How an Open House Restores

(An update blog by Jordan Kelly)

10543365_10152519843443279_10939601_oEvery Sunday afternoon the JUSTembrace house opens up their yard and house for the community to come and hang out. These “open houses” usually consist of food, games, and music, with the house becoming a place full of activity and life. People can be found in the yard playing bags, croquet, mingling, playing checkers inside the house, or just sitting back and relaxing.

10335547_10152375043268279_1451207461_oMy favorite aspect of these open houses is the community that has formed.  Both people from the neighborhood and outsiders have become regulars, forming relationships that would not have happened if it were not for JUSTembrace opening its doors on a weekly basis. As a former JUSTembrace intern, many of my closest relationships in the Uptown community have stemmed from Sundays at the JUSTembrace house.

It is always interesting to consider how outsiders look at our Open House events when they walk by. It must look out of the ordinary to see such a diverse group of people interacting with each other. With Uptown being so diverse and having a strong gentrification movement that is pressuring low income people out, a community like the one that has formed at Open House goes against the grain of people’s expectations and imagination.10525561_10152520683728279_2015696077_n (1)

While I love Open House, my favorite part about Sundays at JUSTembrace comes right afterwards, when I have the chance to lead the small group Bible study in an evening prayer liturgy called Vespers. Though it is usually a smaller group that sticks around for vespers, it is in my mind one of the best ways to process together the miracles we see and experience during Open House.

Click here to read a little more about why I’m running the Chicago Marathon for JUSTembrace this year and find out how you can support me by giving to this great organization.


One thought on “How an Open House Restores

  1. “Chicago Marathan” … my daughter?? I almost paniced thinking she may have over-committed! then I clicked and learned that Jordan is doing it for JUSTembrace. There was no doubt that Sher might challenge herself for such a feet [:)].

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