Growth & renewal

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Students and faculty from City Seminary of New York gather at Grand Central Station for a "Pray and Break Bread" event.  Photo courtesy of Mark Gornik

Mark Gornik and Maria Liu Wong: 'Stay in the City' -- Christian faith in today's urban world

How will Christians live out their faith in a world that is more urban than ever before? The director and the dean of City Seminary of New York share what they’re learning as God brings Christians from across the globe to New York and other urban areas.

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 style of worship at Munger Place falls under the “contemporary” category, with rock-style worship and video and casual dress. The building has a traditional feel, so the style seems much more traditional than the typical megachurch in Dallas. Photo courtesy of Munger Place

Andrew Forrest: Every dying church in America has a community garden

Struggling congregations tend to chase after popular strategies rather than do what Jesus commanded -- make disciples, says the United Methodist pastor of a replanted church in Dallas.

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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