29 September

Write Off All Ideas from the Outside

Posted by in Berlin, Cities, Collaboration

What Not To Do When Working in an Urban Center 6. Write off all outside help or ideas. This is the other opposite extreme to the blog post on the fifth posture (“Readily adopt successful ministry ideas from other contexts”) that isn’t helpful when working in an urban context.   This attitude assumes that NOTHING will work […]

1 September

Another Posture to Avoid when Working in an Urban Center

  More Postures to Avoid when Working in an Urban Center 5. Readily adopt successful ministry ideas from other contexts. A common mistake is to adopt an external strategy, ministry or solution with only minor, superficial changes—or none at all. It is tempting to fully adopt it because the approach had a level of success […]

5 May

4 Postures to Avoid in the City

  Four Postures to Avoid when Working in an Urban Center 1. Assume you are the only one. We live in a city! There are hundreds or even thousands of others who care about the city and want to make a difference. Of course we bring our unique personalities, talents, experiences and organizational cultures, but […]

26 March

Martin Luther, Oktoberfest or Fußball?

Posted by in Berlin

What are your first thoughts of Germany? Many still associate Germany with the Reformation and consider it the center of modern Christianity. But things have changed. Germany no longer has the Christian influence it once did — mainly because it doesn’t actually believe what it once did. This insightful post by Derwin L. Gray explores the […]

3 February

Airports and Inefficiency

Posted by in Berlin

“Berlin culture is what drew me here. Though it can be frustrating at times, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”* (*Quote in a recent USA Today article on Berlin’s airport project, Berlin’s Bungled Airport Belies German Efficiency.)     That is a common sentiment heard throughout Berlin from those like myself who have moved to […]

16 October

The Illusion of Independence 

Interdependence is built into the character of God and reflected in the world around us. Can you think of anything God created that is independent rather than interdependent? From ecosystems, weather, human bodies and molecular structures to a triune God – all function interdependently. Cities also reflect this interdependence with many interrelated, interdependent parts. Each […]

1 October

Is Berlin One of the World’s Most Influential Cities?

Posted by in Cities

“In the past century, the greatest global cities were generally the largest and centers of the world’s great empires: London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. Today size is not so important: Of the world’s 10 most populous cities, only Tokyo, New York and Beijing are in the top 10 of our ranking of the world’s […]

29 September

Fully (Not Forcefully) Engaged

Being a part of Charrette means being fully engaged in the city. We are called to be active citizens. We don’t force ourselves on the city, but we do act with authentic passion, as we seek positive change. This poem by Rainer Maria Rilke expresses this hope better than we can. I believe in all […]

17 September

Four Surprising Facts About Berlin

Movies Berlin has more movie theaters per capita than any other German city with 97 theaters (visited by more than 12 million visitors annually). Volunteers Involvement in civil groups, community organizations and public forums has grown over the years. It is estimated that one in four Berliners take part in volunteer service. Parks Berlin has […]

17 June

Finding My Place in Berlin

Around the time I first arrived, my team leader challenged me to find a spot in the city that could serve as a reminder of why I was here and be a place of solace on tough days. I love color, so it seemed natural to choose something vivid. Something that could stand in contrast […]