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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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What can our spaces become?

Building church communities in unlikely places

Editor's note: The photos which originally accompanied this story have been removed per with The Lutheran's agreement with the photographer.

Jodi D. Houge was out jogging during her final year at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., when she noticed a vacant building in the neighborhood, empty for so long the "For Sale" sign had faded to a dull red and yellowy-white. Whenever she ran by, she couldn't help thinking about what that space could become. What about a shop to foster her husband's passion for refurbishing old bikes? What about a worship space? The ideas seemed crazy, but they kept coming back.

"I thought of my family and friends who have searched for a church home but never connected," Houge said. She also thought of a neighborhood family that was longing for a church home to baptize their 3-year-old daughter — a church where she could "hear the story."


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