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the coop

Fostering Community in an Urban Setting

Fostering community in an urban setting Seven years ago, I started using the local Starbucks as a workspace to foster community through the café and arts culture in northeastern Los Angeles. This ministry, called the Coop, recently received a seed grant for 1001 New Worshiping Communities. I’m grateful for that and for what God has done to connect people to each other and to God. Over time, purposely making myself interruptible, I’ve built friendships with regulars of every age, wage and life stage. One of these people was “Selma.” Selma and her two young children had just moved into a studio apartment around the corner to escape domestic violence. Originally from Mexico and raised in the Catholic Church, Selma was now in a new neighborhood without support from family, friends or a local church. While believing in God, she was not interested in participating in any kind of religious institution. But she trusted me. And the coffee chats and neighborhood walks helped her connect to God, to a local friend and to a larger network of support.