Carol Howard Merritt reflects on church reinvention
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When Jeff Richards paints a picture of church in downtown Sacramento, the church doesn't tower over the other buildings. It inhabits them.
Under Ruben Duran's leadership, the ELCA has started an array of worshiping communities in homes and bars and on the streets and in train stations.
Mercy Junction has a dedicated group of people, but it's not financially self-sustaining. Recently, it started managing a large church building.
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship board knew it had a choice: build an institution, or build a movement.
As new forms of congregations arise, new musical forms are developing. Walls are coming down—secular vs. sacred, intellect vs. emotion, contemporary vs. traditional.
Many of us stand like grunting toddlers, longing for something but lacking the words. As the Spirit moves, our yearnings begin to wear syllables.
"After we receive the bread, we're gonna go to the kitchen," he said. "We have cheese pizza tonight."
"Revival" usually implies a preacher with great oratory skills. Nashville's Downtown Presbyterian stokes something different.
After Pathways settled in its new home, former St. Giles members started coming back to worship there. It took a little getting used to.
Hugh Hollowell didn't start Love Wins to convert souls or sober up addicts. He wanted to provide pastoral care to homeless people.
While many churches are at the end of their lifespans, others need to take root. And we need people fresh out of seminary to start them.
People are looking to their computers, tablets, and phones for sacred moments. How are churches responding?
“These old buildings are well made and historic,” my real estate agent friend interjected. “Surely we can think of new uses for them.”
A. J. is blond and energetic and has autism. His parents instructed me how to take his lead, touch his forearms, and appreciate his motions.
Some church planters refer to denominations as "widget factories." A big cultural commute exists between fledgling communities and church hierarchies.
Carol Howard Merritt is author of Tribal Church and cohost of God Complex Radio. Her blog is hosted by the Century.
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