Yesterday awesome things happened here in SoCe. Eight different groups came together to welcome nearly fifty high school students to our neighborhood!Read More
SoCe Life Blog
A journey to abundance, one day at a time.
Neighboring Tip of the Week - Pay attention for negative talk or gossip amongst neighbors, and seek ways to offer positive stories about neighbors or your neighborhood to redirect the conversation.Read More
I can't think of anything better than meeting people who want to make their community stronger by focusing on the gifts and relationships within their neighborhood!
This week we began the process of interviewing for Neighborhood Animators. Our goal is to…Read More
Tip of the Week – Barbeque in the front yard instead of the back yard.
This week’s neighboring experiment is an easy one. There’s nothing to add to your schedule or anything to plan. This week, all you have to do is move your grill.
Quiz time – What is the leading feature of most homes built since the 1990’s? Any guesses?... The garage! In recently-built homes, the most prominent feature from the anterior view of the home is the garage. This garage also commonly accompanies a small (er...tiny) porch and front door tucked away farther from the street. Another common feature? A privacy fence.
If your home includes these features, it doesn't mean your a bad person, or even a bad neighbor. However, it can make neighboring more difficult. There can be an implied level of seclusion that feels unwelcoming to neighbors and makes it tough for community to develop. To overcome these designs, we have to be creative.
So this week, instead of cooking out in the backyard, move the barbeque to the front yard. This small neighboring experiment accomplishes two important things: it makes you human and it makes you available.
- Being human – In most social circles, we tend to put on our best face. We do it at work, at church, at the grocery store, and even with our neighbors. Allowing your neighbors to see you barbequing makes you relatable and down to earth. It allows your neighbor to think, “Hey, that guy wears cargo shorts and eats hotdogs too! Maybe we’re not so different after all.”
- Being available – Barbequing in the front yard provides a neighboring essential: it makes you available to those around you. Your presence in the front yard gives you a chance to have a conversation with the neighbor walking his dog or kids riding their bikes. Maybe a neighbor has wanted to ask you for some gardening tips or to borrow your crockpot. Barbequing in the front yard gives them that chance.
Don’t have a grill? Give yourself a break from doing dishes, grab some paper plates, and take your dinner to the front porch. Live in an apartment or dorm? Look for a community area, like a pool or picnic area and hang out there. If not, look for neutral ground, like a lawn or park to host a potluck. People are much more likely to participate in social events if they don’t have to enter a space where they don’t yet feel comfortable, i.e. inside your house/apartment.
If there is one element that neighboring never ceases to provide, it is surprise. Neighboring never ceases to surprise! This morning, we were in for one.
A mother and son came to the office asking to help build garden boxes. They had seen the boxes around the neighborhood and wanted to help build some, too. Stunned, we all just kind of stood there for a moment, surprised. Did we hear them correctly? Here were two neighbors we had never even met who literally came knocking on the door, asking if they could help build garden boxes! It turns out that we did hear them correctly. We had the pleasure of meeting these two neighbors with great energy and an extreme willingness to help and were able to continue constructing our newest box together. After talking and working together more, it became clear that their connection to the movement was much more than just garden boxes. The mother has both a deep love for Wichita and a powerful vision for the safety of the community as a whole. She longs for her children to be able to walk down the street in the same way that she was able to as a child. These two have inspired us, and we look forward to being able to work with them more in the future!
This morning, we had the pleasure of meeting two new neighbors. This morning, we had the pleasure of making two new friends.
On Thursday this week, we had the great pleasure of hosting some of the youth group from St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Lenexa. They were in Wichita for a few days and stopped by the Neighboring Movement office toRead More
Last Saturday evening, we went out onto Adam's front porch to relax and jam with our instruments. It was a bit cloudy outside with a cool breeze, but we did not think much of it. About half way through the first song, a wall of wind blew through the trees and down the road, coming right at us. Instruments went flying as we were both literally and figuratively blown away by this unexpected gust.Read More
Tip of the Week – Celebrate the 4th of July! (Or Canada Day if you are one of our neighbors to the north!)
Get out the sparklers and hot dogs – the fourth of July is right around the corner, and Canada Day is celebrated on July 1. These summer holidays offer fantastic neighboring opportunities. Here is a quick brainstorm list we came up with:Read More
Ryan is the newest Neighboring Movement staff member. He just moved to SoCe this past Thursday from Dallas, Texas, where he recently finished his masters degree in theology at Perkins School of Theology.Read More
This week we have been invited to speak to several neighborhood groups to let them know about the Neighborhood Animator Project that we are launching. On Tuesday, we spoke to the Hilltop Activities Committee and the Hilltop Neighborhood Association. I was impressed with both of these organizations. They are great at hospitality, …Read More
Tip of the Week – Host Flamingo Friday on your block or in your apartment complex.
Flamingo Friday is a tradition we heard of through the grapevine as we’ve learned neighboring strategies from others. Here’s how it works:
Place a few plastic yard flamingos in your front yard on Monday. For the very first Flamingo Friday, also deliver a paper invitation…
Yesterday we took a field trip to the Vagabond in Delano to see the garden box we built for them. It is custom-built to fit along the side of their patio. We have a neighbor who already gardens at the Vagabond and invited us to build the vagabox.Read More
It's been a while since I broke out my pen and taste buds, so I was ready to go. Never having had Peruvian Cuisine before and always eager to try most other countries' food, Matt & Catherine invited me to supper at a Peruvian Restaurant that moved close to our 'hood at Seneca & McCormick.Read More
One of the best parts of our work is hearing from folks who are good neighbors. This week we heard from Charlotte who has already been reaching out to her police and firefighters (as suggested in the previous 52 Weeks of Neighboring). Here is what she shared with us:Read More
Tip of the Week – Bake your favorite goodies and deliver them to your local police or fire station.
Last week’s neighboring tip called for a green thumb – this week’s calls for oven mitts. It can be anything from cookies, banana bread, or even your special family recipe snack mix!
Delivering snacks to these personnel is a great way to neighbor for a few reasons:Read More
Last week, I had the pleasure of going treasure hunting in SoCe.
Let me explain.
Our neighbors are gardening like crazy, and one desired dirt for some raised garden beds she was planning to construct in her backyard. Another one of our neighbors has been able to provide us with dirt in the past, so we called him up and asked if he knew of any that’s available. Sure enough, this neighbor just so happens to be working extensively in his backyard right now, so he has had tons of topsoil he desires to be dug out! So, there I was…Read More
Tip of the Week – Share produce or flowers from your garden.
As summer hits full steam, gardens can reach their pinnacle of production. Whether you grow produce or flowers, consider using your abundance as an opportunity to neighbor. Clip whatever you have extra of…
I am reading Paul Born's book Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times. Born begins the book with a story he often tells about the significance of delivering chicken soup to a neighbor.Read More