What about our neighbors?

AdminCrossroads, Messages from Mark+

Dear Friends,

Much has been done as we prepare for our move to a permanent home at Cadiz and S. Ervay near downtown Dallas. We are blessed to have skillful people in the design and building teams representing us and the mission of All Saints. But even as many have been in the thick of details and design schemes, someone had the foresight and awareness to ask the question, “what are we doing to spiritually and relationally prepare for the move?” Aside from the logistical questions of space and use of space, financial resources and financial disbursements, what about the people and entities we were going to move next to — what about our neighbors? Should not we be seeking to connect with the cultural sectors (business owners to home owners) of the area to seek and make friends? And so, the Crossroads Connections Team was born.

This past January, Philip tasked me to put together a team of people that would take the next 10-12 months to help prepare the spiritual soil. This team consisted of clergy and staff from All Saints as well as lay people with interests and talents from multiple sectors; business, real estate, arts, music, and non-profit to name a few. As a first task, I asked for each of the members of the team to try and connect with a few of our new neighbors in these sectors. And over the past several months, we have met with dozens of neighbors that have influence and leadership roles in downtown, the Dallas Farmers’ Market, the Cedars neighborhood, and Deep Ellum. It has been incredibly fruitful and each and every member of the Connections Team has been encouraged by the connections we are making.

When we began the process we were unsure of the result or the reception we might receive. However, God seems to be at work. As an example, one of the Connections Team members, Tim Hudson, reached out to a board member of the Farmers’ Market to get together and get his impression of the direction, excitement, and challenges of the neighborhood. But then, this member of the board thought, ‘hey, maybe the CEO might want to meet with you!’ Sure enough, the next thing we were doing was sitting down with the CEO — who was optimistic and open about our move. Not only were we able to hear from him, but the cordiality of the meeting got him asking questions about All Saints and three-stream Anglicanism. And after a few minutes trying to explain, I was telling him that he needed to “come and see!”

This is the general encouragement from this endeavor; that we can see the handiwork of the Spirit of God paving the way for us. From the sheer number of connections, to the way that the neighbors we are meeting in one sector are helping us make connections in another sector, to the incredibly positive nature and glad reception we are receiving, the Spirit is bringing us fruit that we were hopeful for.

In the coming months please pray that the team will continue to listen to the Holy Spirit, stay in tune to His leading and be strengthened by God’s joy in our work.

In Christ,

Rev. Mark+ Walz