We believe that the most important way we are called to put our faith into action is by loving our neighbors.
We are finishing up a year-long focus as a church on neighboring and what it means to get to know our neighbors. The fourth and final lab of neighbor groups will kick off this fall. Contact Pastor Lora, Joy Lenz, Roger Moon, or Sparla Dick to learn more!
“The concept of Neighboring has changed me. It has made me kinder, more patient, more aware. It has spilled out of my neighborhood into the rest of my life. I view other people and situations with more openness and compassion. I’ve become less hard on myself, more accepting of my imperfections and more willing to lean in and embrace the imperfections of others. Neighboring has given me purpose. In all of the chaos and division in our state and country, learning to love my neighbors is a way to bring kindness and unity to my little corner of the world. I have been deeply moved by the thought that these people, my neighbors, are who God has put into my life and that my job, my purpose, is to get to know them. Neighboring has become a sort of spiritual discipline, a way to live out my faith. My neighboring efforts, small as they may be, are a way of carrying out Jesus’s instructions. Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. It’s so simple. And so radical. And all I have to do is open my door and step outside and meet my neighbors.” – Joy Lenz
Neighboring at Grace
We are already putting some of the Neighboring principles we’ve learned into practice personally, and we try to use our church as a model of good Neighboring. Our Natural Playscape serves as a community connector for neighbors to get to know one another.
If you drive by Grace, you will notice the Turquoise Table in the yard of the Playscape. The Turquoise Table Movement started in Texas by a woman who wanted to get to know her neighbors better, so she put a turquoise picnic table in her front yard and spent intentional time outside to get to know her neighbors better. Now there are Turquoise Tables all over the world. We even hired a Winfield neighbor to make ours, and he caught on to the movement and sells them now! Ask Pastor Lora how to get one. We would love to inspire Turquoise Tables all over Winfield.
Little Free Library
Inside the Playscape there is a Little Free Library complete with a chalkboard! The Little Free Library is there for anyone in the community to give a book or take a book to read. We rotate the books regularly, and hope our neighbors find it to be useful and a fun way to enjoy a coffee and read to your children! We also have books for adults and teenagers. Help yourself!
Our goal is that everyone at Grace comes to know the eight closest neighbors to them. A Block Map (seen here) helps with this work. You fill in the squares around your home with your neighbors’ names to help you remember them. Names are important in developing relationship! Try filling out your own Block Map. Can you name all eight?
College Hill Neighbors
Out of our neighboring work at Grace, the church’s neighborhood has created it’s own group to bring neighbors together called College Hill Neighbors. Check out their Facebook page to keep up to date on block parties, neighborhood events, and to learn more about the gifts of this neighborhood!
Check out SoCe’s Neighboring tips at NeighboringMovement.org to find out practical tips to start being a better neighbor today!
SoCe’s Neighboring Movement is our partner and teacher for our Neighbor Groups.