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Finding Congregational Relevance: One Church's Story

Tiny Church of Our Savior (Episcopal) faced a grim future in 2003, when congregants asked themselves a life-changing question: If the church closed, would it be missed? The answer: No. The congregation took stock of its assets. The church had land and a member who was a lifelong gardener. A year later, six 10 x 24-foot garden plots produced more than 1,000 pounds of produce for the local food shelter. Eight years later, the members had generated 20 tons of produce, established individual gardens for neighbors and a fruit orchard, and experimented with beekeeping. Though still tiny, the church has touched hundreds of lives, and if it closed today it would indeed be missed. Read the inspiring article, “Growing in relevance,” located on Faith & Leadership, the online journal of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. Use the article and reflection questions to spark a conversation with your governing board or study group about whether your church would be missed if it suddenly closed.

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