Recently I joined a neighbourhood group, called Houseblend Ministries, for their Tuesday night potluck and prayers. Anyone is welcome to participate in these Tuesday night events, and so I and my casserole were received warmly. So were the brother and sister who came from a poorer part of town, who shyly peaked out from underneath their dark hoodies. So was the elderly man with cerebral palsy. And the neighbourhood women. And the residents of this old eight bedroom house in the West Broadway, a slowly gentrifying part of urban Winnipeg.
After the meal, which included pleasant light conversation, we moved to the parlor for evening prayers. In the context of a short but solid worship liturgy, everyone in the group was invited to share a high and a low experience of their week.
That’s what Houseblend has been doing in Winnipeg since 2007. It seems simple enough, but it is such a blessing. One newcomer expressed it this way. ” It was very natural and it just seemed like a safe place where, if you were having a bad day, you could share it with the group.” And a resident shared this quote in their last newsletter, “I don’t think I will ever be able to properly express how thankful I am to live in this house. It’s like a second chance at life.”
Here’s how this group describes itself: We are……a group of people who, because we are inspired by Jesus’ love of people who are poor and by Paul’s words to the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 2:8), have committed to sharing our lives with each other and with our neighbours in West Broadway, Winnipeg. As an intentional community we seek to develop rhythms of life that make loving God, loving each other, and loving our neighbours sustainable. These rhythms are based on the life of Jesus.
Thank you, Houseblend, for living this rhythm of Jesus in my neighbourhood. Read more about them at houseblendministries.com.