SoCe Life Blog
A journey to abundance, one day at a time.
Neighboring Tip of the Week - Acknowledge an issue your community struggles with, and then ask, “What gifts do I have that could address this?”.
Let’s face it: It’s easy to complain about the issues our community struggles with. It’s easy to complain and complain and complain...and then complain again when nothing changes. But when all we do is complain, it’s no wonder that nothing changes! How easy it is to forget that the best place to start is, well...ourselves! At the Neighboring Movement,…Read More
Friends! Season 2 is wrapping up and we pulled out all the stops! Just like the final episode of season 1, we invited the other co-founders of the Neighboring Movement, Ashley Barlow-Thompson and Catherine Johnson to join us on the front porch for their reflections on season 2. It was a riotous time with surprising compliments and plenty of burns! Grab a chair and join us for this conversation!
P.S. Stay tuned for season 3.
Neighboring Tip of the Week - Celebrate something with your neighbors.
Happy October, neighbors near and far!
This week, we have a simple idea for a neighboring experiment, so we will keep this tip pretty short. Our idea is this: celebrate something with your neighbors!
We have discovered that,…Read More
Welcome to Episode 16, the first international episode of The Neighbor Next Door! For this episode, Jonathan Massimi, a supervisor of community centers in Kitchener, Ontario, joined hosts Adam and Matt on the front porch via Zoom.
Jonathan is an expert in Asset-Based Community Development, or ABCD, and has a ton of experience utilizing, and helping others utilize, an asset-based approach. In this episode, Jonathan explains how ABCD shapes his work supervising community centers, how real change occurs in communities through small connections that foster friendships, and how we must utilize what we have in the present in order to become architects of our own future.
We think this is a fascinating episode, and we are quite excited to share it with you all!
Neighboring Tip of the Week - Mow a neighbor’s yard or ask a neighbor to mow yours AND learn something new about them.
Happy fall, all!
Now that temperatures are starting to cool, grasses are growing a little faster again. So, for this week’s tip, we challenge you to either mow a neighbor’s yard or ask a neighbor to mow yours AND learn something new about them.
With this week’s tip,…Read More
It's party time! In this episode, Vistapher joins Matt on the front porch to bring us the "bread and butter" of neighboring tips: Host a block party!
This episode, like our other neighboring tip episodes, presents a simple experiment for connecting with your neighbors. We hope you not only enjoy listening to this tip but also experiment with hosting your own block party, wherever you live! We hope these ideas might be helpful for doing so.
Neighboring Tip of the Week - Introduce yourself to someone on your block you have not met.
If you have been a part of 52 Weeks of Neighboring for a while, there is a good chance you have met some of your neighbors. You might have even met them all! That being said, we know doing so can be hard, so are there neighbors you have not yet met? This week, we challenge you to look around for someone on your block you have not met and introduce yourself to them. If you have been experimenting with our neighboring tips,…Read More
This week, we present the second part of our interview with Rev. Mike Mather, the person who inspired us to utilize an asset-based approach in our work. We split the incredible conversation into two episodes and encourage listening to the first episode before this second one.
In the last episode, Mike outlined both his shift and his church's shift from scarcity to abundance. In this episode, Mike first presents practices that can help us stay focused on abundance before detailing how individuals, organizations, and institutions must structure themselves differently in order to be built around abundance. Next, Mike describes how he sees this movement of abundance-focused work taking shape around the country. To finish, Mike re-frames the idea of Christian discipleship and details what discipleship looks like for both him and his church.
Like Mike's first episode, this second one also contains discussion of religious topics. We want to reiterate that we do not present these episodes to promote any one religion or being religious but instead because we think they are helpful and encouraging for all neighbors, religious and non-religious alike.
We also want to take a moment to promote Mike's book, Having Nothing, Possessing Everything: Finding Abundant Communities in Unexpected Places. It is an amazing read, and we recommend it to everyone! You can find more information about the book here.
Neighboring Tip of the Week - Meet your trash collector and offer them a cup of coffee.
