Innovation

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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.

As part of the CityReach program in downtown Boston, teenagers prepare sandwiches for people who are homeless.  Photos courtesy of CityReach

Boston church's program gives teens a crash course in homelessness from those who know it best

Flipping the script on who gets to tell the story of the disenfranchised, common cathedral's CityReach program empowers people who have experienced homelessness to serve as trusted experts on life without shelter.

Chrismons ornament: Pelican in her Piety

This Chrismons ornament is called "Pelican in Her Piety." It's part of a series representing the seasons of Christmas and Lent called the "Christian Year Series," designed by Frances Spencer, who created the first Chrismon tree in 1957. Photos by Jessamyn Rubio

Meredith Williams: We are people who ...

Chrismons -- white and gold ornaments representing the story of Christ -- are part of the identity of the Lutheran congregation in Virginia where they originated six decades ago.

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.

The Rev. Faith Fowler stands in front of the first of 25 new tiny homes that will be built in Detroit by Cass Community Social Services. Photo by Diane Weiss 

A Detroit pastor and her church are building something big with tiny homes

As both pastor and nonprofit executive director, the Rev. Faith Fowler is known for her outreach to the poor. Her latest effort: a village of tiny homes that will allow people to become stakeholders in their neighborhood and in their city.

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Traditioned Innovation

Leadership Education at Duke Divinity teaches a way of thinking that holds the past and future in tension, not in opposition.
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