Mister Rogers ‘Neighborhood’ was a popular kids TV show in 1968, and then in 2018 was made into a popular movie. Mr. Rogers asks the question, “Would you be my Neighbor?” That invitation made us feel welcomed back then and still does today. As GraceWorks examines our mission statement of “Neighbor serving Neighbor” in light of recent service opportunities, who would we ask to be our neighbor so that we can share with them what God has provided us?
Some of you may also remember the insurance company who had a slogan, “Like a good neighbor, (they) would be there.” How much more welcomed would the question of “Would you be my Neighbor?” be if we were asking so we could be that good neighbor who is there for someone in desperate need of the fellowship, care and help that that relationship promises? Certainly no one would argue against us reaching out to folks affected by the tornados in Davidson and Putnam counties to ask them if they would they be our Neighbors. Would they say no to our question of “Would you be my neighbor” and thereby deny us to be that good neighbor who is there to care for them in their time of need?
What about someone as far away as Memphis? Should we invite that person to be our Neighbor? Last month we had the opportunity to do just that for a young man who had hitched a ride to us after being released from our county jail. He arrived in the cool evening of the afterhours of our workday. He was underdressed and shivering from the cold. He looked like he could have been anyone’s son. In fact, there was an innocence about him that touched our hearts. We gave him a warm coat and sweater from the thrift store, snacks, a Lyft ride to the bus station and bus ticket home to Memphis. He wasn’t from Williamson County, or even from a nearby county, but nonetheless because we saw his need and welcomed him as a Neighbor.
As we began to broadly define who is our Neighbor, we believe we are moving closer to the position our Lord and Savior was inviting us to when He asked the question “Who is our Neighbor?” I long for the day that our hearts and faith (and yes our pockets!) are big enough for us to say that our Neighbor is anyone walks through our doors or anyone we can reach out to help.
But for now, we can say our Neighbors are those in a nearby county experiencing a disaster, a cold, confused young man who is just trying to get home to Memphis, anyone who walks through our doors hungry, and of course those right here in Williamson County who need rent assistance, utility assistance, food or any other of the resources we offer.
As we celebrate 25 years of growth—in service, programs, staffing, volunteers, donors, community partners, and served neighbors—I invite you to join us in celebrating what God has done and will continue to do by checking out the special website listing our events Graceworks25th.com.
But you don’t have to wait for an event to jump in and help us celebrate and serve. In honor of turning 25 years, we have initiated a giving program that you can participate in right away! We are looking for supporters willing to commit $25 for 25 months to assist in months to come. Here is the link to initiate this important sustaining giving.
We couldn’t have gotten to 25 years without you. So as we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we celebrate you too! Thank you for being that good Neighbor who has been there for our Neighbors.
Yours in Christ,
Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO
P.S. As a friend of GraceWorks, we hope you will join us for at least one of our 25th Anniversary events! Please check out all we are planning at graceworks25th.com so you can mark your calendar.