My husband and I live in a little fourplex right behind a Catholic Church. Our neighbor Bill, and older, skinny, very pale but friendly man goes there every morning for mass. On Saturdays and Sundays the parking lot besides our house fills with cars. The cars fill the spots and then cars come and park behind the cars in the opposite direction, filling the lot with T's and making use of all possible space. The church or one near us, has a bell that goes off every hour on the hour and every half an hour. The sound of those bells brings a lot of peace to our house during the day, especially when I am working from home and am alone in the quiet. My husband will often stop in the middle of saying something just to sit and listen to the bells.
The church is mostly hispanic, but have an english service during the week and festivities sometimes in the evenings. They are friendly and mostly keep to themselves but have been a great presence in our neighborhood. I've grown more and more found of them, and loved seeing upon my exploration of their building, that they always keep the sanctuary door open. I love that. Many churches don't hold this practice anymore, but keep their doors closed. For me in has been an encouragement to know there is a place for me and my neighbors to come at any time to seek God's peace and rest. Visitors are always welcome, and when you come for service or to pray in the mornings it is filled with the smell of strong incense. The church has also acted as a great resource in times when I have befriended the homeless near my house and needed a place to direct them for help. Churches are meant to be at the center of community for reasons like these and more, and even though I don't attend this particular church, I am so grateful to have them in our community and thankful that their doors are always open to the stranger and the friend.