You may remember a few months ago hearing about a new initiative that Bethel is undertaking in partnership with the Bannerman Community League and the City of Edmonton called "Abundant Communities." The goal of the program is to re-create a sense of community within neighbourhoods all across the city. Instead of coming to a community and creating programming based upon the neighbourhoods "needs", the ACI seeks to find the strengths in the neighbourhood and build programming designed around that.
Over the last few months I have had the opportunity, along with a couple others from Bethel, to go door-to-door in Bannerman on behalf of the Community League. In the process I have been invited to the kitchen tables of my fellow Bannermanites to talk about the neighbourhood. In the process I have been very encouraged and learned a great deal. I have learned that while people can put up walls around themselves and their neighbours, almost everyone desires deeper community. There are many broken homes and lonely people who need the love of God. I have learned that if given the opportunity to be heard and cared for, people will engage in a meaningful way.
When people find out that I am a pastor from the church down the road, they open up and start asking questions about faith and church. This has been the highlight for me! I have been happy to hear that people appreciate the work our church is doing in Bannerman and want to learn more about us. I can see God at work in the hearts of people from a variety of background all around the church.
The ACI faced a set back when Jennifer Black-Moir stepped down as the Connector-Coordinator for Bannerman. While there is a solid group of Block-Connectors (who are responsible for 20 houses), her absence will be felt as the group leader. I want you ask you, Bethel, to pray with me that we find a new leader who is passionate about Bannerman and can take this project on. Also, if you live in Bannerman and want to learn more (or get involved) I would love to chat with you about this exciting project.
- Pastor Ryan
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