Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

Multiple communities of practice have given shape to this book. For the teachers and colleagues of Princeton Theological Seminary who surrounded me throughout my doctoral work I give thanks. For Dr. Richard Osmer who always placed the nugget of wisdom within my reach that I might find my voice as a scholar, I am eternally grateful. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

As a young girl growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, I would often take trips to the ocean with my family. I loved walking down the sandy shore with my siblings, picking up seashells and rocks, and tossing them back into the water. I watched the waves crest and fall, bringing in new shells and carrying others away. ...

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1. Deliberate Disestablishment

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pp. 15-34

On summer vacations when Annie was a young girl, she attended her grandmother’s nondenominational church.1 During one visit, Annie remembered being invited to come to the altar rail with her whole family so the pastor could pray and lay hands on her cousin with cerebral palsy. Soon after, the pastor turned to Annie and asked her how she felt at the altar. ...

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2. Intersections of Inquiry

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pp. 35-58

A newcomer’s presence in a congregation is, in many respects, unsettling. Newcomers often exemplify the fluidity that characterizes contemporary American religious identity. Their arrival at a particular congregation is more likely about preference and choice than any immutable characteristic. ...

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3. Facilitating Newcomer Participation

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pp. 59-78

Facilitating participation involves cultivating trust between newcomers and oldcomers and exploring knowledge and skill again and again when disarticulation occurs within discipleship practices. Attending to trust and competence leads newcomers to experience a sense of belonging to a particular community. ...

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4. Designing Disestablishment

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pp. 79-100

Beth moved to a small university town in Pennsylvania because her boyfriend was attending law school. Since her boyfriend had grown up Lutheran, they began visiting the local Lutheran church. She said, “People always came up to us and talked to us.We felt very welcomed. I’ve had this sense that this is home for us now.” ...

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5. The Task of the Ecclesia Crucis

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pp. 101-112

The ecclesia crucis gains its purpose and identity in the task of relating to the world. The movement of the ecclesia crucis is not away from the world; it is deliberative and purposeful interaction with the world, a deliberate and engaged disestablishment. The ecclesia crucis is a gathered people under the cross, ...

Appendix: Research Methodology

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pp. 113-118

Bibliography

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pp. 119-124

Index

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pp. 125-128