And, by God’s stunning grace, our plans to plant a new church in the urban core of KC are moving forward at a blinding pace and in ways much different and more beautiful than we ever could have conceived.
What follows is my attempt to provide a brief sketch of some of what has transpired in the past year and to update those who are interested on what we are currently doing in Kansas City.
My fascination with flickr and the degree to which I use it often makes me forget that many people are unaware that flickr even exists — not to mention the resources it offers to people beyond photography.
For example, anytime people call me for advice because they're going to Vancouver on a trip, I immediately direct them to the Vancouver flickr group. The near 3,000 group members not only discuss the best place to shop for photo gear (which we all know is beau photo), but they also discuss ad infinitum best bars, best pizza, best sushi, etc.
Enter flickr's new Places feature. It could be just another time waster, or it could be a strategic launching pad for all sorts of city and cultural research for reasons ranging from travel to church planting.
We have had an amazing and amazingly packed fall. I have made over half a dozen trips to Kansas City and have been thrilled at all the connections God is creating for us there. To be honest, time previously spent blogging has been filled with new faces, coffee, BBQ, photography and hanging out with Katie in preparation for our little boy's arrival, Lord willing, sometime within the next month!
Hopefully, this explains the tumbleweeds gathering in the corners here. I was reminded twice yesterday about the lack of even menial updates like books and music. However, I have been making some behind the scenes changes (like this updated bio), and hope to roll out a few more updates and improvements over the weekend. In the meantime...
If you did not receive a newsletter (either via email or regular mail), and would like to receive them in the future, please feel free to contact me. NOTE: since we're more excited about building relationships than sending out newsletters, please let me know a bit about yourself and why you are interested in our vision to cultivate communities of disciples for the glory of God and the good of the city.
NPR's Day to Day profiles life in Kansas City: Kansas City: The View from the Middle. Though the piece carries a subtle tone of condescension, it offers a nice profile of a great city that we are growing to love with increasing intensity.
The term "middle" conjures up a host of pejoratives: middling, middle-brow and middle-of-the road.
But settle down in what folks on both coasts deride as "flyover country," and you discover something different: a political environment that celebrates consensus as much as conflict, a space where culture and business are comfortably intertwined, and a place where history and modernity don't just live, but thrive.
Kansas City is the embodiment of the middle. It's near the geographic center of the continental United States. It's the dividing line between a traditionally "blue" state (Missouri) and a traditionally "red" one (Kansas). And it's a sprawling — but human-scale — metropolis, with a reviving downtown and so many construction cranes that locals joke "the crane is the new state bird."
The first thing you notice as an outsider is the architecture. The way glassy modernist sculptures like the still-under-construction Sprint Center arena nestles amidst stately, century-old apartment buildings. Or how the city's colonnaded grande dame, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, has sprouted a funky new wing that glows softly at night.
You can read more, and listen to the show here. To read more about our efforts to plant a new church in Kansas City, check Reach Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Reed Cordish has watched one city center after another make a comeback over the past two decades. Indeed, his family's firm, the Cordish Co., is credited with reviving several of them, including downtown Baltimore, where it developed the now-vibrant Inner Harbor.
But he has never seen a city blossom quite like this one.
"What's remarkable is it's all happening so quickly," says Cordish, looking across a sea of construction cranes from his company's 30th-floor offices. "What you see happening this year in Kansas City is what you'd see happening in other cities over 20 years."
Early next year, the Cordish Co. will cut the ribbon on the Power & Light District, a massive redevelopment of a nine-square-block chunk of Kansas City's long-dilapidated downtown. Like Baltimore's Inner Harbor, it will feature restaurants, bars, shops and live entertainment.
But the $850 million project is only one piece of a citywide makeover that is adding to the allure of a destination already well known for jazz clubs and barbecue... (read more)
For more information about our strategy to reach those living in Kansas City's rapidly changing urban core through church planting, contact me: kevin [at] reachkansascity.org. Or, check out our website, Reach Kansas City.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Let’s face it: This isn’t on everyone’s list of places to see before you die. It wasn’t on ours, either. But serendipity — in the form of an airline credit that had to be used in the Midwest — bumped it to the top of the itinerary.
So there we were in the city of Count Basie and barbecue — that’s all that came to mind when conjuring up an image of our destination. And if good jazz and a sweet rack of baby back had been all that Kansas City had to offer, that would have been fine.
As it turns out, the city has pumped $4 billion into revitalizing its downtown since 2000, and new theaters, an arena, museums, and shopping plazas gleam like a vision of Oz. A river walk and bike path along the Missouri River let people get up close to the muddy current, which once carried riverboats to the western frontier. Rehabilitated historic buildings, world-class art museums with free admission, ample free parking, and a historic boulevard and parkway system are among the other unexpected pleasures (read more)