For seven years I’ve had a vision for a unique and creative way of being the church. While in seminary, I discovered a desire to serve the church in untraditional settings and have been discerning and dwelling this particular model. I have been waiting for the right place and time. Celebration Church is no doubt the right place. And after spending the last few years growing our family, the timing feels right.
To be fully transparent, there has also been an underlying fear of failure that has continuously creeped into my conscience. I am a fairly risk adverse person, which may not be an ideal trait for a mission developer…so the idea of launching a bold new mission and ministry like the one I will soon share with you has been terrifying. Secretly I have hoped this dream would go away, but year after year it creeps back into the fold…this time in an unavoidable way.
What is the new vision you ask? A Coffee Church. A place that bridges the gap of the secular and the sacred. A place Celebration will bring its gifts and passions for Hospitality, Justice, and Inclusivity.
The Council of Elders have been in continuous conversation about this new vision and I spent much of May developing the initial business plan, primarily answering the question, why?
If you would like a more detailed summary please watch Sunday’s sermon, however here is a fairly broad overview.
Celebration will plant a coffee shop in the Northwest part of Cypress (think Fairfield area). This location would become our permanent place of worship on Sunday mornings. However, it will also function as a coffee shop during the week. This coffee shop will bring in three core values from Celebration: Hospitality, Justice, and Inclusivity.
Hospitality - In this coffee shop, every person who walks through our doors will be greeted with warmth, respect, and genuine hospitality. We will strive to create an environment where all are valued, accepted, and celebrated for their unique backgrounds, beliefs, and identities. Our vision is to build a diverse and inclusive community that embraces individuals from all walks of life, transcending barriers and fostering genuine connections.
Justice - Through our fair trade coffee offerings, we will not only provide exceptional quality beverages but also contribute to a more equitable and just world. We will prioritize sourcing coffee that supports ethical practices, empowering farmers and promoting sustainability. Our commitment to fair trade will extend beyond our coffee suppliers as we seek to cultivate relationships with local organizations, advocacy groups, and fair trade initiatives to create a ripple effect of positive change.
Inclusivity - By intentionally hiring individuals who face barriers to employment (specifically adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities), we will provide empowering opportunities for those who struggle to find work. Our commitment to inclusive hiring practices will create a supportive and inclusive work environment, where every team member is valued and has the opportunity to thrive. Through our employment initiatives, we will uplift and empower individuals, helping them build confidence, skills, and a sense of purpose as they contribute to the coffee shop’s mission.
Now that the why is identified, what is next?
On July 16, we will hold a congregational forum following worship. This will also be a potluck community meal with Dan Hill on the grill. This forum will be a place for questions and discussion.
On August 13, we will hold a congregational vote. A yes vote will signify a desire to continue moving forward with this vision and begin the next phase in figuring how we make this vision become a reality. Following worship on August 13 will be a pool party pot luck at the Saunders’ home.
If you have questions between now and July 16, you can submit them via the connect card.Please be sure to include your name, so I can properly respond to each question.
Church, thank you for your ongoing to support and encouragement. I covet your prayers as we continue to discern and dream together.