Churches of Allegany County
|Location||Wellsville, Cuba and Angelica|
|Date Posted||March 13, 2023|
Rochester (Virginia Tyler Smith)
|Diocesan Compensation Info||https://www.episcopalrochester.org/sites/default/files/files/resources/2023%20Compensation%20Policy%20and%20Budget%20Guidelines%20%281%29.pdf|
|Health Benefits||Clergy + 1|
|Housing||Housing for 4|
|Is there a rectory?||Yes|
|If there IS a rectory, is it optional or required that cleric live there?||Optional|
|If there IS a rectory, is the compensation figure above inclusive of fair market value of rectory?||No|
|If there IS a rectory, how many bedrooms and bathrooms?||4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms48|
|Communicants in Good Standing||63|
|Average Sunday Attendance||40|
|Budget||$100,000 between the three parishes|
Additional comments re: compensation, benefits and housing.
The rectory is in Wellsville, behind St. John's Church and steps from Jones Memorial Hospital.
Liturgical style and practice
These parishes have a broad church style. St. Paul's Angelica is especially focused on music and makes a point of inviting guest musicians to have concerts in their classic 19th century gothic church. Christ Church Cuba is very informal, with pews arranged around the altar. St. John's Wellsville enjoys traditional liturgy with a small choir.
The churches worship separately currently. Two Sundays a month, a supply priest holds services at 9 am in Angelica and at 11 am in Cuba. The other two Sundays, they broadcast the prior Sunday's recorded service via a.m.radio. When no priest is available, they say Morning Prayer.
St. John's has supply clergy most of the Sunday soft the month. On fifth Sundays, the three churches worship together, and rotate the site of the service.
Historically, there were five parishes in Allegany County. Two parishes closed in the last decade and the proceeds from the sale of those properties will help fund a dedicated cleric to serve the other three.
The parishes have engaged a number of conversations about shared ministry. From these discussions, they discerned both a model for the Sunday worship schedule and a desire to work together on homelessness in their rural county. They each have a different vantage point on the problem: St. John's has a bus shelter across from the local hospital, where homeless frequently hang out. Cuba sits in a town that is struggling with decline and lacks the social services necessary to respond to those who are food- and housing-insecure. St. Paul's sits on the town green in Angelica, at the edge of a tourist area, and close by to other parishes that can help with ministry efforts. Together, these three could become the network that helps to serve the underserved in Allegany County.
Each of the parishes has experienced decline due to COVID. Christ Church Cuba has been especially hard hit, and needs to carefully discern its long-term plans. The parishes do not have a long history of working together, but they are eager to retain the progressive voice in their part of the state. They are also committed to collaboration and mutual support as they experiment with new models of ministry to serve their communities and the larger Kingdom of God.
Their largest concern is funding. The Diocese will work with the parishes to resource the position through a shared pooling of funds through the Allegany County trust, congregational development funding from the Diocese, and modest investment from the parishes' respective endowments.
This is an opportunity to grow ministry presence in an underserved portion of New York State. It's the perfect opportunity for someone who loves rural settings, outdoor life (camping, hiking and cross country skiing, just to name a few). This is also an opportunity to take the church outside of the buildings, and to reinvigorate Episcopal presence in this part of the county. There is an opportunity for collaboration with the local ELCA parish, as well as other churches and community organizations.
The Rev. Virginia Tyler Smith
The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester