-Our building is connected to that of a DNA sequencing company, Nabsys.
-Across the street is the Garrahy Judicial Complex which houses superior, family, district, and worker’s compensation courts.
-The RI Department of Youth, Families, and Children is a block past the court house
-Brown’s medical school, labs for molecular biology, research center for diabetes and weight, as well as the continuing education department are also a block or two away.
-Night clubs, attorneys, restaurants, cafes, banks, real estate offices, financial firms, a mechanic, Providence Preforming Arts Center, Narraganset Brewing Company, the Providence Children’s Museum, Planned Parenthood, Desire Gentleman’s club, Providence Bus Station, Johnson and Wales Providence Campus, and countless other businesses and institutions are accessible in a short walk (2-7min).
So in a few blocks we find a microcosm of the best and worst of Providence.
Why are people at court? Crime? Hoping to settle conflict? Is the attorney there to make money, make a name, and or seek a just society? Is there a recent immigrant cleaning the building after hours, providing for the family?
Are those walking the streets at two in the morning because the clubs just let out, because of cocktails after the musical ended late or is there a researcher finally leaving the labs after an extended series of experiments, a medical resident headed in for an odd shift?
Do women come to planned parenthood because it is the only health care provider they can afford? Do they come for an abortion? Two blocks away other mothers laugh and chase their kids through the children’s museum. Two blocks away families come apart and are stitched back together through the government’s intervention via social workers and a complex system of care and rehabilitation.
What does it mean to be this church, on Clifford Street in the midst of it all?
I’m preaching on Psalm 48, about Zion the city of God this coming Sunday and should have some more thoughts by then.