Faith & Community in Broad Ripple

Video:  Faith and Community in Broad Ripple.  The Polis Center and Spellbound Productions, Indianapolis, IN, 1998.




Learning Objectives:

  • To demonstrate the process and potential of this type of research project
  • To demonstrate to religious facilities how this type of investigation might help them establish their place in their communities
  • To facilitate among religious facility leaders and members a dialog about their perceptions of faith and of community
  • To show viewers the interplay of the sacred and the secular
  • To create questions about the viewers’ own community and places of worship
  • To help viewers understand the collegial atmosphere a diversity of faiths and of peoples can create in a community
  • To understand that the traditional image of a neighborhood church may actually hinder a church’s impact on the community


This video may be a part of a one-time discussion of an hour or more OR it may be used within a series of discussions involving young people or an intergenerational group of members regarding the state of your congregation in your neighborhood.  The video may be used in conjunction with the following suggested books:

Mead, Loren B.  The Once and Future Church:  Reinventing the Congregation for a New Mission Frontier.  The Alban Institute, New York, 1991.  ISBN 1-56699-050-5.

Bass, Dorothy C. (ed.).  Practicing Our Faith:  A Way of Life for a Searching People.  Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1997.  ISBN 0-7879-0336-1.

Discussion Questions (suggested only, other questions may certainly arise)

  1. What are the similarities/differences between the community in the video and our own community?
  2. Develop a profile of our community. What are some of the physical features of our community?  The social features of our community?  What are some of the inherent differences in the features of our community and the community described in the video?
  3. What do you think is the relationship of our neighborhood’s churches, synagogues, etc., to the neighborhood at large?
  4. What are some of your concerns about this project?  Could such a project be done in our neighborhood?  What might be the results?
  5. What is the surrounding community’s perception of our congregation?
  6. What is the role of our congregation?  How do we respond to the neighborhood around our facility?  How should we be responding to the neighborhood around our facility?