Lately at Lake Forest, we've been emphasizing that people who follow Jesus (the great Healer) should live lives that 'leave a trail of healing' (in the words of Michael Flake). This is a concrete, challenging, and even measurable way of thinking of my Christian life. In other words, its helpful. Could my overal life, or any single repeated personal interaction, be described as leaving a trail of healing with someone(s) who are hungry for God or hungry for food? With people like me and unlike me? With people who live near, and people who live far? These questions are not theoretical. They must be answered yes or no - our hearts long for the big answer to be 'yes' - this is what we were made for, who Jesus leads us to be.
One of the ways our whole church agreed together to follow Jesus in the future (through last year's LOVE 10 focus), is to be a church that leaves a 'trail of healing' in the closest distressed neighborhood to our Huntersville building - Huntington Green. We call it 'loving One More Neighborhood,' or OMN.
Well, its starting to happen. The team charged with leading us forward in this initiative has extended our relational friendships in the neighborhood, and hired an executive director with awesome experience and big vision (Earl Runcan - I'll introduce you to him more fully another time). They are doing work 'below the waterline' right now, preparing to invite the rest of LFC in to love people relationally at the right time.
Here is the vision and mission statement just written and approved by Earl and the OMN team - I am inspired, and can't wait to be part of this!
One More Neighborhood: "With God, all things are possible." -Matthew 19:26b
Vision Statement: The vision of OMN is to revitalize and transform at risk communities economically, aesthetically, and spiritually through faith-based service programs and social enterprise opportunities.
Mission Statment: Through faith-based service programs OMN works to affirm the value of children, family, church, hard work and self-sufficiency. Through social enterprise opportunities OMN works to empower, support and employ neighborhood families whose lives are being transformed to become role models in their community. The Huntington Green community is our initial focus.
WOW - i can't wait to be led by these folks to participate in God's healing of some local problems, in a way God uses to heal me even more.