Bikes, Gardens and Forgotten Places

Highlights from the Chapter

Tourists flock to spectacular architecture or natural wonders, driving right past spectacular people and creative contribution in the process. Cities are much more than places

Each week seems to be a recalibration of the risk of staying present and engaged. It’s about fighting the impulse to disengage and simply staying committed to keep showing up and loving people. it’s about fighting the impulse to dream of how life would be better where the grass seems greener [or where there is grass], safer or more cultured

A ministry of longevity requires us to stay engaged and just keep showing up to participated in God’s ongoing work. Participation in God’s mission in relationship, neighborhoods, and cities will take commitment.

How we love out compassion to the misfits, the ordinaries, and the outcasts around us tells the story of our great adoptive Father
— Chapter 2


When my wife and I moved to Brooklyn, we wanted to quickly and purposefully make this place feel like home and so we joined as many neighborhood institutions as we could [and that we could afford].  We got library cards and became regulars at playgrounds and coffee shops so we could purposefully rub shoulders with, listen to and get to know people in our community.  But by far the best and most fascinating way we did this, was through joining the food co-op.  The co-op is the thing of legends [some of which are true], for instance HERE and HERE

What this is done for us, beyond the drama and saving tons of money on groceries, is helped us get to know a beautiful cross-section of our city.  One of the other amazing results has been the overlapping relationships we have formed as member of the co-op have also become friends from church, parents of our children's friends at school and people with common concerns about the community that we sit beside at meetings and gatherings.

Communities have gathering places like this, whether a co-op, a coffee shop or a library like my friend Tim recently discovered and described. These places provide us with opportunities to move beyond simply being in the neighborhood toward participating with and attaching names and stories to the faces we see around us every day. Joining and participating in these gatherings and just showing up, week after week, month after month, helps stabilize our lives in a place but also creates the space for building relationships with the plethora of people that make up our community.

So in moving beyond thinking toward taking steps...


  • What median [gathering] spaces can you and your family [or roommates] be faithfully present in? How will you make faithful presence a discipline?
  • What hobbies and passions could move you into participating more in the neighborhood?
  • Starting April 9th, Thrive Collective is providing churches, organizations and individuals the opportunity to support a local school [PS 124] through a mural project

The comments section is a great place to share stories of what you are doing, struggling through and trying as we all learn together to love where God has us.