Allow me a moment to brag about some stuff connected with our little Sacred Roots project. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll be familiar with some of this story, but I think it’s cool to see how it’s blossomed.
About two years ago, Sacred Roots was looking for opportunities to invest in our part of town, and we believed that we had a really great opportunity to affirm and express our love for things going on in the neighborhood that were doing things to love our neighbors like we love ourselves. In the middle of that, we became aware of a project called Our Happy Block. Our Happy Block (OHB from here on out) emerged as a neighborhood driven project to fix a parking lot that connected streets and was serving as a cutoff, making the block much less safe for pedestrians. It was pretty much a large piece of asphalt, in need of love and repair. My now friend Terah Beth was frustrated with a lot of what happened as a result of the state of the parking lot and chose to try to do something instead of just complain about it. And with that OHB was born.
Fast forward a couple years, and we’ve seen something like 4200 square feet of the sidewalk depaved and turned into natural plant gardens. We’ve seen neighbors band together to support work to better their neighborhood. We’ve seen a really cool mural painted on a building that helps brighten everything up. And as a result of all the hard work, we’ve seen crime drop fairly dramatically in the block around it.
I’ve bragged about OHB before, but I recently remembered a conversation from the first time we showed up to help out with a work day. Somebody asked me a question along the lines of “so… you’re a pastor, huh? Why would you care about something like this?” My answer then and one I stand by now is “Well, I believe that when Jesus said love your neighbor like you love yourself he meant we were supposed to actually love our neighbors and I think Jesus would see a project like this as a great expression of that love!”
To fast forward to the present, Sacred Roots has been graciously given an opportunity to have a gathering space in Calvary Lutheran(the building on the property where we’ve participated in OHB at). After a couple work days of clearing out a large collection of things, multiple trips to take things to Goodwill and recycling and 2 painting days, we’re close to starting to move in. The picture above gives you a glimpse of where we were before starting our painting day last night. I can’t wait to share the finished version and more stories of the life sprouting forth from our partnerships in the neighborhood!