For centuries people have been drawn to cities for perceived economic and cultural benefits or as a refuge of last resort. This immigration continues. Today city people leave the city for a perceived idyllic rural or suburban lifestyle bringing city ways to the country and are in turn replaced by new city immigrants. In addition, with the vast array of electronic media, much of which originates in the cities, urban culture invades the suburbs and rural areas. This study is designed to help the faith community understand the impact of urban culture on our society; the interdependence of urban and rural communities; and the challenges of urban mission and The United Methodist Church's response to them.
Special Issue New World Outlook, January/February 2000. $3.00. Service Center #02889
Special Issue Response Magazine, April 2000. $1.50. Service Center #2887.
Leader's Guide to God's People in an Urban Culture. By Elmira Nazombe, Roseangela Oliviera and David Wildman. $6.50. Service Center #2886.
Combination Package of above 3 items. $8.95. Service Center #2885. (includes $3.00 discount coupon for related video, Journeys of the Spirit)
Special Issue Response Magazine "God's People in Rural Society," June 2000. $1.50. Service Center #2908.
Companion material explores issues for the faith community in rural society, many of which are influenced by a national urban culture.
Journeys of the Spirit: God's People in an Urban Culture. Interactive video. $29.95. Service Center English #2890, Spanish #2906, Korean #2907.
This interactive video is created specifically for use with this study. It looks at urbanization in the United States and reviews specific urban ministries of The United Methodist Church. Issues such as immigration and homelessness as well as rich cultural diversity and building strong families in the city are seen through the lens of United Methodist mission in action.
Streetwise in Corinth: Paul's Letters to an Urban Congregation. By Harriette D. Cross. $3.50. Service Center #2874.
This resource for leaders of United Methodist youth in middle school through senior high school. It combines elements of two study themes: "Paul's Letters to the Corinthians" and "God's People in an Urban Culture". By looking at the ancient cities of Jerusalem, Rome and Corinth, it raises issues of life and faith in an urban setting. Activities, stories and thought-provoking questions lead youth to examine ethical issues raised by Paul in his letters to the church at Corinth and find parallels for our time.
Blanke, Bernhard and Randall Smith, editors. Cities in Transition: New Challenges, New Responsibilities. St. Martins Pr., 1999. $69
Cisneros, Henry G. Interwoven Destinies: The Cities and The Nation. W.W. Norton, 1993. $18.50
Provides analysis demonstrating that the economic and social well-being of the US is linked with the economic health and stability of the nation's cities.
Cooper, Michael. The Great Black Migration: Bound for the Promised Land. Lodestar Books, 1995. $16
Middle school-aged book on black migration from rural south to northern cities in 20th century.
Fainstein, Susan & Scott Campbell, eds. Readings in Urban Theory. Blackwell Publishers, 1996. $33.95
Feagin, Joe. The New Urban Paradigm: Critical Perspectives on the City. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1998. $26.95.
Places central emphasis on dynamics of race and class in analyzing cities and suburbs today. Several chapters focus on Houston.
Garreau, Joel. Edge City: Life on the New Frontier. Anchor, 1991. $16.95
Describes the dynamics of the new communities that are being created by urban flight beyond the old suburban rings around the city.
Hacker, Andrew. Two Nations: Black and White: Separate, Hostile, Unequal. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992. $12
Analysis of the widening economic, social, and political gap between African Americans and whites.
Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. Oxford University Pr, 1987. $15
Investigates America's shift from industrial urban living to the semi-country suburban world sought as the American Dream by many modern Americans. There are many surprising facts related to the government's role in investing in the homogeneously white middle-class suburban developments that are now commonplace throughout our country.
Jacobs, Jane. Cities and the Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life. Random House, 1984. $12.50
Identifies the city as a place in which economic activity is generated by a network of interlocking dependencies making firms as the basis of an economic analysis. Identifies these interdependencies as either being capable of adapting to change or incapable. A closed fixed system of interdependencies is the hallmark of a city (or a firm) which is ready for decline. Cities or enterprises in which the economic components are free to exploit new opportunities can adapt to challenges from outside. Jacobs characterizes this adaptation as taking the form of a specialization of an existing economic component to supply a new need.
Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Vintage, 1993. $14
Has helped reshape urban planning, but as a non-expert and as a woman-both historical taboos in the world of intellectual analysis. Leads us to think about each element of a city-sidewalks, parks, neighborhoods, government, economy-as a synergistic unit both encompassing structure and going beyond it to the functioning dynamics of our habitats. On a revealing journey through the problems of modern urban centers, artificially engineered to meet political and economic agendas, we arrive at a greater understanding of the intrinsic nature of our cities-as they should be.
