A Preacher on Every Corner?
By Rosa Lee Harden
Every week, our planning for the San Antonio event gets more and more rich. And, the connections we are making are incredible.
In October, Paula and I were in Texas on a scouting trip mostly focused on speaking with colleagues in theological education about how the conversations we have at Neighborhood Economics connect with the questions about economic justice that more and more clergy are beginning to ask. We met in person with folks from Truett Seminary, Austin Presbyterian Seminary, and the Seminary of the Southwest. Then we were on the phone with Duke. Princeton has already committed to being in San Antonio. And it’s clear that more and more people are connecting their faith with what is going on in their neighborhoods.
While walking in downtown Waco with Dustin Benac, the co-founding Director of the Program for the Future Church at Baylor’s Truett, we happened to run into John Hunt, Associate Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church. We had a quick, but energetic conversation with him about what we are up to and how we are working to connect people repairing local economies. He told us that their congregation is deeply engaged in the neighborhood and tries to focus their outreach right around them to make a difference in the lives of those who live closest to their church.
But we know that churches sometimes don’t know how to engage that work. We want to make connections for faith leaders to help them lead their congregations as anchor neighbors in their communities.
The seminary cohort that is coming together to be a part of Neighborhood Economics in San Antonio will be focused on helping denominations equip people who are training to be pastors to do that work.
Just about every faith leader or seminary and rabbinical student we talk to says something similar. They want to do this work but don’t know how. These conversations are so needed, and we are excited to help curate them!
If you are a person of faith, a faith leader, or a student, we hope you will join us in San Antonio!