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The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church has approved a grant of $100,000 to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth for a church plant in Parker County. Parker County is the site of Walsh, the new development west of Fort Worth on what was the Walsh Ranch. It is currently the largest buildout in the United States.
“We are excited to partner with you in this church plant! Our sense is that we have much to learn from your new ministry, and partnering with you financially is our way of inviting you into our church-wide community of practice,” said the Rev. Tom Brackett, New Church Starts and Missional Initiatives, and the Rev. Jane Gerdsen, chair of the Advisory Group on Church Planting, in a letter to Ms. Marti Fagley announcing the grant.
The grant is contingent on the hiring of a trained church planter, the use of a coach as the project develops, and matching funds raised by the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. The core of the church planting team will be the St. Francis Episcopal Church congregation in Parker County, led by Fagley.
The St. Francis congregation lost their worship site and, after an alternative site fell through, they worshiped with various congregations in the diocese for the last year as they worked on this grant, which is making possible a dream they have had for years.
“We are excited and grateful to everyone who has worked with us on this grant,” Fagley said. “We are looking forward to worshiping in our community and to providing ministry to our neighbors with an extremely welcoming and diverse church. We are excited about the future.”
Bishop Scott Mayer said, “We’ve talked a lot about being on fire with the Spirit in this diocese, and I am grateful to the Executive Council for funding this part of the work that had grown out of our energy and drive. The St. Francis team has been working on this for long time. They’re ready; we’re ready. Let’s do this.”