I am becoming increasingly drawn to the idea of place, and how ministry comes out of a place. We understand, if partially, the role of localism in liturgy, but it does little to overcome the restlessness, even anomie, that we suffer with today. There’s something diabolical about the “gospel of rewards” seen in such unreal programs as The Swan and Extreme Makeover. How long ago were we shocked by The Stepford Wives, only to be shown the “virtue” of becoming Stepford people, in Stepford neighborhoods, ostensibly attending (or not) Stepford churches? (The film is being remade: what lesson will it convey?)
If the church is to be an agent of redemption, it has to start here as much as with the economically deprived. A church has to be a “there” to overcome the commercialize unreality that passes for the truth.
Nothing new in what I’m saying, but if enough of us realize it, perhaps we won’t all be anesthetized at the same time.
I think we need to start at home.
In the meantime, here’s a look at one organization trying to improve my slice of the world
Adams Morgan Main Street