Small Town-ness

I’ve just returned from a visit to my hometown of Kewanee, Il. As an urbanwest-coaster I was struck by the character of Midwestern small towns. The ones we visited had a sense of community (front porches, front yard barbecues and such) that’s lacking in my area.

I could see how city dwellers might be enticed to pull up stakes in search of a small-town community. In a sense, that’s what we house church folks are looking for, isn’t it? The “small town feel” in the faith community. I even wonder if a group of city folks with a
yearning for small-townness might be able to discover one another in an urban setting (use the web, here?) in order to intentionally practice some of the things that make a small town a community, like shopping at the same local store, choosing a central park to meet up in, intentionally deciding together on what Oldenburg calls a “third place.” In other words, deliberately limit choices so that our personal daily patterns intersect
with others more frequently and naturally.

Perhaps that intentional limiting might be something a community of simple churches could practice.

Rambling here, I guess. Half-hatched ideas that I’m incubating. More to come on this.

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