A THEOLOGY OF PLACE – Urban Minister, Chris Lawrence on the Neighborhood Church [LDT053]


Hope grafiti

Hibiscus by Naomi Lawrence and friends, 105th/Lexington Ave.

Hibiscus by Naomi Lawrence and friends, 105th/Lexington Ave.

All over the country we see urban churches that are boarded up. No bells in the steeple there, nobody is helping the poor from there, and no community worships there. Many of the urban churches that do survive rely on their members driving many miles to services on Sunday. We’ve looked at several different strategies for dealing with this, on Love in a Dangerous Time. Some are designed to save the church and preserve it as it is, and some are focused on building new and innovative ways of being Christian. Today we have something that’s a little bit of both.

Rev. Chris Lawrence is an immigrant from the UK and his nearly two years in New York City have been focused on reviving a neighborhood parish in the primarily Latino neighborhood of East Harlem. His theology is very much about place and community. His church, Church of the Living Hope, small as it is, has several projects designed to create a sense of home and community for all of its residents.

A Note: Early in the interview I apologize for a lot of background noise that was just outside my window while we were recording. It was really awful, but we had to plow ahead. It seems that, due to my very careful editing and the wonderful sound enhancing service I use on my podcast (auphonic.com) you almost can’t hear the noise. Ahh… technology!!

De Colores 2015

De Colores event, 2015

So today’s program is about a theology of place.

 

Links:

Church of the Living Hope website – www.churchofthelivinghope.org/

East Harlem Flowers – Urban guerrilla art, by Naomi Lawrence – click here

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