It’s getting close to the new year, which means it’s time for resolutions! It’s that special time of year when we make bold claims on our lives... and brace ourselves for inevitable self-disappointment.
But as the Church, we believe in a claim that will leave no disappointment. We believe that God’s plan for shalom is much grander than our cynicism. We have what we in Uffizi call a "prophetic imagination."
The Westside Collaborative is in an imagining phase right now. We’re dreaming about the new year and what directions to take. Maybe we’ll expand tutoring to more students. Or start a new mentoring initiative. Or partner with the local schools to grow their reading programs.
And on a more human level, we’re dreaming about individual students on the Westside having asset-rich lives in which they are supported at all levels: community, home, school, etc. We’re dreaming about a Westside in which the ‘least of these’ residents make an impact in their community by sharing their collective voice. We’re dreaming of a Santa Barbara in which the Church is a model of the multi-ethnic family that our city desperately needs.
Pipe dreams? I admit it does seem far-fetched sometimes.
But our whole vision is inspired on a God who came up with the idea of being born as a refugee in a feeding trough. His imagination for empowerment and solidarity goes far beyond ours. We just have to open ourselves to what He imagines for the Westside.
Want to catch a glimpse of God’s imagination for the Westside in the new year? Come join us as a tutor! We’re looking to add 5 more students between January and March. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.