“Home Sweet Home” – Is This Our Next Big Thing?

Presbyterians are historically known for establishing hospitals and schools throughout the world. To name a few of the hospitals:

  • Rush University Medical Center in Chicago (formerly Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital)
  • Columbia University Medical Center in NYC (formerly Presbyterian Hospital)
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia (formerly Presbyterian Hospital of Philadelphia)
  • Presbyterian Hospital (Durlang, Mizoram, India)
  • Embangweni Hospital (Embangweni, Malawi)
  • Canton Pok Tsai Hospital (Canton, China)
  • Pasteur Research Institute (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

And to name a few of the schools:

  • Princeton University (formerly The College of New Jersey)
  • Washington and Lee University (formerly Augusta Academy)
  • The University of Pittsburgh (formerly Pittsburgh Academy)
  • The University of California at Berkeley (formerly the College of California)
  • Cheeloo University, Shandong China
  • American University of Cairo
  • American University of Beirut
  • Damavand College, Tehran (formerly Iran Bethel School for Girls)
  • Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary, Seoul
  • The Reformed University in Barranquilla, Colombia (formerly Presbyterian Theological Seminary)

I believe our next big building project involves housing.

Affordable housing is a huge issue throughout our country and some of our congregations have taken the bold step to partner with housing agencies to combine worship space and housing space. Considering the fact that many hardworking people do not earn enough to live in safe, affordable housing,  it could be true that the next Big Thing in the institutional Church is building homes for the homeless, the housing insecure, and the civil servant employees who cannot afford to live where they work.

Churches own a lot of property, especially in urban and suburban areas.  What might we do to serve the needs of our neighbors with that property while maintaining a spiritual presence? This could be our 21st Century calling.

Images of 1) project between (upper left clockwise) Full Gospel Church & Related California in Oakland, CA; 2) St. James United Methodist Church & AHC Partners in Alexandria, VA; 3) AME Zion in White Plains, NY; 4) Fairlington Presbyterian Church & Wesley Housing Development Corporation, Alexandria, VA.

 

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3 responses to ““Home Sweet Home” – Is This Our Next Big Thing?

  1. Andy and I were happy to learn that Heather is working on this project at Fairlington. We were there on June 25th when Hari was elected a deacon (again)! Always good touching base with family and friends there.

  2. I sooooo agree! And I also believe a lot of individual Christians are in a position to offer affordable, well-maintained rental homes in our communities–as a tangible expression/outreach of God’s love. Many of us would be able to afford a rental property if we downsized our own living space (or gave up our vacation homes)!

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