Ogden – The Community hits the ball out of the park!

The community organizations of Ogden took the community roundtable opportunity offered to them by Bill Weaver, Minister of Ogden United Church and hit the ball out of the park!

Thirty Ogden community organizations said YES to the invitation to a community round table! Bill saw it as a ground breaking occurrence that so many parts of the community were represented: schools, the community association, churches, the library and many more. He sees this high participation level reflecting the historic commitment of Ogdenites to look after their own, while recognizing that if they want this to continue, they will need to do it together.

Apparently such gatherings had been attempted before, but now was the right time. The agenda for the meeting included small and large group discussion around the following questions:IMG_1982

  • What are the strengths of this community?
  • What are the gaps opportunities and emergent issues in this community?
  • How can we serve and partner to strengthen this community further?
  • What partnerships /resources might be needed to address the gaps and issues?

It was clear from the dialogue that Ogden is a community with serious strengths described by one of the participants as “Calgary’s Best Kept Secret”. A few of the strengths include:

  • A hundred years of history
  • Generations of families who chose to live in this neighborhood
  • A strong community association who effectively manages significant community assets including: the outdoor pool, the arena and the community resource center
  • A number of schools who are integrated within and part of the flow of the community
  • A future of possibilities with the construction of the Green Line and new neighbours in Quarry Park.

The gathering also enabled folk to make connections and get more information about the resources and opportunities available in the community. As things moved towards lunch – there was a clear desire to meet regularly and find ways to keep communication flowing more consistently and accessibly.

One teacher, new to a local elementary school, said she wished she had this kind of introduction to the neighbourhood whenever she moved into a new school. The meeting enabled another participant to more easily find their way in neighbouring organizations answering the delightful question, “who do you phone who will call you back?’ Another comment from a participant was that they were overjoyed and offered “ whatever I can do to help”

Circling back to Bill, he was very clear that his intention was to create a space where Ogden United Church and neighbouring organizations could come together around the story of the community, not Ogden United Church it’s building or efforts, but the entire community of Ogden with the question, “ What can we do together?” And by the quality of the energy and participation, it was the right question at the right time. Stay tuned to see what emerges.

To connect with this network contact Bill Weaver at ogdenminister@shaw.ca

For more stories about the Loving Your Neighbourhood Project see Church as Street Theatre , Calgary Churches Reimagining who they are in Community

 

 

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