So often, people move to a new neighborhood. They do not necessarily move to a new church. This contributes to the transition of a neighborhood church becoming a commuter church. The church finds itself disconnected with the neighborhood it is in. At the end of the day many neighbors recluse in the privacy of their homes. Over time, neighbors are isolated and disconnected from each other, and the church is disconnected from the neighborhood it occupies.
“What can be done about this?” The following article from CFA’s partner, LINC New Orleans is a story of a church and community on their journey to rediscovering each other using of all things – a “pet care” event. When a church wants to re-engage community, here are three really helpful questions to consider (Asset Based Community Development questions) :
- What would people in this neighborhood like to see changed?
- What do neighbors care about enough to act on?
- How might we set a table for neighbors to re-discover each other; their stories, their abilities/gifts, and their concerns.
Musings in the Marigny
By Laura Brenner
Phew! April was an action-packed month filled with house tours and our second annual Quad Community Event– Mutts in the Marigny! We had McFaith Feed & Pet Supplies (who recently moved into the Magnolia Physical Therapy building on Burgundy at Spain St.) and NOLA Bark Market from the Bywater had a wide array of toys and treats. French Quarter Vet was a huge asset to novice and veteran dog owner alike with the “Ask the Vet” session at the event. This paired nicely with having Animal Rescue of New Orleans and LA-SPCA on site for neighbors in the Quad Community that were considering adding a four-legged friend to the family. Bitty Bobb’s Bacon Krewe, a mobile food pantry for dogs was there as well. At the end of the day, because of the efforts of many, each non-profit was able raise over $100 each.
Heaven’s Pets Crematorium was on site which paired nicely the Memorial Wall made by St. Paul Church Secretary and Marigny resident Linda Helmer, to remember pets that we grew up with and are,unfortunately, no longer with us.
Linda also made a great display of historic Marigny inspired houses for St. Paul Marigny’s mascot dog “Luther” and his friends “Shotgun” and “Two-bay” (types of historic houses found throughout the Quad Community).
Neighbors, church members, and St. Paul students mingled throughout the event enjoying the efforts of the St. Paul Community Coalition. St. Paul teachers were out in full force, with Amy, Sarah and Sandy on the SPCC team, and Marie, Clark, Cal and Jason came out to show their support for the great day, and even got their dogs blessed! Laurie McConnell was selling some of the great recycled artwork made by her talented 2nd grade students. The proceeds of the sales went towards Bitty Bobb’s Bacon Krewe.
Some of the students who attended were Amrei in Kindergarten, Chloey in 3rd grade, Shawn in 5th grade, Erica in 6th grade, Renni and Hope in 7th grade. I was able to catch up with some of the participants. Below are some reflections on the day:
“The [2nd Grade Recycled] art was very very pretty! Next year, I would like to help our neighbors by sitting with Ms. McConnell and selling the artwork because [that] would help people get food for their dogs”.
“I liked the doggy kissing booth, that was really funny! I also liked the pet blessing.”
“There were a lot of adorable dogs in fabulous costumes!”
“Running into neighbors that I hadn’t seen in awhile.”
“Thank you for giving us a chance to get to know our neighbors and to share information about the programs at the LA/SPCA such as adoption and the community clinic. We look forward to Mutts in the Marigny next year!”
“Mutts in the Marigny served as a chance for my 2nd graders to give back to the community. Recycling gives them ideas and helps them think critically. I hope to ignite two sparks: creativity and responsibility to our planet, it’s the only one we got”.
If you missed this great event, fear not! The St. Paul Community Coalition has other great events coming up! Stay tuned and happy spring!