1. Many different people, with various backgrounds and understandings of God, are living in one big neighborhood.
2. It’s a challenge for our neighborhood to be a community. We like to be with people who look, talk, and act like us. It’s hard to cross the street to be friends with others who might be different.
3. Our neighborhood is defined by stories the tell each other.
4. We tell our own stories in our own languages. We want to be heard, respected, and taken seriously. Use kind and gentle words.
5. Even when we don’t realize it, God helps us tell our stories. God gives us words to say and songs to sing when it’s hard to communicate with those around us. In this way, our story becomes God’s story. God’s story becomes our story.
6. Listening to others is part of being a good neighbor. When we hear God’s words in different places from unexpected people, we become more aware of God’s presence.
7. God isn’t something you can count or contain. God simply is. Open your windows and let God breathe into the world around you. You can let God loose in the neighborhood!
8. God’s spirit is a like a warm fire on a cold day, a toasty mug of chocolate cocoa, a hug from a friend, or your sweater on chilly afternoon. You are warmed in a way that says, “I am home”.
9. When God pitches a tent beside the castle in your neighborhood, don’t be surprised if some people ask silly questions. You’ve not had too much to drink. Tell them to imagine the joy at coming back from the dentist with no cavities; times 100! That’s how you feel!
10. You have special gifts to tell the world something important. God is proud of you.