Racial Dot Map
The University of Virginia has a dot on the map for every person in the U.S. They com-piled census reports into a massive digital map of America that can be explored by us-ers. Filtered by race, it's an interesting look at racial segregation's persistence on the regional/neighborhood level. Zoom out and everything looks fine. Zoom in, and the ra-cial stories of a neighborhood begin to emerge. One can "see" trends of immigration, gentrification, neighborhood transition, and more. Useful for students of their neighbor-hood or parish. (Map takes a while to load. Open a new tab and be patient.)
Zoom in at The Cooper Center: http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html
Barna's City Resources
Barna's demographic resources are key for many leaders to understand the American cultural landscape, especially when it comes to religion and faith issues. While a few of their big statistics are routinely passed around as headlines in Christian circles, don't miss the depth of their resources for understanding your particular context. Cities.barna.org is a hub for facts and demographics on your city or region.
A few sample facts:
- Albany, NY is the most "post-Christian" city in America. Shreveport, LA is the least.
- More than half of the people in Jackson, MS went to Sunday School this week.
- More than 1 in 4 Green Bay, WI residents attend a Lutheran Church
- More people attend church weekly in Chattanooga, TN than any other city.
- Las Vegas has the most politically conservative practicing Christians (64%).
Using GPS as a Prayer Aid
The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn recently shared a unique strategy for engaging young believers. It includes mobile apps, "augmented reality gadgets such as prayer coins with a GPS tracking system" (to track where the coin has been and who has used it as an aid for prayer), and social media strategies.
All are attempts to combat the increasing isolation of young people, who tend to compartmentalize their faith online, and are often reluctant to share their beliefs. "We have to make use of all the means that the world offers us to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ" says Diocese leader Kieran Harrington. He adds that "technology is a critical means" of engaging the young and encouraging them to share their faith with others.