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I would wish it upon every seminarian, church leader, church member and church dropout. The New Parish is one of the most important books on the church, Christian identity and mission that I've read in a decade. This book is an important reflection on how to overcome one of the biggest threats to the vitality of ministry in the Global North: disembodied practice that doesn't recognize or collaborate with the active presence of the Holy Spirit incarnate in our communities.

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I particularly recommend The New Parish for denominational leaders and church planters. It will give you critically important advice for leading the church into the future. What a gift the notion of the parish is for our time.


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And what a joy to know this collective that's figuring out how to breath life into this ancient notion in our time. Not only do the authors make a compelling case for getting out of the sanctuary and into the neighborhood, but they provide the inspiration and advice to make it possible.

This book is full of inspiring stories and practical lessons to help Christians connect with their neighborhoods and, in the process, connect more deeply with one another and their faith. Rooted in experience, theological reflection and ecclesial study, this book invites us to express church in a way that commits to a people and a place, making possible real transformational change of persons, communities and systems of degradation and injustice.

A practical guide for any group of people committed to relevant church expressions, The New Parish will encourage and inspire you to continue the slow and patient work of nurturing the body of Christ in our broken but hope-filled neighborhoods. Dwight, Tim and Paul's profound reflections are rooted in the relational journey they have been on for meaning, connectedness and a way of being that bears evidence of 'thy kingdom come' in their own respective contexts. Together they offer us a taste of what it looks like when the church becomes a faithful presence in a given time and place.

Those who have experienced the kinds of things they talk about through their stories will find affirmation. Those who still yearn for it will find reason to keep hope alive. The book exudes the patient and passionate commitment to praxis that the authors live out in their neighborhoods. We are grateful for their collective contribution to the kingdom community. The New Parish is the handbook for that movement. Paul, Tim and Dwight have been mentors in my own journey into place. It's likely that my copy of their wise, inspiring and even essential book will never make it on to my bookshelf; I'll keep it close at hand and return to it again and again.

Sparks, Soerens and Friesen are giving us new eyes to see and convening a new space for what is emerging in our context by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. In The New Parish we are being invited to participate more fully and faithfully into this Spirit-led, ancient-future social technology of the kingdom of God. Are you in place? Instead, it is a call, a guide, and a toolkit written by three colaborers engaged on the frontier of the twenty-first-century Christian community. In contrast to a church blown by the fragmenting winds of capitalist creative destruction, consumerism and individualism, Sparks, Soerens and Friesen offer us a hopeful alternative vision.

This is a church that abides in fragile dependence on the Spirit and sees in the bricks, mortar and faces of its neighborhood the real substance of the kingdom of God. Even more, they present us with practical suggestions on how those of us seeking to feel our way forward in this time of transformation can begin to cultivate such formative, missional and deeply relational communities.

They don't exist! What is needed for the church today are wild ideas that line up with the story of Scripture. In The New Parish, we finally have a group of friends telling their stories and giving us something radical to consider: behaving as Jesus would in our neighborhoods. This book will blow some circuits, but seriously, aren't you tired of reading the same stuff in different packages?

Read at your own risk. The authors fully recognize the sorry state of much of the church in our culture, but insist, in most imaginative ways, that another way of church is possible. It is all about relationship, listening, communicating and caring in bodily, concrete ways. The New Parish reveals why such a practice is deeply grounded in the gospel and how this is contrary to so many current church strategies.

This is hands-on missional ecclesiology in its most generative mode. Those called to lead the parish did not organize for the purpose of drawing people to a specific theology or affinity or program. Done well, those called to lead 'read' their neighborhood and responded.

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They did not wish for 'other people,' they thanked God for the people in their neighborhood, put down roots, built relationships and incarnated the body of Christ. This book is an attempt to reclaim that traditional understanding in a new day for a new generation. Submit an article Journal homepage.

Barbara D. Warner Georgia State University View further author information. View further author information. Published online: 03 Apr Additional information Author information Barbara D. Rebecca Headley Konkel. Disclosure statement No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.


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  • Article Metrics Views. Article metrics information Disclaimer for citing articles. Login options Log in. Username Password Forgot password? Shibboleth OpenAthens. Restore content access Restore content access for purchases made as guest. It lost a lot of territory to Russia the red stripey part. This remains a point of major national resentment in Iran today. Iran is most associated with the Persians — the largest ethnic group and the progenitors of the ancient Persian empires — but it's much more diverse than that.

    This map shows the larger minorities, which includes Arabs in the south, Kurds in the west, and Azeris in the north Iran used to control all Azeri territory, but much of now belongs to the Azeri-majority country Azerbaijan. The Baloch, in the southeast, are also a large minority group in Pakistan. There is significant unrest and government oppression in the "Baluchistan" region of both countries. This is a glimpse at two of the big, overlapping geopolitical issues in which Iran is currently embroiled.

    The first is Iran's nuclear program: the country's leaders say the program is peaceful, but basically no one believes them, and the world is heavily sanctioning Iran's economy to try to convince them to halt the nuclear development that sure looks like it's heading for an illegal weapons program.

    neighborhood | National Geographic Society

    You can see the nuclear development sites on here: some are deep underground, while others were kept secret for years. That gets to the other thing on this map, which was originally built to show how Israel could hypothetically launch strikes against Iran's nuclear program. Israel-Iran tensions, which have edged near war in recent years, are one of the biggest and most potentially dangerous things happening right now in a part of the world that has plenty of danger already.

    Israel is worried that Iran could build nukes to use against it; Iran may be worried that it will forever be under threat of Israeli strike until it has a nuclear deterrent. That's called a security dilemma and it can get bad. So, first ignore everything on this map except for the light-orange overlay.


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    • That shows the area where an ethnic group called the Pashtun lives. Now pretend it's the s and you are a British colonial officer named Mortimer Durand, and it's your job to negotiate the border between the British Indian Raj and the quasi-independent nation of Afghanistan. Do you draw the border right smack across the middle of the Pashtun areas, thus guaranteeing decades of conflict by forcing Pashtuns to be minorities in both states? If you answered "yes," then you would have made a great British colonial officer, because that's what happened.

      The "Durand Line," marked in red, became most of the border between modern Afghanistan and Pakistan. Many Pashtun now belong to or support a mostly-Pashtun extremist group called the Taliban, which wreaks havoc in both countries and has major operating bases shown in dark orange in the Pakistani side of the border. Thanks, Mortimer! In , the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to defend the pro-Moscow communist government from growing rebellions. The CIA deliberately chose to fund extremists, seeing them as better fighters. When the Soviets retreated in , those rebel groups turned against one another, fighting a horrific civil war that you can see on this map: the red areas were, as of , under government control.

      Every other color shows a rebel group's area of control.