The Rev. Fred Rogers sung that question for years on his cutting-edge, award-winning show that was for kids of all ages. He believed strongly in Jesus' and the Bible's mandate to reach out to every person of every type to lovingly invite them to be our neighbor. As a society we have largely forgotten how to do that and do it well. In fact, as an increasingly fearful society, we tend to avoid the opportunities before us to begin those introductory holy conversations. As the church of Jesus Christ, we are about to learn what our grandparents did automatically: how to be a good neighbor.
By unanimous Church Council approval and a generous member's gift of $2000, our church will join eight other area churches in the Neighboring Movement. Some 20 people from our church will meet weekly studying, praying and learning how to intentionally be a good neighbor to the people right on the block where they live - in Plano, Parker, Wylie, Allen, Murphy, Fairview, Sachse, Richardson - our mission field. They will meet three times with similar groups from the eight other churches including FUMC Dallas, to be coached and encouraged together in this strategy to meet our mission field where they live. This initiative meets the goals of our Healthy Church Initiative to reach new families in our mission field and Connect God and Grace to Self and Community.
If you have curiosity about this outreach strategy, give me a call or contact the Rev. Diane Presley, email@example.com. We are now creating this group for the fall. The first cohort meeting with other churches happens in late September. I am confident about the outcomes the Spirit will bring about as we learn to ask the stranger, "Won't you be my neighbor?