years of ordained experience, and ministry development and congregational redevelopment experience, as well as 30 years of coaching experience in both faith-based and business settings. Ken is the founder, executive director, and principal consultant of FaithX Strategic Missional Consulting, a faith-based 501(c)3 nonprofit consulting practice. He is also the co-creator of MapDash for Faith Communities, a missional assessment and planning platform designed specifically to aid in ministry development and congregational redevelopment. Canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, he practices under an extension of ministry from the Bishop of Washington. 

Ken employs a non-directive, data-grounded missional coaching approach, and generally limits his practice to no more than four coaching clients per month.

Bob Logan (
Dr. Robert E. Logan has over 40 years of ministry experience, including church planting, pastoring, consulting, coaching, resource development and speaking.

He counts it a privilege to walk alongside ministry leaders and help catalyze their ministries toward fulfilling the call God has placed on them in their unique context. Bob earned his DMin from Fuller Theological Seminary. 

He enjoys cycling and volunteering in a recovery community.

Daniel Steigerwald (
For 30+ years, I have served in various leadership capacities – from leading teams to start new expressions of faith community, to pastoring, to leading at senior levels in both national and international Christian non-profits.  My Canadian wife, Ann, and I spent the brunt of those years in Europe and various Southern World venues, and we count it a great blessing to have raised our daughters in The Netherlands.  

From this long journey in ministry, I have acquired a good grasp of what it’s like to follow Christ into the complexities, heartaches and joys of servant leadership. I know how energizing and satisfying it feels to lead teams well.  And I know equally well how frightening it is to skirt the edges of burnout and depression.  In all my own stumbling forward, I’m convinced that God values our formation as leaders as much as what we accomplish in Jesus’ name. The Spirit of God journeys alongside us, offering us the graces we need to endure and grow, even in the most harrowing of seasons. And more often than not, these graces come in the form or others who’ve walked the long leadership road before us.

This is precisely why I choose to spend my time, vocationally, coming alongside those called to lead. I want to be an agent of grace to help leaders flourish and accomplish all that God and life have for them!  One significant way I can be that agent is through professional coaching.[1]  In a coaching relationship I am able to partner with team leaders to bring out their best – enhancing their awareness, decision-making, and alignment with their stated values, goals, priorities, and desired vocational outcomes.  At present, I have logged well over 700 hours coaching innovative and pioneering leaders.  I’ve also led various coaching teams and have a growing experience in training coaches for Christian organizations and denominations.   

Educationally, I hold a Doctor of Ministry (DMIN) in Leadership in the Emerging Culture as well as a Master of Divinity (MDIV).  Drawing on that education and on my experience designing developmental trainings, I’ve authored four practical books around which I mentor, coach, and train: 10 Pitfalls in Starting New Churches: Avoiding Hazards on the Way to Health (2020); Dynamic Adventure: A Guide to Starting and Shaping Missional Churches (2018); Growing Local Missionaries: Equipping Churches to Sow Shalom in Their Own Cultural Backyard (2014); Grow Where You’re Planted: Collected Stories on the Hallmarks of Maturing Church (2013). 

Sarah Wilcox (
The Rev. Sara Wilcox serves as a local church pastor in Asheville, NC. With a heart for the new things breaking forth in the church, she understands the complex work we are called to as we bring forth the best of what we have been and help make possible that which has not yet even been imagined. Before her call to ministry she imagined she would be a college professor and studied political science at the University of Wisconsin. She discerned her call to ministry during that time and shifted gears toward her theological education. Sara received her M.Div. from Chicago Theological Seminary where she was challenged to ask new questions and look further than what is before us for the answers. She has served as a trauma chaplain and worked on behalf of men in the criminal justice system advocating for alternative sentences to incarceration. During those years, she helped birth Land of the Sky United Church of Christ where she spends a lot of time with amazing people living justly, loving abundantly and walking humbly. In her work at CPR, she serves as a coach, consultant and online educator to those hoping to do a new thing in the church. Her primary focus is church planting and church restarts.

The Rev. Katie Nakamura Rengers

Staff Officer for Church Planting

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