I would have loved details about their actual journey Overall an interesting read Helpful for preparing to moveI am reading this book in preparation for moving into a low income community This book opened my eyes to some challenges I didn t think about but that I am now sure I will face I had a very idealistic view of moving into a community to do social justice work This book brought me to if a realistic expects ion, acknowledging the difficulties, yet sustaining hope I think there is a hard balance between being genuine about how we aren t going to see injustice wiped out and being hopeful and encouraged to continue in the work regardless This book keeps that balance I recommend if you are thinking about living in a place of proximity in any capacity. We ve all been in situations where we re in close proximity to someone who doesn t look like us Some of the situations are temporary, and some much longer lasting Some people are forced into situations, and some make a conscious decision to experience life at a different pace than they might otherwise be used to Immediately missionaries come to mind They leave family, friends and home to go to a faraway place And then there are people like Michelle Warren Michelle and her husband made the decision to exchange lifestyles, but they didn t go to a different continent to do so Instead they settled in an area of Colorado The only thing is, Michelle and her husband don t look like most of their neighbors, and if they weren t willing to study another language, they wouldn t even be able to communicate with some of them Their journey to proximity is detailed in The Power of Proximity Moving Beyond Awareness to Action, IVP Books, July 2017 I did underlining in this book than I have in a long time, and have already used some of what I learned as part of a message for a chapel service at the local Rescue Mission Justice is a primary theme, and reading this book helps us see that we have a part to play in seeing justice come about Biblical, not legal justice, restoration of people, not just punishment for wrongs p 28 Life among people who are struggling helps us to identify that need for restoration So, what is the deal with proximity The simple answer is that it gets us close to the pain of an issue, changes our perspective, and most importantly requires a response And as you can tell, from that 3 part answer, the simple answer is anything but simple Take a look at the communities that frame the lenses through which you see things Do you live in one and work in another Do you truly experience what others created in the image of God are living on a daily basis, or do you just brush shoulders with it during the short periods of time that you are in the vicinity, and then forget about it as you drive away Michelle is truly experiencing it Part I Proximity Transforms Us helps the reader understand what is meant by proximity, including the fact that to truly understand a different culture, we need to do than attend some conferences or read a few books It enables us to look beyond the surface for the underlying causes, and the possible solutions to some of the issues And as we are confronted with the brokenness of others, we are also confronted with our own brokenness, which tends to help us understand even better what others are living through Part II Proximity Compels Response is a little bit harder to read, simply because it forces the reader to decide what am I going to do about it It s one thing to read about an issue, to see it from a distance, and perhaps send a check, or like on social media platforms But when it becomes part of who you are, then a response is required When proximity to the poor is a choice, you are privileged 108 , and with privilege comes responsibility And with Part III Proximity for the Long Haul there are some pointers We can choose to move past fear, we can recognize and pray for healing for our churches, we can continue with our choice to be proximate, even when it is difficult than we expected We can live by faith, and stand with those who are already boldly making a stand, making the statement that enough is enough In God s Kingdom we are all created in His image, and as such we should be willing to stand by our brothers and sisters Earlier this year I was indirectly asked by a friend to choose a word for the year, a word which might shape and frame my actions and attitudes The word I chose was justice, and this book is helping me with that effort Michelle wears several different hats, but whichever one she is wearing at any given time is a reminder that proximity shapes us and has not only the potential to make our world a better place, but also the potential to mold us closely to the Imago Dei in which we were created I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All staff and incoming team members for the program I work for were asked to read this book in preparation for the coming program year, and I especially appreciated it within that context It s a really relevant and helpful introduction to both the challenges and joys that come with living in proximity to those most heavily burdened and impacted by systemic injustice This is full of gems of insight and wisdom and I would gladly encourage anyone considering pursuing a lifestyle of proximity to check it out What really stood out to me was the critical and welcome emphasis on practice over talk lip service, the reality that living in proximity to external brokenness often exposes our own internal brokenness, and the push for enduring commitment to the long haul as a pushback against naive notions of impactful justice work I did find elements of the book to get a bit repetitive or circular by the end, and at first I was somewhat surprised by the way that Ferrigno Warren frames the community that she enters into By and large, I found that she highlighted the wounds, dangers, and downfalls that existed there and at times felt as though that was a perpetuation of the one sided narratives that likely plague it While this helps us to clearly recognize it as a place negatively impacted by injustice and a part of me definitely appreciated her honesty towards those devastating realities, my own inclination is always to try to hold those elements with as much tension as possible with the positive strengths of such communities I also think that some of her phrasing could invite some interesting conversations around need, and a less generous reader could possibly interpret some instances as being patronizing, although I feel confident that s far from her intention With that said, there s no doubt that Ferrigno Warren does indeed love, admire, and deeply value her community, and there is no greater testament to that than the longstanding commitment she s made to remain there for so long and continue to seek its good alongside her friends there I certainly respect her a great deal for this and am ultimately very appreciative to have read this book myself and be able to suggest it to others. Heartfelt and real Encouraging look into the heart of CCDA and related organizations and founders. It s solved by walkingExcellent life story of living the gospel in marginalized community by moving in So appreciative of the simple message of putting into action your heart for Biblical Justice It s all about seeing one life changed Thanks so much for writing your story Michelle We Can See Evidence Of Injustice All Around Us, Whether In Continuing Incidents Of Racial Inequality Or In The Systemic Forces That Disenfranchise People And Perpetuate Poverty It S Important To Learn About The World S Inequities And To Be A Voice For The Voiceless Any Way We Can But In An Age Of Hashtag And Armchair Activism, Merely Raising Awareness About Injustice Is Not Enough Michelle Warren Knows What Is Needed She And Her Family Have Chosen To Live In Communities Where They Are Proximate To The Pain Of The Poor This Makes All The Difference In Facing And Overcoming Injustice When We Build Relationships Where We Live, We Discover The Complexities Of Standing With The Vulnerable And The Commitment Needed For Long Term Change Proximity Changes Our Perspective, Compels Our Response, And Keeps Us Committed To The Journey Of Pursuing Justice For All Move Beyond Awareness And Experience The Power Of Proximity Powerful and real, made me cry and laugh Such an important book for those who live out the call of biblical justice. I bought this book after hearing Michelle speak The topic is tremendously important. Michelle Warren practices what she preaches She and her family have chosen to live as dominant culture minorities in their neighborhood They have chosen to take seriously the command to love our neighbors by living and working alongside the predominantly immigrant and underpaid of the city Warren reflects on her years living out the gospel message with stories, reflections, and the truth that we are all called to live proximately to the very people Jesus said would inherit God s kingdom This book is truly life changing Read this if you re ready to be confronted with the hard but holy work of taking the gospel seriously.
Michelle Ferrigno Warren is the advocacy and strategic engagement director for the Christian Community Development Association She is an immigration, education, and human service policy specialist and is an adjunct faculty member at Denver Seminary.With over twenty years experience working in Christian community development, Michelle is a part of the national Evangelical Immigration Table and he
- 192 pages
- The Power of Proximity
- Michelle Ferrigno Warren
- 09 April 2018 Michelle Ferrigno Warren