August 19, 2016
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.
One morning I received an urgent text message. “Please, Cat, where are you? I need help. I need to turn in restraining order paperwork to the courthouse by noon, but my lawyer says my English isn’t good enough to write the responses. You’re a writer—can you help me?” I texted Selma my address, which happened to be a café down the street from the courthouse. An hour later, Selma and I were wiping the croissant crumbs from our table, with me furiously typing and Selma relaying the incident details that necessitated the legal petition. Two hours later, Selma was racing to the courthouse with the completed forms.
That evening the text message came through: “Cat! The judge granted the restraining order! You helped save my life. You are my BFF. How can I thank you enough? Gracias a Dios!” This is one of hundreds of examples from my work in Los Angeles of God releasing his love and power into relationships begun in cafés and other urban hubs.
Let us pray for Selma’s family to continue to find strength, protection and provision from God as they navigate new waters with their new community. And please pray for me to have the energy and resources I need to partner with God in friendship with Selma and hundreds of others.
Cat Moore, Community Catalyst at the Coop
Today’s Focus: Presbytery of San Fernando
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Gracious Lord, please make us eager and willing partners with our brothers and sisters from all walks of life, so that together we may be faithful witnesses to your love and grace for all people, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.