Churches are often detached from the needs and concerns of their city. We sit on the edge of society doing "our thing" while everyone else does "their thing." We complain about our city. We attack our city. We ignore our city. On the other hand, sometimes churches blend in with the city so completely that it is nearly impossible to see any difference between how we live and how anyone else lives. So what's the answer? Separation or Assimilation? God shows us another way, a much better way. Yes, God's people are meant to fully participate in the life of their cities. But as we do so, we retain our distinctive identity. We live in this city, but our allegiance is the our heavenly city. In short: the church is a "city within a city". We seek the common good of our communities through acts of radical generosity. And as we pour our lives out for the benefit of others, God uses us to bless the entire city.
Canon Robert Hurkmans has been the minister at St. James and St. Brendan since 2006.