How We’re Going to Get There (to BELONGING)

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I’ve had some fun this past week conducting a little deep dive into the missional history of Ace in the City. Most of you might recall that we originally launched as Ace Hoops in 2008, with a MISSION of providing athletic opportunities and academic support to youth.

Our rebrand (and change of names) in 2012 to Ace in the City brought about a revamped MISSION: cultivating belonging through relationships, which evolved over time to specify and include the work of community development, collaboration and conversations.

As Matt mentioned last week, and as we pivot to the work of placemaking, our vision statement has, again, found new language. Consequently, our MISSION has been refreshed as well to better align with our work and the pathways we’re committed to getting us the the place where all can flourish.

We are neighborhood placemakers, reimagining and repurposing space and how we inhabit it for the flourishing of us all.

This work is largely grounded in two things. The first is in the activation of new life from old space. While we won’t limit ourselves exclusively to church space, it is estimated that the church in America alone possesses over $1 trillion (yep, with a “T”) in physical land and assets, most of it, I’d contend, sitting underutilized most days but Sundays.

For Followers who’ve been invited to Love God and Love our Neighbor, we believe we can better love our neighbor with the space we’ve been entrusted with. (Can I get an Amen!?!)

However, dignified and missional space is only healthy to the degree we live into it well, which means our work goes beyond the physical and into the emotional/behavioral/spiritual work—into the cultures we create, the policies and procedures we maintain, the ways in which we welcome neighbors into our space and how we love them as they are with us.

Physical space matters.

How we inhabit physical space matters too!

Our work of placemaking emphasizes both.

Over the next few weeks, we will unpack how we look to ground ourselves in this work by articulating the values we are committed to upholding. Communities change, which means we should too. But our call to create safe spaces where everyone is loved, valued and seen is as true today as it was in 2008. Thank you for walking alongside us and the spaces we call home!