In the church context, that’s another conversation. And, let’s be honest, probably one that won’t be had in the near future.
But there IS a context it SHOULD happen… and SOON.
There are two situations linked in a way I think it’s time to say, “The large could learn from the small.”
One article posted by a couple of teachers in the school district where I pastor struck a cord. It’s about the tough environment of teaching high needs/high risk kids and the lack of support that happens in that environment.
The other event is Baltimore. The recent riots and the whole issue of community policing, poverty, race, and more.
I want to invite anyone and everyone to Columbia Heights, MN. We don’t do everything well, but we have an attitude to do things RIGHT.
The schools are incredibly diverse and deal with poverty. In the midst of that, along with the harsh conditions teachers deal with day in and day out, success can happen. It’s not always noticeable, and that’s a shame. But our school system is visionary in how they educate kids of all economic and intellectual development.
Our city does community policing the right way. It’s always a struggle, but it’s done WELL. They hire for diversity when at all possible. They get involved in the schools as big brothers/sisters. They have open gym times. They know kids before they have to deal with kids on trouble. It makes a huge difference.
“Big” cities need to see how this place does it.
They love the community and invite the community to the table… ALL of the community. As a pastor, I’ve always enjoyed wonderful access to our community and have worked many years to bring positive solutions to the city. They allow us to help mentor kids in the high school. They allow us places at the table in key committees within the city and the district… as the church.
They work hard to have all voices at the table and when a segment is missing, it actually bothers them.
We can do things right. Minneapolis should come up all of three blocks from their border and learn. Baltimore should come out here. Ferguson should REALLY come out here.
Talk to our leaders. Talk to our churches. Talk to our mosque.
It’s not perfect. But it’s not Baltimore, either.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. (Matt. 5:9)