Good neighbors make a difference.
Everyone is gifted, and as individuals share their gifts for the benefit of others, they experience wholeness and the community becomes stronger.
A Neighboring Movement with exponential life sweeping across the nation and centered in Wichita, KS.
What We Do...
Neighboring Movement.org by SoCe Life researches, practices and teaches about neighboring. We are seeking out neighboring initiatives around the country to study the best practices of good neighboring. We aim to live out good neighboring in our community, the South Central (SoCe) neighborhood of Wichita, KS. We package our knowledge and share with individuals, communities, and organizations who want to be better neighbors.
Adam Barlow-Thompson is the executive director of Neighboring Movement.org by SoCe Life. Adam loves playing banjo and laughing loudly. He can be seen around the neighborhood playing music on the front porch or riding his bike to the office. Adam is always up for a story or a laugh and is an eternal optimist when it comes to his neighborhood. Adam is married to Ashley and they have a young son named Prescott. When Adam isn't working at the Neighboring Movement, he is a trainer in effective communication and positive conflict. (www.adambarlowthompson.com)
Ashley Prescott-Barlow-Thompson is a loyal friend and child whisperer. Ashley loves to read fiction and knit blankets for new babies. She is a fierce advocate for children and moms and has a creative knack for finding ways to engage kids in the neighborhood. Ashley is musical and is the best vocalist of the Neighboring Movement band, Brutal Bear (www.brutalbear.com). Ashley is married to Adam (above) and loves playing LEGOs, doing puzzles, and exploring the neighborhood with their son, Prescott. When Ashley isn't working at the Neighboring Movement, she is serving as a Deacon of Outreach at Calvary United Methodist Church.
Catherine Johnson is a SoCe Life Neighborhood Animator. She is an incredible practitioner of the neighboring skills that the Neighboring Movement.org promotes. Catherine has a calm and gentle spirit and is willing to help any neighbor discover ways to connect and utilize their gifts. She has a passion for the environment and discovering new ways to take care of the earth. Catherine is often walking the neighborhood chatting with neighbors, planting vegetables, or connecting people who didn't know how great SoCe can be! She is the mastermind who started our Garden Box movement. When not working in SoCe, Catherine works at Farm Shop in Riverside. (www.farmshopllc.com)
Matthew Johnson is a SoCe Life Neighborhood Animator. He is the theorist of the NeighboringMovement.org team, but that beard is real. Matt loves music and plays several instruments, often while sitting out in the front yard. One of his favorite activities is asking great questions to discover who people are and how their passions can help shape the culture of SoCe. Matt is great at seeing big themes and convincing Adam to not get ahead of himself. When Matt isn't working in SoCe, he is doing Spiritual Direction, teaching, and writing.
Ryan is the SoCe Life Neighboring Resident. He comes from Dallas, Texas, where he practiced neighboring with the homeless and homesick in Old East Dallas. Ryan is a creative collaborator who has a deep passion for developing mutual friendships, listening to stories, and has “a knack for noticing” what is unseen. He loves taking photos with his film camera as a way of seeing something beyond the surface. Ryan and his wise and sagely dog, Barnaby, can be seen walking the neighborhood in the mornings and evenings. When he isn't out meeting neighbors, Ryan does Spiritual Direction and works with the Missional Wisdom Foundation.
Kristopher Swanson is our Neighboring VISTA. He started at the Neighboring Movement in the fall of 2017 as Intern #5 but was upgraded in the spring of 2019 to Vista #1. Kristopher loves meeting new neighbors and listening to their stories, and he also loves championing the beautiful neighborhood of SoCe. He helps connect neighbors, map assets, edit our podcast, “The Neighbor Next Door”, and manage the Garden Box Network. When Kristopher isn't working in SoCe, he reads, plays hockey and soccer with friends, and sings while attempting to learn musical instruments.
Missional Wisdom Foundation: Missional Wisdom Foundation has spent years offering new forms of leadership development throughout the United Methodist Church and in other denominations. From that work they have discovered a lack of resources for faith communities wanting to engage their neighborhoods. This is especially the case when looking for leadership resources that focus on the giftedness of communities instead of the needs. Learn more at www.missionalwisdom.com
Abundant Community Edmonton: Neighboring Movement.org by SoCe Life has learned many of it's neighboring techniques from Abundant Community Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. Abundant Community Edmonton is a neighborhood engagement and organization approach – basically, a way to build a culture of connection one neighborly conversation at a time. Visit their website here: https://www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/for_communities/abundant-community-edmonton.aspx
Wichita District 3 City Council Member James Clendenin: James has been an avid supporter of the Neighboring Movement.org by SoCe Life for several years. He represents District 3 and works tirelessly to hear the concerns of the neighborhoods and impact positive change in Wichita.
Grantors: Neighboring Movement.org by SoCe Life has been a grateful recipient of grants from the Knight Foundation via the Wichita Community Foundation, the Kansas Health Foundation, and the Great Plains United Methodist Church.
In 2013 Matt and Ashley were coworkers at Andover UMC just outside of Wichita. By chance they started talking about music and Ashley mentioned that her husband Adam would really like to be in a band. Matt had been thinking the same thing so Ashley, Adam and Matt started meeting to play music as Brutal Bear.
In 2014 Adam, Ashley and Matt started a 2 year educational academy with Missional Wisdom Foundation. Through that discernment and skill building process several big decisions were made. 1. The band became an intentional community including Matt's wife Catherine and a mutual friend Myrna. 2. Adam and Ashley decided to move into the neighborhood and now are across the street neighbors to Matt and Catherine.
In 2015 at the encouragement of Missional Wisdom mentors we filed for non-profit status. In reality we had no clue what we were going to do other than be good neighbors in SoCe. That same year Matt and Catherine left their full time jobs to become the first part time and bi-vocational employees of SoCe Life. In November of 2015 we received a significant grant from the Knight Foundation via the Wichita Community Foundation allowing us to legitimize our work.
In 2016 we fell in love with Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). It became a passion and began to really shape our everyday work. Eventually, we realized that ABCD was really just a fancy way of talking about being a good neighbor and from there the Neighboring Movement was born. As our partnerships grew the movement was taking us outside of SoCe and into communities all over the country.
In 2017 we made the official move from SoCe Life to Neighboring Movement.org. We solidified our mission of launching a national neighboring movement with exponential life and began creating content to help the world learn to neighbor. Through speaking, teaching, and writing the Neighboring Movement is now stronger than ever!