Our church buildings, synagogues, and other religious places – which once stood as beacons of hope and reverence for its community – have become a burden for the organizations who seek to keep them standing. In efforts to patch leaky roofs and paint over years of wear, leaders are putting more and more money each year into property instead of people. The practices we have fallen into to keep a building running are not only demoralizing to the pastoral profession and the mission of the church, but they also run the risk of violating property tax laws and incurring more debt. What if our properties didn’t have to be a source of pain but one of purpose and profit? Can we as faith-based organizations begin to think collaboratively about how we might further our missions by creatively and intentionally rethinking how we utilize the space we inhabit? In Fresh Expressions of People Over Property the authors reflect on strategies, scriptures, and stories that help leaders faithfully re-imagine their community spaces so that they reflect that God and God’s people value people over property.
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About the Author
Rev. Dr. Audrey B. Warren, a native Floridian, did not venture too far from her hometown of Naples to plant some roots. Audrey currently resides in Miami, FL where she and her husband Jose Luis are active members of their very diverse downtown community.
Audrey earned her Bachelor of Arts from Florida Southern College where she majored in Religion, and then ventured out of Florida for only a few years to earn her Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC. Audrey then continued her studies at Wesley Theological Seminary where she earned her Doctorate of Ministry focusing on Children and Spirituality. She is an ordained Elder in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church and currently serves as Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Miami.
Since 2013 Audrey has co-convened the Fresh Expressions movement in the Florida Annual Conference. Audrey's greatest joy in ministry is teaching Yoga Chapel in Downtown Miami as well as visioning with her congregation new ways to be church in a growing and diverse city.
As a fluent Spanish-speaker Audrey enjoys going to see Latino Rock Band concerts in her free time. You also might find her biking with her husband or at the beach on her days off.
Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. is resident bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Along with the Cabinet, he gives pastoral and administrative leadership to almost 800 congregations, fresh expressions of church, campus ministries and outreach initiatives in an episcopal area that stretches from Tallahassee and Jacksonville to Miami and the Keys. He came to the Florida Conference in 2012, following a ministry of almost thirty years in Western North Carolina, twenty-nine as a local church pastor.
Bishop Carter is the immediate past-president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, and he was one of three moderators of the Commission on A Way Forward, the commission authorized by the General Conference in matters of unity and human sexuality.
He is author of a number of books, most recently Fresh Expressions of People Over Property and Fresh Expressions: A New Kind of Methodist Church (both with Audrey Warren) and Embracing The Wideness: The Shared Convictions of United Methodists.
He travels extensively across the state, preaching in local churches and encouraging lay and clergy leaders.
Bishop Carter and his wife, Pam have been married for thirty-seven years. Pam is also an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, and was previously a regional team leader in disaster recovery for the Florida Conference. They are blessed with two adult daughters: Liz lives in Los Angeles, where she is a PhD. student at U.C.L.A., and Abby is on the staff of Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee. Abby and her husband Allen are parents of Paige, the bishop’s granddaughter.
The Carters consider it a great blessing to live and serve in Florida.