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Conversations on Sacred/Civic Placemaking

Exploring the convergence of civic engagement, community design and prophetic action

Amid the struggles of religious and civic institutions, third places are emerging on religious properties. These are spaces to work out what it means to be neighbors, citizens and even creators of more just, equitable and sustainable communities.


Is this a return to the church that doubles as town hall, the rediscovery of civil religion, or something else?


Placemaking, which is the art of designing public spaces and creating livable communities, takes on added meaning when it's sacred/civic placemaking. What does it mean for religious properties to be repurposed and reimagined with neighbors of other religions or no religious identification? What is the character of such places? And what promise do these places hold for the common good?

Conversations on Sacred/Civic Placemaking is a free Zoom series that explores these questions with religious leaders, community organizers, developers, social entrepreneurs, architects and others.


April 21, 2021: Yonat Shimron, national reporter and senior editor for Religion News Service. Watch the conversation here.

May 6, 2021: Tim Soerens, cofounding director, Parish Collective; author of Everywhere You Look: Discovering the Church Right Where You Are. Watch the conversation here.

July 14, 2021: Kat Turner, former senior warden, Church of the Resurrection, Alexandria, VA, which built 113 affordable apartments on its property. Watch the conversation here.

July 27, 2021: Melissa St. Clair, senior minister, Heart of the Rockies Christian Church, Fort Collins, CO, which is pursuing a vision of collaborative development with three nonprofit organizations. Watch the conversation here​.

August 19, 2021: Michael-Ray Mathews, cofounder and public theologian-in-residence, Sympara; deputy director and chief faith officer, Faith in Action; host of the Prophetic Resistance Podcast. Watch the conversation here.


Stay tuned!

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