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Building community in a city

Building community in a city

Many cities in the U.S. grew quickly, covering a lot of space in short time, which makes the experience of isolation and disconnection. This is an experience common to both large cities and spread out suburbs. Some churches in the Las Vegas have joined with local groups to build a sense of connection and to find community based solutions.

The Las Vegas Sun reports:

The Revs. Marta Poling-Goldenne and Dennis Hutson noticed something about Southern Nevada when they moved here to lead congregations: Las Vegans are not very interconnected.

That may be the legacy of a community growing up too quickly, said Poling-Goldenne, who with her husband, the Rev. David Poling-Goldenne, leads the congregation at New Song Church in the Anthem community of Henderson. Even members of the clergy were too busy tending to the growth of their own congregations to reach out to other religious leaders and the rest of the community, she said.

Hutson, who came here from Texas, and Poling-Goldenne, from Illinois, say there is little sense of community in the valley and communication is nonexistent — and now is the time to address it.

On Tuesday, religious leaders from a variety of faiths and denominations will come together at UNLV to launch the Las Vegas Valley Community Convention, a broad-based organization with the purpose of initiating dialogues and finding solutions for community issues, including those affecting children, the elderly, immigrants and those affected by the housing crisis. The membership includes 65 churches, synagogues, mosques, schools and nonprofit organizations.

Among the local religious leaders who have signed on are Bishop Dan Edwards, Episcopal Diocese of Nevada; Dr. Aslam Abdullah, Islamic Society of Nevada; Rabbi Malcolm Cohen, Temple Sinai; Pastor Camille Pentsil, Zion United Methodist Church; and the Rev. Robert Stoeckig, Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas.


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