And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ …‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31
"God doesn't ever get the address wrong. He put you where you are for a reason." - Rosaria Butterfield
Have you ever struggled to get to know your neighbor? We have consistently noticed how much harder it is to get to know our physical neighbors in New York than it was in Rome. Part of it is the fact that in a busy city like New York people just spend less time in their homes and more time out and about. Your “neighbors” are the people you work with, families you go to school with and friends you spend time in the park with. Whoever our neighbors might be we tend toward isolation from those from outside of our nuclear families or closest friends. And yet Jesus calls us to love them….
"God's mission is so much bigger than my NYC bubble. I think [this study] drew my attention away from myself and forced me to focus on those around me...which is definitely a struggle here in NYC especially since there's a million-and-one things you can be filling your time with." - Stephen, Neighboring study participant.
This summer, Kelly, a Cru staffer we lead, facilitated a Bible Study with a group of millennials called "Becoming a Neighbor". The study seeks to remind us that, as believers, we need to push against the cultural narrative that says, "stay to yourself, don't engage." God calls us to step into the Grander Narrative, till the soil of the places he's planted us and intentionally love and serve the people around us.
We were so encouraged by the steps of faith Jenn, Stephen, Carson, Ryan and Adele took to live intentionally where God has planted them. Carson intentionally chose to read a book on the front steps of her building (instead of her couch) praying for an opportunity to meet her neighbors. Ryan and Stephen just moved and are inviting all their neighbors over to their apartment for an Open House in August.
We were so encouraged by the response, that our team has decided to launch another study this Fall as part of our leadership development offerings. Our hopes and prayers are that this would lead to more of our Connect Spaces leading into the Fall and Winter. Please pray for the 8 young professionals who have signed up for the study.