The City by Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC, October 2, 2005

 

Isaiah tells a tale of two cities: the strong city and the lofty city. The former is divine, available through salvation, and based on peace and joy. The latter is human, self-created, and based on pride and accomplishment. Christians are called to seek the peace and prosperity of the city, both in prayer and as servants of society, looking forward to the final and eternal heavenly city where the trials of this world will cease.

 

Listen to this message by clicking here 

 

 

How to Really Love Santa Cruz by Renee Schaepfer, Pastor at Twin Lakes Church, Santa Cruz, CA, August 31, 2014

 

Listen to this message from Jeremiah 29:1-11 by clicking here

 

Following are the main points from this message:

5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

Jeremiah 29:5-7

 

Based on this Scripture from the Old Testament of the Bible, what can we all do to help our city?

  • Stay in your city

    • Build houses and live in them v. 5a

  • Grow in your city

    • Plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease v. 5b-6

  • Help out your city

    • Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile v. 7a

  • Pray for your city

    • Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare 7b

 

Read an article titled "Serving, transforming, praying for Santa Maria" in the Santa Maria Times dated September 3, 2014 by Trent Benedetti about To Transform Santa Maria.  Click here to read.

 

Read another article titled "Spotlight on Service: Serve Santa Maria" in the Santa Maria Times dated October 12, 2014.  Click here to read.

 

Eric Swanson previewing the tri-tip before our To Transform Santa Maria dinner/workshop on October 17, 2014.  Check it out by clicking here.

 

When God builds a City from Scratch—Isaiah 65:17-25

taken from Eric Swanson's teaching Friday night, October 17th 

 

What specific things to look at today in your city

  • The city is a delight (v.18)

    • Do people of all ethnicities delight in the city?

    • Where are the places of celebration, fun and beauty?

    • Do people love coming to the city?

  • Its people are a joy (v.18)

    • Do residents and visitors love being in the city because of the people?

    • Do people feel better after being around the people of the city

  • Children are valued, protected and nurtured (v.20)

    • What’s the infant mortality rate?

    • Pre-school readiness /3rd grade reading levels

    • High School graduation rate

    • Trafficking

  • Elderly are living long and full lives (v.20)

    • How does the city rank in longevity?

    • What kind of services look after the elderly?

    • Quality / availability of health care

    • Activities / relationships for elderly

  • Housing (v.22)

    • Reducing number of chronically homeless

    • Number of homeless students

    • Renting / ownership ratios

    • The opportunity to own my home

  • Food (v.22)

    • No “food anxiety”

    • Community gardens

    • Food “rescue”

    • School programs

  • Justice of sowing and reaping (v.22)

    • Work and reward (reaping commensurate with sowing)

    • The chance to “get ahead”

    • Youth can see the rewards of hard work

  • Meaningful work (v.22-23)

    • Systemic generational poverty eliminated

    • Intentional job creation

    • Innovation

    • Employment opportunities

  • Intergenerational family support (v.23)

    • Number of kids in Foster Care

    • “Flipping the script” in adoption

    • Single moms with support system

    • “Orphans” who have mentors

  • Hopeful future (v.23)

    • Are people hopeful about their future and the future of their children?

    • College opportunities

    • “I can be more than my parents”

  • Connected to God (v.24)

    • What percentage of people have a relationship with Christ?

    • Increasing number of people connected to a faith community

  • Absence of violence (v.25)

    • Number in jail / prison

    • Crime rate

    • Safe neighborhoods

    • Domestic violence

 

Eric Swanson's messages when he was with us in October, 2014:

Eric shared key strategies and actions from his book To Transform a City.  

 

Eric also spoke at both Sunday morning services at First Christian Church.  To view to this message please click here.

 

WHO IS ERIC SWANSON?

Eric has a passion for engaging churches worldwide in the needs and dreams of their communities toward the end of spiritual and societal transformation. He served with Campus Crusade for Christ for twenty-five years before joining the staff of Leadership Network where he works with scores of missional churches around North America. He is an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary and is co-author of The Externally Focused Church (Group, 2004), The Externally Focused Life (Group, 2009),The Externally Focused Quest (Jossey-Bass, 2010) , and To Transform a City(Zondervan, 2010), and numerous articles on churches that are transforming their communities. Since 1999 Eric has also been working with Tango, currently working on a mobile-digital platform designed for life change.

Eric has been married to Liz since 1977, has three married children, six grandchildren and resides outside of Boulder Colorado.

 

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"Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you.               Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers,

you too will prosper."  Jeremiah 29:7

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