Faithful Presence

Authentic abundance does not lie in secured stockpiles of food or cash or influence or affection but in belonging to a community where we can give those goods to others who need them - and receive them from others when we are in need.
— Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

A local house church pastor friend makes it a point to welcome new businesses to the neighborhood. Today his church bought the first 50 cups of tea for anyone who stopped by Teatopia on opening day. A few of us decided to take him up on the offer. I walked in to see the tiny establishment packed with friends from Cherokee St. We laughed and mentioned how fun it was to run into one another outside of a planned event.

It got me thinking. What if every Salvation Army made it a point to support local establishments? Maybe spend a little more to frequent the mom and pop hardware store, or have meetings at the corner deli instead of at the corps. What if we learned the names of every proprietor within walking distance?

We try hard to model that at the Urban Mission Center. We spread the word about the amazing Bahn Mi at Kalbi Taco Shack and take visitors to El Bronco and our office is a rented desk in a room full of neighborhood folks.

I challenged dwellers to meet one new business owner or neighbor this week. We'll see what they report at our next gathering!