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252 Gordon Street
Footscray, VIC, 3011


Open Spaces Neighbourhood Collective Notes


Open Spaces Neighbourhood Collective Notes

Surrender Australia

How do we tell stories about our neighbourhood in an ethical manner?

  • Sharing stories which are already popular or ‘folk lore’
  • Some stories are too ‘sacred’ or personal to share. For me to share if the person was in the room?
  • Find ways for community to share their story themselves in their community
  • Speaking with story teller/owner of story about whether we can share – ask for permission and how they want it told
  • How do we still tell stories that reorient us to the kingdom reality
  • Actually knowing the people who the story Is about. Is this a story a part of my story?
  • The challenge is that stories are so valuable they are key to transformation but who’s and how
  • What constructs of power am I talking about/discussing/continuing/challenging for good/bad?
  • Discussing stories about people with ‘made in the image of God’ reality – language
  • Jesus revealed the story of Trust and Respect
  • Integrating our worlds brings integrity to our practice and story-telling – integration
  • When people start telling you their story – it’s a holy place.
  • Talk about what we as a group do
  • Translating into ‘everyday’ language
  • Crossing between cultures (church, community, denomination)
  • Letting go of stories ‘us’ & ‘them’


How do we help our disciples to understand/regard their homes as being centres of community worship & mission? Principles and Practices (recognizing Missional Communities as training grounds)

  • ‘Home & Beyond’ section – a resource so extends discipling to the home
  • Responsibility lies priority with parents
  • Modeling is key – pray with kids/teens. Shaping/Setting example
  • How to help families have a sense of God’s call around mission/discipleship to neighbourhood/networks?
  • Authenticity is key
  • Disciple parents well into the ways of Jesus – flows out of this!
  • Creating safe places for friends/neighbours/work colleagues to see what faith lived out looks like from home
  • Both peer and intergenerational relationships are key


How do we bring Community Engagement into our Faith Community experience and expression

  • Build relationship
  • No pressure to bring people to Sunday gathering
  • People invited into service – explore where that is coming from
  • Not just programs for sake of programs
  • Influence
  • Intentionality – who is God calling me into deeper connection with
  • Redefining what a ‘church’/community of faith looks like
  • Greater reliance on the spirit to bear fruit
  • It can be a slow process!


How do we see where the Spirit is already at work in people or places and value this?

  • Luke 10 – See spiritual value in our people. Remove sacred & secular lenses – all is sacred. God is already there.
  • Acceptance, without discrimination, include them/encourage theme in the mission
  • Affirming one another
  • Vulnerability
  • Jesus did not limit anyone! Not with language, or approach
  • How can we release our formal/cultural limits to le people in?


How do we approach and understand differences between welfare, Community Development & social enterprise?

  • CD is  government ‘business’ – do what works – results government wants
  • Collective action housing
  • Shortage of friendship
  • Churches role to empower social services
  • Safe place
  • People in community that want to help. Luke 10
  • Homeless want to contribute
  • Foundation of innovation is relationships – Hirsch
  • Organisations understanding and transition
  • Inadequate systems
  • Professionals say ongoing community needed. Need for churches.
  • Army – booklet – CD – disciple making
  • Modeling different way
  • Importance of social enterprise make sustainable.
  • Thrift shops
  • Relationships – rebuilding the web of social fabric.
  • Social enterprise
  • Wyndham City Council
  • Jesus models Community Development through his relationships


How can we serve & meet the needs of middle class community?

  • Issues - Parenting, domestic violence, gambling
  • ‘Help better your skills dealing with teenagers’
  • Time, relationships, food
  • Intentionality in life and work spaces
  • Show your own vulnerability first
  • Lack of felt need but plenty of hidden need?
  • Invite to participate (not to be served)
  • What are the rhythms of regular life?
  • How do we re-calibrate church in vocational model? Mission is an identity. How we are not what we do. Mission within workplaces.


How do we communicate good news across class differences?

  • Consistency – each week
  • You are valuable to God
  • Fatalism – Purpose to life?!?! How to open up this possibility of change. Offering to pray for people
  • Addition – driving life, held hostage
  • Fear of vulnerability? Us? People we talk to?


How do you transition/Do you transition from good community engagement to community of faith

  • How do we bring people from the church into the neighbourhood?
  • How do we make sure people don’t feel like they’re constantly wrong?
  • How do we not end things with folks who aren’t on the same page, continue to extend love and grace?
  • Do we bring authority if we have experience
  • Label everything an experiment
  • Keep moving, live in tents
  • You keep following where Jesus is going
  • How do we keep making steps to get people from the church into the neighbourhood
  • Need to experiment but also translate this process to institutions so they can support
  • Make equal (coffee) relationships with ‘superiors’
  • Shifting from church as usual to church in the neighbourhood is slow, may take a decade
  • Patience
  • Snap! Learn to recognise it when it happens in the neighbourhood
  • Mirror back what is the kingdom – hanging out with pizza
  • Celebrating when it happens
  • When you’re helping a few churches with this
  • Trying to let people come and visit and try things if they are interested rather than trying to change their church.