Le Voisinage, or, So what are we doing?

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Voisinage header

We want to reach three types of people at once. Jesus promises that the supernatural love between Christians will make the world see that God sent him, that God has loved us, and that we are his disciples. What’s more, our society is experiencing a crisis of community.

It is on the foundation of these three principles that the student ministry team in Quebec City is building our plan for the coming years. We want to build a community based on this love, which will show convinced Christians, questioning Christians, and people who have no experience of faith, that Jesus changes everything.

« The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. » – John 1:14, The Message

Jesus came to live among us. He spent time with his disciples, and interacted with the world, in the context of daily life. The primitive church answered his call to love each other by spending their lives together, by eating together, by sharing together, and by praying together. We are taking up this simple idea : we’re moving into a student neighbourhood to pray and visibly live out Jesus’ radical love for one another, and for our neighbours.

Map of the Voisinage

The neighbourhood we are targeting is beside Université Laval, and close to the three Cégeps we have been targeting for ages. We want to be with the students where they are, and in the Québécois context, students don’t spend their lives on campus like they do in other parts of the world.

So as of the end of the school year, most of what we do will happen in the Voisinage.

For example, our Discipleship Groups will happen in students’ homes rather than on campus (we’ve actually been doing this for a few years already). Our prayer meetings will happen there as well, and will be focused more on praying for our neighbours.

The Impact House will play an important role in the initiative: its free weekly meal will create much of the community context for the Voisinage. We also want our members to develop their hospitality, as they invite other members of the community over for meals and roving potlucks.

Finally, the Friday night weekly meeting, which has been going on for 20 years at ULaval, will be moving on. Its location, format, and audience will all change, in order to speak to our three types of people, and to target the young adults of the whole city instead of just students from the university.

In the coming weeks I’ll speak more to the motivations for these changes, answer some questions (feel free to ask!) and look at some of the biggest challenges facing the people getting involved in Le Voisinage.

Next post : Community is hard -- and that's a good thing

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