Merry Christmas

I really appreciate the faithful supporters of Neighbourhood Life.  Especially my neighbours.  This morning I found a gift with a card that a neighbour left inside our door while we were away (see pic).  Outside of the nice words, I am grateful for neighbours who are comfortable enough to let themselves in our home when we are not (read more about this in a book entitled, “Refrigerator Rights”).

  It has been another great year full of surprises and new insights.  This past year we worked at learning from neighbours; from building relationships to building buildings.   I believe our neighbourhoods are our greatest classroom!

One thing I learned is to “sock your neighbour” (see last post) when its dark.  While placing the stocking full of treats on a neighbours door during daylight hours, I heard him come out of his house while saying, “I have a gun….get off my property….Merry Christmas” – all in good fun!

Our book, “Neighbouring for Life” also had a great year and some great responses:

“Rick is a master story teller who knows more about being a great neighbour than anyone I know. This book is a must read for people who’s faith compels them to care‎ for others and build deeper relationships. If you want to improve your quality of life the simplest way is to get to know your neighbors. Rick not only shows you how but his stories will inspire you to actually do it.”
– Paul Born – best selling author of Deepening Community and Community Conversations and President of the Tamarack Institute,  University of Waterloo.
“Rick Abma doesn’t just talk and write about community; he lives it.  ‘Neighbouring for Life’ summarizes the valuable lessons he has learned from his experience as a neighbour.  Rick argues that community isn’t something we do in our spare time but rather its a way of life that can be realized through practices, not programs.  His book illustrates this with stories that are as rich and stimulating as the Good Neighbour Coffee he roasts.”
– Jim Diers – consultant and author at Neighbor Power, Seattle, Washington
Let me know if you want a copy?
And the great year continued with an invitation to Terrace, BC for 9 days of training on neighbouring for life.  It went well….we walked many neighbourhoods,.  In the new year I will make my way back there for more.
Thanks you all!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Rick Abma

Sock your neighbour!

Perhaps you may want to “sock your neighbour.”

Maybe even think about the neighbour that may need MORE cheer than any of the others!

There may be nothing spiritual here, so do not read into it….

but it is a great idea to get started in your neighbourhood.

(Read the instructions on the card in the pic.)

We enjoyed filling the sock with gifts for a neighbour.

A tree ornament, something homemade, a giant candy bar…perhaps a ‘thankyou’ card.

Don’t get caught when hanging it on your neighbours door.  And don’t let the dog hear you or it may not be a silent night.

May your neighbour be blessed!

An Other Kingdom

My new book just came in the mail.  Two community neighbourhood guru’s and an Old Testament professor wrote this book together, “An Other Kingdom.” Peter Block and John McKnight join Walter Bruggemann in helping us depart the consumer culture.  And the alternative has to do with our neighbourhood.  It’s kind of like a cultural detox!  This is a deep massage challenging us to relieve ourselves from tiredness and busyness, and hit the refresh button!  Oh how cool it would be to live in a world where people bloomed where they were planted instead of chasing the never ending desires of want.

Departing Consumer Culture

As the back of jacket says, “The consumer culture holds the belief that no amount is enough.  The free market ideology produces economic crisis, violence, and an exhausted planet.  An Other Kingdom provides a new narrative, a shift in our thinking and speaking, to take us out of addictive consumption into a place where contract is replaced by covenant, consumption is replaced by neighbourliness, and time is reclaimed as our own. “

Coffee with a neighbour

It has recently come to my attention as a coffee roaster/missionary that a Dutch coffee company instilled a “have coffee with your neighbour day” in Holland, each and every May 26th.  It is a simple challenge that has given way to what the Happiness Institute (Denmark) declares as having produced more happiness than buying more ‘bling.’  A cup of coffee and an intentional connection may just put more of the “Merry” back into Christmas than another Black Friday deal.  So why wait till May 26th?  Treat yourself!  And if you submit your neighbour/coffee story here (before Christmas/2018) I will personally send you a package of Good Neighbour Coffee!