Book Club Session 3


I'm inviting friends for a new session of our book club starting this week [Sundays 9:00am at MS 51as we go through Michelle Warren's incredible new work, The Power of Proximity

Amidst the marches and rallies, my concern is that we are settling for flash mob activism as a tool for social change.  Beyond that, if most of us were honest, we don't know people [at least not intimately] that are being affected by

  • DACA and the immigration reform
  • The cradle to prison pipeline
  • Generational poverty
  • Homelessness
  • Unjust police tactics

To name a few

This book [and the times we have together around it along with opportunities that come with participating] is a way for us to move from knowing about the injustices in our city as issues towards seeing and knowing and then even moving towards advocating for the people affected by these issues.

With that, each week, I will be posting

  • Quotes from the chapter
  • Questions for reflection
  • Opportunities for action
  • Additional resources

Here we go!

Quotes from Chapter 1

As Christians we want to be aware of what we do not know so we can understand and embrace our shared humanity with a suffering world. These awareness experiences strike the chords of our hearts in such a way that we feel, we hurt, we try to understand - and sometimes, we try to help

They [the poor] are our teachers; we are their students. We must recognize assume a posture of listening and learning in order to allow them to shape our lens

In proximity to the poor, we have the opportunity to become students of all they have to offer and we must position ourselves as ready to learn even as we bring what we have to share

Alarming, shocking things happen all the time, and when the immediate danger is over, we go back to surviving one day at a time...They repeatedly demonstrated the ability to move forward despite their circumstances...I heed to learn from them how to survive and gain the strength to remain planted in our community, committed to moving forward together
— The Power of Proximity - Chapter 1

Questions for Reflection

  1. How has this chapter changed your view of the poor around you?
  2. What small steps can we take to start hearing from, learning from and even seeing the poor around us like this book [and really like Jesus] is inviting us to?
  3. What hindrances do I face in taking these steps? What has stopped you before?

Opportunities for Action

  1. If you haven't been or considered doing this before, pray to start the day, that God would help you see your commute, your community and those around you differently.  Pray that He would give you ears to hear the hurts and heartaches, the brokenness around us in new ways. If you journal, consider writing down what new things you hear, see and notice.
  2. If you feel up for it and it seem appropriate, consider asking the story behind someone's struggle with homelessness

For Further Study

  • Evited - Poverty and Profit in the American City - Not a Christian book but a profound journalist endeavor in bringing to light the struggles of the urban poor.  [I link Amazon only so you can see the book, but encourage you to consider spending a few extra dollars and supporting your local book store]

Questions, thoughts, comments, please share below or you can email me HERE.  We also have a number of ways we are seeking to stay in touch, in conversation and to encourage each other [email, Slack, community meals] so if you want to know more about that, you can also email me to find out more.