Rethinking community & everyone's need for belonging
It takes a healthy village to raise a child, but what kind of villages are caring for the thousands of kids in foster care in Canada and the countless families who are one crisis away from becoming part of this statistic? Who is caring for the pregnant mothers in crisis? Who is intervening for the family caught in cycles of poverty, losing everything, including each other?
As we look around us, what our villages are craving is belonging. You and I crave this too. God created us to be interconnected in community. Am I? What would a healthy village look like?
The Church has an important role and biblical mandate to not only be nice neighbours but good neighbours that extend hospitality, restoration, reconciliation and hope to those around us. These outward faith actions, when rooted in love, are easier said than done – not to mention really, really messy.
Messy is, well, messy. And it doesn’t always look or feel right in pristine buildings, orderly worship services, organized strategic plans, black and white theology. It messes with my plans, my comforts, and my sense of spirituality – yet mess calls us into a beautiful struggle towards faithful obedience to God. Mike Yaconelli, in his book Messy Spirituality, writes “The Church is the place where the incompetent, the unfinished, and even the unhealthy are welcome. I believe Jesus agrees.”
With the rise of social services needs, a disgraceful past with residential schools and 60’s scoop, and the natural busyness of life, the Church in general has not been adequately connected, equipped or active to be a trusted example of effectively journeying with vulnerable children and their families. Yet, caring for the marginalized has always been the DNA of our faith and has proven for thousands of years to be the catalyst and advocate for the marginalized. Our passion, as Forever Families of Canada is to bring the Church back to its roots with meaningful supports, greater awareness, and relevant tools to respond effectively. The challenge is not lost on us.
Here’s the exciting part. This isn't ideology, but a movement that this transpiring. We are going to gather together, equip each other, and roll up our sleeves to get messy. Church leaders, professionals, parents and everyday good neighbors are gathering at the BELONG SUMMIT 2016 in Winnipeg, MB this November 4-5, 2016. It is free for the whole family.
Belong Summit is an unprecedented national faith-based event, bringing together the Christian community, along with some government, helping professionals, and community partners as we explore ways to address child-welfare disparity with effective and informed response. There is something for everyone, because everyone in the church has an important piece to this puzzle.
Hey Belong Summit 2018 is just around the corner - November 9-10!
Check it out at BELONG2018.COM