I’m now in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at Calvin College, for one of their Seminars in Christian Scholarship. What’s great is that the SCS program “welcomes scholars as whole persons—as embodied creatures with spouses and children, hobbies and interests, passions and pastimes.” So Ellen and the boys are here with me for the next two weeks; they’ll get to do some kid programs while I’m in seminar discussions and meetings, and we should have free time and evenings together to play. We packed up the minivan yesterday with clothes and kitchen gear and linens and toys and whatnot (ironically, the sermon at church was on Mark 6, where Jesus sends out the disciples and tells them not to bring a bag or anything), drove to Michigan, and found our way to our campus apartment to move in. Josiah was pretty excited about the adventure at first and was thrilled to run around the campus and explore, though by evening he was getting a little nervous about being here and said, “Let’s go home now.”
The seminar officially starts today, and I haven’t done anything yet except the precourse reading, so in the meantime, I’ll post some links to other blogs and resources about suburbia that I’ve been meaning to highlight. Here are a few I’ve come across recently that are quite helpful. First of all, Burb: Where You Live is a magazine that tracks news about all things suburban, relating to demographics, architecture, housing trends, public policy and much, much more. Just about every news item Burb posts and links to has implications for suburban Christians interested in understanding and ministering to our suburban context. Next, a suburban seminary student, Scott Berkheimer of Theopraxis has a multi-part theology of suburbia here.
I also recently came across Simply Simon’s blog – Simon is in Australia, and I’m particularly interested in hearing about how suburbs look in other countries, how they differ from or are similar to American suburbs. Simon, a theology professor interested in urban planning, has some thoughtful reviews and analysis of recent suburban-related books, including Death by Suburb, Sidewalks in the Kingdom and The Good Life.