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Events and Learning Cohorts

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Gone for Good?: Negotiating the Coming Wave of Church Property Transition (Book Launch)

January 17 @ 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM CST

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By 2030, as many as 100,000 church buildings and billions of dollars of church-owned property are expected to be sold or repurposed throughout the U.S. — representing the loss of gathering places and even social services in communities nationwide. According to Mark Elsdon, author and editor of Gone for Good: Negotiating the Coming Wave of Church Property Transition (Eerdmans, 2024), the transfer of church property is both a critical issue and opportunity for church and community leaders seeking to serve the common good. How do we face the issues and opportunities head-on and mission-minded?

Join us for a book launch and conversation
at Upper House with Mark Elsdon, Executive Director of Pres House and Co-Founder and Lead Builder of Rooted Goodwho will address the various ways that church properties have been creatively redeployed to serve the common good. Also joining us will be book contributors—

  • Kurt Paulsen (appearing in person), professor of urban planning in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at UW-Madison
  • Joseph Daniels, Jr. (live via Zoom), lead pastor of the Emory Fellowship in Washington D.C. 
  • Coté Soerens (live via Zoom), social innovator at the Center for Transformative Neighborhoods at Trinity Christian College 

If you are a Senior Pastor, Executive Pastor, Facilities Manager for a church, a CFO/Treasurer, or city planning staff, you might be especially interested in this event. 

Evening Schedule

  • 5:30 PM | Appetizers and Desserts / Doors Open 
  • 6:00 PM | Program Begins
  • 7:30 PM | Program Concludes


MARK ELSDON lives and works at the intersection of money and meaning as an entrepreneur, nonprofit executive, author, and speaker. He is the author of We Aren’t Broke: Uncovering Hidden Resources for Mission and Ministry. Mark is cofounder of Rooted Good, which supports catalytic and innovative church leaders working on property development, money and mission alignment, and social enterprise; he is also executive director at Pres House and Pres House Apartments on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Mark has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California–Berkeley, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and lives in Madison, Wisconsin. 

JOSEPH W. DANIELS JR. is the lead pastor of the Emory Fellowship in Washington, DC. He is a nationally sought-after preacher, teacher, and speaker on the topics of congregational, community, and economic development. He and the Emory congregation recently facilitated the construction of a $59 million, ninety-nine-unit affordable rental housing, commercial, and community development project called the Beacon Center. Joseph coaches and consults leaders and nonprofit organizations desirous of revitalizing congregations and communities through his company, the Ananias Consulting Group, LLC. 

KURT PAULSEN is a professor of urban planning in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His teaching and research focus on housing, affordable housing finance and policy, land use, and municipal finance. In addition to his published academic research, he has authored two Dane County housing needs assessments, has chaired the City of Middleton Workforce Housing Committee, and does economic impact analysis research for WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority). Kurt is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

COTÉ SOERENS, is an ecosystemic designer and social innovator who has worked to foster transformative local ecosystems through place-making and community visioning. She led a number of place-based initiatives aimed at fostering equitable development in South Park, Seattle, such as Resistencia Coffee, the Barrio Building, and Reconnect South Park, an initiative that helped to decommission a highway that cuts South Park in two, to reclaim public land for Equitable Development. Currently, Coté is the Director of Tuition Transparency and Access at Trinity College, where she builds external partnerships, philanthropic relationships, and network connections to solve the challenges of student debt.

In addition to the in-person gathering, we are providing a virtual option. Our hope is that you can be with us for the book launch at Upper House, but if you live out of town or cannot attend in person, you may register for the online option. The live stream will begin at 6:00 PM central time. 



January 17
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM CST
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Upper House
365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States
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