Issue 1

 

When Two or Three are Gathered…

There have been some exciting developments with the Good Neighbor Initiative. It seems a lot of people are drawn to the idea of joining and intentional community in an urban setting. We cannot help but feel continually affirmed as so many like-minded people effortlessly surround us. It either suggests that we are tapping into an idea God intends for all of us to see together, or we are all tuned in to the same “crazy” frequency. We hope it’s the former.

Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered, there I will be.” We put our faith in that verse and padded our chances of heavenly intervention by calling together, not two or three, but 12 people to discuss The Good Neighbor Initiative. These 12 people were posed with two critical questions: (1) what do we want to start & (2) why do we want to start it?

What is it?

The Good Neighbor Initiative will uphold three central attributes: Urban, Civically Engaged and Christian.

Urban is about connectivity, in contrast to the isolation often fostered by suburban settings. Urban is about our relationship to other people and the place in which we live.

Civically Engaged means we will know what’s going on in our neighborhood and partner with other people to make a change for the good of our community.

Christian means:

(1)   Worship and intimacy with God is core to our identity and the goal of our work;

(2)   Faith in an incarnate God animates our work and involvement in our community;

(3)   Community is essential to keeping our commitment to love God and our neighbor.

Why?

Simply put, God said so. When asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus responded, “Love the Lord your God…and love your neighbor as yourself.”

We want to take Jesus at his word, and together we hope to participate in his coming kingdom through self-giving love for our neighborhood. We appreciate your prayers and support as we continue to seek God in learning how to love our neighbor.
 

Snapshot: 1000 Thompson Place

So who are these crazy like-minded people with whom we are gathering? Well we would love to introduce them to you. Every month we would like to give you a “snapshot” of the neighbors that are becoming involved in this community. So, this month we are starting on our own front porch.

            My name is Caroline King and I have lived in Old North Knoxville for 6 months. I would definitely describe myself as a “good Southern girl” in that I love to cook and play hostess at my house as much as possible. I am a people person through and through and love sharing life with others. So, naturally, I would prefer to live in a place that is conducive to that kind of constant interaction, where borrowing a cup of flour is actually feasible. I wanted to live in a community where I “bumped” into people and interaction felt as natural as a walk down the street. Old North has not let me down, I love that I can walk off of my porch knowing that if I head in any direction I will be able to connect with my neighbors. I have also fallen in love with the diversity a downtown community can offer. For me, living together with others (really living together) just feels like a dream come true.

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