Mi Casa Uptown: Learning to Love Again by Rich Pérez is a good read if you are thinking, or are in, a urban setting or if you are thinking about doing missions work in the city.
Rich Pérez is from New York City; Washington Heights to be exact. He left there to go to college and seminary and then returned to his neighborhood because he feels deeply about connecting with neighbors. In this book he explains how we’ve become disconnected to our neighbors and how, with God’s help, we can become connected again.
One point that Rich makes that hit with me was that to engage in any community, humility is needed:
“Humility is a posture that demands intentionality and sacrifice; it demands a compelling example. It’s sacrifice and not entitlement that inspires authentic relationship. In the end, thriving communities are not monolithic communities, where one group or culture runs the show. Instead, the kind of humility I’m referring to is revolutionary – quite literally helping to shift the way neighborhoods exist. Humility inspires people to live differently toward on another and, more important, honors the stories that have existed before your own by dignifying them rather disregarding them.”
Even though I enjoyed this book, I had a hard time relating to it. I come from a rural background and have never really engaged the Hispanic community. Even so, I found quite a few “take-aways” about how to live in community. I give this book a solid three stars.