Ecumenism: Turning Four Churches into One

Countless small-town main streets in the U.S. bear sad witness to obsolete ecclesiastical rivalry: once handsome Protestant churches that are closed or kept barely alive by a small, zealous congregation. In such places, low-level ecumenism and merger make spiritual sense—and how it can be done has just been shown by the 288 citizens of Schellsburg, Pa.

A peaceful farming village in the Alleghenies, Schellsburg had for more than 70 years supported four churches —St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran, Schellsburg Methodist, Schellsburg Presbyterian, and St. John's Reformed (United Church of Christ). But since World...

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