Saturday, August 17, 2013

What's going on next door?

It began for me about twelve years ago, at a meeting of the Higher Education Committee of the Presbytery of New Brunswick.  That's when I started thinking about young adults, intentional community, and the dream of a House of Hospitality right here in urban New Jersey. 

We put money aside. $15,000, as I recall. But nothing came of it.  We had no idea what we were doing.  We had no house.  We had no young adults.

But the idea stayed there, percolating in the back of my mind, and in the minds of a few others.

And then, in early summer 2011, the Bethany Presbyterian Church in Trenton, NJ, closed its doors and its manse stood vacant.  With the help of the Urban Fund of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, and many, many willing hands and strong backs, and much fervent prayer, the Bethany House of Hospitality, an intentional young adult Christian community, was born, welcoming its first class of five residents in September/October of 2011.  The dream had become a beautiful reality.
Bethany House of Hospitality
So, in June 2013, when the long-standing relationship between HomeFront and the Lawrence Road Church to provide transitional housing for the homeless ended due to lack of funding, and the five-bedroom house just north of the church became available, the Urban Mission Cabinet and the folks at Lawrence Road dared to dream of an expanding network of intentional communities for young adults serving in the city.  The house needed a lot of work to reclaim the space as a place of hospitality, comfort, and community.  But God had blessed us with the success of Bethany House and we were ready.  With the help of the Urban Fund of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, and many, many willing hands and strong backs, and much fervent prayer, the Lawrence Road House of Hospitality is coming into being (did I mention that the house needed a LOT of work) and will welcome its first class of residents on September 1, 2013.
Lawrence Road House of Hospitality   
That's what's going on next door to the Lawrence Road Church in August 2013.  We're building a place where each year, five young adults whose hearts are on fire for God's people in the city will live simply, participate in a communal way of life, and explore both new and ancient spiritual practices, all the while engaging in the neighborhood where they live and with the organizations they serve.

In two weeks, this dream becomes a reality just north of the Lawrence Road Church.  Is that fabulous, or what?

A note about the photographs:  I took the LRHoH photo and David Byars took the Bethany House shot.  He's a much better photographer than I am...

1 Comments:

At August 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM , Blogger Audrey said...

Sounds wonderful! I look forward to meeting the new neighbors.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home