This is related to how we speak of Emmaus Road as having a "neighborhood of gathering", and why we see ourselves as part of Belltown. We invest time and energy locally through New Horizons, partnering with Imagine Northwest, sponsoring an Americorps volunteer, convening the Belltown Covenant (e.g. belltownvolunteers.org), and Groundworks Sundays. We are not alone; countless congregations, old and new, are hearing "love thy neighbor" in fresh, dynamic ways. Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, a few of us from Emmaus Road will be able hearing and sharing stories.
Emmaus Road, hundreds of inhabiters will be inhabiting our neighborhood this weekend. Pastor Likkel and Elders Anema and Munson will be joining them, to learn how Emmaus Road is, or can be, connected to a growing movement among the greater church in North America. This conference - INHABIT - conveniently happening in Belltown down the hill at Mars Hill Graduate School (at least that's what it HAS been called... ), aims to bring leaders together who sense God is building a greater bond of love and service between congregations and people of a certain place. Several of our sister CRC congregations from the Seattle Cluster will be there with us.
BELLTOWNVOLUNTEERS.ORG, brought to you by the Belltown Covenant. What is it? An online resource to help Belltown residents connect with their neighbors by volunteering in their neighborhood. With the help of a Mars Hill Graduate student, and members of the Belltown Covenant, the project has finally moved from the development to the launch phase. Our Community Development volunteer, David Anema, is currently gathering data and "populating" the site with specific opportunities. Viewed through our own theological lense, this is more than a community development tool: it is a way to empower people to live out one of our core ministry values, to "love thy neighbor." We acknowledge the challenge people have in getting to know their neighbors, let alone love and serve them; belltownvolunteers.org is one small effort at removing barriers and opening a doors to healthy relationships and life.