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Students hard at work at St. James School, a faith-based Philadelphia middle school in the Episcopal tradition. Photos courtesy of Al Cassidy

School brings life to empty buildings

A decaying and empty Episcopal church complex became an asset to its poor Philadelphia neighborhood after church leaders saw its potential as a free school for needy children.

The congregation, started by Zimbabwean immigrants, has begun attracting neighbors to its community. The church provides office space for area nonprofits, built a playground for local children and hosts after-school programs. Photo by Lissa Gotwals

A church reborn

Six years after being given a dying church's building, Shepherd's House UMC, an African immigrant congregation in Durham, NC, is a beacon of renewal.

Lisa G. Fischbeck: Moving church

An Episcopal congregation’s decision to move and rebuild a historic church represents a commitment to cherish the past while making it new, to be rooted in tradition but not bound by it, says its founding vicar.

The bell tower of Salem UMC rises above flood waters in 2008. Photo courtesy of Salem UMC

A sense of place

After a flood destroyed its historic downtown church, a congregation had to decide: Are we a building or a community?