Resilience is the ability to bounce back from life and ministry’s extraordinary challenges, and is grounded in life-giving relationships. How are the followers of Jesus to grow in the resilience needed to sustain a call to practice Christian Community Development? Like all ministry it is one that “fills our hearts to the brimful and breaks them too.” (Nancy Roth, Awake My Soul)
This year’s national conference in Detroit follows the 50th anniversary of the Detroit uprising. Detroit’s journey has been one that puts a premium on resilience. Experiencing wave after wave of struggles like urban unrest, economic disinvestment, housing market collapse, and bankruptcy, has brought the city to its knees.
Despite the hardships, Detroiters still stand resolved and resilient through it all. As the Flag of Detroit indicates, the city “hopes for better things” and “rises from the ashes”. The city is tough and its people are strong.
Resilience is essential to being effective and sustainable over long periods of time in the work of Christian Community Development. Like a flower erupting between cracks in a parking lot, deep rootedness in the strength of the Lord and His power (Eph. 6:10), makes resilience possible. Perseverance through hardship and vision for what is not yet but can be, are essential for the task of loving our communities and facilitating Kingdom transformation.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
We anticipate another life-giving gathering in 2017. Each year, conference speakers, workshops, site visits and conversations with like-minded people cultivate an environment where attendees are inspired and retooled. We hope to facilitate a safe place for honest conversation, thoughtful engagement, worship, and rest among a group of truly diverse attendees. We are grateful for the opportunity to rally around the pursuit of (re) conciliation and biblical justice.
We hope the CCDA National Conference inspires the next generation to join the movement.