Here’s an essay on Fresno, CA, that describes the pattern of development and sprawl that characterizes many American cities. Fresno’s history is set against the backdrop of the collapse of relationship in the author’s family even as they became successful economically.
One effort, by clergy in Las Vegas, to create community across the divide of religion (well, at least Christianity (h/t Episcopal Cafe).
Nick Knisely, pointing to an article in The Atlantic, ponders the change to cities, and to churches, by demographic shifts and the increased reliance on bicycles for transportation:
The reason this is worth mentioning is that it’s the first direct consequence of the massive demographic shift underway as young and old adults are returning the city center again. Salon has a piece on how even places like Cleveland and Pittsburg are starting to burst with new young residents around the city centers again. (H/T to bls). High fuel prices, dense urban living and a desire to something differently are all contributing. And now churches are going to have to respond.
What a great problem to have! As the neighborhoods around our historic buildings are being revitalized, we have got to think of ways to make our buildings more accessible for the people in our neighborhoods. (Which is why most of them were built in the first place after all.)
Nurturing community in a city–what is the church’s role? What is Grace’s role? Do we have enough bike racks?