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Advisory Group on Church Planting seeks coaches for new church plants

January 23, 2017
Office of Public Affairs

The Genesis Group/Advisory Group on Church Planting has issued the following call for coaches:

General Convention 2015 Resolution D005 called for and funded a network of leaders who learn together how best to support new ministry developers in the Episcopal Church. As an initiative of Executive Council and working closely with the Presiding Bishop’s staff, the new group of lay and ordained Episcopalians is called Genesis: Cultivating New Ministries in the Episcopal Church. In November, their first churchwide meeting gathered 85 leaders who are starting new churches and innovative ministries.

To support this work, persons with experience in starting new ministries are needed to join a network of persons who can assess the gifts of potential Episcopal entrepreneurs and others who can coach ministry developers.

The Rev. Jane Gerdsen, chair of the Genesis Group, 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. These new churches and communities will need this network of support if they are to grow and thrive.”

“There’s no better time than this to be in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement,” said the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation, and Stewardship of Creation. “So many of us are ready to partner, risk, heal and celebrate the good news in our neighborhoods. So many of us are hungry to fall more deeply in love with Jesus and to create spaces where different people can grow in that love, too. This network will support the people doing that Spirit work.”

Learning from our ecumenical partners in the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other denominations, we have discovered the importance of providing an assessment of potential ministry developers. The assessment is based on extensive research which assists the planter in determining the gifts she or he already possesses and those that will be needed on the team for the ministry to succeed. Then we will need a cadre of International Coaching Federation trained coaches who have experience in this work to provide ongoing support to ministry developers as they begin their work.

Lay and ordained persons who have successfully started at least one new ministry in the Episcopal Church are encouraged to click here and fill out a brief application to let us know of your experience and interest in joining this network. The Episcopal Church will provide training and support to qualified persons interested in joining this network of support to nurture entrepreneurial work.

Members of the Genesis Group/Advisory Group 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 and the Rev. Canon Tanya Wallace of Western Massachusetts are liaisons 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, Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation, is staff advisor. The Rev. Tom Brackett is the staff liaison.