Congregations

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Gathering on the steps of historic Mount Vernon Place UMC, Washington, DC

Mount Vernon Place UMC was in decline when the Rev. Donna Claycomb Sokol was called as its pastor in 2005; today it is a thriving urban congregation. Photo courtesy of Mount Vernon Place UMC

Excerpt: ‘A New Day in the City’

How do you reverse decline in once-grand urban churches? In their new book, Donna Claycomb Sokol and L. Roger Owens share their experience and suggest a framework for seven crucial conversations that Christian leaders can initiate with their congregations.

The centerpiece of Simple Church, a United Methodist congregation, is a Thursday night dinner when 30 to 40 share the Lord's Supper. Photos courtesy of Simple Church

Simple Church blends dinner, worship and enterprise to create a new model

Congregants gather for a sacred weekly meal where the conversation serves as the sermon and freshly baked bread provides nourishment, communion and income. Other churches are using their template to replicate the experience.

Televangelist Robert Schuller in the Crystal Cathedral.  Photo by Alamy / Zuma Press, Inc.

Kate Bowler: Why are there so few mainline celebrities?

The chilly relationship between mainline Protestantism and the popular marketplace has become a stable feature of the former’s self-understanding, writes an assistant professor of church history.

The Abundant Harvest food truck is one of the many parts of St. Isidore Episcopal Church and its "offensively generous" approach to ministry. Photos courtesy of St. Isidore Episcopal Church 

Church has no walls but many doors, accessible to seekers and skeptics

One body with many parts, a Houston “church without walls” brings together house churches, a food truck, pub theology, a laundry ministry and more. Its priest isn’t trying to do something old in a new way – he’s trying to do something brand-new in the old way.

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