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Dave Odom: Reclaiming the distinctive gifts of a small church

Few places in the U.S. support the conditions for small churches to act like big churches. So they have an opportunity to focus on the activities that both foster the particular gifts of the congregation and make a distinctive witness to the community, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

The Fondren Apartment Ministry and Westbury UMC reflect the changing face of Houston and America. Photos by Mark Mulligan

Westbury UMC's apartment ministry has helped resettled refugees -- and the congregation -- find new life in Houston

The church is located in one of the most multicultural cities in America, yet the congregation was not as engaged with its diverse neighbors as it could have been. That changed when they hired an associate pastor to live in intentional community in apartments three miles and a whole world away.

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