Monday, August 2, 2010

A Little Leaven

On August 13th we will be hosting a neighborhood block party at the Bragg St. Mini Park.  After brainstorming about ways to continue our outreach to our neighbors in South Park, we have decided to host a block party.  The vision is for this to be a South Park neighborhood block party.  Not to be exclusive (all are really invited!), but to highlight and demonstrate the capacity that South Park has when residents and community partners come together for good.

Little did we know that God has much bigger ideas than we could ever imagine for this event.   Through our network of relationships, BB&T has committed to coming alongside us at n2n and South Park by not only providing volunteers but funding as well!  Hopefully out of this will come not just manpower and funding, but a long lasting relationship between a national branch bank and those who reside in South Park. 

I’ve heard it said one time, that “everything depends on the vision”.  If we take that to be true, then our vision for this event is not just a onetime block party with food, fun and games.  Instead we envision this becoming an annual summer event (if not more) that will only get better as people of resource are bridged to the people of South Park.  Maybe out of this event, we will be able to connect our neighbors with personal finance classes and budgeting workshops.  With the need for affordable housing rising in a neighborhood that is primarily (90+%) renter occupied, maybe we will be able to offer home ownership as an option by making available low/moderate income housing loans.

The property across from n2n, 4 acres of an old city bus depot, is what I like to describe “the key to the neighborhood”.  I truly believe that whatever that becomes, the neighborhood will ultimately reflect.  Maybe out of this we will be able to link people who aren't business savvy with those that are, and with those who want to start a business with those that have already started them before?  In 10 years that property could be filled with businesses, shops, restaurants, etc. that provide goods and services to South Park.  The adjacent streets could be filled with families who now own instead of rent their homes. Instead of disinvestment in the neighborhood there will investment.  Instead of the dollar constantly leaving the neighborhood it will circulate hands multiple times and create an economic machine within South Park.

Does a massive exodus of the residents of South Park need to happen in order for this vision to be fulfilled?  Not at all!  The capacity to do all of this is already here.  The bridge that is being built to those of resource is all that’s needed.

Is this too lofty or ambitious of a vision?  When looking with kingdom eyes, I believe it is not.  It is simply a movement of God’s people and the kingdom of God at work, on earth as it is in heaven.

So we pray that August 13th will be the spark that will start a really big fire.  I mean it only takes a little leaven to make the whole loaf rise, right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. You are a gifted writer. You are just at the beginning of where GOD is ging to take you. GOD 1st, and Emily second....Always...