Written by Renee Embrue of St. John, New Brunswick
Think of all the places you go in the course of a regular week, all the places you live, work, study and play. Do you see evidence of God at work in those places and in the people you meet? We know God is at work everyday, everywhere.
Those are the kind of ideas that inspired Neighbouring Month across Atlantic Canada, a challenge to churches, groups and individuals to join God in their neighbourhoods during the month of October.
Let me share some of the results.
Churches, kids’ ministries, youth groups and individuals joined in the daily challenges to open their senses to God’s work around them. Each day of the week went by a different theme – Hear, See, Touch/Serve, Smell, Taste, Holy Spirit and Rest. The Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada Youth and Family Team started this initiative, but it was the people that brought Neighbouring Month to life. Stories were shared using #1neighbourhood on social media.
Throughout the month we heard great stories:
Treats and thank you’s were shared with teachers, police officers, firefighters and volunteers.
Meals and conversations were shared with newcomers to Canada.
Garbage was picked up around neighbourhoods.
Encouraging notes were sent to co-workers, neighbours and friends.
Leaves were raked.
Food was harvested from gardens for food banks.
Non-perishable food was collected for food banks.
Kids, youth, young adults, adults, seniors and whole churches from across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland participated in the activities throughout the month.
Families read the daily challenges together at the breakfast table.
We heard a story of a neighbour who a family was praying for during the month suddenly showing up on the family’s doorstep.
Some youth groups got together and held a rally to talk about and celebrate Neighbouring Month.
People got to know their neighbours!
You can join the challenge! Organizers are now turning Neighbouring Month into a 31-day challenge you can do at any time with your church or group. Share your stories using #1neighbourhood.
The 31-day includes challenges, four devotionals for the month and a promo video that can be found at cbacyf.ca/1month.
Will you join God in your neighbourhoods?