Learning to Love Our Cities Together
During the last week of October Teddy, CMT’s Executive Director, and I had the opportunity to be in Grand Rapids with a group of people from around the world. We were together as a part of a global network of trainers who make up the Urban Training Collaborative. We develop incarnational leaders who love their city and seek its peace. The Urban Training Collaborative is an initiative of Street Psalms that serves the networks of Resonate Global Mission (an agency of the Christian Reformed Church of North America) and Leadership Foundations. This network represents nearly 100 cities. Each year we gather in a different city throughout the network to strengthen our capacity to develop leaders in vulnerable urban communities.
This year, we had the opportunity to learn from different people in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our good friend and Colleague, Justin Beene, opened the doors of his city to learn, explore, and seek the peace of our cities together. We entered the wounds of Grand Rapids in a way that allowed us to reflect about the woundedness of our city. We learned from local leaders who are seeking peace for Grand Rapids, and loving their city into greatness. As the Urban Training Collaborative we gathered with people from many different countries including Kenya, Guatemala, Nicaragua, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, South Africa, the United States, and many other places. We had hard conversations that are allowing us to build a network that models a community where hard conversations about race, sex, politics, and religion can take place.
We want to thank all of our friends who are part of the Urban Training Collaborative. If it wasn’t for your reflection, and communal learning we would not be able to “love our city into greatness,” to use the words of our friend Justin Beene.
In addition, we want to thank all of you who support us financially, and through prayers. You are the spiritual backbone of the work we do. We couldn’t do what we do without your involvement in the work we do.