Sensing the City

By Dorothy, Manager of Partner Relations

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop led by Dr. Mark Gornik, Director of City Seminary of New York, “Sensing the City: Formative Practices for Faithful Urban Life” which was sponsored by YSM and Christian Reformed Campus Ministries, U of T . Here are a few key things that I took away from the workshop:

We can experience urban ministry with all of our senses. Often times when we think of learning or education we think of books and a classroom.  However, we would be limiting ourselves because there is so much that we can experience in life if we use all our senses; sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste, etc.

“We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it. - 1 John 1:1

Not only is it important for us to experience urban ministry with our senses, but we need to move from a theology of ministry to ministry of everyday life where we become present in the world we live in.  We need to become more intentional about our presence wherever we may be. As we take in the different senses that we experience in the city, we can then offer them up as a prayer to God.

Curiosity is a gift and as we desire to know things, we start seeing God in everything and everywhere which allows us to pray intentionally and pray with awareness of what’s around us.  And as we learn, we need to pass it on to others.

Towards the end of the workshop Dr. Gornik, shared with us about Pray and Break Bread (PBB).  This is an intentional way to experience your city and discern God’s call for your community through:

  • Talking and get to know community members
  • Reading scripture
  • Gathering in small groups to pray together as they walk around the community
  • Meeting at the end to break bread together

Stay tuned for PBB dates for the different TCM communities.