What is Known?
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. --1 Corinthians 13:12
# 1 Greenhouse for People:
Growing plants is a science. But people? How do you create an environment for people with histories, and fears, and trauma, and….brokenness where each individual can grow and eventually flourish, but, just as importantly, where a whole community can thrive? Welcome to the Greenhouse for People on 26th and Capitol in Milwaukee’s 53206 zip code. Come hear the personal stories of broken men, women, and children growing and flourishing by living in an intentional community where hope is cultivated and protection is enforced from the outside toxic elements.
# 2 Cultivate Hope:
Cultivation is a preparation for growth. When we grow as people it is directly linked to what is true and good. Sometimes, though, how we see ourselves does not match up with either of these. We see the bad we’ve done, or the good we’ve failed to do and we start to believe the lie that who I am is the same as what I’ve done. When all you’ve known is ugly it is hard to find hope. But the truth starts with this: “...in the image of God He created them…” The truth of who we are cultivates hope.
# 3 Protection from Outside Toxic Elements:
Milwaukee’s northside has a reputation. It’s not pretty. There’s violence and drugs. Some of this is the toxic reality of life and some of this is the fear of perception. The reality is that the toxic elements of life are nearer than we’d like to realize, and, sometimes, it is within the walls of a space meant to protect us from these very things. How can people grow and flourish in the midst of this? Inside the Greenhouse for People protection from outside toxic elements is more than a matter of security, although that is part of it, it is a matter of community.
# 4 Build Community:
We all do it. Put on the mask for the crowd, go with the flow, act as our own PR office - hiding some of the truths of who we are to fit in. Friendships and acquaintances come easy this way, but community? Community is a place where YOU belong. Not your mask, not your tightly controlled public image that fits the mold - you. But how do you create an environment where strangers - some who live there, some who work there, and some who come around a few times a month - can be known… and loved without pretense?
# 5 The Point of Reconciliation:
“You have heard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” This may be the most famous treatise on grace, and the call to reconciliation in our history. Sometimes we mistake brokenness for something unfixable - people are too set in their ways, they change but seldom. This sounds wise - why try and change someone unwilling to? And the answer is: You don’t! We do not change anyone. But, what does it look like to offer the broken, the rejected and the despised grace, and the opportunity to reconcile.
# 6 Invitation:
The Greenhouse for People on 26th and Capitol cultivates hope, protects from outside toxic elements and builds community. This all starts with an invitation, an invitation of “IF”. For twenty years we have walked alongside broken men, women and children and see the power of this invitation, we have seen growth from real struggles to flourishing and healthy lives; but we have all been changed in this as well, and for the better. Now, in our twentieth year, we would like to extend this invitation of “IF” to you: will you join us at the table?
Known is a creative video strategy meant to inspire, encourage and equip people to engage with life at Hope Street. Supporting Known allows us to tell a different story about Milwaukee and inspire viewers to consider the value of being known as well as knowing others. This mini series will share stories of members, staff, volunteers and others who intersect with Hope Street.