Over the past week, we have been thinking about underappreciated professions in our neighborhoods, and we think trash collecting resides right at the top of the list. Seemingly, the job has become something that is taken for granted by many folks. Take a moment to imagine what our cities would look like without this profession. Not so appealing, right? The reality is: we, as a community, need trash collectors!
This week,…Read More
For Episode 13, hosts Adam and Matt interview the person who inspired us to utilize an asset-based approach in our work: Rev. Mike Mather. The conversation was amazing, so we split the interview into two episodes, and this is the first of those episodes….Read More
Neighboring Tip of the Week - Read a book or play an instrument in your front yard in order to make yourself both visible and available to your neighbors.
Fall is in the air! Though, that being said, it still feels like summer here in Wichita; we are in the midst of a very hot week. In light of an approaching fall, we present this week’s tip, a fantastic way to both enjoy the beautiful weather and be present with your neighbors at the same time!…Read More
We are currently working in partnership with our South Central Neighborhood Association, Legacy Ministries, and ClearTalk communications to develop a community garden on a lot that currently has a cell tower on it (75% of the lot is wide open). The first step isRead More
Adam and Matt return to the front porch for the second segment of a two-part episode on challenges in neighboring. This week, they're discussing what seems to be one of the hardest subjects to talk about with neighbors: politics.
Do you have a neighbor with a very different political stance than you and who is very vocal about it? If so, how does this affect your conversations or interactions with the neighbor? In this episode, Adam and Matt discuss how we can foster healthy conversations with neighbors who are very outspoken about their political beliefs or whom we might disagree with politically. This is a hot topic in neighboring, and we are quite excited to have you join us on the front porch for this discussion!
In the episode, Adam references the book Conflict without Casualties by Nate Regier. If you would like to learn more about the book and Dr. Regier's work, visit https://next-element.com/conflict-without-casualties/.
Let's be real: neighboring is not always easy conversations and healthy relationships. This week, hosts Adam and Matt sit down on the front porch to present the first segment of a two-part episode on challenges in neighboring.
In practicing neighboring, we realize that certain challenges can arise - they most certainly have for us. In this episode, Adam and Matt first outline a posture with which to approach neighboring challenges before moving into a "Dear Abby" section, where they give specific examples of these challenges and outline how each of them could be addressed. Two topics that are covered are how to set boundaries with neighbors and how to approach awkward conversations with neighbors.
We hope this episode provides both a healthy posture and tangible techniques that can be employed when approaching various neighboring challenges.
Neighboring Tip of the Week - Attend a meeting for one of your community organizations, and meet someone new.
Community organizations are groups such as your Homeowners’ Association, Neighborhood Association, City Council, District Advisory Board, Parent Teacher Association, etc., and we encourage you to attend a meeting with one of such groups. Your participation in these organizations can help to make your community stronger in a few different ways:…Read More
Episode 10 has arrived with our second neighboring tip of Season 2: Plant a garden in your FRONT yard!
Per usual, Vistapher joined Matt on the front porch to present the tip and talk a little more about the practice - in this case, front-yard gardening. They first discuss the importance of both visibility and availability in neighboring before talking about how front-yard gardening looks in our neighborhood. These neighboring tip episodes are simple ways to foster conversations and connections with your neighbors, so we hope you enjoy listening to them, but we also hope you experiment with one or more of the tips, too!
Neighboring 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?...Read More
Welcome to Episode 9! A few episodes ago, hosts Adam and Matt discussed the topic of social capital. In this episode, they return to the front porch to revisit the concept but this time through a different metaphor: social fabric.
We received a lot of fantastic feedback on the social capital episode, but recently, we have started using the term "social fabric", and we think the different metaphor may be a helpful way to understand the concept and think about it in different ways. In this episode, Adam and Matt define social fabric before detailing how this fabric is weaved and then how we can all weave it in order to co-create tight-knit neighborhoods. Happy weaving, and happy neighboring!