Fill Your Cup and Your Soul - Issue #150
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Following a year of prayerful listening and discernment, Tigard United Methodist Church in Tigard, Oregon, understood that God wa calling them to find fresh ways to create places of connection, conversation, and spiritual growth. They are particularly committed to reaching the growing number of people who have a deep spiritual hunger, but do not see the link between spirituality and seeking out a local church.
Out of that vision has come Jubilatte, a high quality coffee shop where church members and others in the local community converge to fill their cups and their souls. Jubilatte is a place of joy, hospitality, and supportive encounters, where heartfelt conversations about life help people to go deeper in exploring faith and God's presence in their lives. It provides a crossroad where members of the congregation encounter and develop relationships with people in the community, an approach to outreach that emphasizes conversation rather than conversion.
Supported by a dedicated team of trained volunteers, Jubilatte has attracted a significant number of volunteers from beyond the church membership. Drawn by the mission of Jubilatte, they have found meaning in their involvement in the midst of diverse spiritual journeys.
Jubilatte has also become a hub of conversation for those coming and going to the Tigard Indoor Play Park, another hospitable space created by the congregation in the church's gym. Designed for children up to age five, the parent-supervised play park is a major asset to families looking for safe, accessible family recreation. A recent survey of the nearly 900 families that have used the play park indicates that 30 percent are interested in more information about the United Methodist Church and how the church might enhance their family life.
Some Questions for Discussion
- How is your congregation reaching out to the growing number of people who do not see a connection between spirituality and involvement with a community of faith?
- What "crossroad" ministries does your congregation support or might it develop that could create opportunities for members to engage in meaningful conversation with others in the community?
Kevin Witt is the former Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries at Discipleship Ministries. You can read more about Jubilatte, the Tigard Play Park, and other ministries of Tigard UMC at www.tigardumc.com.
In 2007 church leaders throughout The United Methodist Church in the U.S. were invited to identify churches that demonstrated the vision of discipleship described in the twelfth chapter of Romans. Over 200 churches were surveyed or visited. Issue #150. © 2012 Discipleship Ministries. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this page for use in United Methodist congregations.