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This article was first posted by Presbytery Leader Jeanne Radak on the Presbytery of Newton website:

How many of you remember the Sesame Street Song “Who are the People in your Neighborhood?”.  It is a very catchy song. If you learned it you do remember it. The song ends with the phrase “they are the people who we meet each day”

Dwelling in the World is the habit of paying attention to the people of peace that we meet each day. It is about paying attention to those people God places on  our path.

A church in southwest Philadelphia had decided to try an experiment as part of their Partnership for Mission Church process. They were going to collect care packages for military personnel at a local park, in order to “get outside their building”. Two significant things happened as part of their experiment.

First, their copier broke and they needed to go to a local printer to have flyers printed. The man behind the counter was so excited to hear about their project. He had been praying for ways to do something for those where were serving and these people, who just happened to walk through his door, were an answer to his prayer.  The group from the church were shocked and amazed by the greeting they received. They had never thought there might be partners in ministry at the local printer.

Second, they were successful in collecting items and money for shipping 60 boxes to service men and women.  But that was not the significant part.  They were not successful in connecting to the many people who came with gifts for their project. They didn’t get names or addresses or even have conversations with the people. They had missed the opportunity to connect to the people of peace that God had placed in front of them. The significant thing was they learned from that missed opportunity. The next experiment they were intentional about connecting and meeting the people in their neighborhood.

Dwelling the World is developing the habit of paying attention to the people of Peace ( Luke 10:5 -6) and connecting with them in ways that demonstrates and lives out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 Interested in how you might bring Dwelling in the World or Partnership for Missional Church (PMC) to your congregation? E-mail Pat Taylor Ellison to find out!