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In 2012, the General Assembly made a bold commitment — to create an environment within the denomination that would lead to the flourishing of the existing church and the birth of at least 1001 new communities of worship and witness. The Presbyterian Mission Agency went to work creating a system of resources to support this call to equip presbyteries, help potential leaders discern God’s call, develop a system of grants, build leadership capacity and create a network of coaches prepared to accompany a new worshiping community through all the stages of development. Establishing partnerships and collaboration with other North American denominations, the reach of these resources extends far beyond the PC(USA).
“YOU BELONG HERE NO MATTER WHAT,” reads the sign outside Broad Street Ministry, located in the heart of Philadelphia—a city where deep poverty and rapid gentrification exist side by side.
When I began the apprenticeship for 1001 [New Worshiping Communities], my coach and I sat in a diner and I scribbled my vision on the back of a placemat.