Guest Bio: Rich Perez is a unique storyteller and thought-leader in the Hispanic-American experience. His life has layers, and Rich has put a lot of time into understanding these layers and how they’ve shaped who he is and what he cares about. In 2011 Rich and his family led a team of friends into his hometown neighborhood (Washington Heights), and started a church that would embrace the very values with which they lived. Rich is the lead pastor of Christ Crucified Fellowship in New York City, where he lives with his wife and kids. Rich is also the author of Mi Casa Uptown: Learning To Love Again.
I think committing ourselves to seeking the good of a neighborhood or a place will undoubtedly foster curiosity in people.
Episode 1 Links:
- Please give us a 5 star rating
- Rich’s Book: Mi Casa Uptown
- Episode 1 of In Pursuit of Jesus
- Voices Collection from Our Daily Bread Ministries
Verses Mentioned in Show:
- John 10: “I am the door.”
- Good Samaritan Story
- 2 Corinthians 8:9: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
- Bodegas are neighborhood convenience/grocery stores
- “And so when you don’t have categories for people, you usually just marginalize them.”
- “67% of kids in my neighborhood grew up in a single parent home. 75% of those 67, it was the mom in the picture, not the dad. But I had both of my parents.”
- “I realized that it was okay for me to blend my faith with things that I have passion for.”
- “Hackney, London in 2006, which at the time had the highest rate of knife stabbings in all of the country.”
- “I’ve needed sadness and grief to stick around a little bit because sadness has helped me to honor legacy…Yo, I’m not debilitated by this sadness. But sadness has kept me honest with the legacy.”
- Rich mentions Kobe and how NBA players are honoring him by playing hard and pursuing Kobe’s “Mamba” mentality.
- “And I realized that my feelings were gateways to what God was trying to do in me.”
- “You’re in someone’s space, so you’re forced to have relationship with that someone. And I think this is actually really helpful to the evangelical church in the United States because we’re very isolationists. We want to create spaces of our own, but sometimes that also means for our own, and that often can mean a tendency to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.”
- “Remezcla is essentially a word used to describe someone that’s made up of various things like gumbo soup. And Jesus is a remezcla… He calls Himself the door. The door to what? The door to these two different worlds.Jesus is the door by which earth can meet heaven. As a Dominican American who has lived for so long in the in between of two different cultures and two different worlds, Jesus is so comforting to me.”
- “Third-culture kids trying to figure out their parents’ world and the world in front of them.”
- “…paternalism I mean a incessant bend to exist in an over-particular groups of people…We don’t need paternalism we need partnership. We don’t need control, we need collaboration…but if humility is missing…” it won’t work.
- “Abundance confuses us…because it creates separation from us and the hurting.”
- “We need people, if they’re going to come into the neighborhood, particularly inner city, low income neighborhoods, they have to come up close to the wounds. They have to come up close to the ways that the engine of urban planning is hurting groups of people, and that is going to radically change the way that you look at your resources.”
- “You’ve got to be close enough to feel the pain for yourself in order for you to actually make some significant contributions to existing in this neighborhood.”