DIVERSITY IS A GIFT.
Communities that are economically and racially mixed can be the richest of environments for families as well as singles and older adults. Diverse community is God's plan, the final destination toward which all the righteous are heading--the city of our God where people of every tribe, nation, and tongue will take up eternal residence.
COMMUNITY DOESN'T JUST HAPPEN.
This is especially true in a diverse community. Relationships must be built. Focused and sustained effort must be invested in getting to know neighbors, organizing community activities, modeling neighborliness, and communicating good news. Love of neighbor must be practical and visible over time.
INDIGENOUS NEIGHBORS ARE A TREASURE.
It is easy to ignore seniors, easy to push on past less communicative neighbors, and easy to exclude those who don't show up at community functions. But the rich history of the neighborhood is embedded in the lives and family albums of long-term residents. The effort to extract and honor this history is well worth the time and effort. And everyone, no matter how unlikely, has some valuable talent to contribute to the life of the community.
ECONOMIC VIABILITY IS ESSENTIAL.
A community will not be healthy unless it has ample neighbors with discretionary income to attract and sustain businesses. The gentry are essential. However, justice demands that we ensure that the poor are embraced and included as beneficiaries in a healthy community.
GOD'S SHALOM MUST BE WORKED AT.
The roles of peacemakers, communicators, gatherers, organizers and connectors are some of the most vital talents needed for the establishment of "peace and prosperity" and a prevailing sense of well-being that God desires for His creation. Shalom is not merely the absence of crime on the street, it is the prevailing presence of peace and goodness in the relationships of God's diverse family. It is achieved only by intentional effort.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Gentrification with Justice
Here is a link to a pdf of an article by Bob Lupton from the PCA "By Faith Online" magazine. His thoughts are summarized in a sidebar.