Welcome to “one neighbourhood”. My name is Renée Embree, I was born in Halifax, NS moved around quite a bit during my childhood and spent my teen years in Ottawa, ON but have always kept being pulled back to Atlantic Canada. I ran into God’s grace (quite literally) as a young adult, while attending Simon Fraser University on the West Coast. That grace continues to amaze me, confuse me, transform me and call me to more. These blogs are musing about “one neighbourhood” and how you, I, leaders, youth groups, churches can be a sign, in words and deeds, of God’s grace to the neigbhourhoods where we live, work, play and do church together.
This question about joining God to see His transformation come to a neighbourhood has been stirring in me for a long time. It probably began growing up in my family where whether we were on a camping trip or visiting someone in their home we talked about “leaving things/people better than when we found them”. Then on a trip to India in 2007 I was convicted by the fact that every church we visited – big, small or in-between – we asked them “What are you doing to be good news to your neighbourhood?” and the amazing part, every single one of them had an answer! They were seeking ways to tangibly be a sign of God’s goodness to those around them, to let God’s heart of grace and love overflow from them to others. They were seeking to be a part of what God is doing to make all things new. When I came home I started asking the question of myself and others regularly. God’s Kingdom has broken into our world, in word and deed, and we get to be a part of what is happening to transform lives and communities with the Good News. My heart and life is sold on being a part of joining God in changing my neighbourhood(s) and inviting others to join in. This blog is some of what I’m learning and messing up along the way. In particular in this blog we want to try to give some practical help to LEADERS who are seeking to equip people to live with this missional heart in their neighbourhoods.
While this calling goes beyond any one role, I currently get to live out this passion and vision through serving as the Director of Youth and Family Ministries for the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches (http://baptist-atlantic.ca/) and as the Director of the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Program at Acadia Divinity College (http://www.acadiadiv.ca/). You can follow me @r_embree or follow the Youth and Family Team @cabcyf
We’d love to hear your stories of this at work at #1neighbourhood (Yup, neighbourhood is spelled the Canadian way!)
Andrew and I share this blog and this vision for Atlantic Canada, so I’ll let him introduce himself…
Hello, I’m Andrew Phillip Glidden and I have a confession. I really love board games. More specifically, I enjoy reading the instructions to board games in my free time. If you aren’t weirded out yet here are a few more things you should know about me. When I’m not playing board games I enjoy camping as well as learning how to pull the perfect espresso shot. I have a 3 year old daughter (Audrey) and a 1 year old son (Titus). I’ve been married to my gorgeous wife (Courtney) for 8 years. I’m originally from Hampden, ME which is just outside Bangor (the epicentre of Canadian shopping). We currently live in Saint John, NB and when I’m not trying to change the world with Renee and Jacqueline, I’m trying to change the world with our church family (Rooftop) that we’ve been planting for the past two years. Planting a church has been a dream of mine since University and I can tell you it has been everything I thought it was going to be and more. As Rooftop continues to learn how to put on what we call our missional “lens”, I’m enthusiastic about learning how to equip others across Atlantic Canada to do the same. Whether your context is youth ministry, children ministry, a young adult initiative, or solo pastoring, or whether you’re urban, rural; small or big, I believe God is calling all of us to see ourselves as ‘on mission’ through joining God in what He is already doing to transform Atlantic Canada, one neighbourhood at a time, for His glory. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Drewsie83 and peak in once in awhile to see what God is doing at Rooftop.