Congregational Support

Congregational Support

If you come here you will grow…

A Changing World

The world around us is changing, as it has been for decades, and the context of both neighborhood and city churches has changed significantly. Many of the methods we used in the past to welcome and encourage people aren’t working. In some places people are two or three generations past a time when their families were part of a faith community and don’t understand what Christianity is or what happens inside a church. Both "Nones" (those who check "none" for religious affiliation) and "Dones" (what they have experienced before was injurious or irrelevant and they are "done" with church) are missing the Great Good News of Jesus. 

A new curriculum or a parish hall makeover will not get us where God is calling us to follow. A one day workshop on evangelism won’t do it, either.

Exploring both within and outside our congregations, we need to learn the heart cry of people in our pews and neighborhoods and follow where God is leading to meet them in love.

A Plan for the Diocese of Long Island

As part of our "One Diocese, One Mission" motto, we have created an inter-connected congregational development plan where each section leads to the next. This five-year, long range, strategic plan will help your congregation to grow in their experience of God and extending that experience to others.

Drawing from the across The Episcopal Church, we have created a program that combines the best of what is happening in congregational growth and development.

We are excited to offer these programs and to come alongside our congregations in discerning God’s call. While we may all use these programs, plans are flexible and open to how each individual church expresses its mission and ministry.

It’s an exciting time to be in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement!

We can’t wait to start the journey together. Please come back to this site as we add the next pieces to the plan.


The Rev. Canon Claire Woodley
Canon for Congregational Support

Year One - RenewalWorks

RenewalWorks is a great place to begin for congregational development. This four-month plan is being used across The Episcopal Church to help congregations focus on spiritual growth for congregational growth.

An Invitation to Participate in RenewalWorks 

How it Works

RenewalWorks starts and ends with a party! We will gather congregations doing RenewalWorks together for an opening orientation and blessing for the journey.

The entire congregation is invited to reflect on their own spiritual life in an online Spiritual Life Inventory. The results are tabulated by RenewalWorks creating a snapshot of the congregation’s spiritual life.

Each congregation has a lay facilitator and administrator to organize and run the four, 90-minute focus group meetings. 

Before the second meeting, the clergy and lay leadership team have a phone consultation with RenewalWorks to go over the results of the online Spiritual Life Inventory.

In the third and fourth meeting, the focus group uses the metrics drawn from the Spiritual Life Inventory to create a plan to grow the church in the five best practices of vital and viable congregations.

The congregations doing RenewalWorks regather for a closing celebration, sharing learning and surprises, as well as two goals for the coming year. We expect different synergies and opportunities among congregations to arise at the closing party!

To learn more about the program, visit the RenewalWorks website or contact Canon Claire Woodley at or (516) 248-4800 ext. 134.

For an interview with the Rev. Jay Sidebotham about the RenewalWorks program, please read this article in The Living Church: Renewal Works (If You Work It).

Coaching Program for Clergy

Designed to assist rectors and priests-in-charge undertaking development and change in their parish, and for those engaging in the RenewalWorks process. These private, personal coaches will be available to clergy as they lead their congregations forward and/or in implementing their RenewalWorks plans.

Knowing that the adaptive learning and changes necessary to develop congregations in our time will stretch our clergy, the coaches are allies to help clergy achieve their personal best as congregational leaders.

The coaching program is free and covers 16 sessions. In person, by phone or Skype, the coaches will meet with clergy as needed. Trained by Tribeca Leadership, LLC our coaches represent some of the best learning and experience among clergy in the Diocese of Long Island.

To obtain a coach, contact the Canon for Congregational Support, Canon Claire Woodley at or (516) 248-4800 ext. 134.