Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World


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I could do this for my entire life and still not visit every neighborhood in New York. I know their names, I know their stories, and I pray for them. Q: You write in the book that the most important factor for the growth of faith today is global migration between cities. If so, what is the impact of the current battles over immigration on the spread of faith? Gornik: Andrew Walls has shown that Christianity has developed over time by crossing cultures and continents and lines and barriers.

Christian faith is a dynamic, living community that is at home around the world, and continues to make its homes around the world. One of the great gifts of immigration is to see how God is present in the people that are moving around the world. But as the world constantly moves and people move with it, they bring their faith with them.

The struggle [over immigration] is a spiritual struggle.

How do we live together in a globalized world? How do we live with generosity and hospitality? One of the gifts of immigration is the gift of faith. The church is here all around us because God is bringing people from around the world to enrich cities and enrich communities, suburban areas, rural areas, urban areas in the United States. We should rejoice in that and grow in it and recognize how connected we in the United States are to the world. Many New Yorkers have transcontinental identities.

Many people here have homes in two or more places. Gornik: In doing research for this book, which was supported by the Lilly Endowment, we brought together small groups of Christians from different parts of the United States and Latin America and a few other places and we listened.


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We asked them to talk about the practices that were helpful to them, and we collated them and came up with these five practices, which also confirmed our own experience. So this was a way to focus on what is already here, to suspend judgment and knowledge and listen and find something new. Listening for what God is telling us through conversations and time with others. At the seminary, we talk about how we are learning from each other in our relationships rather than attending a program. So really investing in interpersonal but also institutional and organizational relationships and in the various parts of our lives where our stories come together and God speaks to us.


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Gornik: The third lesson is that community matters. Many times, our understanding of ministry is individual -- I have my ministry; I am the pastor; I am the youth leader. But we are finding that what really matters for a flourishing and thriving ministry is that we share this journey with others -- and that includes everything from thinking about what ministry is to the joys and struggles we share to the callings we have.

It includes the embodied practices of eating together, forgiveness and friendship. This is the heart of ministry. There may be seasons when we feel alone, but ministry is a gift given to community and to doing with others.

We can learn from our mistakes and failures, but we have to also learn how we learn. Our story has evolved with just being open to where God has put us, trying in faith to honor our call as an organization but also respond in new or different ways. Even as we work in community, we also are growing individually and spiritually before God. There should be a sense of security in the work that God is doing in our lives, and a lot of that comes from reflecting on our experience with other leaders, having peer mentors that allow us to find a way to thrive in ministry.

Who we are is important. What we bring to ministry ties them all together. City Seminary was born in response to what God was doing. And how do we join in this? What is the 21st century, and how does it invite us to think and do and believe and pray in new ways? But the fruit of that -- the friendships, the possibilities that emerge out of those relationships -- are things that they could not have imagined without this space and time together.

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Q: What does all of this mean for theological education? What are the lessons from City Seminary for theological education? Gornik: Maria and I wrestle with that question. This is the most exciting time to be involved in theological education. First Cities. Cities of the New Testament. Johns, eds. Cities of the Biblical World. The City in the Ancient World. Levine, eds. African Cities and Towns before the European Conquest. NY: W. Paul the Apostle and His Cities. Melaka: The Transformation of a Malay Capital c. Norton and Co. Church in the Medieval Town. London: Aldine Publishing Co.

Norton, Modern and postmodern cities Anderson, Elijah. A Place On the Corner. The Industrial Revolution, New York: Oxford University Press, reprint. Modern and postmodern cities Bender, Thomas.


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Community and Social Change in America. Religion in the Megacity.

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Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World by Brad Stanley (2011-12-06)

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Urbanization @ GlobalCAST on Vimeo

Modern and postmodern cities Finnegan, Ruth H. The Early Modern City, The New African Urban History. Zenner, ed. Urban Life: Readings in the Anthropology of the City , 4 th ed. Washington, D. The Birth of the Industrial Revolution. New York: New Press, reprint. Modern and postmodern cities Hodges, Graham Russell. The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White. The Urban Revolution. London: Routledge, Modern and postmodern cities Marks, Carole. Fairbanks, eds. Young, eds. Classic Essays on the Culture of Cities. New York: Alfred A.

Knopf, Modern and postmodern cities Siegel, Fred. Religion in Industrial Society: Oldham and Saddleworth, Farnsley II, et. Congregation and Community. City of God? DeCarlo, Jr. New York Glory. City Streets City People. Urban Ministry. Basic Steps Toward Community Ministry. Downtown Church: The Heart of the City.

Healing for the City: Counseling for the Urban Setting.

Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World
Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World
Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World
Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World
Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World Finding God in the City: Making Sense of an Urban World

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