L. Gail Irwin is an interim minister in Wisconsin and the author of Toward the Better Country: Church Closure and Resurrection (Wipf & Stock). She blogs at From Death to Life, part of the CCblogs network.
Years ago, on a Holy Land tour, I visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, considered by some Christians to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. I went back a few days later to a Sunday worship service of the Syrian Orthodox Church, and found it was conducted in a small alcove of the church for an ethnic Syrian congregation of about 50 people.
My daughter has a pet plant, Vivaldi. He’s a succulent, and a nice, bushy one, too. But it wasn’t always that way for Vivaldi. When she first brought him home from the nursery, she was given special soil and instructions to “be careful not to overwater a succulent.”
A couple of weeks ago I went on an unforgettable mission trip to New Orleans and encountered a church that gave me a lot to think about.
Prince of Peace Missouri Synod Lutheran Church was once a thriving church and school. It was flooded when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed thousands of homes, businesses, and community buildings along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Alabama in 2005.