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At a recent event on the church in today’s cultural context, the speaker mentioned culture having “surface” structures and “deep” structures. Passing trends and changes in laws happen at the surface level while shifts in values and ways of understanding identity take place in the deep structures of culture. These latter changes happen over decades and are of a type that truly changeculture.

This conversation made me think of parallels in my own life and spiritual walk. There are things I do at a surface level of my faith which are quickly noticed - showing up at events, leading a study, or encouraging a friend. Then there are the “deeper” issues that not only take time but are often not readily observable, things that form the core of who I am. These could be my prayer life, a consistencyand practicality of loving others, an immersion in God’s word, a habit of confession and repentance. These would all require an intentionality over time so that they become habitual, almost reflexive, and they would fundamentally change the contours and trajectory of my life.

In New York this month we have highlighted a few of these deeper issues, including an event on fasting as we entered the season of Lent - that time of humility and reflection leading to the celebration of the Resurrection and our new life in Christ. Humility is one of those “deeper” structures in our lives.

Additionally, many of us participated in Christian Union’s Great Experiment during the first ten days of March - a time of seeking God in prayer and in the Word and seeking opportunities to share the Gospel with others. What a great time in hearing the stories during and after. This will take place again June 1-10 and you can find more information here. Again, prayer and the Word hit the deeper levels of what our orientation is toward God and the world.

I am stimulated through interacting with older and younger professionals in this city on these and other topics - mainly because I see and hear encouraging stories: recent graduates wrestling well with what it means to show up at work ready to live out their calling - even when it means pulling together yet another slide deck for a sales pitch. Or being at a dinner discussing how to reframe the conversation of abortion around conception, life and the image of God. We all long to see the broken places made whole, for those stumbling in darkness to flourish in the light, and for righteousness and obedience to define us. Let us therefore pursue these “deeper” structures both in our inner life, and in how we engage the world around us through our callings.

Our annual CU Cities Conference, June 21-22, will also address some of these deep structures relating to how we engage culture. Find out more about the conference speakers and sessions and register here.



Scott Crosby
Ministry Director
Christian Union New York
Christian Union DC

For more information on New York City Christian Union Bible Courses and activities, or resources available to you please contact Scott Crosby.

Please note: if you would like to receive regular updates, via email, on how to pray for City Christian Union, please email prayer@christianunion.org.

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