We are a small organization supporting neighbors in building a neighborhood where we all belong and thrive.
We find ways to celebrate together. We garden and work to make our neighborhood beautiful. We collaborate locally in practical ways, like working for food security and connecting people with nearby resources. When we run into bigger systems that throw obstacles in our neighbors’ way, we advocate for systemic change together. Ultimately, we envision all of our neighbors coming to a place of security that enables growth and flourishing.
We started when a group of friends moved into Kensington who felt motivated to love and care for people in our neighborhood and around the world. Now, we’re a mix of folks who grew up in Kensington and others who became neighbors more recently. Our work is rooted in genuine love for each other.
Bring it Home
We’re so honored to have a story that inspires others to act. Has our story sparked a desire for you to follow Jesus every day with your body, in your town?
We encourage you to go for it! Even as we focus locally, we want to see others equipped and active in their own neighborhoods. We do that by partnering with others who offer tools and strategies.
Food Distribution TEAM MEMBER
Operations and Development Director
FOOD DISTRIBUTION TEAM MEMBER
LAWRENCE "MAR" DAWSON
FOOD DISTRIBUTION TEAM MEMBER AND ORGANIZATION SUPPORT
IT ALL STARTED WHEN…
in 1995, dozens of homeless families had moved into an abandoned Catholic church building in North Philadelphia. They were told by the Archdiocese that they had 48 hours to move out, or they could be arrested. With nowhere to go, these courageous mothers and children hung a banner on the front of the building that said, “How can we worship a homeless man on Sunday, and ignore one on Monday?” The families held their own press conference and announced that they had talked with the real “Owner” of the building (the Lord Almighty!) – and God said they could stay until they found somewhere else to go.
That was the spark that lit the fire of The Simple Way.
A few years after the takeover of the church ended — in January 1998 — some of the students who had been a part of that movement pooled their money together and bought 3234 Potter Street. They took an old shoe repair store and made it their home. Before long they grew into other abandoned houses on the block.
Since that experience in 1995, we have been inspired by the early church in the book of Acts, where the Bible says the early Christians shared all their possessions in common, gave freely to those in need, and met in each other’s homes for worship. The Gospel was lived out of dinner tables and living rooms.
And now – after over two decades — an intentional community has turned into a little village of neighbors sharing life and working together.
Our Statement of Identity and Faith
Love God. Love People. Follow Jesus.
To cultivate a neighborhood and a world where all belong and thrive together by encouraging people to come alive in their gifts and purpose, building beloved community across all dividing lines, and to advocate for justice.
We desire to care, support and bolster our immediate neighbors here in Kensington through listening, learning and invitation. Knowing that the story of our work locally necessitates us to equip and active others to become compassionately involved in neighborhoods and communities across the country and world.
Collaboration: rooted in solidarity
Radical Hospitality: intentional community, generosity and presence
Generative Diversity: practicing inclusion that moves towards wholeness
Action Oriented Justice: learning, activism and service
- The bible is the authoritative story of God’s love and plan for redemption of the world.
- That all people are made in the image of God and are formed in the likeness of Jesus.
- That Jesus was God made flesh in the world and through his life, death and resurrection we can understand God’s plan for the world and how we live in it.
- As followers of Jesus we are to live lives that are shaped by his teachings.
- Our faith compels us to pay close attention to the suffering in the world around us and respond with love and compassion.
- We must live and act in a way that moves the world closer to the way God intended, working towards a society where all are treated equally and resources shared equitably.
- We can not live and act as Jesus did without God’s grace, or without sharing the journey with others who are following Jesus.