by Cailey Morgan
I just have to briefly share about Canada Day at our house.
Last year, my husband, his aunt, and I bought a home together, in hopes of having a place for the neighbourhood to gather and cross-pollinate with those from our church. You may remember our sadness in not being able to host community events last summer because of our endless renovations, and our first chance to really meet some folks coming at Halloween when we put on hot chocolate and 180 people showed up in our carport for treats. Halloween was fun, and a good first “Hello,” but we really didn’t get a chance to talk to people because there were just so many of us!
So we decided this year to throw a Canada Day Neighbourhood BBQ. I’m excited to share this with you because we were incredibly nervous about what would happen, but once again when we stepped out in obedience, God showed up!
A couple of weeks ago we printed flyers about the shindig and put them in the mailboxes of our 24 nearest neighbours. We also sent out an email to our church friends and coworkers. When Canada Day arrived, so did our neighbours and friends! Over the course of the day we had over 75 people through–15 of whom we’d never met before. Here are a few pics: If meeting new people is hard for you, like it is for me, try these tricks I learned.
- Pray a lot. Eventually you’ll be convinced that God actually is in control.
- Deliver flyers. That way, you can be confident that the people who arrive in your yard are genuinely interested in talking to you! and it’s much less scary than knocking on doors.
- Gather backup. Invite some friends to come early to help set up. And, if you’re terrible at small talk, like I am, invite your life-of-the-party friends to help host the thing.
- Find the givers and let them help. I have one neighbour who dropped off a bunch of patio chairs and brought over a gallon of homemade pasta salad! When I walked over to return her chairs and dishes, she showed me her garden, and now she’s going to come help me with mine.
Building new relationships doesn’t have to be hard. Just make sure to have fun and listen, and the friendships will grow out of that. I’d love to hear how others spent their Canada Day. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here on this blog.