Community Outreach

We Are All Neighbors

At Fairhaven, we like to use the word neighbor. Why is that?


Neighbor is a word to describe everyone we interact with, including our clients, our staff, our volunteers, our donors, our friends, our family, our community members, our church members, grocery store staff, bank tellers, restaurant workers, gas station attendants, mortgage lenders, coaches, teachers, CEOs, office managers, the people who reside next door—literally everyone. Our fellow human beings. We are all each other’s neighbors.


There is an invisible divide—sometimes even a barrier—that many of us have put up unintentionally between what we perceive as “us” and “them.” It doesn’t matter the context. “Us” and “them” could be seen as: rich and poor, believers and nonbelievers, secure and homeless. We can look at someone and say: “They don’t go to church,” or, “They are sleeping on a park bench,” and form an opinion or judgment about them. Not all judgment is bad, and some of these observations can help us navigate the world and practice discernment, but nevertheless sometimes these statements and judgments and opinions can form a divide between “us” and “them,” as if we aren’t all in this together. As if we aren’t all human and guilty of sin. As if we aren’t all children of God.


This is why we look at everyone we interact with as our neighbor.


There isn’t a single one of us who is infallible. There isn’t a single one of us who hasn’t done something he has regretted. There isn’t a single one of us who isn’t capable of committing sin. There isn’t a single one of us who can look in the mirror and say to herself that she has lived a perfect life.


We all have these things in common. All of us. We are all each other’s neighbors.


We need to lift each other up. We need to be courageous. We need to be discerning and careful, but not hide away from those who are suffering. We need to love, just as God loves us. We need to love and help our neighbors, just as Jesus did and continues to do.


“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14).