Five denominational building funds will gather in an October symposium to discuss challenges related to underused church buildings.
“Now What? A Symposium on Repurposing Our Buildings, Our Outreach, Our Stewardship, Our Leadership” will bring together the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church Oct. 28 at Northway Christian Church in Dallas.
“Join other church leaders at an ecumenical gathering to explore new ways to use our buildings and be the church,” an event brochure says. “This won’t be just more talk — you will leave with action plans, timelines, and resources. So bring a leadership team of clergy and laity from your congregation. Invest a day to change tomorrow.”
- The Rev. Katie Hays of Galileo Church in Kennedale, Texas, on leadership development
- The Rev. Larry Duggins of the Missional Wisdom Foundation on creative and alternative uses of property
- The Rev. Janet Hellner-Burris, Christian Church of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, on community connection
Participants will choose among table talks, followed by “app lab” meetings about applying what participants learn.
Registration is $25 and includes lunch and childcare.
The conference gathers as more and more churches struggle with ways to use, repair, and even leave behind their aging physical plants. Trinity Church in Watertown, New York, recently made local news with public attempts to discern a plan for its parish house. In August the Watertown Daily Times said the 40,000 square-foot building in the Diocese of Central New York needs $6 million in repairs. Developers have thus far walked away from potential redevelopment projects and state funding is lacking, the newspaper reported.