One of the signs God was calling us to invest our time, energy, imagination, and love into the neighborhood surrounding Beacon was that the Kensington section of Philadelphia had long been overlooked and in many ways forgotten.
The subconscious story of the neighborhood was the opposite of the psalmist’s closing affirmation that God “takes thought for me.” Institutions had left, dreams had failed, and it was easy to think perhaps God did not think of this community at all.
However, in Beacon’s 140 year history of being a mission plant, a chartered church, closing its doors, and then reopening them as a new faith community years later, God continues to take thought of this neighborhood. Our challenge is in crafting a space that was both safe and challenging; safe enough for folks to speak about God’s love made manifest in their lives, and challenging enough that people would answer the call to listen.
We hoped to build a community in which many people could follow in the psalmist’s footsteps and speak of God’s faithfulness, steadfast love, and salvation. By God’s grace, what has grown up like flowers in the sidewalk cracks is a community just as we hoped.
God whose faithfulness knows no bounds, strengthen us for the work ahead: the work of taking risks, exploring imaginative possibilities, and following you wherever you lead. Amen.