Bridge to Grace Covenant Church in Roswell, GA is located off Holcomb Bridge Road, the largest connecting highway in Roswell. In addition to their proximity to a major thoroughfare, Bridge to Grace is witnessing an influx of affordable housing via newly built apartment buildings on their street. Along with the population and demographic shifts come questions about who God is calling their congregation to be in the neighborhood. They are growing in compassion and love for new neighbors as they ask to hear their stories and share life with them.
First Reformed Church in Zeeland, MI is located in a residential area with many single family homes on the streets that intersect with their building. The building is within walking distance to parks, main street shopping, and restaurants. Amidst the idyllic neighborhood image, they are curious about the ideological tensions, income needs, and social struggles that are often hidden. They are gaining awareness of neighborhood vulnerabilities and are eager to become a place where facades can safely be dropped.
The Community Church in Ada, MI is located in a newly redeveloped main street shopping and business district, near the intersection of two rivers. They are a small, but highly engaged congregation. Team members have observed a competitive housing market that limits the number of young and lower-income families’ ability to move into the area. Additionally, the team is listening to neighbors in order to learn how the pandemic has affected their spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. The church seeks to be an inclusive and welcoming community in the midst of a changing suburb.
Highbridge Community Church in Highbridge, NY is housed in a landmark building. When you walk the neighborhood, you will see residential homes and apartment buildings neighboring the church building. There is also an elementary school directly across the street. Highbridge is a unique neighborhood that is diverse in many ways. It is a place where neighbors help neighbors and children play in water from the fire hydrants in the summer. Sometimes the community feels desolate, but other times life and energy is present. Financial and material needs are evident among many of the neighbors, these have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This congregation is becoming curious about the talents, gifts, and potential of their neighborhood and the people who reside in it. They are leaning into their physical location and asking how God might use them next to be a light and make a lasting difference in the community.
First Presbyterian Church in Flint, MI has a nearly two-century long history in Flint. The surrounding neighborhood has shifted through economic growth and decline as well as population and demographic transitions. Though some churches moved out to the suburbs, First Presbyterian Church of Flint continually chooses to stay downtown. Today, their team feels a sense of anticipation for how new city resources may benefit the neighborhood and they are curious about how to empower the diverse gifts of all the people in their congregation and neighborhood. They are eager to discern what faithful neighborhood engagement will look like in this era of their church’s story.
Hopewell Reformed Church in Hopewell, NY is a rural hamlet of East Fishkill which is centered around a quarter mile strip mall with minimal sidewalks. This historic church is located about 1 mile away along rural roads. Cars dominate as the means of transportation and much of local social life revolves around kid’s activities, town events, sports, and the Senior Center. There are only a few housing options affordable on local salaries. Therefore, many people commute to work in surrounding urban areas such as Poughkeepsie or NYC. Among this commuter culture, their church team is asking how the church can be part of bringing people together in this locally scattered community.
Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church in Tempe, AZis located in a landlocked residential neighborhood. Few neighbors know each other well or spend time together. The summer heat keeps people indoors and there are few communal spaces. The church team is asking questions about the needs and longings of their neighbors when material and financial deficits are uncommon. The team also wonders how their church can be part of a neighborhood culture in which people’s needs to be known and belong are fulfilled.