Streams naturally seek bedrock. I'm told by a conservationist friend of mine that most creeks in Lancaster County are banked with hundreds of years of silt due to damming. To restore them to their natural health, their banks should be removed, not replanted. Doing so allows the stream to spread out and regenerate life.

In his lecture at The Trust Performing Arts Center here in Lancaster this November, Makoto Fujimura showed a slide of his upcoming book, Culture Care. It shows a black river descending over a white background. He said that during the Industrial Revolution, it was in vogue for map makers to draw the Hudson River as black. Why? Because the real river had turned black from massive factory activity. Black rivers meant progress!

Makoto is on a mission to champion "generative culture" in the black river of the arts. He, along with us at The Row House Forum, want to encourage Christians to create good, beautiful, and true culture everywhere they can: in homes, on streets, at jobs, in ideas, through the Church, and "for the life of the world," to quote an outstanding video series of the same name.

When introducing Makoto at our most recent event, Rob Bigley, Executive Director of The Trust, told the crowd he was inspired by The Row House Forum to bring top notch Christian speakers into a public arena.  He assures me he's not exaggerating. He's been encouraged by our work, and his partnership encourages me. 

The Trust partnership downtown is emblematic of the kind of culture care I set out to do when I started The Row House, Inc. four years ago. As time goes on, our purpose becomes clearer and our effectiveness a bit more measurable.

Not only will we be co-hosting two more national speakers in the spring, we will also bring back our "cozy" forums to my house with a host of local culture-cultivators.

You may notice in our graphics and web site that we've focused our vision so that all that we do serves our forums, which serve you. So, please plan to visit us in the coming year. Bring a friend. Keep up with us online.

You can also make a tax-deductible donation toward our operating budget which is currently  $27,000. Only 2/3 of that is secured by pledges. Let us know if you want to make a regular contribution, and we'll be grateful.


Tom Becker, Founder & Director of The Row House, Inc, Curator of The Row House Forum