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The Virtue of Dialogue
Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities
Englewood Christian Church was once a thriving mega-church, but like the neighborhood surrounding it on Indianapolis' east side, the church spiraled downward for decades in the face of widespread economic decline.
Today, Englewood—both church and community—are thriving again. Not that ECC has restored its mega-church status, but this church of 200 is having an impact that far outweighs its numbers and that upends the received wisdom about how churches work best. This story of recovery is about moving away from status symbols of success and finding a new path to strengthening and deepening community ties and creating contexts for human flourishing.
Can a modest church sustain a city? Can it foment social change simply by encouraging people to talk and listen to one another? C. Christopher Smith says that it can, and in this brief but extraordinary ebook, he shares his church's story of discovering the surprising and powerful virtue of conversation.
About the Author
Chris Smith is editor of The Englewood Review of Books, and a member of the Englewood Christian Church community on the urban Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Chris's recent work has appeared in Books and Culture, Sojourners, The Christian Century and Indiana Green Living.