A045 Celebrate and Support the Planting of New Episcopal Worshiping Communities

Final Status: Concurred as Amended

Resolved, That the 81st General Convention and the Episcopal Church continue churchwide support for the planting of new worshiping communities, the training and recruiting of church planters, and the fostering of a church-wide network of support for new missional development that was originally funded by GC2018-A005, GC2018-A032, and GC2018-A095; and be it further

Resolved, That the Church continue to prioritize establishing New Episcopal Worshiping Communities that are especially committed to mission and evangelism engaging under-represented groups, including youth and young adults, disabled persons, members of LGBTQIA communities, BIPOC communities, poor and working-class people, people with a high-school diploma or less, and/or people with little or no church background or involvement; and be it further

Resolved, That the budget for sustaining this new ministry development be $1,692,000.00 for 2025-2027 to be allocated as follows:

  • $92,000.00 to identify and support existing programs to train clergy and lay leaders in planting congregations,
  • $200,000.00 to provide mentorship/coaching/training for planters of congregations,
  • $100,000.00 for the continuing development and implementation of a program to train bilingual/bi-cultural lay and ordained leaders in church planting for various cultural contexts,
  • $1,300,000.00 for grants to new and existing church plants, to be administered by the Advisory Group on Church Planting and Revitalization in consultation with the Churchwide Office Staff Officer for church planting;

And be it further

Resolved, That the Convention urge The Episcopal Church Development Office establish an advisory group to study the possibility of creating an endowment for church plants; and be it further

Resolved, That Dioceses receiving money for planting new congregations under this program be required to contribute significant, resource appropriate, and local funding to support the costs of any new plants; and be it further

Resolved, That the bishop or a diocesan advocate representing any diocese receiving funds take part in a cohort of church planting dioceses to share best practices and methods of supporting mission developers. Those dioceses not receiving grant funds are also invited to participate in the diocesan cohort; and be it further

Resolved, That the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies establish an Advisory Group on Church Planting and Revitalization to serve until the 82nd General Convention of not more than twelve (12) people, consisting of those with experience in revitalizing congregations, diocesan oversight of such work, working with evangelism and mission, to carry out provisions of this resolution, including making recommendations to Executive Council about grants to be awarded, helping to identify potential revitalizers, and developing a network of coaches, and working with staff on training church revitalizers; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention embrace the future of our Church by, after this Triennia, moving the funding for a church-wide office staff-person to oversee the planting network (Staff Officer for Church Planting) into the continuing budget for the Presiding Bishop’s staff; and be it further

Resolved, That the Budget Committee of Executive Council consider a budget allocation of $1,692,000 for the implementation of this resolution.