A N N UA L R EPORT
Dear Marble Family,
What a year it has been! Amidst all the hardships we faced, Marble rose to the challenge, and for that I want to say thank you! Your support and commitment made the difference.
It is hard to believe 2021 represented the second year in the pandemic. I can still remember closing the church facilities on March 13, 2020 and telling staff, “We’re closing for one week, but make sure to take enough supplies for two weeks in case it lasts that long.” I could never have imagined we would still be in the pandemic, but there are many things I could never have imagined this past year.
I could never have imagined the Collegiate development project next to Marble would experience foreclosure. The vision for this project was birthed over sixteen years ago, and over those years the vision morphed and changed, but we could never have imagined it would end as it has. The news of the foreclosure has shocked, frustrated, and angered many, and I want you to know that I see this and understand the depth of what you are experiencing. As the leader of Marble, I want you to know it is my firm and sincere commitment to move us through this significant time of transition with clarity, hope and new vision for a renewed future. I have absolute confidence in God and in the Marble community to get through this together. Yes, we will experience change as a community, but I believe we can rise to this challenge together.
We are fortunate Marble is on firm financial footing. At the same time, we understand there is more the congregation needs to know about Marble’s relationship with the Collegiate Churches of New York and Collegiate’s finances. We are working with Collegiate so that when the legal issues are resolved related to the foreclosure, we can provide a clear understanding of the finances around this.
Last summer, we were finally able to return to in-person worship. Remarkably, our worship attendance has been strong thanks to the growth in our online viewership. Worship has been a source of connection and inspiration with all that we face. As the pandemic lessens, we hope to see you back in-person soon!
We had hundreds of people joining small groups through Zoom, providing a place of community in such isolating times. We began our racial justice series, helping us all wrestle with our place and call in the quest to end racial injustice. We had twelve people commissioned as Stephen Ministers, ready to care for people who are hurting. We had over seventy people volunteering on the Care Line and as Caring Callers to ensure people have a place to turn in a time of need.
These are just a few of the things highlighted in this report, and it reflects your support and commitment to rise to the challenge. May God help us continue to see what is possible in ministry in the years to come.
Dr. Michael Bos Senior Minister
Marble Collegiate Church is a diverse, inclusive community of God’s people led by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We inspire everyone to become positive thinkers who make a difference in the world.
We envision a world where we all become the individuals God created us to be.
Seeking to grow in our faith in God, we commit to being a safe place to explore what it means to follow the way of Jesus who, as our source of hope, leads us to new possibilities.
Seeking to grow in our relationships with God and one another, we commit to being good neighbors in the world by seeking peace and justice for all people and cultivating a community of healing, reconciliation and transformation.
Growing in Generosity
Seeking to grow in our generosity as a grateful response to God’s blessings in our lives, we recognize everything we have belongs to God, and we commit to giving and serving as acts of worship.
Growing Young Across Generations
Seeking to grow in our capacity to be a beacon of hope and life for all people, we commit to welcoming young people and their ideas, building an inter-generational community of respect, care and belonging.
We present this 2021 Annual Report as a snapshot of a most extraordinary year. Even though we were able to come back together in person in August, and thankfully sustain in-person Worship through the Omicron surge in December, there is no question we have all been changed by this experience – as individuals and as Marble Collegiate Church.
Technologies that might have been intimidating and downright scary for some of us have become crucial lifelines of connection to loved ones near and far. These same technologies enabled Marble Collegiate Church to maintain a robust ministry presence through 2021, highlighting the work of dedicated staff and volunteers who rose to a shared, unexpected challenge.
In these pages are examples of our ministry through the year, the levels of engagement of our inperson and live stream congregation, 2021 financial results and the budget for fiscal year 2022. Every number is more than a number. These are real people and real dollars that came together to support the life-changing ministry of Marble Church. Each number is a testament to the power of the Marble Community. We move into 2022 with hope amidst ongoing challenges. Most importantly, we lift our grateful hearts to the God who has been with us through it all and who we know continues to guide us with an ever-present and holy hand. Soli Deo Gloria – to God be the glory.
