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Spring into the Neighborhood: Walking Tour

Spring has finally arrived! Spring is a time for cleaning and airing out old, winterized spaces, and providing room for growth and renewal. Congregations can and should take the cue from the warming temperatures to look for avenues of growth and renewal within itself.

One method that a congregation may investigate is a Walking Tour. Bring some other congregants and walk through the congregation’s neighborhood. What sorts of changes have you seen over the winter? Are there new buildings or developments? Are some areas looking particularly good or bad? What about new businesses? Are there a lot of people walking around and enjoying the area, or does it seem more closed off?

Once you’ve returned, think about new ways you could reach out to that community. Perhaps your congregation has a lot of property but you are located in an area with a lot of condos or apartments. Consider tilling some land for a community garden, or adding a basketball court or playground. Perhaps you see a lot of people out running. Your congregation could work to raise money for a local charity by sponsoring a 5K road race. Imagine the ways in which your congregation can help support and fit in with the local environment — or the ecology — of the community. What are the changing needs of your community that your congregation can fill? How can you become a positive influence in your congregation, and, at the same time, become more known by neighbors?

Ellen Childs
About the Author
Dr. Ellen Childs holds a Ph.D. in sociology from University of Notre Dame. She is Website Director at StudyingCongregations.org