Kasinitz, Philip, ed. Metropolis: Center and Symbol of Our Times. NYU Press, 1995. $18.50
Anthology from first urban sociologists to contemporary analysts of race and suburbia.
Kirp, David, John Dwyer & Larry Rosenthal. Our Town: Race, Housing, and the Soul of Suburbia. Rutgers Univ. Press, 1995. $18.
A detailed case study of legal and community battles over low-income housing development in Camden and Mt. Laurel, NJ.
Kuntsler, James Howard. The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-made Landscape. Touchstone Books Simon & Schuster, 1993. $13.
Entertaining and challenging depiction of boring sameness of suburban mallscape and how recent development and car culture has destroyed community in both rural and city settings. Calls us to rethink and redirect how we organize and plan our common lives.
MacIonis, John J. and Vincent N. Parrillo. Cities and Urban Life. Prentice-Hall, 1998. $61.10
Primarily sociological in approach, this book incorporate historical, anthropological insights to urban sociology, urban anthropology, and urban studies. A multidisciplinary exploration of cities and urban life includes the historical development of cities, classic urban sociology, social psychology, geography and ecology, political economy, urban anthropology, as well as planning and architecture.
Miles, Malcolm, Iain Borden, Tim Hall, Editors. The City Cultures Reader. Routledge, 2000.
Nivola, Pietro S. Laws of the Landscape: How Policies Shape Cities in Europe and America. Brookings Institution Press/Inter-American Development Bank, 1999. $15
Explores past solutions and suggests future solutions.
O'Meara, Molly. Reinventing Cities for People and the Planet. Worldwatch Paper 147, Worldwatch Institute, 1999. $5.
Thoughtful and thought-provoking proposals for making cities more livable and sustainable for all. Examines current problems and proposed changes in six key areas: water, waste, food, energy, transportation, and land use. While global in approach, it has many insights and examples from the US.
Orsi, Robert, ed. Gods of the City: Religion and the American Urban Landscape. Indiana Univ. Press, 1999. $19.95.
Ten case studies from six different cities focusing on urban religious experiences of Caribbean, Asian and European immigrants to US in 20th century -- both Christian and other religions.
Pagano, Michael & Ann Bowman. Cityscapes and Capital: The Politics of Urban Development. John Hopkins Univ. Press, 1995. $15.95.
Case studies and surveys of ten medium-sized cities across US on impact of political decisions on course of their development.
Peterson, Paul E. The New Urban Reality. Brookings Institution, 1985. $16.95
A collection of essays analyzing the political, economic, and social changes that impact urban communities.
Rodriguez, Joseph A. City Against Suburb: The Culture Wars in an American Metropolis. Praeger, 1999. $55
This study looks at the rapid changes occurring in cities and suburbs in order to understand these cultural conflicts which, according to Rodriguez, have arisen in part because Americans continue to view themselves as city people or suburbanites in a time when the two areas are converging. As suburbs draw more businesses and residents, they produce new forms of art and cultural events which longtime residents resist as undermining the essentially residential quality of suburbs. Similarly, in cities, new parking structures, highways, and downtown malls produce suburban landscapes that urbanites reject, seeing those changes as evidence of the intrusion of suburban culture. Four community conflicts in the Bay Area from the 1960s to the 1990s illustrate these changes.
Sassen, Saskia. Globalization and its Discontents. The New Press, 1998. $15.95.
Sassen is one of foremost authorities analyzing globalization and cities today. She has numerous articles and books that examine city life from high-powered finance to use of Internet to rise of undocumented low-skilled service jobs that depend on the prosperity of very rich. Emphasizes impact on, and role of, women in globalization and cities!
Urbanizing World: Global Report on Human Settlements 1996. Oxford University Press, 1996. $35
Excellent summary of impact of urbanization region by region across the globe. Plenty of charts and tables on housing, poverty, governance, safe water, waste disposal, pollution and other crucial issues facing urban areas today.
Wilson, William Julius. When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor. Alfred Knopf, 1996. $30
Changes in the global economy and the disappearance of unskilled but decent-paying jobs near cities are factors that have deprived the urban working class of steady jobs, destroyed inner-city businesses, and caused younger, upwardly mobile residents to flee for the suburbs.
