By Tim Sheridan
Churches and Christians have often been criticized for being more concerned about what they get from the city rather than what they do for it.
As one of the new pastors in town, I am encouraged to see a shift in the attitude and posture of our churches towards Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, that they want to help the municipalities flourish.
An ancient piece of literature that we find in the Bible invites us into this shift of posture – “seek the peace and prosperity of the city … Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper,” (Jeremiah 29:7).
What it would take for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to truly flourish– to be a place that flourishes socially; the kind of place where the vulnerable and weak members of our society are protected; where the seniors are honoured and valued, treated with dignity and respect, not isolated and ignored; where those with mental illness are not stigmatized; where new immigrants and visible minorities are sought out and seen as an important part of our community; where the poor are blessed and not cast aside; to be a place where our public institutions flourish; the kind of place known for its thriving schools that provide quality education for all the children of our city; where our elected officials and leaders bring justice to all the diverse people who call the region home; where families flourish; the kind of place where strong marriages are honoured, not stigmatized; where hurting marriages and families are being healed; where child abuse declines; where moms and dads, married or single, love their children so that they too might flourish and be all they were made to be.
What would it take to be a place where the marketplace flourishes; where corruption and greed are declining in the private and public sectors; where there is an increase in integrity, honesty, and trust between landlords and tenants, management and labour, professionals and clients, and merchants and customers; where the quality of life improves for all.
What would it take for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to flourish like this?
Tim Sheridan is pastor at Maple Ridge Christian Reformed Church.