the Austin-Oak Park community renewed socially, spiritually, and culturally by the grace of Christ
What would it be like for our community to be renewed socially, spiritually, and culturally?
“Behold, I am making all things new.” The Apostle John was given a vision of the risen Jesus, at the end of time, sitting on a throne, saying these words. This is the reality toward which God’s people, and indeed the entire world are headed. Scripture tells us that the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus have changed the course of history and started a new creation. This news is what we call the Gospel.
The church is called both to proclaim this new creation as a reality and to make it evident in this world by following Jesus’ commission to make disciples and his command to love God and our neighbors. At Boulevard we strive to play our part in that vision by loving God and neighbor in our particular community, the Austin-Oak Park area. We look to God for him to make our community new spiritually (in our relationships with him), socially (in our relationships with each other), and culturally (in our relationships with the rest of creation).
In history, the word ‘boulevard’ was first used to refer to the fortifying walls that surrounded medieval cities. However, as those walls came down the same word came to reference what we think of as boulevards today: tree-lined ways which offer beauty, rest, and connection in the urban landscape. In our context, Austin Boulevard marks the meeting place of diverse communities, economics, race, and cultures. Our church is committed to humbly loving and serving the neighborhoods along the boulevard, with the hope that Christ is “our peace, who has made us one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2.14).
For all things in our community and in our world to be made new is beyond us. But that is exactly what God has promised to do through Christ. This is our vision.