Sean Benesh writes in Metrospiritual (56),
“The whole vision and trajectory of the Ion Community is built off of Vancouver’s transit system. Metrospirituality takes what the city offers and strategies are formed around it. As we make plans to start Ion Communities in the various city centers across metro Vancouver, in my mind it makes sense because everything is already in place. The city centers continue to densify as more people are opting for an urban lifestyle regardless if they live in the downtown core or 15 miles removed. These mini-downtowns are most often built at critical junctions of rapid transit usually entailing a Skytrain station. I am able to access most of the city centers on Skytrain, and in the places where it does not go, I can opt for the bus or Seabus. This expression of urbanism was one of the leading factors in choosing Vancouver over other cities in the region. This city center concept makes sense, is an attempt to decentralize and densify, and offers an urban lifestyle choice that many desire and do not need to pay downtown prices to get.”
“Out of the 5 core values that identifies the Ion Community, one of them is related solely to transportation. I believe that if there is one value that could potentially set the Ion Community apart from many churches it is this value: Walkable. It is one thing to have it in writing and a whole different notion to actually live it out. The idea behind values is that they become drivers for the way the church is developed. It is a guiding force. So why walkable? It seems from the beginning that this is an antithesis to the way most churches develop and grow.”
Sean later notes that the result of focusing on the pedestrian-scale and walkability is that it elevates the chance for investment in the local neighborhood that is otherwise missing when the church is built and grows from the auto-based commuter mentality. Sean’s hope? “.. this elevates the love, care, and investment in the immediate neighborhood and city center..”
See also “Metrospiritual”
The Metrospiritual website is HERE.