Rev. J. Elise Brown, Ph.D. Executive Minister
In his letter to the Philippians expressing his gratitude to the people of Philippi for their support, St. Paul wrote: Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, take account of these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Telling our stories is one of the strongest ways to share and express our gratitude for what God has done in our lives. Our stories provide testimony about our journeys with Christ and by so doing bring others to share in Christ’s love. Storytelling is a regular component of life at Marble.
• Stories by Dr. Bos during his Sunday sermons sharing aspects of his own faith journey and of those he has pastored.
• Stories in Touchpoint by Dr. Brown, other ministers and members of the Marble staff, and by congregants of how faith has guided their lives.
• Testimonies by Marble members during Worship about their struggles, their journeys into faith at Marble, their gratitude for all God has provided and their commitment to giving back.
• Stories shared during Prayer Circle, PrimeTime, Women’s Ministry, Small Groups, Bible Studies, and even in the “Chat Room” during Sunday Worship.
This annual report is also a story, a story that with the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic covers an unprecedented period in the life of Marble. On the one hand, this has been a time of grief, during which we have missed the human contact of worshipping, studying, and praying together. We are also working through the loss of physical spaces and managing through the significant reduction in financial support from the Collegiate Church of New York. On the other hand, this time has proved to be a testimony to the resilience of Marble Church and its members. It is a story of hope, participation, energy, and joy. It tells a story of prayer, outreach, care and support for one another. It tells a story of gratitude and giving. It tells a story of ministry, of a church providing for the spiritual needs of Christ’s community locally, nationally, and globally.
I am grateful for the contributions made by each of you to the Marble story. All our stories, including this annual report, are preludes to the Marble to come. Our history is rich, our present is strong, and our future is bright. I believe that we will go “from strength to strength” (Psalm 84: 7) and “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Dr. G. Gregory Lozier Board Chair
6 Marble’s Ministry Engagement Social Media Advent & Lenten Blogs Program Participation Worship New Members Website Streaming Average for 2021 2,136 Sunday Worship Views 300 WeWo Views 77 Total Countries In-Person Attendance August 8 - December 26 3,071 Lent Blog: Daily Average Views 50,000
Blog: Daily Average Views 60,000 Top 5 Searched Lenten Blog on Google Average Monthly Attendance 1,245 Ministries / Programs include: Children, Youth& Families GIFTS: LGBTQ+
Prayer Circle Arts Ministry
Prayer Gospel Choir
Yoga Small Groups
Tea Time Ushers Followers Facebook 4,320 2021 Engagement Up Over 10% Instagram 826 Twitter 865 YouTube 632 31 People Joined During the Pandemic May 2020 to Date 52 56,882 Users 114,734 Sessions 351,857 Pageviews
by the Numbers Marble Community Total 3,151 1,583 Members 1,568 Adherents
Tuesday Bible Study Prayer Shawl Ministry Racial Justice Series Prayer Ministry
Care in a Turbulent World
Once again, as we have during our long history and through so many challenging times in the world, Marble Church was blessed to be a blessing in countless ways during the turbulence of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to connecting with each other despite physical distance and inspiring the world through Worship and other events, we were able to expand our Ministries of Care and Education in various ways.
The Marble Care Line
MARBLE CARE LINE
As life as we knew it changed drastically, new spiritual and emotional needs emerged in our communities. We created The Marble Care Line to help spread God’s love and hope through caring support. Trained congregants volunteer 40 hours a week to provide non-judgmental, active listening to callers Wednesdays through Sundays, 12:00-8:00pm.
The Marble Care Fund
As members of the body of Christ, we in the Marble Community have a responsibility to each other – in sickness and in health, in poverty and prosperity, in community and in isolation. During much of the pandemic we didn’t have the power of touch or face-to-face relationships to encourage each other. Yet, we did not lose the power of caring. The Marble Care Fund was established as a lifeline during this time of crisis to help Marble members who experienced direct financial impact due to Covid-19. This included loss of job, loss of income, threat of eviction and other direct impacts from the pandemic.
The Marble Call Ministry
MARBLE CARE FUND
We had a committed group of 50 volunteers who became “Caring Callers” to reach out regularly during the pandemic to those in the Marble Community who lived alone, maybe didn’t have internet and felt the most isolated. It was an important way to make sure they were doing okay and experienced an on-going connection to their church home. Our callers have reached out to nearly 200 individuals.
For those in the Marble Community without internet access, we created a dedicated phone line that they could call on Sunday afternoons and during the following week to listen to the full Marble Worship or the sermon and scripture only.
Racial Justice Series
In May 2020, not long after video footage of George Floyd’s murder went viral, actions against racial injustice sprang up around the country. At Marble we recognized our spiritual and moral imperatives to take up the work of anti-racism from a faith perspective in meaningful ways. Throughout 2021, we recommitted ourselves to do anti-racism work and extend grace to each other as we acknowledge areas for personal growth. We established an evolving Anti-Racism Resource page on the website and continued our series of powerful conversations with dynamic guests. Hundreds of viewers have tuned in to learn and participate in topics including: Learning to Love Through Difficult Conversations, Voting Rights, and Racism and the Latinx Community.
Partnering with nonprofits near and far to make a life-changing difference in the lives of the most vulnerable.
The congregants who worship both in person and via live stream provided monetary support through Marble’s annual Easter Offering to support the work of 53 nonprofits (43 in New York, 5 National and 5 International). The Benevolence of Marble (BOM) Committee administered the grantmaking process which raised $204,000.
Grants supported needs in the areas of Education, Health (including Mental Healthcare), Hunger/Food Insecurity, Homelessness/Shelter, and Social Justice & Empowerment.
Helping to Equip New York City Children for School
Marble’s Back-to-School drive provided 480 school items for nonprofits with populations displaced by traumatic events such as domestic violence and poverty, and families impacted by mass incarceration.
Marble tutors continued to provide over 30 hours of weekly tutoring online to students at PS30 in Harlem. The pandemic did not halt this mutual (for tutors and tutees) life-giving work.
Helping Others to Celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday
Our Thanksgiving Drive helped families in need of support by providing just over 200 baskets of Thanksgiving trimmings, giving these families the opportunity to celebrate this special time of thanks with friends and family.
Spreading Joy, Love, and Light Christmas 2021
Marble congregants were full of the Christmas spirit and donated over 200 Christmas gifts to children in need at Icahn House, Osborne Association, Fresh Youth Initiatives and PS30. Joy, love, and light were expressed through these gifts.
Helping to Keep New Yorkers Warm – Winter 2021
Our congregation helped provide 248 warm weather items coats, gloves and hats for vulnerable New York children and adults at Osborne Association and Urban Pathways which provides support to homeless.
Building Friendships and UnderstandingScriptural Reasoning
Once a month Marble congregants gathered with Jews and Christians online during the time of the pandemic to reflect on the sacred scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We learned about the ways in which these scriptures are used in worship, and how individual Jews, Christians and Muslims turn to them for guidance in living a meaningful life. We also made many new friends.
We are grateful for the partnership enjoyed with MuslimJewish Solidarity Committee (MJSC), Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Central Synagogue, Muslim Community Network, the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, Muslims for Progressive Values and the Hillside Islamic Center.
Congregants continue to provide Christ-centered care in one-on-one Stephen Ministry relationships. 12 new Stephen Ministers received 50 hours of training and were commissioned in the Fall of 2021 bringing the number of trained Stephen Ministers at Marble to just over 100. We also commissioned 2 new Stephen Leaders.
Marble has received from our congregants near and far through this unprecedented time in Marble’s history.
We had 978 giving households in 2021, an increase from a little over 800 in 2020. Support is coming from our ongoing, faithful congregation and from people who happen upon us online and join our livestream congregation For every dollar of this support, we say “thank you.”
These numbers reflect the new financial reality we are facing (see previous communications: MarbleChurch.org/ September-30-Email-Update).
While we do not want to minimize the significance of the financial transition we are going through, we want you to know it is our sincere commitment to move Marble toward financial sustainability.
We offer this report in prayerful hope and discernment as we seek God’s guidance and strength and move forward together in 2022.
