This morning I saw a link on a friend’s Facebook wall to a blog post titled: “The Problem with Little White Girls (and Boys)” by Pippa Biddle. I don’t know Pippa at all, but her story conveyed through this post has a familiar tone to it. Overseas short term mission trips and the voluntourism movement in international aid efforts has been justifiably criticized for quite some time now because of the colonial and racist overtones and attitudes within them. But I am caught short again today at how absent this conversation is with regard to mission in North America.
Tag Archives: urban mission
Among the refreshing waters of the missional church movement, a few voices are drawing attention to an undercurrent of concern. This concern surfaced a few times in the converstations surrounding the A Missional Reading of Scripture conference last week. One person, who was following the various #MRSC13 tweets, simply asked about the demographics, noting that the speaker list was primarily (though, not exclusively) white, males. This same theme was lamented by Danielle Rowaan (@DanielleRowaan) “Hoping that as we dream of a better missional future for the Western church @ #MRSC13 we include the voices of women. #alwaysreforming” Voicing a similar perspective, Kyuboem Lee (@kyuboem) tweeted: “Q I wish I could’ve asked @ #mrsc13: How can missional convo esc fate of academic fad if not done w subdominant cultures in urban contexts?” Continue reading
I thought I’d try a new angle with posting this week. Rather than my typical approach of serving up my thinking on a particular topic, this post highlights a few of the blog posts and other readings that I’ve been considering over the last couple weeks. My hope in this post is to share a bit of what is stirring my imagination and reflection at the moment, and then to invite you to add your voices…or posted responses as it were. I’ve included links on freedom of religion and sexual orientation, African-American experiences of Christian colleges, and a “Slow Church”/”All-Things Church” conversation on approaches to community engagement. So, here’s the first (and so far only) edition of “Other People’s Thoughts.”
Tim DeChant over at Per Square Mile offers a provocative post on how the presence (and absence) of trees in urban settings reveals the wealth of the neighborhood. He contends that wealthier communities tend to have more green space than do the poorer communities. In a follow up post, he offers several images from space to support this idea in which he compares wealthier and poorer communities in the same city with each other. The absence of flourishing trees in the poorer communities is quite apparent.
What I am left wondering then is a handful of questions around urban mission: Continue reading