New Episcopal Community leaders, redevelopers, and dreamers virtual conference offered in October
The Episcopal Church Offices of Church Planting and Redevelopment, and Ethnic Ministries are partnering to offer a Virtual Genesis-Koinonia Gathering from October 1 – November 5, 2020. The annual conference is designed to inspire, mentor, and support new community leaders as they plan and plant their ministries, and to connect with and thank the diocesan leaders who support and oversee new missional initiatives.
“As the Jesus Movement responds to the restrictions brought on by COVID-19 as well as the pandemic of racism in this country, we are seeing a heightened interest in planting and redeveloping communities that are innovative, resilient, and that reach people who have been historically underrepresented in The Episcopal Church,” said the Rev. Katie Nakamura Rengers, Episcopal Church staff officer for Church Planting, “New Episcopal Community leaders tend to thrive in times of risk and uncertainty – both of which we’re experiencing plenty of right now!”
The Rev. Canon Janet Waggoner, who co-chairs the Task Force with the Rt. Rev. Allen Shin, Episcopal Diocese of New York, added, “Our gathering will help connect those with a passion for starting new ministry with the resources they need to do this holy work well. Hosting the Gathering online this year gives us the opportunity to invite more lay and bi-vocational leaders, and core team members than we were able to do in person.”
The theme of this year’s Gathering is “What would be possible if…?” In his keynote address, the Rt. Rev. Mark Edington, bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, will reflect on what could be possible if we learn to embrace a new model of ministry – one that nurtures an ethos of participatory worship, leadership and mission. The training sessions offered during this four-week period include these topics: shared leadership models, bi-vocational church planting, working with a mission team, and facilitating transformative conversations, and more. See the full list and schedule here.
The Gathering will include time for Latinx church planters to gather and share their own challenges and experiences. “Church planting in Latinx, and other minority contexts, can be very different from planting in majority Anglo communities,” says the Rev. Samuel Borbon, Episcopal Church associate missioner for Latino/Hispanic Ministry; “It’s important for diocesan leaders and planters to develop cultural sensitivity and to be intentional when defining success and sustainability in these contexts.” “Latinx people and Asian Americans are the fastest growing demographics in the U.S.” added Rengers. “It’s imperative that we follow the Holy Spirit in reaching out to these communities.”
The cost for the Virtual Genesis-Koinonia Gathering is $30 for Training Sessions 1 and 3, and $100 per team for Session 2. Financial assistance is available.
While the event is primarily geared toward those applying for a grant to start or develop a new worshipping community or a mission enterprise zone and for lay and clergy leaders discerning a call to start or develop a new ministry, it is open to anyone interested in this ministry. Registration and further details are available in English and in Spanish here (scroll down to bottom of page). The deadline to register is September 23rd.