Glossary of Terms

Church plants and new worshipping 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 and to celebrate the sacraments, out of which their ministry flows.

Mission Enterprise Zones (MEZ) primarily gather around ministries of service, justice, and mercy with communities of a particular demographic. They are experimental in nature and may be designed to run for a limited amount of time.

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. They can be churches, mission enterprise zones, or anything in between! While not all will have a worshipping aspect, NECs operate out of and give opportunities to know Jesus’ love. NECs are under the oversight of the Bishop and governance of a 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.


Discernment Grants: (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: (up to $30,000)
These grants 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: (up to $30,000)
These grants 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 as they are on their way to sustainability and health. These grants require a dollar-for-dollar or in-kind match provided by the combined contributions of the partner congregation and/or diocese.

Harvest Grants: (up to $40,000)
These grants assist ministries with potential for long-term growth in building capacity and in promoting sustainability beyond grants. These grants require a dollar-for-dollar or in-kind match provided by the combined contributions of the partner congregation and/or diocese.

The Rev. Katie Nakamura Rengers

Staff Officer for Church Planting

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