This week, the term “new city” has meant many different things to me all at once. I am serving at New City (the name of the church) while in a new city (Minneapolis, MN) in hopes of experiencing the new city (the kingdom of God)! The first few days of my Field Education (a fancy word for internship) I participated in a scavenger hunt around the Powderhorn, Phillips, and Central neighborhoods, where New City Church is located. The church intentionally does not have a building yet, which has given me the opportunity to get out of a traditional office setting and breathe in the life and culture of the surrounding community. In my adventures, I overheard uplifting conversations about improving environmental justice efforts while sipping my latte at Mayday Coffee Shop. I put all of my insecurities aside and danced without shame at Zumba in the park. I talked to the shop owners at local eateries like Midtown Global Market and el Mercado Central. I got to chat in Spanish with the sweet woman cutting my hair, who was able to transform my mess of split ends into something fresh and new!
I also had the chance to do a prayer walk around the neighborhood and reflect on the new city I had just become a part of. God is clearly active in the vibrant community dedicated to acts of justice and civic involvement. Amidst the looming risk of gentrification, racial tension, and air pollution, there is hope for a new city. Through grace, God is making all things new. Church planting gives those involved the precious gift of listening to the stories of those already invested in making their neighborhood, and world, a better place to live. I admire how those from New City Church are committed to preserving the lively culture while simultaneously bringing to life a new movement – one that is Spirit filled and bursting with God’s love.