Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY
Business Office: 68 South Swan Street - Albany, NY 12210 - (518) 465-4737
Christ the King Spiritual Life Center: 575 Burton Road - Greenwich, NY 12834 - (518) 692-9550


Welcome To Transformation:
An E-Resource For Leaders Of Missionary Outposts

This focus of this monthly e-magazine is parish renewal, evangelism, spiritual growth, planning, leadership, and stewardship.

June 2004:

Rejuvenating the Aging Congregation
by the Rev. Robert F. Haskell

Morris Blanchard was talking to his friend Ken Smotherman in the parking lot of St. Aidan’s Church after the 10 o’clock service. “I like to sit in the back as you know. And today, it just occurred to me that almost every head I saw had white hair. It made me wonder who is going to sit in our pews in 20 years.” “I have thought the same thing”, Ken said. “In a few more years we’ll all be too feeble to come to church.”.

Making a Church Kid- Friendly

by the Rev. Michael Neufeld
Rector, St. Andrew's Church, Scotia

As the lessons were being read, a baby in one of the front pews started fussing. During the sermon, he got louder. Finally, during the confession, he really started to wail. The old German priest gave the absolution and then walked down the aisle to where the family was seated. He took the baby and gently began to talk to him.

How Can We Increase Attendance?

“There were so few people in church today, I could have thrown a stone from the back to the pulpit and not hit anyone,” a man told me at the coffee hour of a church recently. He was right. It had been pretty empty. Sadly, this wasn’t the only church I have been in where this was true. But there are things anyone can do to increase attendance in their church.

Lyle Schaller in his book, 44 Ways to Increase Church Attendance, describes some of them.

April 2004:
What Do You Expect...

...The Members of Your Church to Do? Sometimes when I ask this question people say, "Nothing." When I talk to them a little more, I usually find what they mean is that the haven't considered this question. But every church expects something of its members. And, it can help to think about this question so that church leaders cna choose what they expect.

“How Can We Have a Vestry Meeting People Want to Come To?”

That was one of the questions addressed by the Rev. Neal Michell, Canon Missioner of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, when he spoke at St. George’s, Clifton Park on February 1. "The key to having a good vestry meeting," he said, "is to remember those old videotapes." On the outside of the box they said "VHS."

Why Grow?

A representative from diocesan headquarters was trying to convince the vestry of St. Olaf’s Church that they should think about ways to increase church attendance. He was encountering some resistance. "Instead of caring about our church growing in numbers, why don't you start more new churches?,” one of the vestry members asked. She was joined by other members of the vestry. "We're just a good comfortable size as we are now. We have a wonderful fellowship and we're the right size to enable everyone to know everyone else.” “Everyone knows size produces anonymity. Why do you want to disturb us with all these ways that might increase our church attendance?” “Why should we try to become a bigger church and have to deal with all the problems confronting those big churches when we like it the way it is here? We're small enough for everyone to know everyone else, but big enough to offer a full-scale program."


If you have questions, comments, or you would like to subscribe to the e-newsletter, Transformation,
please contact:

The Rev'd Canon Robert Haskell
Canon for Congregational Transformation, Episcopal Diocese of Albany.

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