At the Pre-Presbytery event, the Urban Working Group presented their final work. If you remember, they were given the tremendous task of “defining urban” in our current context. They worked diligently, finding resources, researching data and deliberating honestly with one another. Their work is truly remarkable.
Using three main consideration: poverty, population and diversity, the Urban Working Group marked 18 of our congregations with an “urban” designation. Some congregations are obviously “urban,” others are not obvious at all. At first glance, many of those gathered at the Pre-Presbytery event questioned the final report, wondering if we should really include some churches that really don’t seem “urban.”
Ultimately, the intent of the Urban Working Group was to initiate a way for our Presbytery to engage in a broader conversation about the issues that surround “urban” areas. In order to have a broader conversation, they believed including what might be considered “surrounding” congregations in the urban designation (even though make no mistake, those congregations still fit the data in terms of poverty, population and diversity) will allow us to work together for justice and peace.
Please take some time to read the documents they provided. If nothing else, definitely read this spirit filled document, their final report.
Here is the “urban designation based on a one mile radius” – this doc includes motions from the Presbytery meeting.
And here is a FAQ sheet.
And one more… here is the raw data that shows poverty, population and diversity surrounding the churches in our Presbytery.