We Can Build a Beautiful City: Refuse to Outsource Responsibility (Part One)

Aaron J. Anderson
13 min readApr 10, 2021

This is the first of a four-part series called “We Can Build a Beautiful City.”

I have been preparing for an upcoming vocal performance of a song called “We Can Build a Beautiful City” taken from the Broadway show Godspell. It’s a moving piece of music that has been resonating with an emerging sense of hope that we can build a better future together.

As a Dad to six children and as the CEO of Logos Academy, I constantly wonder what the future holds for our kids, not in terms of their careers or prosperity, but what shape our public life will take and if their individual freedoms will eventually be eroded.

Our rancorous public rhetoric has infected every facet of life, including our houses of worship, schools, nonprofits where we serve, even our families. We are witnessing the resurrection of mass shootings after a period during the pandemic in which mass shootings had seemingly disappeared. Our politics are rife with a division most of us have never witnessed. We are racially divided to the point that people don’t want to talk about race anymore. We are bitter with each other over the handling of the pandemic, masks, and vaccinations. Christian groups are splintered and blaming each other for the decay in national life. Family members are ignoring family gatherings because they fear conflict.

Literally, every organization or cause of which I am a part, is struggling with how to achieve unity in an increasingly divided age.

We are long past the prospect that everyone can agree. This was a mirage in the first place. No people or society have ever lived with full agreement on everything. Some compromise would be a good start though.

After much mental and spiritual despair, I am now confident, even optimistic, that there is a way forward. I have the privilege of witnessing the albeit tenuous beginnings of glimmers of unity happening right here in York, PA. On a personal note, I have chosen to focus my time and energy on micro-work like local issues as a strategy to cut through the more macro-national divide. It is easier in the current moment to focus on building cities instead of nations.

--

--

Aaron J. Anderson

CEO of Logos Academy & LogosWorks in York, PA, Dad of 6, Lead Pastor of Living Word Community Church, Red Lion, PA. www.aaronjanderson.com