space is limited and at a premium. we pay high dollar for rent and for a parking spot for 30 minutes.

we are an earbud society. we have them in whether we are listening to anything or not.

we see our neighbors often. our front doors open to each other. we share garages with them. we can reach out our kitchen window and shake hands.

we’re shifting around on public transit together. we give up our seats for the elderly and all have mixed feelings about strange and unusual things we encounter on the bus or the train.

our farmer’s markets are packed for good reason. chefs and citizens buying from farmers together.

we choose what neighborhood of the city we want to live in based on our lifestyle. the marina is full of single people. south of market seems to have a revolving door – people in and out. the dogpatch embellishes artists. north beach hosts italians and chinatown is self-explanatory.we chose our neighborhood because it’s family-friendly.

we wear flip flops to work and show up at 9 am-ish. we often set up office in the coffee shop or have team meetings in the park.

we’re accomplishing what wall street does {probably more!}, but with less stress and a west coast attitude.

we’re highly unchurched. we pick and choose to create out system of beliefs and values.

we tolerate everything. this is fleshed out as san franciscans have a high homeless population because we all care for them. san franciscans value people’s right to marry whomever. they’re gonna champion your cause and buy local. they’re gonna keep big chain stores out of the city and ban plastic bags. citizens of our city put into law to charge you for happy meal toys because it encourages obesity.

that’s my culture.

think about yours.

have this discussion with your co-workers and family.

how would your kids describe your culture? your roommates? your spouse?

if we are only takers, we tend not to notice much about our culture.

it’s only when we want to make a difference, want to give back, that we begin to notice the culture in which we live.

 3 ways to know your community…

try something new in your city at least once a month. dine at a new restaurant. see a new sight. perform an act of kindness to a neighbor or new friend.

establish a tradition that draws people to you. cocoa and cookie night in december. sweet {ice cream} social in the summer. cookout or neighborhood playdate. back to school breakfast for the kids in your apartment complex or on your street. homemade valentines on front doors of your neighbors.

make every effort to attend city-wide events that attach yourself to your community. this builds credibility. it makes you more local. they are always learning experiences.


unsure how a local family event would be, we were happy to discover delectable homemade popsicles of watermelon and strawberry.

get out there! discover.

your community has been your community since birth or for longer than you can count?

spice it up a bit by inviting new folks to your favorite places.

see your community through the eyes of an outsider and make sure your town has open arms to those who are new.

i’m a huge fan of children’s books. natalia colombo wrote a stunning book on community called “so close.” whether it was her intent or not, it’s a powerful picture of what we have before us and how easy it can be to build community.

you and i can leave it up to non-profits, local government officials, and empowered citizens to build community.

or we can be the church, Christ’s people, scattered throughout our cities, our communities, loving and serving with no ulterior motive but to love like Christ loves. and that’s unconditionally. 

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