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Urban Exile: Re-discovering Justice?

For many evangelicals, justice ministry is nothing new.

We evangelical folk love conferences. We'll attend one across the country or host one in our spiffy new sanctuary–er, auditorium. Shoot, we'll even blog about a conference for those who couldn't make it. I've attended my fair share of these get-togethers, from California to Michigan, and blogged about them along the way. Perhaps that early American phenomenon–the frontier camp meeting–lingers in our memory and has found new expression at mega-churches and sports arenas around the country.

During my suburban ministry years, many of the conferences I attended were of the how-to variety. Think "This Old House" with Bob Villa, but substitute house with "small group," "sermon," or "assimilation plan" and Villa with (mostly) white pastors and theologians who write books.

This conference-going tendency must run in our evangelical genes, because the folks at my urban church also make these events a priority. Here's the difference: instead of learning how to improve their church, these city-dwellers ...

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