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Some friends of mine have an awesome vision of incarnating Christ into the neighbourhoods of Toronto.  They’ve been researching hard and have identified 25 of the poorest and most unreached patches in the city, and are asking for people to literally move-in, and be the church in these neighborhoods.

They are holding their first conference May 8th-9th to cast the vision and are praying for 2,000 people to participate.

Pray, join, invite others, and find out more more at http://movein.to/

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Sam Simmons March 31, 2009, 2:47 pm

    Just finish Reggie McNeal’s new book Missional Renaissance. He wrote:

    “Missional is a way of living, not an affiliation or activity. To think and live missionally means seeing all life as a way to be engaged with the mission of God in the world.”

    MoveIn.to seems like a perfect illustration of what Reggie is calling the church to be!

  • Anon March 31, 2009, 11:34 pm

    The info on the site and poster is the most vague I have ever seen.
    Most of it describes vision, purpose and grand ideas, but readers have to dig fairly deep into the site to know what a participant is physically required to do.
    Anyway, I think I get it now and it’s awesome!

  • JT April 1, 2009, 2:59 pm

    These sorts of conversations are general had (in my experience) by middle-class white folk. And let’s be honest, the “poorest and most unreached patches in the city” aren’t full of white folk. I don’t know, something doesn’t sit 100% comfortably with me when I think of suburban white folk moving into poor neighbourhoods in an attempt to show others how to live. There will be a whole lot of middle class white folk moving into Regent Park in the near future, oh wait, they had to evacuate all the poor black folk first.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not suggesting that the Church doesn’t need a presence in these neighbourhoods and I think that the motivation behind movements like move-in are noble and all. It’s just that when this sort of thing becomes nicely packaged and romanticized it begins to stink a little bit (IMHO). Not to mention it takes affordable housing away from folks that are genuinely poor (theft!).

    Re-gentrification anyone? Or am I being to skeptical?

    Grace and peace,


  • gc April 16, 2009, 9:42 pm

    just to temper some of JT’s cynicism there — wink — as a non-white, formerly-middle-class Christian (well, i’m still of middle-class sensibilities, i’m now also a student in a lot of debt!) who has been attempting missional living with an urban church (in the very hood you mentioned, in fact) for a few years, i can speak from experience that intentional incarnational living does NOT have to be about “showing others how to live.” we should be as showy as Jesus was and called us to be– we should be salt and light, humble and meek. if people get their attitudes right and don’t enter into these arrangements with messiah egos, but come seeking to partner with God in what he is already doing, they will find him, and have a blast.

    and the point about stealing affordable housing is off-base — are you suggesting that middle-class folk should stick to middle-class living, that their attempts to simplify or downsize (out of convictions about justice and materialism, let’s say) will only backfire and create greater injustice for the poor?? the problem is not that christians en masse are shedding their wealth and taking affordable housing opportunities from the poor, the problem is a lack of affordable housing and a lack of political will to provide it–which is an issue christians should definitely care about. it’s not as if middle-class christians are somehow sneaking their way into social housing units — they are renting market-rate units just like everyone else. call me libertarian, but i think they have just as much right to do that as anyone else, rich or poor. 🙂

    christians doing this kind of thing — generally willing to downsize for it — are not the vanguards of gentrification. you may be right that this could change, though it would be quite incongruent with missional living, i would think, to move into a poor neighbourhood meaning to befriend those who are already there, but to also bring along one’s tastes for condo-living and fine dining.

    personally, i’m not 100% comfortable either with naive young white yuppie kids making hard choices about where to live, potentially due mostly to the hipness factor, and without their eyes fully open to the implications and consequences. but if the alternative is that those kids are gonna end up living in dorms, partying and posting endless pictures of themselves on facebook, why not challenge them to something more?

    just another perspective.


  • Lon April 22, 2009, 3:27 pm

    just wanted to say folks, these were all insightful comments!

    my take is that just about everything we do is tainted, and well, we’ve got to start somewhere…

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