Being Sent Looks Like Inviting Your Neighbors to a Party
“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
Being “sent” often feels like this big, huge, scary thing. When we hear the term “sent” we often hear a call to go somewhere new or foreign, a place outside the daily rhythms of life. But in reality, we are sent to the very places and spaces that fill our everyday lives. Being sent is close to home, it is intentional, and it can be really fun. Like throwing a party.
Amanda Gines, Clarksburg Church New Comer, has taken intentional steps to plant seeds and create friendships in her neighborhood and earlier this summer, she coordinated a neighborhood block party. Read what inspired her and how it went!
- You hosted a neighborhood block party recently. What inspired you to host a party for a bunch of people? Did you know everyone you invited?
“Last year our HOA posted on our community page that they were participating in National Night Out. It’s a nationwide initiative from police departments to have a block party or some sort of community gathering so people could meet their neighbors. This helps reduce crime and fosters a sense of “looking out for each other.” Our community is so large that the HOA asked if people would volunteer to host a block party for their block. Myself and my other neighbor, Bobbie, hosted last year. We had a great time and met so many of our neighbors. At the time, we were still relatively new to Maryland and I think about 30 of our neighbors came.
This year I just decided to host one in hopes that we could get even more people on our block to come out. I was not sure if our neighborhood was doing National Night Out again or not but many of my neighbors had been commenting on how they enjoyed last year and how they hoped we would do it again.“
- Give us an idea of how much work went into hosting the party – was it a potluck or did you prepare everything? How many people did you invite?
“About 25 households were invited and 60+ people came. It was a potluck. We had everyone bring tables and chairs if they had them and any outdoor games! It was truly a group effort and all I really did was organize it. One of my amazing neighbors, whose children are older lead the kids’ activities, we also had misting fans, games, goodie backpacks, medals and more. She was amazing! Another neighbor did face painting!”
- What was the best part about your party?
The best part is getting to know each other more! We learn so much from each other! There are so many different cultures so it is so fascinating to experience and learn from them.
- Did you learn anything from it/would you do it again?
I would love to do it again and next time might be in the fall with a food theme. What I learned, you can never have too much cutlery.
In what ways, if any, do you feel like this block party connects to the concept of being sent to our neighborhoods to make them more like heaven then earth?
That is a tough one but I think the experience and being involved in our neighborhood like this allows us to be more involved with our community, to promote a sense of togetherness and inclusion. We are also called to be a light in our community. When we share our lives (no matter how flawed they may be), our time and our energy with those around us they hopefully will see Christ in us.