Zipcode Calling: Christians Engaging the Built Environment

Twin Cities, MN May 3 2014!


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                                   StrongTowns 250x125                          ahnlogo

   Max logo


UPDATE:  ZipCode Calling has a new name.  It is now called Project for Placemaking.


“Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.”  -G.K. Chesterton

  • – What does it mean to love the city?
  • – Why ought we to love the city?
  • – How do we love the city in such a way so as to make her great?

God designed us to dwell in community, to live out an embodied existence with our neighbors. This means we are real people living in a real physical place. The built environment – the way city sidewalks, streets, parks, and neighborhoods are designed and inhabited – contributes to the quality of our community life, for good or for bad. While Christian pastors and leaders are well equipped for tending to the spiritual and emotional health of the community, there is oftentimes a gap in their toolkit for understanding how they can nurture community wellbeing through the design of the built environment. Because of this, many Christian pastors and leaders miss out on the joy and privilege of participating in the planning, design, and building of livable neighborhoods, downtowns, or cities that help nourish individuals and communities for generations.

This one-day workshop in the Twin Cities is an opportunity for Christian pastors and leaders to gain some tools for understanding the built environment and the unique ways the church can answer her call to love her neighbors by stewarding the built environment. Participants will learn about principles of good design and great placemaking that encourage community interaction, social and physical health. This time will also be an opportunity to meet and talk with other leaders and pastors about how these ideas might be fleshed out in local congregations and communities. We hope you’ll join us in the conversation!

Last, but not least, everyone attending ZipCode Calling will receive a copy of Tim Soerens new book entitled The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community (2014) to keep the inspiration and learning rolling on after the conference.

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:7


May 3, 2014

Start Time: 8:30 AM check-in

First Session:  9:00 AM

Ending Time:  5:00 PM


The Central Mission – 1632 Charles Avenue, St. Paul 55104



9:00 AM – 5:00 PM:  SESSIONS

SESSION 1: Introduction to Design Principles of New Urbanism – Jim Kumon, Executive Director of Strong Towns

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Jim Kumon is the Executive Director of the Minnesota based non-profit, Strong Towns, which is focused on helping American cities and towns achieve financial strength and resiliency through responsible land use, transportation and economic development strategies.

Jim was born and raised in a rural township about fifty miles northwest of Detroit and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan. He started his professional career in architecture and urban design in Los Angeles, working on a range of small town and downtown revitalization plans, new neighborhood and street layouts, mixed-use and multi-family housing projects and community buildings. His design skills were next translated into the realm of transportation infrastructure, which eventually landed him in Denver. Each of his stops found him living and working near transit, with biking and walking being his primary ways of getting around. His passion for nurturing neighborhoods with diverse businesses and vibrant public amenities combined with a knack for community organizing led him to join Strong Towns in 2013.

Jim and his wife, Faith, now live in the heart of south Minneapolis, where they are slowly renovating their 103 year old house.  A self-proclaimed rain barrel enthusiast and edible garden aficionado, he is working to maximize the return on investment in their small city yard.  As an active leader in his local business and neighborhood associations, he is on the ground looking for ways to incrementally improve the neighborhoods, main streets and public spaces in his city.

SESSION 2: Creative Placemaking 101 – Max Musicant, Founder of The Musicant Group

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Max Musicant is the Founder and Principal of The Musicant Group – a leading edge placemaking firm dedicated to assisting property owners, developers, businesses, communities and governments create new value and solve complex problems by transforming underutilized public spaces and common areas into great places where people want to be.

Max began his career at the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) in Queens, NY. While there, he worked with an early leader of the Bryant Park Corporation to devise and implement placemaking and activation. Since founding The Musicant Group in the Twin Cities he has worked with a wide array of clients to create destination places – from three public spaces along Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis to traditional main streets and suburban retail centers.  The Musicant Group’s flagship project, Piazza on the Mall, was named one of the six Great Places of 2013 by the Sensible Land Use Coalition.

He currently sits on the boards of the Minneapolis St. Paul Film Society, the Urban Land Institute of MN’s Young Leaders Group, the Yale Alumni Association of the Northwest and the Meisel Scholarship Fund of Westminster Presbyterian Church. He received an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


SESSION 3:  Guided Walking Tours

SESSION 4:  Shaping Renewal: Why the Setting of God’s Restoration Matters More Than You Think – Tim Soerens, Founder of Parish Collective

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Tim Soerens is a ministry leader, social entrepreneur, and co-founding director of the Parish Collective. As co-director of the Parish Collective he convenes ministry leaders, teaches, and consults with organizations seeking human flourishing in particular neighborhoods while also working collaboratively across the city. Previously, he was founding pastor of Cascade Neighborhood Church where he also served as vice-president of the Cascade Neighborhood Council, founding member of Lake Union Opportunity Alliance, and co-founder of the Cascade Farmer’s Market.

Tim is also the co-founding producer of the Inhabit Conference and co-designer and instructor at the new “Leadership in the New Parish” certificate at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology where he is adjunct faculty. As social entrepreneur he is a founding adviser of Impact Hub-Seattle, an innovative co-working space for change makers in both non-profit and business sectors. He also is the curator for place-based innovation for Social Capital Markets the world’s largest gathering of socially-motivated investors and entrepreneurs.

He is also the co-author of the new book published by Intervarsity Press, “The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches are Transforming Mission, Discipleship, and Community” (which you will receive as free copy of  for attending the conference). Tim earned a B.A. in Rhetorical Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Divinity from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. He lives in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle with his wife Maria-Jose Soerens and their son Lukas.


$25 (includes lunch)

Sign Me Up!

Eventbrite - ZipCode Calling-Twin Cities: A Gathering of Christians Engaging the Built Environment

THE ONLINE REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 30th!  You can register on the day of the event, but we will not be able to provide lunch for sameday registrations.


Contact the local host committee chair, Sara Joy Proppe, at [email protected]