What is a New Episcopal Community?
New Episcopal Communities may assume traditional or innovative forms, but their primary gathering point is around bringing a community of new people together to hear and proclaim God’s word, and to love and serve their neighbors. Here is the definition that was discerned by the 2018-2021 Task Force on Church Planting and Redevelopment.
New Episcopal Communities (NECs):
New: Distinct and different from existing churches and institutions: NECs are not programs of existing churches or dioceses or restarts. NECs have entrepreneurial leadership, a pioneering and creative spirit and seek to bring into being a ministry that was not there before.
Episcopal: Grounded in the faith, doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal church: NECs are clearly, distinctly and overtly Christian in character, approach and identity. NECs operate out of and give opportunities to know Jesus’ love. While not all will start out holding weekly or traditional worship services, they are growing toward a regular rhythm of prayer, spiritual formation and celebration of God’s love in their midst. NECs are under the oversight of the Bishop and are in relationship with other parishes and entities of their diocese. They reflect the mission of their diocese and the Episcopal Church.
Community: Designed to be a place of encouragement, care and accountability: NECs commit themselves to love one another in relationships of mutual care and accountability. Patterned after the life and teachings of Jesus, NECs seek to help people grow in faith and life. NECs are committed to long-term growth and sustainability. While not all will be able to become sustainable from the communities they serve, NECs intend to grow in leadership and financial support with proper stewardship, development, facilities and accounting. They have and communicate an external invitation to the wider neighborhood and the world.
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