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I'd be interested to know how Becky defines $0. From what I know of Safespace and COTC you both started with a full time paid person, that's not $0 it's more like $35,000! tell me what she says once you've read it!

Ben - the title was the publishers' not mine. Some communities started with more resources than others - a group or individual might receive a grant of start-up money but then the ministry is on its own.

This book came about when after years of pushing Proost and other UK based resources here in the States, Church Publishing (the publishing arm of the US Episcopal Church) is now bringing UK Anglican resources over to the states. This book serves as an introduction to this venture - and as the primary need here is to educate US Anglicans interested in exploring new forms of church, I chose communities that were emblematic of the problems facing US based dioceses. In this context, the most common scenario is that church that wants to reach those who don't go to their traditional services. So they hire someone often on a part-time basis to do outreach here.

The second most common scenario is that a group of seekers wants to gather to explore their faith in a way that works for their cultural context. Here I used Grace as an example of how simply giving a group space can produce a volunteer led ministry that sustains itself.

I also define "sustainable" more holistically - for example St. Gregory of Nyssa had an endowment from the get-go but because it was so far outside of the box, the the Episcopal Diocese of San Francisco never recognized it as a legitimate ministry. It was in this context that I interviewed Mark Barry - to convince a US diocese to pay money to hire someone to do what Mark does requires that they are educated into the role a lay led community like this can have on a community. In fact, even to convince them to hire a priest to launch COTC takes some doing.

One of my goals with this book is to open up the channels for US and US Anglican dialog. Now that the US Emergent circus has run its course, there's a space for this conversation to happen.

I guess as I read it the $0 as is indicated in the blurb ("doing a lot with a little money") is perhaps more about operational budget, buildings, resources etc. Whilst I get a stipend what we do has to be self financing, begged, stolen borrowed etc. unlike friends of mine doing Church plants etc. who are given substantial pots of cash to hire buildings, pay Youth/Children's workers, pay for equipment, etc. etc. we are not backed in any way in terms of the "ventures" that we do. Also Becky makes it clear in the book that I started with a full stipend, now effectively reduced to half (in that I have to raise half). It is also the case that I get no expenses, I can only be reimbursed for office, miles, telecoms etc. with money that we ourselves raise though of course we do not pay Parish Share.

I'm sure folks will find flaws in the stories that I tell but that's the point - there is no silver bullet or magic elixir that will somehow "save the church." Mark is correct in that most of the ministries were started with a bit of seed money. But in almost all cases, these groups had to then find out how to grow these seeds all by themselves. Therein lies the struggle common to those who are trying to grow new forms of Anglican church - and this has only gotten worse here in the US thanks to the financial crisis that hit the States starting in December 2008.

What I'm doing here is helping to launch conversation in the US that's been transpiring in the UK for decades. My hope is to foster a UK-US dialog that started with Karen Ward and is now starting to pick up some synergy.

I'm with Ben - Having paid staff funded by external sources is a great blessing, but it certainly aint starting from Zero with zero. Nor is it reproducible mission, esp in a GFC with funds getting even tighter.

i wrote a post on this last month - funding pioneer projects (http://www.emergentkiwi.org.nz/archive/funding-pioneer-projects-seven-options/)


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