The basic idea of CityLove is to send out “urban missionaries” who have dedicated at least one full year to serving the city. The experience includes creative projects and partnerships, communal life and spiritual formation.
Each urban missionary has been placed in a community house. There is one for men and one for women and one for married couples. Those in the CityLove community share meals and life together regularly.
Spiritual formation is a high priority for each urban missionary, because we can only give what we have received from God. Mornings are devoted to prayer and study. Mentors have been provided to help spiritual and ministry development. Select books are being read, with writing assignments throughout the course of the year, to help expand theological thinking.
We believe that the local church should contribute significantly to the common good of the city.
The local mission work is divided up in two specific ways. The first part of the mission work entails cooperation between the missionaries to design and create works of art that will communicate the message of Jesus to as many people in the city as possible. Each urban missionary is leaning into his or her particular talent, whether that be illustration, public art, filmmaking, music, writing, print design, architecture, theatre or whatever. Ideally this work is collaborative, incorporating multiple disciplines, and will culminate in at least one major project undertaken over the course of the entire year.
The second aspect is serving various local organizations in the city. Our aim in this is to simply come alongside existing non-profits, schools and community centers to help them do what they are already doing. Currently we are working with Southside Community Landtrust’s City Farm, the Refugee Dream Center, DownCity Design, CityArts, the Providence Rescue Mission, the Trinity Square Working Group and OpenDoors. We value the work such organizations are doing, and we believe that the local church should contribute significantly to the common good of the city.
Since these urban missionaries are serving the city full-time, they are supported partly by Ren church and partly through raising funds from family and friends.