As Minnesotan’s we have a special opportunity in the summer months to connect with our geographical neighbors. When we are stuck inside for the better part of a year, we can easily forget we have neighbors all together! That is why every summer at Mill City we have some sort of neighborhood challenge to encourage us all to get out there and get to know some folks. The hope is we can grow in relationship and trust – this is how we earn the opportunity to hear their stories and perhaps share ours!
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus was not only speaking about our physical neighbors – but anyone who God puts around us regularly! These could be our co-workers, our family and friends, those who share spaces like coffee shops, gyms and breweries. This also means those whose lives we are invited to care about even if we never meet them – specifically lifted up in scripture is the foreigner/immigrant, the oppressed, the poor, the widow and orphan. This even applies to strangers along the road as Jesus made clear in his story of the Good Samaritan.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with what it would mean to love all of our neighbors well – this is why a focus on our geographical neighbors can be a good way to take tangible action to loving neighbors. For instance, when we learn neighbors names, we are one step closer to being able to love them well!
Here is this summer’s “Neighborhood Bingo” inspired by the book and resource site, The Art Of Neighboring that we highly recommend. For those in the Mill City Church community, we will get you a gift card to Fletchers Ice Cream if you complete the entire Bingo Card before Labor Day! Let us know here: I finished my bingo card!
Here is your “social distance” Bingo Board – print it out and put it on the fridge or somewhere visible and start checking off your board!
National “Week” Out Bingo
If National Night Out is traditionally celebrated in your neighborhood or state, it is most likely canceled or postponed. Here is an adaptation of the Neighborhood Bingo that your block could all participate in while social distancing. My neighborhood association is going to adopt it for our entire neighborhood!
All you need to do is download the “bingo card” print it out along with a note inviting people to put it on their fridge and join in. Then write the dates of the week you are picking in the white box on the upper left. Then you have a fun challenge for everyone that will build community in this strange time. To take it to the next level, those who “complete” their bingo by getting all the boxes checked off could win a prize from a local ice cream shop or be entered to win a gift card to a local business!
Here is your National Week Out Bingo: