I love reflecting on the city where I pastor because there are so many things going on that are RIGHT. They are not totally right all the time, but there are things that defy current trends.
For instance, Columbia Heights is on the very low end of “affluence” in the Twin Cities. Rock bottom for the metro area, I believe. Housing stock is good, but values are low. We are incredibly diverse. Over 70 percent of students in the schools are on free and reduced lunches as well.
Racially diverse. Not affluent. Not great housing stock. Recipe for disaster.
Except… it’s not.
Crime is at a 40 year low. Our school system was only one of four in the metro area to have test scores go UP by state standards in the last academic year.
There are so many reasons why this is such wonderful news and why it won’t make the news.
1. Community policing. The police are incredibly proactive. Every officer is required to have community service hours every month. Even the police chief. He is a big brother in an elementary school.
2. Pro-active government. They work hard to get ahead of issues and promote the beauty of the diversity we have in our city.
3. Pro-active schools. They work hard to navigate language barriers, learning levels, and more. This district gives away more scholarship money every year for college than our richest suburbs. It is a joy to see.
4. Government that actually LIKES churches. We are welcome to take part in any effort that furthers our city. We mentor students, help with programs, sponsor community events, etc. They want us involved BEFORE a problem arises.
There is so much more, but I wanted to stop quickly and give thanks for what God is doing in our community. We need a breath of good news from time to time.