RESOLVED, That this 139th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark affirm the creation of Mission Enterprise Zones in the Diocese of Newark as prescribed in General Convention Resolution A073 Establish “Diocesan Mission Enterprise Zones,” committed to mission that engages under-represented groups; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That this Convention affirm the creation of Mission Enterprise Zones in the Diocese of Newark and to apply to the Episcopal Church Mission Enterprise Fund for funds to support ministries such as NEWARK ACTS in our Diocese.
Submitted by General Convention Deputation: The Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye Wilson, The Rev. Erik Soldwedel, The Rev. Dr. Cathy Deats and The Rev. Dr. Shane Phelan, The Rev. Joseph Harmon, Ms. Martha Gardner, Ms. Laura Russell, Mr. Gibson Oakley, Ms. Caroline Christie, and Ms. Marge Christie.
NEWARK ACTS is a program in the Diocese of Newark that engages the ministry outlined in this resolution, partnering with congregations and small social service agencies.
The 77th General Convention established a fund of $1,000,000 for the next triennium (2013 – 2015) for the purpose of granting up to $20,000 from the Mission Enterprise Fund, to facilitate the development of the Mission Enterprise Zone.
Each Mission Enterprise Zone features a strategic plan to redevelop a congregation that is intentionally multi-cultural, incorporating the presence and leadership of under-represented generations, socio-economic groups, races, ethnicities and/or languages.
“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us.” Romans 12:4-6
Many local leaders have taken up the challenge to engage in mission in creative, culturally sensitive ways. They report that they need greater flexibility and permission, in collaboration with diocesan leaders, in order to pursue God’s mission appropriately. The action this resolution proposes would offer that flexibility.
Structures are important and necessary, but they must be flexible enough not to inhibit the proclamation of the gospel by faithful Episcopal communities, and they have to be re-evaluated as mission conditions on the ground shift. By creating these stations for mission enterprise, and then studying them, we will know what structures to create to recognize and encourage the growth of new and redeveloped faith communities.
In addition to the Mission Enterprise Fund, the dioceses will have access to resources available locally and from the Episcopal Church Center, to include but not be limited to research and demographic information, resources for evangelism, church planting and redevelopment, anti-racism, and ministry in different cultural contexts.