I love hearing about and celebrating what others are doing to intentionally build community right in their own backyards. In the past year, I’ve continued to meet like-minded people who are trying new things. Last spring I met fellow neighboring sojourner, John Crilly, at a conference in Seattle. Following is an excerpt from his own blog post from earlier this year about his family’s experience moving into a new neighborhood, and how a routine potluck brought his neighborhood together:
The initial awkwardness of being the “new people on the block” soon gave way to friendly connections, but we yearned to build deeper community.
When we arrived, the neighborhood already had some connection points in place such as the summer block party and a women’s book group. But, to extend our own connection in the neighborhood, we came up with the idea of hosting an open house. Partnering with another couple that we were friends with in the area, we invited everyone in the neighborhood to come over for a few hours late on a Sunday afternoon. We made a pot of chili and encouraged everyone to bring some food to share. We paid some local high school students to care for the children and ordered some pizza for them too.
We had no agenda except to welcome and love our neighbors. And that’s what we did! We made the open house a once-a-month event, calling it Second Sunday so folks would remember which Sunday to plan on coming over. Clever, huh? 😉
We also created a motto for our home: “Where strangers become friends and friends become family.” We try to extend welcome beyond the limits of our house structure and cultivate community wherever we go—because welcoming is not just about inviting, it’s about bringing a warm, inviting presence to others wherever you are. It is a way of living.
Excerpts taken from “The Cape of Good Hope,” OnQ blog