Bakke, Raymond. A Theology As Big As the City. Intervarsity Pr., 1997. $12.99
How does God see the city? What does Scripture have to say about urban ministry? These are the questions Ray Bakke has systematically addressed. Here is a biblical theology that provides a glimpse of how big God's view of the city really is.
Brueggemann, Walter. Using God's Resources Wisely: Isaiah and Urban Possibility. Westminster John Knox, 1993. $12.95.
New and different readings of biblical texts are one consequence of a growing awareness of the environmental crisis and how it relates to social relations especially in urban settings. Offers a demanding but hopeful challenge to faith.
Dharmaraj, Glory E. Concepts of Mission. (Service Center #2820) $6
Includes chapters on the biblical basis for mission, concepts of mission in the 21st century, and social justice issues and mission.
Fluker, Walter E. They Looked for a City: A Comparative Analysis of the Ideal of Community in the Thought of Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King Jr. University Press of America, 1989. $30
Examines the theology of the two thinkers and social prophets in their search for community.
Linthicum, Robert C. City of God, City of Satan: A Biblical Theology of the Urban Church. Eerdmans, 1991. $24.99
A biblical theology of the city offering direction and support for urban mission.
Linthicum, Robert C. Empowering the Poor. MARC, 1991. $10
Offers a biblical and theological framework for how the church can stand with the poor through congregation-based organizing.
Meyers, Eleanor Scott, editor. Envisioning the New City: A Reader on Urban Ministry. Westminster John Knox, 1992. $30
Articles that inspire, challenge, offer suggestions for ministries while examining the context, the populations, and the foundations out of which congregations minister.
Meeks, Wayne. The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul. Yale Univ. Press, 1983. $17.99.
Good, solid background on spread of Pauline Christianity among coastal trading cities in eastern Mediterranean and who was involved in early churches. Good book to link this study with one on Letters to Corinthians.
Van Engen, Charles and Jude Tiersma, eds. God So Loves the City: Seeking a Theology for Urban Mission. MARC, 1994. $21.95
From exploration of theological concepts emerge new ways to practice ministry in cities.
Bos, A. David. A Practical Guide to Community Ministry. Westminster John Knox, 1993. $19
How does a congregation best serve its own neighborhood? is the question that this practical guide for congregations addresses.
Carle, Robert D. and Louis A. Decaro, Jr., editors. Signs of Hope in the City: Ministries of Community Renewal. Judson, 1997. $16
Considers historic city missions, various cultural racial ethnic contexts, church-based community organizing, with case studies from many congregations.
Claman, Victor N., et al., Acting on Your Faith; Congregations Making a Difference: A Guide to Success in Service and Social Action. Insights, 1994. $25
Donald, James. Imagining the Modern city. University of Minnesota Press, 1999. $25
Looks at how artists have shaped cities through their creation of public spaces, sculpture, and architecture--art forms that help determine our ideas about our place in the urban environment. Planners and architects such as Otto Wagner, Le Corbusier, and Bernard Tschumi present us with real and possible cities, showing a way forward to alternative social futures, Donald asserts. The modern city provides both a culturally resonant imagined space and a physical place for the everyday life of its residents. Imagining the Modern City is a rich and dazzling exploration of the ways cities stir and shape our consciousness.
Dudley, Carl S. Basic Steps Toward Community Ministry. Alban, 1991. $15.75
Basic steps for congregations to learn how to develop and implement a ministry with their community.
Douglass, Mike and John Friedmann, editors. Cities for Citizens: Planning and the Rise of Civil Society in a Global Age. John Wiley, 1998. $39.95.
Looks at planning and cities from a post-modern perspective and gives examples from the global scene.
Fodor, Eben V. Better Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community. New Society Pub, 1999. $15
Explores governmental subsidies of growth and principles of sustainability that make for better communities. Provides access to information and ideas citizens and public officials need to be effective participants in the urban growth debate. The information is practical, and growth issues and their solutions are illustrated with case studies from around the U.S. A compilation of the best growth management tools is provided and a chapter outlines "Twelve Steps Towards a Sustainable Community."
Green, Clifford J., ed. Churches, Cities, and Human Community: Urban Ministry in the United States 1945-1985. Eerdmans, 1996. $25
Examines how churches have sought community in the urban world while looking at specific denominational expressions of thought and ministry.
Harper Nile, editor. Urban Churches, Vital Signs: Beyond Charity Toward Justice. Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1998. $25.
