You Can't Know Where You're Going . . .

. . . until you realize where you've been.

Even though my preaching habit is to continually teach through books of the Bible, I usually use my September teaching time to focus on Echo Church. It seems we always have people coming and going at Echo, so I like to notify the newbies and remind our regulars why we started the church in the first place.

But this month, I'm taking a different angle at this. Although we're steadily increasing the number of folks who live in this neighborhood, Walnut Hills is a tough place to really understand; one example of this: drive west to east on McMillan and you go from ghetto to gentrification— the socio-economic rainbow. So as I remind people why we're here, I'm going to try to explain what "here" is.

In my opinion, there are three factors that have shaped Walnut Hills: religion, race, and riches.* I've spent time the past couple of weeks in the downtown library doing research, in addition to driving down practically every street in our neighborhood. I've accumulated a ton of information and will try to figure out how to present it in digestable bits over the next month.

I know, this is the kind of research I should have done long before now. But it's not as if I haven't been trying to understand our community; I've constantly been learning more and more about Walnut Hills during the past three years. We're living in this neighborhood, meeting people and embracing its culture. This, however, is my first effort at an academic approach to analyzing the neighborhood. Hopefully it's something that I'll be able to tweak throughout the coming years.

So I hope you can join us at Echo this September for our series: God of the City.

*When I refer to "riches," I really mean "economics." But since I started out with two "R" words, I figured I'd side with mnemonics and keep it consistent.