St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Wantagh, Long Island, once experienced declining membership and dwindling resources, but today it is growing and reflects its local community, according to a press release from the Office of Public Affairs.
The church is featured in the fourth of five videos in the "Transforming Churches, Changing the World" series produced by the Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication. [The video is available on the Episcopal Church website and on the church's Facebook page.]
Working together, the congregation was "deliberate and very strategic in wanting to bring about positive change and long-reaching vision," said the Rev. Bob Honeychurch, the Episcopal Church's officer for congregational vitality, according to the release.
The church was founded in 1956, "a time on Long Island when every community had an Episcopal church," explains the Rev. Christopher Hofer, St. Jude's rector.
Hofer says in the video that when he began as St. Jude's rector in July 2004 the first thing that struck him was the lack of children in church, despite many youngsters living throughout the community. Today, he notes that "incremental changes" have transformed St. Jude's into a welcoming church with "joyful liturgy" along with many programs, described by Hofer as "kid-centered, adult friendly," the release explains.
The purpose of the "Transforming Churches, Changing the World" video series is to present identifying characteristics of healthy churches with a focus on ministry and outreach, the release said.
Previous videos are available here and feature Christ Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona; and St. Paul and the Redeemer in Chicago, Illinois.