The Urban Grind

The Urban Grind

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Segregated Swimming Pools


Yesterday was the first official day of Spring. For many of us spring means busting out bathing suits and hitting the pool. If you’re like my family, with the arrival of the first signs of warm weather and the promise of long summer days spent in the humid sun we sign the kids up for swimming lessons. As a child I fondly remember the breezy northern California summer...

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Identity Crisis: Have we become what we swore never to be?


Occasionally I have an identity crisis. By me, I mean myself and Bridge City Community. I am acutely aware of my whiteness and tend to err on the side of self-consciousness when it comes to our reconciliation efforts. I have had numerous honestly transparent conversations with black friends who have allowed me to say some ignorantly raw things on the road to understanding....

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Are We Really So Ignorant?


Are we really so ignorant, so dense, that we need an animated children’s movie to demonstrate systemic injustice and cyclical stereotypes of race and class? I thought I was just going to take my kids to a much anticipated Disney film but what I discovered was a poignant and provocative message aimed at the adults in the audience. Are you so ignorant? Are you so dens...

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Honor. Truth. Duty.


Honor. Truth. Duty. This is the mission statement of The McCallie School - a well established, top tier, boys college-preparatory school in Chattanooga. Confused that I’m writing about a prep school instead of the projects? Wealthy, privileged, and predominately white boys instead of the urban plight of poor, black ones? Hang in there. It will make sense, I promise. ...

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Daps Bruh


Let’s start with a brief vocabulary lesson. Here are two potentially new terms and I would hate for Google to interrupt your reading so here you go... daps: the knocking of fists together as a greeting or form of respect.Guido Merkens: church planter who founded Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX in 1951. What does Guido Merkens (pictured on the graphic f...

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God & Google


[ This week we have a guest post from Jon Berestecky about his family's experience visiting BCC for a weekend and making the decision to move to Chattanooga to become urban missionaries.  Thanks Jon! ]  If you Google Racial Reconciliation Chattanooga the first site listed belongs to Bridge City Community Church. But who would do that? Better question: why ...

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Dispelling the Myth [that we don't have a plan]


I am now acutely aware of the need to provide pragmatic insight into our operational strategy as an urban mission. We are part of a growing effort to pioneer the frontier of urban, multi-ethnic church planting. Considering this lies outside popular church planting methodologies I feel the need to clear up the muddy waters surrounding this type of ministry. As a pastor one...

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Mercy is Polarizing


Do you want the mercy of God all to yourself? Yes? You are selfish. Stop pouting. Keep reading and consider this: Mercy is polarizing.  *Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. The thought of mercy is sweet, but even more so is mercy itself. It is what all people hope for, but unfortunately, not what all people deserve. For while all people wish to r...

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Remember that Time You Said "F*** this S***" to Your Pastor?


No? Didn’t think so.   It has probably never happened. My guess is you’ve never sworn at your pastor and your pastor has never been cussed out. Tuesday afternoon marked the third time I’ve been cussed out by a member of my congregation. At this point it’s no longer shocking. Well, the first time wasn’t either really. How did this happen...

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Happy New Year - My Christmas Sucked


[ DISCLAIMER ] This post is not an inspirational/motivational post about the urban grind of our mission here at Bridge City Community. I will not be sharing stories of success, epic life transformation, or even anecdotal testaments to our efforts. No, this is a lament. You know what I hate - what irritates me and inflames my cynicism more than anything else? When su...

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