Thriving Congregations Program (TCP): Interpreting the Community Experience
On Sunday afternoon, July 11 and again on Thursday, July 15, members of the Thriving Congregations Program core group for our church plus other church members had a special time with Presbytery Staff Tali Hairston, Director of Community Organizing, and Maggie Breen, Community Education and Assessment Specialist, touring various areas in our church’s nearby neighborhoods. The event was called, “Interpreting the Community Experience.” Tali shared with us history about the area we had stopped in while we also shared knowledge we had of the area. The groups started at the church, then went to Crown Hill, Aurora Avenue at about 105th Street and ended at the North Seattle College campus. We learned some history of each area, some of the housing policies, and job policies of each neighborhood. A good time was had by all of us. We ended the afternoon in the backyard of Todd Peterson where we enjoyed appetizers, cooling drinks, and shared perspectives that we had gained on our tour. The Thriving Congregations Cohort and many members of session attended the events.
The exercise that Tali and Maggie lead us through was meant to help us learn about the larger neighborhood that WPPC is in. Why are these North Seattle locations the way they are, what happened before it in time to lead to it, what changes have happened nearby as a result of it? Using that lens to understand our community broadens our perspective on why we are here an how can we participate in it. The event was not set up as a direct path to an answer, but learning a way to see our community, and interact with it. This will be important as WPPC reopens to in- person worship and works to become a more integral part of the neighborhood.
We have 2 more training sessions in our first year, ending in November. We’d appreciate your prayers as we participate in this program.