Marble Operating Results Revenue
FY 2021 Actuals FY 2021 Budget FY 2022 Budget
Rev. J. Elise Brown, Ph.D. Executive Minister
Easter Offering: $205,429.16 (see page 8)
Marble Care Fund: $10,198.00
Total Recieved from 3/20-2/22: $82,107.08
Program Revenue 200,930 72,337 248,485
Income from the Marble Endowment 1,150,355 1,150,355 2,318,397
Collegiate Church Appropriation 2,772,000 2,757,000 713,000
Expenses (by department)
$5,589,135 $5,507,929 $4,828,392
Pastoral Care, Stewardship and Missions 807,395 793,662 652,837
Gifts from the People of Marble includes: 1,465,850 1,528,237 1,548,510 (Easter Offering distribution of $205,429.16 is included)
Music and Worship 853,902 739,471 625,125
Children, Youth and Families 194,921 108,183 127,785 644,250 487,947 480,062 793,000 694,452 622,580
Adult Formation, Membership, Hospitality and Program Groups
Media and Communication (Live Streaming)
Caring for Our Staff – Finance and HR Benefits
Caring for Our Sacred Property, Facilities and Events
Capital Expenditures and Misc. Expenses
Interior Renovations Project
1,082,460 1,063,825 1,124,247 1,188,766 847,025 1,165,618 15,000 15,000 668,528
$5,579,694 $5,403,093 $4,813,254
Income Over Expenses 9,441 104,836 15,138
CYF Corner Highlights
In the midst of so much change and uncertainty in the world, CYF has continued to grow and thrive in new ways with God’s help. Virtual Sunday School has allowed us to provide spiritual guidance and biblical literacy to our young people. Our Youth Group continues to serve their neighbors with love by sharing their time, talent and treasure and we are proud to report that we are proud to report we have 6 youth who are preparing to make a testament of faith in Christ through our confirmation program. God has been with us through all the challenges and we’ve been able to make beauty from our ashes!
Marble Youth New Orleans Service Trip
In 2021, CYF Director Rev. Brittany Juliette Hanlin launched a campaign to send Marble Youth to New Orleans to help rebuild homes after destructive hurricanes like Katrina in 2005 and Ida in August. Their efforts raised over $25,000 and gave 15 youth the opportunity to explore their faith in the world, as they continue to discuss the effects of Climate Change on the most vulnerable communities.
Youth-led Worship and Service Project for Climate Change
In honor of Earth Day, Marble youth led our Sunday Worship that included a powerful trio of sermonettes by Amanda Crewey, Walker McSween and Ella Niewood centering around climate change and the call to action for Christians. Their service project raised $8,000 for Charity Water, working to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, and the United Way of Houston, serving those impacted by the severe winter storm in February 2021.
A Ministry Snapshot
In its 41st year, the Marble Arts Ministry made good use of technology to share the work of Marble artists with the masses through regular Virtual Art Exhibits at MarbleChurch.org/Engage/Arts-Ministry. There were seasonal shows for Advent and Lent, as well as We’ve Come This Far by Faith in honor of Black History Month, Sacred Remembrance, a tribute for the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, and more. Even though they couldn’t have in-person events, they continued their traditions of the Christmas Artists’ Boutique through Facebook and Instagram, and the Summer Arts Festival featuring a week of various programs on the Marble website highlighting music from classical to jazz, dance, film/video, poetry, literature, plays and fine art including painting and photography.
Painting by Leon Nicholas Kalas
GIFTS first program of 2021 featured TV and radio personality, Bevy Smith, who joined Dr. Michael Bos and Rev. Brittany Juliette Hanlin in an online conversation about overcoming obstacles and how we can live authentic lives with joy and no apologies. GIFTS collaborated with CYF on two springtime programs: a viewing and discussion via Zoom of the film Love Simon and a celebration of Pride Month in June with Bravo TV actor and LGBTQ activist Miss Lawrence, who talked about living openly and joyfully as the person God intended us to be. Throughout the year, GIFTS hosted monthly virtual Coffee Hours to connect with our community and share thoughts and experiences on surviving the pandemic. The Fellowship ended its program year with a joyous in-person brunch at a restaurant near Marble that brought a sense of hope and a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.
