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Theology in Action: Sandtown

The West Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown is in the midst of a dynamic renaissance thanks to a community development initiative begun by members of New Song Community Church. Its founding pastor, Mark Gornik, along with friend Allan Tibbels and his family, relocated to Sandtown in 1986 in a spirit of repentance and reconciliation. After forming friendships and strong partnerships with their new neighbors, Gornik and area residents started New Song Community Church with the aim of restoring God's shalom to the streets of Sandtown. The church has served as a bold imaginative source of hope and new ideas, prophetically bearing witness to the alternative reality of God's peace and justice amidst the daunting challenges of unemployment, drugs, violence, and sickness. New Song has sought to carry out its ministry holistically, preaching and living the gospel in a way that addresses the complex particularities of everyday life. In fifteen short years, New Song has seen the construction of over 150 new homes, in addition to the establishment of a health center, a job employment agency, and most recently, a $4 million community center that includes a school and recreation facilities.

The chapter on Sandtown from John Kiess' thesis, Watching with Christ in Gethesemane: Bonhoeffer, Language, and Responsibility:

A New Song in Sandtown (23k, pdf)


The Project on Lived Theology
125 Halsey Hall University of Virginia P.O. Box 400126
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4126

Phone: 434-924-6743 Fax: 434-243-5784
Email: [email protected]

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