Say "suburbs" and most people picture sprawling neighborhoods of identical homes filled with upwardly mobile status-seekers. Of course, the reality is far different - like nearly all communities, suburbs are far less homogenous these days. But they can still pose particular challenges for Christians. Today, more poor people reside in suburbs than cities, yet zoning and housing patterns keep us largely hidden from one another. How we bridge those divides is the subject of "Jesus of the Cul-de-Sac," by Valerie Weaver-Zercher, a former (and reformed) city dweller-turned-suburbanite.
Valerie's article also provoked an impromptu brainstorm session among our editorial staff on ways to create community in the suburbs. Forming a "Station Wagons of the Cross" was the clear winner, but, unfortunately, this would involve using vehicles and Bill McKibben, author of our cover story and chief instigator of the recent Step It Up campaign to raise awareness of climate change, probably wouldn't approve. That campaign thankfully brought thousands more into the global warming fold, from every state in the country. The key now is to move from education to action. What concrete steps can we take - locally and globally, as individuals and as Christ's body - to reduce the harmful effects of our lifestyles? How can we work together to ensure that hearts, as well as laws, are changed?
So step it up, grab a hand, reach out - whatever helps bring about a creation that is cared for, so that creation, in turn, can care for all. -The Editors