Neighbourhoods are full of potential. The places where we live provide opportunity for new connections, meaningful experiences, support, encouragement, and so much more. But the amazing power of community is that everything you love, every hobby, past-time, or personal interest might have a group of people waiting nearby to enjoy your interests with you. You can start a community group just by doing what you already love.
I am an avid gardener and beekeeper. We love being outside and dream of a city where everyone has a chance to enjoy green and growing life right where we live. I thought my interest was just my own, a quirky hobby. I did not even consider the possibility that a community could come around beekeeping. But when I started my first beehives and shared my passion with others, a community grew up around it and the Chestermere Honey Bee Society began.
Also a few years ago a group of passionate people began to gather in a living room here in Chestermere. Their aim was to worship, learn, and especially love and bless our city as a small Christian community. It was the start of Lake Ridge Community Church which has today grown into a thriving community church. What started as the dream of a few grew into something so much more, something that I get to be a part of today.
When we turn our passions into an invitation to others, we create the possibility for community. We take what was solely ours, and imagine a future where others share our joy with us. Nearly anything we enjoy, anything that brings life and hope, anything creative and good, can turn into a community group.
Do you like to eat, cook, or bake? Chances are there are others in your neighbourhood who do as well. You could start a supper club, learn to bake new recipes together, do canning in the fall, enjoy wine tasting nights, or even help out with the food bank. Gather around food and you will find community.
Do you like books or ideas? Start a book club or a discussion group. Do you like cars? Start a club to work on vintage cars, support a local show and shine, or help people in our city who cannot afford to fix their cars. Do you like woodworking or building something? Chances are there are others who love doing the same.
From ice fishing to soap box racing, art to music, and from sports to board games, there are so many open doors for creating community groups here in our city. Whatever your pleasure, there are sure to be others who would very much enjoy the chance to learn and grow with you. When we see our neighbourhood as a chance for deeper community then even the smallest hobby or interest can bring hope and life.
May ours be the kind of city that discovers the joy of turning from me, to we.