Presents the stories of 28 congregations who have moved beyond in-turned care of parishioners and whining about lack of resources and denominational disinvestment, to develop extensive ministries of charity, social service and social justice. Through these case presentations he illustrates the 15 "vital signs" of effective urban congregations. The central keys have been high-energy culturally- appropriate worship, bold visions, commitment of leadership to stay for the long-term, engaging the existing assets of leaders and neighbors, and community building with an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take risks and form creative partnerships. Differentiates between charity, service and justice.
Linthicum, Robert C. Empowering the Poor: Community Organizing Among the City's 'Rag, Tag and Bobtail'. MARC, 1991. $8.95
Presents a strategy for community organizing in the city, how to build coalitions to accomplish the community's goals and how to develop leaders from the local church.
Luria, Daniel and Joel Rogers, Metro Futures: Economic Solutions for Cities and Their Suburbs. Beacon, 1999. $11
Looks at solutions that recognize the essential link between urban and suburban well-being with specific state and federal policy recommendations.
McKnight, John L. and John P. Kretzmann. Building Communities from the Inside out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community'' Assets. Northwestern niversity, 1993. $20
Framework and tools to help individuals and organizations learn how to explore and work with the assets that exist within a community.
Malone, Walter. From Holy Power to Holy Profit: The Black Church and Community Economic Empowerment. African American Images, 1994. $11
Biblical and theological foundations and church models, for community empowerment and economic development.
Medoff, Peter and Holly Sklar. Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood. South End Press, 1994. $18
Using the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative in Boston's most impoverished neighborhood as a case study, the authors describe how this community reclaims its neighborhood through organizing and community development.
Nored, Ronald E. Reweaving the Fabric: How Congregations and Communities Can Come Together to Build Their Neighborhoods. Black Belt Press, 1999. $15.95
Explores how a church and the surrounding community came together to change a decaying Birmingham neighborhood that everyone was ready to write off as hopeless. Shares information on how the planning was done, partnerships were created, and money was raised. Documents a textbook case of faith, civic involvement, institutional partnerships, and creative thinking in dealing with unemployment, boarded up storefronts, substandard housing, drugs, and crime. Tells step-by-step how the planning was done, how the partnerships were created, how the goals were set and monitored, and how the inevitable setbacks were addressed and overcome.
Perkins, John, editor. Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together and Doing It Right. Baker Book, 1996. $11.99.
In-depth how-to manual for those involved in or interested in Christian community development among our nation's poor. Fifteen urban ministry professionals share a wealth of experience in this practical handbook.
Perkins, John M. Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development. Baker Book, 1993. $12
Biblical and theological background about why congregations need to become involved with community economic development.
Phillips, E. Barbara and Katharine, City Lights: Urban-Suburban Life in a Global Society. Oxford Univ. Pr, 1996. $49.95.
Examines identity, connections, getting things done, and socioeconomic issues among others.
Pierce, Gregory F. Activism That Makes Sense: Congregations and Community Organization. ACTA Publications, 1984. $10
Why churches should engage in community organizing, from a biblical and theological standpoint.
Primeaux, Patrick, editor. Humanizing the City: Politics, Religion, the Arts in Critical Conversation. International Scholars, 1997. $64.95.
Figures in each of these fields examine humanization.
Rusk, David. Cities Without Suburbs. Woodrow Wilson Center Pr, 1995. $14.95.
Deals with four strategies for stretching cities recognizing that cities are actually metropolitan areas.
Schaller, Lyle E. Center City Churches: The New Urban Frontier. Abingdon, 1993. $13
Fourteen profiles of high-performance urban churches, with a discussion of the various characteristics of effective urban ministry.
Sherman, Amy L. Restorers of Hope: Reaching the Poor in Your Community With Church-Based Ministries That Work. Crossway Books, 1997. $15.99
Deals with changes to be made within the congregation to reach out, steps for building community ministry, collaborating with government.
Wolf, Peter. Hot Towns: The Future of the Fastest Growing Communities in America. Rutgers, 1999. $27
Wolf argues that people in these areas can make choices that will accommodate growth while ensuring a desirable future. Wise managers and residents of a growth town will realize that what must be preserved is not the growth in and for itself, but the qualities that attract people in the first place. Wolf demonstrates how it is possible- even during a town's rapid expansion- to enhance the quality of residents' lives, to incorporate aesthetics and design into town evolution, to protect what is precious in nature, and to preserve the best that has already been built. Wolf concludes with a practical checklist for the residents of hot towns, allowing them to evaluate how their communities are coping with growth.
Yocum, Rena, ed. New Wineskins: Faithful Mission in the 21st Century. Service Center #2809. $6.95
Explores new styles of mission appropriate to coming years.
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