The Episcopal Church’s Task Force on Church Planting and Congregational Redevelopment announced that its sixth set of grants are now available for Episcopal dioceses and mission developers who are envisioning, planning, or growing new worshipping communities and missional enterprises throughout the church. The grants are part of a $2,500,000 initiative funded by the General Convention in 2018 that seeks to celebrate and strategically support emerging communities in The Episcopal Church and that builds partnerships within and beyond the church, expands our language of ministry, and creates new ways for the church to engage the people of God.
“Thus far in the triennium our funding has included dinner churches, traditional church starts, intentional living communities, communities of Asian, Arab and Latinx Episcopalians, and more” said the Rev. Canon Janet Waggoner, the Task Force’s chairperson, “We are excited to use this next round of grants to help dioceses launch even more New Episcopal Communities that are ready to meet the spiritual challenges of our time.”
Four categories of grants are now available to new Episcopal communities:
- Discernment Grants of up to $5,000. These one-time grants are for people discerning a call to start a new ministry. Funds can be used for assessment, research and feasibility studies.
- Seed Grants of up to $30,000 to begin a new ministry, which assist with start-up costs and initial operating expenses of an experimental new ministry after a discernment period is completed and a ministry plan is developed. No matching funds are needed for these grants.
- Growth Grants of up to $30,000 to assist in deeper and fuller development of new ministries as they meet the goals of their ministry plan established in the Discernment and Seed grant phases on their way to sustainability and health. These grants require a dollar-for-dollar match or other in-kind support provided by the combined contributions of the partner congregation and/or diocese.
- Harvest Grants of up to $40,000 to assist ministries with potential for long-term growth in building capacity and in promoting sustainability beyond grants. These grants require a dollar-for-dollar match or other in-kind support provided by the combined contributions of the partner congregation and/or diocese.
Grants may be used to develop or strengthen new worshipping communities and missional communities but are not intended to support redevelopment of existing congregations. New Episcopal Communities may assume traditional or innovative forms, but their primary gathering point is around word and sacrament, out of which their ministry flows.
“In addition to funding, we provide gifts discernment, in person and online training, and coaching for planters and potential planters. It’s many of these additional elements that help make a new community successful,” said the Rev. Katie Nakamura Rengers, staff officer for Church Planting.
The point leader or mission developer of any new community receiving funding must take part in a leadership gifts assessment. It is also a requirement of these grants that the point leader receive coaching and regularly attend training that supports and bolsters their role in the New Episcopal Community.
The deadline for this round of grant applications is March 15, 2021.
Application and grant criteria can be found in English here, in Spanish here, and also on The Episcopal Church Grants and Scholarships page. Please contact Rengers, 205-919-1438, for additional information.
Please note the following for dioceses of The Episcopal Church: Applicant understands that should its local diocese fail to pay its assessment in full or to apply for and receive a waiver, the diocese and the applicant shall be ineligible to receive grants or loans from the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society unless approved by Executive Council.
Church planters in every diocese, however, are invited to be part of the Genesis Movement, offer their wisdom to our community, and take advantage of other resources for discernment and training offered by the Office of Church Planting and Redevelopment.
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