My love of reading started early in life and I’ve looked to books for inspiration, entertainment and as guides to a richer life. As I reflect on the Forward Brunswick goal of increasing community engagement across a broad spectrum of our local population, two of my favorite books come to mind: Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith and Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America.
Here is a quote from a review of the first book: “Christians often talk about claiming our cities for Christ and the need to address urban concerns. But according to Eric Jacobsen, this discussion has remained far too abstract. Sidewalks in the Kingdom challenges Christians to gain an informed vision for the physical layout and structure of the city.”
Jacobsen emphasizes the need to preserve the nourishing characteristics of traditional city life, including shared public spaces, thriving neighborhoods, and a well-supported local economy. He explains how urban settings create unexpected and natural opportunities to initiate friendship and share faith in Christ.
Brunswick and Glynn County are blessed with a strong faith community. I can think of no more valuable ministry than that outlined in Jacobsen’s book. Forward Brunswick is prepared to offer many opportunities for citizens of all faiths to engage with the important work of preserving the nourishing characteristics of life in our community.
The second book by the married writing team of James and Deborah Fallows “takes a deep look into the factors that are helping some towns thrive in the most difficult times.” A review by David Brooks in The New York Times reads: “…the Fallows argue, citizen participants are coping with declining industries, creating new civic cultures, assimilating waves of immigration, and collaborating across party lines to revive everything from arts programs to tech seedbeds.”
As we continue to refine the strategic plan for Forward Brunswick, we will be engaging with churches and civic groups to offer a range of opportunities to engage with our community and Move Brunswick Forward!
-Ben Slade, Chair of the Board of Directors
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