Our energetic, committed group continued to gather regularly on Wednesdays via video chat or phone to visit with old friends, meet new people and hear presentations on various topics. Speakers included Sister Carol Perry Zooming in from upstate, Rev. Chad Tanaka Pack from California, Marble members Dr. Jeannette Aycock and Dr. Christine Benner, and the annual tradition of variety performances by Gary Thompson and friends. As things became safer and the city re-opened, we were able to have some in-person outings including a picnic on Governors Island and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Based on their theme Together We Rise: Trust. Hope. Act., the Marble Women’s Ministry (MWM) kicked off 2021 with a virtual Winter Journaling Workshop followed by a two-day online Weekend Retreat with a combined attendance of over 150 women. The retreat We Were Made for More: TRUST More. HOPE More. ACT More. featured keynote speakers Brenda Walker, Marble Deacon and financial manager, and Rev. Susan Sparks, a trial lawyer turned preacher, comedian, and author. MWM collaborated with the Arts Ministry to co-sponsor an interview of Broadway veteran Brenda Braxton and later hosted a virtual Movie Night to view the film Minari. Other highlights included daily Lenten and Advent blogs written by MWM members, virtual Coffee Hours and a Bird Watching Tour, and the first in-person event in over 16 months: a Nature Walk in Central Park. The year ended with a poignant Hallowtide Service of Remembrance and a celebratory Christmas Party.
The Boiler Room Today
Thanks to the dedicated work of John McHugh, our Property Manager, and a host of architects and construction personnel, after eight years of our church boiler being housed on 29th Street, it now lives in its own Boiler Room on our church property. We cannot overstate how excited we are about this. Now we are working to clean up our corner of 29th Street, getting some needed help for our trees and sidewalk and beginning to work on a permanent ADA ramp that will enable people to easily get into the church building through the 29th Street entrance.
Resuming In-Person Worship
After nearly a year and a half of being virtual only, Marble was thrilled to open its doors for Worship once again in August 2021. As the pandemic continues to improve, we are overjoyed to see new and familiar faces return to our beautiful Sanctuary.
FORUM 2021: Sacred Food ~ Blessed Earth
On September 9, 2021, Marble partnered with the Temple of Understanding for our second global forum on the climate. In connection with the UN Food Summit, 2021’s forum was on Sacred Food – Blessed Earth. The health of all living things is connected to how we source our food, and together we explored the connection between food and the climate crises, and ways we can positively address this.
Dr. Michael Bos
Rev. J. Elise Brown, Ph.D. Executive Minister
Rev. Brittany Juliette Hanlin Associate Minister
Rev. Susanah Wade Associate Minister
Kenneth V. Dake
Director of Music
Christina Morano Keiser Director of Media & Communication
Kim Sebastian-Ryan Director of Membership & Connecting
Virgilio Belen Maintenance
Daniel Finegold Part-time Production Assistant
Karla Fritsch Publications Manager
Luis Furniel Maintenance
Board of Elders & Deacons
Elder & Chair
Elder & Vice Chair
Deacon & Treasurer
Sandra Diaz Elder & Secretary
Elder & Church Master
Trenesa Danuser Elder
Current Marble Staff and Board
Media Production Specialist
Development, Database, and Receivable Specialist
Administrative Assistant for CYF Ministry
Joshua Hansen Maintenance
Rick Harper Events & Space Usage Manager
Daphne Kim Director of Human Resources
Greg Lum Art Director
Beatriz Marin Accounts Payable / Payroll Accountant
John McHugh Property Manager
Baleta M. McKenzie
Director of PrimeTime & Small Group Ministries
Rev. Rashad McPherson Associate in Ministry and Music
Director of Children’s & Youth Choirs
Don Piper Program Coordinator
Yvon Plaisimond Maintenance
Receptionist & HR Assistant
Mike Thurlow Executive Assistant
Coordinator of Pastoral Care
Siobhan Tull Program Leader for Online Community Jerry Williams Maintenance
Theodore Gregory Elder
Tim Lee Deacon
Matthew Morse Deacon
Sheila Moses Elder
Tomasita L. Sherer Deacon
Renier van Aswegen Deacon
Brenda W. Walker
John E. Rorer, II Elder Emeritus
Greg Walker Elder Emeritus
Clair Zak Elder Emerita
Dr. Michael Bos, Senior Minister 1 West 29th Street / New York, New York 10001 / 212 686 2770 MarbleChurch.org