I started my research on church closures in April, 2010 and have conducted about 24 interviews since that time. I received a grant from the Louisville Institute in March, 2011. Since then, I have been working on processing interviews and have outlined all nine chapters of a future book. Currently, I have the first four chapters drafted.
In early December, I will meet with my reading group, the three people who agreed to offer feedback on the draft. They include Rev. Linda Kuhn, a Presbyterian pastor and church consultant, Dr. Michael Lukens, retired professor of religious history at St. Norbert College (and a Stated Clerk in the PCUSA), and Janet Puhlmann, an active lay woman in the United Church of Christ, who has seen two churches through closures.
I hope to glean from them wisdom about how the book can serve laypeople, clergy and judicatory leaders dealing with church closures.
The work has slowed somewhat since I am now serving a church part time. But I intend to do more interviews in the coming year as I complete the remaining draft chapters.
If you know of a publisher that would have an interest in this topic, let me know. I hope to start marketing it to publishers in 2012.
Thanks for reading!! Please continue to share your comments, questions and wisdom.