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SASKATOON

Photo by Steve Kim @iamstevekim

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN

The city of Saskatoon, centered in the sprawling prairies of Treaty 6 Territory, boasts a beautiful river that flows through the heart of the city. A  delight of the region, the river  has also become an unfortunate symbol of the deeply ingrained divide in our city. Living on the “east side” or the “west side” has an immediate association for any Saskatoon local. The east side connotes wealth, hope, and prosperity. Meanwhile, the west side is a community that disproportionately experiences poverty and is too often feared, overlooked or pitied. Though we are dubbed the City of Bridges, deeper healing is needed to reconcile the race and class divide in our city.

 

The good news is that true to God’s heart, hope for this transformation is stirring from the margins.  A movement committed to pursuing shalom in a space that is often overlooked is growing in the west side of Saskatoon.

 

The west side of Saskatoon is home to a diverse, resilient community. First Nations families  moving off reserve and into the city make up about 40 % of the neighbourhood. Newcomers to Canada arriving as immigrants and refugees also contribute to our growing diversity. While coming from different contexts, these populations share a common hope of establishing a new life for their families to flourish. Yet the story of fear and division remains deeply ingrained here.

Our growing Servant Partners team lives in various homes in the Meadowgreen, and Pleasant Hill neighbourhoods. We live here intentionally to share life with our neighbours and work together for the wellbeing and reconciliation of our community . As we meet our neighbours, , we are learning what is important to our community. We are also meeting incredible people with passion and potential to love their neighbours well.  Together we are responding to common experiences of isolation, division and fear, by cultivating belonging and safety in our community. 

We have many evolving initiatives on the go! In the vibrant apartment complex we live in, we come alongside other tenants to care for one another and nurture advocacy. We work with newcomer and Indigenous kids and  youth to lead efforts of reconciliation and to bridge their communities.  We partner with community associations and gather neighbours to engage in community safety and flourishing. We  encourage Jesus-centered communities as a space to root our hope and joy while engaging in holistic discipleship.

 

Through presence and listening we continue to learn of many unfulfilled longings in the community. As we grow, we hope to see new initiatives catalyzed for employment,  food security, housing advocacy, and community safety. We are eager to welcome new teammates with a courageous heart for reconciliation and a humble learning posture to work together with neighbours to fill these gaps.  Together with our neighbours, we long to see more spaces for us all to encounter healing and transformation, and contribute together towards the holistic wellbeing of our community.

 

We also host interns and short-term visitors who are interested in being trained in long-term ministry in an urban poor context. If you are interested in joining our team  or learning more, you can contact Katelyn at katelyn.siggelkow@servantpartners.ca  or find out more on the internship site page.

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