our COMMUNITY approach
What might it look like if we believed that in Christ we are all one? What might it look like if we believed that Jesus tore down the dividing walls? What might it look like if we believed that the most despised, outcast and least in the world are the most honored in the church?
We foster and facilitate community in the neighborhood. We experiment with life together and learn how to be neighbors, especially with the most vulnerable. The experimental nature of these communities turns them into living laboratories for practices of reconciliation and justice as well as spaces of transformative theological reflection.
Our task is to allow the truth of reconciliation to guide our reflection on the practices that shape life together. This frees us from “ministry” and programs that are designed to help others while keeping us from meaningfully joining lives, and instead presses us to listen and respond concretely to our neighbor where we are called on to give and receive. This allows us to come close and enter into each other’s stories, to know one another and resist judgments made from afar about strangers we only think we know. Living into reconciliation frees us to focus on those practices that make for peace and the uneasy questions about why we live separated lives in a separated world. In other words, we are freed to be friends, but more than that, we are freed to be family.
This listening and responding to neighbors in particular places, contexts and cultures leads to the formation of communities and to intentional acts of love that are attentive to the material world and needs heard.
Current community projects are in the Central Atlanta and South Atlanta neighborhoods. Among broad community facilitation we are focusing our attention on sex trafficking, chronic homelessness, and at-risk youth. We are also experimenting with how art is a facilitator of reconciliation.