This week, an article for which I was interviewed about our tiny house village partnership with the Low Income Housing Initiative was published. You can read the article here. It's a piece about the phenomenon of tiny house villages as churches across the U.S. grapple with the challenges of poverty and houselessness in its many regional and economic forms. Those who read the article will quickly see that there are lots of different ways churches are working with their communities to address this very issue. What may work well in one state might not necessarily make sense for the particularity of need in another, and so on. Of course, each community itself is unique, too. While our village on 6th and Orchard is geared toward families with young children, there are other villages in town where the need is greater for housing suited for single individuals who may be struggling with substance abuse, just to name one example.
In order for us to take part in Christ's work of liberation and healing in the world, one of the things our partnership with the Village on 6th and Orchard has taught me is that we must necessarily look closely not just at how our faith compels us to act in the name of justice, but just as importantly, it means we are to simultaneously pay attention to the ways our own gifts and perspectives will align with others' in our greater "village" in order to fulfill those greater objectives.
As I stated in the article, I think our partnership with LIHI is a great example of what it looks like when this kind of community-based solution-thinking works well. Our congregation may not be the largest, nor may we have the most dollars to spend on hand, but the location of our church, our creative staff and artists, the relationships we have been able to form with our next door neighbors throughout this process; all of these assets have allowed us to see ourselves as essential partners with an agency that brings an expertise and resource to supplement the work; partners with whom we can work to fulfill our common goal!
As we reflect on the ways we are able to work with partners like LIHI in order to fulfill a greater purpose that we may not otherwise be able to address all on our own, I wonder who else and where else God might be calling us to work as partners, perhaps even with people or organizations we haven't even met or heard of yet! May we stay open to the Spirit's next steps.
Among our Joys
We give thanks for the blessing of beloved community, most especially in trying times such as these when we are able to draw on one another for strength and hope. We pray for God's Spirit to call our attention to the community we're called to make; that we may be open to new conversations, new perspectives, new friends for the journey of life. We pray that we may not grow weary in the pursuit of justice for all of God's children.
Among our Concerns
The Alvarado family as they recover as a household from COVID.
We lift up the loved ones of Martha Redford's cousin, Christy Brewsaug, who died on June 28 at the age of 72.
Daniel Davis, friend of Susan Pearson
Rachel Morford, daughter of Mary Morford
We pray for our homebound friends, Helen Bosley, Elaine Jonson, Harry and Margaret Lobberegt, Jane Nelson, Marylu and Joseph Mills and Jim and Kay Thompson.
Among our local and global community concerns:
With heavy hearts, we pause to remember the journey toward safety and abundance on which the fifty children and adults were immigrating died tragically this week in San Antonio. May they each Rest In Peace; may we rise to the Gospel and welcome all who seek safety and shelter with loving arms.
We lift up all in Ukraine and others in harm's way, and for refugees throughout the world seeking safety.
We pray for all who are living currently at the village on 6th and Orchard; pray for peace in the midst of the many circumstances in which those experiencing houselessness endure. We also pray for a renewed sense of urgency in our city, neighborhood, and congregation in our work to secure housing as a right for all human beings.
This week, we lift up our Global Ministries partners in Costa Rica.