BIG TENT 2015 • July 30–August 1, Knoxville, TN REGISTER NOW →

Skip to main content

“My grace is sufficient for you.” —2 Cor. 12:9

Thursday, April 9

Presbytery of Lake Erie

Pennsylvania

The Open Door Cafe in Oil City Courtesy of Josh Botts

 

The Open Door Cafe in Oil City

 

Courtesy of Josh Botts

 

On December 3, 2012, the door opened and the first guests arrived at the Open Door Cafe in Oil City.

Believing that God was already present in the lives of each person in the community, a small group from Second Presbyterian Church began having conversations around creating a place outside church walls where God’s mission in the neighborhoods could be discovered.

The group decided it would open a cafe where all might feel welcome, regardless of means; payment for food and beverages would be optional, in the form of a donation. The cafe would be a place where people could gather over soup or coffee and have conversations possibly leading to relationships. It would be a place where one could become a “detective of divinity” alert to opportunities to join God in mission. To sharpen these detecting skills, they developed a training program based on Luke 10:1–12 called EARS (engage, accept, respond, serve), which is designed to cultivate beliefs, attitudes, habits, and skills for listening in order to discover what God is up to.

Today, over 20 volunteers serve at the Open Door Cafe, and people from all over the city provide soup, ingredients, and supplies. Church members and folks from the neighborhood are working side by side to renovate an adjacent house for a soon-to-be expansion. In its first year, the cafe fed more than 3,000 and was a catalyst in forming numerous caring relationships. More than just a cafe, Open Door is a space dedicated to God that invites conversations and welcomes God to be a part of them.

Second Presbyterian Church is one of 59 congregations in the Presbytery of Lake Erie.

—Josh Botts and Kathleen Massie: members of Second Presbyterian Church, Oil City; board members of the Open Door Initiative

Let us join in prayer for

Presbytery Staff

Teaching Elder David S. Oyler, general presbyter
Ruling Elder Dr. Doug Megill, stated clerk
Jeff Beach, treasurer
Sheila Kelly, administrative assistant

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Rob Fohr, PMA
Lynne Foreman, PMA

Let us pray

Father, thank you for your love that enables us to love others. Help us to reflect the free gift of your grace to all who cross our path. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 47; 147:12-20
First Reading Ezekiel 37:1-14
Second Reading Acts 3:11-26
Gospel Reading John 15:12-27
Evening Psalms 68; 113

Leave a comment

Post Comment