We are a husband-and-wife team committed to loving our local neighbourhood and seeing it flourish. Neighbourhoods matter. We want to help people look beyond the four walls of institutions and develop the ability to listen deeply to what the skills and gifts are in their own communities. It’s only after we listen that we can discern contextualised opportunities to bring about peace, justice and mercy in the ecology of the neighbourhood. We believe that through our Spirit-inspired relationships and initiatives we can embody transformative love in our world. We believe in the goodness, diversity and complexity of the urban space, even though this is sometimes a forgotten area for engagement. Cities are places that need “salt and light” and good deeds so that they become resilient and places where all can live, work, learn and play together.
Inner city dweller. Explorer. Writer. Leaf blower hater. Flâneuse. Neighbourhood enthusiast. Lover of all things urban. Tea snob. Shalom builder.
Rev. Dr Karina Kreminski has worked in the fields of English teaching and journalism, and has also been a Senior Minister in the Church. She has a doctorate in missional formation. She currently teaches at Morling College in Sydney and also writes and blogs about spirituality, mission and theology. Karina has also been on various denominational boards and vision committees. She loves forming people for leadership and speaks regularly at churches and conferences on neighbourhood and community mission and activism. She is the facilitator of The Happiness Lab at the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre where she is a board member, and is involved in a storytelling project called Surry Hills & Valleys with locals in Surry Hills, an inner city village in Sydney. She has written a book called Urban Spirituality: Embodying God’s Mission in the Neighbourhood.
Dr Armen Gakavian has mentored young leaders and men from disadvantaged backgrounds in Australia and Armenia. His PhD was in cultural identity and longing for place. He has lectured in sociology, politics, social change and leadership and has worked as a researcher for universities and NGOs in the areas of social inclusion, social policy, faith-based social services, community development and multiculturalism. Armen was a founding member of the Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney, and of various NGOs and initiatives including the Australian branch of Mission Armenia NGO and an Armenian-Turkish dialogue group. He pioneered the Ministry at the Margins for The Australian Navigators, in partnership with The Salvation Army in Ivanhoe Public Housing Estate in Sydney’s northwest. He is currently Coordinating Editor and Associate Director of Ethos: EA Centre for Christianity and Society.
Drawings by Richard Briggs
As seen on ABC Compass, August 2019
Neighbourhood Matters is working with the Salvation Army and Macquarie University on a project called Vertical Villages which has a research focus around urban density but also has an aim to equip churches to reflect on how to build community in the context of high rise buildings.