The Center for City Renewal exists to work for the common good and flourishing of the city through the lens of civility. Through theological formation, generative relationships, creative entrepreneurship, faithful cultivation, peaceable civility, pursuing justice, and stewarding privilege, participants will embody a gospel ethic in their work, culture and urban living.
CHRISTIANS, CITIES AND CULTURE
Over many centuries, Christians have made historic contributions to the advancement of western culture. Continuing in this tradition, The Center for City Renewal seeks to modernize this conversation and its implementation for 21st century urban dwellers.
In major cities—where unprecedented concentrations of talent, innovation and enterprise intersect—the church has a unique opportunity to convene, unite and distribute leaders with a common vision into every channel of culture. This leveraged role produces insight, clarity, and creativity only manufactured when overlapping networks collide in common vision. In this way, innovators bring a renewal emphasis into their vocation, having positive implications in every sphere of society. In time, the common good for an entire city’s inhabitants is advanced, regardless of their faith tradition.
Because of the “cultural mandate” given to humankind in Genesis 1:26-28, the church takes seriously its responsibility to make disciples that create and cultivate culture. As people come to faith in the work of Christ on the cross, they are invited into the mission of God in this world to renew all things—inaugurating a new world based on faith, hope, love, justice, peace and civility.
As the church exposes and equips people to the needs and opportunities for good to advance in the world, the church becomes a hive of generative ideas, relationships, redemptive projects, and ventures that serve society and contribute towards human flourishing.
“How can any one remain interested in a religion which seems to have no concern with nine-tenths of his life?”
Many people have grown up in a church context that has unintentionally taught a sacred and secular divide. This can create a feeling that the “true” work of ministry can only take place inside the walls and programs of the local church. We believe the scriptures teach a more robust vision of ministry found in God's original creation mandate, and the renewal mandate as taught by Jesus in the Kingdom of God. God is not just interested in how we behave at church, but how we faithfully follow Jesus the other six days of the week. Our goal is to empower people to clarify and pursue their vocational calling—seeking the flourishing of their industry and city by participatng in Gods redemptive work to give people a taste of the Kingdom full of goodness, truth and beauty.
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6 v 8
There is a growing disparity in our world today between the rich and the poor. One of the initial signs of the health of the early church was that “there were no needy people among them”. We desire to identify, engage and empower people to address the great economic, environmental and social injustices in our day.
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
Colossians 4 v 6
In a pluralistic society, many people no longer feel prepared or comfortable to graciously engage people of other faiths and worldviews. As a result we can feel threatened, intimidated or paralyzed. This causes us to react—creating stereotypes, naming villains and dismissing others' opinions without consideration. We seek to create conversational spaces that enable people to respectfully engage one another, despite their greatest differences.