Thursday, June 26, 2008

Parkview Plunge

Last year, during breakfast with W, I got to know someone who said their neighbors had been involved in last year's bank robbery. The individual said of Parkview, a local subsidized apartment & condominium complex, that "you don't know who you can trust" and that people there, moving in and out, just don't know each other.

This reminded me of the "neighborhood watch" program in Taylors Falls and how the Baptist church had helped facilitate community among the neighbors by hosting monthly potluck dinners. So, inspired by that example, and together with a couple of other members of our Cokato church's social ministry committee, we had a meeting at Parkview yesterday. Together, we're looking to co-host "National Night Out" there on August 5.

Lots of folks in Cokato neighborhoods don't know each other well, and that's especially true where there are more rental units. So our committee is plunging into off-site social ministry. We'll help host this event, and perhaps more of the "rental property" folks will get to know each other and perhaps not feel as afraid of their neighbors.

The literal plunge? It was a warm day, and, seeing adults and children in plastic pools outside a couple of the condo units, I handed my phone to B and jumped in. If we are going to minister among people, I rationalized, we need to be seen as not so "high and mighty." Was it worth it? I cooled off, and there were smiles and laughs... but maybe it was just being dumb. We'll see as time goes by.

Helping someone in need last month in a related subsidized apartment complex (Golf View), we offered to start a Bible study there too. Being on site, taking the plunge to work with folks who aren't middle class, is a part of what God is calling us to do in Cokato. I hope many from our church will rejoice and share in the opportunity. And may these times be ways the good news and guidance of God are shared.

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