Be a Neighbor
by our Director of Connecting Ministry, Cameron Hughes
Sometimes in life we have a tendency to overthink or talk ourselves out of something that can really be very simple. We might want to get to know our neighbors, but we get busy, we get distracted, or we get stuck, keeping our same group of friends or our gates shut. Some of us may know our next-door neighbors very well, but know very few people within our church family. Or it might be the opposite: you have a close-knit friend group a church, but don’t even know your neighbor’s last name. (Maybe neither of these describe you and you’re fantastic at community - in which case, please just sign up to host, because the rest of us need your help.)
As a church family, we know one of the ways we’re seeking to grow together is in community: with our friends, church family, and across generations. Jesus modeled a few beautiful ways to get to know people, and one of our favorites is in sharing meals with friends and strangers.
Neighborhood Dinners are a simple way for two of our church’s priorities and two of our values to converge: as a church, we are committed to living missionally in our neighborhoods, to cultivating radical affection and accountability with one another, and building on our love of the city and our church family.
No really, it’s that simple
The beginning of both better community and better care for our city is easy as having dinner with your neighbors! No tricks, no special programs, just dinner and conversation. We’re asking for your dinner group to get together 4 times over a 6 week period (we know… that’s a lot!) for a pot-luck style dinner and to get to know each other. Whether you’ve been at First Pres for many years or you’re brand new here, we want to help you get to know your church family in your own neighborhood.
Our church family is pretty widely scattered around Greater Orlando [check out the map in the Grand Hall sometime] and we want to give you an opportunity to meet others from the church in your neighborhood, outside of the Sunday morning experience. Our hope is that as you get to know each other, you would become united in living missionally in your neighborhood.
Which neighbors are we talking about?
Neighborhood dinners are open to anyone. Due to space limitations, some groups may only be open to adults, but many are kid-friendly. We are currently recruiting hosts in all locations around Orlando - you don’t even need to be able to make a killer pot roast. Each group will share the dinner responsibilities.
When and where?
This round of Neighborhood Dinners will start the week of September 29 and run through November 9. Hosts will get to choose the meeting time and date for the first dinner and then will schedule the other dinners with their group. For those who would like to attend a brief training/informational session about hosting Neighborhood dinners, you can join us Sunday, September 1 or 8 during the Discipleship hour. (We did it, guys. We made it through the whole post without a Mr. Rogers reference.)