Dear St. Lukers,
When I was a kid, we lived in a beautiful neighborhood. There weren’t a lot of kids my age there, but my mom was the kind of person who could have a conversation with a tree stump if you gave her the chance, so I knew just about every person in my neighborhood by name, and they knew me. If I saw them around town, they would be able to call me out on whatever I was doing that I shouldn’t be, and they would often show up to my soccer games or school plays.
Every few years, though, people would move. They would leave the neighborhood, and new people would move in, and every once in a while my mom wouldn’t yet have made the connection with the new neighbors.
But once a year in March, down by the lake, we’d see a big white tent go up and tables start appearing. It was time for our annual neighborhood block party. That was the time when we’d reconnect with neighbors we hadn’t seen in a while, and we would see all the new faces that had recently moved in down the street too.
So often we think we know what our neighborhood looks like; we assume that the neighbors we know (and usually look a lot like us) are representative of the whole neighborhood. But we forget that sometimes people move away, sometimes new faces move in, and sometimes we just haven’t found our way down a street or cul de sac that might be on the opposite side of the neighborhood from our house.
Sometimes we need a Block Party to remember that we aren’t alone, that everyone doesn’t look like us, and that some people don’t yet know much about the neighborhood they are living in and need someone to help them feel included.
This month, we’re going to look at what God’s Block Party might look like as we become more aware of our neighbors locally and globally, and we see who it is God invites and includes – which we may find out is different than who we would be likely to invite and include at our own parties … or even our church.
A lot of times we think of evangelism as a “dirty word,” and we envision yelling street preachers or people knocking on our door with pamphlets, but evangelism literally means to share good news. God’s Neighborhood is full of good news! St. Luke’s is full of good news! How are you sharing the story of what God is doing in your life, or in the life of our congregation? How might you be called to invite new people to know how much God loves and cares for them? What neighbors have moved into this community that you need to be aware of and include in your parties (literally and metaphorically!)?
I hope you’ll join us this Sunday – World Communion Sunday – as we join together around a table where the seating chart is non-existent, because everyone has a seat, the table is wide, and all are known, welcomed, included and affirmed. And don’t miss the chance to recognize our global neighborhood as our Missions team has prepared ways for you to pray for our global partners and friends around the world.
I’ll see you at the Block Party Table this Sunday!
Grace and peace,