How to be WITH your community!

For the last week Monte Sahlin, Andy & Mayda Clark and I have led a fresh expressions dialogue – based at the Carnegie Community Services Centre, a church plant in Pittsburgh (USA). Since late 2004 Andy & Mayda have developed incredible & deep networks in the community. Here are Andy’s practical suggestions on how to be ‘with’ your community –
– Turn off your TV
– Leave your house
– Know your neighbors
– Look up when you are walking
– Sit out the front of your home
– Plant flowers
– Use the community library
– Play together
– Buy from local merchants
– Share what you have
– Help a lost dog
– Take your children to the local park
– Garden together
– Support neighborhood schools
– Fix it even if you didn’t break it
– Have ‘potlucks’ (community meals)
– Honor elders
– Pick up litter
– Read stories aloud
– Dance in the street
– Talk to the postman
– Listen to the birds
– Support community initiatives (keep children’s pay areas clean & neat)
– Help carry something heavy
– Barter for your goods
– Start a tradition
– Ask a question
– Hire community young people for odd jobs
– Organize a street party
– Bake extra and share
– Ask for help when you need it
– Open your shades
– Sing together
– Share your skills
– ‘Take back the night’
– Turn up the music (not annoyingly)
– Turn down the music
– Listen before you react to anger
– Mediate a conflict – rather than becoming part of the problem!
– Seek to understand
– Learn from new & uncomfortable angles!
‘Know that many are silent though many are not heard … work to change this!’

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