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Suburbia–some thoughts

November 30, 2012

I’m currently reading a book by Randy Frazee, The Connecting Church. He spends 2 chapters blasting the suburbs as a major part of the problem for our increasing isolation. Since he says it better than I can, I’ll quote pieces of the chapter:

“Sociology experts point to the 1950’s as a pivotal period in the development of a culture of isolation. It was during this era that Americans began to build places to live that have turned out to be more of a prison than a home–we know these places as the suburbs…. Suburbs were created after World War II to remedy a housing shortage where the land was the cheapest…. But these developers were not architects or urban planners, and the new suburbs did not take into account basic human needs.”

He goes on to describe how ancient communities, even communities before the 1950’s in America, were largely built with all the necessary services within walking distance of each other, and the homes were densely situated with porches, lawns, meeting areas, etc., that all facilitated neighborliness. Now we drive our cars everywhere, pull in to the garage door (close it), and go out back in our fenced yards in isolation. We have privacy, but we are also lonely.

Interesting thoughts, and it has profound implications for building true community, especially so in the churches which largely reside in these suburban areas.

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