“The Lord works out everything to its purpose...”
Proverbs 16:4 (NIV)
Each new year seems to offer new opportunities and possibilities in our personal lives
(from new gym memberships to new financial goals)
and families (with renewed commitments and planning for the year ahead).
In the same way, it always open new possibilities for our church and its ministries as well.
At the December 2021 meeting, the Administrative Board voted to designate a formal partnership
with the Cafe Support Team to dream and enact ways
to effectively build on the great work already begun in the Common Grounds Cafe over the past 5 years.
This means three unique things as we “work out” what God will do in the Common Grounds Cafe in 2022
under a volunteer-led ministry:
1) First, we will start simply and build from that foundation.
As a non-profit, member based, local church,
we constantly make discerning choices that are different than other organizations
because we intrinsically use “other” people’s money to support “our” goals
(i.e. it is only your offerings that keep the electric going, so we turn out lights to save electricity like you do at home!)
So, our initial offering in the Cafe will seem, at first,
different than what we originally experienced
(for example: donation, not price based; self-serve instead of staff served, pre-prepared versus made to order items, etc).
But, our prayer is that God may use that foundation of stewardship
to build new opportunities that may seem more familiar to us as the year progresses.
2) Second, we will build extensive partnerships outside the church.
Our December “trial run” of this new style of service with our Upward Sports program and Church Volleyball league
has done extremely well
(where guests, most of whom do not attend our church or did not see our previous model of service in the cafe,
have donated and used the cafe extensively during their time at our church each evening).
Beyond those opportunities, we have begun meetings with Dallastown High School’s Life Skills Training program
and many other community organization -
to find unique ways to partner with them in 2022.
3) Third, there is an opportunity for you to explore and engage in this process.
When guests would naturally asked who "owned” the cafe, Jenn Stine
(who set the standard for hospitality in the first model of cafe service),
would emphasize that the church members were the owners.
We will continue that emphasis and offer many opportunities for you, the members, to become “owner/players” as well -
giving each person in our congregation a point of impact in the cafe ministry based on their time and talents.
You can see some of that information below and can find five (5) individual brochures
in both our cafe space and Wesley Hall explaining this process in more detail.
This emphasis will involve the opportunity for trainings, dreaming and enacting safe
and sustainable teams who serve together within the Cafe.
Join us! Your voice is a treasured part of this process.
Thank God for the gift of a new year!
Praise Him for the foresight to allow Bethlehem UMC to build a space like the Common Grounds Cafe.
Join us as we “work out” how He might use it for His glory in 2022 and beyond!