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May 11, 2011

Fourth Video of Healthy Congregations Released

St. Jude may be the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes, but for a Long Island, NY Episcopal Church named for the saint, the church is far from hopeless.


At one time, St. Jude’s in Wantagh experienced declining membership and dwindling resources, but today the church is growing and reflects its local community. Working together, the congregation was “deliberate and very strategic in wanting to bring about positive change and long-reaching vision,” noted Rev. Bob Honeychurch, Episcopal Church Officer for Congregational Vitality.


St. Jude’s, in the Diocese of Long Island, is the focus of the fourth of five videos in the groundbreaking series, Transforming Churches, Changing the World. Produced by the Episcopal Church Office of Communication, the video is available at the bottom of this page.


Calling the area on Long Island “classic suburbia,” the Rev. Christopher Hofer, rector, concurs.  “St. Jude’s was founded in 1956, a time on Long Island when every community had an Episcopal Church.”


When he arrived, Hofer reports in the video, the first thing that struck him was a lack of children in church, despite many youngsters living throughout the community. Now, nearly 10 years later, he reflects that changes -- “incremental changes” which add up – have transformed St. Jude’s into a welcoming church with “joyful liturgy” along with many programs, described by Hofer as “kid-centered, adult friendly.”


Transforming Churches, Changing the World


The purpose of the Transforming Churches, Changing the World video project is to present identifying characteristics of healthy churches with a focus on ministry and outreach.


A new video in the Transforming Churches, Changing the World series will be presented each month through May 2011. 


Previous videos featured Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA (Diocese of Pennsylvania), Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix AZ (Diocese of Arizona), and St Paul & the Redeemer, Chicago, IL (Diocese of Chicago) are available here: