9 AM Appreciative Inquiry

Posted on May 16, 2010 by admin

Attended by 8 members of the congregation from the 8 AM service.


  • “An explosion of niceness” – 3 dots
  • Welcoming – 2 dots
  • Integrated, inclusive – one dot
  • Group feeling “like a club” (in a good way!) – one dot
  • Kindness
  • Open to everyone
  • Down to earth
  • A little church that is “big” in spirit
  • Open to the Spirit
  • Members are supported to take initiative

Political activism

  • Fighting injustice – 2 dots
  • Using our group energy for activism – 2 dots
  • Creating change – one dot

After school program – 3 dots

  • Music lessons – 2 dots

More Hispanics, Spanish speaking service – 5 dots

  • Immigration issues

Social activism (eg, Food pantry, legal, dental, medical clinics) – one dot

  • Medical clinic – one dot
  • Many different areas of social concern – 2 dots

Recruiting members in the projects – 2 dots

Healing received, gratitude for healing


Envisioning Our Future

Posted on April 11, 2010 by admin

About 20 members of the congregation participated.

Theme Groupings

  • Community Services – there is strong awareness of community needs, including food, homeless outreach, jobs, prison ministry
  • This has a deep connection to spirituality and a purpose of living the Gospel
  • Connection to spirituality through music, worship together, special services/celebrations, special times for prayer & meditation
    • Other special events such as trips, parties, and special worship events are also meaningful and memorable.
    • We are doing well in these areas, but should continue to try to improve.
  • Youth – those coming to Sunday School, and those living in the community
    • Helping children by meeting needs that are not currently met in the schools
    • Spiritual formation more than “religious instruction”
    • Consider partnerships with people who have innovative ideas or programs to work with youth
  • Pathway for growth from receiving services to spiritual growth and giving forward to others
    • Helping people to gradually increase responsibility and “ownership” as they feel called
    • Think about how this can be made a more conscious process
    • Mentoring, support groups?
  • A desire for living better
    • Health, especially nutrition
    • Green church – this includes reducing dependence on oil, avoiding styrofoam, supporting the redeemers

Themes – one “dot” represents one vote as a highly motivating or energizing topic

  • Children: Sunday School; Outreach; After school program – 5 dots
  • Greening of St. Mary’s – 5 dots
  • Health – Nutrition – 4 dots
  • Spiritual support – 4 dots
  • Fund raising – 3 dots
  • Soup Kitchen/Food Pantry – expand – 3 dots
  • Recycling, redemption – 3 dots
  • Prison ministry – 3 dots
  • Housing/ homelessness/ Outreach program – 2 dots
  • Jobs – training programs, job developer, employment programs – 2 dots
  • Grow congregation – 2 dots
  • Support in difficult times – 2 dots
  • Lay ministry – 2 dots
  • Retreat – one dot
  • Open to the Spirit, possibilities – one dot
  • Intentional community – living/working with the homeless – one dot

Other Themes – that were mentioned but did not receive any “dots”

  • Warmth, welcome, love, people get along
  • Music – singing in the church, traveling, concerts, spontaneous rehearsal, dancing
  • Services & Worship – Palm Sunday, Good Friday
  • Special worship – Installation, bagpipes
  • Sacraments
  • Prayer & meditation
  • Trips
  • Social events
  • Soup kitchen to choir – increase responsibility, leadership
  • Location – where the world comes together

Notes from Individual Groups

Notes from Individual Small Groups – named after the color of their pen!

Green Group – Experiences

  • Installation of Father K – wonderful young man was a reader – very engaging
  • As a child forced to go to church. As adult looking… Wife knew Father K. Got married here… Divorced, but kept coming.
  • Each year something new emerges. Volunteering in soup kitchen: worship, feeding folks, engaging in activism re homelessness & poverty, discussions within community of faith.
  • After last AI, emergence of outreach ministry. Began & continued with it’s own momentum. Still coming.
  • Raised Catholic, knows by rote. Unfamiliar with Episcopal traditio. Bagpipes! Marching! Loved it! Outreach – more and more involved. Church does so much – I love this church! Could be a full time job!
  • I’m still new. I feel the WARMTH. Wish I came a long time ago – wish could be more involved. I really love the aliveness of this group! Had thought the Church was dead. Location significant: Where the whole world comes together. If you last long enough, the impossible gets done. Continue the struggle!
  • CK – When I first came – invisible red carpet – open door – GREEN light. Church is support system.
  • BP – Felt welcome from beginning. Loving place of worship. Most needed when had SK 3 days a week, bread run. Happiest – choir. Singing is a ministry.
  • TS – Been here long time. Get along with people. Baptised here. Daughter baptised here.
  • JD – In 80′s doing Soup Kitchen, began as organist/choir director. Pulled people from Soup Kitchen into choir, combining two ministries.
  • CB – Come because congregation was singing. Ministry to self – singing.
  • Ministry to others – outreach.
  • BP – Lay ministry – loves it but it’s challenge. Could use help.
  • CK – St. Mary’s is role model. Mission statement – opppressed/downtrodden. Get youth involved.
  • TS – Activities for youth. Trips, tournaments.
  • BP – Re-engage prison ministry
  • JD – Get congregation singing more. Activities for former youth choir and their children. Prison ministry.
  • CB – Concern – shrinking pool of $$. Combine activities with fund raising – dance, theater.
  • The Retreat
  • Mrs. Scott’s party
  • Palm Sunday/Walk around the block
  • Good Friday
  • When young man sang at his baptism
  • ECW trip
  • I feel good every Sunday when I am in church
  • See more people happy, by receiving housing
  • Working on Census – meeting community needs (Hispanhot?)
  • We need to grow the congregation
  • More youth outreach
  • Serving children of people in prison
  • Greening of St. Mary
  • Sunday School – Teach prayer
  • Nutrient education
  • Extend and develop outreach ministry into spirituality
  • Supportive Community, providing a place for homeless people to live and work together (buy a building, start a mobile recycling center) in spiritually based intentional community.
  • Reach out to youth – lacking now.
  • Reach out to young people – an alternative to materialism. Being present to them. Franciscan style – nature, etc. Tell kids about St. Francis (Bible is boring)
  • Sunday School expanding (Kids & teachers), one room school – expand understanding of need in community. Public school system cuts.
  • Reconsider after school program. Arts focus? Athletics? Keep growing Sunday kids program, too.
  • Social system can only be successful with Christian concept of love/spirit w/o religion per se while maintaining separation of church and state.
  • Reach out to unemployed in community, maybe with Columbia University Employment Center. Job Developer. Put people to work (like Salvation Army). DOE Fund, etic.
  • See kids grow up: acolytes, scholars
  • Street Outreach
  • Putting the Gospel into action
    • Connecting with the homeless
    • Soup Kitchen/Food Pantry
  • Being able to take responsibility and control of a particular area
    • Set up produce from farm, had printed recipes to explain how to use produce
  • Singing in the choir
    • Concerts at the UN, Symphony Space – singing with a lot of choirs, New Hampshire – traveling and singing, MLK celebration
    • Prefer singing in the choir
    • Spontaneous improvisation during choir rehearsal
  • Services
  • Sunday school – answering questions, taking a leadership role
    • Playtime downstairs – tag, hide and seek, singing songs
    • Playing in the park after church
  • Experienced healing of a family member when Father K came to visit in the hospital – felt moved on a deep level
  • Received help when stressed or distressed – grateful for help received
  • More people
  • More responsibility (in context of the Food Pantry)
    • More outreach through the Food Pantry
  • Add another day for the Food Pantry
  • Services with dancing as well as singingr  “One half dancing and one half dancing”
  • “Jesus comes to the church”
  • Prayer Vigil was a special time – quiet, prayer at night, prayer aids
  • Keep our hearts and minds open to the Spirit and to each other
  • Clean Energy


Keep Awake

Posted on November 30, 2008 by admin

Appreciative Inquiry “Becoming Church Together” November 30, 2008

Advent Theme “Keep Awake”

Question: Think of a time recently when you “woke up”, when God’s Spirit was speaking to you, and you “woke up” or were stirred up.


  • We need to speak out or do something when horrible things happen
  • “We can be beautiful terrorists”
  • I am grateful for this church.
  • Getting rid of clutter.
  • Taking care of ourselves as temples of God.
  • We feel empowered since the election.

Progress since the last meeting in April 2008

  • Bulletin Boards – one was purchased, but not decorated
    • Bulletin Board Ministry – will recruit from congregation
    • Put up board in back to ask for opinions on various topics
  • Directory – is in preparation, progress is being made
  • Educational Series – in 2008, we had a series on Mary. In 2009, planning for a series on Sacraments
    • 1st Sacraments meeting in 2 weeks.
    • Educational Series on Nonviolence, for example, “A Force More Powerful”
  • Sunday School – plans are being made for “Secret Pen Pals” between Sunday School participants and adults in the congregation.
    • Secret penpals needed for Sunday School – volunteers were Glenda White, Bonnie Phelps, Christina Campbell, Earl Kooperkamp, Celia –, Anne Ditzler
    • Sunday School pageant will be in January
    • Liz and Allen Mellen have a car and can give rides
  • Banner on the side of the building – not done.
  • New Vestry members do a program or project – not done
  • Outreach program to the homeless – this is developing successfully
  • Worship – changes have been made that have been well received.

New Input

  • Property committee is active.
  • The rest of the meeting focused on outreach.


  • Committee of lay people to call or visit sick and shut-ins. This would provide assistance to the pastor. Currently pastoral visiting is done by Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, Rev. Chloe Breyer, and Bonnie Phelps.
  • ECW Prayer committee will reconstitute in December, generate prayer list.
  • Phone calls to people who are away temporarily.
  • We want to grow the connections between the adults and the Sunday School youth.
  • How can we integrate new members?
  • Social outreach to people who are coming to the food pantry.
  • Form a welcoming committee for visitors.
  • Make name buttons for members of the congregation, and name tags for visitors
  • Make a point to talk to people you don’t know.
  • Form a youth board, children’s choir
  • Invite young adults back to church.
  • Ongoing education for young adults – Enquirer’s class, confirmation class, post confirmation
    • Ask Gwen Walker and Janet Dorman for contacts
  • Invite the Cadets to attend church some Sunday
  • Have a fundraising campaign for a youth minister/leader/priest
  • ECW to give some thought to this, will help us start to explore this area
  • Could we recruit from the Internship program?
  • Plan for an AI specifically in the areas of reaching out to “marginal” members of the congregation – youth, sick and shut-ins, new members. It will examine pastoral care and welcoming process for ways that we can improve and incorporate more members of the congregation.


Appreciative Inquiry

Posted on March 10, 2008 by admin

We appreciate

  • Pastoral care of individuals

New Initiatives

  • Lenten Bible Study 9 AM on Sunday
  • Plan for Eastertide Bible Study, possibly on Wednesdays
  • Plan for “The Art of Prayer from the Heart” – how to pray for people spontaneously, especially for those involved with the homeless ministry, but open to everyone


Congregational life

  • Attendance seems to have fallen off – or are people just arriving late?
  • Regular vestry meetings
  • Pastoral letter with announcements of church seasons, important events
  • New hymnals
  • Congregational directory
  • New bulletin boards in Undercroft (enclosed) and Narthex
  • Content for bulletin boards
  • To include activities sponsored by St. Mary’s
  • Calendar of events
  • Outside groups that are assisted at St. Mary’s
  • Financial information for congregation


  • Readers training – possibly do at St. Mary’s, invite readers to attend
  • Respectful attention during worship, especially during the sermon


  • Adults with young children may have special needs, for example, child care, diaper changing area

Goals and Commitments for next meeting, April 13, 2008

  • New bulletin boards for the Undercroft & Narthex – Liz Mellon to send reminder to Earl Kooperkamp
  • Content for bulletin boards – Liz Mellon, Janet Dorman
  • Church Directory – Liz Mellon to consult with Gwen re next steps
  • Pastor’s Letter – before Annual Meeting
  • Put up the stations of the cross in the Sanctuary before Holy Week – Earl to oversee
  • Invite parents and newcomers to next AI meeting
  • Mario Clemenzio to work on involving Young Adults
  • Report on AI at Annual Meeting – Dorothy Ross


Becoming Church Together Feb. 10, 2008

Posted on February 10, 2008 by admin


  • Congregational Development
  • Learning group on Mary
  • Diversity of congregation, along with a wider participation in Kwanzaa celebration
  • Welcoming of new and returning congregation
  • Worship
    • Music, singing, and having the lyrics in the bulletin
    • Banners
    • Entire worship service in the bulletin every week
  • Changes in the worship service, including
    • More silence
    • Congregational Prayers of the People


  • Soup kitchen changes to pantry
  • Saturday outreach
  • Presence of interns


  • Congregational Development
  • Information sharing
    • Newsletter
    • Bulletin boards
    • Updated directory of congregations
  • Coffee hour
    • Meet & Mix functions at coffee hour
    • Earl there more to help with this
    • Lock-up for coffee hour supplies
  • Education
    • More training for readers
    • Program on the Ethiopian Church
    • Regular Bible study program
    • More learning for kids
  • Young Adult group
  • General
    • More follow-up and more intentionality to our welcome
    • Visual representation of diversity – display of Star of David and of Crescent
    • Birthday celebrations?
  • Worship
    • Periods of silence
    • Music: encourage more congregation singing
    • More congregational participation
  • Mission
    • Saturday outreach ministry needs to be more regularized, create a schedule of volunteers
    • Expand outreach ministry to include a place where people can live in community – homeless and those who want to help meet their needs


  • Bulletin Boards – Liz, Janet, Celia
  • Reader’s Training – Bonnie now, Celia and Christine later
  • Bible Study – Liz and Earl
  • Saturday Outreach – Lysander and Christine to organize group prayer

Becoming Church Together January 13, 2008

Posted on January 13, 2008 by admin

Present: Celia, Christine, Lysander, Patrick, Bonnie, Liz, Armando, Anne, Earl, Janet, Lonnie, Ralph, Allen

The meeting opened with prayer and reading of themes from April’s Appreciative Inquiry event.

How have we followed through from last April? (Anne’s brief summary, listed by theme)

  • Learning/Small Groups – educational programs on Mary; ECW monthly prayer group
  • Buildings – there was a “walk through” to view parts of the church buildings that need repair
  • Worship – introduction of quiet; the newsprint sheets at the back of the church for feedback
  • Service to Community – Saturday Outreach to the homeless
  • other – purchased and installed bulletin boards

After opening prayer, we divided into groups of two and discussed things we found especially good since our gathering last April and expressed three things we wished to see in the near future.  We then reported back to the entire group.

Things we found especially good (grouped by title only – listed more than once if more than one person mentioned it)

  • Extreme diversity
  • Diversity again
  • Welcoming – for example, people Celia didn’t know came up to speak to her
  • It’s a singing church
  • The music
  • The banners – they add to the architecture
  • Banners again
  • Having the lyrics to the hymns in the bulletin
  • Evolution of the soup kitchen into a pantry
  • Soup kitchen changes
  • Presence of interns
  • This year’s Kwanza celebration
  • There was wider participation in the Kwanza presentation
  • The Service of the Word – every week
  • The entire worship service every week
  • Learning groups  – Ms. McKenzie’s prayer group and the Mary programs
  • The programs on Mary and the attendance at them
  • Again, the presentation on Mary
  • Fr. Kooperkamp’s prologues to his sermons is good teaching moment
  • Congregational form of the Prayers of the People
  • Saturday outreach
  • The silences

These are some of our wishes (again by title only and repeated to show frequency)

  • Church to sing more –there is a perception that the congregation does not generally sing
  • More continuity in music
  • More congregational singing
  • More mingling and less clustering at the coffee hour
  • Some form of mixing function at coffee hour
  • A lock up place for coffee hour supplies
  • Wish Earl were at coffee hour – to help to unify the diverse groups
  • Why not have more training for readers
  • (It’s good that not only the best readers read.)
  • Share more knowledge and reporting  – example, info about the Saturday outreach
  • Bulletin boards and updating them to be current
  • Newsletter
  • Again newsletter and bulletin boards
  • Saturday outreach ministry needs to be more regularized, create a schedule of volunteers
  • Expand outreach ministry to include a place where people can live in community – homeless and those who want to help meet their needs
  • Regular vestry meetings
  • More congregational participation in affairs of church
  • Visual representation of diversity – display of Star of David and of Crescent
  • More quiet time in service
  • Again more quiet time – be joyful but reverent
  • Breathe in more silences – avoid the tendency for the silence to shrink
  • Update directory of names/members
  • Communicate why some pledge envelopes were not available, explain things in advance
  • Young adult group
  • Choir needs to hold back in the said responses, create balance with congregation
  • Need to provide for reflection on the personal – an opportunity to share our faith
  • More follow-up and more intentionality to our welcome
  • Where are we going on our buildings?
  • Do we want to pursue a capital campaign?
  • Educational program on Ethiopian Church
  • Would like ECW to communicate more (he’s jealous – esp. pf prayer group)
  • Regular bible study
  • More bible study and book discussion
  • New prayer books, hymnals, and pew racks
  • More follow-through in general
  • Wheelchair elevator
  • More learning for kids
  • Celebration for March 7 birthday (Ralph)
  • More congregational participation in the prayers of the people
  • More congregational saying of psalms

Next Steps/Commitments

  • Liz, Janet and Celia volunteered to work on putting info on the bulletin boards
  • Bonnie will offer more assistance to readers; Christine and Celia will work on training readers
  • Liz proposes a Monday evening Bible study following food pantry
  • Earl wants to revive midweek Bible study
  • Lysander and Christine will work on assisting the Saturday Outreach in group prayer

Next meeting February 10 after coffee hour – Celia to convene

Worshipping Together Follow Up

Posted on August 27, 2007 by admin

August 8, 2007 With choir


  • Most people liked or were OK with the silence
  • One person voiced strong dissatisfaction – “It’s not me”


  • Everyone was OK with the variety of music

August 26, 2007 8 AM


  • “Fabulous!”
  • “It’s OK”

August 26, 2007 10 AM


  • “Good as it is now.”
  • “The silence is a stumbling block to spontaneity. Maybe Janet could play music during the silence? If people want to meditate, they should do it during the week.”

Teaching – Liz’s Talk

  • “Keep it up!”
  • “It’s a captive audience, and it’s Earl”
  • Irene’s intercessory prayer group is very good


  • “Great!”
  • “Fabulous!”
  • “Keep a base of familiar hymns”
  • “Variety is perfect just the way it is.”
  • Likes having different service music during the different liturgical seasons
  • Recessional hymn should be more uplifting and familiar.

Other Comments

  • Overall worship experience – “I’m satisfied”
  • Microphone on the lectionary side is spotty.
  • It’s good that announcements are shorter.
  • Don’t like exclusivity of prayer at the end of the service at the back. Maybe the whole congregation could be included? – two people mentioned this
  • More amen’s or other words instead of clapping – two people mentioned this, and another agreed. Some people feel that clapping after the sermon seems to be rewarding a performance, rather than responding to the Spirit.
  • More spontaneity and openness to the Spirit during the worship service.
  • A visitor from Holy Trinity liked the simplicity of the service.
  • Choir should take communion last, not first.
  • Other services – Wednesday evening prayer be revived, perhaps a daily prayer service?
  • One person had heard Ishmael Wallace’s musical composition on the last words of Christ and was impressed. This person suggested that perhaps some time we could have a musical response to the Gospel reading, instead of or in addition to the sermon.
  • Would like to have children bring up the offering and the elements.

Other Thoughts

  • After the 10 AM, we also talked about other topics besides worship. Although not directly related to the main topic, there were excellent ideas to consider. Here are the comments.
  • Find out what are concerns in the neighborhood. How can St. Mary’s tie into that?
  • More concerts for the neighborhood
  • Address concerns of young people – talk to the interns for ideas
  • Housing & programs for ex-offenders
  • Support group for graduates of the Exodus Project?

Educational Offerings

  • Classes or Bible study after church on Sunday or on Wednesday evening
  • How about a topic after church once a month, or once per liturgical season. Perhaps like a mini-retreat.
  • Have post-confirmation follow through. Ask confirmees how they would like to be supported after their confirmation.
  • Anne Ditzler has to do a 1-hour workshop for her job on Stewardship and Evangelism. She offered to do it for St. Mary’s if we could do it in October.
  • Possibly this would include an AI for individuals on our personal gifts, for service, witness, & personal growth, and connecting this to stewardship.
  • Anne is also interested in doing something about the sacraments, because these were highly valued during the AI workshop in May.
  • Possibly an AI retreat during Lent?
  • An idea for Wednesday evening – a class/group to develop leadership and Christian growth and service. One idea is to incorporate AI for individuals and supportive circles.

Worshipping Together

Posted on May 11, 2007 by admin

Becoming Church Together – Worshipping Together

Present: Janet Dorman, Allen Mellen, Liz Mellen, Dorothy Ross, Bill Smith


  • St. Mary’s feels like “home”
  • There is a faith feeling, a spirit at St. Mary’s that is unlike at many other churches
  • Diversity and inclusiveness
    • Active in early days of women in the priesthood
    • Integrity Together services
  • Open communion – no questions asked
  • Valuing each person
  • Prolonged peace
  • Acceptance of everyone
  • Open announcements
  • Welcoming visitors individually
  • Even when we start late, it is to include everyone present in starting the service
  • Spirituality is integrated with social action
  • “Small is beautiful” – we don’t want to be a megachurch
  • Music – balance of different traditions
  • We appreciate aspects of being Episcopalian


  • Generous scripture readings
  • Liturgical drama, worship of the body as well as the mind and spirit
  • Liturgical seasons
  • Weekly Communion, going up to the altar
  • Episcopal traditions maintain quality and balance


Wishes fell into two types – broad wishes that included a number of aspects, and specific wishes. The broad wishes were (1) more variety and contrast in worship and (2) more learning incorporated into worship. Suggestions offered were:

More Variety and Contrast in Worship

  • Quiet – a big wish was for periods of quiet during the service. We do not want to change the basic celebratory mood of worship at St. Mary’s, but to highlight it by offering contrastive periods of quiet. Specific ideas were:
  • “Holy Hush” – 5 minutes before the service, everyone, including the priests, deacons, organist, choir and congegation, sit quietly in the congregation. At the end of the 5 minutes, the prelude would begin and the officiants and choir would assemble in the back for the procession.  Might create more attentiveness during the service – being quiet together
  • A few moments of silence for reflection after the sermon or after the readings
  • Quiet communion hymns
  • At 10 AM service, use a variety of readers for the intercessory prayer
  • Introduce a new hymn once a month
  • Differentiating the liturgical seasons more – this is done somewhat now, but do more
  • Different service music for each season – perhaps not use service music during Lent
  • Different consecration prayer for each season?


There was a desire for ongoing learning, partly to be done in groups, but partly to be done during the service. Some examples of how this could be incorporated

  • A short piece in the announcements each week about worship/church history/Episcopalianism
  • During the service, occasionally stop for a moment and talk about what is happening in the service. Those who have the benefit of going to seminary should share with those who do not. One way to incorporate this might ostensibly be a children’s message – of course, the adults would listen, too! Another way is to mention some things when they fit into the sermon topic. Examples, baptism, the peace, why we have the lectionary, what happens during the consecration.
  • More pamphlets in the back of the church

Specific Wishes

  • New service books!
  • More direction during service
  • Telling congregation the hymn number or page number in the BCP
  • Telling people when sitting or standing is appropriate
  • Choir leadership and development
  • Maintaining a worshipful atmosphere
  • “Holding back” sometimes –
  • More celebration during Advent to contrast with commercialization of Christmas
  • Acknowledge St. Mary, our patron saint
  • No applauding? – there was debate on this issue – perhaps  “Amen” responses instead?
  • Incorporate a cycle of prayer like the Anglican cycle of prayer into the intercessions
    • Would require some planning – make sure whoever is doing the intercessions has a copy of the cycle for that Sunday
  • Incorporate Morning Prayer into the Eucharist occasionally
    • Perhaps try it during the 8 AM service?
  • Plan opportunities for congregation to give feedback on worship
    • 3 times a year
    • Plan meeting for October

Themes in order of priority

Posted on April 26, 2007 by admin

A. Social Justice – 15 dots

B. Groups and Learning – 14 dots

  1. St. Mary’s is a church seeking wisdom together in all our diversity.
  2. We are learning and teaching ourselves into being church together through varieties of worship.
  3. We are inviting people to join us in a deeper Faith and clarity of direction.

C. Congregational Growth – 12 dots

St. Mary’s is a vibrant, growing community of faith, with deep roots and broad outreach, open to a diversity of faith backgrounds, to support and challenge a diverse community.

D. Building – 12 dots

E. Worshipping Together – 8 dots

St. Mary’s mission grows from our worship, nourished by the Holy Eucharist and the Gospel in the words of the Bible. How much more authentic reverence will we contribute to our community and our world if we include more quiet and peace in our worship?

F. Welcome and Diversity – 8 dots

Embracing and celebrating the blessings of diversity in God’s kingdom – Patrick and Andrew

G. Prophetic Voice – 8 dots

H. Expanding Service to the Community – 6 dots

As the sun’s light expands, St. Mary’s expands by extending its great ministries to provide nourishment and sustenance to the Harlem community. St. Mary’s provides funding and space  for the homeless; meals on wheels; mentoring programs for youth, and creating and preparing care packages for students and incarcerated individuals. St. Mary’s acts as a catalyst in Harlem by reaching through its practical application of the Gospel message.

Sacraments in the church – 2 dots

Soup kitchen – 2 dots

Church music, choir director Janet – 2 dots

Commitment of the minister – 1 dot

Evangelisma and Outreach – 1 dot

Becoming Church Together

Posted on April 22, 2007 by admin

A meeting of a few interested persons was held on Sunday April 22, 2007 after church to discuss the AI initiative and moving it forward.

Present were Betty, Ann Ditzler, Janet Dorman, Miguel Escobar, Charles Kelly, Earl Kooperkamp, Allen Mellon, Elizabeth Mellon, Lysander Puccio, Dorothy Ross

The AI process going forward will now be called “Becoming Church Together”

Alan Mellon suggested that St. St. Mary’s respond to Executive Council’s request for input on the Draft Anglican Covenant.  (Executive Council is the governing body of the Episcopal Church between General Conventions.)

  • If anyone is interested, I’ll be glad to provide information both on the Executive Committee’s requst and on the Draft Anglican Covenant.
  • There is some time pressure — Executive Council has asked for responses by early June.
  • I see this topic as falling under “Learning and Groups,”  although our response will be informed by our entire vision.
  • I am working on a response of my own and I will share it with as many as I can to see if we can make it a corporate rather than an individual response.

Charles Kelly

  • Spreading the Gospel, preaching the Good News
  • St. Mary’s a loving community
  • A spiritual home, a support system
  • Like a rock, rooted
  • We open our doors to people who are doing works of faith
  • We can carry that to our work, “The Savior is here for us”
  • Relates to mission of expanding to the community
  • Wishes for Expanding to the Community
  • Youth outreach – Men’s group might contribute to this
  • Youth Choir – perhaps this could come out of the hip hop mass eventually
  • Bible Study for youth – also to come out of hip hop mass?
  • Follow up after baptism, confirmation
  • St. Mary’s support to Redeemer’s Group – representative from St. Mary’s to come to meeting

Lysander – Vision

  • This area has the highest concentration of the homeless
  • Go to Redeemer meeting?
  • Outreach to the homeless with bag meal – do it once, see what happens
  • Will go to soup kitchen meeting tomorrow to discuss

Anne – Image of the members of St. Mary’s as “stars” forming constellations around areas of energy, giving light to the world

  • The next stage is for individuals to take steps

Miguel – organization

  • next steps divided into
  • Concrete – for example, the building
  • Open – more exploration

Liz Mellon – better communication

  • Bulletin board large in entry way, also choir room?
  • Put fabric to make more attractive
  • Calendar to chart all the activities and meetings at the church – keep it up to date – enlist help of Gwen

Lysander – opening up to the congregation

  • Building walk-through – invite all members to attend
  • Those who are interested will come, new leaders can be recruited
  • Ismael’s composer workshop – invite those who are interested from the congregation
  • Stained glass project – congregation to make small stained glass suncatchers to hang on the plain stained glass windows – may generate ideas for the future for the stained glass windows

Liz – interested in adult education

  • Has talk on Mary, can relate it to church tradition
  • Possible Advent one day retreat?
  • Perhaps a short talk in August around August 15?

Next steps

  • Meet once a month to review progress
  • Miguel willing to run meeting, write up a summary for the following week’s bulletin?
  • Worship committee
  • Special meeting to do AI process? – might take up to 4 meetings, probably over a month
  • Friday the only day that everyone present can attend
  • Tentatively scheduled first meeting for May 11 – check with Bill Smith, Irene McKenzie
  • Dorothy Ross to do AI process for the meeting

Valuing Our Past – St. Mary’s Timeline

Posted on April 22, 2007 by admin
  • 2006                Yvonne Logan
  • Aug 2006        NYIP 2nd year! – Jackie, Pam, Andrew, Emily, Amanda
  • 2004                Ozzie Davis addresses anti-death penalty audience here at St. Mary’s
  • Aug 2005        NYIP 1st year!
  • March 2005     Redeemer/Life of Recycler Charles Kelly
  • 2003                Chloe Breyer
  • May 2002        Evensong Protest at St. Paul’s Chapel
  • Fall 2001         St. Mary’s volunteers at WTC/St. Paul’s Chapel
  • 2001                Dorothy, Karen, Anne get married Summer 2001
  • Jason & Lillian Townsend married August 19, 2001
  • Sept 2001        Earl Kooperkamp comes as Rector
  • 1997                Anne Ditzler came to St. Mary’s
  • 1995-2000       Jenny & Delores work with St. Mary’s Sunday School
  • Rhonda joined St. Mary’s
  • 1990’s             Angela Boatwright & Renee Hill
  • 1988                Bob Castle as priest-in-charge
  • 1980’s             3rd Sunday September 1980 Elizabeth & Earl Kooperkamp came to St. Mary’s
  • 1975                Liz & Allen married
  • 1970’s             Fr. Neale Secor – adult discussion session on the church and homosexuality
  • 1960’s             Robert Jones & family join
  • 1950’s             Anita Hinkson (1956), Allen Mellon (1958), Effie Scott (1959-1960)
  • 1949                Marie Runyan joins St. Mary’s
  • 1908                this church building built
  • December 18, 1823 – St. Mary’s founded


Notes from First Appreciative Inquiry, April 15, 2007

Posted on April 15, 2007 by admin

Group 1

  • Soup Kitchen – we feel good about meeting people’s needs there
  • We want to develop more capacity to do this better
  • Develop shelter


  • Not reverent enough – less noise and chaos
  • Choir – Important for many reasons
  • Children’s choir
  • New music
  • We value diversity & fellowship
  • Race, age, gender, economic background
  • Youth outreach

Social Justice

  • Faith & action
  • Health Center
  • Develop (Catholic) Episcopal Worker House


  • Clean & refurbish
  • Rectory, church, meeting space, undercroft, upstairs & bathrooms

Group 2

  • Socal Justice – homelessness, ISM, community involvement
  • Sacraments in the church
  • Commitment of the minister/clergy
  • People can come for help
  • Church music/choir director – Janet
  • Stronger, larger organization
  • Everybody should give 10% of income
  • More $ for renovation

 Group 3

  • Openness, acceptance, tolerance
  • Social justice
  • Practical application of the Gospel
  • Prophetic voice, speaking truth, inspiring each other to go further & challenge status quo
  • Individual & communal conscience

Group 4

  • Everyone felt welcomed
  • Inclusion/Open-mindedness
  • Family
  • Diversity – Accepting, Appreciation, Involvment, Open-minded
  • Our style of confrontin problems & helping community
  • Our Worship Life: Beauty, Music
  • Content: readings, prayer, & hymns, communion — and Pacing
  • Advocacy – social justice, peace, address our own complicity & contribution
  • More group activities, learning opportunities

Group 5

  • St. Mary’s connects people “All the diversity comes together under one roof to do God’s work & praise God”
  • Expanding service to the community, i.e., soup kitchen, intern program, youth program
  • Evangelism/Outreach “We are not afraid”
  • Adopt an African Church
  • Open and forgiving community
  • “We hold the keys to healing and mending”
  • “Not always agree, but pray to accept each other”
  • Worshipping together
  • “Started me praying again”, i.e., prayer, singing, music, “West Harlem Christ”
  • Taking care of church – buildings & property

Group 6

  • Welcome & Diversity
  • Congregational Growth
  • Increase membership & loyalty, tithing
  • Community Involvment
  • Living the Word
  • Congregational Loyalty (Loyalty to the congregation)
  • Soup Kitchen
  • Dress up choir

One thought on “Appreciative Inquiry

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