Five Pillars that Support the Culture and Curriculum of Neighborhood Seminary
Guiding Scripture: Genesis 1-2
Key concepts: Triune God is community, God creates community, we image God as we foster genuine community that helps our neighborhood flourish.
Key Practices: Nurture loving and honorable relationships with God, others, self, and creation. Foster community in the neighborhood.
Guiding Scripture: John 1:14
Key concepts: God becomes flesh and blood and moves into the neighborhood. We join God by allowing God’s word to become flesh and blood move into our neighborhoods, through the church, full of grace and peace.
Key Practices: Learn to hear, see, love, and respect neighbors and neighborhoods. Actively engage neighborhoods in ways that foster holistic flourishing. Nurture a contemplative stance of showing up, paying attention, cooperating with God, and releasing the outcome.
Healing the wounds of racism, sexism, classism, all sinful “isms” and phobias
Guiding Scripture: Micah 6:8; Gal. 3:28
Key Concepts: Christ is for and with all people, therefore the church is called to be for and with all people, actively dismantling racism, sexism, classism, and other sinful isms and phobias. The church is called to work constructively to repent of ways it has contributed to systemic oppression in the past, and to actively work with others to create equitable systems in which all people and neighborhoods may flourish.
Key Practices: Educate self and others about systemic oppression, join others locally to dismantle racism and other forms of systemic oppression, actively work to create new systems that are equitable and just.
Guiding Scriptures: Matt.1:23, Isaiah 7:14
Key Concepts: Just as God with us, the church is called to be with neighbors. God is already in the neighborhood, wherever people and systems are contributing to human and environmental flourishing. Thus the church is called to partner with the neighborhood to participate in God’s good work with neighbors, centering this work with the voices and wisdom of neighbors. Missional engagement therefore seeks to recognize and build upon neighborhood strengths, rather than fix perceived neighborhood deficits, and requires cultural humility and respect.
Key Practices: Develop capacity for asset mapping a neighborhood; community development through relationship building; bringing neighbors together to share strength and work on common areas of concern.
Asset-Based Community Development
Guiding Scripture: 2 Cor. 5:17, Rev. 21:5
Key Concepts: God in Christ is making all things new. As we join this work we become co-creators with God in God’s healing, liberating, transforming work of salvation.
Key Practices: Time tested spiritual discernment practices in community such as prayer of examen, clearness committee, lectio divina, visio divina, lectio liberatio, and lectio creation, leading to local missional engagement such as participation in racial and gender justice activism, environmental healing projects, support and advocacy for victims of violence, human rights for immigrants, refugees, and asylees; spiritual disciplines to help persons remain grounded and centered in God’s love.