The Annual Meeting at St. Mary’s was held on March 23, 2014.


CALL TO ORDER:12:05 pm.

PRESIDER: Dorothy Ross, Senior Warden

ELECTION COMMITTEE: Raheem Harris, Gillian Nogeire, Rhonda Davis.

BALLOTS: For Warden ( 1 slot open). Candidates are: Celia Braxton, Billy Adams, and Pearl Harris. This slot was won by candidate Celia Braxton.

VESTRY MEMBERS:There are three slots open. Candidates vying for these coveted slots are: Dorothy Ross, Dwayne Levander, LysanderPuccio, and Hilda Cabrera- Jordon.  The winners are: Dorothy Ross, Lysander Puccio, Dwayne Levander. Hilda Cabrera- Jordon (4th highest vote getter assumed Celia Braxton’s vestry position.  MANHATTAN NORTH IPC: Candidates for this position are: Lynda Burton, Shirrell Patterson. Shirrell Patterson will represent St. Mary’s, Lynda Burton will be the alternate. DCD (Diocese Conven tion Delegates) Candidates are; Joel Kovel, Celia Braxton, and FreddieBrown- Carter. Freddie Brown-Carter will represent St. Mary’s, Joel Kovel is the alternate.


TREASURER”S REPORT: MOTION moved by the Finance Committee to accept the 2014 budget as presented. The motion was seconded by Gwen Walker. The motion passed.


Vestry Clerk

Spirit and Strife Peer Trauma Support Group Report to St. Mary’s Annual Meeting 2104

an excerpt from “The Transformation of Silence Into Language and Action”  by Audre Lorde offered by a member of Sprit and Strife:

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.  That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect.”

The members of our group believe in the amazing power of sharing our words, our prayers, our struggles, hopes and joys with each other, and in so doing finding strength and cultivating a resilience that we could not find alone in the silence of our minds and hearts.  Hear us:

“I’ve come a long way to see that I have to do things for myself… That I had to get up and go talk to someone professional that I knew I should have talked to in the first place… I have gotten support to keep on going until I figure out how to find the right avenue for me to travel.”

“Empowerment to change.”

“Spirit and Strife has helped me to grow in seeing where I was going wrong and helped me to get on the right road.  And now I’m on the right road:  one year and four months clean and sober.  And it comes from coming to Spirit and Strife and talking about my struggles with my addiction and getting prayer and support from everybody.”

“I’ve gotten from Spirit and Strife the power to void how I feel in a comfortable space.”

“I get so much out of just seeing everybody come together.  It really is so supportive: the steady presence, loving, caring – for whatever.  And it is just so helpful, when I’m not here and when I am here, to know that you will all be here again, that we will all be here looking into each other’s eyes, helping each other put one step, one foot in front of the other.  I’m very grateful.”

If you are living with the experience of trauma; violence, whether from domestic abuse or military conflict; mental illness; substance use; devastating loss; debilitating illness; or find yourself in need of a circle of prayer and support for any reason, you are welcome to join us.  We meet every other Wednesday from 3:30-5pm.  Please contact Lysander Puccio, group facilitator, for further information:, 917-612-8577

“Your silence will not protect you.”  Audre Lorde


The Robert Daniel Jones Memorial Shelter Report to St. Mary’s Annual Meeting 2014

For the past 21 months, St. Mary’s has operated a shelter, named in memory of our beloved deceased Sexton, Robert Daniel Jones.  Our target population are homeless men who slip through the cracks of most city and privately run homeless services, largely due to immigration issues, but also because they have not been homeless “long enough” to qualify for services.

Since we opened our doors, we have had 15 men pass through the shelter.  Five of our guests were placed in transitional and permanent housing through our partnership with the Manhattan Outreach Consortium.  Another five former guests managed to find better jobs or to save money to the point that they are now able to pay for their own accommodations.  One guest was placed in permanent housing by the NYS Board of Parole (which was a surprise!).  Several of our guests have become full members of the St. Mary’s community, volunteering their time and talent and treasure for church Fundraising events as well as ongoing ministries like Saturday Outreach.  Some have even have been known to come to church now and again!

In addition over the past year, one of our guests was proudly awarded his U.S. citizenship, two have gotten their “greencards”, and one guest was granted political asylum.  Very wonderfully, one of our former guests was able to reunite with his young family.  We have sheltered folks from different 9 countries, including: Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad and the United States.

All in all, this is not a bad record given that we operate with a very dedicated, completely volunteer, “staff” (mostly from the St. Mary’s congregation), on a budget of $100 per month from the church as well as private donations, and of course free room and board.

Until renovations began, we housed the shelter in our rectory.  Now our guests set up their beds in our undercroft each night after the evenings’ activities are done.  We continue to seek funding through grants to expand the program and find ourselves a permanent home.  Additionally, shelter guests and volunteers have begun discussing the exciting idea of starting a small business so the shelter might be both self-supporting and provide an opportunity for guests and volunteers to develop marketable skills.

A couple months ago, we, like so many of St. Mary’s ministries, lost our Annie Deng.  She was the rectory and shelter caretaker for the past year and always went above and beyond the call.  We all miss her like crazy, but nonetheless seem to be managing quite well without her virtually full-time ever-loving presence.

New volunteers are always welcome for evenings, overnights or special projects.  Your prayers and donations are also always welcome.  Always needed are: toiletries; food staples such as sugar, salt, coffee, tea, bread; socks; and, of course, cash!  Please contact: Lysander Puccio, coordinator:, 917-612-8577.

Peace and thanks for your continued support of this important and successful ministry!

Outgoing Senior Warden’s Report

Since the last annual meeting, St. Mary’s has been through many changes. We have had two priests, Thomas Pellaton and Jeanne Person. We hope to welcome a new Rector soon. We have lost several long time members of the congregation – Sheldon Garland, Tamika Scott, Delores Jones. We are going through two major renovations – the Rectory, and the office behind us in the Parish Hall basement.

In spite of all these challenges, we have continued to do the work that we feel called to do.

We have continued to worship week by week. The Worship committee has planned the liturgies, and the Altar Guild and Lay Eucharistic Ministers have organized and taken responsibility for their parts in worship. Organizationally, the Vestry, Finance Committee and Property Committee meet regularly and are continuing to work on improving our procedures. The Fundraising Committee worked in overdrive last year to try new and creative ways to bring people together while fundraising.

We have also continued with all our Outreach programs – the Robert D. Jones Memorial Shelter, the Food Pantry, Friday Movie Night, Saturday Outreach, and Ecclesia.

I am grateful to everyone who is still at St. Mary’s – for your prayers, your presence, the time, energy and creativity you bring to everything that you do in this place.

Whoever our new Rector is, he or she will bring unique abilities, insights, and visions to St. Mary’s. I pray that we will all be open to the changes that God is leading us into in the future. And I pray that we will witness to the love and truth that we have experienced in this community.

Dorothy Ross

3 thoughts on “Annual Meeting 2014

  1. Our beloved Annie Deng is with her family in China for the time being. We are praying for her safe return to us one day.


  2. What happened to Annie Deng? I have been trying to contact her for a while now. If someone contact me about her, I would be grateful


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