Congregations

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Layperson Muriel Dufendach, left, shares a laugh with the Rev. Carol Walton after a service at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Henderson, Nevada. Dufendach  carries out some traditionally priestly functions, such as presiding at the weekday Eucharist.  Photo by Ronda Churchill

A move to part-time clergy sparks innovation in congregations

Although church leaders often worry that switching from full-time to part-time clergy will lead to decline, congregations across the country are finding new vitality by reimagining the roles of clergy and laypeople.

A design team brainstorms together.

Bigstock / Ammentorp

Dave Odom: Design comes to church

In a time when congregations are customizing or developing their own events and services, all church leaders are designers. The design process centers around questions about audience and needs, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Bread Church participants gather ingredients for an evening of baking and spiritual discussion.  Photos by Brian Diggs.

A struggling Texas church is slowly rising again, becoming leaven for the community

Despite years of decline and worries about the future, Austin's Memorial UMC is moving forward in ministry, with bread baking, ESL classes and a decidedly Wesleyan model of church focused not on themselves but on their neighbors.

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