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Sharing spaces

From the April 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

BORN OUT OF THE POTATO FIELDS OF LONG ISLAND just after World War II, Levittown, New York, became one of the first planned suburban communities of tract housing in the United States. With the establishment of the new town, Levittown's first "pioneers," many of them war veterans, decided to set up life out in the country—30 miles east of New York City.

Among these pioneers was a small group of Christian Scientists who wanted to start their own congregation in the new community. Initially, they met in each others' homes, then in a variety of more public spaces—a school, other churches, and store fronts—until finally they were able to purchase land and build a church.

It's probably fair to say that most people in Levittown didn't have a lot of money. So at the time the church was built, it was incredibly challenging for them to make ends meet. In recent decades, the number of members has steadily declined and the financial obligations have loomed larger than ever. A question that we as a church have had to address recently is how to manage our resources. Do we sell our church? Do we keep it and share some of the space to provide income in addition to Sunday donations?

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