Why Be Positive About the City? Part One

Why Be Positive About the City? Part One

city-skylineThis post is part one in a three part series about being positive about the City.

A central element of the City Church vision is that we be a church known for celebrating the city. We intend to celebrate the city by being positive about its people, programs, and anything else that is praiseworthy. I have been surprised in recent months over the shock that a church would do such a thing, so I decided to devote a series of posts to explaining and defending why this is important to our vision.

1. There is a great deal of negativity about York City in York County. The city is my home and the home to many other people, all made in the image of God, and so the negativity is a personal affront to me, its residents, and to God. A visit to the public comments section on the website of the local paper will quickly enlighten one to the steady stream of racism, bigotry, hatred of the poor, and raw negativity that are directed at the city. York City is consistently portrayed as a dangerous place to live with insurmountable problems.


2. The City is a great place to live, work, and play. My family has lived in the city for over three years and is thrilled to call it home. We enjoy our neighbors, the city neighborhoods, walking to the market, fitness at the YMCA, going to York Revolution games, playing Little League baseball, checking books out from Martin Library, etc. All of these activities are within walking distance of our home, and yes we feel safe walking in the city. The city needs residents who will support its local scene economically. I am personally convinced that the best restaurants and places of interest are in the city. More folks in York County need to hear that message.


3. Change will not happen by complaining. Granted, the city does have issues that need to be addressed and there are many good people working together to address those issues. The history of complaints about the city has created a stigma and ignorance about the good that exists in the city. Many residents of York County therefore refuse to go into the city out of fear and ignorance. More voices need to be raised in support of the City. I’m not talking about just being positive about new city development and gentrification. I’m talking about being excited about the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity that exists in the makeup of its citizens. A prominent candidate for City Mayor referred to York City as the “dirty partner” with whom no one in the county wants to dance. I was dismayed that a candidate would say that! Citizens of York City and those who love it, need to battle the propagation of this kind of negativity. Our hope as a church is not to just be naively positive, but to work for the good of all city people and its local economy by celebrating the city. We are hoping that our little contribution will help turn the tide of negativity about the city.

Check back next week for the continuation of this series. Part 2    & Part 3


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