A Party with our Neighbors
We've having a party on Saturday! Most recently known as the Harvest Festival, we've made a radical change this year and taken a risk by moving out onto our lawn. So we're calling it a Block Party, and inviting all of our neighbors -- literally.
As you may have noticed, we are the paradigm of a neighborhood church. Nestled in between residences, we are meant to be a beacon for all those who come within our orbit. However, those of us who attend church and love church, often forget how a church door may seem more like a barrier than anything. There are lots of customs that feel foreign, acronyms that are hard to decode, and cultural assumptions about what happens inside of churches. To cross over that threshold one has to summon a great deal of courage, and be in search of what we are offering. This means that we miss opportunities to be in relationship with many in our neighborhood. What might it be like for us to take the first step, and to venture outside of our building to meet people?
The planning committee has been asking these and many other thoughtful questions for months. They have planned a marvelous event whose goal is simply to be neighborly! We hope to be welcoming, engaging, and generous with those whom we meet. We hope to be curious about who they are, and the stories that give meaning to their life. We hope to be the kind of neighbors whom they are each grateful to know!
Several groups within the church have spent months discerning God's call to be in relationship with our neighbors. We don't have any answers yet as to exactly how this should look, but we have lots of enthusiasm and curiosity! We have been studying
Alan Roxburgh's book
, and have taken seriously his invitation, "God is abundantly and creatively present in our neighborhoods. What we want to do as God's people is practice how to listen in on what God is up to in the neighborhood so we can join God there."
Let's start with a party -- a party in a place where even strangers might want to join, and listen attentively. The Holy Spirit will meet us there. Please come, and invite your neighbors!
Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World: The New Shape of the Church In Our Time, Alan Roxburgh, p. 62.