Loving Our Neighbors

Posted by Laura Rendall | Published September 30, 2015

Loving Our Neighbors

Once, the Pharisees tested Jesus with a question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “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.”

Bloomington Heights Church is endeavoring to put this command, “love your neighbor as yourself,” at the heart of its ministry. Four families—Steve and Julie Siegel, David and Beth Dear, Gabe and Jaime Searles, and Bob and Becky Shuka—are seeking to shape their church into a resource that enriches the neighborhood they meet in. Bob explains their philosophy: “A big part of Christ’s ministry was going about doing good. As believers, that’s one of the things we are supposed to do—to be involved in peoples’ lives so we can be a blessing to them and have relationships so when needs arise we are there to be able to meet them, whether they are spiritual or physical.”

Part of their focus in the Bloomington Heights neighborhood is helping the neighborhood become a community. Towards this end, they host  neighborhood-wide events several times a year. A year usually kicks off with a Super Bowl party, which is followed by summer barbeques and parties around the holidays. The parties are usually well received and well attended. On a day-to-day basis, the church also strives to develop meaningful relationships with those in the neighborhood and to be available to meet any needs they become aware of. Over the last couple of years, Bob says they have seen the community atmosphere of the neighborhood grow. “There is an unusual amount of relationship in this neighborhood. People have come to have a large level of comfort with each other. I think it is atypical for people to be this connected.”

As they get more and more involved with the community, Bloomington Heights Church hopes they will have bigger and bigger opportunities to meet the needs of those around them. David says they have had a few opportunities to make meals for families with new babies and to help people move. But they are hoping to be an even better resource to the neighborhood in the future. “Christ is portrayed as going about doing good works and being a blessing to the community,” says Bob, “and that is what we want to do. That’s what seeking the welfare of the city is all about.”

Posted In Seek the Welfare