April 2024 Sacred Settlement Update

We had an amazing turnout for last month’s home blessing and community dinner. It was such a wonderful confirmation that God is at work in this place, creating community and transforming lives. We celebrated the generous gift of our new friends at AbeTech for the tiny house they had built. And our intentional neighbors, the Beary family, felt the love as they were blessed into their new home.

With the help of a great collection of volunteers and our friends at Settled, work is almost complete on the renovated meeting room and shared workshop space. And the settlement courtyard is being transformed right before our eyes, with features to make our settlement even more welcoming. Read more below.

Our Next Community Dinner

Sunday, April 21, 5:30-7pm

Come check out the new meeting room, workshop space, and landscaping changes this Sunday. We continue to gather on the third Sunday of each month to share a meal, celebrate milestones, and marvel at all God is doing in and through our Sacred Settlement. This is the perfect time and place to bring along someone who might be curious to learn more about our Sacred Settlement and the full-community approach to addressing chronic homelessness.

Our Community Dinners are a potluck with the main course and beverages provided, so bring a dish to share if you’re able. Or not – it’s ok. Just come – there’s always plenty. Come hear stories of real transformation and celebrate all that God is making possible.

New this month… If you like to plan ahead, consider what you might bring to share, or can help with setup and/or clean up, take a minute to RSVP HERE.

Next Neighbor Search Continues

After a lengthy discernment process with a potential new neighbor, it was determined that having them join our sacred settlement was just not feasible at time. While our tiny home can’t meet their needs right now, we’re exploring alternative ways to support them in their journey out of homelessness. This also means our Stewardship Team is back to the beginning of the process and will be working closely with our various partners to identity another viable candidate for residency. Please keep our leadership team in your prayers.

Exterior Renovations Underway

Recently, a working group representing various ministry teams of the congregation (property & grounds, finance, settlement care team), was convened to review proposals for some enhancements to the area around the tiny homes. It was determined that the old, cracked asphalt pad should be removed to make way for a more welcoming courtyard and gathering spaces. A garden plot, featuring both in-ground and raised beds, will be created to be tended to by our settlement neighbors and supportive friends, providing healthy food to nourish our community and others.

The initial phases of this work have already begun. The asphalt and limestone base fill has been removed and fresh black dirt has been spread in its place. Once the garden plot is staked out, wood chips will be placed over the remaining exposed dirt as temporary cover while a variety of options for finishing off the area are considered. Obvious and clearable walkways between the houses will be an important safety feature and make the whole area more welcoming for neighbors and visitors alike. If you’re interested in helping with these projects, just reach out the the office.

First Chickens, Then Eggs

Photo by The Brewers on Unsplash

With the encouragement and support of our Care Team, settlement neighbor Valerie Roy has brought forward a proposal to include a coop to raise and care for chickens as a feature for these exterior renovations. The chickens will provide a regular supply of eggs for our neighbors and a regular supply of fertilizer for the garden. A design that meets city codes and fits into the aesthetic of our campus has been thoughtfully developed. Materials and fabrication assistance are being contributed by our supporting partners from Meeting House (formerly Colonial Church of Edina). The working group, Settlement Stewardship Team, and the Congregation Council have all reviewed Valerie’s proposal and are excited to offer their encouragement to proceed.