This week I was invited to a group gathering to talk about how and where neighbourhoods are thriving. About twenty people gathered from all parts of this city and we were joined by our US guests, Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens and Dwight J. Friesen who co-authored the book, The New Parish. Rather than hear their take on what God is doing on the neighbourhood level (which is in the book) we were able to hear from those of our Vancouver tribe. Seems like many of us have the 'block' on our minds as our expression of acting out the gospel. Whether acting on a small scale or larger initiatives it appears to be a 'hot spot'.
As we know through recent studies by the Vancouver Foundation, Vancouver Mental Health and the Angus Reid Institute it is alienation and loneliness that are the slow killers of community. The church on the corner, the condo neighbour, the dog walker, the community gardener and the local business person and whoever - all can be the agent of change. Better neighbours. Better city. Get passionate about those who surround you.