Submitted by Tom Baird from Bethel Community
Our experiment began before the pandemic, but the pandemic intensified our efforts and made the experiment even more vital. It involves partnering with the church’s local community of Bannerman.
Here is how it works: We established, host, and lead, Bannerman Partners, a monthly meeting consisting of leaders gathered from both the private and public sectors. Our goal is to add value to our neighbourhood through cooperation and coordination of efforts. (For example, together we sponsor an afterschool program at our local public school.)
Three partnerships that have turned out to be especially critical during the pandemic are spearheaded by our church and the community league:
1. Bannerman a Community that Cares is an umbrella effort that seeks to get local neighbours to buy in to six core values for their community (maintaining a strong Community League, support for our local public school, neighbours helping neighbours, supporting the local businesses that support us, participating in the annual Day of Action, and engaging in community fun).
2. Bannerman Connects gives a hand up to local residents struggling financially during the pandemic. With the team’s care incarnated through a local point person who lives among the most financially under resourced in our community, they rally the support of all agencies and merchants to lend a hand up to those struggling.
3. Bannerman in Action is “A Day for Doin’ Good in the ‘Hood”. It aims to get neighbours helping neighbours and supporting their community. (Covid has only strengthened our resolve to hold this hope-filled day.)