I remember the month after Christy and I first moved into our house on the Northeast side, near the Christian school. Specifically, I remember how rarely we saw neighbours early on. There were several factors that impacted this. One, it didn’t help that the pandemic had just began to hit home with many. Two, it was the tail end of Winter. Three, we didn’t know the community around us either. We were new. No other way to put it.
Over time we made the most of the friendly unplanned conversations. We’ve enjoyed overlapping with the casual rhythms of others which often takes on the form of bike rides, dog walks or highly responsive snow shoveling. We add our own patterns to the mix.
It convicts me daily that where we live matters, especially because God always goes before us, in regards to the people we befriend and the places we live. This is true for where you live around Edmonton. This is very much the case for where Bethel finds itself in the Bannerman Neighbourhood, embracing and partnering with a vision of cultivating a community that cares.
In a time of disruption and transition, we must keep our surroundings in mind and ask: “Lord, what are you doing?” “Lord, what would you have me do?”
I find myself reflecting about this as I get to know Bannerman and local leaders. Some of these leaders, who have been anchors for the neighbourhood, gave me a tour of the community league this week. We walked through the community garden. We talked about all the ways that everyone in this community has a lot to offer each other.
Whether you are thinking about how to partner with the community here in Bannerman or your own backyard—know where you are. Get to know the neighbours. Take steps to learn and embrace the lay of the land around you, because where you live matters.
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