When we moved to Amherst a few years ago, one of the questions I was asked by someone was; “What is Amherst known for?” It is an interesting question. There are varied answers to this question, depending on who you ask.
I think a more appropriate question for those of us who live here is: “What do we want Amherst to be known for?” Again, if we polled our town there would be many answers to this. Whatever the answer, it speaks to the identity of our town and by extension to the identity those of us who live
Whatever the answer, it isn’t something that just happens. It takes work. The natural tendency is to sit on the sidelines and wait for the government or social service agencies, or the school system, or anyone else to put in the work. The problem is that in not being proactive about the identity of our town we create an identity for the town.
At our church a couple of weeks ago we had a week of fasting and prayer for Amherst. I believe God cares deeply for Amherst and every soul who makes their home here. We specifically prayed about some things that deal with the identity of the town, markers that identify Amherst as noble. Here they are:
1. That Amherst would be a safe town.
2. That Amherst would be prosperous and that businesses would be thriving here.
3. That our schools would be excellent.
4. That there would be a positive spiritual climate with many healthy churches.
5. That the morale of Amherst would be great.
6. That the medical community and emergency services would be well equipped and staffed.
7. That there would be healthy recreation and entertainment that stimulates a wholesome
community of enjoyment and fun.
8. That our local government would be honest, wise, forward thinking and noble.
9. That the poor and at risk in Amherst would be well taken care of by all.
10. That we would have a noble identity and a deep sense of purpose that is infused into each person who lives here.
That was our prayer list of things we would like to see Amherst known for. I would encourage you to think about the identity you would like for Amherst to have, and then act upon it. The hashtag that we use around here is #seewhyweloveit - but let’s also show why we love it.