Renew 52 Contributors

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Kara Root

Make Space for Sabbath | Discipleship & Spiritual Practices

Our small, 90-year-old congregation has found new life and vitality. Our secret? We’ve stopped having worship services every Sunday. A couple of years ago we made the decision as a congregation to embrace the Sabbath and practice it communally.

Actually, the secret was a process of intentional discernment—exploring the question: Who are we now, and who are we called to be for this time and place? This meant grieving and letting go of the way we were in the past—when the congregation was ten times the size it is now and much younger. But it also meant letting go of all the messages that we’re bombarded with that tell us how we should be doing church in order to be “successful.”

This is an excerpt from an essay in Renew 52: 50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation from Leaders under 50. Download the e-book for free.

About Kara Root

Kara K. Root is pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minn. She has an M.Div. from Fuller Seminary, and is a Minister of Word and Sacrament and Certified Educator in the PCUSA. As mom to two entertaining kids (and two unruly dogs), and wife and proofreader to a wily theologian, she is fully immersed in life. She’s written for Sparkhouse’s re:form curriculum, Homily Service Journal,, and Patheos. She blogs about ministry and motherhood at “in the hereandno