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Coming this March is the Better Together kit. It's a box of Christ-centered resources to help each of us work toward the betterment of our neighborhoods. Like the Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age and the Households of Faith kits before it, this kit was created using research and data derived from Lutheran Hour Ministries' three-year partnership with Barna Group.

To encourage us all to think of our neighborhoods-and the people who live there-in ways that are hopeful and free of bias, the Better Together kit has three core texts that inspire and promote neighborhood involvement. These include the Barna-produced monograph, Better Together: How Christians Can Be a Welcome Influence in Their Neighborhoods, which offers revealing data and detailed analysis. Complementing this is LHM Content Developer Don Everts' book, The Hopeful Neighborhood: What Happens When Christians Pursue the Common Good (see Fall 2020 Lutheran Layman article on this book) and The Hopeful Neighborhood Field Guide: Six Sessions of Pursuing the Common Good Right Where You Live by Everts and Rev. Dr. Tony Cook, executive director of LHM's Hopeful Neighborhood Project (HNP).

The Better Together kit includes two Project Connect booklets: Love Thy Neighborhood: Rediscovering the Power of Sharing the Gospel with Our Deeds and Everyone Is a Gift: Letting God Transform How You See People, both by Everts. For the kids, there are two illustrated booklets written by Suzie Sallee, LHM's community facilitator for congregations. They are Precious in His Sight and I Love My Neighborhood! Also included is Neighborhood Bingo, a fun way to get to know your neighbors and neighborhood better.

Finally, LHM is launching a brand new nationwide program called The Hopeful Neighborhood Project. According to its website, "The Hopeful Neighborhood Project is a collaborative network committed to improving neighborhood well-being around the world. Our resources and online network equip and encourage neighbors to work together, using their gifts and the gifts of their community, to pursue the common good of their neighborhood." At its heart, the HNP is all about discovering gifts, imagining possibilities, and pursuing the common good right where we live-at street level.

To learn more about how we can all be better together, visit the Better Together website at There you'll find details on the Barna monograph, Everts' book The Hopeful Neighborhood, and see how pursuing the common good in your neighborhood benefits everyone.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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