Reading the Bible verse from Isaiah 58:12 that CNI Network has as its vision and purpose:
Your people will rebuild the cities that were destroyed long ago.
And you will build again on the old foundations.
You will be called the one who repairs broken walls.
You will be called the one who makes city streets like new again.
This is a key verse for the time beyond this time! As a Network of local projects we are sharing ideas and thoughts that are and will help put this verse into action for the communities we serve. Together and with others we will:
Rebuild the cities destroyed by this lockdown - believing that businesses of all kinds will reopen and then prosper. Praying for owners, management and workers. Praying that the economy will come back stronger. Standing with our friends in both day and night-time economies and at festivals to help with this rebuild.
Build again on the old foundations - many of our towns and cities (indeed nations) are founded on Biblical dynamics. "Seek the peace and prosperity of places - pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers you too will prosper" and "Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain" are two key ones - as followers of Jesus let us pray and declare these old foundations over your community.
Repair the broken walls - this last few weeks has seen a return for many to neighbourhoods - more time at home has meant people helping one another, conversations over the garden walls, going above and beyond to connect and show love and reach out. Many of our projects and church communities have stepped up to be active in local neighbourhoods - helping repair broken walls and seeing a return to communities that look out for one another. As a former Prime Minister said of CNI Network, "people standing up and taking an active role in building the type of community they want to live in"
Makes the city streets like new again - many of our streets are deserted - shops, pubs, clubs and business closed. Schooling and work taking place at home. The fruit of CNI Network and our street, club and festival work over the last 15 years is reduced crime, less anti-social behaviour, change in the atmosphere, partnership working locally and nationally and thousands of people helped and supported. The way we work will need to change over the next few months - the fruit will change as our streets are built up to a new kind of newness. This is a long-haul process but we want both CNI Network and our local projects (and our partners) to be at the heart of this - to be a prophetic voice and action into the new kind of new!