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Episcopal healthy congregational practices second video features Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix, AZ

March 1, 2011

Changing with the neighborhood and addressing the needs of the community are the hallmarks for healthy congregational practices at Episcopal Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix, AZ (Diocese of Arizona).

“In many ways, it has been the cathedral that led the way toward urban renewal in downtown Phoenix,” noted the Rev. Bob Honeychurch, Episcopal Church Officer for Congregational Vitality.

Trinity Cathedral is the focus of the second of five videos in the groundbreaking series, Transforming Churches, Changing the World. Produced by the Episcopal Church Office of Communication, the video is available here:

Trinity Cathedral

“Trinity Cathedral is anchored in their neighborhood,” Honeychurch noted. “The congregation tailored their ministry to be directly responsive to the needs of the neighborhood and the result was serious community work. And that’s a vital characteristic of a healthy congregation â€" they take their neighborhood very seriously.”

In the video, the Very Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, Cathedral Dean, addresses the transformation. “In the 1960s, like other large cities, people began moving out of the city,” Knisely explained. “At its smallest, there were 20 members.”

The decision was made to change things in all areas. For example, the original Sunday worship schedule expanded from two morning services to its present five services on Sunday morning, noon and evening.

Today, the Cathedral sees 420-450 on Sundays. “We’re hoping to hit 500 by Christmas,” the dean said.

Another significant change was the offering of worship services and community events in both English and Spanish. But, Knisely said, the cathedral is not just bilingual but bicultural adding his belief on the importance of understating the culture, in addition to speaking the language.

“The changes they made to the worship schedule and the community activities show openness and incorporating the Latino population,” Honeychurch agreed.

He concluded, “Faith communities should incorporate the giftedness of local communities â€" music, language, food, culture â€" and recognize them all as gifts. Trinity Cathedral did that, and these expressions of faith were attractive and energizing to both the Latino and Anglo communities.”.

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.

The first featured Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA (Diocese of Pennsylvania).

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix, AZ:

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Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer