Church-based community organizations often struggle with navigating partnerships in their communities, as they sit at the pluralistic community “table” in order to serve the poor and faithfully proclaim the gospel without compromising their Christian witness. What community issues can Christian organizations agree to work on with others in the community in order to bring honor to God’s kingdom? How exactly will they bear witness to the gospel so as not to be seen merely as one group among many committed to social transformation? This study offers some theological guidelines.
Al Santino has been serving in community development ministries in the New York City area since 1986. He currently serves as the Church and Community Consultant for the Northeast region for Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. This includes serving as Director of the Northeast Community Transformation which helps equip churches and holistic organizations for the work of community development and social justice. He is a D. Min. candidate with Erskine Theological Seminary. The Santinos are currently involved on the leadership team of Open Door Fellowship, a new church plant in East Harlem, New York City. They have an eight year old son, Lorenzo.