A youth pastor finds that running a social enterprise has influenced everything from his preaching to his role in the community. It has also helped congregants reach across the political divide.
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In this excerpt from the introduction to their new book, Tim Shapiro and Kara Faris say that congregations aren’t going away, and neither is congregating. Creative, alternative faith communities are finding new ways to connect to the Divine.
Across the country, creative, alternative congregations are doing church in unconventional ways, the co-author of ‘Divergent Church’ says in this interview. They may look different, but they are deeply rooted in tried-and-true practices of the faith.
Kuhnekt Initiative participants Octavia Ramsey, standing, and Carolyn Cooper, right, have a conversation at a community meal held at The Grove Presbyterian Church. Photos by Jason E. Miczek
Church members at The Grove Presbyterian Church are randomly paired and commit to monthly meetings as a way to deepen connections between them.
The Pres House Apartments provide student housing and generate funds to support Presbyterian campus ministry at UW-Madison. Photos by Kim Isely
A combination church, campus ministry and seven-story apartment building, Pres House is a bustling hub of activity, a “home away from home” for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Guatemalan native Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, who was facing deportation, came to live at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro in May 2017. Photos by Alex Maness
The first church in North Carolina to extend sanctuary to an undocumented immigrant facing deportation finds that the decision to open their doors is just the beginning of the journey.
Volunteers help evacuate people from a flooded neighborhood near Buffalo Bayou in Houston.
The most culturally diverse city in the nation has responded to the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey by serving and sacrificing for others, writes a Houston church leader.
The chancel of Richfield UMC, where the remaining members have decided to close after years of faithful ministry. Photos courtesy of Zina Risley
A creative new ministry is underway in various UMC conferences to help declining congregations chart their end and leave behind a lasting gift.
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
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.